The Drugs Don’t Work, They Just Make It Worse

| Working | March 25, 2014

(I’ve been having tremendous pain in my ankle for a year. I’ve been seeing an orthopedic surgeon for this entire span of time. He initially misdiagnoses the problem as a sprained ankle. After six months of excruciating pain, he sends me for X-Rays, which show a six-month old fracture. Three months later, the pain is just getting worse and worse, so he recommends I have an MRI done. I get the MRI and return to his office with the report, showing multiple effusions, a torn tendon, and a second tendon that is possibly torn. The swelling is so prominent, that the second tendon isn’t visible from any angle. I go see my orthopedic surgeon again.)

Me: “So, here’s the report showing at least one torn tendon.”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “Yeah. What do you expect me to do about it?”

Me: “Well, after seeing you for a year, ANYTHING! Do ANYTHING!”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “Well, you should go see somebody who specializes in ankles.”

Me: “You’re an orthopedic surgeon. You can’t treat this?”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “Nope.”

Me: “Can you recommend somebody?”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “Oh, I’m sure you can find somebody online.”

Me: “Or I can ask a trained professional who went through medical school and works in the field to recommend somebody who he has heard good things about.”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “I don’t know anybody.”

Me: “Fine. Do something. Do anything. Give me restrictions from work. Give me painkillers. Do anything.”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “Well, whoever you see after can recommend that.”

Me: “A year. I’ve been seeing you for a year. Your misdiagnosis led to serious damage. You’ve wasted a year of my life. You’ve kept me in excruciating pain for A YEAR. You are going to do SOMETHING today. NOW.”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “Fine. I’ll write you a script for Vicodin.”

Me: “No. I’ve told you before, Vicodin does nothing for me. If I have to resort to narcotics, I’d rather not take those that are useless for me. I’d really rather have Tramadol. *an anti-inflammatory painkiller that is non-narcotic*

Orthopedic Surgeon: “Okay.” *wanders away, returns about five minutes later with a prescription* Here. T”his is for nine days worth of Norco.”

Me: “I’m not familiar with that medication. Tell me about it. It’s not in the same family as Vicodin, is it?”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “No, no. Not at all. It’s more like codeine.”

Me: “I can’t have Tramadol?”

Orthopedic Surgeon: “No, this will be more helpful.”

(I leave, still angry and go to the pharmacy to fill the prescription. And yes, folks, Norco is essentially Vicodin. I scheduled an appointment with a new orthopedic surgeon who immediately scheduled me for surgery and wrote me a prescription for Tramadol.)

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