Another response from Dr. Katzman

Wed, Jun 10, 2015 9:30 am

From:  Joanna G Katzman

Re: An alternative to suicide?

I am happy to get you an appointment with one of our UNM Pain Center providers if you’d like at this time. I did want to let you know that we don’t sign off on medical cannibis in our clinic.
Please provide me with your date of birth and best contact number so that our UNM Pain Center can call you for an appointment.  I am copying our charge nurse Jill Norris, RN, so she can have the information ready to go. Also, please plan to bring in your medical records and have any sent before the appointment as well.

Thank you so much,

Joanna G Katzman

Do you ever feel like you’re talking to empty air?  Or that doctors just don’t listen?  I’m not sure how I could have been more plain, especially about not having a phone. Or about being financially bereft. How much would it cost to copy and send my medical records (including MRIs) by courier to UNM?

I said I couldn’t afford the medical cannabis program, but it’s interesting to know that her clinic refuses to certify for the program. What kind of pain clinic would refuse access to cannabis for its patients? Sounds pretty cruel to me. If the clinic won’t even certify for cannabis, why would I think they would be willing to prescribe anything that might help me?

And I mentioned how complex my case was, so why would I want to see any other doctor except this purported expert, Dr. Katzman? She doesn’t know that I’ve seen pain specialists with more experience than she will ever have, or that I traveled from Texas to California to see the top specialist in her field. So actually, even seeing her would be a step down. No, she wants to pawn me off on one of her lackeys.

Does she mention if they take Medicare or not? No. Does she mention how much an appointment would cost? No. Does she mention how long it would take before I could see a doctor? No. Did I think mentioning suicide would give her an idea that we’re talking about a rather urgent problem? Is unmanageable intractable pain considered urgent? No. After all, pain doesn’t kill, right? Maybe I should have mentioned some of the other symptoms (besides suicidal ideation) that I’ve been experiencing from the constant, unrelieved, high-level pain, like heart palpitations. Would that have made a difference? No.

Does she even comprehend why I’ve given up on the medical industry? Apparently not.

Just imagine, if you will, how many times in 30 years I’ve paid for my medical records to be “evaluated” by a doctor. Just for the Medical Cannabis Program, I paid about $300 for two different doctors to review my records and certify my chronic pain condition. But that was only good for one year, which is one of the reasons I couldn’t afford to renew.

Does she understand that I’m not interested in any invasive treatments? That paying a doctor to prescribe acupuncture, massage, or mindfulness is a useless waste of my time and what little money I have? Will this doctor agree to prescribe the medications that help me or will he or she try to give me a prescription for antidepressants or any other drugs used off-label for treating chronic pain?

I really don’t know how to respond to her email. It’s obvious to me that she’s not interested in helping me and is just going through the motions so she won’t look bad or feel guilty.

How does one respond to empty air?

13 thoughts on “Another response from Dr. Katzman

  1. i see that you are really feeling like you have reached the end of the track, boxed in, caged, being left to suffer alone and in excruciating pain. i hear that you have done the ‘normal’ and ‘conventional’ steps and gotten nothing. and now you are trying the chances that float on a wing and a prayer, the unorthodox way of getting your needs met, to find a place to slip in and get the help you desperately need. and now even that seems to have disappeared with a ‘puff’ of smoke.

    i don’t have any ideas of how to help you get pain pills or mmj. but as undesirable as your options are, i think you have to start somewhere, by either starting with that UNM clinic, or with a PCP. Otherwise, things become bleak indeed.

    but please know, i hear you. your suffering, your pain, your being ignored. you are right, the system is bass ackward. you shouldn’t have to go thru all this, just to get the help you are entitled to. you can feel free to unload on me anytime (blog or personal email). i want you to know, you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw Kat, thanks so much for your elegantly-worded comment. It’s so sweet. 🙂

      You know if I spend money on something like this then my goal of moving to Colorado just becomes further and further away. In fact, I had a map of Colorado on my wall, which I just took down today. Considering that I should spend money on two new tires instead of a doctor appointment, among many other things, I’ve just about given up on making it to Colorado. I haven’t met my deductible for Medicare this year, so all the cost would come from me.

      Just writing this post has made me angry and caused my head to pound even more. Can you imagine what would happen if I made an appointment and was given no help at all? I’m afraid my head might explode. Or that I might punch someone. Of course, there’s also the possibility of embarrassing hysterics and tears.

      I don’t know what to do… But I guess doing nothing is actually the decision I’ll probably reach.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I really feel and understand your frustration on this one. Now, shoot me down for my suggestion, but here goes… In the first email she said go to a Primary Care Provider for the referral. In the second email she is saying, okay, I will personally prepare a nurse for your contact, albeit maybe a rather expensive one and to one of her ‘lackey’s’. So, I was wondering if it might help to write again and ask if it’s possible to meet with her and to take your notes then, plus, of course, arrange by email with this nurse specialist. All the other questions about medicare etc are probably best answered by the nurse or admin staff. I imagine the no cannabis policy is to save themselves the time taken to deal with time wasters only seeking the cannabis. It’s never fair that it affects everyone, but these policies usually arise from knee jerk reactions. Cannabis is not your concern, anyway, and maybe the might be willing to consider your own suggestions for pain management.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess you’d have to know how many pain doctors I’ve seen who refused to “consider” my own suggestions for pain management, especially now that the DEA has increased the pressure against doctors. And I guess you’d have to know more about Project ECHO and the treatments they advocate for and use, none of which include the only medications that work for me. Or that Dr. Katzman was a featured speaker at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit this year, and her various connections to anti-drug advocacy groups. See, Project ECHO is a program for addiction and drug abuse disguised as a program for chronic pain.

      Although I’m only guessing that Dr. Katzman and the other doctors that work at this “pain clinic” no longer prescribe pain medications, I think it’s a pretty accurate guess.

      I can’t tell you how angry it makes me to count up all the money I’ve spent in the last 30 years on treatments that made things worse or had no effect at all. It’s like cutting up money and making confetti out of it. There comes a point in time when throwing money away on more doctors and evaluations becomes the definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein) A rather expensive loss of logic and rationality.


  3. “Primum non nocere” Translation, ‘First, do no harm’! That’s the first line of your response letter to ‘Dr Air’, at least one that I’d use. First line of the Hippocratic Oath! Remember also that it might have been a ‘form’ letter that she has for answering without committing. Probably typed up by a secretary. The best other solution I can think of is to re-research until you find a Dr like mine. Or move to a state where you can find the best help. I understand the $’s, I am supported by my wife, and am lucky enough to be in AZ. I wish you all the best in finding your help. Wish I could help more. I fear that Dr Air is a dead-end. Be well, sister in pain! There’s better Dr’s out there. Good luck! 💪💜💆

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Hippocratic Oath no longer applies to doctors and the medical industry. They threw that away when they got in bed with Big Pharma. And while there probably are better doctors out there, they are in hiding from the DEA, so it’s not like I would be able to find one. Pain patients might start to think of creating an underground railroad to find such doctors — but maybe that’s already been created by the underground drug market. Not that I know how to find that either. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s the states that create these problems for us spoonies! I hope that NM gets their ‘feces in a collection’ and you find relief soon. Positive vibes from the universe from me to you! 🎶 I’ll be thinking healing vibes for you sis!💜💪🌵👀😀

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh look, no purple flying pig.

    I know you won’t like this, but I agree with Cat and think you should reiterate your financial position, your lack of phone, and cite your needs and your history to her again. I’m so sorry that you’re in this situation. If I had bucks, I’d send them to you.

    At least she replied, and has offered you an appointment. Ask her how much it will cost and whether she will see you personally. You must have had your reasons for contacting her, so try appealing to her ego and see if she’ll take on the challenge.

    Oink oink 🙂

    L. X

    Liked by 1 person

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