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medication went thru the washer

We all have stories of stolen or lost meds but this one take the cake. As all that know me I work in a Drs office. I constantly wear a Columbia jacket because it is kept so cold in the practice due to flu season. A elderly couple was brought in by a health home agency for re-cert for home health care. These 2 elderly people were so infested with bed bugs they could be seen crawling all over them and their clothes. The health aid worker states these are fleas. The chairs they sat in , in the waiting room were covered with bedbugs. We immediately put them into a room, removed the chairs from the waiting room and now the fun part began. Every employee that was exposed needed to be dosed in 90 % alcohol, the room quarantined and family services was called for abuse of the elderly. We were all sent home and told to strip down in the garage naked, all clothes had to go into the washer with hot water immediately and if shoes were not washable they had to be thrown away. Here is my problem, I never carry my full scripts on me. I keep all in the safe except for a weeks worth which were in my inside pocket of my jacket. So what do I do, I strip down in the garage, throw all clothes in the washer and ran to the shower. While in the shower I realize that oh crap all my meds are in my jacket. Too late. All melted. I am due for a drug screen at PM this month, so I will now be short about a weeks worth of pills. I called the pain clinic explained the situation, my manager offered to write a letter along with a copy of the exterminator bill but pain management states that it wasn't necessary but pills will not be replaced. These were not just pain medication, this included Valium, neurotin and norco 10s. If i cut my meds in half of the prescribed dose I can make it till my appointment but it is gonna be a rough one to get thru. I knew the pain clinic would not replace stolen or lost meds i just wanted the situation documented in case my levels of drug screen do not come back correct. They always say honesty is the best policy but in this case was it? The bed bug infestation was one of the worse cases the exterminator states he ever saw. just the procedure room they were taken in to he stated had thousands. Practice quarantined for one week and have to work at other locations until next week, Now here is my question would you of been honest with your pain Dr? I offered to come in immediately for a drug screen so they could see that I was not taking more then prescribed. They stated it was not necessary. I have never failed a drug screen in years, but am terrified that i will be dismissed from the practice. They are very strict. Did i do the right thing by contacting them? What would you of done?


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    I think honesty is definitely the way to go.
    I can understand your doctors point of view that you could have pulled meds out of,pocket before washing clothes.
    But I am able to understand more clearly the freaking out of such an infestation and the first things first to clean up this mess .....that it is understandable that you forgot about meds.

    When you test I am guessing it will show you low as you have not taken meds. That will correspond with your phone call explaining situation . It is not like you took too much med and it is not as if you are non compliant since you let them know asap.
    Personally....I think everything is legit. I know they are strict. They have to be. Worrying doesn't help the pain much so try to relax. You need to wait and see. I think you did right so try to rest and take care of yourself.

    Please let us know how everything goes for you!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Just make absolute sure that they have documented this in your file. Call there today and inquire about it. State that you just want to ensure that everything is documented. Document everything yourself as well (times, dates, who you spoke with, duration, etc...). Make sure that you have a plan if and when the time comes that they ask about it.

    Don't worry about it as you have done all that you can do. I doubt that you will have anything to worry about. Hang tough, don't stress and see what transpires.

    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,813
    Could you speak to the pharmacy and maybe at least get a weeks supply of neurotin as that is not controlled substance? Might help with pain until then. They did that for my thyroid meds one time for a couple days
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • We do make mistakes like that in life and like they said make
    sure it is documented and in your file. I am worried that you
    will have to space them that much but I have done that before.
    I was given a med that I had a black out and woke up at my counter
    cutting my meds up on my cutting board and pouring Gatorade
    on them. I have had black outs before on like Cymbalta.
    I had to space mine and I never mentioned what meds just the black out
    to my Doctor, forgot about the part in testing where they make sure
    you are taking them and not selling or giving them away.
    Sometimes we run into situations or like me spaced telling them what meds
    I cut up which if they had had a pill count I would have been in trouble. I won't
    forget that part again for sure and I know better I have been taking them for a long time.
    Hope you manage this and like they said try to not be panicked and I wish you the best.
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    Without doubt you did the right thing contacting all your providers but if it was me? I'd gladly go med free for 2 weeks as long as I didn't get bedbugs! And I have been through the bedbug scare and lice and the fleas but I am bug-phobic! I would be in such a fear frenzy that I would not notice pain!

    But, okay, calmer mind, opiates, you cannot get them no matter where they went. It's state and federal law. The other meds you may be able to get replaced via the pharmacy if you ask to pay cash instead of going through your insurance. Non-scheduled should not be an issue and stopping a few cold-turkey could increase seizure risk (even if you never had seizures before.) Contact your pharmacist. And do not drive until talking with your pharmacist.

    While I have the "pop drug screen" quizzes it's always been to make sure I'm not taking anything else. I was never led to believe they were checking on how much you take. The tests are just not that refined since the elimination of the drug from your system varies daily this would be almost impossible (now).

    This so definitely sounds like something I'd do! Someday it will all seem silly and I hope you will feel okay soon enough to be laughing.

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    The meds in my coat pocket were the least thing on my mind. All i wanted to do was jump in the shower, i was itching myself to death just from the thought of it, My jacket was off white in color and bedbugs that have not yet fed are almost clear so I didnt know if they were on there or not. I just wanted out of those clothes. After drying my clothes you can tell something melted in the pocket so ill be bringing that with me to my next appt. I have been a compliant patient for years so I hope that counts for something with the PM doc, just sitting here writing about it im itching myself to death. What I do not understand is how a home health agency decided they were fleas. Clearly not, With the amount of bugs on just their bodies can you imagine what the home is like? I am not exaggerating at the amount of bugs that were on these people. Enough to close the practice for a few days to fumigate the building, As the exterminator said one treatment is not going to be enough. One of the worst infestations he had seen and this was just what they were carrying on their bodies. Can you imagine their homes.
    When the Dr came out of their room they were crawling all over him. Being the professional that he is he was rather calm about it while all us girls were freaking out. Yes I know not very professional of us but sometimes it is hard to remain in a professional matter. The biggest concern of all is how can a home health agency for the elderly let this happen, these people were barely able to take care of themselves. I will survive without my meds, not comfortably but I will survive. I just hope human resources have taken over and helped these poor people
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I made my meds stretch out until the day of my appointment. The minute I arrived I was sent for a drug screen, they were no looking for no meds that were prescribed in my system but for meds not prescribed. They also had just had a issue with bed bugs the month previously so believe it or not they understood. Thank god I have years of passed drug exams, pill counts and am a compliant patient. I could of been terminated even though this was out of my control.
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