Even though Dr. Tennant will never see this letter, I’ve got to release some of this anger…
Dear Dr. Tennant:
About 6 years ago, after my pain doctor of 8 years passed away, I flew from Texas to California to see you, because I couldn’t find a doctor in the huge State of Texas to continue my treatment. After a few months of treating me like a drug addict, you abandoned me to a cold-turkey detox. Torture. Six days without sleep. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Dr. Tennant, I think you gave me PTSD. Nightmares of people wishing to do me harm. You should be grateful that I’m not a litigious person.
I know you currently treat other out-of-town patients. I don’t know why you thought I deserved to be abandoned, but I’ll never forgive you for it. Even now, so many years later, I’m still angry. I’ve been unable to let go of the hatred in my heart that I have for you. In fact, it seems to have grown.
You’re a very old man, Dr. Tennant. You’ve already tried to retire once. Tell me, what are all of your patients going to do when you are no longer practicing? Because I know you will be unable to find another doctor to treat all of your patients. I should know. That’s what happened to the patients my pain doctor treated — most of them were abandoned, while a lucky and chosen few were transferred to another doctor.
(If you’re a current patient of Dr. Tennant’s, I would suggest that you start looking for an alternative right now. Today. Do not wait until it’s too late and you have few, if any, options.)
I do not discount the amount of advocacy work you’ve done for pain patients, Dr. Tennant. You are well-known within the chronic pain patient community. But I have to wonder how many other patients you have abandoned, and how many will be abandoned when you are no longer practicing. And when a doctor condones and facilitates torture, I can’t help but lose all respect, not only for you, but for your whole profession.
Yes, I thank you, Dr. Tennant, for teaching me to hate doctors. For finally being able to turn my back on the medical community. For teaching me that the only way to treat my intractable pain is through suicide. After all, I didn’t think about suicide until you abandoned me. If you could do it, then any other doctor can do it, too. I’m talking about a total loss of trust. Thanks to you, I’m just sitting around, waiting for something to kill me.
I’m sure you had your reasons for totally abandoning me. To be honest, I don’t care what they were. I don’t care about your opinion. I can only be thankful to you for allowing me to finally see the futility of “treating” my pain.