My PM doctor suddenly closed - I'm without meds

Do I have any patient rights here? If so or not - please tell.
No - and why not? - 0.0%
Not really - 0.0%
Uncertain but I would guess...... - 25.0%
Yes But uncertain of .... - 0.0%
Yes and give details please! - 75.0%

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/11/2011 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all. Forgive me in advance for any typos As my hands are unstabily shaking.
I am a patient at a PM doctor due to two back to back car accidents and possible MS dealing with slipped and bulging disks (L5 and L9), reinjury of my neck involving a lesion, nerve damage and bone loss. Other things include arthritis, cysts, and a frozen shoulder.

Today I had an appt at my PM doctor at 1pm. I received a phone call that my appt was cancelled and rescheduled for 4 days short of a month later.
Nonetheless, after calling and not getting through due to a busy signal, or third party answering service I went to my scheduled appt arriving early to address issues.
The doors were closed. A sign on the door says, " We are closed July 11 and 12. I am sorry if we were not able to reach you by phone. Sorry for the inconvenience." I am beyond panicing and I am now having a central nervous system attack. I fight fear with being as calm as my mind and body will allow.
After making more calls and seeing patients walking up to the door for their appt. I gathered that suddenly my PM doctor is no longer here nor will he be and that nobody will receive any medications, especially pain medications. No notice. No warning.
Here I am. I am now starting to feel the alleviated pain turn into full force gruesome pain. Not to mention the hot flashes andfirst sign of withdraw from dependence upon the narcotics.

I have called three doctors to try and make an appt. I left messages and sent faxes. That's all I could do. I called my doctor once more. I was directly told to seek a different PM but rescheduled for august 5 for my blood pressure medication.

I am on fentanyl pain meds - 75mcg every two days.
Just typing this page is hard to focus on without stopping for some
Icyhot for mere seconds on relief. I am sure my stress is bringing on an attack but the pain is unmistakably there regardless of stress.

Please help! What happened to my doctor? Did he get fined Prague down by DEA? I do not know. What I know is I feel like a piece of garbage set outside, untied and left to rot. Can anyone tell me details, steps to take and any experiences with this? btw the urgent care would not see me and the ER will not prescribe meds without records and I can not get records until they reopen -- when and if they reopen anytime before August is less than likely. Only outside the office secretaries are now taking calls to address all of us ( pm patients). Sincerely, RenRen

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 7/11/2011 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
If there is someone in the office a secratary or admin aide, then you should be able to get your records, Doctors are by law bound not to leave you in the situation you are re your meds.
Keep calling, tell them all you need is your records, at the very least they should do that.
I have had doctors leave, but my doctor left me with a months supply of the meds he knew I would need.  Again they should do that at the very least.
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

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9245
   Posted 7/11/2011 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi renren~

What is happening to you is unforgivable! And yes you do have rights. It would be similar to my doctor refusing to prescribe more insulin which could put me in a life threatening situation. Withdrawal from fentynal patches can be life threatening in some situations.

I would get in touch with your state agency for medical professionals. In most states it's through the Health Department. If this is hard to locate you can more easily find it by either contacting a local hospital, library or you might get a fast answer from your congressmen. I've used that route and people popped out of the woodwork with help for me. It always helps when elections are in sight

Whatever you do don't let whoever is doing this get away with it. It's not only dangerous for you but it's actions that would strip a doctor of his license. I'm guessing that something like this might already be the problem with your PM doc but there's no excuse for his office to deal with you they way they are. They are abetting his behavior and that too is uncalled for.

Keep us posted...
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Daily Donnybrook: Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a couple of other adjunct agitations.
Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 7/12/2011 12:59 AM (GMT -6)   
IMHO I think you are getting yourself worked up over very little.

I would be willing to lay money that the person you talked to on the phone today does not work for your doctor and instead works for the answering service, and what they meant was that you needed to find another doctor to help you if you feel you are having some kind of emergency that can not wait until your doctor returns to the office. They may have phrased it poorly or in your state of mind you may have misunderstood them.

The reason I am fairly certain is that the staff of that office knew, at least on Friday, that the doctor was not going to be back on Monday and therefore they contacted people to reschedule appointments. Since your appointment was Monday there was no reason to tell you that the doctor would be out on Tuesday as well, especially since you were unable to actually talk to them. Once they made the attempt to contact everyone with appointments on Monday and Tuesday the office staff stuck a note on the door for everyone they could not reach and went home and probably was told by the doctor to take Monday and Tuesday off as well. This is very common in one doctor practices.

Now please don't misunderstand me. I can understand how hard it is to run out of pain meds and not have "easy" access to more. I have been through this before, a few different times, myself so I do know what it means to be left in a lot of pain and the aggravation of not being able to get into your doctor for whatever reason. With that said, however, there is no reason at this point to assume the absolute worst case scenario.

If you can make it through one more day then try contacting your PM doctor again on Weds. Hopefully what ever it is that has delayed him from returning has been solved. If you can't hold on then go to the ER and tell them that you are in a lot of pain and that you are out of your pain meds. Tell them that you were supposed to have an appointment on Monday but that it was canceled by the doctor. Tell them that his office was closed all last week and that there is a sign on the door saying that it is closed on Monday and Tuesday of this week as well and that you really do not know when he is going to return.

Yes it sucks that you have been left without pain meds. Yes it would have been nice if some kind of arrangements had been made, but in the end you do not know why your doctor had to cancel his appointments. Assuming your doctor does return to his practice and assuming that you do find out what happened to delay him you may learn that the cause of his absence is due to a situation beyond his control such as becoming ill or having an accident or a family emergency.

As mad as I get at doctors sometimes, they are still people and they are subject to all the crazy things that happen to the rest of us.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 7/12/2011 7:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I would also try contacting the office or going there on Wednesday to address the issue of being left with no meds.

BUT - I also do know that withdrawing from fentanyl patches is in my opinion only, the absolute worst opiate withdrawal I have ever been through and the only one that I ever had to visit an ER for. If you cannot get your records, if you go to a teaching hospital ER, they will be more willing to do imaging on you which will prove that you have pain issues.

In stating that I feel fentanyl is the worst opiate withdrawal, I have never been on methadone - so I don't know about that one, but I was told it is bad also.

If you still cannot get ahold of anyone in the pain office and the ER will not treat you, call your PCP. They can either prescribe for you or help you get through the withdrawals with other meds.

Hope this helps!
DX pyoderma gangrenosum, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Bone Marrow Transplant, Chronic Pain syndrome, Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3, Major Depressive Disorder, Radiculopathy, Bilateral Hip Pain, Insomnia,Left Groin Hernia, Bulging Disk in Lumbar Spine, Tear in Lumbar Spine, Tendonitis and Bursitis in both hips, hypoxia due to sleep apnea and new problems with my lungs. Have had 2 abnormal CT scans.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 7/12/2011 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
renren I know what it's like to run out of fentyal, it's not a pretty site! The girls in the front of my pm drs office never seemed to be able to count to 30. If a dr gives you a 30 day supply of meds, why would you bring that pt back in 35-37 days? You don't even need fingers to count that. But as horrible as it is to run out of meds, please give your dr the benefit of the doubt. Like Jim said, they are still people. I hope you get this worked out quick.
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