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ER visits - Being falsly accused of Drug Seeking
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An_223156 posted:
Hello all,
I am am chronic pain patient and the past few months I have visited the ER several times for Flank Pain. The last visit to the ER I was told that they couldn't find a cause for the pain and dismissed me. I then did research and found out that "Drug Seekers" ofter complain of abdominal pain, Kidney stones and headaches. They also say they are allergic to NSAIDS. First of all, I am actually not allowed to take NSAIDS for a kidney condition and I also allergic to Torodol, Diclofenac, and sulindac. NOW, how can they automatically dismiss you as a "drug seeker" just because you happen to look like all the others? I am GENUENLY allergic to NSAIDS so how do I convince them of my innocence when visiting an ER. I was always advised to go to the ER if I had nausea or increased Flank Pain. Since all other drug seekers say they are allergic to NSAIDS automatically makes them a drug seeker??? When I go to the ER I never ask for specific medications, I let them know who my Primary Doc is, what medications I am taking, and what my allergies are. But I can tell by the doctors demeaner that when they see the NSAID allergy that they automatically think, "Drug Seeker."
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_swank_ responded:
I think you pretty much answered your own question in your post. How are doctors supposed to tell the difference? It's a very difficult job trying to figure out who's genuinely in pain and who isn't. My friend is a doctor and he has told me some of the crap drug seekers try to pull. It's a constant battle.

I'm curious why you go to the ER in the first place. If you don't have a pain management doctor already you should find one, or just call the doctor that is treating you for the kidney problem. Repeatedly going to the ER is going to raise a red flag and most of the time it's probably not necessary. Call your own doctor who knows you. If I have an increase of pain I just call my PM doctor. I have never gone to the ER.
 
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Lyerlygurl responded:
it's always this way maybe your Dr can leave it in your med records that you were told to use the ER they treat me the same way and I have spinal & nerve damage
 
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cdoggg674 responded:
I understand exactly what your going through. Just this morning near my town another CVS was robbed for pain pills only to add to the struggle for pain sufferers seeking relief. I myself have to find another Dr. before the end of July or I myself will be showing up at the ER. I refuse to live in pain. Many others that suffer with pain will agree that they would rather be dependent on pain meds for relief than to just live with the pain. I did that for almost 4 yrs after I fell out of a window and landed on the railing of my dads deck, I didn't go to hospital or nothing considering I had no insurance till finally I just couldn't stand being miserable all the time. So I had M.R.I. which showed some bulging of my L4,L5, and S1, which was to my relief not as bad as I thought, but it caused me terrible pain until I was placed on pain meds. But now my Dr. is leaving his practice so now I have to find Dr. to continue my treatment which will be next to impossible with the stigma that pain meds has on these Dr.'s now days.
 
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greg8846 responded:
Hi Anon;

You know the ER is a great place if you have a emergency. But for pain problems your best of to try and
see who ever manages your pain. The ER Doctors are not
trained in Pain Management Skills and they are very leary of
giving Narcotic medications out in the ER. And on top of that they could give you a pain Injection of Morphine or another narcotic. But when they see you come in more than just about three time they become scared. Your not a Drug Seeker but to the limited training they have in Pain Management it appears as though you don't go to the doctor during office hours that sends up a flag. I have Crohns Disease i can't take Ansaids or any drug that contains them and yes they think your are looking for a controlled substance. But look at there point of view they see you in the ER they don't have offices of there own where they treat you on a regular basis. So they have no idea what your really doing. And your not always considered a Drug Seeker here is what they look at. How many times have you been in the ER. How are your vital signs, is your BP high pusle rate regular, also did you bring any medication bottles with you. Its not they are trying to mistreat you they don't want your visits to become a habit. I know you told to go to the ER you tell your doctor to handle your pain and that you can't go to the ER and then tell them why. They are not doing there job like the should be and it sounds like to me they your doctors are blowing you off. Also Anon try to keep a open mind your going there expecting a problem and if your on edge you will put the doctor on edge. You can speak firmly and keep a nice tone to it so the doctor does not feel threatened. Well food luck but talk with your own doctor. Because see here is the other problem you will start to have when you go to the ER after such a long period of time it may take them a while to get to you then or if you have something really serious going down you may get written off. You do not want this to happen. The person doing Triage should catch certain things when they take your Vitals and they do there Triage. Well good luck and let me know what happens.

Greg Armstrong
 
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transcriber52 responded:
hello Anan_28464, looks like you've been given some pretty good info here. The number of times you go to ER you are considered "a frequent flyer". Nurses and Drs notice these things, and though it shouldn't effect your treatment it kinda does. Greg and -swank- are correct, you should go to your Dr or to a pain management Dr for these issues if you need to keep going to the ER. If they have told you that they can not find a reason for your pain that will be in your records and it probalbly can account for the doctors demeaner you are talking about. This sounds like a reoccuring problem for you with the same pain. This needs to be addressed with your regular Dr instead of him telling you to just go to the ER.
There is no way to always look at someone and determine who is and who is not the drug seeker. Unfortunately, there have already been so many bad issues pertaining to drug seeking, it is making it so very difficult for those of us that really are in pain.
Please see your primary Dr and be more aggressive with them if you have to about this pain issue . I feel bad that you have this pain and can not get the help you need for it from your Dr. Please come back and let us know how you are doing and please get an appointment with your Dr and be aggressive to get them to deal with your issues.
It is unfortunate that this is how it has become in our society that the Drs now protect themselves before treating their patients for pain. Good luck and please let us know how you are doing with this. Hope some of the info you have been given helps some.

Trans.
 
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Fern55; responded:
I've had two instances where a doctor thought I was drug-seeking. In the first instance, I had a muscle spasm in my back. He offered an injection into the trigger point of the muscle. I jumped at the chance. Then he realized I was serious about the pain and he offered me a muscle relaxer. I turned down the muscle relaxer and opted for the injection because it would give me more instant relief. He actually told me he had been reluctant to give me the muscle relaxer at first because so many people come in on days when their doctors are out, which was the case with me, just to try to get pain meds.

The second time was more recent (3 weeks ago), and without the happy ending. I went to the ER on a Sunday with severe flank pain. The doctor didn't believe I was in pain, even though my blood pressure was skyrocketing. She tested me for a kidney infection. Finding none, she told me to go home, take Tylenol and call my doctor on Tuesday if I was still in pain. I went home and researched my symptoms and came to the conclusion that I had shingles. I saw my doctor on Monday, and she confirmed. It turns out that my symptoms, all of which were described to the ER doctor, are very indicative of shingles. She just didn't pay enough attention. She apparently made up her mind early on that I was looking for drugs, and she didn't make much effort to figure out what was wrong. That was the first time I've ever been in the ER.

I know it's hard to prove a person is in pain, but doctors should at least make an effort. They could all do what the first doctor I dealt with did -- offer an injection. Or they could prescribe a one- or two-day supply of pain medication to get you through the weekend until you can see your regular doctor.

Anon, can you get a note from your doctor verifying your drug allergies and stating that you have been instructed to go to the ER with nausea or increased flank pain?
 
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cdoggg674 replied to Fern55;'s response:
I have done decided that if by middle of July I havent found a physician to continue my treatment I am going to go to ER and take all my meds I am on and explain that when my medicine runs out I either need to be seeing a doctor or I will coming to the ER until I get adequate treatment that I feel I have a right to considering I been under a physicians care for almost 5 yrs now and all the sudden I am supposed to go find another Dr.. I will also take all the names down of the nurses,docs, etc.. treating me then seek a lawyer if I dont get adequate treatment. I will make a stand for people like many of us on this board. No one deserves to suffer because the impact that addicts and drug seekers have made on the Dr.'s causing suffering all over this country. Its BS
 
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_swank_ replied to cdoggg674's response:
Do yourself and people with emergencies a favor and don't go to the ER. It will cost you A LOT more money. Go to an Immergent care place or something. It's not the fault of the doctors or nurses in the ER that they have to follow regulations. It's not their fault your doctor is leaving his practice. Everyone needs to get used to it. If Obamacare goes through lots of doctors will be closing their doors. It's only just begun.
 
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greg8846 replied to cdoggg674's response:
Hi cdogg

I hope you find a new doctor very soon, please let me give you a little advise, never threaten a doctor with a legal
recourse you will always be on the losing end because if you don't have the money to bring suit they are just going to be insulted and even will treat you less. They will do the least amount of treatment possible because they will feel they are'being threatened. See they are aware of there legal duties, they are trained to do what is legitimate, and any other treatment would leave them open to a big legal issue. Have you ever heard the old saying treat them with honey and you will get what you want and need to a certain extent. A city where i was employed at had a huge hospital any way this guy was upset because he had not recieved proper pain control his idea of getting even was to take a 9 mm Glock in and he shot two doctors and three nurses. Threats will most likely get you arrested and you will look like the bad person. I know your hurting but i know threats of legal action will end in you being arrested. See doctors have been targeted for a long time for various reason, like abortions and things of this nature.Well good luck.

Greg Armstrong
 
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cdoggg674 replied to greg8846's response:
Im not saying I would go in screaming threats. I am saying I would make sure my rights to be treated adequate and not treated like an addict because me as patient I do indeed have rights to adequate treatment and I refuse to live in pain. I would rather be 6 feet under than to live in pain period. http://www.nationalpainfoundation.org/articles/552/pain-patient-bill-of-rights. Check this site out
 
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greg8846 replied to cdoggg674's response:
Hey
Thats fine i feel the same way, but there are more than one way to get along with some people if you know what i mean. Some days i don't want to even go to the doctor because its nothing but a aggravtion ya know. Good luck.

Greg
 
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cdoggg674 replied to greg8846's response:
Yea, some days can be just nothing but irritation from anybody and everybody, lots of anxiety, depression, etc.. which depression causes physical pain as well as mental
 
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_swank_ replied to cdoggg674's response:
The patients bill of rights looks good on paper but it's not a right guaranteed by our Constitution. If you go into the hospital taking names and threatening lawsuits they are going to tag you as a drug seeker and show you the door. It will be well documented and *IF* you find a lawyer to take the case you won't get very far.

If I were you I'd concentrate on finding the cause of your pain and getting it treated instead of finding a way to get pain killers. I don't see anything in your post that indicates you have tried to find a cause. This usually requires seeing a specialist since the ER will not run exhaustive tests if you are not in danger.
 
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greg8846 replied to cdoggg674's response:
Hi
There is one other thing i have to agree with Swank too there are a lot of things in writing but they won't hold there weight in a court of law. And then comes another problem not many attorneys will work with the deal they collect if you win. Because these cases are hard to file and they never have a good out come. Then there are attorney fees that can be in the half millon dollar range. And any more you won't find many attorneys that will work Pro Bono. And legal aid won't take these types of cases. So its very hard to work with a case like this. Well good luck see if you can find a good doctor out there and they can send to Pain Management.

Greg


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