I've been seeing the same pain management doctor since 2008. Started with low dose of Hydro....over about a year it increased to Norco 5 x a day. Once I got to that level 5 years ago, I have remained and it's just been routine ever since. It changed my life and for the past 5 years I have been great. I have my liver enzymes checked twice a year, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I am in good health otherwise. 35/yo male.
Because of the stigma and laws and everything that has been mounting against prescribing opiates in the past few years..... my pain management clinic has decided to no longer prescribe meds. Procedure only. They informed me of this last month and said they would continue to prescribe for 3 more months, and in the meantime I was to go back to my primary care physician and get a referral to another pain management clinic.
I did that, and finally got in to see the new pain doctor today. He explained that he disagreed with my former doctor's plan, and wants me to immediately start tapering off opiates and do only physical therapy, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers.
I just want to continue on the Hydro and explained that I was eating Naproxen (Aleve) like candy for years leading up to seeking medical help. Also, I have been prescribed Flexeril and Soma in the past and no matter what dose.... they put me immediately to sleep. But he was emphatic that opiates are his absolute last resort and that maybe 1% of his patients are prescribed them and it is because they are incapacitated and/or elderly.
Obviously this is not what I wanted to hear. I want to just continue on the Hydro. But with the aforementioned stigma and scrutiny that prescription opiates are currently under, I fear that I am screwed.
I want to get a second opinion, but I'm not sure how to go about it? 1.) I'm afraid I might seem to be looking for an opiate hook-up but 2.) Do I just go back to my Primary physician and ask for a different referral? Or can I just call another pain management clinic on my own? This is all through insurance of course, but I've never dealt with this before so I'm looking for some advice?
I am in Las Vegas, and there are a ton of other pain management clinics here, I just don't want to appear like I am doctor shopping for opiates. I just know what has worked, and I do not want to veer off the course.
Thanks for reading, and I appreciate any help/advice.