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How can i safely get off medications safely,alone if i have too.If i have no choice

Me VS PainMMe VS Pain Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Pain Management
Hello.I am a 28 year old female and suffering very badly with chronic pain due to my much too long to list,back problems, at least too long to list in this post : ) My story in short is... I have a very extensive list of back problems and i have done everything under the sun to get help for these issues.Ive had so many Doctors - Neurologist,Pain Management Doctors,Physical Therapists,Surgeons etc etc And unfortunately for me nothing they recommended or prescribed for the pain has ever helped.No matter how much i prayed or willed them to work they just wouldn't.Ive done so many courses of physical therapy,Ive done Viniyoga, 'a specific type of yoga for all areas of the spine', many courses of very painful spinal injections ,non narcotic pain meds,experimental meds and surgeries ,one emergency suregery.But the pain continued to win.It was only when i was given extended release Ms Contin and Oxycodone for breakthrough pain that i started getting some relief.Not completely pain free but it took the edge off.And i remember crying so hard and saying,Thank You God,Thank You.

So for many years ive been managing my pain with these medication while still doing everything i can do get better and improve my life. But suddenly my Pain Management Dr. has left.And i cant find help from any where.He had a private practice so he doesn't have another Dr. like some do,to take his patient load.I was told to go to my Family Dr. and ask for them to write my prescriptions until i find a new Dr. But my Family Dr.said flat out NO.I know enough to know you cant just suddenly stop these medications without bad things happening.And im very scared.Ive been searching for a new Dr. with no luck.

Now i genuinely do need this pain medication for pain and to have any sort of quality of life.I do realise that even though i am not addicted that after many years of this medication my body is dependent and needs to be weened off safely. And ive called around so many people and i cant even at the very least get a Dr. to get me off the medication safely.I feel very scared,very sad and so very much alone.

Ive been trying to think and think what can i do to safely get off the medication till i find a Dr.I know a lot of you are hurting and scared just like me and ive run out of any one to ask.Does any one here have any ideas?

I was even thinking that i have a very serious heart disease and in the past im so ashamed to admit this but i feel i must so in the past i was suicidal.Not in a cry for help way either,a real way.And i am in such fear that sudden withdrawal will kill me in one way or another.Please don't judge me badly for admit that last thing please.

Any replies i would appreciate so much.Thank you : )


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look through some of the threads and you can find others whom needed to detox from meds for one reason or another and did so safely. I am not saying they didn't feel a little sick but they got through by lowering the dose over time.

    In the meantime did the pm you loved so much not even help his patients to locate new doctors? What about one of his/her staff members or nurses, they should know whom could treat you. Did you get copies of your medical records, if you didn't you need to. You will want those when going to see a new doctor. Not sure where you locate but check out the teaching hospitals. If your in a smaller city you might have to travel some distance. The other day in my pm office, I met someone who drives every month several 100 miles to be seen as he lives in the out state area. In the major metropolis areas there are plenty of doctors. The other choice you have is to return to a ortho surgeon and see what they have to offer you. While there maybe no surgeries they should have doctors whom can see you. Also you can check your local hospital go there and talk to some of the nurses on the floor that would handle someone whom is in that level of pain. But you will have to advocate strongly for yourself, and do it in such a fashion that you don't look like someone just wanting drugs. In the same theory it is not uncommon for a new pm doctor to not want to prescribe meds on the first visit and to repeat test, they want to come to their own conclusions. YOu also have to build the report with them, the same as you had with your last doctor. Hopefully your doctor knowing he left a bunch of patients out in the cold, gave you a larger refill to help till you could do something.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Keep us posted.
  • Thank you :)

    And actually no the Dr who i thought was so great didnt leave anything for anybody.No Nurses or Staff that could help.No Dr's that might take me and no extra medication in my last prescription and he doesn't do automatic referrals so no 1 or 2 etc refills remaining or anything like that.My big problem is i am saying to everyone i speak to that ok if they don't want to prescribe the meds that's fine but until i find another Dr at the very least please ween me off,please does me down safely? And im getting shut down immediately.Just flat out NO! I don't know why nobody will help dose me down/ween me off.And also i dont even know if i can get my medical records because nobody was in the office the last few times i tried to call.SO im not sure if they are officially gone or what.The whole thing is very weird.Like i said im trying everyone so even old Drs ive seen and i didnt have an ortho surgeon i had a neurosurgeon which i did call but again got shot down.And its just my nature to be very polite so i cant imagine id ever come across as a drug seeker mainly because im just not lol I feel very just lost and to be honest just to the medical community i just dont matter at all.And truthfully im afraid im correct about that.I dont think patients equal much more then some dollar signs.Alive,dead or suffering or cured whatever,equals the same amount of cash apparently.Thats my feelings right now anyway.I wish a Dr would change my mind! lol I know im lol-ing but of course im not really laughing.I really am trying so hard to advocate strongly for myself and still be my polite self and understand all sides ya know.Im just sadly not getting nowhere.But i thank you so much for your reply.I guess i just have to keep on going and try again then try some more :) Have a great day or night wherever in the world you are tamtam : )
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Most major hospitals will have opiate detox programs .... if they don't there are many private programs located throughout the united states. (If this is indeed your goal .... I would seek out an inpatient medically supervised detox program.

    I myself have gone through medically supervised medical detox two times over the past 7 years. And yes I am now back on an opiate based pain management regimen as my pain levels on everything else is unexceptable.

    I it is your desire to remain on your current course of therapy ..... any doctor seeing your history should feel an oblication to continue your regimen as to provide continuity of care. As suggested above seek out the department heads of the various departments of your local hospital and mention the issue of continuity of care .... no one should be forced into a dextox situation just because of poor planning and transition of patient load from a doctor that seems to have disappeared without follow standard AMA discontinuation of pratice rules .... such as a letter to you explaning that he will be discontinuing practice .... you have 30 days to continue care with that doctor and an appropriate referral to the local AMA or state physician association to make for a smoth transition. Like wise by law you must be told who or where your chart will be forwarded to or located.

    I am a previous Group Practice Manager and know a little bit about these S.O.P's (Standard Operating Procedures).

    Go get em !!!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Hello Metalneck.Thank you for replying and for the information.I have to say sadly i have just been left without even the slightest crumb of information of any kind as to what people like me have to do now that my Dr is gone.Even knew people ive called or gone to see have mentioned nothing even after my repeated asking.In fact believe it or not you are the first person the mention medical detox! The new Dr's,Nurses and anyone from their clinic's have told me that they do very much agree that i need these medications for not just pain but for quality of life reason.At the same time they have told me that their clinic has a policy against narcotic pain meds.Others don't believe in them period.All recommend i keep looking or ask my family Dr.When i mention ive already ask my family Dr and im running out time and places to call ice received nothing more then a shrug.

    I hope with all my heart that all or most patients don't get treated the same as me in Pennsylvania,

    But MetalNeck i would very much like to ask you about the medical detox and opiate detox programs ?? I feel that's where ill be forced to go.Its shocking nobody has even mentioned it before.
    I mean i have thought of Drug Rehab but im not a Drug Addict.Is my mind addicted no is my body dependent maybe.Do i genuinely need these med=ications yes more then anyone seems to realize.

    So yes any information you have on those programs id appreciate so very much! One question i have is do you think this will keep Pain Dr's in the future from prescribing me certain medications even though this is Something i was forced in to and im not a real drug addict??
    I ask because,and i know everyone has heard this so many times we've become almost numb to it,and that is i genuinely ca not live in this pain! In fact i tried to go as long as i could without taking anything and my12 and a 1/2 hours i literally wanted to die.My body was so painfully stiff as a brick.You could see my muscles throbbing from the outside.And after one of my surgeries i have lost permanent feeling in my leg.And when i 'even with help' tried ti stand upright when they let go for me to walk im not joking and please nobody laugh,i fell on my face and couldn't stop crying.For a moment i thought i may even have broken or at least twisted my leg but luckily i did not.But if i cant go just over 12 hours how will i ever make it.
    But could you kindly please share any information about the programs you mentioned and even also how one goes about finding them? Ill go states away if i have to.

    Thank you from the bottom of my hear,Thank You! : )
  • Should be able to refer you to another Pain Management Dr. And you should have copies of your prescriptions from the drugstore when you find a Pain Management Dr. If you run out you will need to go to the ER and show your prescription copies and a note from your Family Dr. saying you were on Pain meds and maybe they could help with a few days meds.

    If your Family Dr. doesn't help you need to find a new Family Dr. Also I think the detox programs are called Methadone treatment clinics online. I hope you can find some help. I think it's awful that one should ever have to go through this. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Good advice from everyone. Are there no other pain clinics in yout town?

    I would call your insurance company and see of you need a refferal (some don't) then I would get on the phone/internet and start looking for clinics.

    If your pcp can't or wont help you I would drop him/her and find a new place. Also can't your surgeons office help youm locate good pain management?

    Excellent idea from Charry about getting a print out from the pharmacy, but I would still try to get a copy of your records.

    When we had a pcp retire he sent out letters asking us if we wanted to pick up our records or we could choose to have the records sent to our new doctors. Weird that this guy just stopped.

    Sorry >:D< Hang in there,

  • I am getting as to what kind of doctor you were really with. Was he on the up and up? It maybe that is part of the problem he has a bad reputation in the community and you are now paying the price for it. Call your local state medical board, they have to know how to get your records. As metalneck said they just don't loose all those records they have standard operating procedures they have to use. Go the the facility directly in place of calling and find out whom was the building manager or company they have to know whom owned the practice and where they went.

    I also googled physiatrist in Pennsylvania, and came up with a ton of them. Surely out of that whole list someone is taking patients and prescribing meds. As I said call the university they have doctors available. You might not get those same meds right off the bat but they will help you. You might have to work with the doctor to get to those level of meds, but any good physiatrist will help you make the change. A physiatrist is a sports medicine doctor practicing all disciplines of pain management.
  • Thank you charry.Thats a good ideaa : )But as far as detox goes i will detox if im forced to.Id prefer to taper off if they made me.But i do not want mmethadone under any circumstances.
  • No offense taken, I just threw that out there, sense no one was taking you serious, is all. But glad you have a way to get records, and while your there ask the nurses or whomever is handing out medical records where most of the patients are going, as they have to know where they are forwarding records too. I might add it might even involve a primary care doctor change, if that is where they are forwarding too.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    The two times I detox'ed it was through my regular hopital supervised once by my regular g.p. and once by my psychiatrist. Basically they keep me hydraded and medicated with large doses of Librium and compazine.... This reduced any risks of sezuire and the general yuks of going through detox from opiates.

    I was in the hospital for 4 days or so and slept most of the time .... I was managed with Suboxone for a period of time after the detox .... Suboxone is an opiate but effects diferent receptors and also provides some pain relief.

    Both of these were volentary .... and the same service should be available via just about any hopital. You just need to find the right doctor.

    There are also outpatient detox programs that would use suboxone also .... again .... jsut need to find the right doctor.

    A history of doing this has not made it so that doctors would not again RX strong pain meds .... I think it shows a desire to be off of them but all the non-narcotic meds most often then not, just don't cut it. The process is referred to as a "drug holiday" ... it basically allows you to review your actual pain levels and to see if you are experiencing hyperalgesia (pain caused by pain meds).

    I hope this helps .... The should be no stigma to doing this as you are NOT on illict drugs and your motivation is appropriate pain control in the long run .... I hope this answers your questions.

    Warm regards,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I discussed the need for detox with them and they made the arrangements and supervised the activites at the hospital.

    As to the issue of Librium and Avtivan ... I guess the question is what is the medication type the maybe causing the most issues of denpendency/habituation .... In my case it was strong opiates so the issues of mild benzodiazapines was not of concern. Shoot when chronic alcoholics go through detox they are typically given valium to reduce the potential of sezuires.

    If I was qualified to make any suggestion I would say one med at a time ... pick the most potentially habituating to handle inpatient and follow the physicians instructions appropriately.

    The goal of the large doesages of librium are to basically have you slept through the nasty physical side effefts of opiate detoxification. Benzodiazapine detox is a completely different protocol.


    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

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