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Old 05-24-2010, 04:56 PM   #1
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red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

I found out today that I was "red flagged" by my former neurologist for drug-seeking-behavior. Now, because of him, anyone who prescribes any opoids of any kind risk getting the DEA down thier backs.
I particularily resent this because I am a former street drug addict who's been clean for years, very rarely drink any alcohol, and have always been extremely conciensious of the risks of addiction of opoids, and have been very careful to avoid them.
The trouble is, they actually work, and give me far fewer side effects than other classes of pain meds (especially NSAIDS, which my body does not seem to like too much). So, as someone in constant pain, ranging from 3-4 up to 9, it only makes sense that I'd want relief.
I haven't done anything even remotely suspicious or illegal, and don't think that one quack doctor with a grudge should be able to influence the decisions of other doctors.
Do I have any recourse here? Is there any way to get my name cleared so I can be treated fairly?

 
Old 05-25-2010, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

I guess that first you need to find out what caused it or why he flagged you. Do you have any idea?

 
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

not yet. I put in a request for all my my records from him today, so hopefully that will shine some light on the problem. The only things I can think of are that I had an entire bottle stolen once, called in for early refills twice during particularily bad periods (which, obviously, the Dr OK'ed), and I asked him once about upping the dosage. He said he didn't think it would be a good idea, and the subject was dropped.
I only found out about this because of my GP, who I have a good relationship with (we both like guitars, old cars, motorcycles, etc), told me about it.
From what he said, the problem is coming from a Dr I recently "fired" after 2+ years without any measurable results, and had the most unprofessional staff I've ever come across.
What really gets me is that I have never once asked for an opoid of any sort, or even implied I wanted any. It was that Dr who gave the script in the first place. Plus, he himself told me last Dec that there was nothing more he could do for me excpet keep refilling the hydrocodone script (his exact words)
Anyway, it's just a very frustrating (and infuriating) situation, so I'm hoping to get some insight as to what I can do. When I get the records and look through them, I'll post again and hopefully get some advice.

 
Old 05-27-2010, 04:26 AM   #4
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

airpainter. Where is your pain located?. Did you an MRI?.

 
Old 05-27-2010, 09:30 AM   #5
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

the pain is mostly headaches, with occasional tingling sensations on the left side of my neck and back. They did an MRI of my head a few years ago, which came back normal.
I made a point to mention the numbness/tingling in my back and neck to every Dr I've seen, but so far they have all just waived it off or completely ignored it.
I couldnt fall asleep until after 6am last night, and got woken up by the headache at about 11. Not fun.

 
Old 05-27-2010, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

Sorry about your situation.

What is this red flag you are speaking of.
Is it based on a pharmacy system, some DEA system, etc.

I hear about this in lots of different posts, but I would think it's illegal to have a computer system based on the singular opinion of one Doctor.


Hope you get this worked out.

 
Old 05-27-2010, 07:27 PM   #7
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

I'm exactly sure how the red-flagging works. As far as I know, it can be triggered by a few different things. The biggest would be getting scripts for the same meds from two Drs at the same pharmacy. In which case, the pharmacy might call the doctors and inform them of the situation.
Another is that, with my healthcare group, at least, everything from any one doctor can be accessed by computer from another doctor. The idea being that it keeps you from having to memorize your entire history, and lets the Drs communicate to see if there may be a bigger problem than what you're presenting.
Unfortunately, Drs can abuse it, too, as evidenced by my situation. Before making ANY drug abuse allegations, the Dr is supposed to have a very strong case, so that if it comes back at them, they have a defense. Examples would be getting scripts for the same type of meds from more than one Dr (Dr shopping), getting the same scripts filled at multiple pharmacies, doing "pill counts" at appointments, even drug tests.
Basically, they are only supposed to "red flag" someone if there's no other oprion (like AODA counceling), and they can demonstrate that it's demonstratably for your own good.

Lucky for me (kinda) that Dr and his office aren't the smartest fish in the tank, and can't possibly have anything but anecdotes to prove thier claims, since I never got any prescriptions from anyone else, used multiple pharmacies, use the drug in any way not prescribed, etc. Basically, any claims of wrong-doing they have can easily be proven false (at least in my case).
When I saw my GP, he asked if I was smoking pot again (been clean for over 5 or 6 years now), so I'm thinking he might have tried accusing me of that. Actually, I'm really, really hoping he did, since that I could disprove beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I'm not sure if the red flag would follow me if I saw a doctor outside of my insurance group or not, or if it would follow me if I moved, etc. My doctors always seem to know what my other doctors are up to, but no one has ever mentioned anything that happened while I was out of state (trip to ER for stomach pain), so I'm thinking the info sharing is mostly "in house".
Either way, I am going to clear my name and get this a-hole in as much trouble as I possibly can.

 
Old 05-27-2010, 09:27 PM   #8
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

I think that if you changed doctors, this would be left behind you - unless it goes onto some sort of DEA online register that every doctor in the country checks before he prescribed for every patient, I cant see how it would work.

 
Old 05-28-2010, 03:54 AM   #9
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

I don't know how it is in your area, but where I live if you get red flagged, ALL of the local pharmacies, Urgent Cares, ER & doctors are notified via computer. I know this because a friend of mine has a friend who's mother was doctor shopping and got caught by one of the local pharmacies. She was flagged at that pharmacy as well as the other pharmacies in our county & the surrounding counties. The local doctors & urgent cares were also notified. This woman needed to be caught & flagged.

I really hate it when someone has done nothing wrong, yet has thier good name and reputation tarnished. It's hard enough to find a good doctor and get the medications we need when we are already paying the price for the actions of the abusers. Being falsely accused of being a seeker/abuser is such a horrible thing.

I truly hope you are able to get this cleared up and restore your good name. Doctors now a day are overly suspicious, and I can understand why, BUT to make false accusations without proper reason & proof is just wrong, and again, I consider it slander and should be addressed by the proper authorities. Slander is illegal!!

 
Old 05-28-2010, 10:07 AM   #10
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

I'm looking at going the "legal" route, and really think this would be an open and shut case of slander. False accusations which have demonstrably affected my healthcare and has literally destroyed my quality of life, all of which would be very easy to prove. I literally can't see how he could possibly get a favorable ruling. Then again, I can't see how he was able to put that "red flag" on there in the first place. You'd think they would need some sort of actual proof before doing something that drastic.
In the meantime, my GP gave me some Midrin, which isn't working out too well. It takes the pain down maybe one level for a couple hours, then makes it worse. Plus, all that APAP is killing my stomach.
Ergots weren't effective, I'm limited on how much of any triptan I can use because I'm already on 2 SSRIs for depression. When you break it down, there just isn't much left in the way of options. If there are any they haven't tried, I'd be more than happy to try them, but they aren't offering any suggestions.
I see my psychiatrist today, so I'm hoping he'll be able to point me in the right direction for getting this BS cleared up.

 
Old 05-29-2010, 04:36 AM   #11
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

You could possible have a herniated disc someplace that is causing the headaches and tingling sensation. I have 5, and I have ALL kinds of problems.

I think getting your records was the best idea. You have the right to know what was said about you and why. Vicodin for ME, caused terrible headaches when used on a regular basis. The percocet that I take for breakthrough pain now does not do that.
I used to get fierocet for my headaches but I try to stay away from those now because they seem to cause me some dizzyness....

Please do let us know how you make out. I cannot touch NSAIDS due to my stomach ulcers.............. I love an ice-pack when I do have a headache and I CAN get by with ONE baby aspirin about 2 times a week.

Sorry you are struggling and I wish you the best..
Madison

 
Old 05-30-2010, 01:12 AM   #12
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Post Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

Airpainter:

I'm sorry for what you're going through. Well, I think in addition to getting the records from your Doctor's office, you should also ask the pharmacy you have been going to for a print out of your prescription refill history. This will help to show that you should not be red flagged. Your prescription history will reflect exactly what you received in regards to medication and that you didn't receive early refills, etc. I would also talk to the pharmacy you go to about how you bring all this information to light to get the mark off your record - because as long as it's following you, I'm afraid it will be nearly if not impossible to get any further narcotic medication prescribed to you. So, before your appt. in July your sole priority has to be working on getting that off your record and as you said the facts speak for themselves - the good news is you only used one pharmacy and that is paper trail right there and that will show your version of events to be factual and that you shouldn't be red flagged. I have to believe you have recourse in this, seeing how you have facts like your record with your pharmacy backing you up.

Also, I thought I read in another thread that you have only had an MRI of the head done? FYI... I had terrible headaches very similar to yours (I have been a longtime migraine sufferer), but my headaches got worse and more constant after a neck injury (that I initially didn't realize the amount of injury done, because it didn't seem like the injury itself could cause the pain I was experiencing). The thing was the headaches were my primary symptom and it turned out I had bulging discs C5-C7 and it was so significant that it was causing cord compression that lead to nerve involvement with lead to the headaches that I couldn't relief from. I eventually started to have nerve involvement (substantial weakness done my left arm to my hand). Again, it was interesting I would have really never known it was all coming from my neck, if it wasn't from the revelations in the MRI of my neck. So, if you haven't had an MRI of your neck done, I highly recommend it - it could give you information as to what's causing your horrible headaches. If the headaches are stemming for your neck, you will need to see a Neurosurgeon or Orthopedic surgeon.

You're in my thoughts. I hope you get answers and the issues with the red flag issue resolved soon. Keep us posted on what you find out.

~ Fiona Jo

* Duplicate of what I wrote in your other thread. Just wanted to make sure you saw it.
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:51 AM   #13
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by airpainter80 View Post
I made a point to mention the numbness/tingling in my back and neck to every Dr I've seen, but so far they have all just waived it off or completely ignored it.
I couldnt fall asleep until after 6am last night, and got woken up by the headache at about 11. Not fun.
Hello airpainter80. How are you. I would press for an MRI of the NECK(and even the BACK). My doctors also refused to do an MRI of the neck, they told me it's not important but I persisted on telling them I need an MRI. Eventually I've done the MRI. At least I know why I'm suffering like that.

Once you do an MRI of your neck and your back doctors will see there is a cause of this pain and will hopefully prescribe you whatever you need even narcotic. I suspect you might have problems in your spine. Though I'm not a doctor I've learnt in this forum a lot.

It's very possible you have bulging disks inside your neck causing you all this pain in your head. Since they don't know what's causing you pain in your head they are reluctant to prescribe narcotics eventhough narcotics don't have side effects like other drugs and they work better I know that
Oxycontin, percocet etc - those are the best for pain.

Did you try: Tyneol, Trileptal, Gabapentin/neurontin, Lyrica, Clonazapam, Cymbalta. Those are not addictive.

I hope you can clear up your good name. all the best and keep us posted.

Last edited by nochange; 05-30-2010 at 05:01 AM.

 
Old 05-30-2010, 11:04 AM   #14
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

First, I really have to say thanks for everyone for responding. I knew this board is full of helpful, caring people, but sometimes you don't completely appreciate it until you're the one who needs the help. Thankfully, my friends and especially my family have been very supportive through all of this, as well. Dealing with this stuff is a lot easier when you have a good group of people around you.
Now if only that "Dr" could pull his head out of you-know-where. lol.

My psychiatrist refered me to a diffent neurology office altogether. When I explained to him what was going on, he mentioned that he won't even refer patients to the office I was going to anymore because of all of the trouble he's had with them. He was also very upset that they would abuse there power like that, and outright said he didn't believe I was a druggie. So, I have 2 Drs that have known me for years who, at least privately, take me at my word. Considering both know about my past "recreational" drug use, it means alot to me that they would trust me. Unfortunately, there isn't much either can do to help me right now.
I'm definitely going to be sure to ask for a head, neck, and back MRI at my appointment. A bulging disc or pinched nerve never really crossed my mind until recently, since I've seen at least 4 different Chiropractors since the headaches started. I usually get a day of relief from them if I'm lucky, but you think they'd pick up on something going on in my neck or back. Maybe not, I guess.
As far as meds I've been on, I'd honestly need to look at my records to even start to remember all of them. I know I've been on gabapentin (which, btw, was found ineffective for pain treatment if a federal RICO case against Pfiser), flexeral, tizanadine, promethazine, currently taking Midrin (not that it does much, but even 1 point down the pain scale helps), and I've been on clonazepam for my anxiety for a few years now. It works great for the anxiety, but not so much for the headaches.
I never got too bad of rebound headaches from vicoden, even when I would have to take it for a few days in a row. But I got reeally nasty ones from indomethacin, and get them from Midrin. I think its just that vicoden contains less APAP, which seems to be a rebound trigger for me.

I did send in a complaint to my healthcare org, but considering its a holiday weekend, I'm guessing it'll be a few days before I hear back. Hopefully thats all it will take (hey, we can dream, can't we? lol). It sounds like I won't be the first complaint this Dr has had, though, which should work in my favor.
Anyway, I'll keep posting as to what happens. My hope is that I can resolve this successfully, and if, in the future, someone faces the same problem, there will at least be this thread to help them out.

 
Old 05-30-2010, 04:56 PM   #15
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Re: red flagged by a crock doc. what can I do?

You could try taking a couple of Advil Liquigels with your Midrin - Midrin contains a sedative, a blood vestle constrictor, and about 2/3 of a Tylenol tablet, not much pain killing potency there. Taking a couple of Advil might make all the difference.

 
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