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Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!


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Old 07-08-2018, 05:00 AM   #1
BigBlock21
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Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

I have some sort of muscular problem. For the last 10+ years it has been getting worse, and nobody can diagnose anything. My muscles hurt all the time like they have been overworked or something - for no reason. It never stops. Since they don't know what it is I can't point to a test and say "I have that!" (but I've been through many, many painful tests)

I take tramadol for the pain, 8x daily. This is the maximum allowed dose, it kinda works, but not completely. I am in no way addicted to it - it does not cause any euphoria and I forget to take my pills until the pain comes back. I am addicted to not being in pain. I compare it to ibuprofen for a headache.

It seems like there is ALWAYS a problem getting my prescription. I realize this is a controlled substance but I am not a child, or an addict. It really isn't that strong. I have to be seen by the doctor every few months to get refills. I can't ever get them even an hour early. If there is a weekend or holiday, I might end up with one single day I must get my pills filled.

Recently moved across the country. Obviously can't see my old doctor. (even if I was there, he's usually on vacation or overbooked) Now my prescription is out. Made an appointment with a new doctor - they refuse to even talk about prescriptions until they have my records - which they say will probably take 3 months. They did happily charge money for an appointment to do literally nothing.

Called my old doctor's office and explained the situation. I made it clear this was sort of an emergency, it was Friday and my pills were due to run out that day. I thought the new doctor could fill them. They said they'd get back to me. They didn't. So now I'm on my second day without them, and I'm in serious pain. I can't sleep. I can't do anything but sit here and be in pain. Can't even call the doctor back until tomorrow.

Is it just me that has to put up with this nonsense? Doctor's should have an emergency number. New doctor should be able to prescribe at least a few days/weeks worth until they get the records. (I brought 6 empty pill bottles to prove I fill them on time) It's not reasonable that I wait 3 months for records when they tell me I can't go that long between doctor visits! It's not reasonable for my old doctor to just get around to it whenever he gets to it. I'M IN SERIOUS PAIN!

If not this nonsense then always something else. Insurance complains about refill. Refill was an hour early. Couldn't make my last Dr appointment because I have a life. It seems like this happens every few months for one reason or another.

Is this just me?? Am I doing something wrong? Am I just seeing bad doctors? Is it unreasonable to expect an uninterrupted continuous supply of my medication on time?? I'm so tired of them using the DEA as an excuse. It's perfectly legal for them to give me my meds when I ask for them! Do others with long term issues have to deal with this ridiculousness on a regular basis? Do I have to put up with this the rest of my life??

 
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:48 AM   #2
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Re: Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

Dear BigBlock,

So sorry about your suffering. I know how that feels, having similar experience with no clear-cut diagnosis, and tests showing nothing that tests can pick up.

I have to say that being active and working out makes a huge difference in muscle pain. Muscles can be in pain from over-use and also for under-use. Flabby muscle can be the worst. I take Magnesium Citrate every day to help calm my muscle spasms, and I take Aleve to take off the edge. It isn't perfect but it helps me get by. Sometimes getting by is the best we can do.

I don't know you, so I am just using generalities. Hon, the DEA is not just an excuse for doctors. The DEA enforces its rules. Daily raids are done and pain clinics are shut down which hurts every dependent patient. Pharmacies and doctors lose their licenses to help people if they let any one person slip by without strictly keeping the rules.

Being too busy to keep an appt gives the appearance that your pain med is not really necessary to your well-being. Not saying it's true about you, but there is a standard that all of us are responsible to meet. Doctors that ignore this standard lose their license and all patients that did keep the rules lose their med access.

So, yes, it is true that if you want pain meds you do have to be responsible to follow the rules like everyone else.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:48 PM   #3
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Re: Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by YaYagirl View Post
So, yes, it is true that if you want pain meds you do have to be responsible to follow the rules like everyone else.
What are these "rules"? They seem to make them up as they go and they differ from doctor to doctor. I shouldn't have to go see the doctor every few months to say "everything is the same, nothing has changed, why am I here?" and pay them a wad of cash. (I'm pretty sure the cash is what they are really after) If there is a list of rules then give them to me, I will follow them - I bet they don't include an interruption in required long term medication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YaYagirl View Post
Hon, the DEA is not just an excuse for doctors. The DEA enforces its rules. Daily raids are done and pain clinics are shut down which hurts every dependent patient.
I understand the DEA's rules and I follow them. I would never expect a doctor to even bend them for me. Prescribing low grade pain meds to somebody who is clearly in pain is not in any way against their rules. They do not shut down doctors and clinics for this.

I've had to change doctors more than once over arguments about what schedule a drug is and how many refills I am allowed by law. They were clearly wrong, but they don't like it when you fax the letter of the law to their office. I've also had to explain to multiple doctors and pharmacies that there are in fact more than 30 days in some months. Who knew?! How can you get a college degree and not know this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by YaYagirl View Post
Sometimes getting by is the best we can do.
Except this is 2018 and I live in a first world country. Why am I suffering needlessly? We have AMAZING health care abilities here. I shouldn't have to just "get by". I didn't ask for this. I don't have any history of drug abuse or anything else. Maybe it would be different if my records showed I had abused opiates in the past, but they don't.

All I want is a consistent supply of the medications I have been legally prescribed. Is that really so much to ask?

 
Old 07-08-2018, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

BigBlock,
You aren't going to like my answers, but here goes.The days of a primary care doctor supplying ongoing prescriptions for ANY scheduled medication are gone. It doesn't matter if it's considered a less potent scheduled med or not, it's still scheduled, which means that you need to be seen in the office, by the doctor, on a regular basis. If you are going to be prescribed tramadol long term, then a pain management doctor is where you need to be seen.
Yes, it is unreasonable for you to move, think that you can just make an appt with old prescription bottles in hand and walk out with a new prescription for a scheduled medication. To boot, you didn't provide any medical records, instead expect a new dr. to write you a prescription based on your say so.
You admit to not going to appts, arguing with the drs, and you question why they aren't helping?
Not trying to be harsh, but most drs just will not deal with non compliant, argumentative patients. They don't have to.
I get it you hurt, we all do, but it's not a license to act badly.
Get your medical records, make an appt with a pain management doctor, plan to schedule other things around your appts, and make other adjustments to how you do things. Pain management is about reducing pain, not eliminating it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlock21 View Post
What are these "rules"? They seem to make them up as they go and they differ from doctor to doctor. I shouldn't have to go see the doctor every few months to say "everything is the same, nothing has changed, why am I here?" and pay them a wad of cash. (I'm pretty sure the cash is what they are really after) If there is a list of rules then give them to me, I will follow them - I bet they don't include an interruption in required long term medication.


I understand the DEA's rules and I follow them. I would never expect a doctor to even bend them for me. Prescribing low grade pain meds to somebody who is clearly in pain is not in any way against their rules. They do not shut down doctors and clinics for this.

I've had to change doctors more than once over arguments about what schedule a drug is and how many refills I am allowed by law. They were clearly wrong, but they don't like it when you fax the letter of the law to their office. I've also had to explain to multiple doctors and pharmacies that there are in fact more than 30 days in some months. Who knew?! How can you get a college degree and not know this?


Except this is 2018 and I live in a first world country. Why am I suffering needlessly? We have AMAZING health care abilities here. I shouldn't have to just "get by". I didn't ask for this. I don't have any history of drug abuse or anything else. Maybe it would be different if my records showed I had abused opiates in the past, but they don't.

All I want is a consistent supply of the medications I have been legally prescribed. Is that really so much to ask?

 
Old 07-08-2018, 04:47 PM   #5
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Re: Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

Most of this sounds pretty typical to me. I haven't heard of an issue with insurance for filling 1 hour early though, although I typically fill my prescription every 28 days at about the same time of day (after work). I also don't think it should take 3 months to get medical records. You might want to try another doctor. I am on actual Schedule II pain meds and have to see my doctor in person every 28 days, just to have a 5 minute appointment for them to verify there have been no significant changes, and for me to take a UA if required. I have to wait exactly 28 days between scripts, except a few times when I had a vacation planned the doctor would write on the script to fill early for vacation, and that works (I still had to wait until the usual day for my next script, and I imagine this can't be done too often).

If there is an issue getting my meds (doctor, pharmacy, insurance, weather), if I didn't have an emergency supply I have saved up, I would have had to go without. I have had delays of up to 1 week for a prior authorization (new requirement that my insurance did not warn me of, despite them obviously knowing I have got the 2 pain meds every 28 days for years). Doctors won't give extras for an emergency, nor will they give extras to make up for any delays. It took me awhile to save up an emergency stash, such as by extending time between doses on the weekends.

I also be sure to rotate it (take the oldest pills first) so its not old. Unfortunately it is actually against the rules to do that, so if you do that, you shouldn't tell your doctor, plus you shouldn't put yourself at risk of testing too low in a UA (ie. don't drop your dose by a lot to save pills, especially right before an appointment). I end up having to use the emergency supply on average once a year.

I'm sorry you are going through this. Unfortunately I expect it to take time for you to be able to get in with a doctor and for them to consider prescribing what you got previously, and I don't expect your old doctor to give you any more pills as you have admitted to moving / not planning to see them again. However, even if you can't get any Tramadol right now, you can ask about them treating your pain in other ways (maybe an NSAID and/or muscle relaxer), and you can ask about help with any withdrawal symptoms you may get (not sure if that happens with Tramadol?). Hang in there! Best wishes.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:50 AM   #6
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Re: Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by backhurtz View Post
If you are going to be prescribed tramadol long term, then a pain management doctor is where you need to be seen.
This is incorrect. I have been receiving tramadol from a regular primary care doctor for many years. Several different ones in fact. There is absolutely no reason to see a pain management clinic for a schedule 4 drug. It cost more money and is not covered by my insurance. They offer no added benefits and a lot of added negatives. In fact, in most other countries this is available over the counter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by backhurtz View Post
You admit to not going to appts, arguing with the drs, and you question why they aren't helping?
You are taking this out of context, but I sense you don't get it in any context. Show me a person with a chronic long term illness who has had hundreds of doctor appointments and says they have never missed or had to cancel one and I'll show you a liar. I'm not on parole for christ sake! It is not unreasonable for me to be busy and have to reschedule. I am not their slave. As for "arguing" with them, yes, when they give me false information, like, "I can't give you refills on tramadol because it's illegal", I don't argue, I explain to them that it isn't illegal and give them the law to read for themselves. At this point I already know I'm finding a new doctor because if they are that stupid I no longer trust them to care for me. They usually respond with the "how dare you!" routine, but the fact is they are wrong, and should know better. You're not god, you're a doctor...and you work for me. My next doctor backed me up on these facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by backhurtz View Post
Yes, it is unreasonable for you to move, think that you can just make an appt with old prescription bottles in hand and walk out with a new prescription for a scheduled medication. To boot, you didn't provide any medical records, instead expect a new dr. to write you a prescription based on your say so.
So how am I supposed to move then? Again, I'm not on parole, I'm free to leave the state whenever I please. They openly told me it will take longer to get the records than any prescription will last. See an issue here? I didn't expect them to write me a prescription for an unlimited amount of schedule 2 drugs. I spoke with the doctor's office before my appointment and asked if they could refill my prescriptions, I was told YES, bring your old bottles. It's not unreasonable for them to write a short prescription while the records are transferred, they could easily give my old doctor a call, or start from the beginning and prescribe something appropriate for a patient showing severe pain. This is neither illegal nor unreasonable.

Furthermore, I asked for the paperwork for my disabled parking permit, because I need to transfer my license and the permit to a new state, and I was told the same thing. This is not a scheduled drug and judging by the way disabled spaces are always full here they must hand them out like candy. Of course, I brought in my existing valid parking permit as proof, and again, they could have made a simple call to my old doctor. When you see someone hobble in with a cane and then unable to sit in the examination room due to pain, this should be enough proof for a parking permit on it's own - records or not. Nobody is "cracking down" on this.

There is a reason why when you call any doctor's office, the first or second option on the phone system is "if you are a doctor or medical professional, press 2 now". They're supposed to communicate and trust each other, it's called professional courtesy.

As for my old doctor, when I call them, and explain the situation, and they say they will get back to me, I expect them to do so, not just ignore me. That is rude and unacceptable no matter how you look at it. I gave them the courtesy of calling within 30 minutes of when they opened so they had all day to do it, and made it clear that because it was Friday I really needed an answer that day. Even if they don't want to do anything they need to call back and say so. We aren't just talking about a hair cut here.

Last edited by BigBlock21; 07-09-2018 at 01:01 AM.

 
Old 07-09-2018, 01:58 AM   #7
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Re: Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

Dear BigBlock,

Prescriptions can be written for 28 days. I have not seen a new prescription written for a 'month'.

The rules are different now, and that is the truth. You changed doctors and now are getting exposed to the new regulations. And mind you clinic can add rules to protect their business. Anyone that can take or leave pain shots may be assumed they might not have a true need of regular pain management. Not in every case, but it can be considered.

Not to say they have no pain, but often other things are going on that can be managed by oneself or helped in other ways. Such as losing weight when obese or cutting out simple carbs for a diabetic or by regular exercise, enough sleep, stopping alcohol, and so on.

The people we can 'thank' for the drug access problems are those who found out that the pain meds could be stolen and/or reproduced and crushed and snorted to get high and escape reality, and those that capitalize on it by providing the drugs on the black market. It is a very real and dangerous epidemic that destroys lives and affects all of society. having to follow some strict guidelines should not bother we that truly need pain management.

Pain drugs are addictive because that is how they work. Take a pill and get relief, and when it begins to wear off it is so uncomfortable that we want to take the pill again for that hellish feeling to stop, and this process repeats itself unless we make a decision to stop the pills. I was advised by a pharmacist friend to wean off extremely slowly in order to to avoid the drive to take a pills again.

However, when I felt that drive to have the pills, because I did not want the high and low experience again, I cold turkey stopped taking them. The withdrawal was a truly hellish experience, but in a couple of weeks when the pills were finally out of my system I was OK. Still had and have severe aches and pains, some jolting or shocking pains BTW. but I am not drugged and I can function. Some really live in such hell they most often need to live in facilities because they truly cannot function.

How can we know if we really need pain med or are addicted if we never stop taking the pills? After a wound or illness heals is a good time to look for other avenues of pain management like stretches, OTC aids, massage, and so on. I am still crippled from injuries and no two of my leg bones are the same length. That affects how I walk and every joint in my body, and I'm always in pain somewhere, sometimes mildl, sometimes shockingly unbearable.

Pain relief substances are dangerous and should be controlled, and when we use them we should be held accountable to periodically demonstrate that we need them and are using them appropriately and not building up a supply or selling them.

When one knows people of various ages, as I do, that have over dosed and died because of the mass epidemic of easy drug availability, I don't wonder why anyone should expect to be required to report to a doctor and demonstrate that we are indeed using the drugs.

I knew a young man and and his brother that got hold of another persons' pain meds and hung themselves due to the side effects. A pharmacist friend legitimately needed pain meds because of an injury, became addicted and could not stop taking them until he lost his job. He did due diligence and won back his position. It was he that taught me about the factual effect of the pain drugs and how dangerous they really are. The reason we get offered injections is a test to see if pain relief is really needed. When injections are rejected it can be assumed that pills might not be necessary or might not be being used appropriately.

This is a painful lessen to learn when we really need the meds. And if we really do, we can fit ourselves into the rules.
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Last edited by Administrator; 07-09-2018 at 02:44 AM.

 
Old 07-09-2018, 02:39 AM   #8
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Re: Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by YaYagirl View Post
The rules are in every pain med prescription. If anyone can take or leave pain shots, it can be assumed they might not have a true need of regular pain management. Not in every case, but it can be considered.

Not to say they have no pain, but often other things are going on that can be managed by oneself or helped in other ways. Such as losing weight when obese or cutting out simple carbs for a diabetic or by regular exercise, enough sleep, stopping alcohol, and so on.
I'm not sure what you mean by shots, these have never been offered to me and I do not think they would help what I have. If they would I would take them. I have never been given a list of rules to follow, but I have done my own research into drug scheduling and DEA requirements, and like I said, I would never expect a doctor to even bend those rules. I always tell the doctor if they have a shot/pill/magic spring water that will cure my pain, I will happily choose that over a prescription for pain meds. I would much prefer they find out what is wrong and cure it rather than covering it up with pain meds. After more than 10 years of this, I don't think they will.

With the tramadol I am not addicted, even though I have taken so many for so long. I truly believe this is a very safe drug. I've googled the withdrawal effects, and I am not feeling any of those after 2 days without pills. I am however feeling an enormous amount of returning pain, I can't stand, sit, or lay down for more than a few minutes, and I haven't slept for more than 48 hours. (forgive me if I seem a little cranky) I can't even get down the stairs outside my house unless I get on my belly! This seems like a fire hazard. I definitely am addicted to not having pain, but who isn't?

I've tried several forms of physical therapy, and I even lost around 75lbs...don't feel any better. It's interesting that you bring up alcohol, because right now that's all I've got. Tried every OTC pain med, none touch my muscle pain. Alcohol dulls it, and I really have no other choice at the moment. Even muscle relaxers that I have tried have no effect, even though the problem seems to be really tight muscles. Even a muscle biopsy reveals "nothing wrong", and I have submitted to a lot of really painful tests to determine the cause of this. This should serve as proof I am not bluffing, I do not know what else I can do to prove that I really have serious pain that will not go away. It shouldn't take 3 months for one doctor to tell this to another doctor.

Most of the drug abuser problems do not involve tramadol - you can't really get high off of it except maybe your first time. It wasn't even officially scheduled when I started taking it. There is a reason this is usually the strongest thing you can get without going to pain management. In fact, even though tramadol only slightly works, I don't want to move up to something stronger. (though fentanyl and oxycodone have been suggested)

I think a big part of this problem is that we (people with chronic pain) need to stand up and tell the DEA to stop harassing our doctors. If more of us put up a fight like I do, maybe the DEA wouldn't be such a problem for those of us who have genuine long term pain!

Too many people with chronic pain submit to this parole like treatment, and I for one think it needs to stop. I would not be treated like this in another country...and this so called "war on drugs" is a complete and total failure.

Last edited by Administrator; 07-09-2018 at 03:00 AM.

 
Old 07-09-2018, 02:52 AM   #9
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Re: Why will nobody acknowledge that I am in pain?!

Dear BigBlock,

Drug abuse is an epidemic and it affects honest people.
I doubt anyone is calling you a liar.

But clinics are not the same as established relationships with established doctors that have the time to know you and your case. If you think a combative attitude will help you in the long run, keep at it. You asked questions and we have been trying to help you understand the new normal.
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