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Just fired my doctor for telling me to what?

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My Back Hurts!

Joined: 18 Dec 2020
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2020 1:00 pm    Post subject: Just fired my doctor for telling me to what? Reply with quote

Hi, I'm new here. Smile I am presently nursing a 9 month old, and my 3 year old just weaned himself last summer. I apologize for the length and lack of clarity here. I'm still really upset.

I just fired one of my doctors, an anesthesiologist. I have severe chronic backpain. I've tried everything: physical therapy, yoga, TENS, epidurals, trigger point injections, fish oil, back braces, ice, heat, you name it. Nothing has worked for me except opiate medication: Tylenol 3, then Darvocet, then Lortab. (And please, let's keep this thread on track and not go into alternative treatments or chiro, been there done that!) My sports medicine doctor, whom I've seen consistently since I was pregnant with my first, referred me to a new doctor in his practice, one that specializes in pain management. The pain management physician didn't have a problem with me breastfeeding and taking opiates when my sports med physician was the one prescribing them. But due to some new policy, my sports med deferred the prescription-writing responsiblities to the pain management physician.

As I was receiving a nerve block from the pain management physician, naked and face down on an operating table with needles in my spine, he asked if I was still BF. (My child is 9 months old.) On my initial paperwork with him, I wrote in big underlined letters BREASTFEEDING AND WILL NOT WEAN FOR TREATMENT. The conversation went something like this:

Dr: are you breastfeeding?
Me: yes I am
Dr: I won't prescribe you opiates if you breastfeed. You have to stop. Today.
Me: my child is 9 months old, I've been taking these meds since her conception.
Dr: doesn't matter.

I'm angry at myself for not standing up and asking what training he's had in lactation, if he's ever heard of Dr. Hale. But I was in the middle of a procedure involving my spinal cord when he dropped that bomb on me! He made it clear he wasn't open to enlightenment. He made me sign a narcotic contract, which I didn't have a problem with, but his condesending nurse wrote in "no breastfeeding while taking opiates." And I had to sign it. If I didn't, I wouldn't get my medication. And then I would go through withdrawal, my baby could go into withdrawal, and I'd be bedridden with pain. The nurse said "oh sweetie, you can't breastfeed and take Lortab, you'll hurt your baby." Way to guilt someone! My sports med doctor's nurses agreed I had to sign this contract. It was like having a gun to my head! If he had a problem with breastfeeding, he should have turned me away when he saw my paperwork that indicated I would not wean for treatment.

I'm angry that he bamboozled me in the middle of a procedure, he's a bully and I can't see how this is ethical.

The next day, I demanded to see my sports med doctor. I told him about my experience and he agreed to refer me to another pain management physician. I used to see another pain management doctor but he was cocky and not treating me aggressively enough. I expect to get another lecture about opiates and breastfeeding when he takes my case. As a bridge, my sports med doctor said he'd continue to write my scripts, for now, temporarily. As for the narc contract with the no-BF clause, I drew large Xs across both pages, and wrote at the bottom "I rescind this contract, I will not NOT breastfeed my child." Signed and dated, I threw it at his nurse and told her to give it to the pain managment doctor.

My nursling's ped is well aware of my pain issues and opiate use, he doesn't see a problem with it. At her 6 month WBV, I even went as far as to ask if she could be tested for opiates. He laughed and said it wasn't necessary. Would it be worth it to have her ped write a letter indicating she's not showing any symptoms of opiate exposure? Have her drug tested and hair follicle tested to show that her exposure is minimal? But will this open me up to a CPS investigation if she tests positive?

I am not the only BF mother this doctor has refused to treat properly. A friend of mine was referred to him by our OB. The doctor told her to wean completely in order to receive an epidural steroid injection. I realize medicine is a litigious field these days and doctors are more concerned about lawsuits than treating patients, especially in a field involving opiate scripts and pain management. But this guy is covering his ass with a circus tent!

Is there a database that tracks breastfeeding friendly and breastfeeding unfriendly practitioners? If not, I may start one myself! Other mamas need see what this guy did to two mothers, making us suffer in exchange for refusing to wean our children, not being ethical enough to refer us to someone who would treat us and respect our decisions as mothers. I have no problem blasting his name and address if necessary. I contacted LLL about this and am eagerly awaiting a response. I'd love to see another breastfeeding mother Google his name and see how ignorant he is and find someone else for her treatment. If there is interest, I will be happy to post his name and address.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
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Joined: 18 Jun 2020
Posts: 596

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2020 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so sorry for what you are going through.

I would keep looking for a doctor who will work with you. I am not going to recommend what I did. But I did run into a lot of doctors who would tell me I couldn't breastfeed with the meds they were prescribing and I just ignored them and did not tell them I was nursing. It's too bad more doctors don't actually go through the process of finding out what meds were okay. I would do all my research online to find what meds were safe and then use my own judgment.

I wish you luck. I hope you find a doctor who listens. And good luck with your back.
A Lactivist:

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Joined: 23 Dec 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2020 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe this is a help for you. It's a website with a lot of medicines on it an whether you can or can't take it while breastfeeding.

The website is in Dutch, but this list is in English, so might be a help.

cheers Esther xxx
Jamie 23/06/2020
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