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Posted By : DianeB - 6/23/2017 10:03 PM
Been reading posts occasionally but felt if I wrote a venting post I would just get carried away. So didn't even login until today. Not been on Internet much.

Soon after the New Year I was notified by letter that I was in the first wave of patient reductions by my pain management Doctor.. Because he is retiring (in his early 50's).

In this location, a state of emergency was declared around that time due to opiod usage/OD.. The blame (in media) has been largely placed on legitimate patients, until very recently.. (Extremely unbalanced reporting.. IMHO, perhaps influenced by a higher level politician whose relative had OD, after being on prescription for pain, since the politician appeared in the news often, talking about it). Local news, without listing any sources to back up the reports, was filled with stories about anonymous Legitimate patients Either going out & buying street drugs (because of abuse) or selling their own prescriptions. Finally, this week, media mentioned synthetics, available on the Internet, as the main source /cause.

Consequently many doctors are not accepting new patients, me included. Never had a problem with my previous Doctor - clean drug screens, etc. for long time -7 or 8 years, maybe longer. Letter did not offer any advice about dealing w/loss of pain meds; just got the letter, when it was almost time for my regular appointment. No refills, nothing.

When I got my letter, I immediately started cutting back on meds in order to taper instead of going cold turkey. Weeks of withdrawals do not make for clear thinking.

Meantime, I tried to find another doctor. And am still trying. Can only call one at a time- inquire if they are accepting new patients? Do they take workman's compensation? Then have medical records sent & wait for answer. (Multiple inquires are considered 'doctor shopping'.) Sometimes, their replies take a day. Sometimes, weeks.

Have a few friends who are having similar problems- though none have yet lost their doctors, one has been told that they are unable to continue to get their insurance to cover meds they had been taking. (One acquaintance works IN a pain management clinic. Another one is social friends w/a doctor. Is how I know for sure I am not alone in my predicament.)

Been totally out of pain meds for over 3 months. No, make that 4.
Cranky & miserable would be charitable descriptions of me since that letter came..

Am Keeping as active as possible, & this warmer weather is helping with that. (until barometric pressure changes)

Hope folks around me are patient.

Posted By : theHTreturns... - 6/24/2017 12:02 AM
healing thoughts i send. dr's are doin' the same here, no pain meds. my clinic is hardcore, and all people get the sign pointing treatment, even though they are legitimate pain patients. i got a friendly nurse at my clinic, she worked on the heart ward a bit when i was in, and believe me, some insider info on caring dr's and those to steer away from is invaluable. i still receive no pain medication however i have 3 more physio sessions........from someone who works wonders on bricks like me.
it is sad that an element of society is causal for dr's to refuse adequate care, and be cruel at doin' so. am glad ya posted and let us know ya doin' it tough. venting is needed at times....your a soul that is a helper....hopefully the forum from peeps in your neck of the woods can be of help.

Posted By : straydog - 6/24/2017 7:06 AM
Diane, I am so sorry that you are where you are at. What you have experienced has been going on across the country for several years. And you are right it is politically motivated in my opinion for the reasons you have stated. I have to wonder with your dr retiring at such a young age if he isn't tired of all the red tape & BS. Have seen this in Texas.

You mentioned worker's compensation being involved. I don't know if you have any other type of insurance or not, but is it possible to not use it if you can find another dr? I know here drs have veered off the beaten path of accepting worker's comp because of the red tape of dealing with the insurance. My PM dr has signs up we don't take worker's comp insurance or cash pay patients.

I hope you can find someone soon. Come here & vent all you want. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : DianeB - 6/24/2017 10:37 AM
Thank you both for your thoughts & suggestions/replies.

My doctor was 3rd or 4th that I saw. First ones did not know what to do with me, as I did not have just one source of pain. Except for very short periods of time, no 'serious' pain meds were prescribed back then & those had been the only times I found significant relief
I.e. Was able to participate in somewhat 'normal' life.

Especially because of being part of this forum, I Did know how blessed I was: both to have finally found a doctor who understood my multiple health issues, who worked w/me, trying many meds, etc. until we hit upon a combination of therapies & medications that helped me. And to have one who offered me opiodes, when he saw other meds just were not doing much for me. I resisted them for first several years, until, as I have written here before, I realized I was not feeling joy when I looked at my grandchildren..and I HAD, before my injury.

Opioids Made a world of difference. As I have been reminded, every single moment of these last several months!

It IS Cruel to make a segment of people live in constant pain, when there is help available. IMHO, like the recent ' witch hunt', until people in power themselves HURT, continuously, for years, nothing will change.

Which brings me back to wondering who is profiting, as big money is the main reason for most laws.. Pharmaceuticals, whose products are still being demonized? (No surprise that pharmaceutical companies are even now announcing new 'opioid alternatives' w/$$$$$ costs).
or local MM businesses?

I too think my doctor had just had enough of the crap. Don't blame him. At all.

To answer your question Susie, No, cannot use any other form of insurance, at least here. My Injuries have Been documented as WC, from day 1, Hhhmm think it is now 13 + years ago. WC has been formally, meaning legally, required to cover me, medically, though occasionally my lawyer has to take them back before WC commissioner to make them do so.

MM is now legal here, though there are no growing facilities or dispensaries yet open. Due to Years of legal, dare I suggest, politically motivated? legal arguments. Sigh. Online searches show numerous local doctors are offering to sign folks up, usually for around $300, for MM. Personally, IMHO federal laws must be implemented/changed to protect MM patients, Before I would feel comfortable even trying it. A shame, as I have read that it does help some. Don't know if it would help me but I would like to be able to legally find out!

Am fortunate, compared to so many others. And I know it. Cranky 😖 But still blessed. 😬
So happy to have this safe place to come read, write..
Herniated cervical discs & other disc / spine issues, Arthritis, spurs
Injuries &/or pain to/in shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, legs, ankles
Fibro / myofascial pain, neuralgia, neuritis

Posted By : (Seashell) - 6/24/2017 3:28 PM
Diane:
I am so sorry to hear that you have become an unfortunate casualty of the misplaced "war" on narcotics - pain relieving medication being denied to individuals with legitimate pain who have been compliant with pain management requirements.

It is a travesty.

I am in Palliative Care and have been unaffected, so far,! by the morphine equivalent guidelines. But I am not complacent.

It is hard for me to believe that our elected officials have even a modicum of concern for rule-abiding individuals straddled with chronic pain who are quietly trying to make a meaningful life for themselves.

I look at this country and barely recognize it as my own.

I hope you have the opportunity to try medical marijuana. MM Is legal in Oregon and is available through dispensaries staffed by knowledgeable personnel to help sort through the different TCH strains available.

I recently purchased liquid TCH for my little Maltese, Molly. Two drops a day. She is noticeably more comfortable (she has severe intestinal inflammation) and her affect is brighter and eager. Thanks to the liquid TCH, she is no longer needing burphenorphine which the veterinarian has been prescribing. The quality of life for my little dog is much improved.

I am genuinely sorry for all that you are going through,
Karen
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Addison's disease
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)

Posted By : Mercy&Grace - 6/24/2017 3:45 PM
DianeB, I have never heard calling to try and find a doctor was Doctor Shopping. Doctor Shopping has always been defined as going to more than one doctor at a time without the knowledge of your others doctor(s)for the purpose of obtaining a prescription for a controlled substance.

Doctor Shopping-
/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3552465/

Doctor Shopping Laws-(CDC)-
/www.cdc.gov/phlp/docs/menu-shoppinglaws.pdf

Post Edited (Mercy&Grace) : 6/24/2017 3:48:47 PM (GMT-6)


Posted By : DianeB - 6/26/2017 1:10 PM
Mercy&Grace

Trying to make appointments with multiple doctors at same time is considered dr shopping here. So I had to wait to hear back from initial call to one doctor before calling another one.. Waited almost a month to hear back from one; others called back the next day.

Karen

Thank you also for your kind thoughts & words. Palliative care is exempt from the guidelines locally. Glad you are able to provide relief for your fur baby!

I am fortunate that I am only in chronic pain, along w/joint injuries, etc & still able to walk, drive, etc, even if the distance & times I can do it are diminishing.. Am concerned about the long term health effects re:the pain elevating my blood pressure.

Some Patients that have discussed MM have doctors who know they 'use' & are OK w/it. Other doctors tell their patients up front, automatic dismissal for a single drug screen failure. It is suppose to be available as early as next year, though that was what was said last year. And the year before that too. As of yet, No mention of how law enforcement plans to address those who use it 'legally', especially considering so much recent 'bad press' about legally prescribed as well as nonprescription opioid 'drug abuse'.

Have friends in 2 other states that legalized MM several years ago & am told these is still no clear, state-wide, even county-wide, consensus. I too feel 'caring' about my health, my pain has been simply been pushed aside by lawmakers.

Thanks again.
Herniated cervical discs & other disc / spine issues, Arthritis, spurs
Injuries &/or pain to/in shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, legs, ankles
Fibro / myofascial pain, neuralgia, neuritis

Posted By : pitmom - 6/27/2017 6:29 AM
So sorry to hear of this latest development. The pain management doctor I am now working with seemed so 'promising' in the beginning. I had been to a different doctor that seemed to only want to do injections for my nerve pain and ignored the rest of my pain issues. The 'new' doctor at first agreed that a t.e.n.s. unit would help, said he would help me get one paid for by Medicare but 'dropped the ball'. I finally paid for one myself and it helps a lot!

Last time I saw him for my spine, he said we'd try something different but, when I went to the facility for the procedure they told me it would be the same injections as before! I've asked about exercises or p.t., other 'natural' treatments I could be trying, bought a special seat cushion to relieve spine pressure, etc. It seems he just wants to keep with the same steroid injections and prescription for Tramadol.

I'm obviously in 'early stages' for the most part and grateful for that. This forum helps me see how 'lucky' I am and gives me suggestions on what I might be able to try for additional relief. Have you tried a t.e.n.s. unit? I use mine on my lower back and my shoulders. I've had to use much less medication since getting the unit. The seat cushion has been a help also. I've been experiencing much less tailbone pain since starting to use it.

Anything that will reduce my medication use is worth a try!

I hope you find a new doctor to work with you. Might I also suggest writing to your representatives about your situation? The more they hear from us, the more they will have to consider when they make these decisions. It may be cathartic for you to write them. I don't feel as 'helpless' because I know I've told "them" what it's like.

Posted By : DianeB - 6/27/2017 8:24 PM
Thnx Pitmom..

Yes, have 2 TENS actually.. One of the very first ways doctor tried to address pain. They do help, taking the edge off, just nowhere nearly enough to replace pain meds.

And microwave-warmed heating pad Helps muscles to relax. As does physical therapist.

Because I Spent years, literally, trying different prescriptions, reacted poorly to most: when I could tolerate one, then tried combinations. The thought of maybe Starting from scratch, trying them all over again for some new doctor is almost as scary as not GETTING a new doctor.

I knew a veteran, years ago, who could not get any help from VA until contacting representatives. Contacting them myself in the future is on my to-do list. IMHO Until the negative publicity re: the opioid /pain med changes here, contacting an elected representative (politician) will not be helpful. Because of what they say, standing in front of tv cameras en masse. IMHO So they could get the funding to do what they say will fix addiction. I do Have compassion for addicts & their families -I too want them to get help, just don't think it is necessary to sacrifice legitimate patients.
Herniated cervical discs & other disc /spine issues, Arthritis, spurs
Injuries &/or pain to/in shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, legs, ankles
Fibro / myofascial pain, neuralgia, neuritis

Posted By : (Seashell) - 6/27/2017 10:06 PM
Diane:
Your story is truly heartbreaking.

Unrelenting pain has been one of the most taxing aspects of my loss of health. No one can begin to comprehend how all-consuming constant pain becomes. Pain literally was changing the core of my being, robbing me of any ability to participate in life. All I wanted to do was roll into a ball and try to go deep within myself mentally as a way to escape the constant onslaught of pain.

Then I was provided with a narcotic "cocktail" of a duragesic patch and oral dilaudid. It took several months to optimize the dosing, and there were times when I wondered how much more I could endure. Today my pain is controlled enough that it can be filed into the background of my thinking brain for a few periods in a day. At least I have some relief.

If there comes a time when I am disallowed narcotic medication to ease my suffering, I have no doubt but that I will turn to medical marijuana. I have never smoked nor consumed alcohol. So for me to express an open opinion regarding marijuana is something.

Oregon as legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. Oregon also has legalized physician assisted suicide for those with terminal illness who want to chose the manner of their death. I appreciate Oregon's open-mindedness. I only rarely see someone smoking or vaping in public. I live in Portland, a large and progressive metropolitan city. Legalization of marijuana has not changed the social fabric of the city. The marijuana dispensaries are professional business enterprises with knowledgeable staff. There are oodles and oodles of different strains with different actions - some strains ease nausea, some strains ease pain, some strains promote muscular relaxation, some strains ease seizures. The dispensaries stock 50-75 different strains with different profiles of affect on the body. There are different options for intake/absorption - liquid drops, vaporizing, duragesic patches, smoking, edibles.

If you have the opportunity to try marijuana legally in your state, I would encourage you to do so. My little dog, a petite tea cup Maltese, is thriving with the support of one drop of liquid TCH each day. I love this little dog more than life itself. My little dog has made me a believer in the benefits of medical marijuana - enough so that I will use it myself if and when my current narcotic provisions are discontinued due to legal over-reach.

We each have but this one life that has been granted to us. There is no dress rehearsal. A life with unrelenting pain is a life that is short changed.

I will keep you in my prayers. I believe in the collective power of positive thoughts and prayer, the positive multiplier effect. I hope that tomorrow is a bit brighter for you than today.
- Karen -
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Addison's disease
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)

Post Edited ((Seashell)) : 6/27/2017 10:13:42 PM (GMT-6)


Posted By : pitmom - 6/28/2017 4:47 PM
Diane, My pain management doctor is aware that I have a history of alcoholism and have been sober for the last 21 years. He knows I am aware that being a chronic pain patient, I face the spectre of addiction every time I have to dose.

I've met countless addicts in recovery. While it is true that some of them developed the obsessive/compulsive behavior after receiving valid pain medication, the majority of them were introduced to drugs in a 'recreational' setting. Being that alcoholism and drug addiction are progressive diseases, wanting/needing more and stronger are just part of the 'package'.

I live in NJ and our Governor has made 'recovery' his mission. It's frustrating for me. Do 'they/we' need treatment? Yes. But...recovery, once the substance is removed, is a CHOICE which most do not CHOOSE. There is a town here considering only 2 incidents of Narcan use...third strike and 'you're out'. The town is spending a fortune, only to find 'repeat offenders', over and over again.

Yes, MM is legal here. Expensive, but legal. The problem? If you're a pot head from recreational use, you don't really 'need' to go to a dispensary, now do you?

On Saturday, we went to Walmart. Two young men were outside with a table full of pamphlets and other items on 'addiction recovery'. They were giving their little 'speech' and tried to include us in their audience, to which we replied "Go to meetings" in a quiet voice. One responded sharply "I DO!". I turned back and said, "Then keep going." You see, between my partner and I, we have 51 years of recovery experience.

It's hard...being 'one of them' and 'one of us'. Fear and frustration on both fronts.

I truly hope you are paired with a doctor that understands and isn't afraid to keep his oath...First, to do no harm (by denying you what works for you).
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

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