I have a twin sister that has been manipulating doctors and abusing prescription pain meds for years. Since day one, I knew she was faking a back injury, (her back hurt whenever she didn't want to do something, but if she wanted to do something, all of the sudden she was "having a good day"). I can't even begin to tell you the number of pain management doctors, psychiatrists, orthopedic and neurosurgeons she had been through that have either come right out and said that there is nothing wrong with her, or they will give her the benefit of the doubt initially and then after some time goes by, they realize they are getting bullied by her and her boyfriend (who is also working the system), and they dismiss her as their patient.
The local ER's know her and will not give her what she is seeking, but she just goes from doctor to doctor, traveling as far as 2 1/2 hours one way until she finds one that will give her what she wants. She gets full medical and prescription coverage through Workman's Comp. (no copays), and she gets a home health aide 3 hours a day, 5 days a week that does her grocery shopping, laundry, cleans her house, etc. I cut off all ties with her because she and her boyfriend were stealing my pain meds, and even though I have not initiated any contact with her in years, every once in a while, she or her boyfriend will call me asking me to give her some of my pain meds because she has run short because she is "in between doctors" again. Of course, I don't even take the calls, the whole situation makes me sooooo angry!! and it hurts my feelings too because she has no regard for how difficult people like her and her boyfriend make it for those of us that truly need these meds.
She has a 21 year old daughter who I have remained close to despite my estrangement from my sister, but she is following right in her Mom's footsteps and I try to tell myself that it's not completely her fault because it is the example that has been set for her her whole life, but it is affecting my relationship with her. I have to hide my meds when she comes over because I have had times where I believe some of my pills have gone missing after she's been here. I realize now that it is just good practice to hide them anyway, but it angers me that I have to do that with people that I am close to.
I, too, have felt like my pain has been "over the top" for the last week or so, and I keep trying to find something to blame it on - the weather, overdoing it, etc., because I don't want to believe that it is going to stay like this. I have a spinal cord stimulator and an intrathecal pump and my SCS battery is almost dead - I am having surgery on the 31st - but even with a brand new battery, it only gives me about a 10 - 20% reduction in pain, and to get that I have to run the SCS on the highest settings. The battery is supposed to last 5 - 7 years and I go through a battery in as little as 2 months. I know some would say (and have said) why bother, but that 10 - 20% a lot of times is the difference between my barely being able to cope at home and going to the ER.
I could go on and on, as this issue definitely hits a nerve, which you seem to be very good at Father john (in a good way, HaHa), but I will stop, at least for now.