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Old 07-13-2009, 04:51 PM   #1
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Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

In January I had a microdiscectomy. I've been back for visits where I talk to the surgeon's physician's assistant (I've never seen the doc since--I guess that's for another thread). I can tell they don't know much about pain management and I know she'll be very displeased if she knew I drove to see her and I'm taking MS Contin (which is a relatively low dose and I'm not impaired).

I've been seeing a PM doc and started taking MS Contin a couple months ago. The surgery was successful but I have other issues that have gotten worse since the surgery like SI joint and who knows what else. I've spoken with the PM doc about driving and he gave me the OK as long as I know I'm not impaired and I know the risks if I should happen to cause an accident.

I'm really anxious because I don't want to even bring up the fact that I'm taking pain meds everyday. I know the nurse will ask me if I've had any medication changes. Am I obligated to tell them? I wouldn't lie. I would either tell them the Neurontin was increased and hope it gets left at that or say that's all I wish to say. Is it none of their business or should there be full disclosure? This would be my last app't with them just for them to know there were no complications with the surgery. They only prescribed Percoset for post-surgery.

As far as my PM doc and my psychiatrist I think there should absolutely be full disclosure about everything because they're the ones dealing with the meds.

If I need to see the surgeon again in the (hopefully distant) future I'd tell them at that point I'm in so much pain I need to take MS Contin.

 
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

Hello,

What is your reasoning for not wanting to tell your surgeon about your meds? Sorry, maybe I am missing something.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

Why don't you tell them what you told us that "I am taking MS Contin for a completely different reason that what I had surgery for but the surgery was successful" and leave it at that. You don't have to justify or be made to feel guilty for driving while taking pain meds. I drive every day an I am on the fentanyl patch, Lyrica, Vicodin, for pain. I have not been in an accident since I started taking them but I was in an accident when i was in severe pain and taking Ultram because the doctor would not give me anything stronger but I won't say anything else. If they start to make you feel judged then you have every right to just get up and leave.

brian

 
Old 07-13-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmtest View Post
Hello,

What is your reasoning for not wanting to tell your surgeon about your meds? Sorry, maybe I am missing something.
It's not actually the surgeon it's the physician's assistant. She doesn't like the idea of anyone taking pain meds long term and doesn't think anyone should drive if they're taking them. Plus, they had a colleague who is an orthopedic surgeon who ran into somebody while they were taking Percoset and so that just reinforces it.

The dose I'm taking isn't impairing like what I was taking after the surgery which is what her point of reference is. I don't even want to talk about it and the whole thing makes me anxious. I can just imagine her talking about how I shouldn't be driving if I'm taking any, how bad it is to take them long term etc etc. Maybe I'm worrying about nothing.

 
Old 07-13-2009, 07:06 PM   #5
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

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Originally Posted by brianpain33 View Post
Why don't you tell them what you told us that "I am taking MS Contin for a completely different reason that what I had surgery for but the surgery was successful" and leave it at that. You don't have to justify or be made to feel guilty for driving while taking pain meds. I drive every day an I am on the fentanyl patch, Lyrica, Vicodin, for pain. I have not been in an accident since I started taking them but I was in an accident when i was in severe pain and taking Ultram because the doctor would not give me anything stronger but I won't say anything else. If they start to make you feel judged then you have every right to just get up and leave.

brian
I wrote my previous reply before I saw yours. I don't want to burn any bridges but you're right, I shouldn't have to justify myself.

I just wonder if it could be avoided by not telling them I'm even taking it.

 
Old 07-13-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

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Originally Posted by lemonflavor View Post
I wrote my previous reply before I saw yours. I don't want to burn any bridges but you're right, I shouldn't have to justify myself.

I just wonder if it could be avoided by not telling them I'm even taking it.
Yeah you don't have to tell them I guess. If it is that big of a deal then don't even tell them especially since this is your last appointment and your done hopefully for a long time.

brian

 
Old 07-14-2009, 10:39 AM   #7
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

I would be careful not to lie. You don't want anyone to think that you are being dishonest. Plus, if you ever need follow up surgery, you will obviously have to tell him then. But, I understand your predicament.

About a year ago I was returning to my surgeon after a cervical fusion, and my rehab doctor had prescribed me continuing Vicodin because my pain was not getting better. The surgeon and his PA were very unhappy with this and told me to see a different rehab doctor instead (no surprise-this other doctor was 100% opposed to ANY medication for pain). At the time I didn't know what he was trying to do, but he didn't agree with the other doctor so he tried to get me to go somewhere else without telling me why. I was so upset after I found this out and went to the other doctor, that I ended my relationship with that surgeon and refused to return to him ever again. You do have a choice not to see this surgeon any more if they treat you like crap because of you other medical treatment.

 
Old 07-14-2009, 10:46 AM   #8
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

I certainly wouldn't lie mainly because God wouldn't approve. If the nurse asks me if there is a change in medication I'd try to leave it at the Neurontin increase or say that's all I'd like to mention. But then they may wonder what I'm leaving out. I guess I should go with what Brian said and know I don't have to justify myself.

If I see the surgeon in the future I can always tell them then that I had to start taking MS Contin at some point.

 
Old 07-14-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

The main thing I have learned about pain medication is this: MOST surgeons do not understand pain medication. My orthopedic surgeon is the best in the area, but he tells patients all the time to stop daily pain medication. He is great at his skill.....CUTTING....but that is where it ends.

You do not have to defend your use of pain medication to this doctor. I would not lie. I would tell him you are taking your pain medications for a different issue and if they have any problems with it, to call your pain doctor directly. I have a feeling they will give you their two cents, but then leave it at that. Don't let their 30 second comment hang with you.

Best of luck to you. I know how intimidating some doctors can be.

jdsun

 
Old 07-14-2009, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

I disagree - I think you need to completely honest and use full disclosure with all your treating doctors. If you got the medication by a PM and it was prescribed for you then you should have no hesitation telling your complete medical staff about your treatment by the other doctor. When people hide things it might come back to bite you sometime in your future. If you get some lecture from the one person just brush it off but if you hide information you should seriously think about why you are doing that.

Did you get pain meds from this surgeon office and didn't tell them about the other doctor who was giving you medication too?

Last edited by PNo; 07-14-2009 at 12:31 PM.

 
Old 07-14-2009, 12:33 PM   #11
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

However, if you are going to have severe anxiety or possibly a panic attack it is not worth it. I know from experience. Just don't tell them and forget about it.

brian

 
Old 07-14-2009, 12:35 PM   #12
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

Never tell anyone anything about pain meds...it is always a need to know basis and the only person you would speak to if you ever had surgery again is absolutely the anesthesiologist so he/she can manage your being put to sleep without interfering with what you are currently using ...and after surgery you would need to tell the pain management team if it were a big hospital that had one or then you would have to reveal you pain meds so they can control your pain at an appropriate level. Believe me if you come back from a surgery and they give you what is normally given and you are far above that you will suffer dearly so it is you must be very clear at how much you use....they don't care what you use just as long as they can prevent you from climbing the walls or screaming out in pain. My husband was very upfront in telling everyone involved with his back surgery about the level of pain meds he was on but nurses and reg doctors just don't get it and so when he got back to the floor he was screaming in pain and no matter what they did it didn't touch his major surgery and finally they sent up the pain specialist and I told him what he took on a daily basis and I saw a light bulb go on. but until that surgery it was no ones business.

 
Old 07-14-2009, 12:44 PM   #13
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

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Never tell anyone anything about pain meds...it is always a need to know basis and the only person you would speak to if you ever had surgery again is absolutely the anesthesiologist so he/she can manage your being put to sleep without interfering with what you are currently using
While this is generally true in most situations, it is not appropriate to withhold this from your doctor. It just is not, whatever way you put it. If your doctors ask you if there is any change, and you don't tell them what that change is, that is essentially lying. Neckpatient is right that this may come back to bite you. As I said before, you are not forced to go to this surgeon if they continually give you a hard time about your other medical care. If you really need to see this surgeon, then you are going to have to just be able to brush off the comments about your medications.

 
Old 07-14-2009, 12:54 PM   #14
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

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Originally Posted by Toonces1 View Post
While this is generally true in most situations, it is not appropriate to withhold this from your doctor. It just is not, whatever way you put it. If your doctors ask you if there is any change, and you don't tell them what that change is, that is essentially lying. Neckpatient is right that this may come back to bite you. As I said before, you are not forced to go to this surgeon if they continually give you a hard time about your other medical care. If you really need to see this surgeon, then you are going to have to just be able to brush off the comments about your medications.
I agree totally - I feel you should not hide what medications you are on from any doctors that are involved in your care. Especially if they ask you about any changes in your meds. I know your surgeon may make comments about what you take and it bothers you...go to another surgeon. Personally, if I did not feel comfortable with how my surgeon or pa was treating me and how it made me feel, then I would find another.
Let us know what you decide to do.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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Re: Don't want to tell surgeon I'm taking morphine

I have never really had a doc go into my full medication list except for my pain doc. When the nurse is getting my stats, she will usually ask if there is a change in my meds and I tell her if so and she puts it in the computer. I have never then had a doc comment on my meds prescribed by my other docs. But I agree you should be honest and upfront because looking like you are trying to hide something can only come back and bite you in the you know what.

Melissa

 
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