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Info about being "red flagged"



  • buffgirl23bbuffgirl23 Posts: 76
    edited 03/20/2014 - 4:22 AM
    I really these forums were to support people. I guess not.
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 03/20/2014 - 4:43 AM
    to give blanket approval and say yes to everything and everyone, no it is not. like i said, go to rules, read rules, read all rules. they are very clear about this. so instead of posting negative things about me once again read the rules and if there are any questions, pm the moderators. but the rules are very clear and specific about posts and what can be posted. this is not a place to agree and say yes to everyone. support can be constructive criticism also, which the rules state. so if you are looking for 100% agreement then you are in the wrong place.
    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.
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  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 03/20/2014 - 4:49 AM
    Many of the 'oldtimers' (not in age, but in time here) have seen many different members come and go. And they have also see just about every type of post that can be made.

    At times our 'seasoned' veterans will show a great deal of compassion regarding a given situation, and at other times, that same veteran can give a 'tough-love' approach so as to not pamper someone.

    What I ask is that everyone's posts be treated fairly. That should not matter if a person is making their first post or making their 3,000 post. We are all equal in so many ways here.

    here is the specific rule regarding your complaints. i guess i had to go back and post it since you are not reading the rules. this should answer your question
    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.
  • In the short time here I read several posts that although not specifically about being 'red flagged' end-up there. For so many to want to discuss the issue it must be important to them. If it were very simple there wouldn't be so much discussion. I have to admit before I came to Spine-Health I honestly thought 'raising red flags' was a figure of speech...'if you ask for 1000 Oxy it will raise a red flag with your PM', simply meaning he will suspect you of being a drug dealer/addict! I didn't know it was a real thing.

    Because its part of the forum language the phrase is used a lot by 'old timers' meaning both..you could actually be red flagged for your actions and your PM could get a bit concerned by that action. The result being newbies thinking the DEA could be watching them for every little thing! I hope that makes sense..

    I've seen newbies concerned that needing to find a new PM for any reason could be construed as 'doctor shopping' & get them on a DEA hit list! I think we all know that we shouldn't be visiting several PM's every month & getting narcotic prescriptions. What's hard to navigate is the conversation no-goes like mentioning narcotics by name, correctly 'numbering' your pain (saying a 10 can get you red flagged!), requesting increases in narcotic meds etc. I think the phrase 'red flag' is over used (or maybe not..I'm also confused ;-)

    I've been through 2 pregnancies. Had frequent urine tests at visits & 'numbered' my feelings. You can say & request anything. There are no 'red flags' in pregnancy. Like other health conditions interactions with your specialists is simple. We are told that's not so with PM doctors. You should manage your pain management relationship. This is unheard of in other doctor, patient interactions.

    I've always just been honest with my PM doctors. I have discussed freely everything pertaining to my spine pain. I've changed doctors a few times for different reasons so I've filled prescriptions from a number of different docs. I've had problems finding the right mix of meds so I've also received a variety of different narcotics. Sometimes my pharmacy doesn't have enough so they call around & send me to a different one so I've also filled narcotic prescriptions from a number of different pharmacies. I never thought I'd done anything wrong & I've never had any problems getting my medications but since being a member here it has crossed my mind, 'am I on a dreaded red flag list? How would I know? Am I going to have problems getting my meds in the future?'

    I'm doing ok most days. I consider my pain well managed for me but I'm very aware that this could all be taken away. Without my medications I know that I can't function. I completely understand how other members, particularly those who don't have a handle on their pain & live with anger, frustration & confusion with the whole pain system are incredibly concerned with the issue of red flags.

    I'm always saying to my kids 'we can't do anything when we're born. We learn things through practice & experience. Things that seem impossibly complicated now will become second nature. You won't even remember a time when you didn't understand this' ...OMG I'm so pleased I don't have to explain spine health & pain management to them!!!! ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • JAM661JJAM661 Posts: 140
    edited 03/20/2014 - 7:39 AM
    terror8396 said:
    if it is getting old, you should look up the definition of bulling and more importantly read the rules. i have every right to express my opinion and if you don't like it don't comment or read it and move on exactly what the rules state. people who are offended by this are pobably guilty of doing things that would get you red flagged. i guess this hits too close to home for some of you. so read the rules and if you are offended, flag it as offensive.
    Jon You have the right to your opinion but so does everyone else. As far being "Red Flagged" law are different in each state. In FL doctors and pharmacy's must report what patient's are getting and filling opiate medication. In some state like MN does not require that doctors report on patient's opiate medication but is strongly encourage. Some states only require if the patient is getting a certain amount of pills. It is important that patient know the requirements so they do not make a mistake. In addition some states also requires that other medication like Valium be also reported. For example is it going to be a problem when someone has major dental work and gets and fills a prescription for 15 loritab. Of course the best thing to do is to ask your doctor about this kind of thing first before getting into that type of situation. Just because someone want clarification on there medication and reporting laws in the state they live in does not mean they are a addict. Those who are new to this site and chronic pain should be encouraged to ask these type of questions without being criticized and labeled as a addict. Leave the diagnosing of a mental illness to the experts.
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  • to believe that not everyone started their journey knowing all about PM & all the rules??? When my ortho referred me to a PM after a year of treating me for back & hip pain that was so bad I was (barely) walking with a cane, I had never even heard of a PM Dr, & I've seen a lot of Dr's in my day.

    My ortho DID NOT say he would stop prescribing pain meds for me. He DID NOT say "by the way, you are only allowed to get pain meds from one dr, & that should be the PM I am referring you to, if you try to get a prescription from more than one dr, you are breaking the law". He DID NOT say "I will not treat you anymore, don't come back". What he DID say was that there were some procedures like spinal epidurals that a PM could do that he thought might help me, and come back and see him in one month.

    When I went to the PM for the first time, he DID NOT say, "by the way, you can't get narcotics from your ortho, you can only get them from me, & you have to sign a contract, & if you try to or break the contract, I can drop you & you are breaking the law". I never even knew there was such a thing as a pain contract, until I read about it on this forum.

    NOR did he say "by the way, I don't prescribe narcotics for any of my patients, so don't even ask" In fact, we didn't discuss pain meds at all, except that it was on my list with all the other meds I take. What we did discuss was the epidural that he thought might help me. And in my follow up appointments, & the 2nd epidural, & the nerve burning, we did not discuss pain meds either. The only discussion we had about meds is that when he explained to me that I would be given pain meds IV so as not to feel the needles going in my back, I told him I had a high tolerance to pain meds. I know, bad, bad spiney! How stupid to be honest with a doctor about pain meds not working well on me, but I did NOT know that then.

    When I had the procedure, & he saw for himself that whatever he gave me (I don't remember) wasn't working, he asked what does, I told him demoral, but I doubted they had any in the little surgery place I was in. Surprise surprise, they did, & he gave it to me for that & the next 2 procedures that he did on me. So he knew I was telling the truth.

    In all my appointments with him, we did not discuss pain meds until the one after my breast reduction surgery, where as I have said in other posts, my surgeon asked a PM that was a friend to see me, & he gave me 2 prescriptions of oxy to take after I left the hospital. Oh, and when the surgeon gave me a stack of prescriptions to fill before the surgery for nausea, antibiotics, etc, there was one in there for Percocet. So I had an on going prescription for Norco from my ortho, I filled the Percocet a few days before my surgery with all the other prescriptions to take after my surgery, thinking it was stronger than Norco, & I wouldn't take both at the same time, & ended up filling 2 oxy prescriptions a couple of days after my surgery. No matter what some of you think, I HAD NO ______ IDEA THAT I SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE THIS, & IT COULD RAISE A MAJOR RED FLAG. I AM NOT MAKING EXCUSES, THIS IS THE TRUTH!!!! It would never even OCCUR TO ME to go to different dr's and ask for different pain meds!

    So after learning from this forum that you can't get pain meds from more than one Dr, I was really freaked out. But when I had my last appointment with my PM, I did what you all said the best thing to do is, which is be totally honest about the meds I had taken, and how/who I got them from. At that point, my PM informed me he did not prescribe pain meds for ANYONE, & that I should just take Tylenol.

    So after LEARNING on this forum, yes LEARNING, that means that I DID NOT know beforehand about the consequences of getting pain meds from more than one Dr, because no one told me, & realizing that I now had 3 dr's prescribe 4 types of pain meds for me, including oxy, within 1 month, is it any wonder I'm nervous? I did not ask for meds from any of these doctors, except my ortho, who had been treating me for awhile.

    And here's a thought: if Dr's are so worried about the DEA cracking down on them, don't they perhaps have a little responsibility in asking the patient if they were being given pain meds from another Dr? My surgeon knew I was on Norco, it was on my list of medications I gave him, yet he prescribed Percocet for after the surgery. Shouldn't he have considered that? In reality, I'm sure he has a list of routine prescriptions that he gives patients that includes Percocet, and he probably didn't even think about it. And the PM who I never asked for that came to see me in the hospital, wouldn't he have looked through my records & saw that I was on Norco, and his buddy the plastic surgeon had prescribed my Percocet, and now he's prescribing not 1 but 2 prescriptions of oxy?

    Without knowing the backstory, this looks really bad on my part, but there is a back story, and, if God forbid, I get in trouble with the DEA, I will tell them & hope they believe me. If I do get "tagged", I guess I won't know until I go the pharmacy & they refuse to fill a prescription for me, or my ortho gets & letter & suddenly he won't prescribe for me? Because I won't get any kind of letter from the DEA about this, correct? No one seems to be able to answer that question.

    One last thought: I thought this was supposed to be a forum that offered support and was a safe place to ask questions without being accused of "making excuses", lack of knowledge to be considered "a cop-out" and some overall, condescending responses. I know how pain & pain meds can make some people cranky, so perhaps that is the reason for this nastiness, but it is not how I would expect people to respond to others who are genuinely trying to figure things out. Yes, figure things out. Maybe some of you have been dealing with your issues for so long that you have forgotten that it does take time to figure things out, and a lot is being thrown our way at once.
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 03/20/2014 - 6:51 AM
    i have only had 2 pms. one retired and i am still seeing the other. i started 14 years ago and the first one retired 7 years ago so i have been seeing the so called new guy for 7 years. i have never thought of changing or getting a new one. why? because i go by the rules, don't talk about the issues that ron warned about see him every 2 months and have done what he said, i signed a pain contract with both and never had issues. they don't hassle me or refuse meds or look at me as a drug addict and all of the other complaints that others have voiced. why have i gotten along with both and never had issues and i am also believed and respected by mine? because i don't whine, complain, argue, send out vibes complain that i can't take this because i am allergic or it does not work and i need more, i take 50 pills of morphine a day and it does not work, my pain level is 10+ i sit home and cry, i don't work and all and i need disability because of all of the above, i am 16 and i want disability because i don't want to work because of pain. i am posting this obviously tongue in cheek but i think you get my point. it is hard to believe that adults that are educated on chronic pain, narcotics et al don't understand what or why one would be red flagged. it is logical. you mean that going from doctor to doctor demanding narcotics is not a good idea. you mean that since you are new to pain that you did not know this? this is a weak excuse imho. i believe most who have pain have understood this. imho, the people who claim ignorance or i am new to chronic pain are probable guilty of doing the things that would red flag them. maybe the word red flag is confusing. there is no doctor protocol that states red flag. it is just an expression that ron and others use to say that a person is on notice to doctors for doctor shopping, going to the ER for pain meds. yes if you do this doctors will notify others about your behavior. i have stated on more than one occasion that when i have gone to the hospital for surgeries or other things, no not pain, never have and never will, that i tell all involved that i am on pain meds and see a pain doctor and i give them the address and phone number. why would you noot know this if you are being seen by a pain doctor? it is called CYA. i get tired of the excuses that i am new to chronic pain that is the same thing of being put in jail for a crime and one says i did not know doing that was illegal. ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law. once again, ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law. this goes in all states by the way. this is what a lawyer and police will tell you.
    jon-once again the law states that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.
    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.
  • Or did you get some kind of handbook telling you the rules??? Because I went into great detail to explain WHY I did not know about this, which is because no one told me!

    Does my TRUTHFUL example of what happened to me not show how someone who is not an addict, not dr. shopping, was a full-time employee in a government agency, and married to a cop, could be worried about being "red flagged"? Seriously!

    Obviously, I am not the only one who finds themselves possibly in a predicament from lack of knowledge that SHOUD have been provided by a Dr somewhere, and wasn't.

    I'm sure their have been some addicts looking for info. on how to "beat" the system for more drugs that have come through here from time to time, so maybe you're jaded. However, from the posts I've read & participated in since I joined, I don't get that sense from too many people, & I've looked at other forums where I DO get that sense, which is why I joined this one.

    There are other people like me who are genuinely looking for guidance; would we be willing to "put it all out there" if we were addicts looking to score.

    Someone once told me something I never forgot: "You can say anything in the world to someone, as long as you say it the right way". Which means differences of opinion are great, and lead to some lively debate. Correcting someone who is misinformed is great. And most especially, informing those who don't know about something that could potentially get them into legal trouble is greatly appreciated. But there are WAYS to say things to people that get the point across without being rude, condescending, or hurtful.

    Just some food for thought.
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    edited 03/20/2014 - 8:26 AM
    I don't think there is any more to add to this post so I am closing it as it is just becoming abusive


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi, I have severe spinal stenosis, ruptured disc and fibro. And suffer severely. I was red flagged almost 3 years ago by my pm Dr due to he had me on 30mg oxe then all of a sudden dropped me to 15mg. With the drop in mg, I ended up a few short on my pill count. So I'm seriously paying for it now....because Ultram just don't get it! Is there ANYTHING I can do to get a Dr to help me? 
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