pain management patient _ appt cancelled suddenly

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/9/2011 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello everyone. I am very new to this website. I did a google search and found and read the posts here and decided to sign up in hope, for advice.

Ok. Long story shortened some.. I am a pain management patient for about a year now.
I had a terrible car accident leaving me in intense physical pain. I saught a pain management doctor affiliated with my hospital and so far he is the one I credit to for enabling m
e to be able to live with a lot less pain. I have also been to a chiroprator and a neurologist for body damages as well. I also get massages accustomed to my situation as well.

I go to my doctor every month and have finally gotten to a level of pain relief i can deal with. My next appointment is scheduled for two days from now but I received a message from the secretary atvmy doctor's that said my appointment is cancelled and reacheduled for 27 days later. They did not give me any reason or warning. I am going to be in severe physical pain and major withdraws. They called Friday evening and left me a message but when i called back nobody was there. I am sitting here having serious anxiety to say the least. Upon the physical injuries i have had numerous xrays and MRIs that verify my injuries. I have also been tested for MS and just recently went for phase two of the testing which is an entire different forum on it's own. I have always made my appointments on time, passed all my screenings for Ameritox, and have followed and taken my pain medications and other minor medications. I have weddings booked ( I am a photographer) and i can not just cancel these appointments, but physically I will not be able to due to dependence of medications.

I really need help with this. What could be happening? How can they expect me to be o.k. with this with a two day cancellation and a 27 day reschedule? What can and should I do? I called but thry are gone. An operator answers but is unaware of anything. He said he complies as an answering service for multiple doctors. He concluded by stating that I can Just call Monday at 9:00 a.m. and talk to them myself.

Lastly, from my knowledge narcotics can not be called in without seeing a doctor (unless they have refills) so come Monday, provided they are in - what do I do? They have been closed
for the first week of July ( reason unknown) and thats all I know.

PLEASE HELP. I am beyond what we call, ' stress'. Thank you so much. sad

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 7/9/2011 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome! Sorry to hear about your situation!
I am not an expert, but my past experience has been that the dr would write me a prescription to pick up so I am not without. But you must keep the re scheduled apt. I would call them Back and leave an urgent message with the answering service. If someone were to call back you need to tell them the situation and ask to have a script ready for pick up on Monday morning.

If no one calls back, call first thing monday and keep calling till they turn their phones back on and explain the same thing and that you need to come pick it up to hold you over till your new appointment.

If you have never had any dirty UAs and kept your apts, I wouldn't think there should be a problem.

This is just my thoughts, but if someone else can chime in, that would be great!

Hang in there... Your in my thoughts!
Tethered Spinal Cord~1.5x1.2 cm spinal cord cyst at L5/S1  (Lumbar Laminectemy completed 9/10/09)~Scolosis~Migrains~Leg Deformity~Foot Deformity~Knee, Hip, Back, Neck Pain~Severe Depression~Insomenia~DDD~Artheritis (Spine)~Spinal Bone Spurs~NEW: Herniated Disc T5/T6 
"I'm not going to vacuum 'till Sears makes one
you can ride on"
~Roseane Barr~

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 7/9/2011 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi RenRen
Not sure I'm following the time line. When they left you a message that your appointment had been cancelled was that Friday night?? If not I'm wondering why you didn't call them back right away. Did you check with your pharmacy to see if maybe they called in a script for you? You could try and call the answering service and see if they can page your doctor and if not all I can suggest is going to the hopsital and bring as much proof as possible with you that you are in fact a pain patient and ask if they will give you a script until Monday or Tuesday when you can reach your doctor. Hope it all works out for you. I know it's no fun being in pain. Good Luck.
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4906
   Posted 7/9/2011 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Nice to meet you renren. Hopefully you will get someone on the phone on Monday who will help you get a new prescription. I can't imagine they would knowingly just leave you high and dry for a month. You are right that it can't be called in.

I hope you will be able to relax until Monday. I understand your pain - was in a bad accident myself. Today I'm a little miffed having to wait to get a script for a stupid stool culture, which will have to wait until Monday. I've got severe abdominal pain, suspect C. diff because it's come on with the latest batch of antibiotics for sinus surgery after 2 years of sinus infections - from broken nose from accident. When you really hurt and can't get an appointment it's not fun. I was in ER a week ago with this and tachycardia, but they never did anything for this problem, no diagnosis. I can't see GI until August. PCP will see me Monday. Meantime, if I eat anything I am in agony for hours and my pain meds (just tramadol) were cut and don't work on this anyway.

So best wishes. Call Monday and keep calling until you get them on the line. Make it clear you will be out of meds. No use getting mad, but you know that. I'll bet things will be OK.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 7/9/2011 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I am Kathy, so sorry to hear of your situation.  First things first, a doctor by the oath he/she takes to do no harm is one all of them should go by.  Call your office again, all doctors have someone on call that should be able to see you before you run out of meds.  If they are a group of pm doctors, even better, someone should be able to see you before your meds run out.
As far as narcotics not being able to be called in, the only medicine I have ever had called in was Vicodin or Vicodin ES, all of the tylenols #s 2, 3,and 4 can be called in.
I am going to assume that due to your many difficulties your meds are probably stronger then thoses I gave you that could be called in.
I urge you to call your doctors emergeny number, leave a message with whomever they pay to answer the phones, you must make it sound like life or death, which it could be.  Narcotics withdrawal is no joke.  Not to even mention the horrible pain.
It really chaps my ... to here you even posting about how you always taken your meds as prescribed etc.  Why do we always have to prove ourselves.  Let any one of them walk a day in our shoes, and believe it would be a whole new thing.  But please you really have to make someone listen to you.
If it gets down to it, go to the er where your doctor works, there should be no problem looking up your meds, and when they are due.  27 day are you ....... kidding me.  That beyond crazy, you should not have to be treated like that.
Also if nothing else, someone should be able to write your scripts and have them at the doctors office for you, before you run out.   You have been going there a year, Oh I cannot tell how angry that makes me to hear of awful things happening to people who didnt ask to be in the situation that was delt them.
Ok take care and good luck, you keep fighting until you get your meds, 27 days is insane time to wait.
Sorry I am not usually so angry, but this happens to us (cp patients) to much, something needs to be done.
Ok I going to stop ranting and raving, good luck to you, let us know how you do.  Many prayers sent to you.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 7/9/2011 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
welcome to HealingWell RenRen13, i am sure you will find tons of supportive people here who are great to talk to. I have only been around a few weeks and have been welcomed by everyone so nicely.

My pain management doctor has cancelled appointments suddenly on me, but once I return the call, they have allready made sure the scripts are ready to be picked up, of course if they are due. Its something that just happens, not much we can do about it except make the needed calls.

You dont need to see the dr every month, I am sure just something came up and you shouldnt take it as an attack on yourself. If you were able to get ahold of them on Friday it likely would have been cleared up. just frustrated that it happened on a weekend. Give them a call on Monday and confirm when your scripts will be ready since they needed to cancel you. If you cancel appointments and are no shows it is a different story, try and relax and not to worry about. If the doctor has some sort of extended absence he should have a back up plan to keep the patients on their regular meds too.

Try and relax and not worry about it this weekend. If for some reason it cant be fixed on Monday, the PM can always have your PC write a script for you. They can confirm with each other the details, and as a last resort there is the ER, who can also confirm with your PM office during regular business hours the issue.

Big hugs,
DX: CRPS/RSD full body, Fibro, CP, DDD, DJD, OSA, Syringomyelia, Arachnoiditis, failed fusion. Fusions C5-6, L5-S1, hardware removal and removal of scar tissue. SCS trial successful awaiting placement.
MEDS:To many to mention, changes every week it seems.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 7/9/2011 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
First things first and that is to calm down. Getting worked up is just going to make you feel worse, so please try to relax. While it is good to come up with a plan of action the time to "panic" has not arrived yet. As far as the pain clinic being closed there are a lot of reasons for that ranging from a vacation for all the staff to a vacation for the nurses, receptionists and the doctors are off to some kind of conference. There are a lot of them this time of year, and the reason for the cancellation may be something as simple as your doctor may have gotten delayed where ever he is at and not able to return before his Monday appointments.

Call first thing Monday morning. If at all possible try speaking directly with a nurse. If that is not possible, and assuming that you reach someone who actually works at the clinic ask if the doctor has left any prescriptions for you.

If the answer is no then explain that you will be out of your medications before you have a chance to see the doctor again and tell them exactly when you will take your last dose. Hopefully the doctor will either be back in the office before you run out and can write you your scripts or they can get another doctor to write them to get you through until your appointment. At that point you would need to make the trip to the office and pick up your scripts.

If you can not get anything done through the pain clinic then your next best step would be to contact your primary care doctor and explain what is happening and ask for help. Your PCP may be willing to write you your scripts to get you through until your next pain appointment or may be able to get in touch with a doctor at the pain clinic and intercede on your behalf.

Your final step if the above fails would be a trip to the emergency department. While there be honest about what is going on, what steps you have taken to correct the problem, etc. Hopefully they will be willing to at least give you a week or two worth of medicines to give you some time to get in touch with your pain doctor.

Be sure to document every step you have taken along the way starting with calling your pain doctor's office Monday morning. Write down the time you contacted them, who you talked to, etc. Document any and all follow up communication, and keep documenting things up to either you get enough help to get you through until your next appointment of until your next appointment. This will help clear up any potential misunderstandings, especially if you have signed a pain contract.

On the issue of pain contracts, there is a built in agreement, whether it is clearly written into it or merely implied, that you will not seek pain meds or treatments without your doctor's prior knowledge and approval and in exchange the doctor will treat you and not leave you blowing in the wind. If the doctor has failed to see to your needs at all, as in the case of canceling your appointment and leaving no instructions, prescriptions, etc then that can be considered a breach of contract on the doctor's part and if then the doctor decided to make things worse by discontinuing services he is setting himself up for a malpractice suit which would be next to impossible for him to win.

In the meantime I suggest you also do what you can to stretch out your remaining pain medication. Take it only when you ABSOLUTELY have to. That way you can hopefully have a little relief for a few days longer than if you take it regularly.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 856
   Posted 7/10/2011 1:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to HW. THis is a great place for support! I'm happy you found us, but sad that you're going through so much right now.

I can't imagine them not giving you your medications for a month. Jim gave great advice. I was going to say the same thing about documenting everything...all of the times that you have called, who you have spoken with, what they said, etc...being very specific and without any emotion.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/10/2011 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
You guys are truly amazing people. I just finished reading your posts and I am in tears because of the support. I need you guys to know that without people like you, people like me, just might lose control.

I am doing everything as suggested. I am cutting down on my last but of medication by delaying placing on my last pain patch. Btw, I am on a a generic Duragesic transdermal patch. I wear and change patches every two days. The mcg is 75. After adjusting to side effects and getting my body used to the stable dose I am finally able to have a life of less pain and normality. I am also on alprazolam for my central nervous system issues. I am to take 2 daily and the mg is .5 on those. I do not always need two and I take those on a as needed basis. Lastly, I have been prescribed some other non addictive medications like blood pressure medication, birth control and an ADHD medication that is the least of my worries right now. The blood pressure medication is (generic) lisinopril. Don't worry, I did not mean I am not worried about them as needed medications, but rather because they are not a current threat to my well being and I have some left due to the allotted refills as non narcotic prescriptions.

As for the person who asked me why I did not call back Friday I apologize if I did not clarify on my behalf. I was working a missed the call but called back within 2 hours and they were out of the office. I called again until I reached an operator whom addressed his position. He stated, " I am just a receptionist for multiple doctors and I can take a message but it will not be received until Monday morning at 9 am." He did not have or maybe he just chose not to give me an urgent phone number to call. After explaining my situation he told me that I should just call Monday morning and speak with them directly being my message would not be received until then anyhow. Based on that information am doing my very best to keep calm but it is a difficult task. Should I call the operator and leave a message anyhow and be very specific or should I just call or go there on Monday. I am so uncertain of what to do with this step. I will take all the steps suggested by Jim as well, but wanted to clarify the part I just explained first.

Also, I did sign a patient doctor contract and he also has a signed and witnessed document on his wall swearing by oath to address and adhere to the rights and needs of his patients. The contract was a vague list of questions mainly asking my pharmacy, address, name and phone number. It also stated that if the doctor feels the treatment is not working that he may address a different plan of action. It also clarifies that failing a urine test would be subject to dismissal. ( I have no issues with this part.)

I am taking the medications that were and are still decided by my doctor ( and I) to alleviate my pain and allow me to function as mobile person. The injuries I sustained from the car wrecks (2 back to back) include a frozen shoulder, slipped disk/bulging disk in what I believe is L5 and L9, and a re-injured neck that locks up and or stings and burns unbearably. The pain medication alleviates this substantially. As dar has having MS I am uncertain at this time. I have been twice for phases of testing including MRI's and direct physical an mental testing. The doctor I seen was different than my pain management/family doctor because I was sent there by my doctor due to no health insurance. If you ask why I do not have health insurance it is due to losing my job shortly after the wreck well over a year ago and resulted in a loss of insurance. I then applied at several companies solely and was refuted due to what they labeled, 'pre-existing conditions.' I then, after six months, applied for HIP insurance (IN state insurance) and met all of the requirements but was told that the enrollment was full so I was not excepted. I am still trying to find insurance today, at least one that I can afford.

What is the right thing to do in combination or only some. They know I am a photographer and graphic designer that travels a lot and that my appointments are crucial for the making. I have never been late nor missed one. They have changed my appointment before, only by a few days and I have confirmed or excepted a new date that I could make but it was far far in advance and excepted by both parties. Nonetheless, going three days past was not good for me, but being I had a notice I was able to adjust my medicine for that extra time.

I will be posting and checking for replies. You guys are my glue holding me together right now and I am forever thankful. Should I call and leave a message and go or call there Monday? Note: They told me last month, as I was leaving with my new appointment date, that they would be closed the first week in July. They did not give a reason, except for, 'office needs' but I did not think to much of it being my appointment was scheduled for July 11th. The recent phone call, on Friday, clearly stated, that my July 11th appointment is cancelled and unfortunately, they can not see me until the end of the first week in August. that can be up to 27 days depending on the date that they did not clarify. No reason was given. Nothing. I was left in the dark with one business day notice and a weekend of, to put it lightly, stress.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15152
   Posted 7/10/2011 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi RenRen, wow what a mess your dr left you in. I can certainly see why you are upset and you have every right to be. It appears you have been the compliant patient every PM dr wants to treat, I do not understand this dr leaving you hung out to dry, that makes no sense at all. You can bet I would be bringing this to his attention at my next appt. and I would ask how his patients are suppose to get their medications when this is done.

First of all let me give you a little insight about answering services, they are not the best place to leave a long lenghthy messages. Also, the drs office will have to call the answering service to get all of their messages since the service took over their calls. You don't know how quick the person retrieving the messages will be to handing out the messages to who they go to. For this reason I would call first thing Monday morning and ask to speak with the nurse. If you don't have a call back before noon, then I would go personally to the clinic and ask to speak with the nurse and not leave until I got some answers and a script in hand. Your patches cannot be called in to the pharmacy so you would be making a trip to get a script anyway. I just don't get this dr and perhaps if this is how he does his patients it may be time to consider a new PM dr.

Anyway, this is my two cents for what its worth, lol. By the way, welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. Please do come back and let us know what happens. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/11/2011 12:07 AM (GMT -7)   
3:00am and I am going to try and rest. I will definetly post back to inform others of
the results for a case like mine. Maybe it will at least shed light on the situation for all of us. Thanks again. Wil be back later today. Sincerely, RenRen

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/11/2011 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
mad I am here at my appt. I was told that the doctor is changing
From a lain specialist to a regular physician. I'm predicting, like others, that they will
Tell me to go to the ER. My appt is rescheduled for almost 4 weeks from now.
I am on heavy pain meds due to car accident And possible MS. What do I do? I need help finding a PM doctor asap. 47150 zip code or 47112 or 47130 or surrounding areas. Indiana is the state. I'm in a panic and anxiety and soon major pain and withdraws.
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