MDJunction - People Helping People
 
Ask a Question
05/13/2012 02:28 PM

Can Doctor's really refuse to treat me?

cristih
cristih  
Posts: 4
New Member

I have been to two Neurologists and two pain clinics and they refuse to treat me because they will not prescribe pain medicine and I quote "Everything we would use to treat you, you have tried and it has not worked" meaning nerve blocks, botox injections, steroids, physical therapy and a thousand different medications over the years (some of which almost killed me!)

How can they leave me without treatment? My Neurologist of six years, who diagnosed me, experimented on me and seriously almost killed me a couple of times in the process, has tried everything under the sun to treat my Chronic Migraine Headaches, that are not typical in any way and occur almost every day. You name it, I've been on it and some of the things he tried were just crazy...like Thorazine, my god I was a zombie for a month! He tried several triptans, ergot (the DHE caused my heart to stop!), anti naseaua meds, & a ton of preventative meds, to no avail. Typically, my adverse reactions to these treatments are related to my High Blood Pressure and Diabetes, and some of the medications just made me sick or unable to function at all. My Neurologist finally just started giving me Endocet 10mg x 2 a day to deal with the frequent Migraine attacks and if that didn't stop them I was to go to Private referral or the ER. I was in and out of the ER or Private Referral 2-4 times a month so my neurologist prescribed Dilaudid injections for me to take at home by self injecting, mainly because I was having to wait approximately 4-6 hours in the ER for treatment and I believe he just got tired of having to send me to Private referral.

Unfortunately, I made a bad judgement call after being diagnosed with Cancer and smoked marijuana one time to see if it would help with my pain and nausea. And wouldn't you know, the next visit to my Doctor of 6 years and NO previous tests, his boss was the one to see me because my Dr. was on vacation, and he decides it's about time to drug test me! He told me during the visit that he did not agree with my treatment and he would discuss it with my Dr. when he returned, refused to fill my pain medicine leaving me without treatment and the next day when, of course the drug test came back positive, he just dismissed me from the practice. Never allowing for an explanation about my diagnosis of cancer, or offering to send me to drug counseling or anything...just goodbye and good riddance! All because he did not personally believe in prescribing pain meds! He did not even know my history or even care that I would be left without treatment. My Neurologist helped me get disability for my Chronic Migraine headaches, after being unable to work for 4 years! He was a wonderful doctor, who bless him, really did try everything in his power to help me. But in the end it was not up to him and I have been trying to find another doctor ever since February of this year.

Each one has said I need to return to my original Neurologist who had me on the regiment of narcotics, because they could do nothing for me that has not already been tried and yet they do not prescribe narcotics. I was honest about the drug test, and they even dismissed it and stated that I should not have been dismissed because of it, but counseled and retested often. Four different Doctors have said this same thing, and sent letters to my old Doctor to no avail.

How can these Doctors not treat me just because they don't want to prescribe narcotics. Especially given my history and the fact that I have disability based on my Migraine headaches, which in itself is difficult to obtain! How can any of them leave me to suffer like this?

I hate to sound like I'm whining, when really I'm just trying to comprehend how this doesn't go against everything a Doctor is supposed to be about...helping others. I'm seriously scared to death and every Migraine is killing me! I keep looking for a Doctor, and have several upcoming appointments...but I know they are going to parrot what the others have said. I honestly don't know what else to do.

My regiment was:

Ambien for sleep apnea

Ativan for anxiety

Roxicontin for pain

I had refused the Dilaudid injections after 6 months and asked for an increase in Roxicontin so that I would not build up a tolerance to the Dilaudid in case I was ever in an accident or something and needed it then. My Neurologist agreed.

Also, I have Myofascial Pain syndrome and my Orthopedic Dr. refuses to give me medication for years because I was already on narcotics, or so he said at the time. So basically I was supposed to use my Migraine medicine to treat my flare ups with my hip & muscles. I also go to Physical therapy once a week for my pain. Since I have been dismissed from my Neurologists care I informed my Orthopedic Dr. that I was no longer being prescribed narcotics by another Dr. and his nurse informs me "he just does not prescribe narcotics to any of his patients". So, here again I am left to suffer because of his personal preference?

Post edited by: cristih, at: 05/13/2012 02:45 PM

Reply

05/13/2012 03:13 PM
Colleenj
Colleenj  
Posts: 2152
VIP Member

I am so sorry about what you are going through. I also build up a tolerance for meds and can't take any of the NSAID's because I had gastric bypass surgery. The only option for me are opiates. My current pain management doctor has told me that if the current medication I'm on(which is a new med called Nucynta) quit working,he would "cut me loose." I'm thinking that's just great, a pain management specialist who is afraid to manage pain. My PCP said he would refer me elsewhere if it ever came down to it.

Unfortunately, if they believe there is an addiction risk, they can refuse to treat you. Marijuana is legal here in Michigan(or at least it was) for pain management. I think it's ridiculous that the doctor held it against you about the pot; but I think if you had been up-front with him when he told you he was going to do a drug test, he may have responded differently. In my opinion, it's a hell of a stretch to say that smoking pot will lead to a drug addiction. And don't for one second think that he's concerned about you; he's concerned with covering his a$$ if something happens.

I'm sorry I don't have anything more hopeful or helpful. Just don't give up on trying to find a good doctor. Use the group and come back and "whine" as often as you need to.

Good luck!

Post edited by: Colleenj, at: 05/13/2012 03:14 PM


05/13/2012 03:33 PM
cristih
cristih  
Posts: 4
New Member

Thanx so much for the support & advice! I would have been open about the pot if the doctor had been honest about the test...he said it was to ensure I was taking my pain meds as prescribed. My husband and I honestly didn't think anything about it until the call the next day and then he wouldn't even listen to a thing I had to say. I tried to explain that yes, I had tried it once, it made me extremely sick and that it was for my cancer. He just said "we have a no tolerance policy for testing positive" and that was that. I still can't understand how that's even a reason to cut a patient of 6 years off so completely. The withdrawals from the pain medication itself almost killed me in combination with the pain I was already in. My husband says we should get a lawyer and sue...he's a Fire Marshall and I just can't see putting him in the lime light like that and risking his career.

I honestly have no choice but to keep looking for someone and in the meantime, I have no choice but to go to the damn ER when it gets to the point of considering a bullet in the head in lieu of the pain! I have just recently heard of these cash only pain clinics that pretty much guarantee a narcotic prescription, but I hate to stoop to that because I am NOT a drug addict or abuser! I just hope these upcoming appointments pan out, or I may not have a choice really.

It's just unfathomable to me how I am left to suffer like this, and now I'm starting to get these bouts of depression, when I HAVE NEVER been depressed, no matter what life has thrown at me, and trust me, there has been plenty!

Anywho, thanx again! & don't worry, I'm so glad I found this site, you guys would have to kick me off to get me to leave at this point! lol!


05/14/2012 03:09 PM
cristih
cristih  
Posts: 4
New Member

Wow! What a surprise I received this morning! My Primary Care Dr. offered to act as my pain management Dr. since he has known me for umteen years and is going to even call my old Neurologist to see if he will continue being my Dr. on the condition that he does not have to prescribe the pain meds! I swear I about kissed his feet! lol! I'm still a little in shock and am actually not trying to get my hopes up that I may be able to continue seeing my favorite Neurologist and found someone willing to manage my pain. I just don't know what to think at this point, but feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me and I can actually breathe. Even if my old Neurologist won't take me back, I feel like I can find a new one now who will take me on, knowing he/she does not actually have to prescribe the meds, just do all the MRI's, and exams and such! It really is awful that it has come to this for us who actually suffer from chronic pain, but at this point, damn...i'll take what I can get!

05/16/2012 10:27 AM
livewithhope
livewithhope  
Posts: 739
Member

Wow! What a story, and I'm thrilled for you the way it turned out!!!

Liz


05/21/2012 08:03 AM
SSLMD
Posts: 1023
Member

Many pain specialists are trained as anesthesiologists. They spent a lot of time learning to do injections and other interventional techniques, which they find more satisfying (and, just incidentally, they pay better). You can try to deal with this in several ways.

1. Don't ask for more pain medicine, ask for better control of your pain. That helps sidestep labeling as a drug seeker.

2. Practice using, then use the assertive method.

3. Look around for a pain management physician who is not an anesthesiologist. Emphasize the idea that shots haven't worked for you, and you would like to find a different way to live with your pain, but try to avoid directly asking for opiates or opioids.

4. Re: migraine, there is a list of migraine preventive measures in the migraine board, articles tab. It is mislabeled something like "A list of treatments for migraine." See if there is anything there you haven't tried.

I do some pain management, and have seen another side of the problem. My state medical board launched an investigation of my practice a few years ago. My records were, to put it mildly, less than perfect, but I was not running a pill mill, which seems to be what they thought. I eventually reached a reasonable solution, but it cost about $40,000 in legal fees to escape without severe sanctions. With that in the background, many physicians just don't want to run the risk.


06/12/2012 03:35 PM
magikarp
Posts: 3
New Member

I am glad to see a happy ending for you. I am going through something very very similar and can not find a Dr. that will see me because I have chronic pain and i'm disabled. It's a joke really, I mean would they turn away someone with another chronic issue such as renal failure or diabetes? The answer is NO. Because of the stupid war on drugs, which will never be won, us in pain have to suffer more. Really makes me sick...

They are doing no harm by doing nothing instead. I used to work at a hospital for many years before they drilled into the wrong spot while doing an L5-S1 fusion. He drilled into my spinal cord at L4 and stuck a screw in. Then he said OOPS, wrong spot lol and filled it with a synthetic bone grafting material. Now I have a bone spike at L5 along with severe nerve damage. Before the surgery I had just a bulging disk at L5-S1. Now I got more bulging disks above where they butchered me, along with scoliosis and degenerative disk disease. All a result of the botched surgery. And now that I owed my family doc $600 because I no longer have insurance they dropped me. No meds no more visits, good riddance to me. So I guess I dont need my cardiac beta blockers or my 300mg's of morphine daily. I have called 100+ doctors and they all tell me right off the bat they are not taking chronic pain patients. I emailed a place here in MI that deals in patient advocacy for the disabled and see what they say. Anyone else got any ideas or been in this same situation? Seems to me it is hack job of their hypocritical oath, Do no harm. Well when I run out of my meds there will be harm...


06/13/2012 06:04 AM
SSLMD
Posts: 1023
Member

Write your federal senators and representative, as well as state lawmakers for your home, and outline the problem. It is unlikely that there will be an immediate response, but pressure is needed. The more people telling their stories, the better the chance of something good coming of it.

06/13/2012 11:02 PM
cindy61
cindy61  
Posts: 540
Member

I am really happy it worked out for you. I had a pain doctor refuse to see me any more and then my primary doctor refused to see me. So someone in my Dreyer group of doctors suggested someone to me. He was an internal medicine doctor so was very up on what medicines work. He put me on Fentanyl patches, dilaudid for break through pain, diazapam for spasms and Ambien to help me sleep. When I asked him to pray for me because we were talking about all the things that I had been through, trigger shots, spinal blocks and twice the SCS, he actually came over by me and prayed for me. There are not to many doctors out there like him. I just hope and pray he never leaves this area.

Gentle hugs to all, Cindy


06/14/2012 07:35 AM
md2011
Posts: 34
New Member

I am a diabetic and a Chronic pain sufferer. I hate the fact that I get urine tested sometimes when I go to pain management but it is a necessary evil what I don't get is people saying they will not turn away a diabetic or someone with renal failure. Renal Failure and untreated Diabetes WILL KILL YOU. Pain kills your quality of life there is a difference there. No I don't like being treated as a drug addict because I take pain meds but I can stop taking pain meds and still live. Cut off my Diabetes meds and I will die. A day in pain is better than No Day.
Reply

Share this discussion with your friends:
<< Start < Prev 1 Next > End >>


Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 MDJunction.com All Rights Reserved