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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board


Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index


I've had two trips to the same ER this year for flare-ups. The last time was in May and I had a wonderful doc who was very pleasant and did everything he could do to ease my pain. My last ER visit was yesterday morning (for a severe flare-up) and unfortunately I didn't get the same doc. :(
Let me explain:
Since it was early morning, I had no waiting for treatment - the triage nurse took me back to a room immediately. I was very nauseous from the pain, and was spitting into a bag (but not vomiting). The doc walked in and asked me why I was throwing up. I told him that I wasn't actually throwing up. He immediately got nasty and said, "I just heard you vomiting! Don't tell me you weren't!" (This guy was obviously in a very bad mood!) I showed him the empty bag and he said just said "Oh, whatever." He asked me to tell him what was wrong. I told him about my RSD and that I was having a flare-up and showed him the letter from my pain clinic that explains about my RSD and that I sometimes need emergency care for flare-ups. He briefly looked at it and then asked how I got RSD. I explained that I had an injury to my hand approx 5 years ago and it developed from that. He asked if I broke any bones in the accident. I told him I hadn't. Then he asked the most inane question I've ever heard: [B]"If you you didn't break any bones or have a major trauma to the limb, then how do you have RSD?" [/B] I wasn't even sure how to respond, so I just tried to explain a little about how RSD is often a result of a fairly trivial injury. He began arguing with me that I don't have RSD b/c I didn't break any bones and that's the only way to get it! Meanwhile, my pain is at a 9.5, I'm on the verge of tears, and my whole upper right side is shaking -and he's arguing my diagnosis with me! I told him that the ER always just gives me a couple doses of IV dilauded and it lowers my pain by at least 5-6 points. He then proceeded to tell me that I was not going to get any IV meds b/c if I'm not vomiting then I can tolerate oral pain meds. He then proceeded to do an exam on my arm - roughly moving it all around while I was screaming in pain from him hurting me. He then again said I was going to get oral meds - no IV. I told him oral meds don't work for me during a major flare and actually BEGGED him for IV meds. He ignored me, then repeated, "You're not getting ANY IV meds - I'll go get you some methadone tabs." Stunned, I just laid there with my jaw dropped and began crying hysterically b/c I realized that he wasn't going to relieve my pain.

My partner walked in while I was crying and I told her what happened. She grabbed an RSD education/info card out of my purse and went out and gave it to the doc, then came back in to be with me. The doc then came taring into my room and slammed the info card down on the table in front of her and yelled, "I DON'T NEED TO BE EDUCATED!" then left.
We heard some other staff talking to him outside and then suddenly a nurse came in with IV dilauded for me! The doc came back in after my IV and began arguing with me again! (Can you believe this guy?!!!) I tried to give him a piece of my mind, but the meds were messing with my head at that point so I don't think I argued my point too effectively. After he left the room again, my partner and I began talking loudly (on purpose) about how we were going to report him to the AMA for initially refusing to treat my pain and also would have my pain clinic docs call and "talk" to him.
About an hour later, he came in and woke me up, pulled up a chair right next to me and spent 5-10 mins apologizing. Think he heard us talking about him? You bet! Think he just apologized so we wouldn't report him? YES!
Well, anyway, my pain subsided to about a 3-4 after my 2nd IV dose. I just had to vent about this here b/c I am so sick of having to BEG for meds to relieve my pain. I'm tired of being treated like a junkie just b/c I want some pain relief! I know he apologized, and therefore I don't think I'll report him, but I'll be sure to tell my pain clinic docs about this. I went to the ER so prepared - with my pain clinic letter and RSD info sheet, and I STILL had to literally beg for relief. I'm still so upset about this. Worse yet, I'm afraid to go back to the ER next time I need help. Isn't it bad enough to have RSD and live with this horrible condition? But we also have to fight and beg (when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable) with ER docs just to get some relief. This whole experience has upset me more than I can ever explain. :(





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