doctorsWhen you have to see your doctor after or second opinion:

I endured over two years of physician visits trying to find what was causing my pain after my surgeon gave up. After frank discussions with doctors who have helped with this site, here are some tips:

  1. Do not speak negatively about the implanting surgeon if this is the case. As frustrated and in pain you may be, leave his name and your personal feelings about him at the door. They all know eachother.

  2. Take someone with you and NOT a spouse but if so, they must remain calm, be a witness and take notes! Try and have it be a family member (and make sure they have access via HIPPA) who can be calm and factual. They should actively listen and be your biggest advocate. Remember doctors can be wrong and they were massively so in the metal on metal hips implanted.

  3. Do not expect the doctor to read your chart or records beforehand. Most in private practice are overwhelmed with patients and paperwork from insurance carriers. Research hospital doctors are trying to teach at the same time they are seeing you. Be as direct as possible with pre-written questions.

  4. Be very specific on your pain and don’t say “I think”. Say, “I have pain here and here and it hurts when I do this or that”. Bring all tests with you and be prepared they will want to do their own. Do not say you have “deep pain”. That is too generalized for them. They get frustrated with that kind of term and think they cannot satisfy you.

  5. Resist pain meds. Good doctors will not be anxious to give you narcotics if you have had prolonged pain without the support of diagnostic tests. If the doctor wants to give you pain meds without any tests, let that be an indication who is going to solve the real cause of the pain. Push for Mobic, prescription 800 mg Tylenol, Celebrex (expensive so you may have to go online) but effective and injection of tramadol. Be very careful about cortisone injections. Too many can cause necrosis of the fat and tissue and leave permanent holes.

  6. Push for a CT scan, 3-D. I have spoken to many people who had regular X-Rays and MRI’s and they did not see loosening. A CT scan WITHOUT contrast may be the best. Always get the CD.

  7. Get names of the front desk personnel, PA’s, and nurses and be very kind to them. They are your conduit to the physician and are vital for follow-up care. Ask for copies of all tests in CD or written form. Always have in a binder.

  8. If you’re a woman, remember your spouse or significant other does not respond well to threats or anger and most orthopedic doctors are male and wired the same way. Stay as calm and in control as possible. Try for the15 minutes you might get to leave the pain at the door and use your good mind to get what you need to heal yourself.

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