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 Doctor knew about Sarno but didn't say so
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marytabby

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  10:04:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a little story I wanted to share about my TMS experience and my primary care doc.
When I was REALLY bad with my back in January, and I was seeing my doctor and EVERY specialist out there, had every blood test done, every xray, MRI done, l was looking for answers. I had NO knowledge of TMS or Sarno at this time. I did what every person does who only knows about structural problems, etc. Why should I know any different, right? I mean I found about TMS on my own on a local TV program. So cut to the chase, 6 months after I start feeling better with my back, I email my doc and I say, "doc, I'm feeling so much better, thanks to this new program by a Dr. John Sarno. Please, if you've never heard of him, do some reading and you may just save future patients from running around from one specialist to another, and you'll probably save our health insurance plan millions of dollars in unnecesarry tests, diagnostic films, etc.
He wrote back:"I know about Sarno and his work, but remember, it was YOU who kept insisting you wanted all those tests."
My point here is how on earth could he let me go from doc to doc if he had known about Sarno/TMS? Of course I was asking for every test. No one told me any different. So my hunch is that he did not share his Sarno knowledge with me due to the psychological stigma that some patients probably shy away from (the "all in your head answer). I am furious that my doc never once even mildly suggested TMS, or "hey, patient, ever heard of this guy Sarno? Just for giggles, humor me and read this book." He could have saved me thousands of dollars and spinning wheels with office visits all over the city of Boston if he had the guts to be a good doctor and find a way to suggest it to me. I would have gladly read the books. Who knows why he didn't point me that way, but I am giving him the benefit of doubt by saying maybe it's the stigma thing, or maybe he's just an inbecile.




Edited by - marytabby on 07/08/2005 10:05:31

n/a

560 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  10:24:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You may look at it from his perspective that he found most patients do not want to hear of Dr. Sarno's ideas. It is hard for many people to accept that pain is due to something in the unconscious. You have the benefit of hindsight now, but are you 100% sure you would have been receptive at the beginning without all those tests being done on you beforehand? Just asking......

Your anger is justified and you might want to examine that anger to give you insights into how you deal with other aggravating issues.

It should be noted, however, that doctors generally never admit they are wrong. They are too arrogant to do so.

Edited by - n/a on 07/08/2005 10:29:28
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johnnyg

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  10:33:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A better explanation for your doctor's behavior is the money circle. Insurance is always willing to pay for all the tests, needles, etc. And many doctors have tacit agreements for referrals, so is he more likely to tell you to read Sarno, or more likely to send you to five of his colleagues who will then send him a patient or two or three? These are the doctors who demonstrate through their behavior that they care more about money than health. There are very few who truly care.
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Stryder

686 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  12:51:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Maryalma8,

I empathize with your situation. Hindsite is 20/20 (no pun inteded) so I think that many of us would have thought the Doc a 'quack' the first time we show up in his office with back pain, and he refers us to a $11.95 book when we expect a $1200.00 MRI. We also have a lot of conditioning to break as well as the Doc.

Believe me, I'm not defending your Doc's actions at all. The whole medical profession these days is 8 minutes to listen and diagnose, 2 minutes prescribe. So you get 10 minutes of time there. That's it , "moo". This s--ks, but its been this way for a while. There is no way that any mainstream physical Doc is going to be able to go down the physchological path with you in the 8 minutes allocated to listen.

So its too bad you spent beaucoup bucks and lots of time before becoming Sarno-aware, but we've all been caught that way, so you are not alone.

After I learned about my mind-body, I was not angry per se at the Docs, but really disappointed that I had be mis-diagnosed for all those years. On the flip side I was really Really HAPPY that I had FINALLY figured out what was going on !

Its ok to vent, that's what we're here for. Just let it go and move on.

Take care, -Stryder

Edited by - Stryder on 07/08/2005 12:58:42
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Allan

USA
226 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  13:23:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If I understand some of the posts lately, there is a doctor at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston (One of the best rated hospitals in the world), Dr. Martinez, who hands out Dr. Sarno's book to his patients with back pain.

Today one doctor recommending Dr. Sarno, tomorrow two doctors, next four doctors. And the word spreads.

We live in hope.

Allan.
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Stryder

686 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  13:29:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Allan

If I understand some of the posts lately, there is a doctor at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston (One of the best rated hospitals in the world), Dr. Martinez, who hands out Dr. Sarno's book to his patients with back pain...

Cool ! -Stryder
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art

1903 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  19:48:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would be intensely pissed myself, had it been my doctor. To tell you the truth, he sounds like a typical doctor, in other words kind of a jerk.
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Baseball65

USA
734 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2005 :  09:59:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What came first,the chicken or the egg?

Ya' see,the only reason you knew to ask for all those treatments(as we all did,I suppose) is that we learned about them IN THE SYSTEM.

Sarno is an invitation to get out of the system altogether.

I'm sure you didn't know what EMG's and MRI's and Myelograms and TENS units were before you were in pain.Your Doctor is sort of right....we get 'in the game' and than we do start self-diagnosing and prescribing out of desperation.

I'm not sure I would have listened to Sarno had I not exhausted all possible structural remedies.In fact,when my neighbor first told me about it,I thought him an idiot and rude.When I saw Sarno on TV I thought myself far worse than those people,and when I saw it again a few months later,though more open minded(pain)..I still wasn't ready.

Think about it.....if you cracked that cover and weren't ready,you might have ditched that Doctor.


Just an Idea.

peace

Baseball65
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art

1903 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2005 :  11:13:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You're more charitable than I am, Baseball. If this guy knew about Sarno and TMS and placed some credence in it, then it's unconscionable in my view to stand by and watch a patient waste all that time and money.
Nothing that Mary said would imply that he didn't mention Sarno because he didn't think she would be open to it. Besides, that's not his judgement to make.

We're all ready at different times. A friend handed me the book and because I'd always caught a whiff of quackery whenever I was around chiropractors (and in those days that was quite a lot) I was eager to read it. And when I did, it made so much sense that I was immediately converted. If back pain was truly due to degenerative structural changes, then chiropractors offices would be filled with senior citizens. Instead, it's filled with people in the prime of their lives. This to me was sufficient to expose chiropractic as a bunch of nonsense..

To seal the deal, to get back to Mary's doc for a second, it sounds like he became quite defensive...saying...it was you who wanted all those tests...Where's his responsibility in all this?
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Baseball65

USA
734 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2005 :  15:47:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Art

I just thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.I agree with you wholeheartedly that it is greed ....the WEALTHY doctor attitude that fuels so much of the mythology...they have to notice that NO ONE IS REALLY GETTING BETTER.

None the less

I remember in the late 80's(wow I'm old) watching a TV story on "Why do college students pursue medical school/doctorship as a career..."


85% said:The Money
6% said :to help people/make a difference

...and that was in the 80's...I only imagine it's worse now.

Most people going into medicine these days see it as a gravy train slamdunk way to being wealthy.

But,I have met a handfull of MDs who really seem to care.The PhD therapist I last saw continued to counsel me for peanuts,after he no longer took my insurance.....too bad he's back in California.Sometimes I had no $$$$ at all,and he always let me slide.

I've found there is no benefit to be gained in NOT trusting people.....too bad Doctors aren't on my list of people.They are right next to used car salesmen and multi-level marketing.

peace

Baseball65
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art

1903 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2005 :  20:32:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
they have to notice that NO ONE IS REALLY GETTING BETTER.


Hey Baseball, that one made me laugh out loud. Still chuckling as I write this.

I sometimes wonder what medicine will be like a century from now. Do you suppose they'll have this stuff figured out, so that they look back on the days of chiropractors and "adjustments" the same way we look back on medievel barbers and the use of leaches for blood letting.
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Baseball65

USA
734 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2005 :  22:12:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
..yeah..

Chiros,Scientologists,New Age crystal gazers and multi-level marketing.

Hell,even Einstein wrote about the cosmological constant... the idea that gravity works backwards at a distance.

However,when he was corrected,he wasn't such an arrogant S.O.B.....he actually laughed that he had assumed something so ridiculous,and of course we call that

Genius.

Baseball65
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n/a

560 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  09:38:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
don't forget the magnet people and the so called "foot doctors," the latter of which are some of the biggest scam artists on earth. If ever there were awards scienfitis fraud these would win a prize for sure.

Do you know that in many countries foot doctors do not even exist? But here in North America they are on every street corner as there is an epidemic of foot problems. For God's sake, many of the world's poor walk bare foot and work hard all day but yet have no feet or back problems, while we have the ergonomically correct chairs, New Nnglander orthopiedic mattresses, and super comfortable shoes and yet are hobbling around in pain. What's up with that?
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johnnyg

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2005 :  08:31:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I visited a TMS doctor in NJ, he explained why doctors hurry people in and out. There are insurance co forms. There's a 15 minute form exam where the doctor has to do certain things and he will get paid something like $44.00 from the insurance co; and there's a 25 minute check up that pays a little more. And he can only treat one problem at a time or he won't get paid for the added problem--so if the patient says, my back also hurts (in addition to the sore throat he came for), then the doc has to tell the patient to schedule again for the back.

The way Dr's make money is by scheduling as many patients as possible and getting them out within the alotted time. My TMS doctor realizes that helping TMS patients can't fit into this mold because of the time you have to spend with the patient. TMS patients lose him money, but he is one of the good ones that actually wants to cure his patients. So even if you found a doctor that is open to TMS as a diagnosis, he'd have to be willing to lose money to help you.
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marytabby

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2005 :  08:45:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To further make my point about why I was so mad that my doctor hadn't mentioned Sarno to me even though he says he knows all about him:
I was in this same doc's office Friday for something and I overheard him on the phone returning all his patients' calls from the day. On two of them, I heard him relaying the results of their MRI results and he said the same script to them: "your results show a slight disk herniation, so I am going to give you a referral to PT. thanks and good luck."

Now this is fine I guess if your patient has this new problem for the first time and has not been running around all over the state seeing every specialist out there looking for answers, incurring thousands of dollars on the health plan's wallet. However, when your patient (me) expresses that the back pain is so debilitating that now I am depressed and it's made my quality life a 1 on a scale of 1-10, and he's STILL sending me all over creation, instead of trying to mention Sarno to me as a last ditch effort, THAT is where I had the issue. Art is right, he used the defense: "don't forget it was YOU who wanted all those tests" because he knew he failed me and should have said something. Someone on here said let it go. I did let it go, if I hadn't let it go I wouldn't be seeing him still for other stuff. I was merely sharing a story here to show how docs are often the problem in patients not getting better, ESPECIALLY if they know about or agree with Sarno/TMS.
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johnnyg

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2005 :  09:02:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got sent to PT about 4 or 5 times over the course of 10 years by doctors who knew it wasn't working. Usually it's because they don't know what else to do. You're saying that your doctor did know what else to do--i.e. Sarno--but didn't tell you. And that gets you justifiably mad. My previous posts are merely to provide a good rationale for why he wouldnt prescribe Sarno assuming he even believes in it. If he believes in Sarno's theory, then he is clearly a money grubber and also an egotist because he couldn't stand for another doctor to cure his patient merely from a book while he couldn't cure his own patient himself.
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johnnyg

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2005 :  09:28:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One other quick note. My TMS doctor told me that Sarno himself doesn't see conventional medicine accepting his theories for at least 100 or more yours from now. My doc think with the Internet, maybe 70 years, who knows. Chances are not in our lifetimes. Keep in mind that a very small group of doctors, and a much larger part of the public, put Sarno on a pedastal, he's like a celebrity, the Einstin of back pain. When one person advances a field as far as Sarno has, he's bound to make some enemies and dent some egos. It will take a very long time for your average doctor to either recommend the books or train to become a "TMS doctor". In a sense you can't blame them, that's how all disciplines (except physics) progress--begrudgingly and slowly.
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drziggles

USA
292 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2005 :  20:15:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, folks. My first post to the forum, but I am someone who has been through back pain as a patient myself, and was lucky enough to discover Healing Back Pain, which cured me completely.

Now, 10 years later, I am a neurologist completing my first year in private practice and trying to put his ideas into use with my patients. IT AIN'T EASY!!!

There are days that I think to myself that my life would be much easier if I just did what that other doctor did, just tell the patient they have a "disk bulge," send them to PT, and go on with my day. It's far more time consuming and emotionally draining to try to persuade someone about the TMS concept. Every single patient that I do that with walks out of the office thinking I am a nut-job, and I have already had someone coming back asking for my license number and not wanting to see me for follow up. I am worried that I could potentially be sued for malpractice--Sarno himself wrote that that has happened to another neurologist, who lost the case.

Think about how people react when you tell them about TMS? Now imagine the same situation, where someone is paying you to hear about herniated disks, pinched nerves, and spinal stenosis and you tell them about that?

I have had a handful of success stories, but frankly, most people are not amenable to these ideas. I would appreciate any advice people might have on how to present these ideas to the neophyte. Hell, I spent some time with Sarno in his office, and he couldn't even answer that question!
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art

1903 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2005 :  21:01:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Doc,

I think what you're doing is absolutely wonderful. If there were more like you in the world, it would be a better place.

Here's what I would do, I think. Present each patient with both options. OPtion number #1: "Well Mr. Smith, most neurologists would tell you the root of your trouble is a bulging disk and then send you to physical therapy. I'm prefectly willing to do that if you want. It's posible it will help."

"But, I also want you to be aware that there's a new school of thought that holds that back pain is quite often psychosmatic. Now don't misunderstand MR. Smith, this does not mean the pain isn't real, it just means that the primary source of the difficulty is emotional, often stress about something going on in your life right now, or perhaps even from something that happened earlier in your life, even as far back as childhood. I want you to know that this is called TMS and the treatment for it in my experience has had much better results than physical therapy."

From there, you can assess the patient's reactions. Some, especially those who have had long standing pain, might be very amenable to the TMS approach. For those, you can suggest the book and go from there.

For those whose eyes cloud over and clearly don't have a clue what you're talking about, or perhaps even become defensive and angry (you can easily pick this up in most cases by body language), you can quickly drop the TMS stuff and go the usual PT route.

I think it's important to make judgements as to how your patients are reacting as soon as possible so that you can know how to proceed. You definitely don't want to be in a position where you're trying to convince someone who's not ready.

Just my thoughts. I wish you the very best. The world needs more doctors like you. Don't lose faith...

A

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Dr. Fatteh

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  02:12:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dear Friends,

I am a pain medicine practitioner and believer in TMS theory. I can understand the anger on this board regarding the rigidity, stubbornness, and downright disingenuousness of the medical profession. However, I feel that a little perspective is needed on the case of the primary care doc in question.

Even as a pain specialist and TMS believer, it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to even broach the topic of psychosomatic illness in over 95% of cases that I see. And the reason is, alluded to insightfully by Baseball65, that there is indeed DUAL CONDITIONING going on. We as the medical profession have conditioned patients to focus STRICTLY on the structural, while patients have taken the lesson and DEMANDED that tangible intervention be provided in order to "fix" them. It is therefore an unfortunate fact that bringing up TMS WOULD poison the doctor-patient relationship and trust that we as physicians work towards. I have two general categories of patients, those who have learned about TMS and then got my name and came in for education and re-assurance, and everyone else. And within the "everyone else" category a great number of severely disabled people have at least crossed through the worker's compenstion system, which has left them highly anxious and downright paranoid about the intentions of insurance adjustors, lawyers, and yes doctors.

I don't believe that the doctor in question should automatically be labelled as greedy, or as a co-conspirater, or even arrogant. Perhaps he should not have been defensive upon learning about your exposure to TMS. And, perhaps if you were truly at the end of your rope then the idea could have been presented as a "last resort." But, you see, right now TMS theory has only achieved "last resort" status in mainstream medicine. This is something that I and other TMS physicians struggle with every day, and admittedly it is something I could stand to improve upon within myself as a physician. I share the neurologists call to all of you to assist us in the medical profession in finding the ideal formula for introducing TMS early on in a case and not just as a last resort. Because as it stands now, the introduction of the idea of psychosomatic illness early on in a treatment course usually results not only in distrust, but usually a change of doctors.

Finally, remember this. Dr. Sarno himself heavily screens his patients by phone. And, if a patient is not open to the idea of psychological causes of his/her pain, then that patient is not seen. So, it is very likely, Maryalma8, that you and most pain sufferers in your situation would never be allowed through Dr. Sarno's door unless you happened to be at the right stage of desperation. If a pioneer such as Dr.Sarno would be unlikely to treat the "average" pain patient, then how could such expectations be placed on a regular old doc like the PCP mentioned. Right now our goal should be to educate doctors, especially the young ones who are a little more open to new ideas. This doc at least took the time to learn and understand the TMS. Right now this makes him one of the good guys, in need of encouragement, not scorn. What I would recommend, Maryalma, for the greater good, would be to see him again to share the experiences of your recovery to provide him with the positive feedback needed to encourage him to introduce TMS treatment earlier and earlier with his other patients. Remember, everyone, it takes a village at time... Best wishes.
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Fredarm57

USA
72 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  07:41:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
drziggles: I second Art's recommendation. To use an analogy, you wouldn't use a treatment on a patient that might cause an adverse reaction or be ineffective due to an underlying condition. For example, you wouldn't use penicillin on a patient that is allergic to it. In this case, the knowledge is the "penicillin", as Dr. Sarno has commented. If the patient is not receptive to the TMS concept, the TMS approach won't work. In effect, the patient is "allergic" to the treatment. So you use another treatment, the conventional PT approach. But maybe, by at least planting the seed, if the conventional approach doesn't work, the patient may become receptive to TMS more quickly than if you hadn't at least mentioned it as an option. Fred

Fred
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