A Chronic Pain Patient Is Looking for An Answer—Do You Have One?

A Chronic Pain Patient Is Looking for An Answer—Do You Have One?

Editor’s Note: At the National Pain Report we receive emails from people asking questions, pitching stories and opining on the issues of the day. But when I read the following this week from a chronic pain patient and National Pain Report reader in North Carolina, I thought better you the readers—who have much more experience than I—answer the question. So please read this and tell the person in our commentary section what you recommend. I omitted the reader’s name.

Hi, I am looking for some information that I think I may only be able to find at the National Pain Report. I have followed the NPR for years, and I am hopeful someone has some insight into a bizarre set of supposed facts that I have found myself in, that is the difference between life or death for me.

I must write to my PCP every month and request that she send over my opiates and Gabapentin rx’s to their pharmacy, which is the norm there. It always works fine; in that she is a 100% responsive and sends them over in less than 24 hours. At that time, I can then call in my other 9 rx’s and pick it all up the next day.

However, when I sent in my request this month, the response was somewhat delayed but ok, and the note back to me was from a different doctor there. She said that she could not send any refills for me for my pain medication, because I had a signed pain contract.

Their pain contract, that all pain patients there must sign, says that we will only get our medications from our doctor, basically.

My doctor is in Germany on vacation for two weeks apparently. This other doctor told me that there is no one there who can write my prescriptions, only my doctor can and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it.

That doctor called me on the phone when she received my response back. I explained that I am facing the biggest day of my life in a few weeks, that I am having Major, rather tricky surgery that I have a 50% survival chance, and my plan was to spend this time decompressing and de-stressing in order to give myself the very best chance, and that if I am pulled off of my pain medication, that is so insufficient as it is, I won’t be able to have my surgery, that without it I am dead in the water.

I explained to her my medicine allowed me to do such things as use the bathroom, basic things, that without the ability to do what I do, I really am at a total loss.

So to wrap this up, can a doctor’s office really do this? I thought that as a patient and a Medicare patient I had certain rights that protect me. That if your doctor hands over her patients to another one while she’s out, that ALL would convey to the doctor filling in.

Do you have any knowledge on such a situation? I live in North Carolina and I go to a clinic that is part of Duke University Medical Center called Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham. And I don’t know what to do next.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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There are home remedies that cure any sort of chronic pain and few stretches and exercises are like a boon to the back health. Home remedies like ginger, turmeric, garlic, hot or cold massage, white willow bark, chamomile, celery juice, lime juice bring a lot of difference in the health of bone. Yoga helps a lot in this matter.


OH NO! I was going to the same pain clinic for 10 years. I NEVER missed an appt. I NEVER broke any rules on my contract. I HAD BEEN ON THE SAME DOSE/AMOUNT FOR 7+ of those TEN YEARS! The night before my appt, I received a message after hours from the clinic that my doctor was no longer there. I called the next day & was told the owner of the practice would prescribe my refill and I was to see someone else there. I went to the pharmacy, and I was given HALF my usual dose/amt., so I drove straight to the clinic to ask about the issue. I was told “you’re NOT getting what you were on, and if you don’t like it you can find another doctor.” I almost died. I begged, cried, asked about the pain & withdrawal. I was told I wouldn’t die!!! I was sick already the next day. >>>>>>SUGGESTION PART>>>>>> So I spent 2 days online & calling my insurance company, calling every pain doctor within 2 hours of where I live. NO ONE would see me. At least not for weeks. I didn’t give up and FINALLY found a doctor. When I saw him, he told me I was being prescribed more than TEN times the legal Morphine equivalent. I had to immediately drop my dosage from the original one, and I still need to go down MUCH MUCH farther. I’m TERRIFIED. I was BARELY surviving on the high dose. I haven’t worked in years, I have 2 autoimmune diseases, a hernia, possible CRPS, fibromyalgia, GI nerve damage/paralysis from my fusion, & I’ve had 20+ other major bone/organ operations. I am in CONSTANT pain. The total number of hours in a week that I can function, is about 40. That means I spend 5+ days a week in bed. ON THE HIGH DOSE.
I don’t know what I’m going to do.
*I cannot and will not live like this.*


I always have luck (after exhausting all the begging on my knees stuff) with the words “patient abandonment”, and “your clinic has me held hostage”.
They sound too much like litigation to the higher ups.


Ed… Personally I would not give up .Got to fight he never should have took a vacation w out giving you your medications that s rude ..should have been logged in so therefore you can have it on Due Date .terribe I can only Imagine the ANIEXTY you went through I am glad you got some relief .But that’s so in called for a nurse COULD HAVE CALLED IT IN
I believe this Doctor was only thinking of himself ..As he did take an oath .. In called for ..plus in case of emergency someone could have got a hold of him ..I am so very sorry ..

Casey Thompson

This hurts me to read! Last year was my 7th year of seeing the most wonderful pain management dr I’ve ever known. Upon finding an employee stole and attempted to forge a prescription of hers, the county cops and narcotics investigators went in and unlawfully arrested her and banned her prescription from being filled anywhere. She was ultimately proven innocent but during the months long issue me and most of her patients went into dangerous withdrawal. No one would help me. I went to the ER and they treated me like a criminal and spoke crap about me and my dr right in front of me. I got a bag of fluids and a lecture. I was discharged each time with a list of drs that couldn’t help me (for reasons regarding the fact that I have a pump implanted even though it wasn’t being used) so there were only a couple docs in the area and I ultimately have to go out of state now. I’ve suffered irreversible damage to my body from the withdrawal and have other health issues now because I was in withdrawal for so long. My quality of life is nonexistent. I even went to a drug rehab agency and they told me they couldn’t help me bc I wasn’t a junkie. How is it appropriate that we supposedly have an opioid crisis yet the junkies have more rights than compliant pain patients?!?! God forbid a junkie go through painful dangerous withdrawal and suffer but darn near kill a compliant patient who has never broken a law and was a healthcare professional as well?! All of these comments advising this person to go to the ER won’t do any good. I went through withdrawal for six months! No one was sympathetic or helpful. This area is so bad that despite dragging her name through the mud, when the news found she was innocent they didn’t even report it to offer correction. She is now too scared to go back into private practice. This are lost the best dr they had. Anyone who goes through this, I pray for you! For those who treated me so unfairly, I pray you never need help!

Alan Edwards

Glen’s responses should be cleaned up and posted as an NPR masterpiece of the week. A wise person. As you know, Mr Coghlin, the comment section is read by pharmacists and Governmental authorities. My local cvs reads NPR specifically for my posts. We are in a war and pain patients are being targeted.

Alan Edwards

If you have a friend or advocate, employ them. The pharmacy is probably the stop sign along with one or both doctors. Medically, it is an unsafe and cruel action which can and must be reversed.
Pharmacies are targeting patients receiving controlled substances,
including gabapentin.

Call Medicare to see what is going on using the number for patient questions. If the pharmacy is involved, they can be overridden even if they are using the conscience clause excuse. Get friends to help. If the doctor pulled a fast one, contact another doctor and go over the head of the bad actors. I am miles away..MurrayJoiner MD Pain Management in Roanoke VA may be able to help. The pharmacy i suspect, had a role in the decision. The bad decision. Do not use my name or i may land in hot water. Contract or not, it can be burned. This is a medical matter; not financial.

Katherine Hicks

I would not recommend relying on the ER. The hospitals in my area have a policy of not prescribing opioids. Of course they will control your pain while there, for an accident or kidney stones or something like that with a shot of Dilaudid. I had a horrific experience several years ago where CVS lost my script on a Friday night, and my doctor’ s exchange refused to contact my doctor saying that wasn’t an emergency. I had to get a written signed letter from the pharmacist to take to the ER, and she had to call the hospital too. This is the only instance the hospital would prescribe me 3 days of meds. If I had lost the script it would’ve been sorry Charley. My primary doctor also refused to help because he doesn’t deal with opioids anymore. These people don’t understand how traumatic withdrawals are.

Jo O

Be a squeaky wheel! Even with a contract, the covering doctor can and should write the prescription. My clinic covers my doctor all the time. It’s too stressful to do a lot of the things people are suggesting, and too time consuming. See the clinic manager, then go on up to the next person in charge. It’s ludicrous this doctor is doing this. Point it out to them. Your records are right in front of them. I’ve gone into my clinic screaming and believe me, they will take you aside and get someone to talk to you right away. I don’t normally act like this but I am forced to act like this. The ER will just send you back to the clinic. Waste of time.
You need your meds now.
There’s all sorts of documentation of the CDC’s “mistake”. I have been printing them out and will use them when needed. Don’t give up and don’t take no for an answer. If you are on Medicare, there’s action you can take there too. I don’t have it right in front of me at the moment.
Good luck and pound on the doctor and the clinic. No emails or phone calls. Just go in.

Cyndi Sieving

How horrifying to know that Physicians have been programmed to withhold pain meds or lose their license! Some of them became better educated on this and know the proper steps to take when prescribing opioids and others are just running scared and/or too lazy to write a simple paragraph on the reasons they are prescribing them to the patient. CDC originally wanted Physicians to just become more aware of how much they were prescribing and why. The medication contract is supposed to be for that Doctors office only and we sign it to promise we won’t go to other Clinics for medication. When my Dr moved out of State, he turned his patients over to a new Dr and a nurse. The new Dr changed his mind about taking over the practice and the Nurse was left with the patients temporarily while the Clinic was looking for another Dr. The nurse is an ANPM and able to diagnose, treat patients and write out any prescriptions without limit but, she abruptly turned away all patients on pain meds of any kind and listed everyone an opioid addict! How can This even be legal? I’ve contacted the Medical Board and obtained a form to file a grievance against her and I strongly advise anyone else who’s ever had this type of thing happen to them, to do the same. She not only destroyed my reputation as a patient and ruined my quality of life, but she’s done this to several other patients. I just don’t understand what’s happening with many Physicians now! How is the CDC ever going to dial this back even a little? And what happens to the patients who’ve already been falsely labeled addicts? How are people who desperately need pain medication just to make it through the day and sleep at night going to ever find peace again? Shouldn’t patient history speak for itself? I was told by the Nurse that, they didn’t legally have to review my patient history nor did they have the time? How can they not review your medical history? All she looks at is the Med list! It’s NOT right!

David W Cole

That’s BS, there should be something in that contract you signed that in the event your doctor is not available to write Scripts someone else can, what happens if you go to the hospital, your doctor’s not going to give you scripts in the hospital.
This is a bunch of ******* game playing.
These incredibly ignorant people have killed common sense.
May God help us all! I wish I had an answer for you, you may have to just go to the hospital.
Call the manager of the clinic or doctor’s office they have your doctor’s phone number they can call and ask for permission to give you your prescriptions. That don’t work go to human resources. [edit] like this just infuriates me so bad.

University Hills

My rheumatologist quit prescribing opiods because he couldn’t prescribe while out of State and no other docs who he could find to cove for him were willing to prescribe them.
Id ask for a copy of the contract to read it for youself and call your surgeon’s office. They may be more empathetic and not want you stressed out with high blood pressure prior to surgery.

Otherwise, i agree the emergency room is next best, though you run the risk of your doc saying you violated the agreement.

So sorry this happened to you. Prayers for a successful surgery.


None of these solution will work. I am not exaggerating when I say I have done all these things.As long as a majority of Americans think opiates are evil laws and restrictions will continue. I have a new prayer “Dear God give all healthy people an extremely painful disease, start them on oxycodone and just when they start feeling better—-take it away”


Face it. We are running out of time. They have cut off our escapes and will not stop persecuting us and good doctors. The President is the only power that could come to our rescue.We know he is not going to do that unless it would get votes. There is one thing worse than dying. Living a long time in pain with no chance for relief.EVERYONE, ALL YOUR FRIENDS, (WHAT THE HELL, ALL OF THE JUNKIES), CALL THE PRESIDENT. EVERY DAY. TELL HIM YOU ARE REPORTING A MURDER—YOURS. LETS PRAY “DEAR GOD PLEASE GIVE ALL OF CONGRESS PAINFUL CANCER AND DO NOT MAKE IT TERMINAL “(or they will probably get opiates)


Have you seen a copy of your pain contract to verify such a bizarre clause?

If not, then go and demand it.

I’ve signed pain contracts in 2 different states and I dont recall anything limiting the specific doctor.

The contract limits the patient to go to the same pharmacy each time and to not take liquor etc.

It makes zero sense for any doctor to leave for a planned vacation with no coverage — which is why most docs aren’t solo practitioners but are part of a practice with multiple doctors. Then there’s always coverage.

(Although I did have a solo doc and she and other solo docs covered for each other on an alternating basis)

It makes zero sense for a doctor in the same practice to be banned from prescribing in any such contract.

Good luck. It’s unimaginable.


This is about one of the dumbest extremes of opiphobia I have heard of since this insanity began. If this doctor is not part of the practice they : A) agreed to pick up the vacationing doctors patient load, not just the ones they want to treat and B) you did not sign a contract with them, so there is no violation. Since you did sign an agreement the the doc in Germany, its their responsibility to follow up on any violations of the agreement. I can only imagine their reaction will be one of disbelief. These are not legal agreements, they are not binding in any lawful way. They are rules of the practice and this doctor is not following their agreement to cover for the other doctor.

Neither here nor there, since practicing also means they can do anything they want and get away with it. I would try an “innocent” query to your local health department asking politely if this doctor is violating their duties. Perhaps if they contacted this doctor and explained what an ass he is making of himself, he might feel more reassured when he signs that Rx. Or you could call your local DEA office since they are the regulating body for his prescription license. Perhaps they could “reassure” him as well.

One other avenue you may wish to pursue is your primary care. They go on vacation and often cover for one another and should appreciate the absurdity of this situation. I would be real surprised if the vacationing doctor would have a beef about an Rx from your PCP, since they are responsible for hiring this…replacement. How you hire a replacememt pain physician and not have them understand part of their job will be writing opioid Rx’s is beyond me. Best of luck my friend.


Happy Independence day ! How are you doing this morning ? Have any of these suggestions helped you ? I have been praying for you all night, that you be led to the right solution for your circumstances. Our personal experience tells us, If you are in pain, and still working on this issue with PCP, or Pain Management offices, go to the ER for immediate pain relief and take your empty pain medication bottle for verification that you are taking this medication. I know in California, the ER will print a report that shows all the RX’s that have been filled for you YTD, to see your history, but the bottles are immediate physical proof of your pain management, in case your state doesn’t subscribe to the electronic report. The ER will monitor your body vitals for treatment of any withdrawal symptoms. We have done this 4 times in 2 years and although ER’s can take time, they ultimately give a relevant pain injection that lasts 6-8 hours. I continue to pray you have found someone who is leading you in the direction of your care until your Physician returns from vacation. May the Lord bless you, watch over you and keep you safe. .

McKenzie Deana

Read your contract. See if it says anything about vacation coverage of other doctors in the same practice. Delay your surgery, if you can, and tell your surgeons why you have to delay it. I’m not sure if it will get any attention but you have to be your own advocate of your care. You have rights! If you aren’t able to then get a family member involved in this. Here in MD, if you go to the er, you’ll get no help with opioids for refills. They’ll tell you to take ibuprofen. They gave me something for the diarrhea and withdrawal symptoms. I think that it was klonapin patches. It’s very sad, but many people who are drug seeking have abused the system so the doctors don’t trust or want to get involved! After I was discharged from the pain clinic I went to, in 2015, for using hemp cbd oil and having a positive urinalysis for 28 nanograms of thc, I eventually got certified for medical cannabis, which has been a lifesaver for me! I did get some relief from the hydrocodone that I was taking at the time, but cannabis makes my pain manageable! I also would contact either the unit manager, charge nurse, or someone in charge, of the drs office that you are a patient of and see what they can do to help you, if anything! I’ve been where you are, and I’m praying for you! I hope that something can be done!

Molly K Canfield

If you decide to go to the ER, take your phone record everything! it is the ERS responsibility legally to stabilize you before they release you. And that means preventing and or getting you out of withdrawal.

James McCay

This is a reply to the posts after mine yesterday.

Many people are still under the impression it seems that “THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE HIGHER YOU CAN GO TO.” That has NOT been the case in most US States since at least 2016!

My state: NY, was one of the FIRST STATES to go by the 2016 CDC Guidelines (AND FAR WORSE) BEFORE THESE GUIDELINES WERE EVER RELEASED! The WRONG thoughts that “No one NEEDS Opioids.”, “We doctors need to do what we need to do to protect ourselves- the hell with our patients.”, and hospitals MAKING their Patient Advocates, Administration, and other higher ranking employees being told to “STAY OUT OF ALL ISSUES HAVING TO DO WITH OPIOIDS” started in 2011 in NYC!

In most hospitals over 10+ years, the person “IN CHARGE” of Pain Management is an Anesthesiologist whose main job has been; IN-PATIENT pain control for surgery and almost NOTHING ELSE! They NEVER HAD WORKED IN PAIN MANAGEMENT, had no direct experience in diseases that cause EXCRUCIATING non-stop pain 24/7-365, and they NEVER WANTED to be “in charge” of Pain Management, but were forced to be; due to hospital budget cuts (when OBAMA went into office!).

A Specially Trained Psychopharmacologist is “supposed” to be in charge of any Pain Management Unit in any hospital! They are fully trained in pain diseases, pain medications for OUT-PATIENT pain control, and are far more educated in every aspect of PAIN MANAGEMENT! They’ve been phased OUT!

So when an Anesthesiologist is pulled into a case that they truly want NOTHING to do with, they make RASH/COLD-HEARTED decisions as you could imagine! I’ve been through this BOTH with a Psychopharmacologist (for a full year) who sided with me, and an Anesthesiologist who HAD ME RELEASED FROM MY HOSPITAL OF 8-YEARS because he didn’t feel like dealing with my complex diseases (& tagged me a drug addict) even though I was seeing a Pain Specialist Psychologist voluntarily weekly and he sided with me too.

Educate yourselves as much as possible!

Signe Topai

Oh I fill your pain! This as happened to me several times. The last time this happened to me I printed out Kaisers Policy on discrimination. It says, ” We due not discriminate against race, color or Disability”. Next I found the articles from DEC warning doctors and pharmacy not to due force tapering or stop opiate cold turkey. I also did an urine sample! You must stay calm but a strong advocate for yourself! You are being discriminate against your disability.
Good luck and God bless.

Debi Bohannan

First of all, you’re dealing with multiple levels of policy makers that are harming you, so you have to make your concerns known to at least 4 of them: your State Medical Association; your State Representative & State Senator & Duke University Health Dept Administrator. You should keep your physician informed at every step – even the temporary substitute caring for you while your regular physician is on vacation.. If you’ve followed NPR, you have access to complete information regarding the problem – from the 2015 CDC Guidelines that started this catastrophic campaign to the most recent announcement that those guidelines have been rescinded.
However, due to blind allegiance by many in power to drug war policies, you will have to re-educated them one by one.
If you have a church family, get their help. There is safety in numbers. Definitely inform your local median – even if they don’t appear sympathetic.

Donna Tomczek

I am so sorry that you feel so helpless. Perhaps my story will help you make some decisions to help you live a better life.

I’m now 73 years old, and was on the same Senior Advantage HMO for 22 years. I had multiple diagnosed health problems, but noticed that I was being treated like an old, complaining woman, while I wasn’t getting any better. Most of the time I was either sleeping or in bed because of health problems. I was lonely and depressed.

On 11/04/18, I collapsed and nearly died because a diagnosis was ignored by my PCP. Only thanks to my sister, a retired RN, and a dedicated physician in the ER, was I able to recover.

I have since changed to a different Senior Advantage HMO, and am now under the care of the fabulous doctors at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, CA. I have less back pain, am taking medication that really help what’s wrong with me, and am on the road to better health! Considering the fact that my grandmother died at 101 years old, and my mother died at 96 years old, my improving health will help me to live longer and to be happier!

If your doctors aren’t helping you, FIRE them. Change insurance as well healthcare providers until you’re being heard and your issues are being addressed as they should be! Move if you must to get better care – you only have one life to live, and you deserve to be happy!

Stand up for yourself, ask someone to go with you to appointments so that you not only have a witness, but someone who can take notes and listen with you, particularly when you don’t feel well. There is better care and a better life ahead of you!

May God bless you and keep you during your battles!


Acora Whitehair

I know that happened to me one time the best thing to do is to go to the er most likely they will help you until your doctor comes back but go in the day so they can call you doctor office an to make sure his out of town if you been on your meds alot time it dangerous to go to withdrawals so they have to help you hopefully this helps

patti Carpenter

I believe that any doctor in the same practice can write the RX in place of the doctor that is away. If they have any doubt they should contact the doctor to confirm that the RX should be sent. I dont know what your state laws are. Some doctors wont write an rx without a face to face. I would also speak to my surgeon and explain the predicament and see if he can help out

Also, if you are completely without pain meds abrupt stopping can cause heart attack. My pcp told me that but these days most doctors dont care. I been thru abrupt stop to pain meds bc i told pain doc that the mme was too low, so i guess he thought he make me grateful for the 90 mme by dropping me with coward letter of dismissle. Thankfully i didn’t have a heart attack just severe diarrihea, stomach cramps. Doc taught me what A-holes they can be instead of being reasonable and telling me that the state change guide lines, which i was not made aware, just NP saying thats what doctor wrote just bring it up next visit. Well never got the chance.Doc also blacklist me, I never done anything wrong even med records says i am nice other than letter. We are replaceable. People in line to fill your place so theres no reason for pain doc to care about you/us other than having if pain doc has morals that not just about their wallet but genuinely care about patient.

Charles Poirier

, I don’t know about North Carolina laws , but your best bet is to report your problem to the Board of Medicine and have them follow up on it. I was a former pharmacist for 34 years in Idaho and in my opinion a doctor that takes over for another one would give you enough medicine to last till your usual doctor gets back.this contact stuff does not make any ethical medical sense to me and this substitute doctor is just protecting his ass. Shame on him!!!!

Stacie Wagner

The pain contract doesn’t stop the other doctor from prescribing you medication. The doctor that is filling in simply doesn’t want to do their job. You can go to the emergency room with your medical file and explain what is going on with this doctor. Request a phone call follow up with your doctor in reference to this situation. See who else is seeing patients at the same clinic etc. Unfortunately none of these options help very much. You cannot go cold turkey because of the medical risk of stroke and heart attack. Wishing you good luck with whatever other doctor you find. But the answer is no it does not prevent another doctor from writing your scripts.
I would also contact the AMA and anyone else about this doctor because they shouldn’t be practicing if they are willing to kill a patient because of a pain contract!!!

Ask the nurse to call your doctor while he’s or she’s on vacation. It’s not unheard of. Let it be known you will go through withdrawals if you do not have this medication and you’re already facing a life-or-death surgery with 50% chance of survival. Be sure to record your conversation with nurse. Be sure to get the nurse’s name. Because they will probably refuse but it will not hurt to ask because I have done it myself. But not for pain medication. The doctor that was left in charge obviously does not want to be in charge of prescribing opiates. If the doctors are in the same practice and practice the same scope of care there should not be a problem. Just asked your PCP nurse to call him because of this situation of the doctor that’s left in charge will not fill your medication. It’s tricky to let them know that you’re recording your conversation which could lead to you being dismissed but then again it’s good to have in case this causes you detrimental health or death.


I was n the same exact situation and since your doctor works with other doctors at the same office your doctor should have made arrangements for another doctor in that office to take over your care and should not of left you high and dry. so call the office and ask which doctor exactly that your are suppose to see and Go IN Person it is your only option if that doctor fails you ask to speak to the directer Head person in Charge.
Also inform them that it is dangerous for them to leave you My uncle was cut off cold turkey and had a stroke so they now will never allow him to be taken cold turkey off his pain meds again he told them he would sue for harm ,malpratice,elder abuse and they changed their attitude


The Law of the land states that you have In-alienable Rights. Now, the highly questioned local law makers think that you don’t have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, vote these corrupt people out of office. Who started this whole mess anyway? Medicare was paying out very large amounts of money for your meds. That’s why. You cannot even purchase your meds out of pocket. It is against the law for law-makers to do this, you are grandfathered in anyway. If your doctor issues you meds, it is not the right of lawmakers or any one else to question his duty of practice. Maybe I can go live with one of these so-called lawmakers. The Law of the Land stops them from ever taking away any of these precious rights.’ I’m sure criminals love these politicians , because now a new market has opened up, just like boot- leg whisky. Except for one thing, these boot legged meds might very well kill you! yours truly , L. B.

Katie Olmstead

I’m so sorry you are going through this ordeal. There is no excuse for it. Yes, even with a contract, as I have one, too, another covering doctor can write the scrips. They may choose to only give you a half month’s fill to cover until your doctor is back in the country. Whatever you do, don’t stop your medications. You don’t need cold turkey side effects are you are approaching this frightening surgery.
If a repeated request doesn’t get you anywhere, keep going higher. Ask who is the senior doctor in the practice. Or the senior doctor in the center. I agree that speaking to your senator or congressperson is good but it can be slow. You don’t have time for slow. I know it is time consuming and energy sucking to do this but you, or someone you trust, has to keep at this.

When your doctor returns, please tell him or her what you have gone through. Your doc should have had easy coverage for their patients while away.

I hope this resolves soon and the surgery goes well and brings you some relief. We’d love to hear from you afterwards.

Scott Shepherd

Try kratom


Do you see a family Dr or a pain management Dr? And I’m confused when you say you call your Dr and they call your meds in. Do you have to go to the office and have an appointment or does he just call you?
This doesn’t really help your situation but if my pain Dr is going to be gone I get a prescription for the following month, that way I’m covered.
I have seen my Dr, who is an anesthesiologist and has a pain management office, for 13 yrs every month, except when he’s going to be gone and they have always been great dealing with any problems.

James McCay

THIS IS A NIGHTMARE I’VE BEEN THROUGH BEFORE- EXACTLY! I am VERY sympathetic and empathetic to what you are facing! I have to agree that you CANNOT seek help from ANY other doctor for the exact reasons Alan Thurman correctly mentioned.

You left out some key info which would have helped me answer this. I think that NPR really NEEDS TO extend the room we have to write by (500) characters. I don’t know what your main pain is from, or where. Plus I don’t know what opioid pain med you are on.

So all I can do is tell you what I HAD TO DO to keep from committing suicide, my pain is excruciating and everywhere without opioids; which can be very different from you. This is why I usually use every letter on NPR I’m given to respond as accurately as I can.

What I am about to tell you can be VERY DANGEROUS! So you must research this fully on Google by typing “how to use cocaine for chronic muscle pain”. There are several Message Boards that have quasi-experts (either medical or addicts) who will explain step by step how to do this as safely as possible (which is still dangerous!). If you have any history of any heart trouble, YOU CANNOT DO THIS!

If I can’t get my dual excruciating leg pain under some control due to the loss of my high dose opioid of 16-years, I’ve had to get a friend get me cocaine off the street; twice in the last 10-years (because my Pain Management doctor failed me with no other option but suicide). I have FOUR massively herniated discs in my neck, so WITHDRAWAL alone could paralyze me when the severe 21-day withdrawal starts with seizure-like vomiting.
I’d sterilize all items I was to use. Then used BRAND NEW needles I bought from Amazon.com. I injected directly into my calf muscles in both legs as infrequently as possible which STOPPED the withdrawal 100% and made my overall pain almost bearable (yet I didn’t get “high” at all). But I only had to make it through 7-days max.

THIS IS A LAST CHOICE OPTION! My Pain doc knows I did this…


It’s getting harder for Doctors to treat pain because politicians got involved. Politicians have no right to tell Doctors how to treat. As I sit here, in a ball of pain, the medical system is broken in America. I too, go to pain management and pain is the most horrible situation anyone can be in. It rips ones life away and steals pleasant moments. Quality of life is most important. Please contact your local politicians and let them know your story. I have been through painful operations and left the hospital with no pain relief. It’s becoming inhumane. Less than 85% of pain patients don’t abuse their medications. My prayers are with you.

DB Stewart

Had an issue with PM in NC, consultated with an attorney, he told me I moved to the wrong state. I now travel 1000 miles a month going back North to get my meds.

A suggestion: Demand an answer in writing, from this clinic, as to why the doctor covering for your doctor, will not write a prescription for you, while your regular doctor is away in Germany.

Then sue the covering doctor for Patient Abandonment, using that written answer as Exhibit A in your Complaint.

The purpose of BEING A COVERING DOCTOR, is to take care of the absent doctor’s patients! That expressly includes the authority to fill prescriptions that the absent doctor would normally write. If your doctor left for Germany and provided someone to cover for him or her, that someone has the authority to act in their place, pursuant to the Pain Contract you signed. This is the legal concept known as Power Of Attorney…it means that someone has delegated their own power to another person, temporarily, for some specific purpose.

If this procedure you’re about to have, might fail, please also consider your heirs. A lawsuit for patient abandonment can be taken over by your heirs if your surgery fails to save your life, and they can at least help you make this point, as a last wish.

Lawsuits are the only language our enemies understand. Strip them of their sweet precious money and they will learn to listen to us.

Abbie Cunha

There should always be an on call dr when your doctor is out of town that is bs but I’m confused about your pain meds I’m on pain meds for chronic facial pain I’m 66 n I have to meet with physicians assistant n provider to get a written rx every month I can say one thing it’s not their pain n majority don’t care it’s not their body I’ve been denied demeaned n thrown to the curb until my neurologist took me under his care n prescribed me Vicodin it helps some to the point of not wanting to die but still pain level could be off the scale I will pray for u because we all need a little or whole lot of help abbie

Thomas Wayne Kidd

I would remind this doctor of your rights under the Americans with disabilities act. I did this just recently and I also reminded them that they had broken about every agreement in the contract which I was required to sign when I started at my clinic. Doctors have been threatened and fear the government entities that started all this. Be kind and let them know that you know that you have rights. You are in my prayers. God bless you.

Michelle Tilley

I am a chronic pain patient as well as a Duke paitent. What I have done in the past with them is to contact the Clinic Nurse via phone message. Let him knoe that your dr is out of country and your prescription has run out. Normally he can speak with the PA or NP that works with the Dr and the they can prescribe enough meds to get you through until your Dr returns. I always make that call vs using MyChart for those types of requests. You’ll always get some crazy Dr that won’t help.

I’m sorry this is happening to you. Some Duke Drs can be difficult to deal with.

There is something not right there.If it is in the same clinic and they have your records and what you normally get there is no reason unless your doctor has specifically said you can’t.The clinic I go to I see different ones cause of the doctors there on different days.If that clinic is not keeping up on stuff then they need to.The FDA,CDC has put out some different stuff about their guidelines and so they have done some changes.Look what your states threshold for prescribing Opiates are look through past NPR stuff.This site tells you alot.The media has been one of our worst enemies but has started to change.The real truth is that a lot of doctors just don’t want to mess with it anymore.I have to say a lot have really been chicken shit.There is plenty real good ones that really care about helping people.It needs all of them to pull together and we the people to get this back the right way.I have talked to two different DEA agents and one of the first things they have said was the media has caused a lot of the problems with not reporting things the right way.I have to say that I have seen the ones that they have busted deserved it.The ones that are doing bad will eventually be found out and the ones that really need meds. and do it right will eventually get what they need.There is some that always have to mess it up for others.Call the politicians and let them know the truth and stand up for your rights.I just seen judge Judy explain what a contract is and it doesn’t just go one way or it’s not a contract.If you are truly a real chronic pain person and do what you are supposed to you keep writing,calling,talking,and remember the only stupid question is the one that is not asked.We have a right to our happiness the same as all in the U.S.We need to make sure that the ones that don’t know really what we go through and feel does not make the laws and decision for us.

jess Corcoran

I’m so sorry to hear they are putting you through this. Last week, I noticed a different doctor from the practice filled the prescription. I live in PA & a different md in the practice signing off on it has never been a problem.,. Did you ask the office if they can get a message to your doctor for you? That just doesn’t sound right. Best of luck to you!

Wendy Paley

I would recommend calling your local congressman immediately and also the head person at the pain clinic you go to that is part of Duke University! Any doctor that is part of the pain clinic you attend should be able to write out your RX’s as they have your medical info in their computer system. So sorry for all this extra stress that you do not deserve and is unethical and immoral.

Try this if you think it will help. There are laws in NC that make it illegal to abuse, neglect or exploit a disabled or elderly person. By not having the “substitute doctor” write your prescription they have caused physical and or mental injury to you injury which is illegal abuse and or neglect.

Failure to give you drugs to prevent pain also is discriminatory under the ADA and violates the Elder Justice Act of you are over 60.

It may also be a “tort”– a civil matter you can sue in court about.

It’s poor medical judgement- unprofessional conduct Contact the NC Medical Board.

It’s abuse and neglect- contact Nc Adult Protective Services.

It maybe a crime under eh NC Penal Code (caution, police are used to disabled people claiming injury and Nc law may specify the attacker must be in a “domestic caregiver position”.

It’s malpractice, elder/disabled adult abuse & neglect, discrimination, a civil suit and defies common sense and common decency, as well as “breach of contract”.

I’m an elderly disabled pain patient. I try and advocate. Do not give up! You have rights to enjoy life as any non disabled person does.

Let me know please how it goes. I’m at @justitiadebiles



Hi. I have no answer for you. I am so sorry. So many of us miss out on life because of contracts and refill laws. I quit pain management because mine wanted me to take additional medications that I didn’t not agree with. I just watched the movie, 55 Steps. I cried. Someone, a nurse turned lawyer, stood up for the ill. It’s based on true facts and a law that was passed in California. I know that seems to be a random thing to mention in a comment. But I want to know who will speak for CPPs. Please, someone????

Please try to rest for your surgery.

Wanita Umer

Please file a Civil Right complaint and ask for emergency hearing. Use the court ruling that recently awarded a pain pt 30000$ There are also court cases here in Canada that I am using to support a Human Rights complaint that I recently filed.

I don’t need an emergency hearing but it sounds like you do. Here in Canada legal support is given when filing a complaint as the lawyer I spoke to believes the case to be high risk. If the adjudicator agrees then the Human Rights Commission will take over the case for me.

I wrote the complaint up in such a way that there can be no confusion, there is human rights violations. I am not a professional but if you like I will send you a copy of the complaint so that it may guide you in some way. It is long and takes about 40 minutes to read but I wanted to tell the adjudicator everything I told the lawyer as I want to convince them to handle the case themselves as the 1st lawyer mentioned.

If the HRTO doesn’t take over the case I will have to present it myself in front of a tribunal. I will have the assistance of a lawyer and the founder of HELP Alberta and HELP Ontario.

We will win even if we don’t. Even now just filing the complaint has sparked Health Quality Ontario to reconcider their Standards of Practice for Opioid Prescribing for Chonic Non Cancer Pain. I am hoping the case will be settled in mediation.

If you would like a copy of my complaint please email me @wjumer@gmail.com. i am in Canada but will help you any way I can


This is insanity!! Your doctor should have alerted you of her vacation, knowing full well she had a pain patient.
I always tell my doctor any trips or major surgery coming up and ask his vacation schedule. Especially around the holidays we all need to be careful! And they can write it early for a later date. A fill.date writin on the prescription. I am.sorry to say. I would have been more pro active 2 weeks ago. I am not judging. You have alot going on. But because I was in this situation more than once. You learn to be even more paranoid 3 to 4 weeks before a period that this cannot happen in.
I honestly would go to the hospital. The hospital can easily verify what you are taking and prescribe iterem meds until.she returns. And you cannot and will not get in trouble for the hospital of your surgeon filling the small amount until her return.
God will provide a way out.
Worst case do not suffer drive to the hospital
Dont worry what anyone thinks.
You are having massive surgery and pain.


In my state, no doctor can call or fax in any form of opioid prescription. The original hard copy script is needed for the pharmacist. I would say you should consider yourself very lucky that your doctor was/is willing to do this for you. However, the doctor who is filling in for your normal doctor does not know you, therefore he/she will not fax a script. As sad as it is, this is how it works.

I don’t know if it will work in this situation, but you can get a ‘prior authorization’, which means the doctor can pre approve refills every 30, or 90 days, without additional signatures. You can also get a ‘vacation exception’, when you or you doctor is going to be out of town on the refill date, the order can be put in early.
Once in the hospital, the doctors there should be able prescibe what you need for your stay, and for the surgery. I wonder if you reached out to your surgeon now, he/she could order in preparation for surgery, given your doctor is OOT.
Sorry for all you are going through and best to you with the procedure,