Trigeminal Neuralgia: Physician’s Assistant had no compassion for chronic pain

  • Sumo


I’ve been in pain off and on for the past two months.  Monday and Tuesday were my first two days being able to consume solid food, because the pain in my face was so intense, in two weeks.

Tuesday night it was slightly painful to eat, however I was able to finally eat two pieces of toast, along with two scrambled eggs.  It took me approximately and 1 1/2 to complete my meal which seemed like a task.

This morning the pain started coming back.  I went to work and talked to a customer.  It was one of the most painful conversations that I’ve ever had.  I was strong and she was never the wiser as to the lightning storm that was going on inside my face as I talked to her.

After I finished speaking with her I went to my manager’s office and told him I had to go to the emergency room.  He offered to take me.  I declined his offer because I did not want him to have to wait with me for a long period of time and also did not want to be in pain speaking to give him directions to the hospital.

I arrived at Shady Grove Hospital in Rockville, Maryland at approximately 12:08 p.m.  The triage nurse was very pleasant and was sensitive to my needs.  After she did all of the initial procedures, including but not limited to taking my temperature and blood pressure, along with asking initial questions as to why I was at the emergency room.

After she finished the intake process she told me the physician’s assistant (PA) would be in shortly to see me.

Shortly thereafter the PA Adler entered the room.  He asked me why I was there and I told him that I had Trigeminal Neuralgia and I was in pain.

He asked me how long have I been in pain.  I told him I had been in pain on and off for about two months and the pain started to subside yesterday and now it was starting back up again with more intensity.  I went on to say I did not have the wherewithal to go through that pain again.

He then turned to me and said in a condescending tone “You’ve been in pain for two months without seeing anyone and now you are here?”

I was thinking to myself well isn’t that what the hospital is for.  I then reiterated to him that the pain was starting up again and I did not have the strength to deal with it again without some type of relief.

I went on to tell him in the past I’ve taken Neurontin, Tegretol, Dilaudid, Percocet and a host of other medicines.  I also told him I do not like taking prescription pills and will go as long as I can without having to take them.

I told him out of all the medicines Dilaudid, along with an anti-nausea medicine are what work for me in the past.

He said to me in a snippy tone after he huffed, “Well, I’m not going to give you that,” (in reference to Dilaudid).

I told him that I was thinking about getting the Microvascular Decompression surgery.

He was standing and looked down at me and said, “Well, yeah … after suffering for ten years you should just go ahead and have it done.”

I told him that the surgery is not 100% and there is a chance the Trigeminal Neuralgia can come back even stronger. I guess I must have insulted him, because he looked at me with  disgust and said, “I’m aware of that.”

He then (with his gloves on) squeezed my face and asked me if that hurt.  Uh duh … I told him I had pain in my face, so why in the world would he squeeze my face.

I told him I had been to Shady Grove several times for my condition and he showed no compassion at all for what I was experiencing.

To tell you the truth he acted as if he could care less and wanted to get back to whatever he was doing on the computer that was outside the holding room I was in.

In conclusion he told me well I will prescribe you something and the nurse will give it to you and discharge you and then he left.

The nurse came back in with a prescription for 300 mg of Gabapentin (Neurontin) to be taken 3 days a day and Oxycodene-Acetaminophen (Percocet) to be take in dosages of 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as need for pain.

I was in so much pain that I just took the prescriptions and left.

I got my prescriptions filled at a nearby CVS, then went home took the medicine with a smoothie and went to sleep.

The PA never once asked me my reason for not wanting to have the surgery.  My reason is I have a fear of anyone cutting into my skull, because my grandmother had brain surgery and a few days later she passed away.  She had brain surgery to remove cancer which I know is totally different from what I have. Nonetheless, I still have that fear of someone cutting into my skull.

I’ve been to Shady Grove Hospital on numerous occasions and the customer service has always been outstanding.  I will chalk today up as a fluke.

In conclusion, I feel that if you are working in an environment where people go to get relief as well as to be made whole that you should provide superior customer service.

~ April

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