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eleventy4 01-14-2013 11:41 AM

Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
Hey all, I have no idea who to ask for advice, so here I am. I've had a hydrocodone prescription for many years now for chronic back pain (and relief of restless leg syndrome, but that was a happy accident). I would go in every month, but in November I was given 2 prescriptions since he would be out of town during December. I needed to change my appointment time because of classes, and when I called I found out he's going to be gone until a week after my appointment. If I hadn't called, I would have arrived to find my doctor wasn't there, out of my prescription. I did a bit of research on this site first, and it sounds like my options are limited because I don't have a pain contract with him. My only hope is that his secretary is still in the office, and can verify for any other resource that he is in fact gone for a week, but I don't even know if she can verify what medication I am taking. I only need a week's worth, does anyone know if other doctors or hospitals, or even addiction clinics will be of any help? Thanks so much in advance!

Daffydolphin 01-14-2013 12:08 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
You need to ask these questions of your doctor's secretary. Your doc should have another doctor to handle emergencies while he's gone. If the secretary provides him the info on you, he might help. If not, start decreasing the rate you take them to cover the required time. Break them in half to keep some in your system. 1/2 every 8 hr. rather than 1 every 16. Buy some Advil or Aleve to help with pain. It is highly unlikely you can find a doctor with whom you do not have a well established relationship with to write you even a small prescription.

eleventy4 01-14-2013 01:18 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
That's what I was afraid of. I do have a couple of other doctors I have relationships with, but they are 50 miles away. I guess that's my best bet. One is even technically my primary care practitioner. The secretary is of absolutely no help. There is no doctor substituting for him, and she speaks limited English. I'm starting to feel as though his office is one big joke. As of now I take one every 4 hours. You don't think a hospital would be of any use? I'm trying to find a specialist that I can actually start a whole program with, and maybe they can start my treatment by helping me with this. Thanks for the advice, as grim as it is

Daffydolphin 01-14-2013 02:01 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
I'd try the PCP 50 miles away. Try to talk directly with him and be completely honest, emphasize that you are not currently on a pain contract. Don't expect him to give you 8/day ( 1 every 4 hr), maybe 3 or 4 per day. I have to drive 1.5 hrs each way to my PM doc. None any closer.

Hospital ERs are really variable. You might come out with one pill or a one day supply, probably never more than three day supply. You also might be escorted out the door by armed security. My local ER would give 8 to 10 pills if they really believed you and they'd have to see that you already are in bad shape. No, I'm running out tomorrow and my doc is not back for another week.

In this state, no doctor/specialist will Rx opioids on the first visit, except possibly when you are being favorably referred by a doctor he knows and thinks well of.

Good Luck

eleventy4 01-14-2013 03:45 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
Thank you for the advice; I will certainly not be going to an ER now. It was 5/day, it just says "every 4 hours or as needed" on the bottle, so if 3-4 isn't outside the realm of realistic possibility, that gives me hope. The last time I visited with my PCP I mentioned transferring my entire prescription to him, and I don't remember exactly what he said but he didn't rule it out. I'm sure he would also like to keep me as a patient since they seemed very intent on bringing me back for follow ups on my carpal tunnel. Again, I very much appreciate the advice.

noevr 01-14-2013 07:53 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
Hi I recently was involved with my pm dr leaving one practice to go out on his own, he got upset with them because they were turning away patents with poor insurance according to his wife. I was lucky enough to be his friend and have his email and he told me the other pm dr would fill my scripts until he got established. But one interesting thing he told me is that they are required by law to fill my prescription. So if I were you I'd check out the American pain academy of pain management or some organization like that and start asking questions but I'd do anamously. I don't think he can get away with that its dangerous for folks to go into withdrawals. Cathy

eleventy4 01-14-2013 08:01 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
Thanks for the advice! One follow up question though: did you have a "pain contract" with your doctor? Like some kind of paperwork for your pain meds? I don't have one, and based on things I've read, there is a lot more protection you get with that.

noevr 01-14-2013 08:51 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
No I did not cathy

capatga 01-14-2013 09:11 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
Hi, thought I'd jump in here ,are you sure that you didn't sign an opiate contract with this doctor ?I'm surprised they didn't have you sign one, that happened to me once when my doctor had a death in his family and was out for a month, but another physician in the same clinic pulled my contract and wrote me a script for 10 pills, and of course you could probably get about that many from a urgent care clinic , it would be worth a try .
good luck to you, I know about chronic pain .

backhurtz 01-14-2013 11:45 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
I would not try to get a new prescription from another doctor. If you are going to do that, it might very well backfire on you and get you dismissed from your current doctors. Even getting a prescription from another doctor that you see can result in your getting red flagged at a pharmacy since almost all states now have prescription monitoring in place, any doctors office and any pharmacy can pull up your prescription records and see that you have gotten prescriptions from one doctor for this type of medication.
Getting prescriptions from multiple doctors is considered to be doctor shopping and will set off red flags with other doctors and pharmacies.
If I were you, I would take half of a tablet less times per day and make the ones you have last as long as possible and get a new appointment scheduled with your doctor when he returns.
To do otherwise may ruin your ability to be treated if you wind up red flagged or dismissed for getting a prescription from another doctor, assuming they would even do it.

Daffydolphin 01-15-2013 05:09 AM

Pain Contract
Good morning Eleventy.

Glad other have joined your thread.

I think you might have a mis-perception on what a Pain Contract does. Mine, and most I've seen give NO PROTECTION OR RIGHTS TO THE PATIENT. They are all about the protecting the Dr. and you acknowledging that you have read the risks and all his rules and agree he can stop treating you without Rxing any carryover meds for violating any of them even once. Drs. and PM clinic vary on how strictly they enforce every rule, some are very strict, one strike and you are out. Google Pain Management Contract to see some examples.

This may have been presented to you in a way that you thought you were only signing that you had been told about the risks of opioid therapy. The actual bold print title line of mine is: CONSENT FOR OPIOID THERAPY

Qtpye78 01-15-2013 06:26 AM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
Hi! I've had to go to an emergency room once in a similiar situation. I just told them that my appointment wasn't until 10 days later, I was not on a contract (at that time) and I took my current bottle and my previous bottle so they could see that I normally get percocet every 6 hours. They gave me a prescription with no issue at all. They even sent me through the fast track so I wasn't laying around in the ER all day.

Your primary care may be able to to help as well without a dreaded trip to the ER and the possiblity that they could say no, based on the other responses I've read. I would give your PCP first and then go from there.

Good luck to you! I'm sorry you were put in this position. :(

eleventy4 01-15-2013 09:00 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
Thanks for the love and advice everyone. Sadly, I don't think I can listen to the risk about being flagged. I have a weekend of 12 hour restaurant shifts to look forward to, as well as weekdays full of college classes. I don't have the luxury of taking a week off to sit around withdrawing. I am certain that I was never given a contract to sign, or any sort of consent of anything. I don't think my doctor is very professional; he hasn't been keeping up with my bloodwork either. I think I got stuck in a pill-pusher situation, but my quality of life has been immensely improved... but because of this I don't know if the medical community even considers my situation worthy of this kind of treatment. It's a nerve-wracking position to be in. I'll let you all know how the visit with my PCP goes tomorrow, so people researching this later have a resolution to the story.

eleventy4 01-16-2013 10:08 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
Hey guys, like I promised here is my followup. I went to my PCP today and explained the situation. He had a judgmental air about him, but gave me a prescription for ten pills, which should hopefully be enough to get me through my shifts this weekend. Definitely better than nothing so I can't complain.

noevr 01-16-2013 11:13 PM

Re: Doctor Took Extended Vacation... Surprise!
I thin that was a good way to o cathy

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