So here I sit, as I used to write about heartache, heartbreak and of things in the past, now I am writing to you in writhing pain as my Physician of 12 years just up and left many people in pain and left us out to allow fate to have it’s will with us. I know that I’ve written to you of late, how my Dr left and how angry and upset I’ve been. I wrote about how the pain Dr. that knew me in the past, right after my car accident in 2002, wouldn’t even see me or help me because of a “situation” and for no other reason. He didn’t want to be “involved” in a mess of being inundated with pain patients from this physician. I’m pretty sure some of them may have been unreal and faking their pain but many, like myself, have real pain issues. I think I told you also about the other Dr. who owns the practice and how he is very very angry at being “left with a mess” of pain patients on all kinds of pain medications and way too much! This would mean, including me! My old Physician left, but in the past 12 years he was like a big “teddy bear” and kind and he had kind eyes. I never thought for even a moment that he would leave me “out to dry ” like this…..or even “to die”. I don’t want to repeat myself, but I have much to say about this subject and I think maybe people can learn something from this experience. You have to stop being afraid, like I have been or had been in the past. Sometimes I am still afraid but I do my best to keep on going and not be afraid.
Back in 2002, I was in a horrible car accident. I was poo poo’d by the hospital called “St. Joe’s” here in Ann Arbor ,Michigan. I had been on disability since 1998, for PTSD and CKDII. When my disability was approved, they called my husband and told him that I “didn’t even have to go to their own Dr’s because after reading my several Dr reports, they didn’t want to put me through having to tell my story even one more time. I was approved!” I tried to get the nightmares and the fear to stop. I was trying so hard and the possibility of trying to return to my job at the U of Mich. hospitals as an Interpreter for the Deaf and as an Outpatient clerk III, felt like it just might happen one day. But then in August of 2002, a man ran a red light while fighting with his wife and I was hurt bad as his car T-boned my car and I lay unconscious on the cement afterwards. I was out for about 20-30 minutes I was told. Then taken by ambulance to the hospital where they did some Xrays and put me in the ER for many hours and left me there. One Dr. was wanting his shift to be over and he was going to send me home. I had just been screaming so loudly during Xrays, that my husband said people were leaving the waiting area so as not to hear my screams of pain. The nurse that was assigned to me that night, I wish I could thank him someday in person. He saved me. When that one Doc was going to try to just “send me home” when I couldn’t even stand or walk or move without being in horrible screaming pain, he called a trauma Dr. She got the bal rolling and they admitted me. But sadly, I still did not get the care that I should have gotten and they just let me sit in shoulder braces for 5 days until my husband finally brought me home to take me to some good Dr’s that might help me. At the hospital I was looked at differently because I only weighed 99 lbs. I was tiny and 5 feet 5 inches tall. I had been going through Anorexia off and on since I was about 17 years old. That is another whole story in and of itself. But I was still very sane and smart and not crazy in any way, shape or form. I was not on any medications, but I had been seeing a wonderful Psychologist who was helping me makes sense of some things that had happened to me while growing up and while as an adult member of my family as well.
So after 5 days of being NOT treated kindly and NOT being diagnosed properly, my husband was so appalled at the way things were happening or NOT happening, that he took me out of there. I ended up finding out that I had suffered an MTBI and several other horribly painful injuries. After 3 years at the Ann Arbor Rehab center for TBI’s, and after 10 surgeries or so, I finally know all that went wrong and I’ve had to go through many horrible Dr’s appointment experiences but I’d finally found some help. I met a great Brain Injury Dr. at St Joe’s and he helped me every step of the way. He was not on “My” side but on the side of truth and right and goodness, which was the same side that I always try to be on! I got help dealing with the short term memory loss and the difference in my personality a bit and I learned that I was now unable to read large books such as the “Harry Potter” series, but I could read Magazine articles. I am unable to still remember things that I’ve read. But when I’ve heard the same things several times, then I surely can remember them. I ended up having 2 screws put in my left shoulder because after a year of seeing several shoulder Dr’s, they all told me that I just had some “torn rotator cuffs and then frozen shoulders”. They kept on sending me to painful PT. Later, I finally did not give up and found a Dr. to listen to me and he sent me to the Cleveland clinic. Dr. John Brems, orthopedic specialist, told me that he could do a “nerve and muscle transfer from a cadaver” but he then thought it might me just alot more pain for me and it would only have fixed one thing out of many issues for me at that time. My new shoulder Dr. though, told me that I in fact “was NOT crazy” and he had to go into my shoulder in an open surgery and unattach my biceps tendon (which had grown attached to the bone wrongly for over a year because nobody would listen to me) and reattach it to the bone with two titanium screws. It helped the nerve “zings” immediately and I was so greatful to him.
I was in the hospital for pain control when I met Dr. Bullach. He was a kind man and he had a kind manner about him. I had been seeing the other Dr. in the practice since 1986, and we got along great. But my parents decided to go to him 10 years after I’d been a patient there and they started telling hem that all that I’d told him “was a lie”. He got confused and he came to me telling me that “they seemed like nice people and I seemed like a nice person and now he did not know who to believe?” I saved him the trouble and I left the practice. Only to return when I got afraid after the car accident. I came back because they knew me and had years of my records and I was in pain and afraid. Lucky for me, there was a new Dr there and I got along great with him so I switched over to Dr. Bullach for the next 12 years. He had no problem believing in me and he talked to my other Dr’s and Psychologist and I had a great team. He always told me that he was “the eye in the middle of my storm”. I believed in him and trusted him. In 2005, after trying so many medications that all made me either very ill or I was allergic to them, he started me on the Fentanyl suckers and the patches together. It was only the 2nd time that anything had worked for my pain. With the pain Dr. I had been on a medication called “Kadian” and it was extended release Morphine. It worked for 2 years and then just stopped working. The pain dr. wanted me to get an Intrathecal pain pump. I didn’t want something else put into my body, let alone stuck into my spine dripping medication into it and being “dependant forever” on another human being to fill it. I decided to just stick to meds and therefore the pain dr stopped seeing me. He turned me over to dr. Bullach to just give me pain meds and said that he “could consult with him at any time and he would help”. That never happened because Dr. Bullach put me on the above 2 meds and I stayed on them until he left the practice in December 2014.
I had gotten a letter from the insurance company stating that they “would not be paying for my pain meds after March 2015 unless a pain dr. agreed with Dr. Bullach’s treatment plan.” Well in December, Dr Bullach got into “trouble” and left the practice to go and work at an urgent care in Jackson, MI. He wrote too many prescriptions for pain meds for too many people. He over medicated too many people and I was one of them. I had no idea because before that MVA in 2002, I never even took an Aspirin for headaches. I never had pain issues before! I had no idea what was happening or what was about to happen to me. Dr. Bullach just kept on telling me to “trust him” and “not to worry”. For the past 3 years I had asked him to help me go down from the meds i was on. I was afraid of being on too much and I was worried but he just kept on telling me that he got “me off of the hospital bed in my living room” and if and when the time came, he would help me get off of the meds. Well, the time came and I had no control over it and he was nowhere to be found to help me. I was on my own and very afraid.
I went back to the pain Dr. that helped me for the 3 years following the car accident. He was good with me and believed in me and I in him. I was compliant and did what he asked and it all was good. But when I went back to ask for help after dr. Bullach left, he didn’t want anything to do with me!!! He wanted to sell me out and he saw me one time only to tell me that I had to go to be screened by another pain Dr. friend of his! Have you ever heard of a pain Dr. not feeling confident in himself and having to send someone to a “friend of his” for a consultation? It made no sense until I heard him say that He really was “inundated with many of Dr. Bullach’s pain patients and many of them were just drug seekers and he didn’t want to be any part of that”. But he knew me? I didn’t do anything wrong? I had only always done whatever was asked of me? What did I do wrong? I needed help and nobody would help me. I was very afraid and didn’t know where to go or what to do. I knew that I did NOT want to go and see his “FRIEND” …..after looking him up online, his friend was a “Dr. Malinoff” in AnnArbor who is in “detroit hourly” magazine and who gets “awards” for being such a great doc….in print!! But from what the hundreds of people wrote about him in many many reviews, I was not about to go and see him EVER! I read up on him at his website. He even states there that he broke his own foot and didn’t even go to a Dr. for 3 months. His wife finally forced him to go and he had a broken foot. He prides himself that he walked on it all of that time without even a pain pill! He had surgery and he again prided himself on “not taking anything for pain”. He even said that If you wake up in the morning and put your feet on the floor and you don’t have pain, then you should be looking for your name in the obituaries!!! I won’t quote that because he said that his father said it and he also believed in this view. But I don’t like to quote things unless I have the exact words and I’m not 100% sure of the exact wording, but this is truly what he said on his website and you can find it for yourself just by looking him up in Ann Arbor,MI.
Now, I have always been a person who never drank or took any drugs of any kind. I was NOT going to see this Dr. who I had read about and heard about from other pain patients that I admire and trust; when what I’d heard was very bad practice. He takes peoples medications away from them and puts them on Suboxone or Methadone right away. You are not even looked at as an individual and to see what might or might not work for you. This is what I’ve heard and what I read at his website as well. I am a good person who never drank or did drugs or anything bad and there was no way I was going to be sent to this place and then to possibly be put on who knows what list and never ever be helped again in my life for the real pain issues that I have. Even the first pain Dr. agreed that “I had many big pain issues” and he was very sorry but he just couldn’t take any of Dr. Bullach’s patients on.
I persevered and I finally found a pain Dr right here in my own town. He is awesome so far and I liked him very much during my first visit to him. I will see him again in August. But he did take me off of the Fentanyl Suckers. He says they are “very dangerous and I should never have been given them”. He said they are for “end of life” and for those who do not have stomachs to swallow meds. etc. He is keeping me on the patch and he gave me a different medication for my pain and I will be starting it “cold turkey” on Monday July 13th. I’m scared as I’ve gone down from my suckers from the 20 or so that Dr. Bullach had me on and now to only 3 per day. But it’s still a scary thing when I’ve been on them for almost 12 years and they are what has worked for me. So far the new meds that I’ve been trying to start taking a little bit here and there, are not working very well. I’m feeling very sweaty and sick and nauseated and my pain is not going away at all. No break from the pain like I’m used to getting with the suckers. I’m doing it but I’m scared and in only two more days, I will wake up and only have the pills and the patches. ….no more Actiq suckers and I know I can do this but it’s so hard and it’s hard already and I’ve just gone down to a couple per day, how will I do with zero?? I guess we will all see very soon. But as soon as I do this all by myself, but still with a new pain Dr. by my side and my wonderful husband, I will be sending out a letter to the one Dr. who did take over and help me until I could find a different pain Dr. to help. Also to the other 2 Dr’s who refused to help me, they will be receiving a letter as well. One will go to Dr Bullach, because he truly hurt me by leaving and not caring about me at all…and then the pain Dr. who was going to “throw me to the wolves” and didn’t care one bit either!
Here is a copy of the letter that they will be receiving: (I will post the copy of the letter next week at the end of the week after I know the letter has been received by the appropriate Physicians). So watch for that letter, I will post it probably next weekend sometime….I look forward to you reading it…thank you so much…Please pray for me and wish me luck because I’m afraid and feeling awful sweaty and sick already as I write this blog today…sending Love, Suz