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Denied Pain Meds

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Pain Management
My primary care Physician has told me in no uncertain terms he will not prescribe me anymore narcotics. He said until I was completly off of the valium, which I almost am, he would not even let me have an epidural (sp).

I start physical therapy soon and if that doesn't help can I ask him to refer me to a Pain Management Docter and can he say no. If he says yes can he tell the pain management doctor not to give me pain medications?

I was on Hydrocodone for 8 months and did not abuse them. He allowed me a measly 1-2 500/5 a day. I think I am being punished for the valium that he did not know I was taking.

Will a pain management doctor listen to my doctor or will he make up his own mind what kind of treatment I need?


  • You can request a referal to a PM doctor at anytime.
  • Will the pain management doctor determine what is appropriate treatment for me or will he follow my doctors orders?

    I know with the P/T my doctor has to approve of the treatment they are giving me.
  • Pain management docs are separate docs from your primary care physician. They are the "specialists" in treating pain. PM docs will evaluate your case and make their own determination what the best course of action is.
  • Thanks that's good to know. I am going to give this P/T my best shot and hope it works, but it's nice to know that if it doesn't I have another option.

    I really don't want to have to take pain meds but I know that I can't live the rest of my life like I am now. This is not living at all and is effecting every aspect of my life including my marriage.

    I am no fun to be around, heck I don't even want to be around me.
  • Doctors are weird. I am on 10MG/500 Hydrocodone 2 times a day, and uh, no one ever asked me. lol, I have hundreds of the pills. I just keep refilling when I get the chance, cause I don't take them all of the time, and since my Primary Dr. dismissed me, I can't get anymore of the meds. I went to 2 diff Dr.'s and they said no. So, I have at least have enough to last me, but I am not addicted. That's why I would rather lay in pain then take them.

    22 years old - Holla Back! :)
  • What is that doctor talking about? He's just a PCP. He can't give epidurals. Ethically he shouldn't deny a request for a consult with a specialist.
    Have you had any imaging done, like an MRI? A lot of PCP wont prescribe narcotics long term. I had herniated my back , but no one sent me for an MRI because of mysterious reasons. I was going to be referred to pain mgt without knowing what was wrong. I had enough, so I self referred myself to a back specialist after being in agony 7 weeks. The day after I had my MRI and found out I herniated L4-5.
    I had to have a microdiscectomy , and now, recently I'm recovering from a TLIF/laminectomy.
    In other words, take matters into your own hands. They're not suffering-you are. See if he'll at least refer you to a back specialist since you're not improving. They can do a whole lot of other things and get the testing you need.
  • :? Instead of your PCP neglecting you until "you" get off of the valium, why doesn't he do the responsible thing and work with you to get you off of them? There are other med's that can help you while you taper off of the valium and will also help with the pain and muscle spasms and whatever else you have going on. This type of treatment is ridiculous!

    DO NOT misunderstand what I'm going to say here. If a heroin addict went to the doctor and needed treatment for whatever, that doctor would work with the addict to get him off of heroin by putting him on a Methadone program and begin to taper it down until he is off. So why can't your PCP basically do the same thing? I consider the treatment of your doctor to be neglect. I happen to be well acquainted with neglect by doctors!

    And as long as your insurance does not require one, you do not need a referral to go to an Orthopedist to seek help for your back. You should be able to do that on your own.

    Good luck Suzie and I hope you find the "right" man/woman professional for you!
    With warmest regards,
  • One of the things I have learned over the years is that the doctor is not my parent, authority figure, lecturer or God. I go to doctors who understand I am the client. I call the shots according to his/her advise. If I do not get the treatment or respect I deserve, I find another doctor. It sounds to me like this PCP has an "I know whats best for you" hang-up. Remember, the difference between God and a doctor is God doesn't think He's a doctor. Find a new PCP who has some respect for you.
    Chig in Georgia
  • We were raised not to question the almighty doctor from were I come from. Kids would be dressed in their Sunday best when going to the doctor; all washed up and clean, running a fever and all. Doctors were well respected, revered, and like father figures. I grew up knowing real nice ones; I'd probably get a lollipop today at my age if I ran into any of them. I trusted in what I was told, because I knew it was for my best interest.
    I won't deny times have changed. My advice is, if you find a good PCP, stay there as long as possible. I used to have a real nice one, and I was treated nicely, never like a pest; we both respected each other, and I knew the doctor truly cared. I always left the office with dignity.
  • My doctor is helping me get off of the valium, we have a schedule and to be honest I could be off them today if it were not for the pain. I should be off of them October 18.

    He is not going to give me an epidural himself but will refer me to someone else.

    I have had an mri that showed pretty much nothing, so wants me to start P/T and see if we can get my muscles in my back built back up and then hopefully try some steriod shots or whatever they are. If that does not help than I am going to request to be seen by a pain management doctor. If he refuses than I will change doctors.

    He really does have my best interest at heart but I don't know why he is so hung up on this valium thing. I am down to 7.5 mgs. Barely nothing.

    I talked to a ER Doctor today (alot of our clients are doctors) and he suggested lyrica or nuerotin. He see's me alot so he knows I have a chronic condition and thinks that I am probably on the right track. He does not know about the valium.

    My doctor did tell me that he would not put in my records that I have been taking valium. I thought that was kind of him. I don't need that following me around.

  • Where did the valium come from, if it wasn't prescribed by your PCP and you don't have a pain management specialist?
  • Am I understanding correctly that your Primary Care Physician knows that you are taking this Valium that he didn't prescribe for you, yet he's not stating this in your medical records? Umm, honey, that's illegal! And it clearly shows that he does NOT have your best interest at heart because not only is HE committing a crime, but he's hiding the fact that you are too. Not only would I advise against treatment from this "Physician", but I would report him to the proper authorities as well.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,714
    I would look at what your doctor is doing by NOT including valium as a bad thing! By all means, you never want to have your medical records that were intentionally altered. That doctor could if reported could face some serious legal charges.
    When we have pain, medications are one source of pain control.
    From that point of view, every single drug that you take should be in your records. Not only does this provide a history, but lets take this to an extreme:

    -A- You (not you, but you in general) are allergic to Drug XYZ
    and it is not recorded in your records as such

    -B- You are admitted to a health care facility and upon checking your medical history sees no problem with Drug XYZ.
    They give it to you, you have a bad reaction and it intensifies, because Drug ABC they just gave you should NEVER be taken with Drug XYZ. You have an additional reaction to this and a code is called.

    If the doctors knew that you had bad reactions to Drug XYZ then would have found a substitute.

    On a regular basis, I work with my Pain Management doctor to review and update if necessary my current medications, including all OTC. To me, doctors are like detectives, the more supporting information you can give them the better chances they have in finding the problem.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Another good point Ron. I'd also like to add that anyone who takes these kinds of meds w/o being prescribed by their physician TO them, is contributing to the problems the rest of us face who DO take only what is prescribed to us. This is no different than a person who buys pills off the street for recreational use. I do know and understand that she does, indeed, have pain and is dealing with a difficult situation with said Physician, however that doesn't make it right and certainly it's hard for me to not to be upset if this is really the case and not just a bad presumption on my part, because there are so many people, myself included, that have uncontrolled pain, and some people (not me but others) can't get meds to help their pain because of the actions, such as in this case, that have prejudiced so many doctors causing them to become extremely tight fisted with narcotic and other controlled medications.

    Suzee, I sure hope that I'm wrong on this, and if so I will happily apologize for the assumption, but if I'm right-I hope that you will see just why this upsets me so. I could care less what you or others do that doesn't affect me, but INDIRECTLY, this DOES affect me, and it affects every other chronic pain patient as well. You yourself know what a problem obtaining these types of prescriptions has become and why, so I'm quite surprised that you would even have gone down this road.

    Now, aside from the legalities, I would like to tell you that I truly do hope that you are able to get off the Valium AND get your pain under control very soon. I honestly feel that you should seek another medical opinion because if this Dr is doing this with you, who knows what else he's doing that's illegal and unethical. You need a competent physician that can be trusted and one that will always look out for your best interest.

    Best of luck to you and please do take care...
  • Well, than maybe I misunderstood him. If he wasn't being some dang ethical he would give me something for the pain.
    He said it's dangerous to mix valium with hydro's, but I noticed some posters are on valium along with thier pain meds. So who is right.

  • I was on Soma when I herniated a disc last year, along with Norco. After my microdiscectomy, I didn't improve, despite post op ESI's. I was sent to pain mgt and the doctor changed the Soma to Zanaflex. I read somewhere that doctors don't want to combine Soma and hydrocodone, because it tended to very addicting than usual. After my fusion, I was put on Valium 5mg. I have severe persistent sciatica, and the surgeon bumped it up to 10. I'm also on Neurontin, and was on Torodal briefly. Right now I'm on prednisone to help with pain and inflammation.
    Well, I am on Valium and hydrocodone, and I have not had any adverse reaction to it. I try to take the Valium later in the day so I won't feel drowsy, unless I'm having a real bad day and can't get out of bed. I find it very helpful for the awful muscle spasms I get all the way down to my leg.
  • I think he wants you off of the valium because you are not getting it from him. Yes you have been taking them for a while BUT since you are going to this doc for pain, or shall I say just about every doc, wont give you ANY controled or narcotic meds unless you are only getting them from the doc that is prescribing the new meds. So basically if you want pain meds you will need to get off of the Valium and go from there. Where you prescribed these meds and how long have you been taking the Valium?
  • Sorry if you are feeling a little beat up here suziee.I believe that people are only being honest with you and really trying to help.

    I don't know if your Dr is right about mixing valium with hydrocodone-but he may have meant that it is unsafe for you.Every person is different and I think that your Dr believes that you have a problem with valium.He thinks so because you did not obtain them through him and you obviously don't want them in your record.

    You might be surprised at what Drs put in our records.The last appt I had the nurse brought my chart in and left it;as I was waiting for the Dr I decided to have a peek because I had just recently joined this site and I was more curious than I was before.I opened the chart at the beginning and it was my first appt there last year.I was surprised at how detailed it was..even stating that I was clean,well dressed,had good teeth,and that I was pleasant and well mannered...but what struck me most was there in my chart was a reference to something the Dr and I had discussed.It was nothing negative,as a matter of fact it was not important at all.I guess my point is that there is a lot in our charts that you might think the Dr would not put in there.

    It may not be the medication,but it could be a referance about a medication(in the chart).Another thing is that if he would keep something out of your chart that he should not(legally),what else might he do,or not do.

    You may think that he has your best interests at heart and you think that is kind of him not to put in your chart that you have been taking the valium(for which I do not judge).If he were to put the valium in your chart I wonder if your opinion of him would change.

    I don't know about the epidural.Your PCP won't be able to give you one,and I don't think any qualified Dr would really know where to inject if nothing is showing up on your MRI,which is probably why the PT.

    I know that people have pain and it does not always have to be something that shows up on an MRI.It can be harder to be taken seriously I can imagine.I believe that you are being very honest and I admire you for that here where it can't be easy putting it out there for other opinions.

    I hope that do get away from the valium so that you can get the medication that you need and what can help you the best.
  • Excellent post!

    I'm really not trying to beat you up Suzee...I'm sorry if I've made you feel that way. It isn't my place to judge you, nor my desire. I am concerned for your well being as well as the ethics behind all that is going on, both with you and your Doctor. I don't know why he wants you off the Valium because I don't know him, but I too agree that it's probably because he isn't the prescribing Doctor of that drug. I think I'm most concerned with his comment of leaving it out of your chart than I am with anything else, merely because being a medical (well former one now) professional I know how serious that is, both legally and ethically. It could also pose a real danger to your health, as Ron pointed out.

    Anyway, I'm not going to re-hash all of that. I said my piece and dont need to do so again. I just wanted you to know that I'm honestly not judging you nor trying to make you feel bad. If anything I was just trying to open your eyes a little, that's all. Please accept my apologies if I've made you feel bad in any way.

  • I think your doctor is leaving the valium out of your chart to protect himself from an existing mistake, not for any postive impact on you or your abliity to obtain treatment in the future.

    Your post offers a couple of assumptions for the situation.

    The first assumption would be that you're obtaining the valium using a valid prescription from another physician/specialist. In that case, your PCP would have the ability to consult with the prescribing physician and incorporate that information into your comprehensive plan for pain care.

    If that's the case, one would assume there's a medical reason they don't want you to take the two types of medications at the same time and that your physicians have communicated and agreed on that plan of care; one would also assume that one or both physicians would inform you of the reasons for that decision.

    The alternate assumption would be that you're obtaining the valium through an illegitimate source. If you're obtaining and using a controlled substance without a valid prescription, then you're breaking the law and become classified as an "addict" by default. In that case, your physician is simply adhering to federal guidelines that prohibit prescribing narcotics to addicted patients and I would count your blessings that the physician didn't simply drop you as a patient and inorm the police of the illegal activity.
  • Ok, your not going to like this one.

    If your doc just found out you were taking valium that he didn't know about, I guess he was not best pleased. I agree with the comments above and wonder how he never knew??
    The doctors need to be so careful with us chronic pain suffers not to make us addicts and create other problems. Perhaps he is trying to ensure you haven't got other issues so he can really work with you and not just fleet around looking the the doctor who gives you the answers you want?? - This is just a thought. Sometimes these "harsh" doctors are the best.

    The pain, depression cycle is hard enough for back pain suffers to be taken seriously as it is. Yes you need some decent medication but the doctors need you to be honest to help yourself before they can help you as well.

    It is time for you to be open, frank and honest with all the carers, doctors and yourself, then you will get the help you seek. Say what you want, expect and hope. They may not have the answers but at least you'll all be clear.

    I hope it works out for you.
  • but I have been posting about this for over a month and didn't get jumped on untill now.

    What I did was wrong, I did not obtain them from a reputable source. I understand your frustration and that I am part of the problem for you the "real suffers" who can't get your pain meds without getting treated like a drug addict, for that I am sorry.

    I got the valium after the son of a good friend who living with us last summer (2007) decided to kill himself in my home. No one would help me, I couldn't cope with it and all I got from the Doctors was a pat on the head and don't worry it will be okay, what your feeling is normal. Normal hell, I was shaking like a freakin leaf in my own home. I couldn't go home from work until I knew my husband was there, I couldn't stay home by myself. We had to put our house for sale and move from a home that I had once loved. I was loosing it...So yes I did the unspeakable and got some valium... I'm not telling you this to feel sorry for me, I'm just explaining my thought process or lack of thought at the time.

    When I injured my back I did not tell my doctor that I took valium, at the time I wasn't taking that much of it or that often. He prescribed Hydro 500/5 and would not allow me more than 1-2 per day which was not enough.

    Then I found this site and noticed a few people were taking valium for back pain in addition to thier other pain meds so I tried it and dang if it didn't help with my pain. So I was able to keep the pain somewhat at bay with the hydrocodone and valium. So there you have it folks, the whole sorted story of my illegal wrong doing!!!

    My Doctor ended up finding out about it and of course was not a happy camper. As far as leaving it off my chart, I'm not sure what's going on there. I would like to change doctors at this point but my husband says that it will be in my charts. I have no problem at this point telling any doctor that I screwed up but that shouldn't eliminate me from receiving medical treatment. I think the doctor is afraid if its in my charts it may jeopardize (sp)my insurance which I just got.

    Ya know you guys talk about the drug addicts out there ruining it for you but I have noticed a lot of posters that are giving pointers on how to approach their doctors about getting better drugs, or increasing their dosage, how to talk to your PCM or Pain management doctor so as to seem like a drug seeker. If your not a drug seeker why would you need instructions on how not to appear to be one. Hmmmmm

    Thank you Tanya and Itsalongwalk for trying to be understanding.

    Bionicwoman, you can just go on your assuming little way. Where do you get off with this "greater than thou" attitude. I guess its probably great to be you.

    Peace out

  • Suziee,

    I would like to start off by saying that I don't believe you fall into the "problem" or the "cause" for so many of us having trouble getting pain meds. I think you just made a mistake. One that anyone of us could have made, given the same choices. I understand why you made the choices you did. Right or wrong, I do understand.

    My husbands family ran a bar, that is connected to my apartment building. The bar was shut down 2 years ago, because a so called "friend" of the family was selling his oxycontin in the bar. After he was busted, our bar was labeled a "nuisance" by the city. My husband had just taken over the liquor license that month, and his name was smeared all through the papers. As a result, we agreed to close the bar, in order to stop the harassment.

    This so called "friend" is the problem. Getting meds, that he did not need, and then selling them to addicts. Obviously, if he is selling them, he does not need them!

    I still live here, and I tell you at least once a week I have someone knocking on my window, trying to sell me some form of pharma. You name it, they've got it. That's just the neighborhood I live in (across the street from the homeless shelter, THE WORST NEIGHBORHOOD IN TOWN)

    These people are the problem.

    You know what my family got out of the deal? We lost our business. My husbands name was put out for the City to view and judge. It most certainly wasn't his fault. He only had the place in his name a month. You know what this A* hole got? 6 months in jail. We suffered for his crime. And so do numerous other people in so many other ways. We were even audited by the IRS!! (married couple with one child taking the general deduction... that requires an audit?) I figure they red flagged our name because of what this loser did in our bar. They even opened every bottle of liquor, and tested them to see if they were watered down. We had to provide receipts for every bottle of alcohol in the place.

    Anyway, back on topic. I know why you did what you did. I cannot say that were I in your shoes I'd have done any different. You have admitted you were wrong, and you are taking responsibility. You are a good person, looking for help, and I can see that good person in you.

    Don't you think I have been tempted? When my doctor won't help me, and some guy is offering me help at my window? Damn right I've thought about it. But I won't go there. Not because I am better than anyone else, or because its "wrong" But because I only think about my child in that situation. I'm just not willing to take that risk. I will sooner die of pain, then to have something happen to my son.

    In time I know that I will get the help I need. I just have to keep fighting for myself, and fighting to keep these people away from my home.

    Keep doing the right thing Suziee, and I know you will get the help you need also.

    Hugs and Kisses from a friend
  • I think if you do find a new PCP and tell the truth right up front that you would be treated with the respect that you deserve.As I mentioned in a previous post that I admired your honesty..so too will the Dr.(I would think),but the Dr you have right now does not seem to be very understanding or respectful.

    You said yourself that he just patted you on the head (well you said DRS,I'm assumming it was the same one)and after a traumatic incident such as a death by suicide in your own home and to be dismissed like that-in my opinion is dispicable.I would have left him then,but as you mentioned you were not thinking.I can certainly understand why.You would think that a good Dr would have seen the trauma you had been through and was going through and perscribed you something for your nerves anyway.Moving itself can be traumatic.

    I have seen you post about the valium before,but I never posted back because I didn't see it in your own thread,and I didn't really see you asking a question.You may have-I just didn't see it.The only reason I posted in this one was because I thought that I could be honest and answer your question the way I saw it...but that doesn't mean I'm right by any means.Looking back now I think I could have given you a better answer just by saying that if you go to another Dr-more than likely the Dr you are with now would never actually 'talk' to him/her,but he might put a note in your chart,and he might not..if you go to another Dr and tell the whole story up front I think you will earn the respect that you want from a Dr.

    As far as what you said about people giving advice on how to look and act when going to their appts.(I read this over & over again),I was laughing when I read that because I wondered the same thing...then I laughed because in my post I was dressed nice,pleasant,blah blah blah.. =)) ..but that was last year...and I always try to look nice when I leave the house..now I'm feeling all paranoid.. :))(

    The whole valium thing is your business-you put it here and are likely to get opinions,but everyone has one of those.

    I don't judge anyone.
  • Suziee~*

    I agree with what Robin said-and worded very well I might add. You cannot undo what you've done, but you CAN earn a Doctor's respect by simply being honest right from the get go. The way I see it, that's the only choice you have right now because otherwise you live a life in unmanaged pain, and that's not fair. Even violent criminals on death row get medical care for pete's sake! You made a mistake, and while I was trying to explain things to you from my point of view, I don't judge you for what you did. We ALL make mistakes and anyone who says they don't is full of horse poo! I'd be willing to bet that a large majority of chronic pain patients have taken an extra pill a time or two, or taken 2 doses at once rather than several hours apart "as prescribed", etc. They have justification for their action because the med is prescribed to them, even tho they're ignoring HOW it was prescribed for them to take. You have justification for what you did because of the circumstances surrounding your situation. Not one of us here has the right or obligation to judge you! Now, being a medical professional, I feel I have the obligation to advise people not to do certain things, but that doesn't mean I side against them, think they're a bad person, etc. just because of something they did. Now if you were saying you didn't care what any doctor said you're going to keep taking this and to hell with them, then perhaps I would view you in a different way, but again, it is not my place to judge you.

    As far as your current doctor-I have serious reservations about him and I think he should be reported for what he's doing because how many other patients is he not including pertinent info in their charts? He is a Doctor-he isn't God, nor the Judge & Jury. What he is doing is wrong and I won't ever think differently of him.

    You came to us for advice, and you've gotten it from all angles. Now you need to get rid of the current Doctor, get that new Doctor and be honest with him/her from the very start, and resume your quest for reduced/eliminated pain. I wish that for you and for it to happen very soon.

    Take care of you...
  • I honestly think he will include it in my chart when I change doctors, how could he not? He cares a great deal for me and would want another doctor to know this. Regardless I will be honest with the next doctor whom ever that may be.

    I think my doctor is good but I think having a friend as your doctor is not a good thing. I don't think he can be objective.

    Thanks everyone for your understanding, I fully expected to come back to this thread and see some more blasting.

    Unless you fully know someones story its best to find out what has been going on in thier life before you pass judgement. I try to remind myself of this whenever a clerk at a store is rude. You don't know what is going in thier life so don't take it personally.

  • I think that if you can prove to your doc that you are and can get off of the Valium he will be more willing to help you. The fact that you have been obtaining them illegally he could turn you in. It is a mandatory 25yr prision sentence to obtain controlled substances illegally, especially prescription meds. So I think your doc wants you to prove yourself to him by stopping the Valium. At the point that you are off of the Valium I am sure that he will be more willing to help wiht the pain medications. In all reality (in my opinion) this seems the proper thing to do. How does he know that this back pain is as bad as it is or that you wont sell your meds. I am NOT saying this is the case BUT, I am sure that your doc has some doubt in you since you did tell him you were taking valium without a valid RX
  • For what ever its worth I am stopping the valium. We have a schedule for tapering and I am down to 7mg. Even when I am off of them he still will not prescribe a narcotic. Narcotics are for short term use not for chronic pain.

    I started physical therapy today so I am on the right track.
    If that doesn't work than I'm not sure what direction I will go. Pain Management I would think.

    I highly doubt they would put a middle aged woman with no priors in prison for 25 years. The DEA is more concerned about catching the seller.
  • From what I can see you are trying hard and I am sure once the doc can see that too he'll be more willing to help.

    I hope you get sorted soon, It is no fun suffering and everyone tries to medicate in whatever way they can.

    Be strong and stay with the doctors.
  • that you are tapering off of the valium. That is a very good thing. IF you feel that you are in need of pain meds and your doc is not helping you in that department or wont after you are off of the valium then switch docs. IF you feel you are not getting the treatment or care that you feel you deserve then switch. IF he is a family friend then I would definately suggest switching.
    And yes it doesn't matter who you are if you are caught obtaining prescribed meds illegally then yes you could face that prision sentence. I am not saying this to be a B*&$h but saying it as more of a warning.
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