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Venting!!!!! Is this normal????

MelWMMelW Posts: 427
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Chronic Pain
I have never had this happen! I wanted to cry!!! :'(

I have been going to my family doctor for about six years now. He has always prescribed me my heart meds, Prozac, and Ativan. I get my Ativan maybe once every year and a half to two years, I only take it on an as-needed basis when I have more anxiety than normal. The last script I had filled was 09/2008 and I am getting low on them, I have about 5-6 left. So I call yesterday and leave a message asking to have it refilled. The nurse just called me back and said that she just reviewed my chart and that since I am having narcotics filled by multiple doctors (which I am not! I have one doctor fill my scripts for pain meds, my PM!!!) that they will no longer be able to fill any narcotics for me. Are you serious?!?!?!! They also said that it has been five months since I have been in to their office to see anyone, not sure what that has to do with anything.... The last time I had an appointment was because I had a sinus infection! I am so confused. She ended the conversation by saying I would have to get this script filled somewhere else since they would not be filling any more narcotics for me. Is this normal?????


  • Yes I have heard of doctors not refilling scripts if you haven't been in their office for a while. I would suggest calling, setting up an appointment and discussing all of this with your doctor.

    Best wishes,

  • Hi, I was reading your post and It's possible they might not even let you get in to see your DR. because of the things they "claim" you have done. It is a very serious thing when they say you have been filling narcotics with different DR's, they call it DR shopping. If you can't get in with your regular DR. I would ask to speak with the clinic manager, they will be able to get to the bottom of this and explain why they think that you were doing what they say you were and it also gives you a chance to clear your name of any wrong doing. I hope this helps a lil' best of luck to you!
  • Yep, it's normal. My family doctor took one look at my meds list and shuffled me off to specialists.

    I've been reading up on it. Most family doctors are not really prepared to manage people on long-term narcotic use.

    So find a psychiatrist to keep your prozac and ativan going. They'll want to see you regularly.

  • Oh, but about the dr. shopping- narcotics has two different definitions. Some people use it to mean any controlled substance, and some people use it to mean just opiates.

    So be sure and clear that up- that your pain doctor is the only doctor from whom you've been getting opiates, and the Ativan is an entirely separate class of medication.
  • I am so confused. When I went in for my sinus infection they asked me if I was on any new medication. I told them about my surgery and the meds I was taking. Am I not supposed to tell them that? I would think it is helpful for me to give them that info.

    I am calling their office back. I don't even care about the meds I just want to know what is going on. I do not know how it works when getting meds filled. I have always gone to my family doc for this and to my neuro for my neck pain related stuff. Confused, confused, confused!!!
  • Yes, you should have told them.

    How about typing out a list of what doctors you have and what meds they prescribe and faxing it to them, then calling whoever you spoke with to "clear up the accusation of doctor shopping?"
  • Well I just called back and talked to the doctor's nurse. She started to get a bit rude with me talking about breech of contract and I cut her off a bit and said look I am not sure what is going and want this cleared up, I just had surgery last year and have always gotten my pain meds from my PM and/or surgeon and my other meds from your office, I not ever been told to do otherwise. I have never been told anything about a breech of contract for where I get my meds. It makes sense now that she has said it but I never thought of it before. She started rattling off meds I have gotten, "well in November, December, and January you recieved valium from your PM and/or neuro, a script from nurse practitioner X and Z on 09/2008 and 07/2006", blah, blah, blah, "and you are getting percocet, Norco, and flexeril from PM". I explained to her that if they would have researched a little more that all of those small (2-4 pills) scripts from my PM and/or neuro were for procedures, injections to be exact. And I was trying to get off of the percocet so he switched me to Norco but it was not relieving the pain so I went back on percocet. And X and Z she mentioned were nurse practitioners from their office and they are the ones that wrote me the script in 2008 & 2006 for the Ativan! She made it sound like I am going around to ten doctors and getting meds! She suggested that I sit down with the doc like inchworm did and go over my meds, what I am on, where I get them, docs name, all that stuff. I got a little heated and then made myself take a deep breath. It just made me mad considering she said the doctor refused to refill it and I have never even met my doctor, which should probably tell me something! I am always sent to a nurse practitioner or an assistant.

    I understand where they are coming from but at the same time it is hurtful. To think people go "doctor shopping" to get meds and then we, ones in real pain, have to be the ones to explain ourselves and be made to feel humiliated. It makes me sick to think people really do this kind of thing when they are not truly hurting.

    i am really just depressed right now. I struggle everyday with this pain and then have to deal with crap like this. I didn;t even need the Ativan right now, I have it just in case I need it when Ihave bad days. If I was trying to get more you would think I would take more than 30 in a two year period. I am just upset right now. I am done venting or I will keep typing until my fingers fall off. :(
  • Yes it is normal for a Doctor to question you about where you are getting marcotics. They get a print out from the Drug Store where you get your meds filled, thats how they know what you are taking.
    When I see a new Doctor...say a surgeon I ask for a letter stating I am not getting pain meds from them and take it to my PCP. I know I do not need it but I do this anyway and I always use the same Drug Store for all my meds. Even using a different Drug Store sends up a red flag.
    I agree that the druggies out there make it very hard on honest people like us who have very real pain.
    Do not let this get you down. Everything works out in the end.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • Thanks I am trying to keep my head up, well kind of. I was already on the verge of tears before this because these last few weeks have been extra bad with pain and now this! I just never thought of any of this as a red flag. Not at all. I feel like I am going to have to be careful about everything so I do not get flagged. I have wanted to change family doctors for a while now and just haven't, considering, like I said before I have never even met the guy, but now I feel stuck. Like if I change I am going to get flagged or labeled again.

    I give up. I am ready to just quit taking all of my meds and live a miserable painful life. I do not have it in me anymore, really. I have tried not to even talk about any of my pain to anyone other than on here because I know my husband is over hearing about it because he can not do anything to help me. I do not want to say anything in front of my kids because I do not want them to feel bad for me. The last time I was in some serious pain he ended up calling and blowing up on the doc and was about ready to cry because he could not do anything to help me. Now I just keep it to myself and it is getting to be too much.
  • I feel like I am about to have a panic attack now! Thank goodness I have a few left!!!! I am a mess. LOL
  • I have been taking Xanax for about 15 yras. They give me 30 1mg a month & usually I quarter them & just take little bit here & there.
    Doctors are being watched carefully as well as the pharmacie (thank you michael jackson & nicolle smith)
    My family doc asked me "are you getting any of these from someone else" because he doesnt want any trouble.
    You need to see a dif type doc (ortho prob) to get an opinion of why you're having this pain.
  • Sounds to me like you are still recovering since surgery was in March 2009. I know it HURTS! And it has, each & every day,,,, all day every day,,, not ONE moment not in a little pain, & sometimes 10+.
  • I keep trying to figure out what triggered it to get so bad again this time and the only thing I can come up with is the PT he sent me to. I was in pain before but it has gotten much worse since PT.

    I am so tired of it.
  • I was recently reading articles on pseudo-addiction. It is REALLY interesting reading.

    Basically, the concept is that doctors see the response to poor pain management as an addiction, and then treat it as such. There was a story about one woman who had to go to rehab, when all she needed was proper pain management!

    So I found it very helpful to type it all into a word document, like immyali and others suggested. That way, I don't have to keep explaining it. If anybody asks, they can have the printout ;)

    I highly recommend it! In fact, I'm going to go back to my file and re-work the medications portion to make it clear who is prescribing what.

    But also, my GP doesn't prescribe anything. All of my controlled substances come from people who really know how they work and what to look for- and I really prefer it that way. I get cymbalta, ambien, and xanax as needed from my psych who I see every 3 months. He knows that I don't refill my xanax more than a couple of times a year, and so never sweats a refill.

    Oh, and if I needed one and didn't have one, I suspect I'd make an appointment rather than calling in for it.

  • I schedule a "medicine review" appointment with my PCP once yearly. We sit and talk about my meds and I tell him everything I'm taking. I tell him what I need and and he writes scripts or we agree that I will call when I need a script for a particular med. I make those appointments so my doctor can be informed of my needs, I can get his feelings on my medication requests, and also so that he knows I don't expect to have him issue endless scripts for me without being paid for his time. It fosters mutual respect and understanding, and I get better care from my doctor.

    What you were told on the phone sounds abrupt and a bit rude to me. If I were you, I'd make an appointment with the doctor so you can sit down face-to-face and talk about your medication needs. If the nurse was representing the doctor's feelings accurately, that will become apparent to you very quickly.

    Good luck! :)


    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • never met your doctor? Things are very different in Oz. Doctors will never write a script without seeing you first, you have to make an appt with him. We don't have nurse practitioners that write scripts and specialist like neuro's and ortho's will only write a script for discharge meds from hospital then you have to see your gp after that. If you go to a pain clinic they will not write any scripts for narcotics of any kind they write a report to the gp making recommendations and then the gp takes it from there.
    All S8 drugs like Oxy the gp has to ring and get an approval number and it can't be refilled within a 30 day time frame.
    I'm so sorry your going through this, it just sounds so messy.
    I really do recommend writing your history, including docs, treatment tried, surgeries, any medical conditions not related to the spine and any meds (incl. dosage and frequency) you're on and who prescribed them and how long you took them for.
    If I were you (and it's just my opinion, feel free to ignore it) i'd find a doctor you can see face to face.
    Take care
  • I am starting to feel the same way. I think I may start looking for a new doctor. I wouldn't know this guy if he ran into me in the hallway. I really never thought anything of it because most of my visits to his office were for sinus infections or to get my yearly EKG and scripts for my heart meds. I felt kind of funny about it lately, never having met him just seems weird.

    I wish one of my docs would have told me I need to keep my GP informed of all of this. It makes sense now that it has been explained to me but until now I just assumed this is the way it is done. The GP takes care of my heart stuff and my depression/anxiety meds and the surgeon and PM take care of narcotics and pain management.

    Are you not in the US? You would think they would communicate with the surgeon/neuro/PM, etc to make sure everyone is on the same page. I do not know how many times I have sat down with the pharmacist to go over my meds and make sure it is kosher to take it all together and that none of them contraindicate another.

    I am just sick of everything right now. It seems as though if it is not one thing it is another. My stress and depression is coming to an all time high. We are in the process of deciding to move to the east coast to move closer to my family, it is miserable working at a computer every day, I miss out on a lot of my kids sports and after school activities because I do not have it in me to do anything when I get home and now this crap. I am about at my wits end. I see how people lose their minds sometimes and feel like they are going crazy.
  • I agree it makes no sense to have never had a one on one appt with your own GP- it's ridiculous. Is he too busy to see his own patients? I never heard of such a thing.

    This is a big misunderstanding and I hope this gets cleared up for you. Your GP should be getting records from all the specialists you see and they are put in your chart. This way he would also know who is prescribing what. That is how my care is handled and my GP coordinates everything and I believe someone has dropped the ball. However, it seems like more family doctors are unwilling to treat chronic pain patients on a long term basis and rather have all narcotics written by a pain clinic doctor.

    Maybe you could make an appt to see this elusive GP to straighten this mess out, and you could bring your pharmacy printouts to show that you weren't doctor shopping. This is worth your while because you don't want him to label you as doing that in your medical records and then it follows you everywhere you go. If you see him, just be calm and organized and non confrontational. Once he sees this then everything should be fine again but I don't blame you if you want to find another GP. Hang in there :H , Meydey
  • Hi Mel,

    As Meyday said you don't want this on your medical records. I agree you need to go sit down with this doc are whomever there and explain the situation and be sure it is taken out of your file. Understand if they put it in the can not change a medical record. But they can add to the fact that is was a mistake is all it was. Whatever you do just be sure to clarify it with them. I do hope you can get this all straightened out. Take care.
  • I made an appointment for next week. All I know is that if I walk in their and I do not see my doctor, whom I have never met, and it is an assistant or someone of that nature, I will walk straight back out, with my medical records and find a new doctor. This is ridiculous.

    I guess this is what happens when I ASSUME.... I gave my neuro and PM docs the name, address, and phone of my gp and was under the assumption anything I was having done was being forwarded to their office, apparently not. What a pain in the rear!
  • It's one of the things I REALLY miss about Kaiser. They are all completely linked through a special computer system- when you show up for your visit with your GP, they sit at the computer and see what specialists you've seen and what they found.

    But as I said, type it out before you get there so it's all there for him. List the meds you're on, how much you're taking, and who prescribed them. List the dates of your procedures so he can correlate those to the sedative scripts. Have the nurse put it in your chart before you even go back for your visit.

    Best advice I have gotten here. I think doing it really calls you out as someone who is taking active control of her medical care.
  • That would be so nice, and would make a whole lot of sense, if they would all be linked so there would not be these misunderstandings.

    I have started typing up a list of all doctors, meds including strengths, how often I take them and who presribed them to me, and procedures/treatments I have had done. I intended on doing this anyway because I have my appointment with the chronic pain doctor this coming up week and wanted to have it all down and ready for him when I go so I do not forget anything. I really do not even want to go back to my gp. The only reason I am is to get this all cleared up and then I am finding a new doctor that can actually make time to see me.

    I am ready for the weekend!!!!
  • You said something about a breech of contract,did you sign a pain contract with your pain doctor? you should be able to get your heart medicine from your family doctor.because a heart medicine is not a pain medicine,so you did nothing wrong,call your doctor an make an appointment to see him or her.or your pm doctor to see if you can get the anxiety med from him....
  • That is what confused me. I never signed a contract. I do contracts for a living so I am pretty anal about reading everything line by line. I would not have forgotten signing something like that. That is why why she started throwing the breech of contract thing out I about lost it. I was sitting there thinking HELLO, that is my speciality don't mess with me lady. I think she thought she was intimidating me and thought she was throwing big words out at me or something, not quite sure.

    Their office totally has me baffled with this entire thing....
  • If you never have signed a contract than you should try to talk to your doctor,maybe its just because you havnt seen him in awhile...
  • Could things get any worse!!!! I just got home from work, go to listen to my messages on the machine and I have one from the new PM I am supposed to be seeing this Thursday saying he is not going to be in the office and needs to reschedule!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I think I have a black cloud over my head that just won't go away :( What a way to start the weekend....
  • You get yourself all geared up to finally start fixing some problems and then they do that to you.
    That happened when I had my High Tibial Osteotomy, they changed my operation date and as a result I missed my daughters 2nd birthday, I cried for days!
    Hang in there, i'm positive there is sunshine coming your way.
  • Ugh, I hate it when things like that happen! Hugs and keep powering through.

    I had a thought that the PM doctor could send a fax to your GP clearing things up? That all of the pain meds were approved by him, and that he'd been notified of the ativan?
  • I called my PM doctor and left a message Friday :) I asked her if she could get me copies of all of my procedures/scripts/etc so i could have it to take to my appointment with my gp. I will mention getting something about him approving the meds and what they were for too, that is a great idea. He knew everything I was taking, even the ativan.

    It is not like I take it on a daily basis, like I said a script last me almost two years. Normally I hardly even take them but my stress level is at an all time high right now. Between the pain going on that is not being controlled, and we are talking about moving. I am not good with change, at all! We live in the midwest and are seriously contemplating moving to the east coast to be closer to my family. Stress, stress, stress! I will have to find all new docs, changes kids schools, etc. I do not want my kids to know how stressed I am so I pretty much just keep it all in other than posting here and that is probably my problem.

    I do not know what I would do without this forum :)
  • I don't know if anyone mentioned it higher up in the thread but, you should not keep using the same script of adivan for two years. All my scripts expire in a year and state to stop taking them at the one year mark. That might be part of the problem, by waiting so long between those scripts. You should get a new script on an annual basis and discard the old med, safely.
    Most people doubt there is any real change in a med at the one year point, but it is a chemical compound and can change properties over time, so they put the one year expiration date on meds.
    Once you get this mess straightened out you may be better served if you tell the prescribing doc when the expiration is about to expire and ask for a new one. This way there won't be as long between when the scripts are written and maybe, just maybe that will help.

    Hope you get this all worked out soon!
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