Forced Taper Stories Reveal Horror Stories

Forced Taper Stories Reveal Horror Stories

Even though pain professionals and even the FDA have warned against the forced tapering of opioid medication for chronic pain patients, it’s still happening—fueled by a fear of recrimination from the Drug Enforcement Administration, state regulators and/or local enforcement.

Earlier this month the National Pain Report asked its readers for their stories if their provider had stop prescribing opioid medications or was forcing them to reduce their medication (tapering)

Here’s the story.

We have received dozens and dozens of stories—many of them painful. Here’s one from a patient who did not identify herself, but who laid out a story that we’ve heard too many times:

I tapered partially on my own. Went at my own pace, and it was fine. I was ready to reduce the amount of meds I was using as I’d stabilized over the years. Then I was force tapered from about 500mme to 0mme in 6 WEEKS by the PCP who had treated me for more than a decade. I had never had any compliance issues. He said I’d failed a drug test, but the results were crazy. He waited six weeks to tell me the results. I said I could retest in 15 minutes when he told me over the phone. He refused a retest. My psychiatrist, his colleague, asked him three times to retest. He refused. He dismissed several other pain patients in the same timeframe. He sent my drug test to a busy urban hospital lab instead of the specialty lab in Utah he’d always used. It was all very suspect. To be tapered so quickly nearly killed me. I’ve never been so sick, and I have lasting health complications from the force taper. I lost a year of my life. My pain is worse than ever. Some days I just lay in bed and cry. I fantasize about getting a terminal case of cancer that will quickly kill me so my family can collect on my life insurance. I write letter after letter to the doctor who tapered me in my head, caught in an endless loop of anger and hatred. I have one doctor I can trust. The rest are jackals who have no desire to help and seem to just laugh over my crumbling corpse. Do I seem like I’m doing well? I have two kids. I have a loving husband. And I’m next-to useless to them. So to answer your question: no, my pain and health is NOT better after being force tapered.

This comment resonated with me after I saw this tweet Friday night from Dr. Terri Lewis, who has been one of the strongest advocacy voices for chronic pain.

Terri Lewis, PhD 和平抵抗 (@tal7291)

Let’s discuss what pain management is NOT:

  1. It is not counting pills
  2. It’s not peeing in a cup w/ the door open and an audience.
  3. Being on the receiving end of a lecture about being a compliant or adherent patient.
  4. ?

Your turn…

As one reader wrote me in an email, “When will it stop?”

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Greg Lenz

I don’t need to hear the stories. These horrid regulator people are evil. So I got maybe 10 years left on my life. You are not protecting me. Doctors, don’t fail us. I don’t want to live my last ‘golden’ years like this. These are ‘rust’ years—and we all suffer the pain. Pls stop ‘saving [billing]’ me. Please stop bullying me. I am a human being damn it.

Melody

I was not rven tapered my meds were immediately withdrawn. Talk about a horror story.

Liz

I had written a long note but I guess the phone wiped it out. My dr prescribed buproranine which I could not take. It made me sick, I vomited night and day from it. And I’ve had at least one epidural every year because he won’t prescribe if I don’t and sometimes I have more than one. I cannot afford to keep having procedures and especially when they do no good. He’s got me back in debt again and he says well don’t you have insurance? I don’t understand. I’m in excruciating pain from an old back injury and I had surgery then the vertebra shifted and I need more surgery because I have about 5 discs that have herniated. I would rather not have more surgery, I don’t have faith in them helping. I’m 83 years old, I drive an hour each way to see him and my meds cost about $30-40 a month while what he wants me to do costs approx $30+thousand at a whack because I have to go to a surgery center, he won’t do them anymore in his office because I have a pacemaker/defibrilator. Now he yells at me and tells me not to come back? I can’t help it that his procedures don’t help and sometimes his medicine I’m allergic to. Why on earth is Medicare paying for stuff like this when I won’t live all that much longer?

Liz

I’ll try to finish my story, it cut me off. Anyway, after the rhizotomy I almost died with excessive pain for 2-3 weeks and my dr would not call me back nor answer my calls at the answering service. I finally went to an internist in horrible pain and he asked for his number and called him so then he prescribed morphine on top of what I was taking. And now this, him yelling at me. The internist told him he needed to do something or he was going to admit me. WHAT do you think I should do, I’m totally at a loss.

March 20, 2020 Don’t Punish Pain Rally being held in cities across America. Pain patients speaking out for their right to medicine and their doctor’s right to treat them. Attend a rally near you or have someone attend in your stead .

Annie

Within 4 weeks of my forced taper 4 years ago, my heart went into crazy permanent AFIB. I worked 40 plus hours a week as a licensed surgical tech. Now after 8 cardeoversions my heart is trashed. I awaited an ablation until i just recently, a week ago, got the cancer diagnosis i have prayed for. No life is worth living like this…treated like a criminal because you have trashed your body working like a dog. Im 70 and i’m glad its almost over. I hope that doctors will remember why people seek them out…and trusted them

Jeanette French

Has happened to me as well, very frustrating and so not right, being medically stable for years, no one should have this done to them, torture and inhumane treatment against our patients bill of rights as . I have been to sick to find another doc but if I ever am I will be out there looking. Politicians have no place in our doctors offices and I am just sick to death of it all !!. When is it going to stop !

rebmafaith

This is my testimonial. I thought I’d given permission to use my name. I’m no longer afraid of any repercussions of speaking out. I do print and TV stories in Minnesota, trying to raise awareness about our plight. I’ve been a pain patient for nearly 20 years. I’ve been without pain meds for my chronic pain for 2 1/2 years now. The unrelenting pain is making me lose my mind and my will to live. I’m glad my story resonated with some people.

Amber Bullington
Minnetonka, MN
53yo mother of 2 daughters

Stephanie

Same thing happened to me. Told to wean myself in less than a month after 8 years of being prescribed. From 30 hours a week of working to barely anything. Depression, panic, anxiety, unbearable pain.

To: Marilyn Pitman, I’m so sorry for the loss of your sister. Your story was added after I had put in the story of my dog and I was abandoned so it look like I added it later but I did not. I guess we were talking at the same time and that’s how it fell but I am truly sorry in this is preventable death. My heart goes out to you and your family. The crime of no compassion to the people and the animals that are suffering. I never thought I’d see this day in America. May the people around you surround you with love

Donna Corley

Yes I’ve received multiple messages and emails regarding doctors dropping them. These same physicians who took the oath to do no harm are killing patients. One patient recently emailed me that on their last visit (after being weaned down to hardly nothing of their pain meds, which BTW had helped him work a full time job! But now has put him in so much pain he can no longer work!), was told that they would no longer prescribe or treat him and “here’s you 30 days of pain meds, you need to find a new doctor”! 😡 I suggested he report this Doctor to the medical license board, his state medical board, FDA, CDC, his governor, and state representative!
I’m so fed up with CPP getting treated like addicts because of their pain related to diseases they can’t help like Adhesive Arachnoiditis, Tarlov Cyst Disease, RSD/CRPS, EDS, you name it. I’m so fed up, but no one wants to listen. Not congress, CDC, no one. It’s genocide!

Also want to say that I went to take my dog to the vet that has thyroid cancer and today they said it has metastasized into his colon and liver is extremely enlarged. And I said yes he’s in pain and 2017 they gave this pain medicine for his liver before we knew it was cancer but he only had three pills left but here it is in 2020 yeah they refused to fill his pain medication to a dog that’s in pain. In two weeks I will be putting my dog down I just want to have time to say goodbye even though I know this was coming but I thought they would at least making my dog more comfortable. I said as you see I’m not taking his pain medication there’s three pills left and it was written in 2017. I didn’t give him all his medication and now that he has cancer I started giving it to him and now he’s running out. They said there was nothing they can do but to give him steroids. So now our cruelty we endure extends to cruelty 2 our animals. Heartless son of a …. they just want to Scorch the Earth of anything that’s in chronic pain or near death. There is no mercy.

I was devastated when I was abandoned in Pain Management, really I was blacklisted just like some of these other people bc I have never failed a drug screen . all of a sudden I failed a drug screen & yet my mg’s were not that high. It was a setup BC they knew the last doctor then I seen that blacklisted me & so they added to it by doing a failed drug screen cuz I never failed any of his drug screens but bc I questioned lowering of mg & fake added medical condition of mva I was release stating bad behavior & wanting more medication. Yet on his own documentation it shows that I didn’t take all my medication so why would I be begging for more. So his own documentation proves the false statements. I was smart enough to get copies of everything that I filled out & every visit which they didn’t like but that’s probably why I got released. The Continuous pain I suffer They just added more emotional pain which cause PTSD a fear of doctors. Then there’s the pharmacy when you have to catheterize & there asking U why U need the supplies bc I also had to add medicine into my bladder which included needles to draw the medicine from the vials. I’ve been doing this since 2008 & then fake opiate crisis came I’m publicly ? every time I picked up the medicine so I finally just stopped getting it ,so I’m sure my bladder & my kidneys will soon give out. I’m just tired of the harassment from Physicians & pharmacies. It might do damage to my health but it also does damage to their bank accounts. The whole system is just abusing people in chronic pain. Is like being a Jew during the Nazi times. We’re now housebound prisoners with uncontrolled pain. Waiting for time to run out. actually looking forward to it. All bc the evil Cruelty of our gov that gives doctors/pharm the right to harrass/neglect & still get paid.

Marilyn Pittman

It has finally happened! My sister killed herself 2 weeks ago after 20 +years being treated like an addict from her own pain doctor. He had forced her down to a very low dose of morphine. The whole family has been researching to see possibly an answer for her pain. Since it was never just one issue, her husband was taking her to other doctor who specializes in neck, back and joints…no help despite having 5 back surgeries.
At least before the taper down, she could manage little trips to shop for groceries and she did not talk about suicide all of the time. When she was at home, she was in bed. Last time I saw her was Christmas day which she had insisted on cooking dinner. A month and two days later, she died in her bed.
This opioid crisis is just fine for the bad people but I think the doctors can determine who is legit and who is really in desperate need. I so wish that the powers to be would look at the percentage of good people suffering needless and chronic pain. They want to have a good quality of life, but is anybody really listening?

Tricia

I’m so incredibly sorry for everything everyone has gone through. Pain medication has helped me, yet, in a way runs my life. I cannot work as a nurse while taking my medication. I used to travel as a nurse. I have to be at the pain clinic every 30 days. Chronic pain, when not controlled properly for me, suicidal ideations creep into my mind……it is a struggle. I’m on a low dose of oxycodone. My family doesn’t understand. My primary doctor “dumped” me as a patient. I had spent my entire savings on appointments and medications…..she walked me to the door and stated when you pay me $500.00 I will then refer you to a specialist.
After 2 years of diagnosing me with five different diagnoses, my lab report came back with a diagnosis! She’d never heard of it before. She told me to go home and Google the diagnosis! I have not seen her in almost 2 years…..

Rebecca Hollingsworth

Is this deja-vu? My husband and I were kicked to the curb by our (unmanaged) pain dr after 10 years. Heard same thing, he had to hire an attorney, give a statement, in other words, he was being pursued by the powers that be to cut every one to the 90 mme bullshit dose. I had been taking 280/day for 6 yrs. This allowed me to work and have a semblance of a “normal ” life. But that’s in the past. Although I haven’t been completely cutoff, i’m struggling with trying to return to work at least part time. Our living situation has become extremely difficult and challenging.
We are all in the same sinking boat, and NOBODY CARES. Don’t get me wrong, there’s empathy everywhere, but that’s all. Our voices are ignored, our plight is not relevant to anyone. How did this happen? And why can’t it be fixed? There are millions of cpp’s but our health and well being doesn’t matter, except to us and our families. So much for living in the greatest country in the world, when our rights as citizens are not only ignored, but irrelevant. Through this journey, we have all been to that dark place. I just know that if I am forced to go there again, I can’t give a definite answer about what the outcome may be. Its exhausting and depressing to “live” like this anymore, with no solution in sight, just more of the same.

Sarah

4) It is not the MME quantity (it is supposed to be Quality of Life)
5) It is not being treated like a criminal (in exclusion to ALL other medical conditions)
6) It is not just medication (majority use multiple modalities)
7) It is not optional if one wants to LIVE (treatment of our pain should not be optional for doctors – especially if that’s what we are paying them to do!)
8) It is not our judge, jury and executioner (it’s OUR LIFE that hangs in the balance – treatments need to be OUR choice, WE need to have final say, WE need to have the opportunity to see EVERYTHING the doctors/NPs/PA/nurses write about us – ESPECIALLY the doctor to doctor notes (where they express their OPINIONS – NOT medical facts) and the ability to correct inaccurate and biased information (through an unbiased third party)
9) It is not the creator of the “Opioid Epidemic”, drug addiction or the rising number of overdoses (PEOPLE being HUMAN is)

Adam halstead

My god, its been four years since the opioid guidelines have been established. I can’t believe that things haven’t gotten any better but actually worse. Its been long known that prescription opioids are not whats killing..its illicit fentynl and or heroin. So many have suffered died, many from suicide and thats damned sure not pain management to me. My old pain doctor was taking cash under the table from the drug company making fentynl lollipops. So suddenly he packed up and left a couple hundred patients suddenly without their needed meds without warning. 2 people killed themselves that I am aware of, but probably this number is higher by now I just dont know..thats definitely not supposed to be pain management. I decided to go to a methadone clinic because no other dr would see me. This is 300 dollars a month on disability which is very difficult.

Anthony Harding

I lost my wife 2 years ago to suicide because of force taper, the story is almost the same as one above, they said she failed a test and refused to say why or show results of test. I know my wife very well we have been together and best friends since we were 15 years old and we were only 1 year apart in age, I am now 43. She didnt do any sort of drugs and we both stopped drinking when she was pregnant with our daughter at the age of 21 years old and we never started or had any sort of alcohol or beer since. After getting a lawyer and going after doctor the results of the test were somehow lost and couldn’t be found. She never failed a test in over a decade of chronic pain treatment. I’m so sick of seeing people being punished because of other people’s actions, she was full of life and very responsible with her medicine. I don’t know what else to say about this anymore, and to add to the suffering and loss my daughter was killed by a drunk driver that was free out of prison after only getting 18 months!!! This whole thing is crazy, life is so precious and the force taper is destroying lives and family’s. I pray for all those people suffering from chronic pain, I’ve seen how it affects people, I’ve seen the end result. She went from being a loving wife and mother to being someone stuck in bed 24 hours a day paralyzed by pain.

Rochelle

Such a very sad and all too true commentary, shared by so many. It’s simply wrong no matter the stupid, yes stupid reasons your physician tells you.

Cindy

To Thomas Wayne Kidd…..I highly recommend that you remove your full name from your posts….best to post with only first name, a phony name, or anonymously…..for your safety….just a heads up. Maybe ask the moderator to fix it for you….

Susan Domokos

Pain Management is about managing pain when it is manageable AND WHEN IT IS NOT…the Drs act as if we are 1 dose of meds away from heroin…i am almost 40 days forced off pain meds and i didn’t go to the streets for a fix….pain is off charts and i still live..not well. But here i am…

Jan G. Kramer

I totally understand what this person is saying and going thru. These so called pain professionals truly do not care or hear what you say from the heart. They don’t want any trouble. They treat the drug and Not the patient! The medication, for me, has been a life saver! The metamorphis I go thru is life and the desire to live it. I used to be able to make it thru a day, forget the nights, and have positive results. I’m lucky if I can make it to 2:00. I have been on medication for over a decade, closer to 2. I haven’t seen my physician in 3 months. His nurse does her routine and asks how I’m doing. My answer is always the same. I’d be much better if my medication wasn’t slashed in half. People who know what cronic pain feels like will understand. Those who don’t couldn’t possibly know.
It’s funny, the day I was cut, I made 5 appointments with other certified pain specialists. It was as if what they each said was scripted. The reduced amounts I was getting were all Too high and wouldn’t even consider giving me that. It was like passing into the wind. That line was for guys only.
I’ll be turning 67 soon, life and the quality that I’d like to have is being reduced. People and friends are dropping like flys. All I’d like is to be able to live this last chapter of life with some piece of mind and able to have a “normal” day.

Kim mcmullen

When will it stop you ask ? I WONDER THAT TOO AS DO MANY! Why did this H-LL EVER HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

I don’t believe there’s anyone with a medical degree or that knows medicine with a brain that ever thought this was ok . They all knew it was wrong . We are no better than 3rd world.

We stopped taking care of the people that are us citizens have families and functioned in society and were treated for CHRONIC PAIN basically leaving them to die in pain or suicide and instead turned ALL MEDICAL CARE towards the street and heroin addicts .
WTH IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE ……THIS COUNTRY SICKENS ME.

Tracy

I tapered from stronger far more effective opiate meds (an extended release and one other for breakthrough pain) 3 years ago, trading down for a weaker lower dose med that still provides much needed relief. When the topic came up here I thought it did not apply to me.
I have very recently been put on notice that tapering will begin next monrh for me. I plan to fight as hard as I can but I am frightened because the loss of my medication will render me unable to work as I am now and will cost me other activities and pursuits that make up my quality of life. I push through the pain as it is and it was a long road from the depression I felt when the reality of chronic debilitating put such limits on my life, to the where I am now, pushing past the pain to walk almost a mile every work day and perform the other duties of my job. I feel heroic almost until I am told I will lose the meds that enable the process.
I thought we had turned the corner, won back some dignity and gained recognition for our status as pain patients with legitimate need. Guess nobody told my him.

Robert Crandall

My pain Dr. Started last year with a forced taper. He said he didn’t have a choice because the State threatened them that if they did not that they would lose their license. So, I never flunked a UA. Never tried to fill early and it certainly had nothing to do with my medical needs. So I can report six months later that it is not true that “studies have shown that you will feel better once we lower your meds.” I knew it was a lie when it was told to me and I can now testify that it is not true. I have CIDP, a chronic form of Guion Barre. I am paraplegia and live in my wheelchair. Without meds all I could do is scream at the top of my lungs. But no one will listen or care.

Gail Lerman

Until we can return pain patients and their doctors to pre craziness nothing the government says or does will have any impact!!! To cause death and torture is not fitting or smart. The people who blamed patients for their drug addicted children are also to blame!!!

Leticia Gomez

This has destroyed so many relationships with their doctors! The relationship between doctor and patient is supposed to be like marriage..but we no longer trust our doctors or medical community. I hate doctors now,and I haven’t been to a doctor in 15yrs! Just from seeing how my husband has been treated as a pain patient has created this phobia of doctors! I can’t even make an appointment without panic attack! And all this anxiety from advocating, not from being the patient. It’s from having to keep ur mouth shut ,and not defending ur loved one when u know u should. Fear of ur husband being fired for u defending him..this is insane!

Judith Jermark

Doctors and other healthcare “professionals”? are criminals. First, they accepted money from big pharmaceutical companies to prescribe opioids to pain patients. Their state medical boards threatened to take their licenses if they did NOT provide good pain control to pain patients. The Veterans Administration told their physicians the same thing. Then enters the CDC, DEA, FDA, at the mandate of 2 “very fine” presidents, and a “well-informed” Congress, who doesn’t care about people in pain, but does care about making money for themselves. The so-called “opioid crisis” is about money. Of course, the cowardly doctors stopped giving patients their pain medications when threatened by the same entities that told them they should prescribe them. Don’t forget the pharmacies and health insurance companies who no longer would fill or pay for the pain medications. The DEA, doesn’t stop illegal drugs from coming into the USA and killing bonafide “drug addicts”. Illegal drugs are big money in the USA. Congress won’t stop it either. It is said that chronic pain patients are “collateral damage” due to forced tapering and forced stoppage of their pain medications. It is more than that. It is torture. Torturing people in other countries by their leaders and governments is frowned upon by the USA. Torture of people in the USA , if they are in pain, is not. Even if a patient needs surgery, he/she will not be given pain medications to alleviate post surgical pain. Cancer patients aren’t given end of life pain medications either. Contacting federal and state government representatives is not productive at all and only serves to further frustrate those chronic pain patients who already are suffering from the torture inflicted upon them. This is sad.

Such horror stories demonstrating what patients in pain have been and are still being subjected to are the heartbreaking accounts of destroyed lives that motivated me to
heavily research and write AMERICAN AGONY: The Opioid War Against Patients in Pain.
It cries out for the lost due to premature deaths caused by cruel, unwarranted tapering, and for the lost due to suicides of those who could no longer stay alive with their incessant suffering.
Suffering unnecessary but for government and other medically clueless OxyMORONS.
Helen Borel,RN,MFA,PhD

I live in fear every day that I will have to go through this again the last time I was force tapered I almost died. There’s no way I would make it

Grace

Please call me Grace. Withholding my name due to an insurance dispute.
I was writing up my story to submit but between workers comp hearings, insurance paperwork and doctors visits, I had not completed my story. And it is well over 2000 characters as it is. So here’s a summary. Not much different from others here.
My state’s 2018 Workers Compensation Drug Formulary allowed my insurer to force taper my time-release opioid. I never had any indications for tapering, was stable on the same dose for seven years. The med was only available in large dose increments, ex. 150, 100, 50 mg. So the taper was rough: went down 30% in the first month alone. I got side effects like sweats, chills, nasal drip. August to November 2018 despite increased pain they insisted on continuing with no replacement analgesia. By November with the last stage of the taper: severe diarrhea for two weeks. Lost 8 lbs (from 120 lbs, I am 5’4.5”) I have not gained back. That became Irritable Bowel Syndrome –type D (diarrhea/stress related). Then IBS-D created pelvic pain by April 2019. My private insurer is having difficulty finding medications that will work for me for the pelvic pain, sleep issues, etc. As you can guess, I was on opioids because other things failed. Insurer is talking lump sum settlement, taking their time to come up with it. No assurance it will be enough. Please realize what is happening is at taxpayer expense. Insurers are getting richer while legitimate benefits are being taken from injured workers in many states simply by putting in drug formularies.

Terry

I totally feel your pain, no pun intended, mostly. I too was force tapered from 195 mg of oxycodone daily to 60 mg. It was done very quickly and I had pretty bad withdrawals. I feel like we’re just crabbing to each other and nothing’s going to change. Are we really believing that the government is actually going change their guidelines and reinstate our previous amount of meds? I’ve been sending emails every week to my governor, congressmen and senators, I’ve never received any response except “thank you for your letter, we are sorry your experience has not been a positive one. A lot of people though have benefitted greatly from the current guidelines.” Blah, blah, blah. I can’t do it anymore. Not only that but my insurance company just stopped covering my oxycodone er so it would cost me $3,000 per month. I had to switch to morphine which is a joke. Either I live my miserable life in excruciating pain every day or I become an illegal drug addict and buy it on the street, and I’m not going to do that. I’m just done.

Tammy T

After my doctor of 10 years suddenly left the pain clinic I was at, abandoning his large number of patients, I was given a script for HALF the dose and HALF the quantity of my meds I had been stable on for a decade. I was told if I didn’t like it, to go elsewhere. After weeks of phone calls, trying to find a doctor, I found one, who is TERRIBLE. My first visit I was told how much of an inconvenience I am to him. How he could lose his license and it would be MY fault. Second visit I was told that people like me are a burden to our doctors, families and insurance companies. I was told my two well documented autoimmune diseases were all in my mind. That my rheumatologist, who he didn’t consult with, was giving me autoimmune disease medications to “shut me up”. My pain was “all in my head” and I need to “stop whining”. I’ve had almost 20 major operations. I don’t make up my pain. I’ve tried for decades to help myself without any success. It’s not my fault the only thing that works is now being taken away. I AM NOT A BURDEN, MY PAIN IS REAL. Unfortunately this is the doctor I HAVE to see, because no one else will take me. No one else will even call me back, because my mme is so high. I have to see this doctor every 30 days. I now have full blown anxiety attacks the day before and of my visit. I never go alone anymore, because that’s when he corners me and abuses me. If I cannot find anyone to go with, I have to re-schedule, and that looks bad, and leaves me without my meds for days. I hate him, and I hate that I have to pay him money that I don’t have. I no longer work, and instead of buying groceries, I have to pay him to abuse me. And they wonder why people like me are taking their own lives. Because anything seems better than this hell we have been thrown into.

Gail Honadle

When will the accumulation of diseases stop from Black Boxed drugs, or the pain. Nearly 72 so all the pain of 2 forms of Arthritis, whose drug side effects were Worse than the OA, OP. OA drugs ruined my GI tract, Gastroparesis is a No Fiber Diet, I broke out in Hives from the Neurological Black Boxed REGLAN. Now I’m a Type 2 diabetic as GP pushes you that way, Diets are total Opposites and there is NO MIDDLE Ground. Exercise, no carbs, I’m ready for a wheelchair due to Degenerative/Stenosis/Calcified Lumbar. Neuropathy gets my legs and feet. Tricare removed Nexium from the Formulary, so now have to by OTC name brand, which is less Medication than the Prescription. Now have 2nd Barrett’s Esophagus spots, Barrett’s is a Pre Cancer, Upper Endoscope every 3 yrs. GERD break though is Puked up. Colon is SHUTTING DOWN. Linzess and 2 caps of Miralax barely works. Ruined fine motor skill from botched surgery on R. Thumb, lower denture is ill fitting I’ve already spent more than a full set cost. I told him NO RED DYE,they had to be reline before they were slightly usable, no adhesive works as they are still to loose. And the best of them are Red Dye. Jaw bone keeps shrinking.

Joseph

This angers me to the core. Our family just suffered a tremendous loss. January 5th my wifes cousin Chris took his life with a gun blast to the head. Years prior Chris worked on a set in Las Vegas that dealt with pyrotechnics. His coworker and him were up on ladders working above the parking garage at one of the casinos down town. His coworker began to fall and Chris sprang into action and grabbed him preventing his certain death. (He would have fallen 4 stories to the pavement.) During this heroic act Chris (in his twenties) ruined his lumbar spine. Constantly in pain he managed for many years with opioids. The last conversation I had with him which was December 25th 2019 at my in laws house. He stated that he was tired of his pain management doctor not treating his pain with the minimal medication he was receiving would leave him a week and a half in agonizing pain and withdrawal on a monthly basis. I sympathized with him. I too suffer in silence due to an unknown anomaly I inherited from my mother which causes degradation of the nerves in my lower legs and arms. Constantly burning twitching and cramping. 7 years later no diagnosis or suggestions for treating this often debilitating pain other than weight loss and exercise. This tragic event was especially painful as his sister Morgan went into labor with the first grand baby for Chris mother a week later. Can you imagine mourning your child dying and then having your first grandbaby born a week later? This has got to stop! How many more people will die or suffer?! The opioid crisis is at the border and being manufactured and cultivated in underground and outdoor labs in the jungles. Not in our doctor’s offices. This is evident in the statistics of overdoses since the CDC and DEA criminalized chronic pain patient prescribing. God speed everybody! Much love and hope for you if you are struggling with pain! Remember there are others that fight the same fight and winning the same war just like you are!

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Since 2006 when my wife and I were let go from a pain clinic near our home, I have been sharing my Methadone because I was the only one with Social Security and Medicare at the time of our expulsion, and up until 2016 we did fairly well as I was actually getting enough medication for us both. I understand that this might be against government rules but I had no option but to do as I did and am still having to do. Elderly retired and disabled people should never be treated as millions are now being treated. My prescription has been tappered from 5 10mg Methadone a day to 2 ten mg tablets a one 5.mg tablet per day. If my uncaring doctors were to find out about this we would be abandoned without compassion and probably locked up. I have been a God fearing man all my life and I have come to learn that just because our government makes laws against the sick and dying in no way makes it right. I also have learned and understand that suffering is a part of life especially concerning the people of God. I will continue for now praying that this insanity soon comes to a halt and people can begin to be treated like human beings again. Anyway it might turn out I will continue one day at a time serving my Redeemer Jesus Christ until the end. The suffering of all others also grieves my heart and spirit much. I learned a long time ago that it’s not about just me and mine, but all sick and dying people. The mistreatment of our Veterans also bothers me to. Especially from a President that said “we will take care of our Veterans.” But sadly he keeps saying that while a thousand or more have committed suicide as well as others. I will not be voting anymore. My prayers are with you all who suffer with us. God bless you everyone.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Number 4. Pain management is not being talked down to, which no respect, treated as an addict and criminal. It’s not having a nurse practitioner pull a fake made up diagnosis of a patient having “fixation on medication” when they ask you hpw you’re doing! Since 2016 I have gone from a fairly active person to almost house bound. When I attempt to talk about this with my uncaring and incompassionant providers I am ridiculed and ignored. Almost half of my 67 years has been in pain to some degree, and because I am this way I have been threatened, cursed and kicked out. My clinic I am still going to knows that I also have Narcolepsy will not even acknowledge that it. The sad thing about all of this, is that this abuse of chronic pain patients has been happening several times before 2016. And I am appalled by people’s ignorance of this, and their acceptance of what our President did soon after January 20th. 2017. I looked upon by family and friends as if I am insane when I try to tell them this. At my age many people are still working but at 42 I was forced by daily pain and the Narcolepsy to quit my job which I actually loved doing. The man I worked for finally understood that I wasn’t just acting before I had to stop. Then after this and being found to be disabled the government again stepped in an stopped my Social Security and it took two years to get reinstated. I am also appalled that millions blindly trust Washington DC so easy! Over the past couple of years I written messages to my Senators and Congressman, and several messages to President Trump but I have been totally ignored. As this continues on and the lack of pain management gets worse, the death of my old body is becoming a welcome release from this vail of pain and suffering. Friends, I am so weary of my pain and I can feel the evil wickedness in my spirit. The thing that grieves me most is my wife and her suffering. She has just a few months ago got her Medicare but it’s useless.

LMC

4.) It is not a reason for a pharmacy tech to attempt to LOUDLY humiliate a patient by exclaiming: “Ma’am, you do realize that opioids don’t work for pain? Its all in your head! By taking opioids you are going to be a drug addict AND end up buying heroin on the streets AND then overdose AND DIE!?! RIGHT?! You should try yoga and meditation!”

4.) It is NOT a reason for a doctor to tell a patient that they MUST have been sexually molested and/or abused as a child. (Apparently, that’s what causes intractable pain!)

4.) And in *August 2016, It is not a reason for a doctor to tell a patient that he will be tapering off a patients opioids because:
(and I quote)
“President Obama doesn’t want Americans to use opioids by the end of the year.”

*Not only am I not a democrat, but I believe his term was ENDING by the end of the year!

I have hundreds of #4’s…… sad really…

Laura A Wheeler

This is soo TRUE.. Like this THOUGHT HAS GONE THROUGH MY HEAD 1 TOO MANY TIMES, BUT THE SAD THING TOO IS.. I DONT HAVE LIFE INSURANCE BECAUSE SOMEWHERE IN MY MEDICAL CHRONIC PAIN RECORDS IS PAPERWORK THAT WILL NOT ALLOW ME TO GET LIFE INSURANCE, ONLY HOLDING ON.. SAME SCENERIO… SADLY FOR US CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS, THE THOUGHTS ARE ALL TO REAL.. AS IS THE PAIN…SAD WE HAVE TO TRY AND LIVE A LIFE LIKE THIS..SO FRUSTRATING, IT SICKENS ME, THAT PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF PAIN!!!

Janice Miles

I feel so badly for these people. I don’t understand how doctors can do this to people. I don’t understand how one human being can not help another human in obvious pain and distress. It’s shameful. I have RA and Fibromyalgia. It took a long time to get the diagnosis and a lot of damage was done in the meantime. I live in Texas and have a wonderful pain management doctor. But Texas has tightened it’s laws and reading what has happened in other places is scary. My prayers go with all of you who deal with this. I don’t know how you do It. My prayers and best wishes go with you.
Jan Miles, San Antonio, Texas

BarbaraDH54

Like the writer in this column, I too was force tapered after one “failed” tox screen. To also found out weeks later, and was not allowed a second test. I also had already titered way down on my meds, because I had been enduring such mistreatment at my pharmacy. They were always “out” of at least one of my meds, or short on one, and my choice was to take a short fill, or wait until the medication came in, often a week later. When my PM doctor finally got me in 2 months later, I was told to remove my one medication that day, and the other I had 3 weeks to get off of. Because I turned in my remaining medication, I was not banned from the practice, but was told he could never prescribe to me again. A life sentence.
I my case, what showed up on my tox screen was THC. I had been using an OTC hemp oil, a nationally known brand, and had informed my doctor that I was using it, even taking the bottle in to show him. His PA had repeatedly recommended I use marijuana, even though it’s not legal in my state. I of course refused, but instead bought CBD hemp oil, partly due to the recommendation. Prior to using it, I called the manufacturer to inquire about it’s effect on tox screens. I was assured there was no THC in it. This was obviously a lie.
And my positive tox screen? I tested at 12Ng/ml THC. The federal cutoff is 15Ng/ml. However, my PM doctor’s cutoff was 10Ng/ml, well below what the federal government allows.
I had always believed that if you have a questionable positive on a tox screen you would be allowed a retest. That was not the case for me. No second chance, no retest, life sentence.
I am 65 years old, widowed, permanently disabled, and living alone. It took over 3 years and 8 doctors before I found another PM who would prescribe to me. Yet my medication now is a fraction of what I used to be prescribed, and it does not allow me to be functional. It’s been almost 8 years now since my husband died. I am not suicidal, but I pray for death.

Don Prue

TAPERING puts a knot in my back. It seems to be assumed that if someone is on opioids they have an addiction problem. And if someone has chronic pain they are a crybaby.
I’m sick of the stigma that I/we are branded with because of unfortunate circumstances beyond my control! I have lived 72 years with curvatures in my spine and the persistent and sometimes debilitating pain that goes with it. I have developed a pain tolerance that, according to my doctor of 18+ years is “off the charts.” But that doesn’t make it any easier to tolerate. I have become so good at ‘faking no pain’ that my wife doesn’t even believe me at times…in spit of 5 back surgeries and pulling the pedicle screws loose for the second time (unrepairable now). She as most others can’t wrap her head around anyone possibly living with this level of pain.
I am freaking tired of defending, explaining and justifying my use and need for the little f’ing relief I need to get through my life without seriously considering ending it.
Opioids are the ONLY pain-relief drug my body doesn’t reject. The anxiety and stress of someday not getting occasional relief from this crap is becoming overwhelming.
I will not go to any ER because I know ‘tapering’ off my f’ing addiction to ‘save my life’ will be the first order of the day. I can only hope I never fall, get in a car accident or get manhandled by some zealous cop or security guard because if that happens I would be [at minimum] a paraplegic and in more pain than I already am.
My life is constant stress and pain.
I don’t need help ‘tapering.’ I hate drugs and the side effects. I need a few people to understand that some of us actually need opioids to get through this miserable existence, and respect for trying to survive another day.

Hayden Hamby Jr.

AS a pain management patient for 25 years now, due to very invasive spine surgeries, vertebra disc issues, opiate medication saved my life, my business, and my ability to place our two sons through college. I did not get the opportunity for further school after high school or I was too arrogant to believe I needed further schooling as there is always a way for further schooling if the heart is in it. Like many people it was either a factory job or construction. My Father was a builder so I went into building. Learned the trade, spent years as an apprentice, finally earning my state certification as a builder. Life was tough, hard work. Eventually spine issues developed and there was no alternative but surgery, just one, and then I was assured I would be “good as new”. Yeah, right. Matters got very bad after the second surgery, a spinal fusion surgery to decrease pain. The pain increased. Long story short, after ALL other therapy was attempted, from chiropractic to “mental” focusing, the pain was still there, 24/7. Opiate medication was the last alternative. After titrated to an efficient, effective dosage, life was better for 23 years. I could almost do everything I could before surgeries…with moderation. 3 years ago with the 2016 CDC “guideline” for increased torture, I went downhill fast. Reduced in medication after 23 years in 8 weeks to 80 percent less. I lost my business, my ability to function, go to church, and am imprisoned in my home taking care of my wife of 41 years that was diagnosed with multiple “fibromyalgea” like conditions 10 years ago. Now not only can I not take care of myself, I have great difficulty taking care of her. Contacting my state medical board to “see” what I could do to gain back my independence only got me a “visit’ from state law enforcement. WOW! Just march me into an evaporator and get it over with. I, like millions of other pain management patients did not ignite the so called “opioid crisis”.

Ann Sable

Pain managememt is not to be used as a controlling environment for drug addicts, nor should anyone be treated as such with true disabling pain. No one should be shamed month after month…that’s just torture in every aspect of their lives. They also shouldn’t fear being turned away nor not being able to fill their meds and hoping that a doctor has their back either. This all is just plain wrong. We shouldn’t live in constant fear…ever.