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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 9/10/2006 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
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?
Leigh Ann cool

"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 9/10/2006 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   
This sounds really simular to my story. Only, my docs. agree Ihave pain, and not seeking meds for the High or to sell them, but they say I'm using the pain meds. as an escape, quick fix, too much, to often, etc. I hadan ER doctor call my PCP, telling him I was a drug seeker. There was total miss-communication and I spent about 3 hours talking to him. ( i had a summer filled with illness and surgeries, requiring more meds than usual but they just saw the dates of paper)we finally reached a place where we understood each other, and we both have comprimised somewhat. i agreed to go to counciling and limit my intake of naroctics to a minimum(i too have a migraine at least once a week), and he agreed to continue treating me, and even giving me Stadol NS once a month.
I'm so sorry for what you are going through. But I hope being able to not have so much pain meds. helps your h/a. Its helped me a lot, but I still have to use the stadol about once every 2 weeks.
good luck to you, and I'm sorry you have been abused by the systom, not abusing the systom.(spelling is bad sorry)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 9/11/2006 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cranky,

I think it is utterly diabolical what they have put you through without taking into account the amount of pain you have suffered!!! Grrr makes me cross just to read about it!! But it seems that it is a sad fact that the genuine people like yourself are being labelled because of the people who abuse the system!!!

Out Moderator tysmyboo found some forms for Doctors to fill in for you to take to the ER in an attempt to stop this happening - I will bump up the post she made about them for you. I have printed them off myself and I know there have been one or two that have found them successful in aiding them to receive the right treatment! Just click on the link on tysmyboo's post and print the forms off. I wish you all the best with that.

In the mean time, can you get yourself referred to a Neurologist who is a Headache Specialist? - you could get him/her to fill in a form too! Please let us know how you get on.

take care


New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/11/2006 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   
o my god i cant believe how badly you have been treated by the so called caring profession, i thpught it was bad here in the u,k but you are really unlucky, mg g.p has limited understanding of migraine i think and hasnt really been much help, maybe my next visit will be more sucsesful on wednesday since i went to a migraine conference last week and got some very helpful information.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 9/11/2006 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
  So sorry to hear how you have been treated.  I had brain surgery at UVA, who are the doctors you were seeing?  I saw Dr. Quigg, Dr. Fountain, Dr. Shaffrey, and several more just can't think of all of their names right now.  I don't see them any more due to my insurance  won't allow me to because it is out of my network, so I had to find another neurologist here in my area.  I am doing fine the brain surgery was a sucess, and the scar tissue was removed.  I am having about 2-3 migraines a week, but have just come to deal with it, I take a prevenative med. topamax which doesn't do alot, and I take execdrin that's about it. I don't know if there is anything out there that really works.  I haven't found the right med for me yet but will continue to search. 
  I hope you find relief from your migraines and you get things worked out with those doctors, beter yet I hope you find a Christian doctor that will really care about your well being.  Best of luck to you.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/12/2006 6:49 AM (GMT -6)   

I have had headaches diagnosed as migraine for 20+ years. Recently tried Topamac but it did not work very well so gave it up.

However I have been recommended and am using two drugs to stop the pain just as it starts. The first is a drug in a class called triptans. The one I use is called Rizatriptan 10 mg. Combined with one tablet of Xenobid which is basically naproxen sodium I get rid of the migraine inside 30 minutes. It really works so please give it a try. Best of all the drug is not very expensive in India where I live and where there is no meidcal reimbursement for home administered remedies.

Give it a try and let me know how you feel. Per the internet triptans are completely safe even for use more than onece a week.

Best of luck.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/14/2006 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
i have tried triptans but the tablet forms just irritate my tummy and the wafers make me feel sick and funny, my doc has just given me the imigran nasal spray to see if that helps, i am going to see a nuro in 6wks and my doc wants to try me on topomax, any info would be great coz i have read so many bad things about it confused

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/16/2006 8:25 AM (GMT -6)   
This reply is in particular response to headsore1 regarding your concerns with topamax.

I was experiencing about one migraine each week for a few months (they had been once every two weeks before that) and finally saw a neurologist. I had only seen general practitioners in the past. I had tried EVERY triptan on the face of the planet with NO success. I had also tried several beta-blockers as a preventative option and experienced no relief...my heart rate actually decreased to 48 beats per minute!!! I was told about topamax for the first time over two years ago, but I was scared and decided NOT to try it. However, after meeting with my neurologist and realizing that my migraines were becoming more frequent I decided to give it a try.

I can tell you that it has been a life saver. Since I have been on it (over two months), I have NOT had a single migraine! Prior to the medication I had not gone more than two weeks without a migraine in at least 3 years. I started out on 25mg twice a day and have not had to increase my dose. Based on what I have read, I realize that this is not normal, but you never know until you try.

I did experience some side effects for about two weeks - drowsiness, dizziness, loss of appetite. However, all of these side effects have diminished. My husband has said countless times that I'm a different person now. I used to be soooooo worried about getting a migraine that my life was controlled by it - I wouldn't eat certain foods, I would be worried whenever we would go out, my work suffered, my husband suffered. Even after deciding to take the medication I was scared - it seemed like everything I read was BAD - people talked about such horrible side effects. I know that they do occur, but they don't occur for everyone. I am so upset that I didn't give Topamax a try two years ago when it was first offered to me. The only side effects that have lasted for me are that I can't stand carbonated drinks (not a bad side effect if you ask me - I've stopped drinking soda and lost a little weight!) and I do experience a very slight tingling in my fingers and toes every once in a while (it never lasts more than a minute). My appetite came back and I wake up now with more energy than I can ever remember having. My neurologist told me that it came down to me deciding how my quality of life was being affected by my migraines and I would have to weigh if topamax improved my quality of life. I will not deny that the first two weeks were a little rough, but after that, my life has improved more than I dreamed possible. I hope Topamax can do for you what it has done for me.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 9/17/2006 7:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I have to agree with the last poster, I'm on 200 mgs of Topamax...But It took me awhile to get to that dosage..I would wait 4-6 weeks before I would increase my dosage...I waited until my body got fully unjusted to what I was on before I upped it...And it wasn't bad at all..Before I upped it to fast and had to many bad side effects and I gave up on to fast...Then I decided to try again but try it slowly..It does work better and I recomend it that way...It took me about 7 -9 months to get on 200 mgs a day. ( I take all mine in am, cause I can not take at PM. It causes me to have very vivid dreams-nightmares. Where I;m screaming and crying in my sleep). I guess this a rare side effect...That can happen...I have noticed this happens with me on elavil also...and nortrypaline. But overall, I think if you slowly adjust the med...Peeps might not that many side effects and get the benefits of pain control. Hugs, Cindy

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 9/19/2006 6:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Its funy you posted this.  I had one of the most severe migraines EVER this past Sunday and did not go to the ER because I had already been there twice in the past year for a "Crohns" attack which required pain meds.   I take Lortab daily for pain and that is monitored by my PCP. I always feel like I am being treated like an addict.  I just wanted someone to come to my house Sunday and give me a shot! 
I do need to fill out the migraine card and be ready for an ER visit. I think that would have made the decision easier. If my doc had helped me with that in advance, I wouldn't have felt so funny about it.
Complete Hysterectomy 1991 due to Endo
Migraines - bad ones!! Ow.
Save a life - adopt a shelter dog!!

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 9/26/2006 12:35 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi LeighAnn,

I'm so sorry to hear that you're still struggling with hospitals and doctors. Since I last posted I have been put on morphine which I take daily now. I don't go near a hospital for fear of being labelled , but my doctor is kind enough to keep me well supplied. Can you get your neurologist to put you on a regular daily dose of a narcotic?

If it would help, I can try and find the study my neurologist gave me supporting narcotics as treatment for chronic migraine sufferers. My neurologist says that's the next step once all of the other medications don't work. I still have my challenges but I don't have to depend on the hospital for the medication when I need it.

I really feel for you.


I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside. 
                 --Wayne Dyer

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/10/2008 8:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Please I've just change to 25mg twice daily of Topiramate and am feeling groggy in the day time, and waking several times at night. My migraines have gone thank God. Please how long do you think it will be before the grogginess goes?? thank you. Please is this drug still working for you??

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 8/10/2008 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't been told I was a drug seeker but I was labled with Somatization disorder when I 1st got sick in March. So now any time I see a dr locally I get treated like I suffer from anxiety and that is why I am feeling the way I am EVEN though a Neurologist at UCLA said I suffer from Complex Migraines. Either is just as bad a druggie or a nut job and it isn't fair either way.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/18/2009 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
The unfortunate thing about this is that you will not be able to get narcotics in your area.
Depending on your financial situation, you may have to move somewhere else.
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