Having chronic pain is always a challenge. At one point I was going to Austin Pain Associates for the problems I was having (wrote a review on them too). After sometime, I was feeling much better, and as a result started to lower my medication intake until I completely quit. Pain gone for a few weeks.
Well, my pain started up again, gradually. Having been in severe pain for 6 days, I contacted Austin Pain Associates only to be informed that they were booked solid for 3 weeks (even though I was an existing patient). I needed some relief while I wait for my appointment date to come up.
I went to Texas Urgent Care. I waited a full hour even though there were no other patients there. No problem. However, I saw Dr. Murray Duren who was less than sympathetic. After a brief physical exam, and a review of my medical history with Austin Pain Associates and other paperwork that I brought forth, he informed me that there was nothing he could do other than to advise me to take ibuprofen.
I asked, "do you think I'm a drug seeker or something?". His response, "Well, I've practiced medicine for 24 years, and I'm certain that you are not a drug seeker". Confused, I reply, "Well then what's the problem?". Dr. Duren, "My problem is medicare. Medicare doesn't pay enough for the services offered. If you want medical treatment, find a better insurance provider".
At this point, I'm really ticked off. Attempting to use logic, I question, "But you accept medicare. If you agree to take new medicare patients you should provide them with medical services". He tells me, "Look, I don't know why you're on disability, but here are the facts; medicare and social security are going to fail when the baby boomers get on the program. You won't be able to rely on it anymore and I won't have to deal with it."
I'm really not interested in discussing politics at this point, but I debate with him that it doesn't make sense for him to believe that I'm in pain, believe that I have a legitimate problem (and how could he not with so much evidence supporting exactly what I'm telling him), but then refuse to treat me based on some political principle.
He relents by his agreement to refill my elavil. I explain that elavil helps prevent the pain but not relieve existing pain. He agrees with me. I ask, "well then, what over the counter medicine could I try." to which he responds, "nothing at all. But hey, I'll give you a referral to another doctor."
I explain that finding doctors that take NEW, MEDICARE patients is a challenge. He tells me, "well that's your problem".
So still in pain, I go home, crying from pain. I go to the website and see that this doctor is not only a practitioner at the clinic, he's the founder, president, and CEO! Furthermore, there is a link from the Texas Urgent Care website to a Christian ministry that does medical and dental services in Latin America, complete with photos and opportunities to make donations. So this guy goes and offers free medical services in Latin America, but refuses to treat my pain because I'm on medicare and they don't pay enough.
I'm going to picket this clinic. As soon as I have a day where my pain subsides (probably when I get to go into Austin Pain Associates in three weeks time), I'm going to picket with signs and flyers.