My first experience with the "Institute" (actually, sounds grand but, it's not...it is located in a tiny little building across from a convenience store) was fairly positive. Dr Luis Nieves was my first physician at the organization and he was understanding, nice, listened and performed 2 steroid injections in my spine. Then, he left.
Dr Adam Arrendondo took over my 'care' and performed a lumbar discectomy on my spine. I accidently had one of pain meds on autofill from my pharmacy and one of my meds was refilled, against the 'pain contract' I signed. When Dr. A obtained information on this from the new Texas information tool that controls the prescription of controlled substances. On viewing my report, Dr A flew into a rage, stating that I had seen multiple doctors in the last 6 months and was surely a 'drug seeker', even though I had told them up front that I had been to many doctors and no one had been able to help me. I was immediately released from care without any pain medicine to get me through until I could find a new doctor and no referral was given. I had also wanted to change to a new pharmacy for quite some time and I did make the mistake of trying out a couple but, that broke my pain contract as well.
My main problem was with the Office Manager, Janie. I called and discussed all of the issues with her and she was rude, dismissive and threatening. She told me that my "MRI was not all that bad", threatened to turn me in to the police, etc. Dr Arrendondo wrote a scathing report in my chart for the world to see from here on out - I am a drug abuser and a doctor shopper and I should be sent to rehab immediately.
For the next few months, I wandered in and out of many more doctor's offices and was treated the same way by all of them (more reports on those to follow). Then, when I was about to give up all hope in finding any help, I went to Dr Andrew Konen, with Pinnacle Pain Mgt and Baylor Hospital in Dallas, TX.
Dr Konen, after reviewing my MRI and reports, walked straight in, introduced himself, then stated "Mrs. F, do you realize that you have severe spinal arthritis?" I was floored. (I am only 49 years old, by the way). Wow, I had finally found a doctor that recognized the seriousness of my problem, understood the issues of pain patients - most doctors are too worried about 'getting in trouble' to help us and we are usually dismissed as liars and drug addicts, I suppose more commonly at my age. Dr Konen also told me that the Lumbar discectomy was a procedure that 'put the cart before the horse', meaning, it didn't hurt for me to have it, but, some other things could have been done first (I hope this does not become an issue later in life for me...)
I would love to 'lawyer up' for this and another doctor at UT Southwestern in Dallas, but, I do not have that kind of money so, for now, I will do what I can to warn people about the "Institute'.