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Planter Fasciitis (questions for new doctor)

Posted by Tracey A on 1/12/01 at 23:44 (036527)

Dear Doctors, We'll its me again. I have a few questions. I'm going to a new doctor on Tuesday (my old doctor dumped me because my MRI came out normal) he is an ankle and foot specialist. I've had two surgeries since last June and I still am not any better. Do you have any suggestions on what questions to ask,at this point I thought I've asked them all. My foot is still numb on the right side and if I squeeze my heel on each side the pain is really bad. I've also noticed alot of burning in the arch of my foot. It also feels like a rock is in my heel. I've talked to you before but I'm hoping you can give me some questions to ask this doctor. Should I agree to injections, I know these can be painful but do they work in the long run or short term. Please if you have any input or suggestion could you share anything. Thank-you, Tracey A

Re: Planter Fasciitis (questions for new doctor)

wendyn on 1/13/01 at 09:56 (036546)

Tracey - I am not a doctor, and I don't have any medical advice for you. However, just as a word of strong cautuion here...from my expereience and the experiences of MANY on this board.

Be very careful how you 'suggest' things to your new doctor. Your best bet is to probably carefully outline your history (write it down in point form), your surgeries and your symptoms. Explain what's going on and stick to FACTS rather than offering your personal opinions of your past doctors. Make sure you have all your relevant test results, doctor letters etc. Know the names of tests you've had, procedures you've had and any medications you take or have taken for your condition. There's nothing more frustrating for medical people than to listen to someone who only knows that they were given 'little white pills' that didn't work.

Then - see what he/she has to say. At least give them a chance first. The danger is that if you march in with a list of tests you want done and possible diagnosis, there is a strong chance that this will alienate your new doctor right off the bat. If you come up with ideas for what you might have, and God forbid you mention you read _anything_ on the internet....well there's a lot of doctors out there that may just chalk this up to something that's all in your head. It's unfortunate - but it's true.

Be specific about what you want. You could say - I've had the surgery but now I have more pain - what is this new pain from? What can be done? Rather than saying, my first doctor screwed up my foot and I want to know what he did wrong!

It really can make a difference in how you approach the new doctor, please let us know how you do.

Re: Planter Fasciitis (questions for new doctor)

Tracey A on 1/13/01 at 13:33 (036557)

Wendyn, Thanks for the input i will take this advice and stay only on the facts. Will let you know what happens.

Re: PF questions for new doctor -( long response)

Kim B on 1/13/01 at 17:06 (036565)

Doctors, Tracy is still waiting for a reply from one of the docs regarding her original questions, so please, jump in when you have time. :-)

Hi Tracey,

I am not a doctor, but I have several things I wanted to share with you or anyone else who might benefit from it.

In our lawsuit happy society, most docs hesitate to criticize the work of another. It's taboo to do so, unless it is so outlandishly obvious that the other doc really screwed something up. A wild example would be that while you were unconscious, during surgery, he transplanted your middle toe to the back of your heel. Surgery is such a gamble; scar tissue alone can cause pain and new problems. This is where doctor experience, skill and technique really payoff.

The fact that your MRI came back normal is a good sign. In addition, if the previous doc had something to hide, he would pamper you simply to keep you from seeing other docs for a while. So the fact that he released you from his care is another good sign that he probably nothing to hide because of the surgeries. It also shows what a wuss he is for giving up on you just because you have a complicated history and are a challenging patient to take care of.

You should get a copy of the radiology report whenever you have an MRI. You usually have to request it though. Since you are leaving this doctor, you should ask for a complete set of your medical records before they end up archived in a black hole somewhere. Doc offices often offer to fax them over to another doctor at no charge, but, if they have to make a set specifically for you, they often will charge you $15-$20 for the supplies and personnel involved.

Despite the cost, I would order a set. Considering the circumstances, I wouldn't tell them to know in advance which Doctor I am transferring. Why give them a 'heads-up' to pick up the phone and give the new doc their version of why you are leaving? You are starting fresh with a new doc, and you do not need their input about anything, just your records. Be polite in your requests or they will seriously sanitize your file a lot, if they think you are going to be a problematic ex-patient.

If they say they can't get a full set of your records done before Tuesday, request at least a copy of the MRI report for an upcoming doctors appointment. Make a copy of the MRI report as Wendyn mentioned to take to the new doctor, as well as any other specific information you can put together. Let the new Doc review the MRI report, do his exam, ask YOU a bunch of questions, and come to his own conclusions.

BTW, if you are able to get a copy of your MRI report in advance, read it, and go to the library (or the internet) and look up any words that you don't know the meaning of. I often use the Internet or an old Tabers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary that I got at a Half-Priced Books Store.

Here is something else to consider when changing docs; the original MRIs need to be made readily available to you, incase your new doctor asks to get a first hand look at them. Be sure you know where they are going to be stored for safekeeping and how long. Often times, you can 'check them out' for a few weeks at a time. They are fragile, so, it's often best to let the pros at the imaging place store them for you.

Anyway, since you are faced with seeing a new doc, try an initial approach that doesn't reek of 'I'm planning a lawsuit, and I want to put your name on the subpoena list as a witness for the prosecution.' Doctors are often dragged in to court a lot and most of them really hate to get involved in lawsuits. Aside from the fact that Doctors hate testifying against other Doctors, it takes them away from their practices, which they hate as well. There are Doctors that do nothing but courtroom testimony. Lawyers know how to track down an 'expert witness' for you if you ever have a strong case and need one.

Finding a good new doctor that doesn't mind taking on what may be someone else's mess to clean up is going to be a little tricky, especially if they think that you may be a problem for them later down the road. So you'll have to build a relationship with the new one, it isn't always there at first.

Here is an approach that I've had to use before to keep from coming off as a difficult, undesirable patient to deal with: 'Hello Dr. Smith, I hope you appreciate a challenge, cause I think my case has become difficult because the last doctor I had was completely baffled as to what to do next about my foot problems. I'm here because I need a fresh set of eyes to look at my situation and give me a much needed second opinion.' Something like that may be a good kick off.

I hope that this will get you on a track where the medical establishment will cooperate with you instead of labeling you a problematic patient, based on unfair input from your previous Doc. I'm sorry this is so long, but you are sort of at a 'fork in the road' here and I really wanted to give you some of my 'Been there, done that!' experience. I wish you good luck with this.

Regards, Kim B.

Re: PF questions for new doctor -( long response)

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/13/01 at 20:29 (036575)

Hi,

I am thinking of some better advice then already has been given.

1. Concentrate on not what was done wrong but what can be done now.
2. Let the doctor know that you want to move forward and not concentrate of what went wrong.

3. Tell him that you understand that he may have to think about your problem

4. Ask him if he has seen this problem before.

Good luck and remember all on this board are there for you including me.

i will try to give you any type of advice I can. So go there and let him do the talking and you the listening. Concentrate on the future and ask him to try to help.

Re: Planter Fasciitis (questions for new doctor)

Amy on 1/14/01 at 21:31 (036615)

I'm not a doctor but I have had 2 cortisone injections in my heel. I was so worried the night before and I was so nervous just before he injected me that I was swetting. I think getting novacaine in the jaw is much worse. It really only burned for a few seconds. Hope this helps and good luck. Writing down your questions is a great idea as well.

Re: Planter Fasciitis (questions for new doctor)

wendyn on 1/13/01 at 09:56 (036546)

Tracey - I am not a doctor, and I don't have any medical advice for you. However, just as a word of strong cautuion here...from my expereience and the experiences of MANY on this board.

Be very careful how you 'suggest' things to your new doctor. Your best bet is to probably carefully outline your history (write it down in point form), your surgeries and your symptoms. Explain what's going on and stick to FACTS rather than offering your personal opinions of your past doctors. Make sure you have all your relevant test results, doctor letters etc. Know the names of tests you've had, procedures you've had and any medications you take or have taken for your condition. There's nothing more frustrating for medical people than to listen to someone who only knows that they were given 'little white pills' that didn't work.

Then - see what he/she has to say. At least give them a chance first. The danger is that if you march in with a list of tests you want done and possible diagnosis, there is a strong chance that this will alienate your new doctor right off the bat. If you come up with ideas for what you might have, and God forbid you mention you read _anything_ on the internet....well there's a lot of doctors out there that may just chalk this up to something that's all in your head. It's unfortunate - but it's true.

Be specific about what you want. You could say - I've had the surgery but now I have more pain - what is this new pain from? What can be done? Rather than saying, my first doctor screwed up my foot and I want to know what he did wrong!

It really can make a difference in how you approach the new doctor, please let us know how you do.

Re: Planter Fasciitis (questions for new doctor)

Tracey A on 1/13/01 at 13:33 (036557)

Wendyn, Thanks for the input i will take this advice and stay only on the facts. Will let you know what happens.

Re: PF questions for new doctor -( long response)

Kim B on 1/13/01 at 17:06 (036565)

Doctors, Tracy is still waiting for a reply from one of the docs regarding her original questions, so please, jump in when you have time. :-)

Hi Tracey,

I am not a doctor, but I have several things I wanted to share with you or anyone else who might benefit from it.

In our lawsuit happy society, most docs hesitate to criticize the work of another. It's taboo to do so, unless it is so outlandishly obvious that the other doc really screwed something up. A wild example would be that while you were unconscious, during surgery, he transplanted your middle toe to the back of your heel. Surgery is such a gamble; scar tissue alone can cause pain and new problems. This is where doctor experience, skill and technique really payoff.

The fact that your MRI came back normal is a good sign. In addition, if the previous doc had something to hide, he would pamper you simply to keep you from seeing other docs for a while. So the fact that he released you from his care is another good sign that he probably nothing to hide because of the surgeries. It also shows what a wuss he is for giving up on you just because you have a complicated history and are a challenging patient to take care of.

You should get a copy of the radiology report whenever you have an MRI. You usually have to request it though. Since you are leaving this doctor, you should ask for a complete set of your medical records before they end up archived in a black hole somewhere. Doc offices often offer to fax them over to another doctor at no charge, but, if they have to make a set specifically for you, they often will charge you $15-$20 for the supplies and personnel involved.

Despite the cost, I would order a set. Considering the circumstances, I wouldn't tell them to know in advance which Doctor I am transferring. Why give them a 'heads-up' to pick up the phone and give the new doc their version of why you are leaving? You are starting fresh with a new doc, and you do not need their input about anything, just your records. Be polite in your requests or they will seriously sanitize your file a lot, if they think you are going to be a problematic ex-patient.

If they say they can't get a full set of your records done before Tuesday, request at least a copy of the MRI report for an upcoming doctors appointment. Make a copy of the MRI report as Wendyn mentioned to take to the new doctor, as well as any other specific information you can put together. Let the new Doc review the MRI report, do his exam, ask YOU a bunch of questions, and come to his own conclusions.

BTW, if you are able to get a copy of your MRI report in advance, read it, and go to the library (or the internet) and look up any words that you don't know the meaning of. I often use the Internet or an old Tabers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary that I got at a Half-Priced Books Store.

Here is something else to consider when changing docs; the original MRIs need to be made readily available to you, incase your new doctor asks to get a first hand look at them. Be sure you know where they are going to be stored for safekeeping and how long. Often times, you can 'check them out' for a few weeks at a time. They are fragile, so, it's often best to let the pros at the imaging place store them for you.

Anyway, since you are faced with seeing a new doc, try an initial approach that doesn't reek of 'I'm planning a lawsuit, and I want to put your name on the subpoena list as a witness for the prosecution.' Doctors are often dragged in to court a lot and most of them really hate to get involved in lawsuits. Aside from the fact that Doctors hate testifying against other Doctors, it takes them away from their practices, which they hate as well. There are Doctors that do nothing but courtroom testimony. Lawyers know how to track down an 'expert witness' for you if you ever have a strong case and need one.

Finding a good new doctor that doesn't mind taking on what may be someone else's mess to clean up is going to be a little tricky, especially if they think that you may be a problem for them later down the road. So you'll have to build a relationship with the new one, it isn't always there at first.

Here is an approach that I've had to use before to keep from coming off as a difficult, undesirable patient to deal with: 'Hello Dr. Smith, I hope you appreciate a challenge, cause I think my case has become difficult because the last doctor I had was completely baffled as to what to do next about my foot problems. I'm here because I need a fresh set of eyes to look at my situation and give me a much needed second opinion.' Something like that may be a good kick off.

I hope that this will get you on a track where the medical establishment will cooperate with you instead of labeling you a problematic patient, based on unfair input from your previous Doc. I'm sorry this is so long, but you are sort of at a 'fork in the road' here and I really wanted to give you some of my 'Been there, done that!' experience. I wish you good luck with this.

Regards, Kim B.

Re: PF questions for new doctor -( long response)

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/13/01 at 20:29 (036575)

Hi,

I am thinking of some better advice then already has been given.

1. Concentrate on not what was done wrong but what can be done now.
2. Let the doctor know that you want to move forward and not concentrate of what went wrong.

3. Tell him that you understand that he may have to think about your problem

4. Ask him if he has seen this problem before.

Good luck and remember all on this board are there for you including me.

i will try to give you any type of advice I can. So go there and let him do the talking and you the listening. Concentrate on the future and ask him to try to help.

Re: Planter Fasciitis (questions for new doctor)

Amy on 1/14/01 at 21:31 (036615)

I'm not a doctor but I have had 2 cortisone injections in my heel. I was so worried the night before and I was so nervous just before he injected me that I was swetting. I think getting novacaine in the jaw is much worse. It really only burned for a few seconds. Hope this helps and good luck. Writing down your questions is a great idea as well.