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I can't get my pain medication.

BtruBBtru Posts: 8
edited 06/01/2014 - 1:52 PM in Pain Medications
Hello everyone, I am scared to death and I don't know what to do. I suffer from a rare malformation in my upper spine called Chiari Malformation and it caused sphyrinx or cysts to form on my spine from the accumulation of spinal and cerebral fluid to build up and put pressure on my spine and nerves in it. It is extremely painful and I am going to have to have neurosurgery to fix it in the next 6 months. The pain has completely ruined my life and caused a lot of stress for my family.
I am currently on 75mcg fentanyl patch and have been for the last 7 months to help with the pain and enable me to work and be out of bed and not miserable. Two weeks ago my doctor in PM went on vacation and before he left said that that I would be taken care of by another doctor filling in for him. I am on my last patch and have been trying to get a refill from this doctor but he will not do it because he said he does not know me and in my file the last doctor I had before my current one suggested that I be weened off of this medication because I was one patch short. I had told this doctor that one had Fallon off and I lost it wich is the truth and I went one day without my patch to make up for it. She accused me of abusing my medications and put it in my chart that she thought I was and I should be weened off. My current doctor thought that was ridiculous and said we are continuing my opioid therapy and that was aty last appointment with him before he went on vacation. At this appointment he had sent me to the ER for some emergency MRI dye to new and worrying symptoms I have been having. He forgot to put in my chart that he was continuing to prescribe my medication for the extreme pain I have.
The nurse that was there knows all this and she told the doctor standing in for mine this but he doesn't care and said if it is not on paper it didn't happen. The nurse also told him that my doctor just made a mistake and didn't write down that I was continuing my medication. I even signed a new opiate therapy contract that ya with him.

I don't know what to do, I have 2 days left on my patch and then I'm out and will be in terrible pain on top of withdrawal and can't get anyone to fill my script. I feel like I am having to pay for my doctors negligence and it isn't right. I will not be able to work and have missed a lot of work latley due to pain but I don't know if they will be ok with me being gone as long as I will if I have to go through this. Please if anyone had any ideas or thoughts let me know. This has been do stressful for me and my wife and I'm ready to give up.
Brian Timmins


  • If your regular PM doctor is the one who said that this covering physician would write your pain medications, I would contact the office manager and tell them what you told us........and ask them to contact the regular PM doctor and he can call this covering physician...
    That's about all we can suggest.
  • I have tried this , asked them to do everything they could. They told me that they could not contact him while he is on vacation which seems to me unlikely. It seems so obvious to me and everyone else that if my doctor was truly going to wean me off he would have started to decrease my dose two weeks ago when I saw him. I was told by them that there is absolute nothing they can do. This kind of negligence and lack of communication has been an ongoing thing with Kaiser, but never to this degree to where it seriously puts me in harms way. I thought that was the first thing on the Hippocratic oath that doctors take. I feel like this doctor doesn't even want to try and it had been like pulling teeth the last week trying to get answers from them. They say they will call back then they don't. They told me I would be taken care of and I'm not. I scared to death of the pain I am going to be in, and already know that I am going to end up on the ER. I fear that they won't help me either though. The last few days I have been so depressed and stressed out. I pay rally good money for insurance through kaiser and it doesn't seem like I am getting the care that I deserve, I feel like I am being labels and mistreated, like they are just leaving me out to dry and nobody should have to feel like that from there provider. I really am ready to give up, the pain and agony I go through daily is overwhelming but now I have to deal with this on too of it. I don't know if I can make it through this. Why is it do hard to get help?
    Brian Timmins
  • while you can not accept prescriptions for opiates ( pain medications) from another doctor, he can give you something like clonodine to ease the withdrawal symptoms and make it easier for you to get through until you can get this situation cleared up.
    I would not go to the ER, they are not going to prescribe fentanyl to you, and it may violate your contract , even though this situation is not one that is your doing.
    They will only treat the symptoms of withdrawal, not give you a new prescription.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 05/29/2014 - 12:43 PM
    I know it's desperate but can you & your wife go in person to talk to the office manager? I wouldn't normally suggest this but it's a terrible situation. Everyone can be contacted in an emergency & I think for you this is an emergency. They shouldn't expect you to go through this just because they don't want to disturb your doctors holiday for a 5 minute conversation. If I was a doctor I'd be angry if they didn't call me!

    Be nice & respectful when you're there. It's harder to ignore someone standing before you than it is to avoid a telephone call.

    I'm so sorry. I can only imagine the stress & fear this must be causing. Hang in there. I really hope this gets resolved.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • BadnecktooBBadnecktoo Posts: 4
    edited 05/30/2014 - 4:03 AM
    That is horrible (been on 50 fen patch for 10 years) but I am going tru the same problem cause I live in Florida. UNLESS YOU ARE DYING AND IN HOSPICE it is impossible to get pain meds.xxxx I am a republican but it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for him. This isn't in the news but he had his goodies go to every pain doc and tell them that if their patients are on any narcotic they better be dying. And I heard this from 4 Florida pain docs. And the out of state (I live in two states) xxxxx .oh vey. I've had 3 neck surgeries. Plates rods...DDD in the whole spine and will need more neck surgeries. SO I AM IN THE SAME BOAT...can you get any oxcadone? 4 a day of 10/350 should cover withdrawals

    Post Edited for political content Liz

  • Unfortunately I am unable younger anything. Today is the last day oft patch and tommorow I am going to be going through hell. I am scared and feel like this all could have been prevented if my doctor would have just written down a few notes. I don't know what to do.
    Brian Timmins
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 05/30/2014 - 8:17 AM
    there is a lot of forgetten and miscommunication and people thinking this and that and weaning you off. i am a bit confused by your story but it sounds like your doctor is taking you off your narcotics for abusing them. if a patch falls off you can use tape or other items to keep them on. i know because i used to be on them. 100 miss but i went off because they were not as effective as the oxy i now take. but there is a lot of finger pointing and accusations going on here. the hypocratic oath has nothing to do with pain management and breaking contracts. a doctor is not obligated to continue prescribing opiates if they feel that the patient is misusing them. they will take you off immediately and there is nothing that can be done. if you get a reputation as a drug abuser then it will really be hard to find a pain doctor to treat you. it seems like you screwed up and now it is catching up to you. before blaming your doctors, maybe you ought to reexamine what you did wrong. i hate to be harsh but like is said when a person blames doctors for problems then i feel that the patient is just as at fault if not more than the doctor. this story is a bit convoluted which makes me think that the problem lies with you and not the doctor. i have been on pain meds for 13 years and never never and i mean never had issues with missing meds, breaking contracts or doctors thinking i was a drug seeker. it disturbes me to read a post like this. if your doctor went on vacation, the doctor on call should be aware of what is going on and should be able to treat you appropriately. it sounds like he did not want to treat you due to your misusing your meds. i hate to be blunt but that is how i read all of this.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 05/30/2014 - 9:43 AM
    I have a couple of questions though.......after re-reading your post, it sounds like you had a previous PM doctor who felt that you were misusing the medications....is this PM doctor that is on vacation in the same practice? You say that he said he would continue the medications, but do you have a history of loosing patches or not passing urine tests?
    When you were sent to the ER , it is rather unusual for the ER to order a MRI....unless it is a trauma situation.....most hospitals will not do an MRI except in serious medical conditions. What sent you to the ER? Did you get a prescription for pain medications from the ER?
    It appears that nothing is going to be straightened out until your PM doctor returns, and managing the withdrawal symptoms seems to be your best option.
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 05/30/2014 - 10:21 AM
    like is wrote before, the story is convoluted and hard to understand which make it more problematic at least to me. it goes all over the place and like you sandi i was confused after reading it a couple of times. there are too many issues about meds that seem to stand out. your right about mris and hospitals. they usually do not do them unless there is a serious medical issue. when i was admitted for celliliuts, they ordered one to see if it was in the tissue of my right leg which it was not thank goodness. but they do not do casual ones only if there is something serious to check out. im glad you could understand the post because i still have problems understanding what is going on. i'm getting brain dead due to being too close to retirement. one more week. one more week.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • edited 05/30/2014 - 1:06 PM
    First off coming up short on patches isn't like coming up short on pills. I've also been a few days short(Butrans is 7day system) about 3-4 times because of patches falling off, it just happens sometimes even despite extra measures like tape. Also the box with Butrans specifically states that if a patch comes off to not tape it back on, I'd think it would be similar for Fentynal but I could be wrong. When I talked to my Dr about patches falling off he was totally understanding and always gave me early refills and told me to wash the skin with alcohol before putting them on and I haven't had a patch fall off since but b/c they can fall off Dr.'s shouldn't be so stringent about this or if they are you should be able to clear you're name somehow by bringing in the patch that fell off or something.

    Also if you look up the condition he has, paralysis can occur from the disease, if that was the stakes an emergency MRI seems very plausible...

    About the Dr.'s, it seems he had/s Former Dr. - thought he was drug abuser, Current Dr. - doesn't think he's an abuser but on vacation, Fill in Dr. - going off the Former Dr.'s notes b/c Current Dr. didn't leave specific notes.

    A situation like this occurred at my clinic when my Dr. went on leave for a back surgery, I got my meds fine from the on-call Dr. but when my Dr. came back they immediately had me sign a Pain med Contract because I guess other patients of his had trouble getting refills at the clinic because Dr.'s were giving them a hard time but that in the future the contract will smooth it over.

    Seems like a simple mistake but in the world of Pain meds a simple mistake turns into a huge deal, which isn't fun for anyone. The past week I've been seriously contemplating weaning off pain meds b/c of stuff like this, a little mistake, a miscommunication, whatever and you're thrown into withdrawals for nothing more than bad luck.

    This may be pessimistic but I kind of got a feeling that pain meds for chronic pain may be coming to an end anyway sometime in the near future, it seems the media and gov. is more and more against it and I don't want to be dependent when "stuff" hits the fan. I think WHO and humanitarian organizations would eventually step in and reverse it but it would be a huge mess and witch-hunt for a time nonetheless.

    Anyway it looks like he may have been scared off, feel free to leave an update if you're out there!
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 05/31/2014 - 3:52 AM
    i never saw a warning on my boxes and patches just dont fall off on their own. i would shower and do activities but the only thing that would make them come lose was if i sweated a lot and i mean a lot of sweat. i would tape it back on and even if it was not the best way, it would stay on. you only use them for 3 day at a time so one day of a patch taped on is no big deal. what is problematic for me with this post and others is that people are quick to blame everyone and everything for failure of narcotics getting them or keeping them. the simpliest answer is always the best, the person involved is usually, but not always, but usually at fault. taking too many narcotics and running out early, accidental incidences that cause problems, fault of doctor or pharmacy and on and on. you know what they say about excuses,,,,,,excuses are like...... everyone has one. it seems to be a common theme with some posters, everything and everyone is at fault except me. worse case scenerial, it can be all or none of these at fault. but it usually is the person who causes the problems of narcotic shortages. it is problems like these that make it harder for people who actually use and need narcotics and who follow the rules and contracts are the ones who suffer.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • The reason that I asked those questions was not to give the OP a hard time, but to clarify and hopefully try to figure out why this covering doctor is giving him such a difficult time.....especially if this covering doctor is in the same practice....with the nurse being willing to verify what the OP is telling this covering doctor, it should clear up any miscommunications/misunderstandings.
    The only circumstances that I can see for the covering doctor not being willing to write, if they are in the same practice, is if there is something that isn't being said, such as a recently failed urine screen or previous requests for early fills for lost patches, or he was given meds at the ER and didn't get them cleared through the doctors office first......It's not an accusation but there has to be more to this than a simple miscommunication. If it is in his records that the doctor refilled his meds at the last visit and planned on continuing to do so, there shouldn't be a problem.
    I have been on fentanyl patches several times in my life of chronic pain, and I have had them fall off, due to the adhesive not sticking well ( not so much now with the new adhesive) but have undergone them falling off and even if they do, they can be restuck with tegaderm or tape and will continue to deliver the medication..... Is it optimal, no, it isn't, but it does work......
    I am trying to help Btru .
  • Sorry that wasn't aimed at you, I should have clarified the comment was for terror because your questions if answered would definitely shed more light on the situation.

    IMO we all have to walk on eggshells when it comes to prescription narcotics so that's why it just wouldn't surprise me for this situation to check out but without OP to clarify anything who knows.

    Strange it explicitly states on the Butrans box pamphlet not to re apply after it falling off, even if falls off after just a few seconds(though I have broken the few second rule).

    It's on page 12 of the directions here: https://www.butrans.com/images/pdf/patientbrochure.pdf

    Maybe it's different because Butrans is 7-day, which if the patch has bacteria under it when it fell it could cause infection after festering 7 days. Or maybe the directions are just overly cautious I don't know..

    You're right it does feel strange that a patch falling off would tailspin this whole situation, especially if he compensated by going medless for a day to make up for it, wouldn't all meds be even by going that day without it? Idk, I hate to speculate without the OP being able to clarify himself.
  • say not to reapply the patch if it falls off, but given the environment, I have also had to restick a fallen off patch......
    If the patch fell off, and he simply went without for a day to make up for it, then there really shouldn't be an issue.
    That's why this is so confusing and seems to be something missing.......
    I could see if this was a covering doctor and not in the same practice, but that's not what it sounds like.......
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 05/31/2014 - 10:18 AM
    i dont know if it makes any difference, by the way the name is jon and signed at the bottom of the post, but i used the patches over 10 years ago under the name duragastic i believe. i do not remember any warnings at all. they came in boxes and had a plastic covering over them that one took off and applied to the skin, recommended, upper chest area or upper arm area were recommended. i never used the leg or any other place and like i said only when i sweated a lot did they come off but they never fell off. they would come lose and then i would tape them. i used to shower with them and go to work and drive and never had any problem sticking except when i would sweat and i mean a lot of sweat. i used 100 mics for about 3 months then went back to oxy.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I had lots of different problems with the patches. I don't use them anymore. We're all so different.

    I've always taken unused medications to my doctors office. They have special bins for their disposal. If I couldn't use a patch for any reason I would return it at my next appointment. I don't like the idea of throwing any kind of meds in the trash & I've read articles outlining why you should never flush them.

    Given this conversation I think it's a good idea for everyone. It allows your doctor to account for everything they prescribe for you as well as protecting the environment & keeping kids safe.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • my lollipops have a warning about having them around children some kids might think these are candy. they are packeged with a warning about what it is and the dose and also what to do if you do not finish them. at work, i put them away in a container and shut it with tape or a fastener of some sort. then i put them in my backpack and out of the way. also i do not use them around the students. at break, or during lunch or during my prep time do i use them. the non genaric regular ones were in a box with a plastic container around them which was very hard to open up with all sorts of warnings on the package, the med itself and the box. it also stated that they were not to be used with people who were not opoid tolerant. this was in big letters. if a person was not used to narcotics, they could overdose if they took them, hence the warning.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • That is exactly what happened. The nurses said that it was a horrible situation I was in and none of the doctors want to have their named tagged in to a possible patient abandonment lawsuit. My current doctor knows I am not abusing my medication and is understanding of the situation that I was in when the patch fell off. I did try and tape not on but then the middle kept popping up. I was honest about it and told my first doctor I had and she freaked out. That was the only incident I have had with her but she didn't feel comfortable prescribing toe after that. If I had never said anything and been honest about it then none of this would be happening. My current doctor sent me to the ER on my last appointment with him because my Chiari malformation is very seriouse and I had new weakness in arms and legs so he wanted to be carful and the ER was the fastest way to get the MRI. I was his last patient of the day and he forgot to add to my chart that he knows I was not abusing medication and I needed to continue my opiate therapy for the pain. I even passed the prescription abuse evaluation ordered with flying colors. Anyways I am in seriouse pain right now and the withdrawal fro my medication is terrible. I'm in hell. The ER for kaiser will not help me. New policies for there unit, they cannot and will not treat withdrawal or give narcotic prescriptions if it is not life threatening. Apparently wanting to jump off a building because the pain is so bad is not life threatening to them. Long story short I am suffering because of my doctors negligence and mistake. It sucks and there is nothing I can do.
    Brian Timmins
  • I'm so sorry you're going through this. When is your doctor back? The couple of times my doc has been away he's written the prescriptions for me to hold onto until I need them. I've known him a long time & I don't go every month unless I need to. It gets a lot easier when you have a very established relationship with specialists. It's much harder when you're new.

    Fentanyl patches made me very, very hot & sweaty so I had all kinds of problems but from what I've read here I think I was on an old design type. I'm remembering back a lot of years!

    I know it sounds terrible but sometimes you live & learn. Thank you for sharing hopefully you can help someone else not end-up in this predicament. I hope work is going to be ok, I know you had your concerns. There are some products that can help with withdrawal symptoms. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Jon. I watched a pain management lecture by one of the big teaching hospitals & she was saying how much she likes your lollipops for pain management. She wished more specialists would use them. They were first designed for children but most docs won't use them. When my son needed narcotics he had the syrup & it tasted horrible! It was so hard to make him swallow it. ;-(
    Mostly they're only used for cancer now. I'm glad they try to make them safe. Obviously with kids in the house I'm concerned about safety. I keep my meds in a special box on a high shelf.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Dumbldor that is exactly what happened. None of the other doctors want to come near this or have their names attached to a potential patient abandonment lawsuit as was explained to me by all the nurses I have talked to in PM. They said it is a terrible situation. My current doctor thought that what my last doctor said of me abusing my patch was ridiculous and wanted to continue to prescribe me but forgot to put it onmy chart. Of he was going to ween me down he would have done it weeks ago when I saw him, not just let me run out of medication and go cold turkey.
    I am currently going through hell and due to knew policies at the ER they said that they can and will not prescribe narcotic medication under any circumstance unless it is life threatening. Apparently wanting to jump off a bridge because of pain and agony is not life threatening. And by theway the patch that fell off I did try to tape back on but it still would pop up in the middle and the instructions told me to replace it. Also because Chiari malformTion is such a seriouse condition my current doctor rushes me to the ER for MRI because I was having new signs of weakness in legs arms and bladder. It was the quickest way to get the MRI, just in case. I did not get out of TH ER untill 7 pm and by them the PM office was closed and my doctor was on vacation. He didn't write into chart that he was continuing my medication and now I suffering because of his mistake.
    Brian Timmins
  • eg
    i was amazed at first because they were first used for cancer but i was able to get them with no problem. i think it was some of the insurance companies that had issues but mine never gave me a problem. in fact when i first heard this i wrote the insurance co a letter saying i had been using them for years and they helped. i know if you got the regular ones you had to sign a contract where as with the compounded ones i did not have to. now when i retire, my pharmacy says i cant get the compounded meds for medicare. so i might go on my wifes ppo so i can get them. i just dont know how much she will have to pay extra but they are better than the regular ones.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • At the moment my only compounded med is my cream. My doc said how much he likes compounded medications so it's something we're going to talk about in the future. He's also raised the subject of methadone on a couple of occasions. I know it's supposed to deal with nerve pain better than other narcotics but I'm still thinking about that one. It worries me. I think I'm happy with the oxy meds for now. What with my other health problems I don't really want to be changing anything for a while!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • BtruBBtru Posts: 8
    edited 06/01/2014 - 9:15 AM
    I tried methadone before fentanyl patch but had a severe relation to it. I have some norco I was able to get from a family friend and a few Xanax and it is helping me tredously the last hour. I was ready to end it all due to the pain. The withdrawal just added to it. I have a 14 month old son and wife to take care of and am unable to work. This is the worst situation possible for us. Another good friend gave us $700 to help out. Our good karma is coming back to us in out time of need. I have never abused my medication I need it too much to live productively as I can and this is all a huge mistake from my doctor who's mind was already on vacation before he left his clinic. No one can get ahold of him because he is out of the country, he's a Vietnam refuge. I'm sure when he gets back there will be a crap storm waiting for him. Thank you to the ones who are giving kind and loving support. It helps a lot, I hope in some way I can give it back.
    I did get a couple hours of sleep last night off and on and I'm hoping today will be easier for me with the norco than yesterday with nothing. I hate how when I went to the ER they looked at me like I was a crack head. It really hurt me and my wife for me to be labeled like that. If anyone else has any ideas on what else i can do please let me know.
    Brian Timmins
  • Btru just hang in there, after the withdrawals pass your pain should lessen quite a bit b/c withdrawals obviously amplify the pain. Also withdrawals messes with your head with anxiety/mood swings and such, so once those past I think you'll be at least a bit better mentally/physically. Still if you are feeling suicidal as you claim go to the ER, while maybe they won't treat your pain/withdrawals they can at least help you psychologically.

    When does your Dr get back into town?

    Also I would be very careful with using other people's meds, if that is in your system when your Dr gets back and he wants a drug test then you'll be cut off completely, as he could lose his MD license to continue treating you with narcotics if he got ahold of this information. If you absolutely need them then perhaps there is a detox program in your area? They usually prescribe similar, then again going to a detox center isn't going to look good on the record either...

    Is there no alternatives the other PM Dr is willing to offer at least?
  • Don't forget about OTC meds you can get to help a little with both pain & withdrawal. I know it's not a lot but just not having tummy upsets & headaches.. You know what I mean, just deal with the things you can.

    You've obviously got a computer. My daughter loves making a snuggle camp on the sofa with me. When I'm really bad we watch kiddy songs on YouTube & sing along or play talking games with her stuffed animals. You don't have to move to keep them happy! ;-)

    This will be over soon. Just one moment at a time you're get through this. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 06/01/2014 - 1:51 PM
    Taking anyone else's medications is a clear violation of your pain management. That ALONE is enough to get you dismissed, no matter what the circumstances are.
    Patient abandonment will not apply, despite what others may tell you. He left your prescription renewal under the supervision of the covering doctor. That doctor chose not to give you a prescription for whatever reasons.
    I know that none of this is easy but you keep stating that you are going to die or similar statements.....and while you may feel that way, it is not the case.
    I told you several days ago to contact your primary care doctor for some medications that could help ease this situation....and the withdrawal but apparently, you ignored that advice.
    There is no justification in the world for taking medications NOT prescribed to you, and this situation is not going to be a defense to doing so when your doctor returns.
    Immodium, coke syrup for the stomach issues, gatorade and warm baths and showers would have gotten you through this....and the worst of it would have been over in a few days.....
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