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Went to pain clinic omg I FEEL VIOLATED!!!

The first thing I want to say is THANK YOU to those of you who have responded to my first post since I became a member. Well, I went to my pain clinic thinking I was well-prepared with a possible plan of action. I have been going to this clinic for almost one year. I have only seen the actual doctor one time and that was the very first visit. He added the Fentanyl patch to my Norco treatment saying this was his choice because I work. Since that first visit I have only seen physician assistants. Well, I had made a couple of calls ahead of time to the clinic to explain my situation and the first response I got was that the doctor wondered how I had my prescriptions since I hadn't been seen in a while (which was approx. 2 months prior). I explained that I have been going every 3 months, get my prescriptions for 3 months, and then repeat the cycle. I was told to just keep my scheduled appt. since I explained that I thought I had enough patches to last until then. Okay, so, I was assuming that I would see the doctor due to the need for a new pain mgmt. plan. Well, I went and the receptionist was pleasant about me being seen without insurance or money. I assured her I would send a payment within 2 weeks. Well, I sat in the waiting room for an hour waiting to be seen. Usually, I get called back in a timely manner. Oh, but that was when I had insurance! So I get back there and I am assigned a "physician's asst." who I have never seen before. Backing up a little, I felt I was prepared because I had done some research on the internet and had downloaded a form to possibly get assistance for the Fentanyl from the manufacturer. I also researched pain meds and their prices. As one of my responders mentioned the drugs Methadone and Morphine were the exact 2 I had written down to mention to the doctor. The prices were a very affordable 17-20 dollars for Methadone and 48-72 for the Morphine. So, when I saw this woman I'd never seen before I first explained the form I downloaded. She said she would fill it out. Then I explained that I was concerned about the fact that I may not be approved for the assistance even if I submit the form. So, I told her about my research on prices, told her those 2 drugs, and asked if they could prescribe me one of those instead, She told me she would discuss it with the doctor and left the room. Upon returning, she asked me if I ever signed the drug policy and said they would need to do a drug test. I agreed to do both, and she left the room and sent the nurse to perform the test. I never saw her again. I asked the nurse if I would be responsible for paying for the test. I always knew I could be asked to take one but they had never asked me to submit to one prior to this visit (once again, when I had insurance). So anyway, the nurse said I would be responsible for the payment of the drug test. I asked her how much it would cost and much to my dismay she said it would cost $500,00!!!! I was so upset but was obligated to comply. So, I went back to the room and she said she would get a signature from the doc for my prescription. She came back and handed me a one month supply of Norco. They changed it from 3 per day to 4. I asked her about getting the form filled out and she said they wouldn't because they changed the Norco dose and the med plan was not going to include Fentanyl or either of the 2 drugs that were cheaper!!!! I'm in tears as I write this because I cannot believe that this is what I left the office with. I should've demanded to see the doctor but I don't always "think on my feet" and felt that I had to succomb to their demands I guess. Sometimes I feel like such a "pushover". How could a practicing physician disregard his patient's plead for a way to continue being treated so they don't have to suffer? For the assistant not to come back is absolutely appauling to me. I only saw the nurse and she really didn't act concerned for my dismay. Here they can see that I'm complying with all their rules and just throw me away like a used tissue. I have called twice since the visit and finally got a call back. It wasn't from the doc who I asked to speak to. It wasn't the asst. either.!!! I was told that the asst would be happy to see me this week. How dumb is that? I just went down there and she said she'd see me a week later!!!!! How can I afford a 500 dollar drug test, 2 visits in 2 weeks and my Norco? They also told me that I will not experience withdrawals from the Fentanyl because I'm still taking Norco which is an opiate. PLEASE if anyone can tell me if this will be the case let me know. I'm mentally preparing for sickness and praying for help dealing with this. I applied my last patch yesterday so time is of the essence. THANK YOU once again to those of you who respond.



  • miserableme, I'm so sorry this happened to you. Depending on the dosage of the fentnyl, you might have withdrawals, but they shouldn't be to to bad because of the Norco, again, it just depends. Sending gentle hugs and positive thoughts your way.
  • Miserableme,

    I am so sorry that you were treated that way. I mean we have enough in our lives to deal with.

    Don't worry too much about withdrawals from the patch. I was on a 100mcg patch and changed over to Percocet with no problem at all. That extra Norco pill should help too if you need it.

    In my opinion the PA should have at least come back in and explained things to you herself, you are absolutely right about that. She took the coward's way out and let the nurse tell you. Maybe you can schedule an appt with the actual Doctor in the near future and talk to him or her face to face about the whole thing. I find it is much harder for them to be dismissive toward you if you are staring them right in the eyes.

    I feel your pain as far as trying to figure out how to juggle things so you can afford to pay for everything. My medical debt is awful and all I can do is make my monthly payments and try not to think about it too much.

    Anyway, I really think you will do just fine. If you have any withdrawals it should be really minor and short lived.

    Please let us know how things go and again I would try to get in with the Doctor. You deserve his or her undivided attention and the best care that they can give you.

    Take care.


  • what strength of the fentanyl patches are you on? You may or may not experience withdrawal, but even if you do, the symptoms are no worse than having the flu and are mostly over by day three, with improvement coming each day thereafter. You can leave the fentanyl patch on for longer than the three days, which will help to minimize any withdrawal symptoms. I cut my fentanyl dose by 50 mcgs. the first time at once, and then another 50 mcgs the second time , with very very little in the way of withdrawal symptoms from 150 mcgs.
    There are over the counter meds for diarrehea if needed, but I didn't experience that, coke syrup is available in the pharmacies for upset stomachs and if needed gatorade if you should become dehydrated.
  • I wear the generic fentanyl patch, and you wouldnt be able to cut it, there is a pocket that holds the medication. Make sure you can cut the patch without ruining it, if your going to try this.
  • pain clinics are always on the lookout for addcition and drs have a knee jerk reaction to requests for specific meds no matter how unfair it is. If you ask for an increase even they look at you funny. Its a catch twenty two. I only know through other people of this, since I have no insurance either, I dont know how to get into one. I also know this because with certian meds I have asked for increases, not pain meds, I got a drug test. It was clean. Now that she knows I am a recovering alcoholic I would be luckyto get anything more than OTC. Not quite fair either.I wish you luck. There are other meds she told me they can use besides opiates she said, but I dont know what you have tried.This is not to say you have an addiction, just that that is why they got all funny, not that it was right, It isnt. You should be able to be open and say this doesnt work, can I try ????
  • pandqmama said:
    I wear the generic fentanyl patch, and you wouldnt be able to cut it, there is a pocket that holds the medication. Make sure you can cut the patch without ruining it, if your going to try this.
    NEVER cut any of the fentanyl patches!! When I used the words "cut my doses" I meant reduced my dosage in strength NOT that I physically cut the patches...
  • I've found pain clinics are mostly a revenue stream for large medical groups. Add on self appointed court like powers that assume guilt until demonstrated otherwise, a level of disrespect I'm sure only ex-cons can relate with and additionally in your case a $500 drug test. Next time you are in your local drug store, take a look at the drug test kits and observe the price. Double, triple, quadruple that price and it's only 1/5th of what they charged you. I don't know about you, but I did not knock over a liquor store, I broke my back. I do not deserve to be treated like that and I bet you don't either. The drugs you mention taking can be prescribed by a GP. There are also GP's that specialize in pain. Find one that cares, listens and works in your best interest. Let's start putting these oppressive pain clinics out of business.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 04/06/2013 - 6:18 PM
    It totally depends on the type of doctor that you are seeing, and in many states, there are new legislation coming out all of the time that are putting a stop to G P's doing long term pain management . If you need an ortho to set a broken bone properly, why would you not seek out the doctor who is best trained to treat your chronic condition of pain, who has experience in the various techniques that are emerging and currently available? Who is familiar with the various medications, and what groups or classes of meds work best in treating mechanical, or neurological pain, and are familiar with the various combinations and dosages of those meds?
    As far as the drug store drug tests and the ones being done in most PM offices, those are very different types of tests....Most PM offices are now sending out their tests once the screen is done to have confirmatory gas chromotography/mass spectrometry, which eliminates the many issues with false positives or negatives that come with the in house screening tests that used to be the standard. It is the reason that the testing is so expensive as the testing being done( gc/ms testing) is far more extensive and eliminates many of the problems that were present for so long with the standard in office 6-10 panel screens.
  • Employers do not have a need to run the most expensive test first. That's because they have to pay for it. They only utilize Gas chromotography/mass spectrometry when there are trace amounts of substances detected, but still pass the water mark of the cheaper tests or suspicion of the individual is involved. My statements were not directed at all clinics, that is why I used the word "mostly". Of course you should seek specialization, but if the clinic embraces immoral practices, then go somewhere else. Stop enabling this behavior. That's my message. A $500 payment for someone on disability is their monthly food supply for God's sakes.

  • I went from my family doctor to pain clinic without insurance and had different problems, they gave me too much medications. I was on Fentanyl 125 when I first went to clinic, within 6 mos. I was given Fentanyl 175 along with Oxycontin 20/180/mo. I felt like I was being overmedicated so I went back to my family doctor and I stopped the Oxy and went down to 100 but was in too much pain, so settled on Fentanyl 125. I am now needing to either increase or change meds after two years due to unbearable pain at times so have appt this week. Thinking of trying Butrans? I FINALLY got approved for SSD and Medicare in 2007 after fighting 4 yrs for it. I was able to get help with manufacturers until I got my Medicare. Keep fighting, don't give up, thats what they want you to do.
    L3, L4
    Fibromyalgia,Chronic Fatique
    Severe Osteoporosis
    Undiagnosed Leg pain
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