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From surgeon to pm

My spinal surgeon has been filling my 7.5 norco 30 once a week since my 2 level lumbar fusion 4 months ago. I was just told no more meds, but I don't have the appt. set w/ the pm doc they referred me to. I asked them to continue my med til then,they sais make an appt., I just saw them 2 weeks ago. It usually takes at least a month to get into the pm docs. What do I do? or what have others done.
can't shorten what I've been through in 255


  • Pain management clinics are not the only way to go. Of course I am saying this using myself as an example. There are folks in far worse pain that need that level of specialization and options. My NS referred me to one and I have never been in an office with such unprofessional nasty apes in my entire life of 43 years so far. What did I do to deserve such treatment? I asked them to clarify one of the terms in the contract before I signed it and that sent the PM Doctor into a tirade. I told them where they should go which I will not repeat here, made them refund my co-pay and promptly left. Apparently, there are good PM clinics out there. However, I was not sent to one.

    I have been going to the same family doctor since I was 11 and have a very good relationship with him. I asked if he would be my pain manager and he agreed. I abide by the same rules as I would have had to do at a PM clinic, but even more so because I also consider him a friend and will go to even greater lengths to make sure I don't do anything that might jeopardize his license.

    So, in a roundabout way, I am saying go to your MD and explain your situation to them. At the least, perhaps they will write you a temporary script so that you can make it to the PM clinic you mention. Whatever option you choose, I cannot stress enough that you make sure you do not take more meds than prescribed. This kind of pain is not always predictable so if you find yourself needing to take more, schedule an appointment and go talk to them before doing so. Calling them asking for a refill before your prescription is up seems to be the fastest and most reliable way to be labeled a drug user/seeker and cut off completely fair or not.

    Good Luck!
  • I also see my family doctor for my pain meds. I have worked for her for past 5 years and she has also been my doctor for past 4 yrs. She has been through 3 back surgeries with me and knows my pain issues much better. I also got my pain meds from my surgeon for 3 months after surgery in May and then they said I would need to get from PM. There are very few PM docs in area that I live so my primary agreed to take over. Please call your doctor and explain what is going on and see if they will take over at least short term. I worked for mine and the number one reason for dismissing pain patients was trying to refill before time.P lease, please, please....if you are still in pain, call your doctor and make appt. to come in and talk about pain levels. DO NOT just take it upon yourself increase meds. I have seen people who were with her for yrs. dismissed for doing the very same thing. Take care and good luck.

  • BestesMomBBestesMom Posts: 12
    edited 11/28/2012 - 3:47 AM
    I am doing much better now than before, where the meds would only keep me from suffering completely , but could not eat or sleep. I was very sick. This surgeon did not know me before he made the dx. And I feel I have been torchured ever since. I have called my long time pcp and will speak to him this morn and also ask for help for depression, after all I have been thru. I'm almost out of the woods but I know there is still a ways to go. I've told my surgeon of my downward spiral in hopes he would help, nope. But my PcP will understand. I will take a little paper work to show what's been going on so far. I keep trying to set the appt. w/ the pm and only get a voice messege. So I can't even tell him I have an appt. set. I will let you know how it goes today. Thanks for the much needed support.

    Heather, full time mommy
    can't shorten what I've been through in 255
  • BestesMomBBestesMom Posts: 12
    edited 11/28/2012 - 7:28 AM
    I was so scared to ask him for more help since before my surgery. But he wanted to hear every sorted detail, and he reassured me that things should have been better. I've got my prozac started again, and he gave me a painkiller that will let me function, not just "get by". Thank for your support Kelli, and Jm. You gave me a boost in confidence and lead me in the right direction. Now if only I can get that pain manager to call me back in the next month....
    can't shorten what I've been through in 255
  • BestesMom said:
    I was so scared to ask him for more help since before my surgery. But he wanted to hear every sorted detail, and he reassured me that things should have been better. I've got my prozac started again, and he gave me a painkiller that will let me function, not just "get by". Thank for your support Kelli, and Jm. You gave me a boost in confidence and lead me in the right direction. Now if only I can get that pain manager to call me back in the next month....
    If you live somewhat close by go to the office and be a squeaky wheel that needs grease. It is very hard to ignore you when your right in front of their face. Makes me wonder what kind of service you will get if they are acting this way before you are even a patient. Maybe try another PM office.
  • If the PM office isn't too far away and all you get is a recording and they don't call you back - stop in. Be nice, explain your doc sent you and you'd like to set up an appt to be seen. Don't mention you've left the jerks 4 unreturned messages, just that you'd like to set up your appt as instructed by your doctor. It seems they can be tough, but once your in, they aren't so bad. I have had mixed experiences with mine, but I know part of my issues are my own fault. If I'm dying on the weekend and take more and they are unavailable to call, that isn't their fault. I guess I should just suffer, but in the past I have just taken more and been in shit later. I am on some new meds however, one is an ER, one and IR and it has been soo much better! I think the ticket is just figuring out what works for you and lets you still function as you said. That can take time. Took me near about 7 years I reckon and I still get wiped out, trashed and have decided to take a medical after 34 years of public service (having only 3 to go for a full retirement) but drugs or not, I just can't do it anymore. It's killing me. I guess sometimes it is very hard to come to terms with your limitations too, and maybe guilt. When your used to making killer money then you have to decide to take a meager disability - it bites and took me over a year to decide I had too. I will probably never, ever, come to terms with the FUN things I've given up in life, the things that have brought me the most joy, things I will never do again - and I seriously doubt I will ever get over my anger about it either. But, I guess if we can all find some kind of life that works most of the time - maybe that's as good as it gets. Finding a good doctor is yet another issue. Good luck, but personally I think a PM doctor is the ticket. They do know the latest and greatest pain meds, even so your primary doctor might know you - they are sorely inexperienced and normally won't give anything stronger than lortab or percocet, which in many cases just doesn't cut the cookie.. Good luck
  • They sounded nice, and no I didn't mention the messeges I'd left. So now I'm have more questions than before, like now that the pcp has covered me for a month, and my consult is in 2 weeks, I know I should inform the new pm. But is that really nessecary since there isn't a contract yet? I'd rather have more than just enough. I've been playing along for so long. How do you expect they will handle this. Will they count what the pcp has given? Will they ask if that works for me? Would it be horrible if I tell them up front ,at this point, I just won't be able to stand anymore injection? I've had 1 esi that took out my right leg, 9 trigger points that never help, 2 at the ER when I was already at a 9, so surely you know what I mean when I say enough is enough. I read up on the pm and the reviews are very mixed. It's all to bad that I have had to wait til after surgery to get any relief at all. And the surgeon didn't know I had to be wheelchaired to the surgery because I couldn't walk, and has kept me on low lortabs ever since. I nearly rotted away on the couch in front of my kids and husband w/out a dx for 10 months. I'm just ready for relief and some kind of a normal life. I think I'm due, and tired of Rightous Docs. Like trying to play a game I've never played.
    can't shorten what I've been through in 255
  • jmhar68jjmhar68 Posts: 60
    edited 11/28/2012 - 4:03 PM
    BestesMom said:
    I was so scared to ask him for more help since before my surgery. But he wanted to hear every sorted detail, and he reassured me that things should have been better. I've got my prozac started again, and he gave me a painkiller that will let me function, not just "get by". Thank for your support Kelli, and Jm. You gave me a boost in confidence and lead me in the right direction. Now if only I can get that pain manager to call me back in the next month....
    I am glad Kelli and I were able to help. If my pain was not kept under control with Norco 7.5's, Valium 5mg and Neurontin 600mg, I'd probably consider a pm clinic as well. About being honest about the meds you were prescribed. I certainly understand the temptation not to mention them. However, they will probably drug test you and that will lead to questions of who, where, when, how much was prescribed and why didn't you state that in the paperwork you will have to fill out. I cannot imagine that looking good and if you absolutely require pain meds to function as I do, then I wouldn't chance it. That's too much to lose for a handful of pills.

  • Just seeing your post brought back all the memories of trying to get pain relief after fusion. I am so thankful for my pm, but it took me some time to get an appt, as well. I think you have to be absolutely honest about current meds. If the pm knows what you are taking and if it is working for you, will make getting you on a proper pain protocol that much easier. Good luck and I hope a your appt is successful :)
  • Also, keep in mind that the PM might not even give you a prescription on the first appointment. Mine didn't. Well, He did give me Baclofen, but he told me to discuss with my regular doctor and decide who i prefer to get the pain meds from. He was very very nice about it. I also did get a urine screen that day and you have to disclose everything you take, even if its a supplement or thyroid med. Disclose EVERYTHING, that will get you off on an honest start. Keep us updated on the appointment and keep your head up, we'll be thinking of you!
  • I would tell them (take the bottle actually) what your pcp gave you. Tell them how it works, if it works, if it is or isn't enough. That is what their there for. Yes, tell them about injections, everything you've had done and if you can't do them anymore, let them know you've had a gutful. I went down that road myself, a lot of pain for zero gain.
    I went to opana, ER and IR about 6 months ago and it's been a lot better. One is extended release, that releases throughout the day, lasts about 8 hours for me and I get 3 a day. The IR is for breakthru pain, which I assume you are having, I think most people do. They work pretty quick and pretty well. Everyone is different, it took me years to finally get my head around being on something that strong, I know I was mad at my doctor for even sugesting such strong drugs long ago, but now I see she was right in what she said. Hopefully you will get a good one as well. I guess just be honest. Keep in mind they WILL do a urine test and see what your taking so their is no point in not disclosing everything. IF you have issues after you get your prescriptions, call them, hopefully they will call you back and adjust them as need be. Good luck.. I personally think it's pretty ridiculous that all these controls are in place because of a bunch of druggie bozo's. I'd also recommend NOT letting anyone know you take anything because you would be shocked at how even people you thought you knew, find out and will ask, hey do you got a couple I could have. Unbelievable... Probably part of why I prefer to be a loaner for the most part. People are a PI my A
  • Thanx all for sharing your stories and ideas. This has been and ongoing work comp case and I have trust issues as far as the treatment I have recieved. Understandably so, I'm sure. But if I've learned anything from my pcp, it's that honesty goes a long way, hasn't steered me wrong yet. Oh, except when I provided my first mri readings of my bulged disc before my stress fracture. No sarcasm intended. That's why I suffered so long. I have also learned alot about sharing my med info w/ family and friends, my husband is now the exception. They are always judging and turn around and expect something, it just gets me upset, until I remind my self they can't understand, but I wish they would trust. For example, Grandma says I don't need meds and should go get a desk job, but wants me to drive her all over and do her shopping at wal'mart. How does she think I'm able to do that for her? I know I am still in the heeling process and still hope it will get better w/ time, but I've tried w/out meds, and it's just so hard, esp. w/ my active children, and husband. Maybe if it was me alone, there wouldn't be such a need. Thanks for answering my questions so quickly, I had a panicee day. But after discussing them w/ people who have first hand experience, the answers became obvious. My pcp said he wouldn't be my pm so I hope it works out. I got my packet today and they X'ed out the injection instructions so hope I won't have to worry about that. Well thanx for the luck and support guys and gals! And I wish everyone well.
    can't shorten what I've been through in 255
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