After having major migraine attacks over the past thirty-something years, since elementary school, and having tried every migraine preventative, pain reliever, or treatment that has along, I have now been labeled "drug seeker" by the "powers that be", primarily since my condition has required a pain shot about once a week this past year. Apparently, our city now has a unified database, which can be accessed by any medical provider in the area.
This year, I have been plagued with multiple migraine attacks, for which I have had to seek pain shots for at the ER, the local walk-in clinic, and my PCP's office. My PCP has also prescribed narcotic pain medication for my migraine attacks (I have 2 or 3 a week), so I can abort the attack before it requires a narcotic shot. I have chronic back and knee problems, for which I have also had to seek treatment, and I have had several bouts with TMJ, following multiple dental treatments, for which have required pain medication. Thus, I have received narcotic pain medication from more than one medical provider. All of a sudden, I have been labeled a "drug seeker", because of the amount of narcotics I have received this year.
On my last three trips to the ER, I have been refused any treatment for major migraine attacks. On Friday, my PCP informed me that I will not be receiving any more narcotic prescriptions or shots for my migraines, because I have been receiving narcotic medication from multiple sources. Thus, regardless of how much pain I encounter, either from my migraines, my dental problems, my TMJ, etc... I'm screwed because of my new "designation". All year long, I have been seeking out referrals to numerous doctors, searching for relief for my multiple pain issues, without much success. I was seeking a referral to a pain clinic at the University of Virginia. I was turned down because I already see one of their doctors here at home (about an hour away from UVA). Problem is, this doctor refuses to address my migraine problem, deferring it to my PCP. He has been treating strictly my multiple back problems, which I guess is his expertise.
Since I was turned away from the UVA pain clinic, all of a sudden I get informed that I am being referred to a "drug re-hab" center locally. Instead of being a patient with multiple pain issues, I'm now being lumped in with the crackheads and heroin junkies. I'm going to be evaluated for my "drug problem", and receive "counseling" for my "pain issues". I can't put into words how LIVID I am over this designation.
The last ER doctor I saw (who refused me treatment), called me a junkie and told me that I was just seeking pain medication, instead of forming a comprehensive plan for my medical issues. According to him, I just liked the drugs, and wasn't doing anything to resolve my pain problems. He failed to examine me at all, just assuming he knew my condition. He informed me of their access to this new database, and according to him, I just sought pain medication to get high. This Buttmunch has no idea the number of different doctors I've consulted with, over the past year, trying to resolve my medical issues. He verbally berated me for my "problem" for a good fifteen minutes, but I was in so much pain, I couldn't defend myself adequately after the first couple of minutes. My mother was there, and she couldn't get anything about my migraines through to him, and he just got up and left when he was finished his tirade. He didn't even do anything to evaluate my condition, assuming I just wanted a "fix". I could have been having an aneurysm, and he would have been never the wiser. Well, until I lost consciousness, of course. I can't wait to fill out the questionaire that comes standard after a hospital/ER visit.
I'm now actually looking forward to getting a session with this "re-hab" guy. If anyone can recognize an improper diagnosis, this doctor should be able to do it. But, darn it...I'm so pissed about the "drug seeker" label, not to mention having to deal with the feeling that I've totally been cut loose from being able to obtain any help with pain management, and the knowledge that I'm going to have to suffer through my next migraine attack without any assistance from the medical community.
Can anyone else relate?
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
- Jimmy Buffett