an angry man screamin

The CDC has issued new guidelines (JAMA, March 15, 2016) that strongly urge doctors to stop prescribing narcotics to patients with chronic pain. This public health organization believes its mandate will reduce deaths from opioid overdose. What the feds have not considered is the impact on people with long-standing severe pain, especially if they are disabled.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Changed the Rules:

In the last couple of years there has been a huge effort to make it harder for doctors to prescribe opioid pain relievers. In the fall of 2014 the DEA made it much harder for patients to obtain hydrocodone combination pain relievers (HCPs such as Lortab, Norco, Vicodin, etc). Previously, prescribers could call in or send in an electronic prescription to a pharmacy and could give a pain patient several refills. Now, patients can only get a 30-day supply and must visit the doctor’s office each time they need a new prescription.

Stories from Readers in Severe Pain:

The new DEA scheduling change has made it much more challenging for a patient who is disabled or in severe pain to access an opioid medication. Here are just a few stories from hundreds of readers who responded to our post on the DEA decision.

Stefany in Maryland shares:

“I have had 10 orthopedic surgeries–two on my back, plus a spinal fusion. I have also had four hip surgeries. These are only a few of the many surgeries I have had.

“I used to hate pain medication. I did all that I could to avoid taking opioids, relying on 800 mg of ibuprofen instead. Sometimes I try to avoid pain medication, but it is physically impossible. I hurt all over and become so miserable when I am off my meds. Since there is such a strict limit on them I usually run out. Trust me; I do not wish to be on them, but the alternative after 10 surgeries is basically impossible if I am to maintain two jobs and college classes.

“While I completely understand the DEA’s reasoning behind their new laws, all they are accomplishing is making people like us live in hell and for the drug seekers to turn more to heroin. You cannot control the people who are drug addicts. To punish people who do not abuse pain medicine and need them to live a more functional life than one of severe depression due to pain is really unjust.”

John in College Station, TX writes:

“I have been taking hydrocodone for over 25 years because of a severe accident. I have had a total knee replacement and neck fusion surgery. I have three bulging discs in my lower spine with nerve damage in my back.

“Last year the doctor said no more hydrocodone, per the new law, and changed it to Tylenol #4. It’s 80 percent less effective.

“Why did this new law punish me? I was barely surviving with the hydrocodone, and now this. I call it abuse to the elderly. I have a track record of 25 years of taking my hydrocodone and NEVER called in for extra or EVER abused it. Now I suffer in severe pain because others abuse it. The DEA, who got this law passed, did not think how it would effect the people who really need it to survive.

“I’m only 55 yrs old, and I’m scared to death what the rest of my life may become. I do not wish harm to anyone but if the people passing these laws ever experience the pain I have they would never have never passed such a law which amounts to ABUSE OF THE ELDERLY.”

Jake the Vet:

“I am a 28-year-old army veteran. I have a spinal cord tumor located in my nerves and am consistently in extreme pain–8 out of a possible 10 points on a 1 to 10 point scale.

“All I can get from my pain management doctor is a back brace, anti-inflammatories and acupuncture in my ears or gabapentin, which makes me feel awful. I have seen three neurosurgeons, none of whom will touch me. What am I suppose to do? Things need to change in this country. It’s an outrage!”

Carolyn in Nevada:

“I too have been taking hydrocodone for many years for chronic pain. Today I went to the pharmacy and was told I can no longer have it. My doctor prescribes it but the pharmacy says no. I’ll be spending my days in bed, I guess. May as well be dead.”

Charles in Ft. Worth:

“I was in a bad elevator collapse and have numerous spinal fractures as well as bulging, degenerated disks and bone spurs. I have lost two inches in height because of my back problems.

“I am living in pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I need pain meds and I can no longer get any refills. My pain is making my life unlivable.

“The new laws have caused more damage than you can imagine. My mobility is very limited. I can no longer get out of bed or carry on my daily duties as I was able to before the laws changed last October. I feel my life is over. I can’t live with this pain. I don’t know what to do.”

The CDC’s New Guidelines:

In essence, the new federal opioid guidelines state that narcotics should not be prescribed for chronic pain patients. Instead, doctors should recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol) or NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen. Other suggestions include cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise therapy or antidepressants. We suspect that there are many patients, like those above, for whom such suggestions will not be met with great enthusiasm.

For acute pain, such as after surgery or an accident, the CDC recommends that doctors prescribe opioids for no more than three days. Really? Some “acute” pain lasts substantially longer than three days!

The CDC acknowledges that cancer treatment may require opioid medication during the active phase of therapy. What the CDC has not taken into account is that cancer survivors may have to deal with chronic pain. The president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said it eloquently:

“Pain does not end when an individual completes treatment. Most often, cancer patients deal with lasting effects from their disease or treatment including pain for a significant period of time or indefinitely.”

The CDC guideline does not seem to take this into account.

Walking the Tightrope:

We recognize that there is tremendous abuse of narcotics in this country, but we are not sure the new guidelines will help reduce the problem. We have not seen convincing evidence that making it harder for chronic pain patients to access drugs like hydrocodone will make a huge difference in abuse or overdose deaths.

We also believe that it is virtually impossible to generalize about the most appropriate treatment for people with severe, chronic pain. Some people will do well with cognitive behavioral therapy; others can only function on opioid medications. These drugs allow them to work and function with dignity. They do not abuse the pain medicine, do not increase the dose and do not sell their medicine to drug abusers. They are about to become vulnerable to a huge federal mandate that will impact how physicians practice medicine.

It is our belief that the CDC should not tell physicians how to practice medicine, especially when it comes to something as complex as chronic pain. Each patient needs to be evaluated individually and treated with respect. The new guidelines will likely scare many doctors away from prescribing potent pain killers for longer than a few days or weeks. That could mean some patients will live in agony with no acceptable treatment through no fault of their own.

Share your own pain experience below and your thoughts about the DEA and CDC rules and guidelines. Please vote on this article at the top of the page. Here is a link to hundreds of reader comments about the DEA’s decision to make it harder for patients to get a prescription for hydrocodone-containing pain medicines.

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  1. Dennis K
    Hopatcong no usa
    Reply

    NRA affects legislation involving guns. We need a strong lobby for people in chronic pain. A small percentage of patients get addicted ar overdose on prescription opioids responsibly prescribed. The rest knowingly and willingly abuse and get hooked

  2. Sunni
    Tennessee
    Reply

    Bluebird Tennessee April 8, 2018 11:22pm

    I was diagnosed in 2003 with degenerative disc disease. The discs between my bones in my spine were almost gone. The doctor’s said I needed surgery on my lower back. I had the surgery and was in pain constantly…. It took many months to feel better. At that time,
    I was prescribed Percocet and it worked for awhile. I, because of also having terrible Migraines, was put on Imatrex injections which, I gave to myself. At the time, I was only 50 years old. I was working 40 hours a week but, with all of this pain and Percocet was not working, I received disability. Have been on it for 15 years. Then, I was told by my PCP at the time to go to a Pain Clinic which, I did. They had me on Darvocet, Lortab, Fentanyl Patches which, had to be changed every 3 days, OxyContin and a few others. It’s a wonder that I didn’t die. There were many things that I don’t even remember back then. Any way, I ended up addicted to most of them and had to enter a rehab because of them! The withdrawals were awful!! I was in for just 10 days and then sent home. All of my withdrawals were at home and thank God, I have a husband who stood by me during all of this. I went to a Psychiatrist as the Psychiatrist at the hospital told me that I most likely would have to stay on an antianxiety medication for the rest of my life. Well, after I went through all of that, (it’s been 5 years) I went to a Dr. after I got out of the hospital and he became my PCP and told me that I would have to go to a pain clinic to get any pain pills. So, I went. I explained that I had MRI’s, surgery on my back and was in chronic pain. On a scale of 1-10, I was usually between an 8-9. I was given Lortab’s in the beginning and then Oxycodone 100 mg to take 4 times a day. I received my anxiety medicine from my PCP.. then one day, not too long ago. In fact, last year, I went to my pain clinic and was told that I would have to choose between my pain medication and my anxiety med. I needed both to function…. I was in pain constantly and in bed most of the time!! Then, the next time I went, I was told that they no longer took my Insurance and Medicare and I would no longer be given my Oxycodone. WHAT????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I thought “what am I going to do now?” I need my pain medicine!!! I went to my PCP and asked if he would prescribe me, along with my anxiety medicine, some strong pain medicine? By this time, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis in my spine. The pain just got worse. He told me that he couldn’t prescribe the pain medicine as he was not allowed by law to prescribe both and that the law had gotten pretty tight on pain medication lately. So, he could not help me. He said go to a pain clinic. I explained what the only pain clinic around had told me and that they no longer accepted my insurance. I told him, what am I supposed to do now? How dare the law take my pain medication away from me………. they do not know what I go through everyday! I explained that there are so many people such as myself that don’t abuse their pain medicine. That we all need it to function. It’s just the many that do abuse it, has caused us all to not have the pain medicines that we need to function on a daily basis or, to be able to live within our homes without pain…. ? I got no where and still today, I have nothing but Advil to try to deal with my chronic pain. That is a real JOKE!!!! We all need to contact our Senator’s and let them know that this law is not right, that those that do not abuse the pain medication, should have the right to have it and not have to SUFFER EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES……… THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING NOW, OR WE MAY HAVE SOME SUCIDES BECAUSE OF THIS, AND THAT IS UNTHINKABLE. WHAT IF IT WERE YOU (SENATOR) IF YOU OR SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS LAW. WOULDN’T BE RIGHT, WOULD IT. WE NEED THE LAW TO CHANGE NOW!!!

  3. Sharon
    New York
    Reply

    This is not living , its dying .
    I have been through Hell and back having procedures and trials for stimulators and so on. You name it, I have tried it.THEY DON’T HELP ,so naturally , i stopped doing them. Why do you have to be put in more pain during procedures , and then end up with zero results ? I jumped through all the hoops to have my pain treated. i have been disabled for over 15 yrs.I am suffering
    Always chose to lower my dose ,not increase it. I take Opioids for pain as directed. . Not to get high.My medical records prove i am not an addict . Several Drs over the yrs have noted , no drug seeking behavior. Always compliant . It saddens me that my country has turned it’s back on me and allowed me to be tortured by inflicting more physical and emotional pain that a person just can’t survive to long with. Untreated pain affects every aspect of your health. My health has gone downhill tremendously since i am in to much pain to improve it by being somewhat active to the best of my ability. I can’t contribute doing housework and cooking for my family because im in to much pain to focus. I feel drained because i can’t sleep due to pain. I am suffering . I need relief !!!What did i do to deserve any of this ??

  4. Andrew
    Reply

    I’m permanently disabled, Seen the 3 top spinal surgeons in MD, they told me there is nothing can be done. I wet to acupuncture, waste of money since insurance will not cover & after 5 treatments the doctor said he is unable to help, got spinal injections only reaction was one time he jammed a needle in the wrong place in my spine which caused severe heart erythema, he had no nurse, oxygen, heart monitor, or even paddles. I found 1 place that has treated my permeant pain / chronic pain for 3 years, I’m able to some what live like a human not an invalid. Someone must explain to our government that the opium Epidemic” is 200% crap. the deaths are 98% heroin overdoses not regulated pain medications. DON’T WE HAVE THE RITE TO PAIN TREATMENT? for God Sake, death punishment injections have a large dose of pain medication so there is no pain then they get the lethal drug. We are treated worst then murderers. Problem is the heroin entering into our country, use the dam laws to stop it from common in, that is the job of the DEA, not communist control over doctors and patients seeking proper leangle treatment!

  5. betty
    Columbus, OH43221
    Reply

    It seems to be that we are only seeing one side of the opioid problem. Yes there are people who abuse this drug. What about the people who have chronic problems? I have a cousin in a wheel chair who broke his back and pelvis. He takes a lot of oxycodone just so he can function, eat, sleep, watch TV etc. Do I really care if he gets addicted? No. Without this drug he might as well be dead because every moment of his life will be pure hell. I have osteoporosis which affects my back; my brother has rheumatoid arthritis, and I can tell you that we will never recover from these diseases. There are no cures. We take a very minimal amount. We are being punished by these new laws for people who cannot and will not control themselves. If it were not opioids for these people it would be some other illegal drug. They have no self control. Where is the voice of the people who have chronic illnesses that cannot function any other way? I am sick of no one explaining that there is another side to this matter. Where is our voice?

  6. tim
    fla
    Reply

    Florida is where people retire. I’m 62 and have been in construction my whole life As of my last MRI I have 16+ bad disks in my back and neck, psoriatic arthritis in my joints back and neck with lots of bone spurs. After building America’s buildings my whole life and giving charity work many times in my life, where is the compassion? My doctor has handled my pain very well, till last week. Thanks for nothing, governor Scott, and I voted for you, too.

    • Tammy
      FL
      Reply

      I am now unemployed due to not being able to handle the pain enough to work. I have fibromyalga, spinal stenosis, degenerative joint disease my hip has been replaced 3 times and on the second one I got MRSA in the joint and causing the need for the 3rd time. My good hip has arthritis in it, the doctor said is that of a 94 yr old. I am 52. 40 norco 10 last me a month and a half. I’ve been with the same doctor since 1994 and now I have to submitt a urine test to get my pain medication refilled. I need more than what I take but the doctor won’t increase them. I live with so much pain sometimes I feel like I would rather die than to continue on like this. I was always very active, I rode horses, motorcycle and would work out in the yard. Now I can’t even clean my house with out being down for days afterwards. So who are they helping with the new restrictions? No one. The ones who abuse them never got them legally to begin with. It’s just wrong. Now what do people like me do now! When the suicide rate increases in people like me who suffers from severe pain can’t get treated then what will they do? Make it illegal to obtain rope?

  7. Kayla
    Ms.
    Reply

    I was told that I can no longer receive the Ativan that I have taken for 32 years for Grand Mal Seizures and the Norco I have been taking for 10 years for the damage done to my left shoulder, hip, and knee before the right combination of medicine was found to control my seizures. I was put on disability because I could no longer walk the floors in the hospital where I was employed because of the pain in my hip and knee. If the people that did this think I would rather live off of $866 a month rather than $2500 just sitting here waiting to die they are wanting to get rid of people on disability so they can balance the budget . I will not be able to walk if they take my pain medicine and will have another heart attack that will be my last . Shame on all of you for not letting the Dr treat the patient as an individual with the rights given to them under the constitution . You people have no right to my medical records without my consent or to tell the Dr what I need.

    i

  8. DANIEL FOLTZ
    MD
    Reply

    I mean really how do I live hold my head up I without being able to work. I have been through spinal fusion. With permanent nerve damage the doctor says it cannot be corrected. I do take a lot of pain medicine which is about to be ripped out from under me. When a man can’t work he is physically emotionally and mentally castrated how do I go on because of the responses of I have to suffer and lose my job. I find it for a responsible of the government to take a need your approach to a problem that has been caused bye them in the first place. Now I have to suffer. I am not a drug abuser I go to work everyday and pay my taxes. Because of the lack of pain medication I am able to get due to the Crackdown it is now 3 a.m. and I am up all night. How do I keep my job which is potentially a hundred thousand a year. When doctors are afraid to prescribe medication to help me and a pharmacist are afraid to fill it if the doctor writes it. Doctors that stick their neck out for me are and now being demonized. I guess what I’m saying is what about me

  9. Charlotte Thomas
    GA
    Reply

    I am an opiate user and I am in pain management. Along with other muscular problems, I recently broke my hip. I do not abuse my meds! Why do we have pain management if the government can’t trust the Dr’s to make decisions to help us lead productive lives.

  10. Michelene
    Baltimore,MD
    Reply

    I am a patient currently admitted in johns Hopkins Hospital. I cannot count the times before, but it has been 2 years since my last admission. My pain has usually been treated here effectively and in a timely manner. I’ve even been treated in the waiting areas with opioids. Those days are gone. I’ve been here 36 hours and have not received anything to address the pain that brought me here. As I sit looking at the blank dry-erase board that used to be the core of treatment and one of the nurses’ duties, I cannot help but notice the change. The board is all about pain. The pain we are in, what and when to take, and our goal is no longer in front of me just under the large dial-faced clock.

    The dialog is different, with more security guards, more patient confrontations. Maybe that’s the idea: let the patients who visit the ER for the quick exam or whatever, then follow up with your primary care. I agree, but both patients and drs, played their parts, and reasonable expectations still existed. Sure the system had flaws, but it erred on the side of the Hippocratic Oath. Now in order to satisfy supposed public outcries, and overblown media hype, some legit patients will suffer, to look forward to the end maybe a little sooner. In the typical American urge to have our leaders in DC solve it, we get it and more. A deluge of supposed unforeseen problems will keep a lot of lawyers busy and make rich people richer and poor folks poorer.

  11. Lonnie
    Marseilles, IL
    Reply

    Please return our right to have pain medication that really works. I have chronic pain in almost every joint in my body and when rain is on the way I am in severe pain. Is there anyway to stop this governmental madness ? I just want to sleep good at night so I can work the next day. I am 70 years young and have to work. Let us who are in pain get the pain meds we need.

  12. Robbie Lee
    Texarakana TX
    Reply

    I don’t understand what they expect us to do who are in constant pain. I know of two friends who just gave up and took their own lives as apposed to fighting the doctors and insurance companies. I about to the same point myself, I don’t want to have to take the pain medication but what do you do when your bones and muscles hurt everyday of your life and all you can do is lay in the bed. Life is suppose to be living not just existing at least with pain medications I can get out of bed take a bath, clean my house, walk the dog…….I understand a few abuse their medication but that isn’t fair to punish all of us.

  13. TIMMY
    NEWYORK
    Reply

    kill my PAIN OR KILL THE PATIENT,,27 YRS DISABLED, FAILED FUSION LOW BACK SINCE SURGERY 1990 5 NEW HERNIATED DISCS, DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE, ARTHRITIS , WRIST FUSION ARTHRITIS , MIDDLE FINGER BASE KNUCKLE TO BE WORKED SURGERY FUSED THIS MONTH ,, NO MEDS, KILL THE PATIENT ,, WHERE’S THE BUS STOP,,LIKE TO STEP RIGHT OUT IN FRONT,,, DOCTOR ASSISTED SUCIDE PAINLESS, AND EASY WAY TO GO ,, OR AT THE HAND OF SOME ILLEAGLE LOT’S OF THEM AROUND

    • SANDRA L M
      Arkansas
      Reply

      I agree society has been either working hard jobs for many years or have been in an accident we are being punished by what the president told the FDA to take our pain medicine from us because of some people wanting to abuse them. It is time we as pain medicine users to stop our horrible pain should unite as one, gather our names and our family and friends and sue the government for taking our patients’ rights to have a somewhat normal life, it is the only way we will get to live a normal life!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dr. Josef Mengele
      North Bay Ontario
      Reply

      I feel for you buddy…It’s really too bad these assholes with PhD’s in medicine didn’t. I love how they take an oath to help us in any way, not hurt us in any way, then they pull off this stunt.You know, this is going to blow up in their faces. And I neither care nor have any pity for them. I hope it fukin’ hurts bad for you knob gobblers. Things, if you asshole doctors experience some bad pain, would you deny yourself something that works? Don’t lie now, your conscience will get you. Oh, sorry, you’re all sociopathic narcissists, I forgot.

  14. Brent
    Norman
    Reply

    I’ve thought seriously about traveling to the CDC and blow my brains out in their head office. Just to show them what they are doing to patients with long term disabilities. I am disabled because I was almost killed in an auto wreck. Why I lived, God only knows. I was in the hospital one month in traction until I was able to leave on crutches. I then went through one year of rehabilitation before I was released back into the work force DISABLED. I’ve had a total of six surgeries. My pain is constant and has been for more than eight years now. I use to take 160mg pr/day of stabilizers and 180mg pr/day of straight pain medication. Now they want me to survive on only one hundred milligrams of med’s pr/day. I’ll be so glad to hear when these law makers are involved in an auto accident and they’re told they cannot have anymore pain med’s for the day because they have exceeded the daily legal amount. Then the joke will be on them. I’m not a drug seeker , I’m a broken body trying to be a real person again. I’ll never be the same, but it sure would be nice to be somewhat pain free and able to walk again. I don’t get a euphoric feeling when taking med’s just enough relief to function again. I still wake up in the night every two hours from pain, but without medicine I don’t sleep at all. When I do sleep its Only from exhaustion. Thanks CDC, FDA, ATF and Federal Government for saving my life from an overdose. I’ve never overdosed in the eight plus years that I was prescribed pain med’s. Passed every UA test and was faithful every month with my med’s. There should be an exception for the elderly and disabled like that of the cancer patients because it seems to be in the same classification to me. There should have been an alternate medication before making this judgement. Something in place of wat is being taken away. Physical therapy is not likely for me. I’ve rehabilitated as much as I can possibly be . This is as good as it gets. May God help us All !

  15. Marilyn R
    FL
    Reply

    I have an acute onset of severe back pain. Recent MRI showed 3 levels of severe lumbar disease with root nerve impingement. I went to a spine specialist after ER visit for acute onset of back pain and was told he does not prescribe for pain and that I would need to see my primary care doc. My primary doc tells me he cannot prescribe, as he has not taken the courses needed in the state of Florida to give anything other than Tramadol. I am not asking for pain meds for long term, only to get me through hopefully a few weeks of acute pain. Now I have to try to find a pain management doctor for acute pain. Something has to change. God help those with acute and chronic pain.

  16. Joan K
    Reply

    I’ve been taking vicodin for many years. I have RA and degenerative disc disease and spine problems. My primary Dr just had me take a drug test. I am 78. I am terrified I won’t be able to get these drugs. If I do t take them I won’t be able to walk at all. As it is I use 2 canes to walk and it is a very slow walk. I lost my drivers license but that’s ok. I really didn’t think I should be driving and I couldn’t go anywhere because once I got there I couldn’t walk. I wonder why I had to take the drug test and who ordered it. My Drs name was on it but he knows me well and I hope he doesn’t think I selling drugs. I am having trouble sleeping just thinking if they stop prescribing the vicodin will I ever walk again. I am afraid I’ll wind up in a nursing home.

  17. John
    Ca
    Reply

    I was in construction in 1993, I fell 23 feet landing on my head. Since then, I was prescribed 50 vicodine ES (extra strength). Also went to physical therapy for 5 years. After following the pt religiously i was able to stop taking the pain meds. Due to injury I could only take a desk job. So after not working out and not continuing pt my pain returned so ofcourse my doctor started my on oxycontin which enabled me to carry on a normal life working, providing for my family etc.

    Now, because of these guidelines my life has been turned upside down somthing has to be done i truly believe doctors have poor judgement prescribing narcotics to people who simply do not need it. As a matter of fact i think they are doing this to increase their financial gain also insuring patients will return and bring them more patients hence more money. Dont get me wrong im sure most doctors have enough smarts, experience to recognize this and only prescribe to patients that really need this type of pain meds. In my opinion, these money hungry doctors can be easily recognized and dealt with!! But to make people with ligitamate reasons to take pain meds is unbelievable and so far from common sense that I feel like I’m in the twilight zone. Thank you, victim of shallow minded

  18. Gayle S.
    escanaba mi 49829
    Reply

    We need to go to Washington to express ourselves.

  19. Kitty
    Texas
    Reply

    I AM A DOCTOR who has had lower back pain since I was in residency. My attending told me I needed to let him give me steroid injections in my sacroiliac joints. I lost all the power in my quadriceps and could only go up stairs on all fours, like a dog, for 8 months until the nerves recuperated from that injection. The TMB told me “We are taking all physicians licenses away and hopefully prison for those who do not do surgeries on their patients, and we don’t mean trigger point injections.” This is horrible.

    Some patients have already gone through multiple mutilating surgeries in the hopes that it would relieve their pain but it only made the doctors richer, the patients poorer, and the patients more disabled. I personally ended up in that system. I had the spinal steroid injection which caused a permanent CSF leak, which caused a suction, which caused a Chiari which went from 3mm to 1.8 CM in 6 months. The doctor who did this to me told me my MRI was normal and I just needed 4 more procedures.

    I was desperate to get rid of this ever-increasing and new onset of different debilitating brain freeze headaches. I had never had a headache in my life until this spinal injection. I went blind and and to have immediate Chiari decompression surgery which is even more mutilation to my body. Now I am left which chronic mastoiditis, neck pain, upper back pain, horrible mastoiditis pain, 24/7 headache, and ringing in both ears.

    Because I am on pain medication they are now taking my license away and telling me I am an addict and impaired because of the surgery or because of the pain medication I take due to the forced surgery they made my doctor do on me first before giving me any pain relief or he would lose his license. There is no way to win. Now I am on pain medication I never wanted to be on but it is the only thing that works. I have tried acupuncture, massage, electronic stimulation, 10 steroid injections, 2 ablations, and of course the Chiari repair of sawing off large pieces of my skull and cervical vertebrae and even a piece of cow tissue sewed to my dura, and 4 unsuccessful blood patches.

    I am broke, have been an ER doc for 13 years with no lawsuits, no sanction, no peer reviews, but now I am told I violated another rule by working not while on pain medication, but by taking them when not working and not turning in my license. So doctors can never be injured and if they are, by being forced to have mutilating surgery by the Texas Medical Board, then are not allowed to practice anymore. We doctors are not allowed to have our pain relieved after we are forced undergo unnecessary and painful surgeries per the rules of the Texas Medical Board.

    They have impaired me, and now they want to prosecute me for being impaired. Even though I never took any narcotic before going to work they are accusing me of such. Even though I have pain, and I have tried all the lyrica, gabapentin (caused severe immediate swelling my hands and face) ibuprofen til my kidneys started to fail, and I had all of their required surgeries, they tell me I am an addict and I must not be on the pain medication which works. I asked them “what will you do for my pain?” They said nothing.

    Over 17 years I never graduated from the 7.5 Vicoprofen which worked for me.

    Until they forced me to have all of those surgeries. Now I have to be on a Fentanyl patch. I have lowered the dose on my own twice in the last year.

    But still I am a sleazebag drug addict who should be prosecuted and sent to prison. If any of us gets in an auto accident or are forced to have surgery which impairs us, we are to blame, not the people who inflicted this on us.

  20. Mitchell W
    New Albany Mississippi 38652
    Reply

    This must be stopped and it will be! What they have in consideration is not the answer, if we share the consequences of this so must they and that will end this pretty much forced degradation the quality of life for those who suffer sincerely suffer in intolerable pain Prince suffering if it’s good for one it’s good for all that’s my view on it. Pass this on hold our politicians accountable make them suffer the same pain that we suffer and I guarantee you the policy will change! Williams New Albany Mississippi

    • Gayle S.
      Escanaba, MI
      Reply

      Let’s march!

      • Kathy
        Napa
        Reply

        We better hurry before we can’t walk

  21. Mitchell W
    New Albany Mississippi 38652
    Reply

    The problem is but all politicians and Rich folks are exempt from this policy and it probably will not change until all these politicians and Rich folks are Incorporated end of this policy and they are drug tested and receive the same treatment as us poor folks who suffer from severe chronic pain. Apparently these people are exempt from this policy and can and do get exactly what they need regardless of the policies they make.

    Everyone call you Representatives revolt against this government policy and bring the truth to light! Let’s go to work if we’re still able, I know you’re willing just get it done! And stop all this BS! It’s going to take some action on our part and that is to hold these people accountable and subject to their own policies for their self and their own families what’s up with the same results as they prescribe for us. Sincerely God help us all amen.

    • Lee
      Massachusetts
      Reply

      Let me know when. I’m with you all the way. It’s absolutely sinful what the government officials have done. They certainly didn’t research what it has done to those of us who don’t abuse medications. Some of the people need it just to function normal to carry on a life. It certainly is not understood by those who voted for these new laws. Plus we have a bunch of wimpy doctors who won’t stand up for their patients. It’s just a job to them and to the government officals who did this. Let them see how many of us are suffering now maybe they’ll care maybe not but, we’re a good portion of voters. That’s where we’ll see a big change soon.

  22. William
    SC
    Reply

    My wife has had debilitating extensive spinal stenosis, disc degeneration and cysts for years. Her condition has caused her to retire earlier than expected and she cannot sit down for any exiled periods of time without excruciating pain when she stands up. Having a serious automobile accident 3 years ago only exacerbated her pain. She gets periodic corticosteroid spinal injections that help for about 3 months, but she still needs the pain meds she has been on for years. She has finally found a neurosurgeon that she trusts to do a high risk spinal fusion in a couple of months that may or may not help her severest problem in the lumbar area. Hopefully, the surgery will help that one area, but there are no guarantees due to the severity of her spinal deterioration.

    She has resisted being prescribed the stronger pain meds like OxyContin, but is in agony when she runs low on Percocet after having to take it more frequently during her worst episodes of pain due to sitting during auto/air travel of if she gets ill with the flu as she has recently. She is low on meds now and spends her days and nights in bed until the next prescription can be written. This is not living- it is just existing.

    Now, the South Carolina Legislature is considering a bill to severely limit how many and how often opioids can be prescribed. They are not doctors and do not seem to consider the adverse ramifications this broad legislation will have on the legitimate chronic pain patients.

    Please write the legislators in your state to write their laws with some flexibility for the chronic pain suffering patients who are not addicts, but depend on opioids to literally survive.

    • Gayle S.
      Escanaba, MI
      Reply

      Let’s march!

      • Kathy
        Napa, Calif
        Reply

        We better hurry while we can still walk. I’m 74 ,4 compression fractures of my lumbar spine. I have done everything to treat/ learn to deal with it. Just recently got my medical marijuana card. I am so old and broken down from the pain the pot just made me sooo sick with migraines. If my Norco is taken away I would be better off dead. I live alone and will be able to do nothing. Why would anyone want to live like that. I would rather be dead. Could that be the accidental overdose everyone is worried about.

    • Helen
      Reply

      I just had this conversation with my partner. Doctors, people with primo health insurance or people with money such as my millionaire s.i. l. , will always get what they want. 20 yrs. ago I had a young doctor who liked to talk, just as I did. He admitted that they pick and choose who will get what treatment, the truth is, older people who have money, connections or the best government insurance(working for the state or local) will always win out and those who don’t will suffer in pain till death. He told me, “people have to die.” The doctor knows where each of us stands in line.

  23. Marie
    MA
    Reply

    I am having the same problem in MA. I have kidney stone disease and disc problems along with chronic arthritis. I’m starting to feel that the medical society has changed the course of how doctors are caring for their patients. I also had a fracture of my thumb all the way to my wrist. Without x-ray the ER tried to tell me it was fine and bent my fingers and wrist. I screamed so loud that I startled the doctors who then sent me to x-ray, which confirmed a fractured thumb and wrist. I had a cast put on and was told to go to the hospital to orthopedics, who then told me the ER was wrong, that nothing was fractured. I told the doctor to view my x-ray. He told me it wasn’t good quality and couldn’t read it. I ended up with a shot for tendonitis in my fractured wrist. Something is terribly wrong. I’ve decided to pray on a daily basis, since there is no other relief in sight. God help all of us. I’m a 68 year-old woman also.

    • Mitchell W
      New Albany Mississippi
      Reply

      If we are denied so should they be let’s make it happen!

  24. micheal
    Michigan
    Reply

    I am suffering…I don’t know what to do….I just want to curl up in a ball and just die!

    I was born with a bone disease called Legg Calve Perthe’s Disease with Gaucher’s Syndrome. I have had over 13 hip surgeries on both left and right hips. I am also suffering with two knee failures and will need to have to knee replacements. I also have neuropathy, and early stages of sensory polyneuropathy (pins, needles, numbing) and suffer from sciatic nerve pain from having so many surgeries, along with a progressive drop foot on the right side, and i also suffer from chronic charlie horses and cramps nightly while sleeping in both my thighs. I am in constant pain everyday of my life.

    I have learned to tolerate my pain all my life…the human body can only handle so much pain…15 years ago my orthopedic surgeon put me on percocet to help me deal with my chronic pain. I have never abused my medications, always passed a drug test when asked, I never asked for early refills, or come up with any types of accuses for getting medications. I WAS A LOW RISK FOR OPIOID ABUSE….I had no mental problems, no depression, no suicidal thoughts nothing….I was able to function and live my life. I was able to work…I was in shape…I was able to do more things i could normally not do. Since the laws changed last year my Orthopedic Doctor said to all his patients in a letter…didn’t speak with patients one on one…which I find very cowardice. Just send a letter, say bye, you figure this out…good luck…

    So, I found a neurology clinic and pain management center rolled into one…great…right! Wrong…

    I called them on the phone and said look this is my what my orthopedic surgeon said, so i need someone to manage my pain medications. great come in and we will help you. Wrong!….

    First off, the doctor said your orthopedic surgeon was giving me to much medicine…he shouldn’t have given you this much medicine….I started getting frustrated…a little heated under the skin..first off, you don’t know my doctor who is very well respected in his field, and you don’t know our patient re pore…15 years…to start right off the bat at attacking my doctor was wrong…dead wrong…then she challenged my doctor on my sciatica nerve damage and my drop foot, she didn’t believe that I had such a problem after 13 hip surgeries and 2 hip dislocations. on top of my other problems…strike two….then, she proceeded to tell me this is what you are going to do, in order to get what i give you. and if i didn’t follow what she planned, then i was not going to get medications. now….

    she ordered:

    pee test $400.00 in office monthly x 12 months $4,800.00
    EMG $3,500.00 In office x 1 equals $3,500.00
    Physiological Evaluation $1,500.00 in office/ plus follow ups monthly $500.00= $7,500.00
    Bio feed back $125.00 per session in office with up to two visits per week or once a week= $12,000.00
    physical therapy 2 x weekly $200.00= $9,600.00
    Doctors Fee: $800.00 Monthly =$9,600.00
    Doctor Screw Up Script Fee: $500.00 for another doctor to rewrite a error script.

    That’s $47,500.00 a year now for just pain medications…Who is now taking advantage of the system. wow! add it all up…see a pattern here…all in house making them how much….off patients….who suffer…..

    BEFORE IT ONLY COST ME 1 YEARLY VISIT TO MY ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON FOR $350.00 AND IT INCLUDED MY DOCTOR VISIT, X-RAYS, AND BLOOD WORK.

    NOW,

    This doctor reduced me to 2 percocets per day, and 2 morphine 10mg tablets per day….it wasn’t working and i brought that up to her on my second visit….I said i hurt….its not helping me.

    then, it was 2 percocets per day and 2 15mg morphine tablets per day…. again i was having break through pain….but I noticed i was becoming catatonic on the morphine…I was so tired, I was so exhausted, I didn’t want to do anything, I was crashing, I was awake then I was asleep just like that….It sucks….I went back to the doctor and I couldn’t tell her how I felt because she wanted me off everything period…I just shut my mouth….I did tell her the break through pain was not being taken care of…I just wanted to have what I had…she said no, she said I can take it all away, right now…I said I need my medications, like i have to beg her for my life….for Gods Sake. so instead of giving me more of percocet she upped my fricken morphine…I felt like this doctor really just wants to kill me….she isn’t listening to me….so now,

    I’m on 2 percocets per day and now 3 15mg morphine ER per day….I hate this, I hate this morphine…I hate that this doctor wont listen to me….

    4 months into her seeing me….she finally stabbed in the heart, gut, the back, hacked off my legs, and cut my throat….

    She said to me…this is our last visit. I said to here frankly…what…I was stunned…she said to me, I can’t help you any longer. my job is done…I said, you are here to manage my pain, she no…I was here to diagnose your pain…and I completed the task at hand…Now you need to find a pain management specialist to take over your care….my heart dropped to the floor…I started to cry…i was in disbelief…I said I came here as I was told this was a pain management clinic….She yes we are but for those who are suffering from brain, or severe neurological disorders. I said are you kidding me…I have been here 4 months for you to sit there and say you were here to test me to see if I am telling you the truth…. she looked away….and looked her computer for a few moments…just nothing but dead silence…then what she said…just made me sick to my bones…

    she said “it was my goal to take you completely off your medications”. I said why…I am in chronic pain, she said ” I want you to SUFFER to Tolerate my Pain Completely on My OWN”….I wanted to puke….I was so angry, I was so Pissed off at her….I bit my tongue…I took my last scripts…and I walked out…I went to my car and I just broke down and I just cried my heart out…..

    I have never done anything wrong, I never abused my medications, I always passed my drug tests, I never had mental issues, or any problem to be treated like this.

    so here, I am pondering on what to do….I’m in panic mode….crisis Mode…..I set up an appointment with another pain clinic and got treated even worse…

    the doctor told me to shut up…everything my last doctor gave me…is all Void…..he told me take it or leave it..follow his plan or get nothing……I walked out of the clinic…I took nothing from him…I looked him in the face and said how dare you….I have 15 years of medical records and you don’t even care to look at my medical history, you don’t care to here what bothers me. You don’t even care enough to know what I have done, what I have been through….I said don’t you tell me to shut up, you don’t wanna hear me talk…who the hell are you to treat a patient like this. What is this world coming to?

    • micheal
      Reply

      and this is being paid by Medicare and Medicaid…….

      • Cassandra B
        nj
        Reply

        I am in NJ having same problem. Thanks to our gov. I can’t even get my Ultram I have been on it for 10 years, before they even called it a narcotic. I jjust took the last one. I go to the orth dr tommyrot if he does refill the script, I am in trouble. I don’t have a new PCP. Not till next week/ this is insane. I have to stop taking my insulin cause it makes my nerophy worst. I am getting blood sugar levels of 400. which is bad, but what do I do? I ask medical proff. and they don’t know. what do have to do to prove I am not and addict. what I am gonna print out my 10 year history with the same phar. Maybe

    • micheal
      Michigan
      Reply

      plus, I went from 185 pounds to 250 pounds in 5 months, I don’t work anymore, I am totally and permanently disabled, and i’m physically going down, I try and push myself as much as I can. I don’t want sympathy, I want action, I want change, I am tired of seeing people like me and people like all of you suffering. It has to change…before it gets beyond chaos, and suffering people start ending there lives over bureaucratic bull crap. The evidence shows its not patients that cause overdose death. Even the CDC states that. it has to start at the grassroots….

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