My book.

My book.
"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

Total Pageviews


Monday, March 11, 2013


I was surprised by the vehemence of a reply I received to my last posting.

The person who commented said he (she?) was a certified anaesthesiologist and pain specialist.

He said he gets "lied to and BS'd everyday by pain patients." who tell him how to do his job, meaning saying only oxycodone will help them.  They are not interested in his prescriptions of diet, sleep changes, TENS unit, life changes of leaving an "abusive spouse" , job they hate, etc.

He feels that the "real injury" is a "broken soul".

I feel bad for this doctor, and for his patients.

He sounds burned out.  Maybe he has been yanked over the coals by too many patients for too long.  It is sad because the term "broken soul" says to me he has empathy and sensitivity to the emotional pain people experience.  Or did have at one time.

This is one of the big problems with getting good treatment for our pain.  A doctor sees enough of the fakers and poseurs and he has had enough of us.   He then lumps us all together, those with legitimate pain and those who may have other agendas.

The point of the post was not the issue of money per se but that we need to be partners.  I referred to the fact that since we pay the bill we are a doctor's employer.   He tells me how much his education cost to "become your employee."

If I go to a lawyer I pay a fee.  We do not discuss why he decided to go to law school, how much it cost or if he is still in debt.  I hire him.  Often the first meeting is without cost to see if we can work together or if he can help me.   He either takes me on or he does not.  If he does, I pay his fee and am his employer. 

My friend owned a restaurant.   She worked like a dog, each and everyday.  She may have owned the business but the customers paid her for their food; they became her employer.  If they complained she did not say  "I was up at 4 am to get ready for you, this store cost me thousands of dollars to buy, you have no right to complain."  She worked with them to make it right.

I get the issue of  'it cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to school.  I work to pay my loans back and then live a good life with the profit I make.'  That is very legitimate.  But.

But I did not make you go to medical school.  I did not force you to choose your specialty.  There is a sense of entitlement when you say I do not care if you pay me through insurance premiums or taking the money directly out of your wallet, I know better then you and there should be no issue of being partners in this endeavor to help you.

(I will write a part 2 about our responsibility in this relationship.)


  1. I am so sick of a-hole pain management doctors. Clearly they chose the profession (because no one forced them to) because they can make a ton of money doing procedures that usually don't end up helping the patients in the long run. I just found a study that discovered that with every steroid injection the future risk of a bone fracture goes up by 29% compared to people who don't have them done. I can't believe I put up with a quack who kept saying I needed to have them even when they just put me in increased pain temporarily.

    I'm done being the cash cow for these doctors. I hope karma hits all the bad ones hard and gives them all chronic pain conditions in the future. Maybe then they'd gain some empathy and realize the hell they've put their legitimate patients through. I can only hope. :) In the meantime, I'm done being made worse for profit. At least I'll finally be free from the medicine induced constipation, when I'm able to make it to the bathroom.

    Don't put yourself in more pain by replying to that type of comment. They are clearly not worth the (very challenging) effort.

    Hope you're having a decent pain day! Take care.

  2. Thanks anonymous for the comment and hope you are too.

  3. You are correct, it was their choice to become a doctor, so they shouldn't be complaining to you about how much the education cost.

    As you say, you want a lawyer, you pay for the services, he doesn't turn around and tell you how much his education cost.

    I think his comment shows he is rather disgruntled about how his life has panned out. But what he hasn't thought about is that you could be disgruntled about how your life has turned out. I could be. So many of my friends could be. But we try our hardest to put a smile on our faces, and get on as best as we can.

    Hopefully his broken soul can be mended :)