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Eva 14 01-28-2019 02:25 PM

Wrongly Labeled by New Doctor
I recently had to move from California to a small town in Oregon, and the doctors up here are awful. In California, I was always basically treated with respect, but up here, the doctors seem to think that EVERYONE is a drug addict.

I previously had chronic migraines for years, for which I was prescribed daily opioids. I’m very lucky that my chronic migraine finally ended around the time I moved to Oregon.

By the time I moved up here, I no longer needed daily opioids. I just hope and pray that I remain pain-free. I do also have endometriosis, which causes severe menstual cramps. For a few days out of the month, I need to take codeine for my cramps. I have enough left-over codeine to last me for a long time.

I do have occasional insomnia, and I took Dalmane for that. (I’d be happy with anything that helped me sleep.)

I went to a G.P. up here and brought in all my medical records and pill bottles, as requested. I was only requesting a sleep aid.

Well, this G.P. insisted on drug testing me. Since I’d been totally honest, I saw no problem with that. Well, he interrogated me, asking me what I thought it was positive for. I said benzos, and possibly opiods, as I’d had my period a week or so ago. He said, “Anything else?” and I said, “no.” (Indeed, it was NOT positive for anything else.) I felt like I was being interrogated by a cop!

Still, he seemed to think that me testing positive for opiods was a big deal, even though I said I took them occasionally. He made a big deal out of the fact that there were no opiod prescriptions under my name in the Oregon database. His assistant had to remind him that I’d recently moved up from California!

I later got my records, and here’s what the doctor wrote about me: “Benzodiazepine dependency” and “Opiods: chronic, continuous use.” Neither one of those things is true, and I don’t know how to correct it.

In any other place, you could just go to another doctor. But this smalll town is set up so that all of the other doctors and specialists have access to those records. (I had to see a different G.P. and a specialist for an unrelated medical problem, and I was shocked to see those inaccurate notes from the first doctor!)

I found out that doctors up here simply don’t prescribe opioids. Also, apparently there’s an opioid epidemic up here, so they automatically think the worst of anyone taking opioids for any reason.

I no longer take any benzos or sleeping pills, and I rarely take opioids, so that info simply isn’t true. I was asked about it when I had surgery; that’s how I knew the info was being shared and was a permanent part of my records.

How can I get my medical records corrected? I find this inaccurate information very embarrassing. Especially with this info going into a central database, I have no idea how to correct it. I’m almost afraid that other medical professionals are going to think “the doctor is always right” and that I won’t be believed.

Thanks for any advice.

MSNik 01-29-2019 06:12 AM

Re: Wrongly Labeled by New Doctor
Hi there. I am really sorry that you are going through this as the Opioid problem is not specific to Oregon but is a National Epidemic.

Unfortunately, "chronic; continuous use" is what the doctor labeled you and is actually accurate. Chronic means long time use...continuous means you are still using it. You admitted to using them last week. There is nothing here you are going to get changed as long as you are still using them, even once a week.

He also wrote 'Benzodiazepine dependency"; if you are taking benzos at any point during the month, you are dependent. Having had endometriosis myself, I totally get how bad the pain can be; however, unless you are willing to find a new GYN who can prescribe something which is not a benzo - you are still going to take them; and therefore do have what appears to be a dependency on them. This is actually fixable by you, but first you have to find another substitute drug which is not a controlled substance, and then you can prove that you are no longer using Benzo's and get this removed from your record. After a period of time of no prescriptions, it will fall off anyway.

Unfortunately, every state has new laws about prescribing controlled substances and every doctor has new responsibilities to make sure they are not over prescribing. Doctors are so afraid of losing their licenses, you are certainly NOT the first person to complain that getting necessary pain management has become almost impossible. The only way around this is to change drugs- eliminate those which need to be prescribed by pain specialists- or work with the system and do what they need you to do to continue getting your scripts. I am not saying its right, but it is the only way.

I just wanted to add that you stated you have enough codeine to last you quite awhile. Don't forget that too will show up in urine and blood work; and codeine does have a shelf life; if it is too old, it will not work well - if at all.

Now that you have moved to a new and different state; maybe its time to reevaluate your pain levels and tolerance levels and try to find new doctors who can prescribe you non-narcotics to help you cope with pain. You might be surprised at what you can take which doesn't put you through hoop jumping every month and still controls the pain!

Good luck!

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