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Doctors are awesome (rant_mode: on); Lower back pain update.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

March
9
2011

Nuclear ExplosionI’m going to start off this morning’s update with a little bit of a rant…

Yesterday morning I arrived at my doctor’s office for my 10:00 AM appointment at 9:55 AM sharp. Almost 2 hours later, I finally saw the doctor for a whopping 5 minutes. Apparently my doctor was the only one in that day, but I overheard one of the girls at the front desk mention that the other doctor was on vacation that week. So why did they not PLAN for that? Why was there a waiting room full of people, all with 10:00 AM appointments? I’ll tell you why: because doctors are awesome and better than the rest of us, and that means they can decide to take a week off anytime they damn well please. If I’m late for my appointment (or don’t show up) I get charged $35.00–end of story. But they can keep me sitting around half the day and that’s just fine. Where’s my check for $35.00? Hell, I didn’t even get an apology. I really like all the people there, they are always warm and friendly… but this policy (and it’s not just with this doctor, all of the other doctors I’ve been to have similar policies) really irritates me. I could almost understand them being behind if my appointment was at the end of the day, but how backed up can they be an hour after opening? The whole “Our time is more valuable than yours!” attitude (with a friggin’ one way payment penalty to drive the point home) grinds my gears.

*deep breath*

Good morning! Ok, so apart from my movie-length wait time in the lobby, things at my doctor went pretty much as expected. The x-rays of my lower back show absolutely nothing out of the ordinary, so I was given a referral for an MRI. Now it’s in the hands of the hospital that will do the MRI and my insurance company. I was told that I should hear from the hospital within the next couple of days. Depending on what the MRI shows, the next step could involve seeing a sports doctor (this would be my preferred choice), a Physiatrist (conservative, non-surgical treatment), a surgeon or a neurologist (very unlikely). I don’t want to get too far ahead of things here. I did express my desire to solve this issue non-surgically if at all possible.

I also mentioned to my doctor that the NSAID she prescribed (“Celebrex”) did absolutely nothing to help alleviate the constant lower back ache I feel while mountain biking, gardening and certain other physical activities. She prescribed a different anti-inflammatory called “Feldene” aka “Piroxicam” to see if that works any better. The NSAID is a temporary measure we’re using in an effort to provide some relief while the root cause of my lower back pain is discovered and treated.

John Stone Fitness Comments

8 Responses to “Doctors are awesome (rant_mode: on); Lower back pain update.”
    • I strongly considered walking out around the one hour mark. But then I kept thinking, “I’ve been here this long… how much longer can it be?” I really didn’t want to have to re-schedule and go through it all again, so I sat there like a chump.

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      • Yeah, once you’ve been there that long, you might as well stick it out. The problem is that most payor models reimburse these guys based on volume rather than quality. Thus, they pack their schedule like the guy at the factory packs sardines in a can–quick, heavy, and with nary an eye for whatever other crap might get packed with it. In the end, we’re stuck with two-hour waits for 5 minutes a face time.

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  1. I used to wait and fume. Now I fire doctors that make me wait longer than 30 minutes (including time in the little room before they show up.) Get up, get a copy of your file from the front desk, and never return. There are considerate, responsive physicians out there and the bad ones shouldn’t be rewarded with your business.

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    • I never had to wait that long at my old doctor’s office, but they were not providing me with the care I expected. I’m willing to give this place one more chance, but if this ever happens again I’m hitting the road.

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  2. Obviously there’s plenty of different kinds of back pain, but if this is a “Herniated Disc” which an MRI will show very well (instead of looking like a shiny disc, it’ll look black) then don’t worry about the Op. I had this in 1996, and had the “goo” removed from the disc. I’ve never looked back since. It got to a point beforehand I couldn’t walk straight, and since the operation day, even though obviously in pain due to soreness, I knew the pain of the sciatica was gone. 15 years later and it’s still all good.

    Best of Luck with whatever the prognosis is. Obviously I sincerely hope an Operation isn’t needed, but if so, the very best of luck.

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  3. I remember reading somewhere about a professional who was kept waiting for over and hour and a half at a specialist doctors office. When they presented him with the bill at the end for and nice figure, under the total he deducted his hourly rate multiplied by 1.5 and paid them the balance. He quite simply reasoned that if he in his profession is expected to be punctual to scheduled meetings he can expect the same from his specialist. I cannot vouch for the validity of the story but it sounds good none the less.

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