Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review: Interventional Pain Clinic in Vancouver WA [Avoid]

Being a blogger is about long hours and little pay. People blog because they love what they do. But there is one benefit: we can call out companies that wrong their customers with no consequences. Once in a while, we get to be the consequence. Bad companies can manipulate search results and skew user ratings to be in their favor, but there's not much they can do to a pissed off blogger's First Amendment rights.

And so I just wanted to get the word out about the Interventional Pain Clinic in Vancouver, Washington. Definitely avoid this stinker of a clinic. Moving and changing medical coverages isn't easy, but most doctors' offices are there to help with the experience. Not these guys in my opinion.

But I guess since it's not in vogue to be in pain or need pain management, there's more people in chronic pain than there are doctors and clinics to treat them. Which means that clinics like this can be rude, snarky and generally unhelpful because they know your options are limited. Besides, you are in pain, which practically makes you a drug addict.

And that's exactly what this clinic did to me. They sat on the referral from my regular doctor for five months and were rude and arrogant to me because there's no consequences to them for doing that. Their version of empathy towards my situation was a suggestion that I should take the matter up with the referrals department. There's no incentive to treat me well, as other doctors would. And what can the average patient do except ding them on Yelp?

In the many months I waited for them to help me, I started lifting weights and doing cardio every day, and doing what I could to take my health into my own hands. I eat right and take care of myself. Health and fitness is my main focus, and that alone has worked wonders I didn't think were possible. A year ago I could hardly move, and I looked like a concentration camp victim, but now I work out every single day and I'm buffed up. My body looks better pushing 50 than it did pushing 30. My younger brother is a body builder, and I'm close to being worthy of wearing his "Beefcake" t-shirt.

And building muscle mass in my injured neck helped the pain better than I thought it would. I'm also getting better at tuning the pain out out. What choice did I have? It's been a difficult journey and it would have been nice to work closely with a doctor during my recovery, but I would rather be in constant pain than deal with such an awful, dehumanizing clinic. The pain I can deal with, this place I can't. It's like dealing with a ruder and more arrogant cable company. No.

And usually when a place has treated me so poorly that I write a blog post about them, it's something that stays up, though I do provide updates when they occur. But most of the time if I'm writing a post like this, it's for someone that doesn't care about their reputation and I never hear from them. Companies this bad don't usually spend much time pondering their reputation in the first place.

EDIT 1/13/16 5:45 PM: After speaking with Theresa on two separate occasions, where both times I used the exact phrase "please cancel my appointment." I just got a voicemail from their automated system reminding me of my appointment. I suspect the first time that she intentionally didn't cancel it just by how snarky she was being, so what am I supposed to think the second time? A couple calls with her made me want nothing to do with this clinic, so maybe someone else in the office can help me cancel my appointment.


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