I just wanted to check in and let you know of a big problem that may be happening to a lot of people. My PCP had a meeting with all the doctors in the Practice I go to, to discuss my medication. The decision was made that I was going to be cut off all narcotic medicines effective immediately. My PCP discussed referring me to a Pain Clinic at the University of Virginia. In actuality, I was referred to a Detox Clinic in my home town. It has been almost two months, and I still don't have an appointment. Heck, it took a month for the clinic to request my records from the different doctors I see.
Let me give you some background first. I've been having chronic Migraines (2/3) per week for several years now. I have had migraines for about thirty years, but never with this frequency until about three years ago. Over the years, I have tried or been on every medication associated with treating migraines. I never could find an adequate preventative, so I found the only abortive that would work, Stadol Nasal Spray. I also had to take LORCET PLUS for breakthrough pain. I frequently had to get emergency pain shots, from my PCP, the ER, or an afterhours walk-in clinic.
When I have a migraine, I get really bad photophobia (sensitivity to light) so I wear sunglasses, and get really bad nausea. I am very sensitive to changes in weather, hormones, and TMJ, any of which can be a trigger, and none of which I can control.
Apparently, because I didn't moan and groan satisfactorly, my PCP and the other doctors I had to see when I was a walk-in, questioned my actual pain status. They even made a big deal of me wearing sunglasses and keeping the light off while waiting for the doctor. I was doing it to limit my pain, and they interpreted it as me "putting on a show". I was going through my meds, usually quicker than prescribed, to avoid having to go get a pain shot. The consensus was that I was "drug-seeking", not actually encountering all the migraines I sought treatment for.
I learned this, as I requested a copy of my whole medical file, so I would know what the Detox clinic doctor would be evalutating. I was only given a copy of what the doctors dictated. They refused to give me over half of my file, the written information, letters sent to other doctors, etc.... Anyway, I pitched a fit with the records person and with the head of the practice and got nowhere. They absolutely refused to give me a copy of the rest of my file. I have read through the transcripts, and they are so full of mistakes, conversations that never took place, observations about my appearance, and mistakes on medication dosages. They even commented about me wearing sunglasses and sitting in the exam room with the lights off. I even found out that they contacted the ER and the local walk-in clinics, advising them not to treat me. Of course, they refused to give me copies of the letters they sent out. They also contacted my dentist regarding pain meds, since he has been doing extensive dental work on me, over $4000 at this point. His records show that he was also giving me a couple of days of LORCET after each procedure, which I had to ask for, since it would cause a serious TMJ flare-up. My PCP saw this as "double-dipping" on pain meds. He is a crappy dentist - he has filled one cavity four times because the filling won't stay in place. I'm seeing a new one next week, so hopefully I can start fresh with him. Anyway, his records show when he gave me a prescription, and even copies of when he refused a refill request.
I know this post has been way too long, but I just wanted to let you know how important it is to keep a timely copy of your medical records. You never know what is actually being said about you until you read it for yourself, or how your medical treatment is being influenced by what's in your file. I hope you don't get stuck in the painful quicksand like me.
Ready to amputate my head,
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
- Jimmy Buffett