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Getting to the Source

dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,519
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Matters of the Heart
I've notice , probably more so in the past 6 months, that so many people come here asking questions that really should be asked to their doctors.


I think there are several factors that come into play here.

1 - People tend to be somewhat intimidated when talking to their doctors. Therefore, they do not ask all the questions that they have.

2 - People are not comfortable with their discussions with their doctors, and come here or other places to attempt to validate what they are feeling.

3 - Their doctors will not discuss their medical situation in detail

I think that #1 and #2 are acceptable problems, but still need to be addressed. If it is #3, then there is a definite problem with the doctor, OR the patient not asking the questions.

Getting answers to your questions is so very important. If you go out and buy a new car, you will have no problem asking the salesman to provide with all the pro's/con's regarding a car, and then you with that information in hand can make an informative decision.

Whats different about doctors? Sure, they have the Dr name in front, but that does not mean that they can not and should not provide you with the details you need.

We try our best here to provide members with medical details. But, I will be the first to say, that we are selling our members short, because, we are only layman, speaking from our own experiences. Your doctor is the source you need to get your information from and do not stop until you get something that makes sense.


  • in an ideal world that is what should happen, but not all surgeons are good communicators! In fact, from what I've been told, by medical people, quite a few of them are not good at communicating at all!

    In addition, they generally haven't experienced the things that we are going through. They know the theory, but not what it feels like.

    I agree that we should ask them the questions, but then it is so reassuring to be able to discuss things with people who have been in our position and 'know' what we are going through.

    None of us are doctors, and not medically trained in spinal surgery, but through experience we can offer support and share what we have found.

    No one should replace talking to their surgeon with talking to us though!! That would just be stupid!

    Hope you are still recovering well Ron. :-)
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,519
    So very true, especially about doctors that are not open communicators. With some its like pulling teeth just to get them to give you very simple answers.

    I guess over the years, I've just become more stubborn, because if any doctor does not address the questions I am asking, I will not let them go until they do. I have had doctors in the past tell me that my 'time' is up and they have another appointment. My response was You had me waiting 30 minutes past my scheduled appointment, so now, you will stay right here until I get my questions answered

    I get a number of raised eyebrows and even one doctor that stood up to leave the room, and I refused to let them do that.

    Now hopefully, no one has to go to those extremes.

    Not knowing how we feel! Well that does apply to many doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors and other medical field personnel. No better way to know how to treat a patient then when you really understand how they feel and how it hurts.

    I am so very grateful that people can open up on Spine-Health to ask the questions. Unfortunately, I have heard from several members, that no matter what they have tried, they can not get their doctors to open up.
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  • their Surgeon appointment.

    I've asked questions about my condition and although the Neurologist thought I would benefit from decompression surgery the Surgeons don't think I would benefit from surgery. Also reading my reports from my EMG/NCV(nerve) test have read that I evidence of L5 Radiculopathy or peroneal neuropathy. I have negative babinski reflex on the left foot and my toes curl downward instead of normally upwards. Anyway long story short, I was told the EMG was normal which it was not and if I knew how significant is the difference between peroneal neuropathy and radiculopathy I would've completed the test which I did not due to severe pain from a 2" wide needle as wide a a punch driver with no freezing or sedation I wonder if anyone could tolerate this. But would've tried this test again. Anyway I hear treatment for peroneal neuropathy includes wearing a brace for my foot to keep my foot straight and upwards.

    Also I've asked the Surgeons if they could do a discogram to see if the disc is the pain generator and they all said no. They don't know the cause of pain though they think it's from nerve irritation, or compression?

    Anyway I will be going to my 4th opinion Orthopedic Surgeon and will bring these findings from my EMG/nerve test. I would think everyone should get a copy of their tests MRI's, EMG/nerve test so that you can be armed with knowledge about your condition and ask more concerning these tests and see if you need a repeat of one test like I believe I need to differentiate the difference between peroneal neuropathy and radiculopathy. Sorry this was so long. Thanks for reading. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • it sounds like you could start up a service of accompanying us to our appointments with our surgeons/doctors to make sure that they answer our questions. Lol! :))(

    My surgeon does answer most of my questions, but in one word or very short answers that just make me think of another question!! I think he wonders why I want to know and understand all about my condition and treatment. He is well known in the local medical field to be hard to talk to!

    My physiotherapist is much better and does explain things to me. :-)
  • At my 3 month follow up my surgeon sent me for an immediate MRI as he was concerned about the level above my fusion.

    He said he wanted to see me his next day in the office.

    Tue I had an appointment at 4:30. I had just finished my 2nd day of work after being off for 4 months.

    I was called back to an exam room at 8 PM! I saw my surgeon at 8:30. By then I was exhausted and so was he.

    Essentially, he quickly showed me my MRI (with a herniation at L3-4) told me there was no cord compression, therefore no need for immediate surgery, If I wasn't better in 6 weeks to come back!

    That was it! Off to the next patient as there were 15 left after me!

    I still feel that I got cheated! I didn't get the time I deserved, questions answered or an understanding of what it means to have herniated so soon after a 360 fusion.

    The real world stinks sometimes and I don't know what to do about it!

    Hope you are feeling well!
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  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,519
    sometimes, its just a matter of putting your foot down and saying NO MORE!

    Doctors over the years have been held up on some type of platform that put them above us. We couldn't or should'nt question them, whatever they said goes, etc

    I know I felt that way for many years. I think it was only because my wife being in the medical field and we know so many doctors, that I stopped putting them as 'gods'

    They are people like you or me, and of course have a lot of eduction, sweat and tears poured into their profession.

    But they also took an oath that I firmly believe making the patient so very very important.

    I dont think there is one simple way to handle all doctors, just like there isn't one way to handle all members here. Just always remember your importance and you have rights and needs.
  • That's awful you had to wait so long. I wonder if he had emergency surgery or consults? Still I think his office should call and let you know your appointment would be 3 or 4 hours late...
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I agree it is aweful! I am still so upset! I am in too far with this surgeon and he is very good. And usually very compassionate!

    I keep thinking of the 85 yr old lady, I sat next too for 3 hours, her appointment was after mine.

    I know I blew it! I should have spoken up! I should have said something! But, I had just shut down by that time!

    Everything happens so fast!

    I don't know what the answer is! Just that I am upset!
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