Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

What do I do now?! - Update to family doesn't want me to take meds

christiecchristie Posts: 28
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi guys. This is probably going to be long so I'm not going to start from the beginning but if you read my first post mentioned above - then you already know my story.

I don't even know where to start so I'll just start where I left off.

A few weeks ago, in addition to my chronic back pain, I had a headache so bad that even though my family (including my husband) didn't want me to take pain meds I got a scrip anyway (for 15 Lortab).

Meanwhile, I am in a pain management clinic and under the "care" of a pmd (who hasn't prescribed me anything). While I was at the doc for my headache, I called my pmd and asked the nurse if this doc could prescribe me something for my headache or if that would be a violation of the pain med contract. She said in these types of circumstances, it was not a violation. So I did everything I thought I was supposed to.

Well, a few days later, I decided I would talk to my pmd about getting a scrip for my pain to take on an as-needed basis since my problem before had to do with me turning into a zombie due to the Fentanyl patches I was on and getting very irritable. My pmd then calls and says I'm in violation of my contract!!! I explained everything and thought we were on the same page until today.

A little more background: since starting the clinic, here is what I've been told both in class and one-on-one by the docs: a common side-effect of round-the-clock meds is that they can make you zombie out sometimes; some patients' families think they are addicts even though they aren't; a chem. dependancy doc did an eval on me and told me (and my husband) at the end of the appt. that her opinion was that I WASN'T an addict; you can be physically dependant and NOT addicted (which I know I was phys. dep.); and MOST people take pain meds without becoming addicted (only 1-5% of ppl do).

So today, my husband and I went to see my pmd and the clinic psych to try to get on the same page re: pain meds. (I should preface also by saying that I have been in a flare-up for about 3 weeks now). Well, the whole meeting was conducted as if I wasn't even there. The pm doc started to tell me that losing weight is a sign of addiction rather than a side-effect of medication (I lost a lot of weight on the Fent patch), that turning into a zombie is also a sign rather than a side-effect, that they see HUNDREDS of patients go down the slippery slope (vs. most ppl do not become addicted), AND (this is the kicker) that the chem dep doc said that she recommended chem dep treatment for me!!!!! What?! I felt like it was three against me and that they all kept saying that all signs pointed to addiction! I'm crying and asking for meds b/c I've been averaging a 7+ pain level almost everyday for the past three weeks and have to miss out on my life and they say I'm so adamant about pain meds b/c I'm addicted. They say I may be in pain but at least I'm functioning. What?! Sure - I'm still here! What, exactly, is functioning then? Because I have no quality of life! Is functioning not dying?! In the end, the conversation kept going in circles around and about me and I left feeling even worse and with no medication.

I feel like I have no control over my life anymore! Everybody else is entitled to their opinion about me and what I am and what I should and shouldn't do. Nobody truly understands and I have no one to talk to (except you all thank God). I'm doing what I'm suppposed to and what everyone is telling me to do but at the cost of quality of life or pain relief.

Does anyone understand or possibly relate to this at all? I feel completely alone and trapped!

Thanks for "listening".




  • I also just read your first post regarding this same problem and I really do feel for you. I'm very lucky that I'm fully supported by my surgeon and his PA, my husband and the very few friends who even know I still take meds.

    But I'm confused. Why isn't anyone trying to get to the root of the 7+ pain? To me, that would be the most important thing I'd be thinking of - why can't I get treatment for the DDD, herniated discs, bone spurs and arthritis? That's exactly what surgery is for - fixing discs and shaving off bone spurs.

    Now, the problem with getting pain meds is a whole other matter. This brings up so many questions:

    Why did the chemical dependency doctor say first that you weren't an addict and that now you are, is it the same person?

    If you've been off all pain meds, including the fentanyl, for almost a month, then what does weight loss have to do with it?

    What do they want you to get treatment for if you've not been taking meds (other than 15 lortab)?

    Why would it be a violation to get headache meds from your PMD when he's the only one that prescribes all your meds (of which there apparently are none)? A violation of your contract is getting meds from a doctor OTHER than your PMD, not different meds from the same PMD.

    There's so much that is confusing me here. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you're lying or anything like that, I just don't understand some things, especially being labeled a drug addict if you're not taking any drugs and not being able to find a surgeon that's willing to help you with that level of pain. That's a lot of pain to live with on a daily basis.

    I know you said you've been to tons of doctors, but have you seen a fellowship-trained spine surgeon to try and get to the root of the problem?

  • Christie, I am so sorry that you are going through this. What else do you do to control the pain, ie, heat/ice, warm baths, deep breathing, stretching, etc?
    Maybe instead of, (and I apologize if I'm completely getting this wrong) asking for more meds, that if you instead say that the patches are not working for you anymore, and leave it at that? Would your pm do something then? If not, then I would be looking for a different pm dr. Would your primary be willing to take on your meds?
    Anyways, that's all I could come up with, sorry I can't be of more help to you. Just hang in there. I would hate for you to end up bedridden, but maybe if you stop doing the things around the house in spite of your pain, your husband might realize how much pain you're in? I don't know. Hang in there, and come to us when you need to vent. Take care of yourself!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Christie,

    So sorry you are still having family issues with medication. I can't say I understand, as 75-80% of my pain is pure nerve related, so Lyrica helps me most times. Darvocet for those days that flare.

    I have to echo what Cathie is asking. What are they doing to address the constant level of pain? Or has this been addressed and there is nothing further they can do? Also the same question, your PM. Is it a group of doctors, and therefore the miscommunication as to acceptance of other pain medications, or is this doctor doing double talk?

    It might be a good approach to get your hubby and family behind the "How can we fix the pain" vs "How come your on drugs?" Before my NS realized that most of my pain was nerve, my hubby got after him as he was more concerned over me being miserable in pain vs the drugs. Just a thought.. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I'll try to clear a couple things up. First, I've been dealing for chronic pain for the last 5 years. During this time, my docs and I have tried everything to "fix" the problem (PT - am on third round now, ESI's, chiro, massage, acupuncture, you name it). No doc thinks surgery will help and we asked again today and the response we got was even more negative wrt: surgery. SO since we can't find a fix (yet) to what is causing my pain, I'm in this pain management clinic which teaches you how to accept and manage your pain.
    This includes, CBT, PT, meditation, diet, AND MEDS.

    WRT the Lortab, it was a scrip written by another doc due to the severe headache I had had for 3 weeks. This is why I called my PM - to make sure I wouldn't violate my contract (btw - I could've gone to her for the meds but she's booking 1 1/2 months out and wouldn't prescribe me anything without seeing me first). The nurse eff'd up and didn't get the msg to her (or it didn't show up in the system or something) before I asked her about possibly prescribing pain meds for my back a few days later and so at first they thought I was in violation of the contract when really I wasn't. But I think that may be why she now thinks I'm an addict.

    I saw a chem dep doc for an eval. Her opinion was that I was not an addict. She said that to my husband and me at the end of the eval a month or so ago. Now today, my pmd said that the chem dep doc recommended I get chem dep treatment?!

    This is all eff'd up. Something is fishy and I don't like what's going on. It's costing me too much!

    Hope this helps things make a little more sense.

  • Christie,

    Thanks, that does make things a bit clearer. :)

    "I saw a chem dep doc for an eval. Her opinion was that I was not an addict. She said that to my husband and me at the end of the eval a month or so ago. Now today, my pmd said that the chem dep doc recommended I get chem dep treatment?!

    This is all eff'd up. Something is fishy and I don't like what's going on. It's costing me too much!"

    With this portion here. Have you spoken these concerns and irregularities to your husband? I would be furious. After I calmed down, I would call the Chemical Dep. doctor and find out what changed!! It is almost sounding like someone dropped the ball here. I would find out where the disconnect is for sure.

    If there was a miscommunication, and they don't want to own up to it, and make things right, I would start looking for a new PM. Just my thoughts there....


    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You are absolutely right. I was so upset at the meeting this morning that when the pm doc said that, I was just shocked! She even said, "I can go get her notes if you want"! WTF?! I swear I think she was thinking of another patient!

    Now my sadness is turning to anger. I am going to call and find out what is going on.


  • Christie if all you say is true I would be suspicious of this clinic. What does your husband say? I know he wanted you off the meds but does he remember them saying you weren't dependent? Sounds to me like this clinic may be referring you to doctors within their practice to keep them busy and you coming back. Have they done anything to replace the meds? Do you have any counceling or therapy sessions?

    I'm surprised that your PMD prescribed anything so soon after you came off meds. A headache is typical of withdrawal from many drugs so I would have expected him to contact the clinic directly before giving you anything.

    As far as surgery are you asking a surgeon or a pain management doctor? I would expect a PM doc to say no surgery since that keeps you with them. My situation sounds similar to yours in that I have specific problems but surgery would cause more harm than good. But this needs to be evaluated by a surgeon and you should have a clear understanding of what and why they are saying.

    You might want to start writing things down each day. Maybe you will be able to look back and see some pattern in yourself. At the least you will have accurate info .. time tends to make us forget details.

    Hope this helps a little. It's so hard to know how to help when we aren't there. Is there anyone else..family friend or distant relative.. who might be able to offer an objective opinion?
  • I have been in 2 clinics, over the years. I too, am in the boat - that surgery would most likely make it worse, because the pain is caused by degenerative issues with my spine and severe stenosis which no one wishes to try to alleviate and some broken stuff.

    What I have found, is a host of little small things, that have a cumulative effect on the felt pain, most of the time. Sincerely - there are times when my pain level is way up, times when sexual activity is zero, because the nerves are compressed and "nothing works", kind of pain, when the legs ache like there are spikes drive through them. And I slowly find ways to drop it by a little and then a little more.

    So thing I would say, is that I have been there, its not nice, but it was in the very spot that you are now, that I decided to be better educated about what makes my pain tick, than the Dr's around me. I had 3 at the time. Yes - I have wizzed in the bottle - to prove that I was taking my meds and what they were. He expected to find other stuff, and as I proved to him, clean. I only take what I must - in order to live.

    One thing I can say - is that the emotional turmoil of this kind of fight - argument - can in fact be very tiring and feel like an insurmountable hill to get around. If I was to share anything with you, it would be to know yourself - and keep presenting yourself, as best you can. I will say, that I have always had my sweetheart on my side, because she sees me when the meds do not work, and recognizes that I retreat inwards, when the pain is high. That has always been my defense mechanism.
  • Have you shown your husband any references about "pseudoaddiction?" I wonder whether he might be interested to read those.

    I really don't get how your husband managed to take over your medical care from you. It must just be because the likelihood of it happening in my house is so low, but... can't you deny him access to your records or something? Just not allow him to your visits? I have to say that's the part I'm not getting.

  • Christie,

    Good for you for checking!! I've had doctors mix me up (fortunately caught almost immediately). Hopefully it is just a mix up, but for sure follow up. I think better when I am mad vs unhappy. I hope this all gets cleared up. :) *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I think what gets me the most is that your husband did not come to your defense when you were being accused of 'addicted' when last month you both sat and heard that you were not!!! My husband would have whipped out his sword and gone to battle for me and never would have let them talk to me in that manner...He'd also demand that I have something to make me comfortable or we'd just go someone else. I'm bothered most by your husband not going to bat for you.

    I agree with, I think Kris, who said...if you are asking your PM doctor about surgery, that is the last person to be asking!! They want you to stay in pain so you come back every month for more treatments. My husband...after 2 years...finally figured this out...that it is not in their best interest for me to get better...they only slap bandaids on the problems...so we felt it would be better to go try to get to the root of my pain. Now if you are in-operable, then PM docs (if a good one) helps tremendously...but doesn't sound like you have a good one. I am very fortunate that my pcp takes care of my pain meds...have you tried this route?

    Sorry to hear you are in so much pain all the time. It's not fair to be treated like an addict if you are not. Are you drug seeking...well yeah...sort of..b/c your pain is severe and you want to be able to function better. But, I think if you were properly treated, that would go away.

    Hope you get to the bottom of the mess with your PM doc and the chem dep. doc!!!
  • exactly what my husband would do in the same situation. That is why I do not let him go to my PM appts. A few times he has been mad at me and said, well I'm gonna go talk to that "B". Because he thinks she gives me too many pain pills as he says, although I feel I am way under medicated. It is a real pi$$er. I would not have him involved at all, I would find a NEW doctor, take your records with you and then buy a small safe to store your pain meds and nobody will need to know about it. If they can't be on your side, to hell with them. Who needs someone screeching in the background when you are already going thru and feeling like hell daily. It is not right, it is not fair and I just don't have him have a thing to do with it.
  • I would, for sure, ask to see the report from the chem dep doc!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Guys I think her husband cares. But society today says that all medications are DRUGS!! And there is a valid concern because many people do become addicted to their prescription meds. I had a family member who died in rehab from meds prescribed for his back pain. It does happen.

    The problem is we need a control person in our lives. Someone who is far enough away that they can see the long term change. But close enough that we can trust their judgement.

    I think Christies husband cares..maybe too much. He is probably afraid that his wife will be hurt by what she is taking. But he seems to have gone to the opposite extreme.

    Christie I agree you should get that report. It is your right to have all of your records including office notes and notes between doctors. Then talk to your husband about what both doctors said. It may be time to find a new pain clinic. But you should make that decision together.
  • Thanks again for all the support. Lately I've been thinking that maybe I should go see my old pmd (diff insurance) pay cash for office visit and get scrip. only problem then is what do I get that doesn't cost hundreds of $. Does anyone know how I can find the retail values of some meds?

    This just sucks because until now, other than me smoking occasionally on the DL, we have had the most open relationship. But now I just feel like saying "Hey - you're not the boss of me. I need this and I'm doing this". I know I can't though so everything would have to be on a don't ask don't tell basis (though HE wouldn't know that).

    And I keep going back to the years I took meds as needed daily. Things were so much better then! I was more comfortable, more involved w/my family, not zombied. But hubby says no - he thinks it will snowball back to how I was on the fent patch.

    I just feel like I have no control over my life.


  • hours ago - probably around 2:00. Of course I had to leave a vm so I did but of course I have not yet heard back and the office is now closed. You can bet that I am going to be calling first thing tomorrow morning and making as many phone calls as I can to get to the bottom of this. I'm pissed now. Someone is either not doing their job right or lying or just downright being deceitful for no reason. I'm so angry I feel like I don't want to be a part of their program anymore. I thought I had finally found a place where the docs understood me and my situation and help me get to where I need to be. Yah right! Now I feel as though I can't trust anyone.
  • Christie did you ask your husband about the meeting with the other doc? I'm curious to find out what he remembers from that visit.

    As far as going to another doc on the DL (lol sounds so funny). I wouldn't do that. If you want to go back to that doc or to any other just say so. As HB said this is your body and you have final say. If you sneak around you are asking for way more trouble. If you go back on meds and your family finds out they are going to have a good reason not to trust you.
  • 2pm and no return call by the end of business?? Is this lack of call back "normal" for that place? I wouldn't be too happy, that's for sure! I see you are going to contact them first thing. I hope all this gets cleared up.

    I have to agree with Happy, your husband is your husband, not dad. I think you are giving him too much access and control if he is telling you what you can and can't do medically. I do believe he loves and cares, but somewhere "hubby I want you to see what is going on to help support me"...moved to his taking over the direction of your medical needs. Just my thoughts there...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Why does it have to be on the DL? Just tell him you were upset with the way he took over your doctor's appointment, and that he's not invited to further appointments unless he can behave.

    And if he starts up again in an appointment, tell him to go sit in the waiting room. You need to be able to communicate with your doctor. And if you wish, you can revoke your doctor's permission to talk to him.

  • I'm coming in late to this, but I agree with several people here. You are an adult and you are not reuired to discuss, explain, ask permission nor share your health information with your husband. Now, it would be nice to have someone in full support of you're feeling better, but absent that, you need to step up and take care of yourself.

    Do you have to do it on the DL? I would say no, but then I'm not in your situation. I would call back in the morning and tell them you want to meet with the head of their program. If it is your PM, then I would ask to speak with him directly. I would explain that you were not at all happy with the way your last appointment went, that you'd like to know how, when your chem addiction interview came out negative, suddenly, without seeing you again, the counselor decided that you need treatment? *IF* that in fact is the truth then you may really want to see about finding another program/doctor.

    I do hope you are able to get the help you need... based on what you've said here, it doesn't sound like you are going to find that help where you are right now.
  • came with me. When I first left detox, he wanted to come with me to a few doc's visits and I said OK - I had nothing to hide. Then when I started the pm clinic and spoke with both the psych and pmd individually and explained my history, both of their concerns were why my husband wouldn't let me have proper pain meds and they wanted to set up a meeting with the four of us. This gave me hope. I thought they were going to educate him on why it is ok for me to take the meds I need in conjunction with everything else I'm learning in the clinic. Meanwhile the whole headache/med/violation/not violation incident occurred and I feel as though that may have tainted the pmd.

    So during the meeting, instead of advocating for me, they were saying that all signs pointed to I was an addict. Gee that give me hope.

    On someone's advice, I looked up pseudoaddiction yesterday (even though they teach it in my class, I had forgotton about it). If I am any kind of addict then I'm a pseudoaddict. Like I said at the meeting yesterday: I don't crave the drug mentally but just to help me relieve some of this pain after I've already done everything else I know!

    My husband just simply doesn't want to see me "check-out" again and he thinks a med as needed will do that and the docs would rather do something scheduled.

    I'm ANGRY now!

    Thanks so much for all your feedback.

  • You should tell him that different meds affect different people in different ways. I don't like ER morphine, it turns me into a zombie and I cannot function. Lortab or percosett dont' do anything except get rid of nerve pain. If he can't handle that, then I would just do what you gotta do to take care of you and to hell with him. If he isn't going to be on your side, then why include him? That is sorta what marriage is supposed to be. In sickenss and in health, being able to talk to each other and express feelings. It sounds to me like he doesn't want any part of you taking any kind of pain medication and that is crap. He has no idea what it is like to be in constant pain and try to have somewhat of a life. Just my two cents, but then I live with a bozo myself - so I'm pretty hardcore to that type of behavior these days. When you finally come to the realization that your on your own, then you have to do what's best for you because nobody is going to do it for you, or even be on your side apparantely.
  • Your story makes me glad my PCP and my shrink have controlled my meds...

    I'm not going to say much new, just keep calling your PM and at the same time I would be requesting a FULL set of your medical records from anyone you have ever seen about this. Something smells fishy and I bet it ain't fish :? :?

    Then if all else fails I'd demand another opinion on your condition. Both a PM and a Neuro surgeon if possible.

    At some point no matter how much we love the people who are trying to help us, at times they simply don't really understand. Since your husband has been trying to be there for you, I'd certainly be asking him where he got the idea to aree with your PM at that visit, when he heard the eval dr say you were not an addict!

    I sincerely hope you can get something worked out, with some or all of these people.
  • When your husband has the power to take the pain for part of the time, he can make those decisions. Until then, it's really your choice. Checking out is not an outcome any of us want, but not trying meds out of fear is unacceptable.

    That said, it does sound like you react differently to meds than the average person, and if it were me I would want to be able to have a dialog with my doctor about what this means to me and my chances for addiction. But not with someone else running interference.

    p.s. I just went back and re-read your post about your being in rehab for fentanyl. My only question was, at the time were you using more than prescribed? Or was the decision that you were addicted based solely on the fact that you were dependent?
  • Yes, I think the puesdo addiction sounds logical...you are 'drug seeking' now b/c you are in pain. If you had some pain control, you'd be fine. Just b/c fentanyl made you a zombie does not mean all meds make you that way. My meds sort of do the opposite and make me a little unable to rest.

    Anyway, I had no insurance for a while and if you are giving up on your PM and the contract and going to you pcp, then probably what he'd prescribe (something short acting) isn't too bad paying cash. If you really need to know the price, you can call a pharmacy and ask what the retail price of "x" med is and they can tell you. But, if you are going to stay with your PM doctor, don't go ask your pcp for a script. That would again violate your contract. PM docs take the contracts very seriously b/c they can get into alot of trouble if you get meds from other places.

    I hope you get everything figured out and sorry you are having to endur pain in the mean time.
  • Yes. I was taking my meds only as prescribed. I wouldn't mess around with that stuff.
  • Yes. I was taking my meds only as prescribed. I wouldn't mess around with that stuff.
  • So what did the office say about the records? I'm impatient..... :W :W :W :W :W
  • turns out i had a voicemail from the chem dep doc at 5:00 yesterday. she is out of the office today so i have to wait until at least tomorrow. ugh!
  • :W Double UGH!!! :W
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.