Anyone just doing Pain Dr. telephone appointments?

charryccharry Posts: 224
edited 04/20/2020 - 6:10 PM in Chronic Pain Forum

How is holding off surgical procedures, not an essential service? How can a phone call from your Pain Dr. be enough?

 Do we just tell our pain to go away while we wait for the pandemic to be over so we can get our steroid injections or nerves burned? There will be such a backlog of pain and suffering while we wait in line to get our procedure done. I believe pain control is essential service under strict wear a mask and gloves of course but how long do we have to wait? How are people managing not getting steroid injections or seeing their PM Dr?

Of course, we all know our jobs are essential but isn't pain control necessary?

Well my phone appointment is Wednesday so want to make the best of it but no procedures to be done.



  • I had a tele-med appointment with the pain doc. this morning, it's different for sure, but she made sure to go over everything and get all my refills taken care of, she also made my appointment for next month for in person, so we all need to keep our fingers crossed that this mess is better by next month so we can all get back to a somewhat normal routine.


  • Our gp appointments are mostly Via phone. But if you need to go in they make an appointment for you. I have still been seeing pain doc and have had one injection in neck and get a second on Thursday. Though thankfully I haven’t been one effected by having a surgery cancelled. Harpy

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  • I like the tele-med appts.. 

  • charryccharry Posts: 224
    edited 04/21/2020 - 4:25 PM

    I wish they could telemed my RFA over the phone since the pain clinic is closed. Maybe in the distant future.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,570

    I had a telemed appt. yesterday and we used Zoom. My doctor told he had been pushing to use this for those chronic pain patients that had a hard time getting to the office because of their condition or had to drive a distance, like me. This will give the doctors what they need to make this work.

    He also said they are not going back until June. If everything is opened up in 2 weeks, the virus will spread again. It's not over so everyone stay safe. 


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  • scinmyheartsscinmyheart Posts: 118
    edited 04/22/2020 - 11:06 AM

    my appointment on the 2nd was outside sitting in my car...did not go in for pill counts

    they called yesterday to let me know my appointment the end of next week will be over the phone

    I don't know if they're doing any procedures in office or not

  • So I just talked with him and  I'm getting RFA done in a couple of weeks. He's doing emergency pain procedures like he thinks I need it done so I'm glad about this. Thank goodness. Charry

  • I think it’s great, as Sandra said those of us that are just in too much pain some days it makes so much more sense to do a phone conciliation if it’s just for script refills. Fax our scripts to our chemist . Just makes life easier . I hope my doc keeps it going after all this virus is settled. 

  • it's so great because he's known me for about 7 years but I only see him twice a year because he just does an assessment then he does the RFA on my lumbar sacral nerves the next visit in the OR under live xray and twilight sedation at the hospital.I'm only getting one side done as it's so painful. But worth it! If I didn't get the facet nerves burned I don't think I would be here today...

    My family Dr. does my pain meds and I only have patch return counts at the pharmacy once every 3 months but it would be nice to do more telephone appointments especially if you're stable on your pain meds or other minor issues with the for a refill of something.

    A car appointment is interesting but you still have to go there. But it may be worth it in the future as this quarantine eases up. thanks, guys. Charry

  • charry could I ask about the RFA’s . I have currently started on injections In my neck. ( Had lots previous in the lumbar). Will be getting all three levels done where main pain comes from. So Got a few more yet. My question is, If you are done under twilight can you still feel pain? Or is it the pain once you come out of twilight. Harpy

  • Yes I feel pain even more I think but I'm already on fentanyl patch so they have a hard time sedating me. You have to be alert enough to tell them if it hurts or burns down your leg or your foot. I've had my hip hurt and burn and the Pain Dr. took over from the PM Dr who was just learning how to do RFAs. Didn't suffer any long term effects at all.

    They do a test injection first and if you have relief in the first few hours then they give you RFA. My leg fell asleep and I couldn't walk a few hours so it really worked for me so I'm a good candidate for RFA. I couldn't live without it. I have burning horrible facet joint nerve pain and its because of my Hypertrophy in facet joints (BIG HUGE) joints from degenerative disc disease with all my lumber discs herniated but not a candidate for surgery since its just nerve pain which is relieved mostly by RFA once a year.

    I still need a pain patch and tiny break through meds amount.

  • Tomorrow, I'm getting RFA done on one side of the Lumbar spine facet nerves.. It always helps for the whole year but I'm only getting one side done this time instead of the whole back as  It's hard to tolerate the pain of the nerve burn even with twilight sedation because they're burning my nerves I scream the whole time he puts the needles in. Wish me luck tomorrow. Thanks. Charry

  • Good luck tomorrow, I hope it helps you


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,570


    I hope everything goes good today. When you feel like, let us know how you are doing.

  • Goodluck with your procedure today, seems much more painful that what I am doing. Harpy

  • How did it go? Hope it wasn’t too painful and that it helps.

  • Thanks. It went well.

  • I agree that the phone appointments for some like me would work great.  There is nothing they can do for me except prescribe meds so all they do is come in and if I am doing ok that’s it unless it’s UA time.  Right now they are seeing us one month and giving us meds for two so we go in every two months.  They probably won’t go to phone appointments because they are still writing paper scripts.  I wonder if this Pandemic will cause them to go over to  electronic prescribing.  Most doctors here started it last year and Wal Mart wasn’t going to accept paper scripts after 1/1/20 but had to due to too many doctors not making the change.

    So I still have to go in to pick up my scripts anyway.  Think I will ask at my appointment next week.  

    Keep safe everyone!


  • Cindy, how nice to go in every two months if you don’t need anything but your Rx...our state required electronic Rx starting this past January.  I do call later in that day to the pharmacy to make sure they were received, but no problems yet

    my appointment last week was over the phone which my insurance covered at 100%...but they told me as of now that June’s appointment will be back in the office...well, it was nice while it lasted

  • Scinmyheart,  I am hoping it will last a bit longer here.  Since our town has more COVID cases per capita than anywhere else in the entire state, they might continue this a bit longer.  I like going once every two months!  I will let you know as I have an appointment end of next week.


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,570

    I have been having Zoom meetings with my psychologist. He has been pushing for this for patients that are disabled or have a long drive that have to go see him. He meets with patients that are getting SCS and pain pump implants, any kind of weight loss surgery, and depression and anxiety from chronic pain. He said by doing it this way have give him more tools to get this to go through. 

    But I don't have a choice as far as my pump, I have to go the middle of June to have it refilled and I also have to have a Dexa scan the same day. I will wear my mask, I have made some really cute ones.

    Stay safe and have a good weekend.

  • My PM doc is still doing tele appts. I asked about when in office appts might resume- he said for the foreseeable future, the telemedicine appts will continue here. 

    I like them- no injections / procedures are helpful to me at this point, so MEs management is all. I require unless I am in severe flare. 

  • I like the telephone appts. so convenient when you can't get out due to pain or weather or trying to book a ride. And this day during a pandemic we need to take care because many of us are high risk and should be staying in. or maybe take a walk outside with a mask in the hall or elevator

    so one week after RFA, still pain from nerve fighting back so just icing my back a lot. But as soon as I can get in a few months now I will have to get the other side of my back done but only according to clearing the long waitlist for these procedures.

    I haven't tried zoom or anything yet as I have the worst computer ever and don't own a smartphone but will try a zoom if I had to.

    Hi Sandi and other familiar faces and all new folks as well. One day at a time. friends. .

  • Yesterday the receptionist at PM called to let me know they would be doing a phone appointment this morning.  She explained that I would get a text and to just follow the instructions.  Having never done this before I was a little worried but it was really simple and took just a few minutes.  Even though my PM had not completed all that was needed for electronic scripts, they are being allowed to do them right now anyway.  She said that they are planning to resume office appointments next month.  I guess we will just have to wait and see if that happens.  I really don't care one way or another. 

    One little complaint.  I asked when I should head to the pharmacy because I have to call my Brother in law to pick me up.  She said they would be sending them just as soon as my appointment was over and it would take 15-20 minutes so I called him right after the call so he could head my way.  It always takes him awhile because he has to fix his hair and I don't know what all.  Took him 30 minutes to get here and 5 minutes to drive to the pharmacy.  And.....they weren't there.  I called the office and could only get the nurses voice mail and sometimes they don't even listen to the messages until the next day.  So I told the pharmacy I would just wait if she would keep checking it for me, hoping I would not have to call the office twice!  I always feel like a pest when I have to do that.  It took another 40 minutes plus 20 for the pharmacist to fill them.  So I am thinking that if they go back to paper scripts that would be fine with me.  At least I know that its in my hand and I only wait as long as it takes to fill them.  I would venture to guess that since they have started electronic scripts they probably won't go back.  Just hoping this won't be a problem down the road.  I always make my appointments first thing in the morning because my brother in law works nights so he wants to get things done so he can go to sleep.

    Speaking of the pharmacy, all employees had on masks and were using hand sanitizer.  Last month when I was there all customers had masks on except one older gentleman.  This time there were probably 20 customers in the store and maybe 8 of them wore masks.  I was a little surprised by that.  We have so many cases of Coronavirus here you would think people would want to be cautious.  These were not young people not wearing masks.  I was so afraid that once they started opening things up in other parts of the state you would see people acting as if they think the whole thing is over and all goes back to normal.  The store had it set up for social distancing but some people were flat out ignoring it.  Just blows my mind!  Another thought I had as I sat there watching all this is that if you end up at our ER with Coronavirus, they airlift you to the capital city just in case you are one of the 20 percent that will have serious lung issues.  Imagine what the airlift, days in the hospital and all that goes with that costs.  I know when my husband was in the hospital last year for 2 nights, it ended up costing almost $20,000 after all the scans and procedures(ER bill, hospital stay, scans, bloodwork, paying every doctor you saw and every tech that read every scan and blood work, medications, etc.)  I mean isn't that a good reason to protect yourself and others from getting the virus????  Obviously I'm missing something!

    Stay safe everyone!


  • Hi Cindy. I know about the masks! They don't care. Everyone is supposed to wear a mask to protect others from them. I don't think they have Grandparents or elderly parents, but covid attacks children and younger people as well. 

    People in my apt. building aren't wearing one either! I told some people it's in the building someone had covid and was at home in isolation but no they don't care to protect others around them. Honestly people can wear a bandana or scarf if you can't find a mask. 

  • Charry,  So you see it too!  You can find masks in lots of places.  Walgreens had boxes of the paper ones today.  I ordered 4 masks early on when I realized that the vast majority of the ones I wanted with the vent in it and pocket for a filter are coming from China which takes time to get them.  I ordered 4 more two weeks ago because my parents each want one like mine and my daughter and her boyfriend want one.  It says delivery may take up to 6 weeks but my experience has been that they normally come in about 3 weeks unless they are backordered. 

    I just saw yesterday that Brighton jewelry(love their stuff!) is offering designer masks that are really gorgeous and you get two for $30 which isn't too bad.  They are made different though.  You adjust the string to fit the top of the mask to the back of your head and then tie the bottom part of the string.  Hard to explain!  I might get two because it would be super simple to remove the string and add a couple of earloops with toggles on them.  I have a plain black one and its kinda boring!  My husband calls it the ninja mask! 

    It just seems to me that if masks are proven to help at all, we should all be wearing them maybe even til there is a vaccine available.  And with this new illness that is affecting children that they suspect is part of the Coronavirus is scary!  Aren't people thinking about that?  If we try to go back to normal too soon and have to shut down again, what will happen to businesses then?  Also my brother in law said he went to church last Sunday and you guessed masks!  The minister should be addressing that because he is responsible for his parishioners!  I told him to call the pastor and talk to him about it and if he isn't going to do anything I would tell him I can't come back right now because his brother he lives with has severe asthma, COPD and is on continuous oxygen.  If they brought it home to him, he probably wouldn't make it. Ok, I will stop complaining!  Sorry I wrote so much.  I just think how ticked off I would be if one of my grand kids got sick because someone else had the virus but didn't feel the need to wear a mask.

    Stay safe all!


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