Do you have a back-up plan if your PM specialist is not available to renew your Rx's

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Stella Marie
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 2/21/2009 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   

I have experienced a situation when my PM specialist was suddenly unavailable and I was forced to seek treatment from someone else in less than 8 days.  It was very unsettling to say the least.  Historically, I made an appointment or consultation each month about 10 days before my oral pain medications need to be renewed.  Depending on the month and my condition, either we pick up the Rx or it was mailed to my home.  I learned the hard way that not every PM specialist is willing to prescribe continue another PM specialists treatment plan.  It is also very hard to get last minute appointments.

I would suggest that patients on narcotics that require monthly renewals ask their PM specialist who they should contact in the event of an emergency and they were not available.  If they have a partner who has access to your chart – great.  If not, find out who you should contact.  I would ask for a copy of PM doctor’s notes highlighting your current treatment plan.  I found it is very difficult to get copies of your chart on a last minute notice.  Not all Internists can or will temporarily patch you over.

Please, I am not trying to scare anyone.  I just think that we need to be prepared in the event a wrinkle occurs in our normal pain treatment.  Knowing what to do, who to contact, and having the proper documentation could prevent a last minute panic.

Just food for thought.

Stella Marie

Rare neurodegenerative disease called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Wheelchair, O2, & Bipap, intrathecal pump, Neurostimulator, dystonia, neuropathic pain and spasticity.

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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 2/22/2009 1:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you. This is a thoughtful question and it gave me room for thought as well. i will ask my doctor that question next time I see her.

Good thinking!!

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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/22/2009 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Doctors do have a responsibility to provide some sort of "on call" coverage in the event of their absence. Now that may simply be referring you to the local E.R. You're right that another pain specialist isn't going to take you on unless your doctor has made arrangements with that doctor to cover his/her patients in an absence or emergency. Probably never hurts to discuss this overtly, but I think most of us have experienced a variety of wrinkles, even ones we thought we had taken care of.

For me, I've had stumbles around holidays and planning for mailing time for my scripts (that's how my pm scripts get to me) and now the crazy hours of the pharmacy I'm forced to use. My hunch is most docs who don't have a practice they share with others will either tell you to go to an E.R., or your P.C.P. Your PCP should know the meds you're on, and if there's an unexpected absence of your PM your PCP may - may - be willing to prescribe enough meds to get you over the hump, especially if they know why your PM's unavailable. You may want to ask your PCP if he/she willing to do this.


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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 2/22/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
No 1 , you should always keep up with how many pills you have . also when your dr. is not around there is always a dr. covering for him . When you make an appt , for ex at my pain clinic I always ask is he going to be there that day . If they say yes or no. dont worry the other dr. covering for him can give you a refill. There shouldnt have to be a Back up plan if you take your meds as schduled :-)

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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 2/22/2009 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Luckily I have several Dr.'s and Pa's that are in the same office, so I would Never have a problem...Unless the whole entire building were to blow up or if there were a horrific hostage situation...LOL.  But seriously, I know a few people that were left hanging recently because their Dr. was arrested!!!  That was that, and they were stuck!!!
I don't know what happened to them, but I am glad it wasn't me.  I have a legit Dr.

We are all in the same boat...unfortunatley it seems like it's sinking...
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome
Hemi Lamenectomy
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120 mg. Methadone daily
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Lyrica as needed 


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