New doctor. Terrified of losing or decreasing my meds

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DiLane
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 4/17/2008 1:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello All,
 
Longtime lurker. I can see this is a nice group of helpful people. I will offer advice to others, and my apologies that my first thread is a plea for advice. I am 50 years old, and I've had the same PCP for 13 years. I had to change health insurance, and I found out today that my PCP is not available under my new plan. There's no way around this. I've tried. There's no getting around it.
 
I'm meeting my new PCP next week. I took the first available appointment I could get. I have been on a pain management regime through my PCP since January of last year. Prior to that, I had never taken a narcotic in my life. I have fibro and osteoarthritis. I'm taking Lyrica for the fibro with decent results. My big problem is DDD in my neck. I've had it for 10 years, but got a flareup in the fall of '06, and it's just gotten worse. The pain goes into my upper back, arms, even my ribcage, on both sides. If I don't take my pain meds, I would be screaming in the ER. Honestly, I can't even imagine what would happen without the meds. I've had five MRIs (3 cervical, upper and lumbar). I'm not a candidate for surgery. That surprised me, but the NS said it would only create more problems. I don't get that, but I know the pain is terrible, and it NEVER takes a day off.
 
I'm talking tomorrow with my, now former PCP. She told me before that she would write a letter or speak to my new doctor on my behalf, if it ever came to it. Beyond that, I don't know what to expect with this new doctor. I worry that she'll be one of those types with a hangup about narcotics. What happens then? If I sudddenly stop, I'd probably have a seizure or what happens during withdrawal. The pain would probably kill me.
 
ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
Di

sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 4/17/2008 5:35 AM (GMT -7)   
If your new doctor doesn't want to prescribe narcotics he/she may be willing to give you a referral to a pain management doctor who would prescribe narcotics.
It sounds like you had an intellegent neurosurgeon.
Maybe your old PCP would see you once a month for your narcotic scripts until you get it sorted out with your new doc. I know that would cost you something but better than seizures and ER visits.

lassieluv
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 4/17/2008 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't think anyone with any empathy & history of your pain would take you off your pain meds without weening you off them slowly.

I agree with sjkly about your PCP referring you to a pain management clinic. They used to be quite helpful for me a few years ago, until I screwed up. It's worth giving it a try if your insurance will cover it. Hope so!!
Do not forget to entertain strangers for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.  (Hebrews 13:2)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/17/2008 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Since your old PCP offered to write or call, if this new doc refuses to prescribe, I'd follow some of the advice given (like ask if the new pcp will prescribe temporarily until you can get to a PM doc), but also ask the new PCP to call your old PCP and talk. Better yet might be to ask your old PCP for something in writing now - and get a copy and take it with you by hand. Things that are supposed to be faxed sometimes never get sent, get lost, etc. If you have a note from your old PCP in your hand with the reasons for your current meds, and the regimen you've been following, and perhaps even recommending this regimen be continued it may help. And no one will have to go searching for the information.

If your new PCP absolutely refuses, you can ask if they know of someone else that would prescribe, but you also might call your new insurance company and tell them and see if they have any recommendations for PM docs.

This shouldn't have to be so difficult for us!

Good luck!
PaLady

Muzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 4/17/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I think that alot of this goes back to the discussion about jumping thru hoops to get pain medication. Of course one becomes dependent on it, same as a diabetic is dependent on his or her insulin...gosh, if I don't have some pain relief from meds, I'd lose my mind.  It doesn't mean that I'm addicted to it, altho prob physiologically I am, my body is used to it, but also to a certain degree, prob am emotionally too because I know the pain I would be in w/o it and it terrifies me. So what, medication for pain is made for a reason, why can't docs see that? I still think that each one of them should have to  know how CP feels, even for a brief time, maybe then they would have more compassion.
I am not my pain, it does not own me.


Hound-Dog
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 4/17/2008 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
DiLane, I think that you have been given good advice here.Your Dr.'s offer to write a letter of introduction to your new PCP is a very good sign and should be enough to allow you to relax a bit.Having copies of your medical records never hurts if possible.......Underthebus,...HAPPY BIRTHDAY...the day's bound to get better. I agree with you.Societies treatment of chronic pain patients like addicts and criminals is just plain wrong.Maybe it's the kind of question that needs to be asked of your politicians looking to get themselves elected this November.Baby-boomers had better wake-up because as they get older the chances of them needing narcotics for pain increases.The laws in place that scare Dr.'s out of prescribing proper pain control is going to make for a whole lot more angry pain wracked people in the not too distant future.....God Bless 

TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 4/17/2008 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Dilane - I have to say that there is a possibility that this doctor will decide not to give you the medication. You may consider asking your old doctor if he is willing to write you the scripts until you can get into either a new doctor or a pain doctor.

If your new doctor is willing - I would call BEFORE your appointment ask to speak with your new doctors nurse. Explain to the nurse that you would like your new doctor to be informed about what your old doctor had found as a good way to manage your conditions. Let the nurse know that your old doctor is willing to write up a letter, or discuss over the phone his treatment plan as it stood last time he saw you.

Also - make sure to get a copy of your records, as well as ask your old doctor to fax or mail a copy to the new doc. Have on hand any previous testing, everything from blood testing to MRI's. That way, you can show the doctor what you've already done - and not have to do it all over again. Be prepared for your new doc to want blood tests of various things, as well as a new MRI done to show how the condition stands now.

Please remember that some offices have rules about prescribing narcotics to new patients. It sucks, yes, but is a rule that exists in some practices. This is why having a letter from your old physician, as well as a number for the new doc to contact him is going to be so important. Even with a discussion with your old doc, the new one might still refuse. This rule sucks for us chronic pain patients, but is there because there are people that have tried to abuse doctors this way.

My advice is to be honest with the new doctor. Explain to him the only reason you are switching doctors is because of the insurance, and let him know you are interested in his opinion as to other ways to help you, BUT that the previous pain management plan was working well for you.

Good luck,
Tammy
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


Muzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 4/17/2008 8:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Calling the new doc nurse is a good idea, I used to work for a doc and, trust me, the nurse has alot of input about pt care. And the letter from your old doc is a really good idea too. Is this the only doc available with your ins plan? If this one is really against you keeping your med regime, can u go to another one? That would at least give u more options.
I am not my pain, it does not own me.


DiLane
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 4/25/2008 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks to all for your helpful replies. My old and new doctor had a phone conversation this week. I met my new doctor today, and it couldn't have gone better. Really, I couldn't write a better script, so to speak. She told me that she's going to stick with my pain regime that's in place. She was warm, friendly and very understanding. She even said that if we need to tweak it, lower or raise the dose in time, then she will. I walked out of there, like I was walking on a cloud.  yeah

Di


Muzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 4/26/2008 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Di, that's great news!! yeah
I am not my pain, it does not own me.

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