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How do I work with doctors who think I'm drug seeking?
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AnnieOakley1966 posted:
I'm in a bit of a quandary. I am on my second migraine of the month, and when I go to the ER, they say that I'm just drug-seeking. And my primary care won't prescribe anything; he wants to pass it off to the neurologist that I'm scheduled to see next week. I just don't think I can take this pain for another week. Does anyone know what I can do? I've thought about asking for a non-narcotic drug, but the only ones I know about either don't work for me or I'm allergic. Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed.

Annie
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Coki2010 responded:
Gosh, I am really sorry. That sucks. And sadly for us there are too many drug seekers out there.

Have you tried Midrin? It is not a narcotic and it worked for me for a number of years (until it didn't anymore). Tramadol (I think that is the spelling) which isn't a narcotic either.

When my migraines get really bad and I can't cure them myself I do have to go to my Dr. Office and get a shot which is a 1 time deal. Can't they do that for you rather than prescribe a bottle of 30 pills? That way they can break the cycle of the current headache and give you relief.

You might also go to a massage therapist. I know when I have a bad headache having my husband rub my head feels good to me. And sometimes I get a massage if I am feeling up to it. It helps me relax my muscles to help things along too.

Good luck.
 
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allie_bf replied to Coki2010's response:
Actually, Tramadol is a narcotic.Toradol, on the other hand, is not, and is a good choice for many migraineurs, but it carries the same risks of stomach ulcers and upset as Motrin, aspirin, Naprosyn and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Making full use of the doctor's office, and as little use of the ER as possible is the best way to avoid the label of "drug seeker." While the label may not be correct, it's a good sign that you're showing up in the ER way too often, and that there is a problem with how you are managing your migraines. Talk to your doctor about preventative therapy; some doctors won't start preventative drugs unless you are having multiple migraines per month, but some will be amenable to a trial if you are really having difficulty with pain control. Showing that you are open to considering a range of different treatments (i.e. not just narcotics) will go a long way towards building trust with your doctor(s) for those times when other drugs have failed, and you really do need the pain medicine. Once you have built that trust back up with your famly doctor and your neurologist, then they will be able to "go to bat" for you if the ER doctor questions your history.
 
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MigraineMonica replied to allie_bf's response:
I'm sorry you're getting stuck with those doctors who assume everybody is out for "drugs". I actually HAD to go to an ER to get my meds where I moved to with or without records because no doc would touch me with a ten foot pole so I waited it out until I started having withdrawal symptoms-my husband actually forced me...I didn't want to, but he started noticing the changes before I had! (but I had already been on them for a few yrs!) And I have no health insurance because of these migraines thanks to the Army! Too many drug seekers have ruined it for those of us who shouldn't be treated that way, but they've been burned too many times & would rather stay as far away as possible from prescribing those types of meds. I actually have to see a PSYCHIATRIST for my meds & they're not even for the migraines...I can't afford migraine meds--so I take Tylenol like it's going out of style as harmful as I know that is!! Can you believe that?! Just because of the types of meds I'm on! BUT a regular physician won't see me nor prescribe my meds, but him! Sounds as if you're doctor is just as leary as the ER docs...and I'm with Coki on this...I'm shocked they wouldn't at least give you a shot of something (even if it was a large dose of Motrin, it worked, but they are temporary...mine would literally stop working within 10 mins!)...which I've had to do, as well, a couple of times.

BUT, one thing you may want to consider is either the massage as Coki recommended, they really do help...and if they're really good they will tell you (or even sell you, if you're at the right place) an essential oil that you can either rub in certain trigger areas of your body yourself...for those times you can't even move. Homeopathy & acupuncture...or even a chiropractor may even help you! Also, there are certain supplements out there that perform for more than what they're on the shelf for & if you walk into a GNC & ask them what helps in the department of headaches/migraines...if you go to the right one, they ALL have a HUGE book of all supplements that exist & can look it up for you...I've tried them all, but some people are on medications, or in your case, sounds like you have allergies to certain meds...supplements are really no different, so I would say be CAUTIOUS if you decide to go down that road or call your doc & get approval, especially if you're on other meds...I've never had a problem...but it still can be harmful whether people choose to believe that are not. Do NOT take any supplement without talking to your doc first, or your pharmacist...quite frankly, I find them to be more helpful sometimes.

A few other things you can try is the ole-fashioned ice-pack on the head...the cold for some reason works, as well, at least for a little while to an extent. The other is exercise...as horrible as THAT sounds getting that blood flowing is key to stopping headaches, as well, unless it's really bad to the point you're sick from it or can't move. And speaking of blood flowing...was one of the non-narcotic meds a blood pressure pill by any chance? It's usually one of the first meds most docs try first...but you would have to check your blood pressure everyday just to make sure it's not getting to low.

Now granted, you may have already tried some of these, if not ALL, but if not...as miserable as it is...try it & see if it works. The majority of the meds they have tried me on...do not work either...and my migraines are complex...they've given me seizures...which scares me, but they at least have me on a med that prevents the seizures.

One more thing...if you have allergies, it could be your trigger!

If NONE of these work for you...then you can go back to your doctor...even if it's not until the neurologist...least you can tell him or her that you tried ALL of these things to include homeopathy aids & others so they KNOW FOR A FACT that you are NOT one of those just out for drugs!

My apologies for length!

Good luck!! I sure do hope you find some relief & soon!!
 
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Coki2010 replied to MigraineMonica's response:
I understand how these things can happen but it is so sad when the medical community is caught in a bad situtation due to bad people.

I have just got my first series of Botox injections. So far I am hopeful. I have been struggling with my headaches since childhood. They have been really bad as of late. Maybe if yours are that bad that might be something you can consider.

I have tried it all...massage, acupuncture, CoQ10, the been on the max dose of anti seizure meds for years...if you don't feel confortable with your doctor find one that you do. I feel confident that I have a doctor that cares and wants to solve this problem with me.

Good luck to you.
 
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carpetcrawler5 replied to MigraineMonica's response:
MMonica if you can't afford the mig meds go to the drug company's website and you may be able to get them at a discount.
 
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carpetcrawler5 responded:
They should have Imitrex in the ER. And it's much better for you than the narcotic meds, which can give you rebounds anyway. If you're only getting two migs a month, the next time the pain first starts to come on, drink coffee and it might go away. I'm not even sure you need preventative meds for that many migs, but you should be able to get Imitrex from the nuero, which should be able to keep you from having to go to the ER. Also what you wear to the ER can make a difference.
 
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MigraineMonica replied to carpetcrawler5's response:
I've heard that before...going directly to the drug company to get the expensive RXs since I have no way to afford those types of meds...are the Imitrexes, etc. considered narcotics? That was my only concern...I didn't think a drug company would send me meds if considered in that "class" of drugs...

Has anyone ever done this & been successful? How would I even go about reaching out to them for "samples"? Would...or should I get the RX from my doc first, then reach out to them?
 
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carpetcrawler5 replied to MigraineMonica's response:
No Imitrex and triptans are not narcotics. tried them?
 
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mymygraine replied to carpetcrawler5's response:
Imitrex does not work for me, but I would definitely not go to the ER for the imitrex. First I would go to your doc to get samples, expecially if you are financially strapped. After that I would go to the manufacturer for coupons. They may only give out 10% coupons, but if you write to them and plead your case, they may give you free drugs or 75% off coupons. The other place you can look into is getting your drugs from Canada. There are many places to go to and the prices are significantly cheaper. Your doc has to send a scrip to them, but that should not be a problem. Caffiene is a drug, and will give you rebound headaches. If you are still drinking coffee or tea, wean yourself off both, because they may be contributing to the frequency of your migraines. You may be able to handle the caffeine, everyone is different, but I have found it to be one of the most powerful drugs around, which is why most people in this country is hooked on Starbucks and cannot start the day or get out of the house without at least 1 cup. JanDrugs.com is a good place to start for a Canadian source. I hope this helps. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.
 
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MigraineMonica replied to carpetcrawler5's response:
No, neither one of these were EVER prescribed to me...all I was ever prescribed was a blood pressure med! Aside from the Topamax that caused severe mood swings...and then they switched me to Depakote, but my bloodwork results always revealed it was harming my liver...I didn't want to continue taking a drug that could possibly kill me, besides they kept lowering my dosage until it reached a point that it didn't help anyway! So that's why I always am offered the blood pressure med, which is cheap, but doesn't work...I was on it for 3 yrs...worthless! I, personally, refuse to go to the ER for a migraine...I've only been for having withdrawals to other medications I'm on that a doc refused to call in a refill when I moved out of state...he thought I could get them from a "new" doctor...well, NOT where I moved to...no doc wanted to touch me w/a 10 foot pole...and that was with medical records showing what regiment I had been on! BUT the hospital did hook me up with a psychologist...I'm not a fan of having to see one just to get meds, but because of the types of meds I'm on...he's the only one willing to prescribe them. I asked about the Imitrex, which is when I found out how expensive it was...so I'm assuming if he had samples of anything, he would've given them to me at that time & didn't. Thanks for the info on how to go other ways of getting them, though! I appreciate it! I will look into...so far, as long as I take fish oil on a regular basis, they aren't AS bad, but if I go at least 2-3 wks without one, whoa...it's bad, but still not bad enough for ER! And caffeine is a weakness! BUT I was told complete opposite...that caffeine helped, but maybe because I'm one of the Starbucks' addicts, may not be helping! You're right...first thing I do when I get up is make my coffee...then usually come evening, it's a Starbucks! I'm definitely going to look into that JanDrugs.com, though! Thanks again!!
 
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itmatsb responded:
AnnieOakley1966, we would like to hear how your visit to the neurologist went and how you are doing.

I had migraines for 30 years once or twice a month and took Esgic (a narcotic), that stopped the headache enough that I could always give an all day training class for my business. No rebounds if you're only taking them that often.

Get the right doctor who will prescribe narcotic meds that you cannot take very often, but if your headaches are as bad as you say, you probably do need a narcotic.

Keep in mind that many of us have chronic severe daily migraines for many years. You could be a lot worse. The last 3 years I've had severe 24/7 migraines that I have tried many prophylactic meds, CoQ10, magnesium and accupuncture which didn't work. But monthly nerve block injections, Botox injections and an herbal Petadolex have greatly reduced the number of my severe migraines. I still have to go the ER an average of about once a month when I have been continuously vomiting for hours. At the ER, they give me saline water for severe dehydration, Benedryl, Zofran and Morphine. I still have at least a mild headache daily.

I certainly wish you well. A migraine of any frequency can be very painful and disabling. I know.
 
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AnnieOakley1966 responded:
Well, the neuro sent me to a pain clinic and they said I have occipital neuropathy. They gave me shots into the back of my head and I've been painfree since. This has been quite a few months back, and it's been great being painfree. No more trips to the ER for me for headaches, now that I know what's going on. Thanks to all for all of the wonderful suggestions. I've tried Imitrex, and it didn't work for me. The pain doc didn't prescribe anything on an every-day basis, since I can go ten years between nasty headaches. I'm just happy to be painfree.

Annie
 
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klf2012 replied to AnnieOakley1966's response:
Annie,
I would love to hear more about the nerve block. My neurologist is really pushing me to have one. I don't think I could tolerate the pain of it! Was it very painful? Does it keep you from being able to do anything...as in gym workouts or yard work? I'm afraid of what else it may block. But, nothing seems to be working...14 doctors - 4 neurologists, 3 ENTs, accupuncture, allergies tested, eyes tested, massage therapy, physical therapy, chiropractor, TMJ dentist, any and all of the migraine meds.....nothing! He gives me pain meds only because that seems to be the only thing that has any affect whatsoever but even they don't completely take it away. I have an extremely high tolerance to them so getting the dosage I really need is impossible! Is this something that most insurance covers? If not, what is the cost? He has also asked about Botox, but from what I have read that is 31 shots! I'm not doing 31 shots of ANYTHING!

I have had a headache 24/7 for 2 1/2 years now. I just would really like to have a day where I feel good ALL day! I'm so past "willing to do anything" to get rid of them but if this would work...and I would have to know FOR A FACT that it would work, I would consider it.

I'd appreciate any info you could provide!

Karen
 
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itmatsb replied to klf2012's response:
Karen,
So sorry that you have been through so much. You say that you are way past "willing to do anything". If that's the case, maybe your migraines are more tolerable than mine are.

I get tremendous relief from having both nerve block injections and Botox injections. I had 24/7 severe to moderate migraines every day for 8 months, taking opiate medication and Tramadol 24/7. Taking any kind of pain pill just perpetuates the migraines with rebound headaches.

The nerve block injections just hurt me a little bit across my forehead. The other ones in the back of my head, neck and shoulders don't bother me at all. The nerve block injections don't block anything other than the headaches. I am told not to do much the rest of the day after getting them. The Botox injections in my forehead hurt more, but not nearly as much as my migraines. I am utterly grateful for them.

It sounds like you are one of those people who are really afraid of needles, which many people are. If you could get past that it could increase the quality of your life tremendously. Why don't you ask if they can put you under some with some medication to make it work better for you.

BTW, not to scare you off, because you may be like the other person whose migraines went away completely, but i need the nerve blocks every 4 weeks and the Botox ones every 9 weeks, but then I'm told that mine are more difficult to treat since they were caused by a stroke.

You will never know for a fact that anything will work. It's up to you to decide how important it is to you to get the help.

Wish you all the best. Truly.

Sara


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