Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Time to find a new doctor?

Posted by Valerie S on 3/19/01 at hrmin (041854)

Well, I finally got in to see my pod, finally resorting to asking for some time off work. I work 42 hours on my feet a week, rarely with a lunch hour. My feet hurt so bad, I can hardly walk by the end of the day.

I have been in PT for the last week+, and he has been supportive of the idea of giving my feet a little rest from the heel-hammering concrete floors. He doesn't think I will get anywhere in the healing process if I keep working. He wrote me a little note to bring to my doctor. Because of this note, the Dr. agreed to take me off work, but on one condition...
... he said, 'If you are going to be at home, I want you to be working hard at your physical therapy.' He acted like I was just being lazy. I go to PT 4 times a week, and do the ankle-strengthening exercises with that stretchy band... what else is he talking about? He said he doesn't normally let people off work ...

Is it wrong to think that a foot doctor would be at least somewhat sympathetic about pain? I cried all the way home, he made me feel so foolish. I feel guilty enough taking time off work as it is, and I left there feeling even worse.

I feel so helpless and lost. Thank you for reading this; I am trying to find some hope through all this pain and frustration. I have been at the end of this rope for so long...

[.[.[.This doctor was referred to me by a girl I work with (who had the surgery), but I am losing faith in his abilities to help me get rid of this pain, let alone care.].].]

Thanks for caring... and thanks for being here.
-Val.

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Laurie R on 3/19/01 at 14:02 (041858)

Hi Val,
First of all I am really sorry you had to feel the way you did today. You are not suppose to feel worse after you leave the doctors office. Especially wwhen all you need is rest to heal your foot/feet. To me this doctor has no compassion at ALL! It is so important that your doctor listens to you and UNDERSTANDS ......Yes I am very lucky to have a Pod that listens and understands my pain. Maybe it is time to look for a new doctor. You sure don't need this now on top of your pain. Their are many understanding doctors ,you just have to find one....

When I first hurt my foot June 99, and since it was WC I had to go to a clinic . The first visit the doctor was very nice but he wanted to give me a cortisone shot . I said no way . I had to see three doctors before I saw my Pod three months later. The funny thing was I didn't even meet doctor # 3 ,they made me wait so long in the room I got up and left.

The point here is you have the right to good care and a say so in your treatment ,wheather it is WC or your own insurance . Val take the time to find a good doctor ....

My Pod put me off 1 month at my first visit . He knew the pain I was in.Also he had me in PT 3 times a week . I did not care for the first therapy place he had me go ,due to the therapist not following his orders.So my Pod found me a great therapist that followed his orders to the 'T' .....

The only way you are going to get better is rest ...And not being on your feet .... It just makes me so made when doctors treat PF like it is not serious . It is .... I hope you feel better. Don't let this doctor get the best of you.Your better then that ......

Laurie R

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Gina C on 3/19/01 at 14:17 (041862)

I will never cease to be amazed by the insensitivity of doctors like yours. But they sure are out there. I have beeen told to 'learn to live with it' regarding the pain and disability by an orthopedic surgeon. I also had a pod who wanted me to postpone surgery (after having PF for 4 years and every treatment I could find, including ESWT) reason that, 'you've been in misery for the last four years, so what's one more year of misery before surgery?' This guy is a runner/distance walker; I couldn't walk the dog around the block! I had another pod who cross examined me as to how many doctors I had seen (4) and why I had left each one. He concluded that I had had 'an awful lot of treatment' - whatever that means! Maybe so, but none of it had helped me. Some of these doctors have real ego problems, especially if you have any knowledge or challenge them in any way. I don't think anyone who has not experinced this condition, or lived with someone who has it, can begin to understand what PF sufferers go through. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about; it's your doctor who should be ashamed of the way he treated you. Hang in there.

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

ellen w on 3/19/01 at 14:27 (041863)

I think one of the things that happens when you are in constant pain is that you/we are all more vulnerable emotionally than we might otherwise be. And when an authority figure who is supposed to help you get better treats you like an infant or a shirker it can tip the level of frustration/fear/pain/and all the awful things we go through into a tailspin.

Changing doctors isn't always easy, because you have to start off with new explanations, develop a new relationship, make sure you have access to any medical files he or she may need to evaluate you...

If this doctor is giving you what you need to get better -- and isn't someone who just wants to give you shots or surgery -- you may want to stick with him. But it sure sounds like you should be 'interviewing' other doctors as back-ups.

Maybe your PT or the patients there can recommend someone really good.

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Nancy S. on 3/19/01 at 16:47 (041881)

Hi Valerie, was hoping you'd post today -- and was hoping for better luck for you.
Yes, time to find a new doctor. This guy sounds either too medieval or too space age, I can't figure out which.
Either way, he hasn't a clue and his attitude is outrageous. Dry your tears -- you're seeking what you NEED, what you must have, for your foot health now, which will affect the rest of your life. He was dead wrong to treat you the way he did, so don't let him make you feel lazy or like a schoolchild. You are not.
Time to move on to a doctor who knows what he's doing and cares about his patients' current well-being and future. They really are out there. Many of us had bad experiences while finding a good doctor, you are not alone, and good ones are out there, so keep up the search and fight for what you know you need.
Nancy

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Beverly on 3/19/01 at 18:32 (041890)

Hi Gina,

Although your doctor has the bedside manner of Dracula, he is giving you what you want: a letter for time off from work. And it sounds like he is keeping you in PT. Many pods are oblivious to PT.

My one concern about his message about 'working hard in PT' is wondering what that means. If it means going to PT each week, this may be a Godsend for you in conjunction with rest but if it means dictating to your PT the treatment plan, I'd dump him. I went to one pod who wanted me to stretch with a belt and hold it for five minutes at a time. This was back when I could barely stretch my foot to the foot of hold without agonizing pain. I dumped that guy fast.

And like you, I tried numerous doctors before finding one I liked and several PT's. (now I'm in a new city getting to do it all again.) Quite frankly, I've never had a medical problem that required me to shop harder for a good/caring doctor than this PF/PTT has required. I am constantly amazed at how insensitive many doctors are to this problem. And how much they vary in treatment plans.

It sounds like your pod is treating you a bit like a child. 'I'll give you time off from work if you do your PT homework extra hard and be a good little girl.' That's what I hear him saying.

But, like I said, if the guy is going to write the letter for time off from work, it buys you some time. My one concern is that if you have to go to battle with the HR department in your place of business, you need a doctor who truely believes that you both need and deserve this time off.

Your pod sounds better than some and not nearly as good as others.
You might consider looking for a sports medicine guy who specializes in the foot and ankle. I've had better luck there. But don't even there, you need someone who takes foot pain seriously. That is the problem. This is serious. It is debilitating. It is not just 'heel pain.'

Take care,
Beverly

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Steve P on 3/19/01 at 19:33 (041896)

Valerie --- I'm glad you got your note, but something about your post bothers me. I have the impression that this doc thinks that only a little while off your feet & some PT will do the trick. Of course a week or two off the job will probably help. But unless your employer is willing to work with you to get you off your feet more of the time, I don't think you have a good long term solution. The job may still have to go.

Best...........Steve

Re: That's what I'm afraid of...

Valerie S on 3/20/01 at hrmin (041933)

Thanks Steve, you read my mind. I am no doctor of course, but I am at the mercy of one. I am hoping that these 2 weeks in intensive therapy (my PT has upped the workout) and rest will make a miraculous recovery for me, and that I will be able to return to work in full force. I do have my doubts that this is the complete answer, but since he barely gave me this, I am going to take what I can get, and take it one step at a time... I am looking for another doctor now too, hoping to find one that will actually listen to my symptoms and care.

Re: YES IT IS

Valerie S on 3/20/01 at hrmin (041935)

I have had a chance to sleep on this now, collect my thoughts, and dry my tears. I have received a podiatrist recommendation from my physical therapist. (I must say that I DO love my PT... painful, but pampering...). It turns out his brother is a pod, and right down the street. Lucky me! One of his patients happened to be there today, too. And she gives the doctor rave reviews.

I am going to give him a call, and check with my insurance. I have never changed doctors before... is this normally a problem? It seems like they would like a second opinion.

Re: YES IT IS

Beverly on 3/20/01 at 10:35 (041939)

Valerie,

Wonderful! Your PT's brother is probably going to be proactive with PT and smart enough to let the PT guide the therapy. Maybe he'll be more sensitive for time off since his own brother is saying you need it.

If you have a PPO, you'll have no problem changing doctors. HMO's would require you to go back to your primary doc and get the referral. Which kind of insurance do you have? I have a PPO.
Let's hope the guy is on your insurance. If you have a PPO, you do have the option to pay the extra $$ and go to him anyway. I've found it pays to call and see if a doc is on the list. The provider books are often out-of-date.
Good luck,
Beverly

Re: YES IT IS

Valerie S on 3/20/01 at hrmin (041940)

Thanks, Beverly!
I have PPO too, and the brother is on the list. Aetna has a website where I can look up the doctors. Thanks for the advice and vote of confidence.

Re: YES IT IS

Julie on 3/20/01 at 16:25 (041977)

Valerie, I'm very pleased for you. I'm sure you'll have a better experience with this new doctor. Wonderful!

I agree with Steve that you are going to have to negotiate with your employers to get much, much more time off your feet. You've made a good start and are on the road to healing, but it will take time, so you'll need co-operation in your work place. Don't be afraid to ask for it - you may find more sympathy and help than you anticipate.

Re: YES IT IS

Steve P on 3/20/01 at 16:43 (041982)

Amen, Julie!

Valerie, on this board we have seen a lot of folks recover partially, re-injure themselves, recover partially, then re-re-injure themselves, etc. So I hope you'll quickly press for a job change if you find the problem is coming back after you're back on the job.

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I've learned to never underestimate this PF beast.

Steve

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Laurie R on 3/19/01 at 14:02 (041858)

Hi Val,
First of all I am really sorry you had to feel the way you did today. You are not suppose to feel worse after you leave the doctors office. Especially wwhen all you need is rest to heal your foot/feet. To me this doctor has no compassion at ALL! It is so important that your doctor listens to you and UNDERSTANDS ......Yes I am very lucky to have a Pod that listens and understands my pain. Maybe it is time to look for a new doctor. You sure don't need this now on top of your pain. Their are many understanding doctors ,you just have to find one....

When I first hurt my foot June 99, and since it was WC I had to go to a clinic . The first visit the doctor was very nice but he wanted to give me a cortisone shot . I said no way . I had to see three doctors before I saw my Pod three months later. The funny thing was I didn't even meet doctor # 3 ,they made me wait so long in the room I got up and left.

The point here is you have the right to good care and a say so in your treatment ,wheather it is WC or your own insurance . Val take the time to find a good doctor ....

My Pod put me off 1 month at my first visit . He knew the pain I was in.Also he had me in PT 3 times a week . I did not care for the first therapy place he had me go ,due to the therapist not following his orders.So my Pod found me a great therapist that followed his orders to the 'T' .....

The only way you are going to get better is rest ...And not being on your feet .... It just makes me so made when doctors treat PF like it is not serious . It is .... I hope you feel better. Don't let this doctor get the best of you.Your better then that ......

Laurie R

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Gina C on 3/19/01 at 14:17 (041862)

I will never cease to be amazed by the insensitivity of doctors like yours. But they sure are out there. I have beeen told to 'learn to live with it' regarding the pain and disability by an orthopedic surgeon. I also had a pod who wanted me to postpone surgery (after having PF for 4 years and every treatment I could find, including ESWT) reason that, 'you've been in misery for the last four years, so what's one more year of misery before surgery?' This guy is a runner/distance walker; I couldn't walk the dog around the block! I had another pod who cross examined me as to how many doctors I had seen (4) and why I had left each one. He concluded that I had had 'an awful lot of treatment' - whatever that means! Maybe so, but none of it had helped me. Some of these doctors have real ego problems, especially if you have any knowledge or challenge them in any way. I don't think anyone who has not experinced this condition, or lived with someone who has it, can begin to understand what PF sufferers go through. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about; it's your doctor who should be ashamed of the way he treated you. Hang in there.

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

ellen w on 3/19/01 at 14:27 (041863)

I think one of the things that happens when you are in constant pain is that you/we are all more vulnerable emotionally than we might otherwise be. And when an authority figure who is supposed to help you get better treats you like an infant or a shirker it can tip the level of frustration/fear/pain/and all the awful things we go through into a tailspin.

Changing doctors isn't always easy, because you have to start off with new explanations, develop a new relationship, make sure you have access to any medical files he or she may need to evaluate you...

If this doctor is giving you what you need to get better -- and isn't someone who just wants to give you shots or surgery -- you may want to stick with him. But it sure sounds like you should be 'interviewing' other doctors as back-ups.

Maybe your PT or the patients there can recommend someone really good.

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Nancy S. on 3/19/01 at 16:47 (041881)

Hi Valerie, was hoping you'd post today -- and was hoping for better luck for you.
Yes, time to find a new doctor. This guy sounds either too medieval or too space age, I can't figure out which.
Either way, he hasn't a clue and his attitude is outrageous. Dry your tears -- you're seeking what you NEED, what you must have, for your foot health now, which will affect the rest of your life. He was dead wrong to treat you the way he did, so don't let him make you feel lazy or like a schoolchild. You are not.
Time to move on to a doctor who knows what he's doing and cares about his patients' current well-being and future. They really are out there. Many of us had bad experiences while finding a good doctor, you are not alone, and good ones are out there, so keep up the search and fight for what you know you need.
Nancy

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Beverly on 3/19/01 at 18:32 (041890)

Hi Gina,

Although your doctor has the bedside manner of Dracula, he is giving you what you want: a letter for time off from work. And it sounds like he is keeping you in PT. Many pods are oblivious to PT.

My one concern about his message about 'working hard in PT' is wondering what that means. If it means going to PT each week, this may be a Godsend for you in conjunction with rest but if it means dictating to your PT the treatment plan, I'd dump him. I went to one pod who wanted me to stretch with a belt and hold it for five minutes at a time. This was back when I could barely stretch my foot to the foot of hold without agonizing pain. I dumped that guy fast.

And like you, I tried numerous doctors before finding one I liked and several PT's. (now I'm in a new city getting to do it all again.) Quite frankly, I've never had a medical problem that required me to shop harder for a good/caring doctor than this PF/PTT has required. I am constantly amazed at how insensitive many doctors are to this problem. And how much they vary in treatment plans.

It sounds like your pod is treating you a bit like a child. 'I'll give you time off from work if you do your PT homework extra hard and be a good little girl.' That's what I hear him saying.

But, like I said, if the guy is going to write the letter for time off from work, it buys you some time. My one concern is that if you have to go to battle with the HR department in your place of business, you need a doctor who truely believes that you both need and deserve this time off.

Your pod sounds better than some and not nearly as good as others.
You might consider looking for a sports medicine guy who specializes in the foot and ankle. I've had better luck there. But don't even there, you need someone who takes foot pain seriously. That is the problem. This is serious. It is debilitating. It is not just 'heel pain.'

Take care,
Beverly

Re: Time to find a new doctor?

Steve P on 3/19/01 at 19:33 (041896)

Valerie --- I'm glad you got your note, but something about your post bothers me. I have the impression that this doc thinks that only a little while off your feet & some PT will do the trick. Of course a week or two off the job will probably help. But unless your employer is willing to work with you to get you off your feet more of the time, I don't think you have a good long term solution. The job may still have to go.

Best...........Steve

Re: That's what I'm afraid of...

Valerie S on 3/20/01 at hrmin (041933)

Thanks Steve, you read my mind. I am no doctor of course, but I am at the mercy of one. I am hoping that these 2 weeks in intensive therapy (my PT has upped the workout) and rest will make a miraculous recovery for me, and that I will be able to return to work in full force. I do have my doubts that this is the complete answer, but since he barely gave me this, I am going to take what I can get, and take it one step at a time... I am looking for another doctor now too, hoping to find one that will actually listen to my symptoms and care.

Re: YES IT IS

Valerie S on 3/20/01 at hrmin (041935)

I have had a chance to sleep on this now, collect my thoughts, and dry my tears. I have received a podiatrist recommendation from my physical therapist. (I must say that I DO love my PT... painful, but pampering...). It turns out his brother is a pod, and right down the street. Lucky me! One of his patients happened to be there today, too. And she gives the doctor rave reviews.

I am going to give him a call, and check with my insurance. I have never changed doctors before... is this normally a problem? It seems like they would like a second opinion.

Re: YES IT IS

Beverly on 3/20/01 at 10:35 (041939)

Valerie,

Wonderful! Your PT's brother is probably going to be proactive with PT and smart enough to let the PT guide the therapy. Maybe he'll be more sensitive for time off since his own brother is saying you need it.

If you have a PPO, you'll have no problem changing doctors. HMO's would require you to go back to your primary doc and get the referral. Which kind of insurance do you have? I have a PPO.
Let's hope the guy is on your insurance. If you have a PPO, you do have the option to pay the extra $$ and go to him anyway. I've found it pays to call and see if a doc is on the list. The provider books are often out-of-date.
Good luck,
Beverly

Re: YES IT IS

Valerie S on 3/20/01 at hrmin (041940)

Thanks, Beverly!
I have PPO too, and the brother is on the list. Aetna has a website where I can look up the doctors. Thanks for the advice and vote of confidence.

Re: YES IT IS

Julie on 3/20/01 at 16:25 (041977)

Valerie, I'm very pleased for you. I'm sure you'll have a better experience with this new doctor. Wonderful!

I agree with Steve that you are going to have to negotiate with your employers to get much, much more time off your feet. You've made a good start and are on the road to healing, but it will take time, so you'll need co-operation in your work place. Don't be afraid to ask for it - you may find more sympathy and help than you anticipate.

Re: YES IT IS

Steve P on 3/20/01 at 16:43 (041982)

Amen, Julie!

Valerie, on this board we have seen a lot of folks recover partially, re-injure themselves, recover partially, then re-re-injure themselves, etc. So I hope you'll quickly press for a job change if you find the problem is coming back after you're back on the job.

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I've learned to never underestimate this PF beast.

Steve