I am a male nurse and have been working hellish med/surg/telemetry floors in various hospitals for 13 years. Usually the only male on the unit, all of the other nurses often called me to help them lift or turn heavy patients.
Finally, 2 years ago, my back went out...a herniated disc in L5-S1. I though I knew what pain felt like before this, but I really hadn't had a clue! With an invisible sword impaled into my right buttock and an invisible fire in my right foot, all I could do is squeal in pain until surgery was done.
During my nursing career I had seen many control battles between other nurses and supposed "drug seeker" patients. I always left it up to the doctor to decide whether or not to order pain meds for those who claimed to hurt. If it was ordered and the patient asked for it, I gave it!
Now that I am suffering intensely with permanent nerve pain (sciatica), I went to see my pcp after 2 surgeries and multiple procedures. She is TERRIFIED to prescribe narcotics because the feds have cracked down on pain control, stripping doctors of their licenses and imprisoning some of them.
Anon, thanks for your reply and the links. I feel your frustration and I'm there too. I went to my doctor yesterday, who on Feb 1st prescribed me Nucynta 50mg, take one every 6 hours as needed, #30, for my reported severe pain. According to her, this would last me for one month. She also prescribed Prednisone for a week, which I finished, but it did absolutely nothing.
After two days, I knew the 30 pills would not last me a month. I took one around noon, at the onset of the pain and one at around 6pm, as the pain went into severe mode. During periods of low pain, I felt a small difference, but then the pain med was drowned out by the pain.
So I had to get an appointment for the 15th, since I would surely run out by then. I told her that I would prob need 60 pills for a month, since I need two per day and the dose should be higher, maybe 100mg to give this med a real chance. Since my pain is a damaged sciatic nerve from a disc rupture, it's pretty severe.
I was shocked that I actually got a script for 60 pills. The strength was raised to 75mg...which ALL of the CVS and Walgreen pharmacies I have been to so far do not have this dosage and say it is really hard to get.
So I am giving up on conventional medicine. No more copays every 2 weeks, no more fighting for pain meds that are completely underprescribed, no more voluntary drug testing, pill counts or any of that junk.
I am seriously making plans now to move out of the country to a place where this kind of junk is not going on. It's truly a matter of quality of life. And mine really sucks. The doctor should tell me, I WILL NOT EFFICIENTLY TREAT YOUR PAIN. But instead it's, DON'T WORRY. I'LL HELP YOU GET YOUR LIFE BACK. Then I pay, pay, pay, pay, pay and don't even get a hug for all of the worthless appointments and meds.View Thread
Thanks for the info, Beth. It's not my cup of tea, but I'm glad some patients benefit from it.
By the way, I don't know if you are familiar with Siobhan Reynolds,but she is someone worth researching. She founded the Pain Relief Network, but is dead now from a plane crash. She was using hard, cold facts to prove the DEA was shutting down pain doctors who were not doing anything wrong. This is such a real problem.View Thread
Hey Beth, that sounds like a good plan. I'll look into making an online petition to the AMA.
How's that neuro-modulation system working for you? The whole "implanted box in your ass under your skin" thing doesn't suit me well. I like my ass and don't think a square protrusion would do it justice. View Thread
Hey Anon. I made an appointment with a pain doctor as soon as I found out that my nerve is permanently damaged. When I went in for my appointment, he told me that he WILL NOT prescribe anything other than Hydrocodone/Apap because the DEA has arrested some of his colleagues for prescribing pain meds legally to patients with chronic pain.
I thought he was a flake, so I took the time to call doctors offices that I have personally worked with and asked them about their practice of pain management. They all said the same thing...DEA watchlist. Then I started calling "pain doctors" offices and asking their nurses questions. Every single one of them said they no longer treat pain with narcotics because of their fear of the DEA.
I have not called the DEA's office, but so many doctors are saying the same thing. I also remembered a news story on our local channel about the DEA closing down pain clinics left and right, so I YouTubed it and there were lots of stories of the DEA revoking doctor licenses and even arresting some of the.View Thread
Hey Beth. I hear what you're saying. The fact is that I have seriously spoken to many doctors in the Houston area and a few in Louisiana and they all point the finger at the DEA.
I am completely aware that even though states like California legalized marijuana, the DEA was busting legal weed shops and arresting patients with cancer. I became aware of this years ago, and believe states should have stronger rights than they do. And although doctors don't have the most winning personalities, I just have a problem believing that they would so publicly speak out in fear of the DEA.
I went to a doctor who specializes in pain management here in Houston. His approach was really great. I aced his u/a drug test, signed papers that I would only go to him, and agreed to release pharmacy records that show everything I am prescribed.
He did several tests on me and agreed that I have moderate-severe sciatic nerve damage. He pitched the implanted spinal neurotransmitter to me. I reviewed the good, bad and ugly, read blogs from people who have it, and he gave me a list of his patients to contact and ask questions. After reviewing it all, I politely declined...I do not think its right for me.
He said, "Fine! No transmitter, no meds!"
Boy did that piss me off!
I know we're on the same side. What are you doing to change things? I would love to help. I seriously want to be proactive and so far all I've got is bringing the awareness of this issue out to public by making a petition and sending press releases to local news groups.View Thread
CTBeth, the poll means nothing! That is absolutely a fact. The only thing it satisfies is my curiosity of peoples' opinions. I come across polls on various websites that I think are ridiculous and simply don't participate.
I have actually done research. My doctor is not a pill mill and can defend herself without a chance of losing her license. It's the cost of defending herself that makes the difference. If it was a matter of just showing my MRI results and notes to get off the hook, that would be a different story. But in Texas they have to go through very thick red tape to defend their actions.
I sat on the phone for over eight hours calling every "pain doctor" in and around Houston and all of them said the same thing: "We no longer treat patients for pain with narcotics, unless they are terminally ill. The DEA would jump on our backs in a heartbeat if we did."
White House petitions in themselves do not change laws, but some issues get enough publicity to make a difference. If my petition dies in 30 days with 10 signatures, so be it. My goal is not just to get myself out of this extreme pain, but to address a problem that has been going on at least as long as I've been a nurse.
Drug seekers need help and there are many things that can be put into place to address that issue without treating patients who are in genuine pain like junkies.
I also suggest doing your research before posting a reply. Obviously you haven't called every pain management doctor in Houston like I have. Just give me the name of ONE pain management doctor who treats patients with narcotics after they have tried every other avenue possible...just ONE and I will take down my petition, my poll, and apologize for my ignorance.View Thread
Hey Grace, in the hospital setting I could give strong IV narcotics to patients with conditions like pancreatitis, sickle cell anemia, etc. and post op patients for a a day or so after surgery. That seems to be acceptable.
I am originally from Lafayette, La., and have family there. So I checked around to see if the DEA had hit there yet, and pain doctors are at the initial phase of skipping town. Primary care physicians are treating pain there now. So that's why I decided to try mine.
I need a solution and am running out of time. My wife and I are still young (early 40s). For 1 1/2 years I've been fighting this nerve pain. Then my wife was found to have pancreatic cancer. They were able to do a Whipple procedure, but give her 2 years. We are praying for longer, but really want to make the next 2 years special.
She wants us to travel together and see the world. But I can't even sit in a chair for more than 10 minutes without suffering unless it's a recliner. Don't get me wrong, I WILL make her dreams come true, whether I'm hurting or not. I also feel so selfish complaining about my pains when she's the one with the REAL problems.View Thread
Kelly, in the Houston area there are pain clinics that implant neurotransmitters, but none of them prescribe narcotics. I went to one and they gave me drug tests and had me sign papers regarding not going to other doctors, etc. And even though I'm a real boyscout and passed all drug testing, the fact is that they don't prescribe drugs for pain. How ridiculous is that?View Thread