Your post contained so many gems I don't even know where to start. A tour but not a detour!
What touched me most is the reflection about
how much of our lives get lost - lost forever - because we couldn't get good pm in a timely manner. I look at the years of my life in my rear view mirror and want to cry, and like Ry I've not yet found a good doc. Yes, I'll keep searching, but the energy to search dwindles, especially as I have to now fight the SSD battle and financial ruin. Tossed around last night not just from pain but the anxiety about
what my future will or won't look like.
And searching for a doc sounds good, but you also know I'm sure the more we pain patients do that the more we look like "drug seekers". I want to find a new PCP but the city I live near is not a big one, and even though I'm part of the overall heatlh care community I sometimes think it works against me. Certainly doesn't work for me.
The other situation you described about
the doc is exactly what happens all over the country, and has happened in my nearby city to the point where all the other docs are afriad to prescribe. It's not just the loss or "retirement" (can you blame the guy for wanting to get out of the business? This is part of what docs fear, and why they won't prescribe and I can't blame them for not wanting to be part of the law enforcement mess.) it's the fear that gets engendered in the remainder of the medical community as they watch just one doc go to jail, or be forced to retire, or something comparable. We had two PCP's in the local city prosecuted; one was "questionable" even from my standpoint, but the other was generally known as a good guy who was trying to help his patients and one day he's shut down, loses his license, and is faced with a looming legal process. He didn't go to jail, but lost his license; the former doc did go to jail. So when we're all looking at mess we CPP's have to face it doesn't help to always be angry at docs - and I'm not saying I don't get angry, too, but when you really take all apart you can't blame some of them.
I don't know what the answer is. Sometimes I think we need a lot of money for a huge PR campaign. You know, something that would stick with people like the 'this is your brain on drugs" commercials. Changing public opinion can change a lot but it takes creativity and some $$. To help people see the NEEDLESS suffering, the lost productivity, and lost lives in a different context. And sure, no one wants drug abuse and diversion to be ok, but most of us struggle to stay within the hoops placed out for us and in the overwhelming majority of cases we're not the ones diverting the drugs. The many get punished for the few. There has to be a better way to meet the needs of CPP's and law enforcement.
By the way, I'm glad we're having an intelligent, reasoned discussion about
this topic rather than a heated debate.
Post Edited (PAlady) : 6/19/2008 11:52:40 AM (GMT-6)