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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

"Golden Ticket" for ER pain meds

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Old 01-19-2006, 10:05 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Steeler Country
Posts: 306
LeftyKid HB User
Lightbulb "Golden Ticket" for ER pain meds

Hi all!
Just wanted to share with you all a good way to get nearly instant pain relief if you have to go to the ER during a flare-up.
If you have a pain doc or pain clinic, ask them to write up a brief letter stating that you have RSD and are being treated with pain meds (have them list the pain meds you are taking). The letter should also state that you experience pain flare-ups that sometimes require a visit to the ER for IV/IM pain meds, and have the doc sign the letter and put a phone # of the clinic/office for the ER to contact with any questions. Show this letter to the triage nurse and doc at the ER and they will generally realize you have a legit condition and are not a drug addict and will be willing to give you whatever meds you need for relief.

When I started with my new pain clinic a few months ago, my doc asked me what I do when I have bad flare-ups. I told her that I went to the ER once (3 years ago) to try to get IV demerol which usually helps me. But I explained to her that it was a nightmare b/c they didn't know what RSD was, accused me of drug-seeking, and basically helped me as little as possible. So whenever I had terrible flare-ups after that, I refused to go to the ER even when my doc told me I should. She said she often hears that from her RSD patients and writes them up a letter to keep with them and bring to the ER. So she wrote me a letter - I keep the original in a file, one copy in my car, and one copy in my purse in case of emergency.

Well, about 2 weeks ago I was having a horrible, unbearable flare-up. I took my pain clinic letter to the ER with me and showed it to the triage nurse - even though she had never heard of RSD ( ), she got me into see a doc w/in 10 minutes. I showed the letter to the doc - he asked me what kind of pain meds I wanted and how I wanted them administered. I was getting IV demerol 5 minutes later. 2 doses of that didn't work, so he actually offered to admit me so I could get a morphine PCA. As tempting as that was, I decided to try IV dilauded instead. That did the trick - really helped reduce the flare-up.

I tell ya, that letter was a "golden ticket." Quite different than my last ER visit 3 years ago when I had to fight the docs and nurses for meds and try to convince them I wasn't a drug addict. As soon as I handed them that letter this time, they did everything they could, as fast as they could, to help me.

So, if you can, I highly recommend getting a letter from your pain management doc. It helped me immensely.

PS - Hopefully though, if you have a spouse, they will be willing to drive you to the ER. My spouse chose to sit on the couch and watch TV instead, while I drove myself to the ER. And when I called home from the ER to say how I was doing, I was told "It's 3am - you woke me up!" Nice, huh?
"Certainly it hurts. The trick... is not MINDING that it hurts."
... - PeterO'Toole as "Lawrence of Arabia"

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Old 01-20-2006, 09:04 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
zoanthidnut HB User
Re: "Golden Ticket" for ER pain meds

Leftkid, I have had the same treatment in the ER, many times i was treated as a junky just wanting a fix, or they have no idea what rsd even is.A note from pain manage doctor is a great idea,I'm soo glad you informed all of us!!Glad you got some one to listen and get you what you needed.Thanks Alot,Shana

Old 01-20-2006, 06:02 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 27
MichelleMcNulty HB User
Re: "Golden Ticket" for ER pain meds

Thank you so much for posting that! I was at the er yesterday, and they tried everything they could think of to help me. But a letter would really shorten the whole process! Thanks

Old 02-24-2006, 01:48 PM   #4
painful heart
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Walnut Creek CA USA
Posts: 2
painful heart HB User
Unhappy Re: "Golden Ticket" for ER pain meds

I am a heart broken mother of a 13 year old with a cranial nerve neuralgia since she had her tonsils removed last August. I have been researching the use of radio frequency for treatment for this and saw your posting. I was wondering - how long was your relief?? Right now on neurontin but she has constant tiredness and occasional dizziness from this, thats why we are looking for other treatments.

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