I keep forgetting, mainly because a vast majority of my day is spent cautiously existing so that I don’t accidentally move in a way to trigger significant physical pain, that I have power and agency over my life and healthcare. I am starting to see why we have a drug epidemic in the United States. It’s not because doctors overprescribe medication, but it’s because they are irresponsible when it comes to owning their patient’s care.
The doctors I’ve seen have all generally not cared about my patient care.
If I weren’t so resolved, through the many years I’ve fought for my sobriety, then it might be easy for me to go to a liquor store or any of the cannabis stores in the area to inebriate myself through this physical pain. I keep writing “physical pain” because there is psychological pain for me when I see people doing physical activities, sure. I cringe when I see people moving around items of any weight, when I see them chainsawing, or even doing light yoga. When I watch these people doing these activities, and I imagine myself doing them, I know that I would experience significant physical pain.
It’s been difficult for me to do the laundry today.
I have a grabbing arm to help me reach into the washing machine and place items in the dryer, but even still, the act of moving my body to any degree is a gamble and has been for months. I tried to explain this to my “current” pain management doctor when I saw him but he expressed no sympathy or interest. Here I was, his patient, but he had already written me off as a loser and a lost cause. He wasn’t then and isn’t interested in helping me get better much more than what he is legally obligated to do as a doctor. In his own way, he told me my pain was a problem for the sports medicine doctor to address, as the old pain management doctor told me my pain was a problem for the spine doctor and the emergency room back in July.
I reached out to a new pain management office today via their messaging system.
I wrote, “Hi, I would like to see if there are any possible solutions for the chronic back pain I’ve been experiencing since April. I had a Thoracic/Lumbar Bilaterial L3-4, L4-5 Laminectomy and discectomy on August 31 2020 and I have not had success with doctors having empathy toward helping me resolve my continued back and tailbone pain. The spine doctor I was working with referred me to another pain management doctor who referred me to a sports medicine doctor who I will be seeing on the morning of the 11th. Are there any appointments available before the 11th so I could receive a second opinion? Thanks,” and I believe I will use this message to go down the list of other doctors’s offices to get a second opinion or even third.
It’s becoming clear to me what the problem is with the American Healthcare System.
Doctors are arrogant in seeing their patients as customers for their products, whether it’s pills or uninsured solutions, and if there is any degree of disrespect then away they go. When I challenged my “current” pain management by implying that he didn’t believe that I was in pain, because I wasn’t actively screaming out in pain, I’m sure he could use that as part of his training to say that because I stood up for myself, that could be considered aggressive behavior. I think back to the first pain management doctor and how I had to sign a document saying that if I was aggressive at all that I could be refused service.
I had even commented on this to the nurse who didn’t respond at all.
It makes sense to me now more than ever about why we have such a drug problem in the United States with interactions like that or the interactions I had with my “current” pain management doctor. Whether the pain is physical or psychological, if the patient isn’t getting the help they need, just as I did here by shopping around for second opinions, people have eventually gone onto the secondary market for pain relief. I may be writing from a place of privilege in that I have health insurance, I have money in my bank account, and perhaps even the sort of bullish tenacity that comes from years of resisting the allure of becoming enraptured in my addictions…
Maybe I can still be saved from this vicious cycle of the American Healthcare System…
What are the percentages of people that are actively dealing with drug problems that were former patients of pain management doctors? How many of them lashed out at their doctors, as I did, because the doctors acted like they didn’t believe in the patient’s pain? That doctor’s weak-willed words saying that he believed me were only out of legal obligation and out of a sense of expressing that so he could say he did. I went back and changed the first part of that sentence from “my doctor’s” to “that doctor’s” because I don’t believe him.
I don’t believe that he is concerned about my health in the slightest.
That is why I am looking around for other doctors. I’m not looking for illegal medications to enable me to have a day where I don’t need to worry about bending at a slight angle and causing significant, day-altering pain. All I’m looking for is a treatment plan outside of seeing another doctor, and another doctor, and another doctor, for my daily pain. I feel like giving up constantly. It would be so much easier for me to acquiesce to alcohol or cannabis to solve this problem that has been started by drug companies and perpetuated by the doctors themselves. This doctor even refused to help because of ‘the drug epidemic.’
Helping patients through their pain isn’t mysterious like COVID-19.
|Quotes:  I believe I should send this message to every doctor on my list as referred by my insurance to see what will happen.|
|Sources: My personal experience.|
|Inspirations: I can deal with life in one of two days. Either I can let life kill me or I can seize life and its terrible systems by their horns, throw them to the ground, and say no more. It takes energy and all the fight I have to do the second option, but as long as I can, I will do my best to tell this wicked system of the American Healthcare System that no, you don’t get to hide behind a pandemic or other excuses as ways to prevent treating patients like human beings.|
|Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 November 08 [11:21am to 11:44am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 November 08 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|