Someone like me...

Nurses Recovery


So i had an appt. today with a spinal clinic at the request of my FNP due to all the pain and changes in my most recent MRI...

I was seen by a PA who was less than educated about addiction and had no tact whatsoever. She was very uncaring about my issues, told me that "i don't feel comfortable giving someone like you in your situation narcotics" and advised a epidural and to come see her once that was complete.

Mind you I did not go into this appt. with the thought of obtaining narcotics, nor did I ask for them either.

I was in tears as I left and felt like I was less than human. I told the nurse I didn't want to see the PA again and she just didn't understand why. Its not that I didn't want the epidural or was upset because I wasn't given narcs, it was what the PA had said to me...

"Someone like me, in my situation"...

I think I am well aware of my situation, but what the heck did she mean "someone like me" like I'm something other than human and don't deserve the same treatment as others...


324 Posts

@ Hunnie: like you said- she is not well-educated about humans with addiction problems, or just chooses to think as she does. i can certainly understand how her words made you feel- but please let it go- don't let her rent that space in your head! i'm sure you have heard other nurses say such things about patients with addiction problems- this just really hurts because it was aimed directly at you!! that said, hopefully you will seek help from someone else- don't let her words cause you to not seek treatment for what is a very real problem for you! i wich i could give you a great big hug!! take care- & keep us posted about this (your back problem).

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

1 Article; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

I'm sorry Hunnie...that was tactless and rude. They ignorance of some in the profession astounds me. Just like the physicians, and nurses, that won't take care of obese patients and makes comments to them.



2,121 Posts

Is there a good physician in the practice that you can schedule a new appointment with?


73 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg.

so sorry hunnie. Sounds hurtful. I hope you can get the care you need for your back problem. Maybe tell the PA in a "nice" way well i don't feel comfortable being treated by someone like you who is judgemental and uneducated regarding my care...goodbye. Hope you can find a understanding and nonjudgmental doctor.

Specializes in pediatrics; PICU; NICU.

((Hugs)). That was a really ignorant thing for her to say. I also think you should let her know you're not comfortable being treated by someone who's so judgmental of others. She needs to get some education.

As others have said, don't let her get to you. Her judgement of you says nothing about you and a lot about her. She's not worth getting upset about.

We love you & are here for you.

My empathy to you due to the lack of education and training of a PA. Sad to say that training in caring for patients with addiction is limited if even touched on in most graduate programs. In my graduate school our instructor spent about 2 minutes talking about it if even that. Having said that, my physician, who is well aware I am in recovery and in an assistance program has offered me narcotic cough medicine twice, and amphetamines one month after I saw him for the first time after opiate withdrawal because I had gained weight! Hahahahaa... I was finally eating again after puking for days! At first I was offended, now I have to laugh, I dont know if he is that ignorant, or if it was a test! Back to you...if you must continue to use this PA I would suggest you have an appointment with her supervising physician, or at next appointment with her express your concerns, and then ask her what her practice protocols are for caring for patients "like you", as the Board requires practice protocols between Mid Level Providers and Supervising physicians. Most pain management doctors are versed in addictionology and can use different modalities to treat pain. I wish you luck...


178 Posts

Thanks for the kind words and advice! My husband will attend the next appt with me, he's much more forward than I am and was upset with her behavior towards me as well. I wont be seeing her again and will request a physician only for future visits. Hope this epidural injection works :nailbiting: she told me it wouldn't hurt and all the nurse offered was a brochure. I hope the physician who performs this is well versed lol


87 Posts

I'm so sorry you've gone through this :hugs:. As health care PROFESSIONALS we should ALL teach each patient with empathy and compassion. That means treating the inmate on your stretcher who has raped and killed four women with the same amount of professionalism as the man who has donated hundreds of hours of his time to the local foster shelter. I go out of my way to treat those in less fortunate situations with compassion. Not saying I don't necessarily inwardly cringe when I see an inmate and a guard with one of our patients in the ER, but I walk in the room with a smile and explain to him that I'm drawing labs or need to cath him for a sterile urine. I still go as gently as possible because that's what a good professional does .

I once went into my OB/GYN office because I had stopped getting my periods and gained 30lbs in a span of two months without changing my diet. I started exercising and restricted my diet to 1200 calories a day. I was worried something was wrong so I went to see her. She said "you know what's wrong? You like food too much and you eat more than you should. Increase your exercise and eat less." From a NP no less. I walked out of there in tears and vowed never to return. No solutions were given, no tests were done. I found out later that I had Hashimotos and my thyroid was enlarged and barely functioning. Needless to say I wrote her a NASTY letter and also sent a duplicate to the office manager explaining how poor my care was. I never received an apology, I never received a call, but it certainly felt great to get that out there and let that NP know how WRONG she was.

I really hope you are able to find someone else who treats you with the compassion you deserve. And spread the word near and far about how horrible that PA was.

Best of luck to you in the future!


510 Posts

This made me think of my favorite verse in the bible relating to forgiving oneself as a necessary step towards helping others forgive themselves. Basically about being a guiding light for others in the same situation:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race which is set before us...lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths with your feet so that what is lame will not be put out of joint but rather healed.

It is unfortunate that she treated you this way, hopefully you can help educate her so that others who come after you will get the compassionate care they deserve.

Specializes in ICU.

This is something that concerns me. I have arthritis, and some days I hurt really badly, and other days I don't hurt much. My doctor says it is just "the nature of arthritis, that's what it does." Since I have had prior GI bleeds, I am not supposed to take NSAIDS. Plain Tylenol does nothing for the pain, and the only thing that helps is ibuprophen. On the really painful days, I might take ONE lortab-5; I mean ONE the entire 24 hr day, and never on my days to work. I have never had any problem with addiction. I worry that as I get older (I am close to retirement now) I might need pain medication, and will have problems obtaining prescriptions for anything. I am sitting here right now watching a thing on TV about blocking a new pain medication, for fear of people becoming addicted. I am not concerned about those who are addicted; I am concerned about those that need pain meds and can't get them. I went thru this enough with my son, who died of cancer. I risk another bleed everytime I take ibuprophen. I have Pennsaid (diclofenac) that is topical, but it reduces my pain about 10%. I don't understand why medical professionals are judgmental, either, and hope you get the help you need. It isn't fair or right that we have to pay co-pays to different providers, just because we didn't get the right kind of help from the first one. I have been brushed off regarding a thyroid problem also. I had Graves disease, but my doctor waited until I was in atrial fib with a rapid rate before he would check it. My deceased son was mis-diagnosed by 3 different doctors before the 4th one found the cancer. Why? Because the first 3 were too busy being judgmental and assuming a 21 year old college kid might be sick because he was out partying and not eating right. OK, sorry, this kind of attitude just puts me in a bad mood.


178 Posts

I guess it's easier to have chronic pain and not have a hx of addiction. Apparently this PA feels because I have a hx of addiction I cant possibly suffer from real pain! She's an ignorant provider and I firmly believe that all health care workers should have to complete CEUs on pain and addictions. Perhaps this would give a better understanding of these diseases and more empathy towards those who suffer.

I didn't ask for this diagnosis just as much as your son didn't ask for his cancer. Im sorry for your loss and I understand your frustration all too well.

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