Can’t find a doctor to prescribe pain meds?

Don’t feel alone.  This doctor is worn down and just saying no.  Opioid poisoning as a cause of death more than tripled in the US between 1999 and 2006.   Death from prescription opiates is now more common than death from heroin and cocaine combined.  (USA Today)

Today a new patient came to the office looking for a physician to prescribe the opiates she wanted to take for her fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, and chronic low back pain.  She proceeded to say she just wished the good doctors who had previously been prescribing her massive doses of opiates were still around.  She thinks one of them must have done something wrong, because his office was just closed down suddenly and all his medical records were taken away.  I’m sure this is the Lakewood, WA  physician who lost his license for inappropriately prescribing opiates.  She was a caricature of the opiate-seeking  patient.  She had not just one of the ill defined painful conditions that are impossible to exclude, but at least three.  She had been prescribed both Oxycontin, as well as large doses of “breakthrough” oxycodone.   I am not accepting new pain management patients into my practice.  This made it easy to explain that I would not be able to treat her for these problems with opiate medications.  Actually the abuse of opiates have become such a rampant problem that I don’t know of a physician in the county who is accepting new pain management patients.  This is sad for patients new to the community with legitimate need for pain medication, but just an impossible position for physicians.  Any physician who becomes known as accepting chronic non-malignant pain patients would be quickly overwhelmed by the droves of new patients needing pain medications who would show up to receive care.  Years ago a wise older physician (he was probably as old as I am now, and likely far wiser) told me we all have our albatrosses.  These he described as very needy and difficult patients that you’d just like to find a way to get out of your practice.  He explained that if we all just keep a few then no one will be overburdened with too many.  Otherwise they will just keep circulating in the medical community, and all of us will still need to take care of them.  It’s best to just buck up and keep doing our best for them.  These days I feel like these patients are not like rare albatrosses, but rather like common crows, just everywhere, and dashing in to pick me apart like road kill.

There seem to be so opiate seeking patients now that an open door to see them would just overwhelm anyone.  Cynically yet realistically I know that this is in part because no one physician will knowingly prescribe the quantity of drugs that they want, so they need to have multiple physicians prescribing their meds who are unaware of each other.   (this problem to be the subject of another post soon)  Anyway this episode made me smile because this patient was either incredibly naïve, or a very good actress.  I suspected the latter.  Most opiate seeking patients are very smooth and make me at least feel like maybe I should try to help them by seeing if I can help them manage their pain with less opiates and good care.  In my experience this very rarely works, because the customer really just wants the drugs.  I know that although there are some patients for whom opiates for non-cancer pain is the best available treatment, there are so many professional patients who resell the drugs on the street and others who are addicted to the meds and overuse them in vast amounts, that as primary physicians we are in an impossible position.  We either become suppliers of the prescription drug culture, or we turn away some appropriate patients.  Which is worse?  This depends on your viewpoint, but at this point I generally just say no.

Related Posts

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Oxycontin: What’s the big deal?

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141 Responses to Can’t find a doctor to prescribe pain meds?

  1. Common crow says:

    This doctor makes some good points , but for the most part he wants to make me puke in my mouth, By now people reading this are probably saying yup he is one of them, and you know what I am. Due to lax prescribing I was prescribed 160mg 3 times daily, yes I said 3 times daily!!?? And 30 mg 5 times daily the drugs are OxyContin/oxycodone , and guess who don’t want to be my provider anymore. My tolerance is huge and my pain is out of control, 5. Lumbar surgeries, hip replacements are the cause of my pain not to mention dercums, anyway I see it as a 50/50 doctors know better and most people seeking these meds by this time are fairly aware of the risk. But can we have doctors calling us names and having buyers remorse, by turning you ‘re backs on legit patients it will spur a whole new epidemic, so here I sit new laws are coming that will leave me in pain . I have got it down to 80 mg 3 times a day but have so far to go, I live in n.h. And there is only one real pain clinic dr. Oconnels pain care, even they are feeling the heat , they help a lot of legit people and now it will be impossible for me and others to get the help there because they will be over run with these patients coming from primary care doctors who had no business treating pain to begin with , sorry for the rant,

  2. Thea Ramsay says:

    Well, thanks alot. This is the attitude that’s causing me to wake every day in vast amounts of pain. I have arthritis, fibromyalgia, congenital spinal stenosis, and I do NOT lead anything like a normal life. It’s people like you that’d send a law-abiding patient right into the arms of a heroin dealer. My own doc is a case in point. I’ve tried every other thing she’s prescribed. Lyrica exacerbates my mental illness and suicidality. Medical marijuana made me sicker than a dog, and very anxious. Tylenol doesn’t help with the pain much, and makes me tired and irritable. I’m in acute plus chronic pain, and my doc refuses to increase my opiate dose to cover the pain, because she’s SO afraid I’ll get even the tiniest buzz.
    But never mind. You keep going the way you’re going, just like she will. Since all the doctors care about nowadays is the bad press opiates get, fine. I’ll either end up deciding the pain isn’t worth living with and end it all, or I’ll be buying off the streets.
    Thanks alot. Thanks a hell of a lot.

  3. Kristi says:

    @Adrienne. How are you going to sue the DEA? I mean seriously? I would like info in doing this if it’s possible. I’ve been on Hydrocodone for at least 2 to 3 years. I have RA, some kind of inflammation in my spine and a cyst in my lumbar that hurts like crazy. I am in the category of low intolerance/sensitivities to a lot of pharmacueticals. For proof it took 3 years just to find a HBP medicine for me to take. My body rejects a lot of these drugs on the market. But The hydro. seems to be okay for me to take. I take as directed, never sold and never abused them. Just here recently In the past 3 to 4 months have I experienced one doctor counting my prescription and accusing me of having a different doctor prescribing wanting to argue with me on the prescription. I’ve had another doctor accusing me of wanting to get high. I was referred to pain mang. doc due to my family practitioner won’t prescribe this type of medicine at all. And the PM doc didn’t even want to prescribe it to me. He gave me 1 month and 1 refill worth. I don’t know what I’m going to do about my pain and now am contemplating suicide in my head. (No plan of action just yet). Because I don’t want to live in this pain. I have intolerance of a lot of drugs. Can’t take meloxicam, Celebrex and stuff like that because of severe side effects. So with all these people of abusing narcotics, selling them and overdosing I’m affected and am held responsible for their behavior? I think not. This is not fair to the people out there in the US like me. I don’t want to do suicide, so now am wondering what I can do to help myself be able to manage my pain with this drug that helps me. When I wake up in the morning I’m stiff and in pain mostly in my back, hips and head. This helps me to loosen up because most of the pain goes away. I will have RA for the rest of my life. I have already tried 2 pills for treatment for RA and unable to take those because of awful side effects. My body is against me unfortunately. What the hell am I suppose to do now? Doctors are scared because of the DEA to prescribe these medicines and it’s not fair that I have suffer because of other peoples irresponsible behaviors and actions on abusing this medicine. I’m not really one to even like taking medicine nor my body for that matter. Does anyone out there have any ideas or suggestions I can do other than alterantive treatment because I also have a phobia of epedirals and surgeries as well. My fears are abnormal. I literally cried and prayed and told my husband 2 years ago when I had to have female surgery to tell my son goodbye and love him because I think I’m going to die and never wake up after surgeries. THat’s how bad my ocd’s, anxieties and phobias are for proof. Yes, I’m putting myself out here and yes now I feel naked for exposing my inner most personal secrets but Maybe, just maybe someone out here will listen and spread the word that there are legit people suffereing with pain illnesses and can’t take a lot of harsh drugs like me. My body literally won’t let me due to crazy side affects. And maybe, something will be done. I don’t understand why the people who are abusing/selling these drugs get charged and be mandatory sentenced to a rehab facility to get professional help instead of people like me who get accused and held responsible for there mistreatment of opiates. It’s not fair. This is the world we live in for a bad apple spoils the whole bunch. Wake up people. Not everyone is the same. We are all different, unique and should not be held accountable for another’s actions. We all want to point the blame on someone else for something. This shouldn’t be. I feel everyone should be held accountable for their OWN INDIVIDUAL action and be given the right consequence to their action. NOt give the consequence to everyone. It’s not fair. Yes, this a not fair world but don’t let it slide into the healthcare or our prescriptions to the ones who actually need this type of drug. I say petition. I also live in the biblebelt and feel like this is a target area for sure. But yet the state I live in is the least one on the list for overdoses/selling/abusing opiates. I also feel like people in my condition we are going to see a lot more suicides for the consequence of controlling/limiting the opiates because there are a lot of people whom like me have intolerance to a lot of prescription drugs with sensitivities and what the hell are they suppose to do just live with the pain? No, maybe for cavemen era when they didn’t access to treatment/drugs or anything to that affect. And I’m guessing there are a lot of people with phobias of medical procedures/surgeries as well like me in my predicament. It maybe funny to some people out there. But mental health is just like physical health in my opinion and actually it’s a fact. The stigma on mental health needs to be addressed too. But one person alone is not enough.

  4. Charles says:

    Wow reading Dr Pullen’s post is exactly the problem patients are running into. Being called “common crows” is unprofessional and serves no purpose other than to insult folks who come on this blog to read whatever his flavor of the month is. To just say no shows a complete lack of training and compassion that most Dr’s possess at some point in their career. If a Dr uses their brain and TAKE THE TIME to properly evaluate a patient most “common crows” would fly away. The mass hysteria that some dr’s display point to not trusting their own judgement or perhaps total burnout. Dr Pullen perhaps more of your posts would appear on kevinmd if you could keep your distaste for your crow patients to a minimum, speaking like that on a public forum makes you look uneducated and untrustworthy. Truly you are part of the problem.

  5. rose says:

    Wow! I cannot believe the posts! What I find a ppaling is the so called drs comments. What does a body have to do to get relief in the us? Is anyone here willing to do what we can to try and change this? Ive heard of ppl wanting to sue, and that may not be a bad idea! Anyone here game? Class action suit? We all have our good and bad days, but if we were to pull together, rather than one? If there are 135 post here, and I havent read them all, im sure there are many more that are in pain and are silent. If wed make enuf noise, someone would surely hear us! I know th a t by writing out our frustrations it helps, but telling it to someone who can do something would prob help even more, am I right? We need to be a loud enough voice that we cant be ignored. It sure as hell has got to be better than what were doing. Does anyone agree with me? Let me hear you! Enough is enough!

  6. Marie says:

    To those having trouble finding a doctor who will prescribe you what you NEED for chronic pain, in sufficient amounts, go to a Pain Manager, an MD who specializes in Pain Management and Treatment……most are former Anesthesiologists who learned how to treat and control pain in the OR working with patients under Spinal, Epidural, or General Anesthesia…..they went on to take additional course work and became Pain Clinic doctors…..try to find one who is board certified, as that means they have indeed taken the courses and other hands-on work in Pain management, and then passed a very hard test to qualify for it.

    I am a retired RN, retired due to health issues: I have an autoimmune disease as well as chronic neck and lower back pain, related to my 30 years as an RN in a hospital……

    My pain doctor, who I have to see once a month, per his criteria for all patients, also does trigger point injections and deeper injections under Flouroscopy (moving radiation image, a moving X-ray) so he can SEE the nerves and bones and other areas that he is aiming for with long needles….(don’t worry, you’re are thoroughly “numbed up” first). So, its not ONLY about getting a prescription for medications…….

    This is the best advice I can give anyone with problems such as being treated like an addict, being given not enough or not strong enough meds, or needing other pain modalities to help the pain.

  7. Sony says:

    Patients are like “common crows”? Shame on you

  8. Adrienne says:

    I’ve had it! I have DDD in my lower lumbar in which L5-S1 disc is gone and the vertabrea no longer has the little bones that stick out. L4 is almost the same. Stenosis, scoleosis, spondylolisthesis, & “significant” amount of arthritis & not one doc will help me be comfortable. Forgot to mention that I’m 38 &have lived in KS for 2 years in which I’ve been suffering ever since. AZ docs didn’t have an issue with pain meds which allowed me to work, now I can’t even get out of bed. I’m all for a class action suit against the DEA! I’m also looking into suing these doctors for malpractice.

  9. Steve C says:

    I am in sync with just about every post I read about being in chronic pain for years and not being treated properly because of nothing of my wrongdoing, but because the Dr. is scared. Really, get over yourself. This last ide like to say quack, but anyways says on the phonebook and in the business website that they treat everything from anxiety, panic attacks, adhd, dislocation of discs of jaw anterially and bilatterallly with reduction, and I could not believe him. I brought all of my current meds, alprazolam, tramadol, wellbuterin, and I say that the tramadol im having to take too often is killing my stomach, what else can we do and he looks at the few bottles and litterelly says to me, “Oh I don’t fill those medications.” I said what do you mean I read your website and all… he said “We use herbal methods instead” I was mad as you know what, and I said, “Ok ill try you herbal crap just so you can see for yourself how sick it makes me because I attemptted on my own this one other time and are you even a Dr.? I asked him why he wouldn’t prescribe any medications that would be filled at a pharmacy and he just said, “I just cant do it I, sorry” Well I paid 150 to see you I told him and im sorry about that. I live in Davenport IA and I have been on strong meds in the past, no abuse at all, no addictive personality or anything. I am writing the ombudsman, and the state governor about this issue as well are all suffering for no reason. God made pain killing plants called opiates for a reason I believe, to give to the people suffering so back they don’t want to live another day!!!

  10. I am 78 yrs. old – definitely not a drug abuser-don’t even take a drink of anything don’t smoke – I had a total hip replacement with the titanium bar in the middle of my femur – I am never free of pain .I wake up and have to take 30mg oxycodone to start moving my legs and get up. About 6pm I hurt so bad I can’t keep going, and have to lie down . My orthpedic surgeon in Florida told me I would never be without pain, I moved to Indiana, and the pain is unbearable here, partially due to the cold weather – I have been unable to find a MD that will prescribe even the minimal dose of pain medication. My life is one day after another of being confined to the house and bed. This situation is changing my whole outlook on continuing to live. I am at my wits end, and being forced to turn to alcohol for relief, which to me is degrading .why is this??? Shouldn’t some physician see the difference in a dope addict and an elderly woman just wanting to livea halfway normal life ??? I can see the Drs view here in dealing with sitiations – but if it was your mother- would you see them suffer and cry when they can’t even walk to the mailbox?? My life is circling the drain now – 3-4 more years at the most. why must I be so miserable and have to live like this.
    Please see wht I am trying to say.

  11. melissa ballou says:

    I live in Maine and 7 years ago, I started seeing a “pain management” doctor to treat chronic back pain and DJD in both knees. He was so irresponsible, when I asked how to take my Oxycodone, he said “however you want”. Then he threatened to take them away if I didn’t lose 15 pounds in 2 months. I used to vomit before each visit, he was so bad. I guess he didn’t like smart women, women in general, overweight women, or women who did research and asked questions. He never once offered me any kind of treatment for my back and coccyx pain, and at that time, steroid injections were working for my knees. (I have since had both knees replaced, and I’m only 46 years old) I was with him for 3 years before I was able to find a DO 30 minutes from where I live to RX my Oxys. I was with her for 2 years before I got cut off for one mistake I made.. in 5 years. One mistake. Since then, I have had such problems even finding a doctor who 1. believes me 2. will treat me with opiates and since my liver and kidney function wasn’t good, they gave me 800mg Ibuprofen! Logic, anyone? Before both knee surgeries, I had to practically beg to get .5 Vicodin, which was useless. I have since seen a Nurse Practitioner elsewhere, because I didn’t get along with my previous PCP, and I heard that the new place was very compassionate with Chronic Pain. Yesterday, when I was discussing my side effects from the Tramadol she reluctantly RXed, I had a chance to look at her computer screen, where it said up in the right corner (from my previous provider) my name, and “NO NARCOTICS”. So, now I assume I’m red-flagged for reasons unbeknownst to me. I have requested all records from this provider and the hospital they’re affiliated with, so I can figure out where this came from. The NP I saw yesterday RXed 120 Tramadol, then I got a call and she’s not in today, so the other doctor who I’ll be trying to make an appt. with called in 30 Tramadol. This makes no sense to me, but none of this makes sense. I shouldn’t have to lie to get into a Suboxone or Methadone program to treat chronic pain, nor should I feel suicidal because there’s only so much I can take. Doctors have to believe people and not ASSume that we are all drug seekers. Most of us are honest, law-abiding citizens who need treatment for valid pain issues. Frustration has become a daily hindrance for me, and although I won’t give up trying to find a doctor to treat me, it’s looking slim in Maine. My boyfriend wants to move to Florida, maybe it’s easier there to get treatment. Thanks for reading.

  12. Jerry says:

    I too suffer from disc pain and have been taking meds. for 16 years until now. I don’t think the government is hearing us.

  13. nicole murawski says:

    Please forgive me but I like to speak my mind. I think its a shame that people abuse drugs or sue for every little thing. I feel like Im the only one that can judge my pain. I don’t abuse meds or take something for the smallest ache.It bothers me that I cant make medical decisions knowing all the info because a group of people died or didn’t take the recommended dosage. I had oral surgery last year and it was very painful(dental implants). I must have visited the office at least five times to have them increase my pain meds. I was still in pain throughout the experience. It was awful! I would rather they had given me a little too much than not enough. I understand why theyre cautious but it should be my choice in what I put in my body. If the doctor gives me instructions and informs me of the risks then I shouldn’t have to beg. Its gotten so taboo to even ask. Pain pills are the new dirty word. I know people who are too polite to ask for a higher dosage or to ask for a refill because they feel like they’ll be judged. Im a educated adult and if I want to ask for pain relief for one day or twenty years, so be it. I don’t feel like we should have to perform a song and dance to prove that we hurt for a doctor who spends ten minutes at most with us. What does pain look like? Whats not painful for one person might be horrific for another.

  14. Dr. Pullen says:

    Robert: Sorry I’m not able to help in this forum. You need a local doctor. DrP.

  15. I need help with my pain, im 54 and taking care of my parents. I cant take much more of this, I need help my phone number is xxx-xxxx. if u can help please contact me. thankyou

  16. Tori says:

    Personally I think we should open up a class action lawsuit against the DEA. I was involved in a car accident this year that resulted in having to have half the cartilage in my knee removed. Two orthopedic doctors, my primary care and a less than worthless trip to a pain clinic and all I have to show for it is a bottle of 800mg Ibuprofen and a steroid shot. I’m in constant pain from the bone on bone contact in my knee and I can not get help from anyone. The way I walk has now started to effect my ankles and my lower back and I still can not find any relief. My life is crap right now and it’s only going to get worse if left untreated. Hopeless, helpless and just plain don’t wanna be here anymore.

  17. Richard Eigenbrode says:

    What Sue said 10 x over. waynesboro Pa. Most backdoor them 4 a price! SWIM pays 400.00 + a mo. 9 yr.s+ yes SWIM has good Insur.,can’t us.4 med.s you are Lucky no WDs. Rare. Everyone here’s Correct,

  18. Rita says:

    I’m in nearly constant pain. Migraines, Kidney Stones that won’t go away, my back is messed up really badly in several places due to car accidents and a couple of trips down a flight of stairs. I’ve also had one of those pelvic mesh slings pit in and its causing all kinds of trouble. This is not an exaggeration! I’ve had over 70 surgeries. I hurt so bad that I vomit countless times a day so now my teeth are rotting out of my head. I’ve been bed-ridden for about 10 years now. I pray every day for death. If I had money, or could leave my house I would be tempted to by pain killers illegally. Since I can do neither, I’m out of hope. I read someone above saying we should go to the DEA, write letters, lobby. Just writing this message I’ve had to stop once already to throw up. We, pain victims make the perfect victim because we’re too sick to help ourselves. I wish you all luck, but I’m out of hope.

  19. Sue says:

    I am not sure if people are honest when they get opiates but, I do know this. The only thing worse then living in pain is having to beg for the medicine you need. We are put down by society and doctors. It doen’t matter that before we needed the meds that we had never taken a strong narcotic in our lives. My pain doctor informed me just when my meds were due that he would not be able to help anyone for at least four weeks. I suspect because DEA is there. Listen I don’t overtake my medicine I don’t sell it I just don’t wanna hurt. I also am in a very small group that doesn’t have bad withdrawal but my blood pressure goes very high. I hate taking medicne but i Have had to for 16 yrs so if i can not find anyone to help me i may die. I did nothing wrong I had a wreck so why am I being punished. Its almost impossible to find a pain doctor that will give meds here so I hope everyone is happy. You won’t stop the illegal use of drugs cause they still will be selling it but I would die rather be sick then do that and I die I may. It’s crazy would we live in isn’;t it?

  20. kevin Riley says:

    I believe if your in unbearable pain you should sue the DEA. FDA is only agency that regulates medicine not DEA that are out of there jurisdication. Sue the DEA. I know one doctor who wont see a DEA agent told him his faking it and put in hospital file. I have seen DEA agent on government time playing golf one fish two three time a week. DEA is corrupt

  21. E says:

    Wake up and stop blaming the doctors. Of course they know your pain. If you want to do something then go to the DEA, write letters, lobby because if you don’t you will remain talking to each other and nothing will be accomplished. Go to Medical board meetings and state your position loud and clear. Right now you will be hard put to even find a pain doctor to help you. They are being crucified by these 2 agencies. These pills are highly addictive, the PT and the shots they want you to take may to some point help but like me they did not. I don’t take medication I stay in bed a lot and take ibuprofen. But for those who have to work all I can say is that you have to understand how addictive these meds can be and if you need them to go out and talk to these agencies. Call the media too and explain your side of it. It is horrible to live with pain and you need to educate them as well. If you do not then you will be lumped in with the druggies. No one knows your pain unless they experience it. Show them what it is like to live life like this. Perhaps they will care. Who knows…. I do know if you don’t do anything then you will remain in pain. Good luck.

  22. SJB says:

    And while this Dr and every other Dr around is “just saying no” the true chronic pain patients are suffering in their own misery, feel hopelessness, abandoned, trapped in a body they dont want to be in. They cry, get depressed and cant enjoy normal daily activity, oh but you can find a Dr that would be glad to put you on something for DEPRESSION!!! Why dont we look at why the patient is depressed. My husband and I are both chronic pain patients. My husband is young and has degenerative disc disease, facet joint arthritis, 5 bulged discs in his lumbar spine, a T12 compression fracture, Plates in his neck from c-spine herniation that required surgery, yet he cant find a Dr to treat his pain and has had 4 surgeons say that surgery wont help him and they wont touch him. He had to retire at the ripe old age of 35 due to not being able to sit or stand for long periods of time, if he has pain medication he can function. He could hold a job. No he is not overweight, he is skin and bone cause he is in to much pain to eat. Now we are going under financially due to his job loss. A vicious cycle that could stop with an understanding physician. I still work but I have to in the pain and misery that I am in with the list of my chronic back issues, abdominal pain with chronic adhesions, endemetriosis, IBS, Osteoporosis, nerve impediments, SI joint dysfunction and bulged discs. And with all this said its sad when you can walk into peoples houses who you know are not a chronic pain patient and they have several large 240 count bottles of prescription pain meds from different doctors. Most of these patients say, oh I dont take that stuff, I dont even know why the doctor gives it to me! I see it every day, on top of seeing patients in pain that dont get treatment. Those are the ones the hospitals call “regulars” then “regulars” become “drug seekers” then what they call the drug seekers end up in triage for hours on end while the hospital staff hopes they just get up and leave. Sad system!!

  23. Lance Cook says:

    I have had back problems from 2007- due to a car wreak, i also cracked my back in nov.2012. My current doctor will only give me .5 Vicodin, and they barley help. I have also had surgery on my left wrist, and with weather changes it hurts me really bad. I have bi-polar disorder and anxiety Disorder, and without my meds i am not right, i also have hyper tension and take meds for that too, and take meds for that too, and last but not last but not least i am a diabetic, its under control. I do need an increase on my pain, and anxiety meds i have been on them for years, and my body is to used to them. I can provide proff on all of this. I just need a doctor who will listen to my needs. At my current state of mind i am miserable. My phone = is 214-924-7578.

  24. Chronic Pain says:

    I have been dealing with chronic pain in my lower back, knees and legs for most of my life and gave up looking for help. Every time I go I am put through very test under the sun and am always given the same crappy medications that dont work all because a doctor is petrified to help those of us that ACTUALLY NEED PAIN MEDS FOR PAIN. It got so bad that I gave in and found someone going through pill mills and had to buy them on my own from those who are prescribed them even though they have no pain at all. Does anyone see a problem with this? Why do I have to spend a fortune buying them off the street to feel better when those who dont need them get a months supply for a copay? It’s sad when you cant get help from a physician but you can from a drug dealer. So now I am stuck! It’s too expensive to buy off the street and I cant find a doc to help but if I dont take anything I am a prisoner to my on chronic pain. I cant do anything when I feel the pain including play with my daughter or take care of my house or even use the second floor of my home as I cant climb stairs very well without feeling excruciating pain. I know its not right to buy them illegally but the pain is so bad sometimes that I dont know what else to do. I feel so defeated by this.

  25. pat moody says:


  26. Dr Mom says:

    I understand your pain as I am a physician trained in neurology – a specialty that does accumulates fair # of albatrosses as u say.
    However, in my mid 30s I began having progressive “lower back” pain- worse w each pregnancy. MRI showed a small tear at L5 on left, w a hemi L6, & spina bifida occulta. So why was my pain on right? 5 yrs later, I had a resurfacing of my femoral head scheduled – only plain films show congenital dysplasia & apparently 2nd peak of diagnosis is after pregnancy w decoditioning & weight gain. When they operated, my labrum was sawed thru from arthritis so they did not complete the posterior acetabulum re shaping. Because my pain obviously was coming from that since “you shouldn’t be able to walk across the room, let alone work 80 hrs a week” w a severed labrum. 3 yes later I had a hip replacement that demonstrated a posterior femoral head that was the shape of an ax instead of round. Surgeon took pics, w a plan to speak at the conference in Switzerland b/c he always thought Patients could have posterior dysplasia when the consensus was that there was none. (It’s a ball & socket joint. Really?). With the delay in diagnosis, I have had progressive spinal issues. With at least 3 dessicated disks, & a cervical fusion & impending lumbar fusion.
    In the mean time, my tolerance has sky rocketed. Studies show that patients who have chronic pain are very resistant to addiction, & if there is an acute increase in pain, it is likely there is a new issue anatomically, not addiction.
    Pain management is a very poorly managed issue in our country that victimizes those who do not have the common diagnosis. If your pain does not fit in a common niche, the patient must be addicted.

  27. Ray says:

    I had a doctor help me with pain for 8 years I was electricuted at 17 legs are dying.What happend he wanted to do needless procedures for money I said no and he threatend me and then thay lied said I did not take a med I went to see them thay told me it is true thay lied to drop and said thay are god and can do what ever thay want.I tell you it’s all about money it took me a year of bad doctors and wrong meds my family helped me and now I have a great doctor it was worth wait now I can play with my kid she is 8 now please dont give up!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Dr. Pullen says:

    A Patient: I would argue that the diagnosis of interstitial cystitis is difficult, often a diagnosis of exclusion, i.e. one made because no other apparent cause of symptoms is discovered, and is often ill-defined. We will likely disagree on this point. DrP.

  29. A. Patient says:

    For this doctor’s information, interstitial cystitis is not an “ill defined” condition…..I have it and it’s been diagnosed by top specialists in the field, not once but TWICE, so please don’t act like IC is some weirdo disease that the patient is making up to get pain meds. The fact that you said this at all shows that you aren’t even up to date with basic medical understanding, much less an understanding of pain meds and how they are used in such cases. This is the kind of nonsense chronic pain patients out here are putting up with all the time!

  30. Melinda says:

    I was a nurse, worked for years on the floor and finally could no longer do it due to multiple health problems that cause pain. I fought it and was determined to work as long as I could but I finally had to give it up. I had been prescribed the same medication for 2 years, I never asked for an early Rx or an increase, never failed any drug screens, underwent whatever injection they wanted to do, I was very compliant. I just wanted relief, I didnt care what they did to me, if it helped I would do it. I was just dismissed last week, without my refill of meds, with no notice. I showed up to my appointment, like I did every 2 months, I sat, waited, drank a ton of soda so I could do the usual urine sample, I was in shock when they told me they would no longer prescribe my medications, not even my migraine medicine (which is non-narcotic) because Im no longer able to work. THAT was their reason… Im not working now so I shouldnt need them. THAT type of practice is unethical, bad faith, poor care. Now to attempt to find a new doc who is willing to do all the care, including injections, steroid epidurals, and meds will be very hard. In the meantime, the shock to my system is horrible. I can barely function. I didnt take them to “get high” I took them to get pain relief. Now I have NOTHING and no one to help me. Doctors have become heartless because of the drug addicts. Im sure its hard to distinguish the true pain from the seekers, but you cant “just say no” to everyone because of that. What then do the people do who have true pain? I wish there was some way to distinguish between the two so that people like me can find a doctor who cares.

  31. Sandy says:

    I have cervical cancer and 2 norco`s a day do not help with my pain and that`s all the doctor will give me. I feel I`m destined to die a horribly painful death, and I`m looking into ways to avoid that. I have no quality of life anymore. What`s the point of living like this?

  32. grant says:

    I believe in what so many people are saying. My story is different because although I was in pain I also lost control and abused the medication. Now 2 years sober but in extreme pain everyday I feel the pain will win and eventually kill me. Im not the person I was 2 years ago and I would even be willing to have my wife lock up the medicine if need be. All I know is I cant stand more than 5 minutes without shaking and in severe pain. Ive had artificial disc replacement, fusion and also have herniated discs in my neck due to car accidents. But I have to go into work smiling as if nothing is wrong with me. I really feel for the people on this board. It makes me want to cry. A few bad apples always ruins the bunch. I hope you all stay strong and dont give up.

  33. Anna says:

    Well,I just found out today that my so-called pain management doctor refused to refill my pain med. just because I refused to take the shot in the back! How do I know it’s not 1 of those that causes menginitis? How can dr’s treat patients so cruel and heartless? We are not all “junkies”. I am in constent chronic back pain 24-7 and my(used to be) dr. doesn’t care. I have never abused med. Only 1′s that abuse med is the 1′s that don’t have pain. How do dr’s think we are going to function? It’s not only the “junkies” that kill themselves (with overdoes) but it is people that commit suicide with no relief from their dr.s. I hope all the unconcerned dr’s sleep well at night, because I (we) don’t. A person can only take so much pain.

  34. ThatGirl says:

    Doctors; You guys are HYPOCRITES and JOKES. You have no clue what the opiate medication really IS. Although it is a drug many can choose to abuse, it is a GODSEND for us in actual pain. It’s a miracle for pain. Who CARES if a patient becomes addicted? For the the severe pain patients, if they choose to live happily-while-dependent, it is their choice. People with specific sickness (not life threatening) do it daily. You as a Doctor, are trained to HELP – yet – Did you study to become a psychologist? Is your specialty addiction? Did you study your entire life to judge every patient, with such malice? as if your last name is Drew? Sure there are and always WILL BE pill-mills, but that’s their business. Literally. If your patient is in pain, do not act like you do “all you can” to solve it. Doctors these days just assume anyone is pain is a “drug seeker” and purposely beat around anything but pain medication. The Doctors that prescribe it? Will overthrow your business and LEGALLY. You will be patient-less and laughing at yourselves. Realizing your “15 year” patients have moved on, the new age with chronic pain choose wisely and guess what? When your homes are under foreclosures, or you lose that foreign car, that hot wife and are alone, you may actually realize you were WRONG. Because you guys sure love to charge up that insurance, huh? With pointless practice. So guess what? The GOOD DOCTORS will thrive. Leaving ridiculous surgeries, prolotherapies and relaxants that leave you half alive, OUT OF IT. Opiates thrive in pain therapy because you can actually FUNCTION AND LIVE, ON THEM.
    - I hope the best for pain patients who are still trying to function, or find a good doctor.

  35. scott says:

    Ever since yet another one of my pain mgmt. doctors lost his liscense 3 years ago, not a day goes by that I dont contemplate suicide. I have NO quality of life now. Its only a matter of time befofe the pain kills me or I kill myself. I am no longer proud to be an american, Im ashamed!! Not to mention the isolating depression. I hold no hope for the future. Cant wait to say goodbye cruel world!! You doctors who turn away people in pain are terrorists no different than Osama Bin Laden.

  36. Gary says:

    What is happening with the Lack of pain control is and will end up killing innocent people. I have massive chronic pain. I have an chronic inflammatory condition. in the worst places possible. I suffer from a chronic disease. (Ulcerative Colitis.)I do not have any addiction and am not an pain medicine. I lay in the fetal position in pain for hours at a time. and there is never any time when I am not in some kind of pain.
    I’m talking about serious mind altering pain!
    Zombie pain! I’m a fricking zombie. I can’t and don’t go out, except to appointments. I feel very vulnerable and unsafe I can’t protect myself now. I have been to the CHERRY HILL CLINIC in Seattle Washington over 18 time with the same condition I have seen about 8 Doctors including specialist and no one will give me any Meds, that will help. they last prescribed me patches that were over $800.00 they will not treat my pain! I have no insurance. Thank you America Thank You So so Much! I treat my Dog better than these people treat human beings! Special judgement will be in store for those Doctors who refuse to treat the suffering. I am praying for it everyday. what they are refusing to do, goes against the Moral fiber of the Medical Arts. They are Called to Help the suffering. You should see my Medical Bills! and I am still suffering. It really seems Criminal to me. To let people hurt.

  37. R Lewis says:


    You are frighteningly misinformed. I suggest reading something other than conservative fantasy emails and watching some TV other than FOX.

    It was our buddy Dubya, whose greatest hits included the re-introduction of torture and tax breaks for billionaires, who sent the DEA into the states with medical marijuana laws to threaten the docs who dared to write opiates for legal/prescribed users of marijuana.

    Alleged concerns of drug diversion (that may be grossly overstated) have resulted in a “Drug Diversion” division and they have issued a DEA medical practitioners manual. States and Dr’s are “expected” to adhere to it. That’s the real “government between me and my Dr.” problem we have.

    What do you think happens if a Dr. doesn’t strictly adhere to these “guidelines?” You might want to look the guidelines up.

    And further, the Dr’s (I’ve spoken to recently)statements just don’t ring true. Does anyone believe that opiates are the only medication resulting in deaths, or that they cause the most deaths? Even “safe” medications like Aspirin and Proton Pump Inhibitors (Prevacid, Prilosec) have sent many people to the hospital, and killed some. (NSAIDS like aspirin increase the risk of heart attack and PPI’s can result in dangerously low magnesium and salt levels in the bloodstream after years of use). You can look this information up on the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting/Warning pages.

    This relatively recent unwillingness (perhaps fear) of Dr’s to provide “effective” pain medication smacks of a “prohibition era” for pain meds. Let’s face it, one cannot make an informed decision without facts. Well…some can. One shouldn’t make a medical decision based on politics or threats rather than clear and accurate scientific evidence.

    It’s a crime I can’t get pain medications after 35 years of rheumatoid arthritis have ravaged my body. You would cringe if you saw my X-rays. I wonder which pain medications, if any, I will be given whenever I am able to get my knees replaced?

    Don’t blame Obama, the other side has tried to block everything he tried to accomplish. Can you say “filibuster?”

    It seems that some in our country would regress us to the 1950′s (the “good old days”); including all of the ignorance, intolerance, and lack of education.

  38. phyllis lopez says:

    well i hate too say this but some people just do not under stand that there are times when people need pain meds. but the dr. will not give it to them you are hurting in your lower back or you have rain that goes on for days whats a person too do go to the hospital but they refuse to help that’s what i really get up set about like my husband he hurt he’s back on sat.& STILL NOT ANY BETTER does not want the hospitals help cause of inc. resons thank to obama no good for nothing yes i’m upset with the way things are now i remeber when you did not have this to worry about but all that has changed we need obama out of the white house & fastno one can afford health inc.

  39. Tina D. says:

    I agree with Shae, there is NO reason not to treat someone who says they have chronic pain. If you are that scared to do your job than find another type of work, or work in a morgue or funeral home. There has also been a rise of real chronic pain patients committing suicide because they cannot handle the pain and are no longer getting help from their doctor or any doctor. This, in my opinion, is like all the doctors killing them poor chronic pain patients. Yes, they take their own lives, but so do the one’s overdosing on meds. Either way, there is death. I agree with Shae, that chronic pain patients should not have to seek medication from dealers. They should be able to go to their doctor, have the doctor test them monthly and have regulations. There is also a thing called tolerance, you do not give 240 pain pills to someone who has never taken pain medication, you also do not give Tramadol to someone who is tolerant and who’s pain is only managed by morphine sulfate. I understand that doctors do not want their patients to overdose, but I would hope that more doctors would learn about pain management and help their true chronic pain patients. They do not deserve to be in pain because of drug addicts. They should be treated, tested, and if so be it, have their pill bottles brought in if they need to come in the office sooner than their initial next visit. What is so hard about doing that??? It is because you do not care about those in pain to go the extra mile and as far as I am concerned, you have NO right being a physician. Chronic pain is a huge problem and if doctors are not going to help, then the crime rate and drugs on the street will grow. They do not all get those drugs from doctors, or the United States. Drugs will never go away, but I no, I would rather be under a doctors care for my pain and all my illnesses, than a dealers care. In addition, I am assuming since heroin is less dangerous, we should all become heroin addicts. it would help with pain and help knock us all out and not bother the poor doctors in helping us.

  40. Ash says:

    I totally agree with you, im a 27 year old chronic pain patient, and as soon as i walk into a place, they think im in it for the meds!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes i need them, but im not a junkie, i dont take every single pill out of the bottle, i lost insurance for 10 years, and when the pain is soooo unbearable, i go to the emergency room, and charity helps me pay my bills, its been a year and half since my last visit to the er, and ever since i been overloading with OTC meds, that im surprised i have functioning organs. I just cant bleive a dr couldnt pin poiint out a junkie from someone who REALLY needs them, submit me drug tests everyday,count my pill bottle everyday, have me sign a waiver to submit tests or whatever, i dont care, i dont have a problem with it. I just need HELP cuz i cant move, im currently looking for a dr that can help since being put on medical card after having a baby over a year ago, which was a miracle, since i have severe endometerosis. Dont judge everyone as being junkies, cuz EVEN THE YOUNG ONES LIKE ME, i have severe pain issues, and DO need a dr’s help!!

  41. Shae says:

    And people wonder why there are so many illegal drug issues in this country. When normal people can’t even get the meds they need to function and keep their jobs from a physician instead of having to go out on the streets and seek them from a dealer. People will get the meds they need, one way or another. People like you just make decent lay abiding citizens have to do something illegal just to keep their homes and feed their kids. Shame on you and your way of thinking. Perhaps you should find another line of work.

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