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    My Doctor is Afraid to Prescribe Narcotics!
    TJ713 posted:
    I am a male nurse and have been working hellish med/surg/telemetry floors in various hospitals for 13 years. Usually the only male on the unit, all of the other nurses often called me to help them lift or turn heavy patients.

    Finally, 2 years ago, my back went out...a herniated disc in L5-S1. I though I knew what pain felt like before this, but I really hadn't had a clue! With an invisible sword impaled into my right buttock and an invisible fire in my right foot, all I could do is squeal in pain until surgery was done.

    During my nursing career I had seen many control battles between other nurses and supposed "drug seeker" patients. I always left it up to the doctor to decide whether or not to order pain meds for those who claimed to hurt. If it was ordered and the patient asked for it, I gave it!

    Now that I am suffering intensely with permanent nerve pain (sciatica), I went to see my pcp after 2 surgeries and multiple procedures. She is TERRIFIED to prescribe narcotics because the feds have cracked down on pain control, stripping doctors of their licenses and imprisoning some of them.

    So I have started a petition on the White House website. Please sign it and maybe we can bring pain management back to hurting patients. The website is:

    Take the Poll

    Do you think doctors should be able to prescribe pain medications at their own discretion without being penalized by the federal government?
    • Yes
    • No
    View Poll Results
    KellyOHara responded:
    I don't know about the poll but....I am an RN who stopped working regularly due to a work related back injury, so I feel your pain. I'd suggest going to a reputable pain management practice, they're out there. Pain management is what they do, so they are not afraid to prescribe. Good Luck.
    TJ713 replied to KellyOHara's response:
    Kelly, in the Houston area there are pain clinics that implant neurotransmitters, but none of them prescribe narcotics. I went to one and they gave me drug tests and had me sign papers regarding not going to other doctors, etc. And even though I'm a real boyscout and passed all drug testing, the fact is that they don't prescribe drugs for pain. How ridiculous is that?
    77grace replied to TJ713's response:
    Hi Tj713,
    Hi ,I too suffer from Chronic neck and back pain pain ,due to tumors on the dnerves of my spine and scloriosis!
    Thankfully though I have Dr.s that will presribe!It seems like legally there must be something you can do!Fom what I hear it is illegal for Dr.s to deny medicine to a paitient with real pain!!!Maybe try outside of the Houston area!Have you tried a Nuerologist or another type of Dr.??I can't believe they just expect you to suffer!
    If you could treat your patients in the hospital with pain meds ,why can't you receive the same??
    MikesK9 responded:
    My situation is chronic lower back pain since traumatic injury way back in 1972. While this has worsened and recently MRI confirmed to now include cervical involvement, my current PM doctor will not allow an increase in my narcotic medications. This despite an increase in acute flairs that often require trips to the ER and usually admission for continued care. I have tried Duragesic, morphine, oxymorphine, dilaudid, methadone and many others with oxycodone seeming to work the best. The problem is no willingness by my physician to increase my current dose of 5mg qid. As mentioned in another post: I am the proverbial "BoyScout" in signing contracts, not seeking medications elsewhere, doing physical therapy, investing in home inversion table, TENS machine and including OTC medications to supplement my prescription "allowance". All this along with working with my family doctor on other health related topics. I am asking for any information from your experiences on how to work with my PM doctor on adjusting my current dosage. I take less than prescribed when i can, he is well aware of this, and I stretch my 30 day supply as much as possible. You all know there are days when a little extra is legitimately required. How have you handled this situation with your primary pain management physician? Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences with me.
    TJ713 replied to 77grace's response:
    Hey Grace, in the hospital setting I could give strong IV narcotics to patients with conditions like pancreatitis, sickle cell anemia, etc. and post op patients for a a day or so after surgery. That seems to be acceptable.

    I am originally from Lafayette, La., and have family there. So I checked around to see if the DEA had hit there yet, and pain doctors are at the initial phase of skipping town. Primary care physicians are treating pain there now. So that's why I decided to try mine.

    I need a solution and am running out of time. My wife and I are still young (early 40s). For 1 1/2 years I've been fighting this nerve pain. Then my wife was found to have pancreatic cancer. They were able to do a Whipple procedure, but give her 2 years. We are praying for longer, but really want to make the next 2 years special.

    She wants us to travel together and see the world. But I can't even sit in a chair for more than 10 minutes without suffering unless it's a recliner. Don't get me wrong, I WILL make her dreams come true, whether I'm hurting or not. I also feel so selfish complaining about my pains when she's the one with the REAL problems.
    peskypain responded:
    Hi there..

    We just had a HUGE discussion about all these "petitions" going to the White House so please see the other thread about the DEA and petitions....

    I won't go into the pages of details as I hope you read the other thread except to quickly say you need to please do more research as it is NOT the DEA and it is NOT anything to do with the Obama administration....

    You can't just send vague petitions that don't have any facts in them....

    I urge people to go to the DEA website and read for yourself.

    The CSA (Controlled Substances Act) was passed in 1970 and the last amendment to it that went through was in October of 2008. So Obama nor anyone in his "administration" has changed a thing to the CSA. I don't think people even know what and who that actually means as it's everyone from the Vice President to senior advisors...etc..they have NOTHING to do with what you are referencing...

    Each STATE has their own laws and regulations....

    The only Drs. "terrified" of the "DEA" are ones who are doing things illegally....That is the only time the DEA will shut someone down or take their license or throw someone in jail..

    This is NOT a true statement to say this is happening to Drs. who easily follow rules and laws and prescribe accordingly.

    For the person who is talking about Houston, TX...there are plenty of PM Drs. in that area who treat patients with opiates and other medications along with other modalities.

    There is not a law in any state that is telling Drs. that they cannot prescribe opiates to those who need them.

    PLEASE look into your individual state's laws and find out what are the things that you and your Dr. must follow.

    The only thing that is happening in many states or coming down the pike in others, and possilby an amendment to the CSA later on is that all NON Pain Management Drs. need to take extra classes/training and get more certification if they are going to prescribe any controlled substances or treat someone for "chronic" pain.

    You mention that your PCP doesn't want to treat you with pain meds...well..that is not their specialty at all so that makes sense. But it has nothing to do with the DEA.....You need to find an actual Board Certified Pain Management Dr....

    It's actual doing MORE harm for these senseless petitions going to the wrong places without having actual facts and figures..

    Seriously....all this petition says is a few lines making up that "all" Drs. on some watchlist???

    DEA license numbers have been used for a LONG time to track any prescribing that a Dr. does. That has absolutely nothing to do with appropriate Drs. prescribing appropriate pain medications to patients who have solid diagnoses and developing a treatment plan.

    Please people......stop with the dozens and dozens of petitions to the wrong places that aren't doing a single thing for chronic pain patients except make us look bad by not actually knowing the difference between state and federal government.

    You need to seek out an actual PM Dr. and be open to treatment with all modalities...
    Opal40 responded:

    2004 Republican Congress.....2006 Democrat Congress.....If this was overturned they why are doctors still paranoid.....An excuse for Insurance companies to raise rates?.....Damaged reputations?....I have to watch out for my self instead of my patients?....If doctors aren't overprescribing then they have nothing to be afraid of.....30 day supply with 2 refills, one month apart.....I can live with that and in my opinion doctors should be able to too....
    Opal40 responded:
    P.S. I my experience (pain mgt, surgeon..) doctors offices are lying and blaming the DEA/government (Not specific to Federal or State) for their policies....Whe you doctor's office tells you something call your local DEA.....
    ctbeth responded:
    There are no federal laws that prohibits doctors to prescribed pain medications at their own discretion.

    The "poll" means nothing.

    I urge you to remove your petition.

    It has no fact or figures.

    It is also making false claims.

    Signing petitions that oppose claims that do not exist and only make pain-management patients look foolish and tremendously un-informed..

    I am also a Registered Nurse; there are more-than a few on this site.

    Please read the DEA regulations and the laws governing controlled substances that are specific to your state.

    As an RN, you know that our statements must be accurate.

    I beseech you to remove your petition, read the federal and state laws, and re-consider if your time and energies could be better utilized in finding a pain management MD to treat your sciatic pain.

    Best wishes,

    TJ713 replied to ctbeth's response:
    CTBeth, the poll means nothing! That is absolutely a fact. The only thing it satisfies is my curiosity of peoples' opinions. I come across polls on various websites that I think are ridiculous and simply don't participate.

    I have actually done research. My doctor is not a pill mill and can defend herself without a chance of losing her license. It's the cost of defending herself that makes the difference. If it was a matter of just showing my MRI results and notes to get off the hook, that would be a different story. But in Texas they have to go through very thick red tape to defend their actions.

    I sat on the phone for over eight hours calling every "pain doctor" in and around Houston and all of them said the same thing: "We no longer treat patients for pain with narcotics, unless they are terminally ill. The DEA would jump on our backs in a heartbeat if we did."

    White House petitions in themselves do not change laws, but some issues get enough publicity to make a difference. If my petition dies in 30 days with 10 signatures, so be it. My goal is not just to get myself out of this extreme pain, but to address a problem that has been going on at least as long as I've been a nurse.

    Drug seekers need help and there are many things that can be put into place to address that issue without treating patients who are in genuine pain like junkies.

    I also suggest doing your research before posting a reply. Obviously you haven't called every pain management doctor in Houston like I have. Just give me the name of ONE pain management doctor who treats patients with narcotics after they have tried every other avenue possible...just ONE and I will take down my petition, my poll, and apologize for my ignorance.
    Anon_57995 replied to ctbeth's response:
    regarding the poll:

    If you read it, you shall see that there is no way that it can be answered any way but, "yes".

    To answer "no", would say that we wish our MDs to be penalized, which no one would wish.

    I wish my MD to be able to prescribe pain medications at his discretion without being penalized by the federal gov.t, as is now the case.

    How would anyone be able to intelligently vote on such equivocal options?
    TJ713 replied to Anon_57995's response:
    "I think doctors should be able to prescribe pain medications at their own discretion without being penalized by the federal government" aka "yes"


    "I think the federal government should continue to penalize doctors for prescribing pain meds to their patients, despite their discretion." aka "no"

    I hope this helps.
    ctbeth replied to TJ713's response:
    Hello TJ,

    What is most-distressing is that nothing has changed of late that MDs are suddenly afraid of the DEA.

    The MDs may say that, feds have cracked down on pain control, but the federal gov.'t, in reality, has not done so.

    WHY is this happening?

    Has any new legislation been passed on the state level?

    I would be nearly-positive that the social pressure, if not statutes, would be more rigid in Texas than in the New England states.

    I'm not trying to win a bet with you, btw.
    We're all fighting for the same things.

    Quite honestly, I cannot imagine what I'd do if I was in your situation.

    In CT, the MDs refer us to pain management; patients do not make the calls or arrange the initial consult. The referring MDs offices do this.

    Has your MD discussed spinal cord stimulator with you? Maybe that would be something that you would consider.

    It sounds like the Florida thing whereby MDs write our Rxs and none of the pharmacies can fill them.

    Why aren't the MDs fighting for us
    , rather-than cowering to some real or perceived threat?

    Perhaps we, as patients, should petition the MDs who refuse to treat us rather than the White House.

    If the:
    "feds have cracked down on pain control,etc", the situation would probably be a whole-lot easier than it is now.

    Everyone is blaming the DEA/ feds for new laws that do not exist.

    I say petition the MDs!

    To petition the federal gov't that we oppose laws that do not exist can do us more harm than good.

    We're all on the same side, you know.

    Anon_57995 replied to TJ713's response:

    federal government is not penalizing doctors.
    they can prescribe whatever the want at their own discretion.
    if you know of a law that states otherwise please let us know.

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