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I'm going to try and make a long story short.

I've been trying to get into the pain clinic for a year now. Had an appointment a year ago, was about to be seen when I had heart problems and a code blue was called on me. I have hyptertension and tachycardia, but it was extremely bad that day due to the anxiety of my pain(which I've been experiencing for the past year due to no treatment). The dr. that was supposed to see me has been telling me for the past year to see dermatology and reuhmatology. It's been a visous cycle. Once I see both of them, I call the pain clinic asking to be seen, and they tell me

I have to contact my primary care for a new appointment. My PCP writes the new consult, and then I get a phone call from the pain clinic telling me I need to be seen by dermatology and reuhmatology. My primary care didn't believe me when I told them what was going on. They assumed I Was doing something wrong. It wasn't until about a week and a half ago I got a message on my answering machine from the reuhmatology dr answering the question I had that my primary care believed me. The question for the reuhmatology dr. was; "What the hell else do I need to do before I can be seen by the pain clinic, and can you contact them and tell them you cleared me to be seen by them.". I let my primary care nurse listen to her message on my answering machine which consited of, "There's nothing I can do, I've already wrote in your chart that you've been experiencing pain, and that I recommend you be seen by the pain clinic.". I've gotten the same response from dermatology.

My question:

1. What's the VA's policy on pain management?

- I know it's got to be like other hospitals where it's supposed to be treated timely.

I've been suffering for over a year now. Before then I was getting adeqate pain control while active duty, but for whatever reason the VA decided to put an end to that. Do I have a case?

Another question:

My primary care nurse wants me to call the pain clinic tomorrow and demand an appointment. I'm sure they're going to do the same thing they've been doing. Who do I contact to get this corrected? Do I contact the patient advocate? Do I threaten a malpractice lawsuit?

I'm at the end of the rope with these guys. I've had enough. I need answers though because I have to contact them tomorrow. Thanks in advance guys, you guys are great.

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Forget the Pt Advocate. I've never had any luck with them.

What about going to the ER and demanding to be seen? Show them their own copy of the Patient Rights which are posted all over the VA which states that pain is supposed to be controlled (or some language to that affect).

I've never had to deal with a pain clinic of any kind; but I've had to deal with other clinics where all you get is the run-around.

Either that or go and sit in the Director's office until someone will speak to you or help you.

File an IRIS complaint as well....use names....hold folks accountable. Do that tonight! But that's just me.....

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Sounds like a claim for depression secondary to service connected _____________________. I too would go to the ER, constantly. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

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I already have depression that's in my SMR, but I believe it was misdiagnosed. Should be anxiety, but that's another post.

My thing about the ER, what are they going to do? Their not going to get me an appointment. Also, the ER is an hour and a half away. So it's not that easy.

Here's what I'm thinking about doing tomorrow thus far, unless I get any other ideas/suggestions.

1. Call pain clinic and demand an appointment.

-no results, then go to step 2

2. Call patient advocate. Threaten to get a lawyer and file malpractice lawsuit, and VAOIG.

-no results, then go to step 3

3. Call VAOIG, Congressman, and lawyer.

Sound good?

I guess I left this part out also, it's not really pertinent, but... I am getting vicoden right now, and have been for the past 4 months fromt he VA. It doesn't even touch the pain. Before I got out of the Navy, I was getting perscribed Lorcet 10/500 4 times a day, 10 mg +20mg oxycodone 1x a day. So I went from that, to vicoden 3 x's a day. I was still in pain with all those meds while I was active duty, but the dr. didn't want to give me any more than that due to the nature of my job. The point I'm bringing this up, I forgot to mention that my PCP said she can't give me any more vicoden until I'm seen by the pain clinic. So, I'll really be down and out. Not only dealing with pain, but withdraw.

This is just unacceptable in my book, and honestly sounds like a case of malpractice. I seen a new directive from the VA that was forced into law by congress back in October of last year. It states that pain is supposed to be dealt with promptley when brought before the attention of a provider. My pain was not only not taken care of promptley/at-all, but it's being neglected and they think what their doing is okay.

Any other ideas? I have to try and call them tomorrow, and want some ammunition.

Also, the malpractice suit really sounds good at this point. I could really use the money considering on the other side of the VA I'm getting screwed as well.

Edited by livingrock21

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You could always go to a civilian ER...then have them bill the VA. I mean it all depends on how bad your pain is.

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