Christine Hemingway, PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Dear Dr. Mark Malone and Staff,
I would like to take a moment to thoughtfully and honestly respond to your patient satisfaction survey because I believe it to be important.
Today was my forth appointment at your clinic. My first appointment was with Dr. Malone and the past three appointments were with Anthony. I would like to begin my impressions of your clinic by simply sharing my experience during my visits.
As I arrived at my first appointment and found the waiting room to be packed with peope and two thoughts went through my mind. First I felt like I was in a free clinic because there were so many people waiting to be seen. Second, I very wrongly assumed that the Doctors were running behind schedule and that it would most likely take a long time to get in to see the doctor. Both of these assumptions turned out to be very wrong. I was not only promptly called for my appointment but as my appointment began with Dr. Malone I had his undivided attention during the appointment. This same experience has held true for all of my appointments.
With that said I would like to share a few other observations. This is the first doctors office where I actually feel that the doctors honestly know what I am feeling in regard to my different pain situations as well as the emotional and every day living conditions that I have to deal with on a daily basis. I get a clear feeling of understanding and caring from the doctors as if they have been in my situation themselves instead of just trying to tell me something that they think I might want to hear. To put it another way, I feel like I am having an actual discussion with the doctors and being talked “with” instead of being talked “at.”
When I have left each appointment I felt that I had been “heard” and that the best decisions have been made between me AND my doctor regarding my situation.
The one aspect of my appointments that I find so valuable is the fact that Anthony always offers me literature to read regarding the subject that we have been talking about. My personality is such that I like to understand and research information for myself and by offering me the written literature it is extremely helpful. With not only understanding the topics which we discussed but it also helps to guide me to other information that I can follow up with on the internet.
While I am speaking about Anthony I just want to say to Anthony, thank you for letting me call you by your first name. I do understand that you have spent many years studying to respectfully be referred to as “Dr,” however, it has been my experience that too many doctors are more interested in their titles than being able to have an honest and open relationship between doctor and patient. It seems like such a small thing to even mention however when someone comes to you in chronic pain there is an even greater degree of respect for a doctor who is more interested in putting their patient at ease by offering that patient the opportunity to relax and relate on an open and personal level by simply being able to call someone by their first name. This shows the patient that their doctor has their best interest at heart.
In regards to the question on the survey “what can you do better?” Please keep the information sheet to a bare minimum with returning appointments. I bet if you were to ask your patients the worst part their appointment was, most would answer “filling out the paperwork over and over with every appointment. I realize that some of it is necessary however keeping it to a bare minimum would really help.
The main thing that I come away from your clinic knowing is that everyone there truly has an attitude of wanting to help you accomplish what you came for and that is ultimately relieving pain. Everyone always seems to have a caring and compassionate attitude and I cannot think of anyplace that having these attributes would be more important. Anyone who has been in management knows that this attitude comes from the top down. So for this I want to say thank Dr. Mark Malone. Your employees reflect your compassionate caring attitude of excellence.
MIKE FLIPPEN, PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Mike Flippen knows what it is like to live with constant, severe pain. He was working with the Texas Youth Commission in Giddings in December 2009 when he was injured trying to restrain an extremely combative youth. During the incident, Flippen was kicked repeatedly, including directly in the face. Afterwards, he didn’t seek medical help, thinking a dislocated finger was the extent of his injuries. However, two months later he passed out while driving. An MRI revealed that the kick to his face had caused slow internal bleeding behind his eye, which resulted in nerve damage in his neck, shoulder and arm.
As the immediate pain from the assault began to fade, chronic pain caused by the nerve damage remained. “The only way I can think to describe it is like having barbed wire dragged around my head, neck, across my shoulder and down my arm,” says Flippen. “The pain can be so intense sometimes that it makes me throw up.”
Doctors referred Mr. Flippen to Advanced Pain Care, an Austin-based pain management clinic that specializes in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. During his visits to Advanced Pain Care, Flippen was given two spinal injections to treat the nerve damage and medication to help with any residual pain. Flippen says, “Advanced Pain Care was the only thing that kept me out of the hospital.
LYNDA TURNER, PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Thousands of patients have been treated at Advanced Pain Care, giving people like Lynda Turner the opportunity to live without pain. “I had given up on living a life without pain,” says Turner a loyal patient of Advanced Pain Care. Turner had previously had surgery to correct her incessant pain, but the surgery was not successful. After three painful attempts to correct the problem, Turner was left with pain “100 times worse than it was prior to the surgery.” The pain was so severe she could not walk. Lynda Turner called Advanced Pain Care, where Dr. Malone diagnosed her pain and prescribed a pain patch for the severe nerve damage and scar tissue in her back. Under his care and treatment, she was able to walk and eventually return to work.
The future looks bright for those who suffer from chronic pain, especially as more attention and resources are being devoted to pain management. Breakthroughs in treatment and care are continually being made, giving renewed hope to patients.
CONNER P. , PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Dr. Malone really pays attention to the patients and he shows that he is concerned with the patients getting better. This has been a great change from the past pain clinic for me. In the waiting room I waited a short time and I was given all the consideration possible.
MARLA S., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Courteous staff, friendly, knowledgeable willing to help, not condescending, they go the entire mile to make I am as close to pain free as I can be. They take the time to explain everything to my satisfaction. Easy to make appointments.
SHEILA B., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Very personable and caring! The office runs smoothly and everyone seems to be working together as a team. Great job.
JEANNIE V., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
They pay attention to your needs and concerns. Answers all my questions whether related to my specific problem or not.
CARI D., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
I am always treated well. Larry treats me as a friend. The staff are always friendly. I never feel rushed I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t come to this office. I am thankful that they are here.
BRANDON T., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Always a pleasant atmosphere, professional conduct with staff and doctors all have a carrying and concerned nature to my issues.
CHRISTINE C., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
The first pain clinic to give me what I need and deserve.
C.Z., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Always friendly and get you back there fast. Always nice when you need to change appointments’ dates.
CINDY TIMMS, PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
“Dr. Malone was tireless in his efforts to help me. He validated my concerns and helped me emotionally. I quit feeling guilty about pain I couldn’t control,” says Cindy Timms. Ever since she can remember, her earliest childhood memories are of headaches. For years Cindy has had headaches. She had tried different medications, but they really didn’t work. As the Director of the drama department at Elgin High School, she has to be prepared to deal with kids all day long. She also has a daughter, 12, and a son, 8. The demands of her career and family don’t allow for much down time.
In 2004 she was diagnosed with colon cancer. When she was being treated for the cancer, which is now in remission, she didn’t experience the migraine headaches. The cancer medications were addressing her pain with her headaches. As soon as she was no longer taking the medication for cancer, her headaches came back with a vengeance.
She sought help from Dr. Mark Malone. “He knew just what to do. Not only is the pain minimized, but he helped me get over terrible feelings I have had for years. When you have a chronic pain, you start to feel embarrassed about the frequency and degree of pain. It is embarrassing and hard. Sometimes you think people don’t believe you or understand,” says Cindy.
After two years Cindy is feeling better. She has more mobility in her neck and shoulders. Overall, she is able to move better. Cindy says she has received injections, oral medications, a TENS machine for the pain and exercises designed to help the pain and strain on her neck and shoulders.
The theatre is her passion, both professionally and as a hobby. She believes she is a better teacher and knows she is a more involved parent. Snorkeling and swimming are also hobbies she enjoys with more frequency. In addition, she can work, relax, design and read without fear of a surprise headache. Cindy has her life back and is grateful to the staff of Advanced Pain Care.
DEBORAH, PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Staff is always very courteous and professional. Always very time efficient. I am totally satisfied with their practice.
KRISTIN M., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Pretty short wait time for appointments. Doctors are very understanding and sympathetic.
DEBORAH NEWCOMBE, PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
“I feel very supported by Dr. Malone and the staff of Advanced Pain Care. He is a very soft spoken, kind, diligent, and thorough man, who pursues the best care for my condition,” says Deborah Newcombe. She has degenerative discs in her neck. Her primary care physician initially tried physical therapy. He sent her to Dr. Malone, when that did not relieve the pain. Dr. Malone looked at the MRI and told her anyone of three different places were in poor enough condition to cause severe pain.
Initially, Dr. Malone gave her three spinal injections and several trigger point injections which helped. After a time the injections did not provide as much relief. He has been willing to try different pain relievers to at her need and comfort level. They have experimented with a patch. She is also seeing a chiropractor and going to physical therapy again. It may take a while to get the right balance of what works best for her pain management. In an effort to and additional methods of medicine to help alleviate pain, Dr. Malone does not hesitate to refer her to any doctor or therapy. This gives her hope.
According to Deborah, “I appreciate the fact that Dr. Malone has taken my condition seriously. He never seems frustrated with me. He believes I am being honest about my pain. When I am in pain I have a difficult time getting ready for work and I certainly don’t desire to do fun unnecessary activities. The thought of spending another 30 years in pain holds no anticipation. Dr. Malone has made it possible to put my heart back into what I love to do.” Deborah enjoys her job as a Volunteer Coordinator at AseraCare Hospice. She loves serving patients and their families. She has a better quality of life and can enjoy time with her family and friends.
CARRIE W., PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
Front desk is always super nice. Short wait and friendly atmosphere. Doctors and assistants have helped a lot.
ROBERT GRIESEN, PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
“I feel like Dr. Malone and his staff are part of my family. They have made me feel so much better and made such a difference in my life. Everyone is friendly and professional,” says Robert Griesen.
In 2005 Robert visited his primary care physician because of a problem he had with his shoulder. He was told to exercise more and that it should improve. However, the pain increased to a point they he couldn’t move his shoulder. He is a construction superintendent for truck drivers who pave highways. Not only was he miserable, but he couldn’t work. He was referred to a specialist who gave him cortisone shots, but they didn’t provide any relief. Robert researched the internet and looked in the phone book where he found out about Mark Malone, M.D. at Advanced Pain Care. When he called to schedule an appointment, the staff worked him into the schedule to see the doctor right away. Dr. Malone listened carefully to him describe his problem and told Robert he thought he could help him. First, he had an MRI which revealed that he had two herniated discs. Then Dr. Malone gave him oral medication and followed that with an injection. For the first time Robert felt relief from his pain. Now Robert visits Advanced Pain Care once a month. He only takes medication at night, if he needs it. Life is better. Not only is he comfortable doing his job, but he can spend quality time with his wife and two sons. Robert is also able to pursue his hobby of entering sweepstakes and fishing.
TARA BRIZENDINE, PATIENT OF ADVANCED PAIN CARE
“Dr. Malone and his staff understand. They know my story and take care of me. I will always be grateful for the care I have received at Advanced Pain Care,” says Tara Brizendine.
At 22, Tara has already had six surgeries. The first was in 2003 when she was a junior in high school. She had a hiatal hernia and nissen fundoplication. Her general surgeon had to make incisions in the same area multiple times. Nerve pain resulted from build up of scar tissue after numerous surgeries. She was in terrible pain and completely debilitated. Her condition is complicated by seizures and her severe asthma. Tara was forced to leave high school and stay at home. She was desperate for some pain relief from the intense pain. Now she works to maintain a suitable weight. Tara referred to Advanced Pain Care by her general surgeon. When she saw Dr. Malone, she was miserable. He carefully reviewed her case and told her he could provide her relief from her pain. When he gave her injections and oral medication, she finally started feeling better. It is still a battle for her, but she has a good spirit. Recently, she graduated from college overcoming many obstacles. Due to other health conditions, she spends most of her days at home. However, she is no longer in constant pain. She hopes to raise awareness for chronic pain.