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tina76 04-13-2006 05:03 AM

Stolen Meds
Has anyone had anything like this happen to them?

Yesterday I had to go the ER due to my endo issues because my doctor was not in the office. After I had been in the exam room for about three hours a nurse brought me my purse which I had apparently left in the waiting room. SHE told me that a security guard had brought it to them. I immediately checkec the contents. My debit card, my cash was gone. Also, my bottle of anti-depressants was gone as well as one bottle of my methadone was completely emptied out and 17 were left in the other bottle. I had about 70 with me. They were in two seperate bottles because I don't normally carry my whold script around with me just incase something like this happens. I brought them yesterday because I thought the doc's might need to see them to knwo I was not a drug seeker, etc... Well when the security guard came in HE told me that NO security guard saw it, that a patient pointed it out to a nurse who then took it to the nurses station (where there are NO video cameras of course) and then the nurses contaced security. The nurse also said that a "couple" of nures went thru it to find out who's it was. The security guard said only the CHARGE nurse went thru it.

When I left (the security guard wanted me to be sure I hadn't actually left these things at home) I called the cops to file a report. The officer said there wasn't a lot they coudl do about it without video surveillance but to file a report anyway. He also said HE felt it was an employee theft.

So, the REAL problem here is that my methadone contract says that you will not ask for a refill on lost or stolen meds. What the hell am I supposed to do with 15 pill for the next two weeks when I take 5 a day???????????? Evn if I cut the dose in half it won't last!!! I did leave a message for my doc's office last night telling them the whole thing including what the cop said, etc...

I am just in a panic. I see my PM doc today at 10 anyway.... but I'm worried they are going to say, tough luck.

Anyone have any experience with this???

slipperyslope 04-13-2006 06:15 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
I am sure your DR will give you a new RX since you do have a police report and it happened at the ER room and was stolen by a nurse or employee.

I would never ever carry my meds with me anywhere for this very reason and If I did my purse would be clutched to my body I might take a few pills with me but that it it. sorry this happened to you, Live and learn I guess but I am sure your Doc will take care of you as you have a good history with your pain doc and a good relationship so I am sure it won't be an issue for you.

feelbad 04-13-2006 06:55 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
You might want to also ask that very helpful security guard to give you a written version of what happend and without telling that nurse who brought you your purse,also have her write up a little documentation,then you have her made up story along with what really happened from that security guard.i really am so sorry this happened to you.even in a hospital,wow.geez you would think that they would indeed have some sort of security cameras around a nurses station,espescially in an ER with all the freaks and wierdos that can float in there from time to time.

did you ask that guard whether or not this has actually happened to other people?things missing out of peoples purses?i would really keep on top of those cops and tell them you are going to keep bugging them til they find the actual culprit.or speak to the administrator of that hosp and tell them they have a thief working in their ER.if they wont listen to you or you feel they really don't care,tell them that maybe the media would be interested in this story and the fact that there is stealing going on in a hospital ER,in such and such a hospital.i am sure there have been other instances of this actually happeneing to other patients,really.i cannot believe that you were the first DO have some options.I am sure if you tell your doc the whole story and tell them you can get the written statement of a security guard to back you up on what he actually saw and the fact that this does not match at all just what you were told by the nurse who actually had possession of your purse when it was given back to you.

I sure hope you cancelled the credit cards and stuff.again,so sorry about this happening to you,like your world isn't bad enough.good luck.Marcia

tina76 04-13-2006 07:40 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
Okay, I just called the security guard again. I wanted to find out on the video surveillance who acutally picked up my purse. Well, he was NOT being very helpful. I'm thinking the hospital is now entering their "cover our arses" stage. Now he tells me that the purse was immediately taken by a nurse to their station (outside of video range of course) where the charge nurse AND a witness (something that was not mentioned yesterda AT ALL) looked ONLY in my wallet (yesterday it was "through your purse searching for ID) and then immediately brought it to me which took 2 and 1/2 minutes only. Yet another NEW version of events. They are giving me the run around. Yesterday they were much that the security guard actuall said the words "I can't see any of these nurses doing that, but I guess a habit like that wouldn't be that hard to hide"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He also told me that my purse was then given specifically to MY nurse to bring to my room. To which I replied, NO, it was NOT my nurse taht brought it to my room, it was a nurse I had never seen before and there were also two other nurses with her standing outside the door to my room. He shut his trap at that and didn't seem to know what to say.

Now why yesterday did the nurse tell me that a security guard found my purse, that it sat in their station until they ahd time (it WAS extremely busy, there was a 4 hour period where neither a nurse OR a doc came to check on me!) to look thru it and that SEVERAL nurses searched thru my purse to find who it belonged to. THEN the security guard said no, nurses found it and then they took it to the station, found the charge nurse and she and ONLY she went thru it. NO time frame, NO witness. It seems like now taht they have had time they have put together a story that better follows their protocol on these situations.

I am getting more and more upset as the minutes go by. I have not heard from my doctor but I leave in about 20mintues to see them. I have a bad feeling about it. I don't actually HAVE the police report yet. Last night the police made me do this "file by phone" report and then my report gets MAILED to me with the case number. I even called back this morning to see if I could get the case number. Nope. I have to wait for it to come in the mail. I also called and filed ANOTHER report after talkign to teh guard today telling the police that I Have yet another adjusted version of events from them.

I also have found it strange that my roommate and I kept asking the security guard yesterday if the police would be coming. MY nuse even asked me if they had called the police. But the security guard was adament that I go home first to make sure I hadn't actually left my meds, credit card, and cash at home??? EVenthough I was adament that I had not. At the time he seemed nice etc... so I believe taht is what I should do. Now I feel like they wanted me to wait so taht the police wouldn't show up while everyone involved was still on shift, etc... I am really p**sed off. I feel totally violated by the people that were supposed to be taking care of me.

I am hoping and praying that my PM doc is going to be understanding. It would be one thing if ONLY my methadone had been stolen, that would be suspicious etc... like I was just looking for an early refill. But I am having to get a new bank account, dealing with police reports, etc.... I'm just sure that rule is on the list because people have faked this thing before. It will be just my luck to have them say, "no you're on your own" or worse, to drop me. I just can't believe this has happened to me.

I know ti is my fault. I'm the idiot that left my purse in the waiting room. But I was just in so much pain that I wans't thinking straight. And my poor roommate had her baby, his carrier, AND his diaper bag. Of couse she is still blaming herself because I was not in my right state of mind and she feels she should have been taking closer care of me. But she was also helping me WALK back to the room. It is SO not her fault. I am just the biggest dumb ***. And no, I totally agree about not carrying all my meds with me. I normally only carry a single days worth with me at a time because of this exact reason. BUT because I was goign to the ER I didn't want them to think I was just drug seeking so I felt I should bring my full bottle of methadone so they could see them for themselves. Now I wish I hadn't. I just feel like I am totally screwed.

Chaswick 04-13-2006 09:01 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
I sincerely hope that your Dr. - even though his contract says something else - does allow that this happens from time to time to the best of patients, and will refill your meds.. There are many Dr.'s out there that have a 'policy' of one kind or another (usually something about pain meds.) that, depending on the circumstance, they break from time to time.

I know you know it is your own fault and am glad that you are not blaming anyone else. I would be careful though about telling my Dr. the 'conspiracy theory'. Just reading it I find it really hard to believe that there are going to be that many people who are going to lie, and put their reputation and/or their jobs on the line, to protect a nurse, or janitor, or guard, that has stolen meds. from an unattended purse. I don't thinkt that happened, but that is just my opinion.

Good luck//Chaswick

**I don't doubt that somone (a nurse, a Dr., a kid, a guard - addiction exists everywhere) but I doubt that there is a group of people involved in covering it up.//Chas

choctaw_n_ok 04-13-2006 09:05 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
I have a question...why would anyone steal/ take meth if it doesnt get you high ??................

what a drag Tina...hope it works out for ya !


friendly_one 04-13-2006 09:33 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
It wouldn't surprise me if they were stolen to be sold on the street. I hope everything works out for you, Tina. It also wouldn't surprise that a nurse stole them. I have a couple of friends that are nurses. One, is the head OR nurse and has told me some stories that I don't know if I could repeat them here. The other nurse, a former friend, used to steal narcotics from her patients and from me. This is why she is a former friend. I could tell some stories on her, as well. I've had meds stolen from me while in the hospital. Not meds that I brought, but, meds (I.V. Demerol) that were to be given to me but substituted with saline. This happened after one of my surgeries. I will tell the story later. Anyway, next time you go to the ER, just bring your script bottle and maybe 1-2 pills. That's all you need. Please keep us updated, ok?? Take care. :angel:

Drewtn 04-13-2006 10:33 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
Good luck at the doc Tina. Let us know how it goes. ((HUGS))

When my sister had her last operation she was told she would be given Demerol or Morphine (even though she gets sick from them) and NOT Fentanyl because of too many cases of stolen IV meds. They had even actually had the IV taken off patients!! They no longer use Fentanyl at this particular hospital at all.

I also know a lady who was a nurse and she and her co-worker were fired when some meds under their care were missing. They couldn't prove who did it so they both got fired.

curiousforever 04-13-2006 11:09 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
Good luck Tina.

Be sure to write down every change of stories and who each story is by.

I'd also stop by and ask the nurses to write down their version (and you have written down their stories they had already given you) and tell them all (nurses and security guards) that you are having a problem getting your doc to give you enough meds to get thru...even if he gives you plenty.

I'd pursue this and try to make the hospital do an investigation - wonder if they can have those nurses/security do drug testing (would methadone show up?)

ladyalaska40 04-13-2006 11:16 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
What a horrible thing to happen, in a place where you are trying to get help no less! I had my purse stolen after I had just filled my monthly pain rx. I fill at Costco, when I went out to my car, I was putting my son into his seat, silly me putting my child in before my items!, a person in a hooded sweatshirt grabbed my purse and took off at a full run. I filed a report and paid for a copy to take to my doc. My contact too says no early refills regardless of the reason. And she sticks with it. They kept the report, but I was told no. Sorry Slipperyslope, as much as we would like to think it would be done, most doctors will provide withdrawal meds to help should the pt have that challenge. I agree with taking the meds to the er, you did nothing wrong by doing that how else are you going to prove what you say about meds and dosing? I too only carry daily does with me now after my incident. My doc told me that my meds need to be in a container marked with my name, med type and dosing becuase if I get stopped for anything and I have a controlled substance with me that isn't marked I could get into alot of trouble. I normally put it in a pill carrier that doesn't look like a carrier so no one knows. Now I have a small container from the pharmacy and put it in my makeup bag. I hope your appt with your doc was helpful to you, I know how you are feeling right now, my thoughts are with you.

tina76 04-13-2006 11:25 AM

Re: Stolen Meds
Well, my PM doctor just sepnt the past hour screaming at me. Literally. She refused to even listen to even the basics of what happened. Threatened to drop me from teh group. Told me that our bond of trust is completely broken. She refused a copy of the police report. Dropped my dosage from 50 to 40mg a day and gave me one weeks refill and told me we will decide what to do next when I call for a refill next week. So needless to say I am drained. I've been bawling for the past two hours. Begging to not be dropped, although I was not allowed to get a word in edge-wise. To her it is an early refill and that only. The circumstances mean nothing. So basicaly if I ever have to switch doctor's that is on my permanent record, not mentioning the stolen meds, not mentioning the police report. Nothing. That is IF she keeps me on after next week. You would think that I told her I accidentally dropped them in the toilet or something. It was just awful. I feel like just curlling up into a ball and crying my eyes out. As it is, I am at work, sitting at my desk trying to cry quietly.

The worst part is that I had a really good relationship with this doctor. It took me 6 years to find a doctor that seemed to understand what I was going through. And now that is gone. She wouldn't even look at me. LIke I just disgusted her. It was the worst feeling. I know I was an idiot. I know I left my purse unattended. But I was in pain, out of it. It was an accident. I didn't do it on purpose. I have never had this happen before. I've always been 100% honest with her. And now I will be afraid to ever tell her if I am having extra pain, if I need an increase (which is a given since my dosage is now dropped in the first place!!!!!!).... I've always followed her instructions to a tee. I've always been abel to tell her anything. And now that is all gone. Ruined. I'll be lucky if I dn't get dropped next week.

I can't believe I did something so stupid and now I mgiht be back at having a 9-10 pain level every day with NO ONE willing to treat me. Because no one will after reading this in my chart with no police report OR explanation as to why the early refill

I also told her to NOT refill it. Taht I woudl suffer thru until my next refill date. I was willing to do that to reestablish our bond of trust and she just said "don't be ridiculous" in this totally disgusted voice. I didn't knwo what else to say.

This is just the worst situation that has ahppened to me in the history of my pain management. Adn that is saying a lot. I don't evne know what to do at this point. I feel totally deflated.

Kissa 04-13-2006 12:06 PM

Re: Stolen Meds
Wow Tina that is horrid and you were treated horribly, there's absolutely no excuse in the way your doctor treated you, you can not help it if someone at the ER stole your medications. If you have had a good history with your PM there's no reason she should of gone bullistic on your as she did. Perhaps she's had a rash of that problem lately.

It's almost scary to read about what happened and that is the reason I keep all my meds locked up tight in a safe and only take out what I need for that day. If I end up in an ER (which is rare) and they need to know what I am on or don't believe me they know they can call my PM for verification.. obviously it's a bit too late for you and I do feel really bad that this has happened to you and you have fallen a victim to terrible circumstances.

Keep your chin up and I hope that between now and then your PM will have calmed down some. I wouldn't rehash the subject over and over with them even though you are right, it may prove to have some undesireable results. If you do have to see a new PM and for some reason and your current one put on your record that you are a drug seeker I personaly would see an attorney to get that removed from your chart since you do have proof that in fact your medications WERE stolen and that you were not abusing them.

The drop in meds isn't too huge thankfully, I know it's not what you wanted to happen but thankfully she didn't completely boot you out the door, she almost sounds like someone that would. I hate the fact that all these drug abusers and seekers have made it very difficult for people like you and I to even get medical help for pain.

BrittleBones 04-13-2006 12:07 PM

Re: Stolen Meds
Tina my friend! Please, please, please stop beating yourself up over this! Yes you did a very stupid thing by leaving your purse unattended in the waiting room - ok can't go back and change that Tina, you can only learn from it, right? I will bet you that your PM doc calms down and after thinking about it will NOT fire you from the practice. She probably sounded so disgusted because she also felt like she had an honest relationship with you and that somehow you had betrayed her trust. I mean, she may be thinking you really did sell or use the methadone...why shouldn't she believe that? I'm sure she's heard that story or a version of it a million times. How many ways are there to lose your pills? Probably about 50 and she's heard ALL of them. It sounds like her opinion of you is very, very important to you. I can understand that. But she is not the be all and end all when it comes to validating you as a person Tina! I know you are scared and you feel like you've let her down. Do you think you can just take all those feelings, write them down, and throw them in the trash? You are too good of a person to let this destroy you! Maybe Shoreline will chime in here as well. He posted last year about having his meds stolen from his house. I've only had it happen once to me when I was volunteering as a crisis intervention counselor at a community phone bank. My partner (of all people) stole all the Percocet that I had in a bottle in my purse except 3 pills! I pitched such a fit talking to everyone who was working with me that finally she felt guilty and told the administrator that she had stolen them. I was lucky, I got almost all of them back and she, I hope, got some help. Please hang in there, ok? This will really will and you'll have a fresh start tomorrow. All the best - KathyMac

tina76 04-13-2006 01:03 PM

Re: Stolen Meds
Mostly I am scared now of what the future is going to bring. I suffered undermedicated for almost 7 years. I've finally found a doctor who was willing to work with me. Now not only is she p**sed at me she is also dropping my dosage. Which does NOT seem right to me???? She felt I needed to be at 50mg. What changed because of this? So now I feel like I have to be afriad ANY time I have questions for her etc... If my pain is worse I will feel like I shouldn't talk to her about it or she will think that I am lying. Basically I feel like I did with the doctor's before her. That I was always just stuck. Tehre was no hope in sight. SHE changed that for me. Made me feel like I had a chance at a somewhat "normal" life again. And now she is lowering my dosages, tellng me she doens't trust me, etc.... So now I feel like I am back to where I was before. With a future of untreated pain. Always wondering when this doctor is goign to pawn me off on someone else. Always living in fear that if I speak up about increased pain, etc...that I will get accused of looking for more meds and get dumped. She raised my dosage to 50mg because I was having a lot of break thru pain. She felt that 40mg was not enough for me. So now what has changed except my meds got stolen? Because they got stolen my pain is less? I don't need as many mg's a day anymore? I can see the week by week refill thing. But why the drop. I feel like I am being punished. I know I was an idiot. Yes, I was in pain but I should have strapped the purse to my chest knowing what was in it. I never should have taken them with me. The last tiem I was there though they told me if I had to come in again I needed to bring my meds so they could see what I had left, etc... they don't know me from joeschmo off the street. If I say I have 68 methadone left at home they have no reason to believe me. I just wanted to avoid that hastle again. I just can't believe I did something that dumb. And I can see her being mad at me. But to not even let me tell her what happened? What the police said, etc.... it was like she didn't care. No matter what proof I had it was a lie. For all she knows I could have a video tape of someone taking them from my purse (which I don't of course) but she never even let me TELL her anything at all. I fell like I was judged and convicted with no evidence presented etc.... It hurts. It reallly really hurts. Not just because I had a good rapport with her...but because these medications (unfortunately) control my life. Without them I cannot function. If I lose this doc I am pretty much screwed. I feel like I am just swimming in this black hole and don't know how to get out because they won't listen to me!!! It is so upsetting.

slipperyslope 04-13-2006 01:18 PM

Re: Stolen Meds
THAT IS JUST HORRIBLE you were treated like crap by her. Who does she think she is, GOD? If I were you I would DROP HER as a Dr. That is just so ridiclous. I guess she has heard the same story before and just assumes your a drug abuser. I feel so bad for you, if I were you I would have not excpeted the pills. I would start looking for a new Pain Dr as she now has you labeled and will be watching your every move, and like you said if you ever ask for an increase she's is going to treat you badly again.

I didn't think she would act this way as your awlays mentioning how nice she is to you and how great of a relationship you have ,so I just didn't excpect her to treat you this way.. I mean for god sakes, people make mistakes and things happen. No one is perfect. How degrating for you, I am so sorry this happened to you, I would start looking for another pain Dr as the trust has been broken and she will probably never let you live this down. Just pick yourself up, hold your head up high, and start lookign for a New Dr. it will be okay, you have a months supply right? I am sorry she lowered your dose, to me she did that just " because" she can, because she is a Dr and Dr's are god. I am sorry for being so nasty but I am just really mad at your DR. you did not deserve this type of treatment.

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