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Thread: Drug Scruitiny and how it's affected me.

  1. #1

    Unhappy Drug Scruitiny and how it's affected me.

    Hello Friends,

    Haven't posted in awhile, but do visit to read every now and then as I relate to so many posts. My doctor's office initiated a drug policy (pain agreement & forms, outlining evaluation of pain, percentage of relief, functions allowed by medication, etc.) I wrote about this last year, how paranoid it was making me.

    It's been almost a year. So far, there is no problem with my doctor, but he reviews these forms every time we go in (every three mos.) I have had one disabling injury for 16 yrs. now -- the pain and abnormal feeling & paralysis caused by this botched surgery has never changed - and it changed my life forever, as well as my husband's. Now, after 16 yrs., I have increased pain from arthritis, which has disabled me further. It's hard for me to estimate my pain each time from 1-10. I'm always in pain, but I do get relief from my meds. I still stumble with questions about what my meds. have allowed me to do, as I'm able to do so little and this has been a constant.

    All this scrutiny (now my pharmacy is involved telling me for the FIRST time that I was refilling my Rx's too early and they'd have to fax my doctor.) It's all so humiliating. I advised my pharmacy quite strongly to NOT FAX MY DOCTOR and they did anyway, which he subsequently approved. I BLASTED the pharmacy the next day for filling the Rx.

    Thinking about this all the time has brought back some mini panic attacks and my resting pulse is anywhere from 90 to 100, even 115 once, although my blood pressure is normal range (take bp med). Now, I have memories and nightmares of the original accident, doctors yelling at me to lift my leg, move my toes, the bright lights, the gurneys, the extended hospital stay, the horrible shock, the forms, the questions -- seeing a psychiatrist for 3 yrs. twice a week -- finally feeling I'd reached some point of acceptance and relieved of MAJOR resulting panic attacks. (In the beginning I had eight different MDs, different specialities, concerning this injury.)

    (It's such a haunting memory to me; when we arrived at the hospital 16 yrs. ago @ 5:00 a.m., it was very foggy, and right in the middle of a vacant parking lot adjacent to where we parked was an empty wheel chair -- just sitting there, like it was waiting for someone. The leg of the chair was extending out & the chair was crooked, at an angle facing us. I've never forgotten this -- and now the memory has returned in a nightmare.) It later seemed to me like a foretelling.

    The forms I'm required to fill out change every time (2-3 pgs.) This seems to have changed my whole life again, constantly worrying about the changing regulations -- how far it will go, getting cut off, home invasions for drugs (prevalent in our state, although we live in a secured area), drug shortages & thefts @ pharmacies. What is Happening??? I have a constant aura of "CHANGE" haunting me in an area I thought I'd accepted long ago. I dread seeing the doctor now, but he's as supportive as ever. What if I lose him. The staff is better ~ probably a drain on them too.

    And all the while, I get older and develop more problems. And I will never have another surgery again, ever, unless I'm unconscious and unable to register my feelings. Obviously this major trauma in my life and the events surrounding it, are surfacing again with all this evolving scrutiny.

    Thank you all for listening. I know many of you have problems worse than mine. I empathize with all of you!

    Love
    shiloh

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member
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    shiloh, sorry to hear you are reliving a panic attack as a result of all the drug scrutiny. It is a shame the issue you had with your pharmacy as mine tells me if I am early and I ask what day I can get it filled and come back that day. I don't understand your pharmacy's stance unless they have had a problem with you in the past but based on what you have been saying they shouldn't have faxed your doctor.
    1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
    2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member
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    Shiloh, sorry to hear about your problems. The world of chronic pain patients just gets more and moe difficult every day.

    I think the pharmacy should have just told you what day you could fill your meds and not have faxed your doctor. A lot of patients have no idea (at first) as to what even constitutes an "early refill", so patients definitely can make innocent mistakes.

    I hate all the paranoia surrounding pain meds. Yes, it's enough to give people nightmares. Sorry that you are having nightmares. And I sure would HATE to have to fill out a bunch of forms EVERY time I saw my doctor. I know that some pain clinics require this, and I think it's stupid. My pain never changes, so those forms would drive me crazy.

    I hope you feel better soon and that things continue to go well with your doctor. As long as your doctor trusts you (and it sounds like he does) I don't think you'll have any problems.

    Best Wishes,
    Eva

  4. #4
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    So sorry you are dealing with this. Yes this is quite a tough road to travel. My doctor also has the forms to fill out about my pain every visit (and I was going every 2 weeks for awhile)...what bugs me most is they usually don't even look at them! Or, ask exactly what is on them. I would be honest with your doctor that you are having anxiety over this and hopefully let them assuage your fears some. They implement policies like this to cover their butts if they were to get visited by the DEA. So if anything, your clinic is less likely to get shut down if they have contracts, UAs, etc.

    I would do your best on the forms...there is no wrong answer. Most doctors use it as a way to compare how you are doing over time. Rating my pain is tough as it varies so much. I usually circle a wide range of numbers on the scale and then double circle an average. I can more easily deal in what percent relief the meds are giving me. Maybe this is a good time to point out to your doctor how little relief you are getting? Although its great to have any noticeable difference, often more can be done. 50% relief is a reasonable goal.

    I too have a hard time saying exactly what more I can do with the meds...they just make my life easier and I feel less miserable while going about my fay. I am probably in the minority though as I have somehow continued to work through all of this (my pain doesn't affect my mobility though). I would try not to let yourself be anxious over things you have no control over. It sounds like you have set yourself up the best you can to ensure you can continue to receive this treatment. Doctor selection goes a long way. Best wishes.
    Kate
    Constant headache for 10 years and other chronic health issues

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    @Shiloh... everyone is running paranoid with the DEA and bureaucrats... Those "idiots" at the DEA are like Arm chair quarterbacks... or Monday morning quarterback... it is easy to come in months after the fact and say something should or should not have been done differently... you provide people some pain meds... and they use different (forged) ID's and go to other docs and/or pharmacies .. they don't show up on the state's PMP.. they do something stupid... OD or sell/give to some one who OD's... even though other drugs (legal & illegal) & MJ may be involved in the OD and the doc and/or pharmacy are GUILTY for contributing to the OD...
    While I understand your concerns... you are concerned about maintaining the quality of life that you now have and it not getting worse....the doc and pharmacist(s) are only concerned about their keeping their license, ability to earn a living... support a family .. and not going to jail... just imagine... if they don't CYA themselves... it will not only be you that will/could have their lives destroyed... there will be a lot other patients of the doc that will be in the same boat... just look at it as a "game" between you.. the doc.. the pharmacist.. and the DEA.. and the paperwork is just part of the game..
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

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