My Story: Crying from Pain

My Story: Crying from Pain

I am a 50 year old chronic pain patient. I suffer from autonomic small nerve neuropathy, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, Horner syndrome and meralgia parasthetica (caused by wearing a gun belt for 25 years). I have had neck surgery and my neck is fused on two levels. I have chronic back pain and have had a double laminectomy. I suffer from muscle spasms and cramps.

For the muscle spasms and cramps I found that Soma worked best for me. To get 30 Soma tablets from my family doctor, I had to sign a contract and take a drug test. It made me feel dirty, cheap and untrusted — like I was an illegal drug user or an addict of some kind.

Amy Grogean

Amy Grogean

I have never abused any drug, be it prescription or some street drug. I have never even tried marijuana.  In fact, I am quite the opposite. I had neck and back surgery in 2009 and saved the Percocet, 30 tablets from each surgery, for when I had serious pain.

The Percocet lasted until sometime in 2012. I then had to ask my family doctor for something for pain.

I was referred to a pain doctor in Dayton, Ohio. I had been there prior to my back surgery and hated the place. In the waiting room, addicts would talk about selling meds or abusing them. There were people there so stoned they needed help to walk. But the meralgia parasthetica and the autonomic small nerve neuropathy were so bad and so all-consuming, that I had to go.

The first thing they had me do was take another drug test, even though my family doctor had made take one a few months earlier.

The clinic’s treatment plan was so slow the pain was causing me to think about suicide. I felt like no one was helping me. I went to several appointments crying from the pain. What I got from the doctor was, “You are on the meds you need to be on, so continue the treatment as directed. No med changes.”

I begged him to change something, because I couldn’t stand it anymore! That is when I learned he was not a doctor, but a physician’s assistant who couldn’t change my meds. I told him to get someone that could help me.

A doctor came in, that I had not seen before, and asked me what my trouble was. I told him I could not take the burning pain in my thigh anymore. It was so bad I had not slept more than a few minutes at a time for a month.

The doctor said I was depressed. I told him, “Yes, I have pain I can barely stand, so I am bound to have a few down days. The pain is causing the depression not the depression causing the pain.”

I told him I had taken two pills at once and it didn’t help the pain. The doctor then said, since I had not taken the meds as prescribed, I would have to take a drug test before he would give me anymore meds. This would be the third drug test in less than a year.

I took it, thinking I would get help afterwards for the pain. I was sent out to the waiting room to wait for my prescription. After waiting for 45 minutes, I got a prescription for the same pain med I was already taking, Percocet. The only change was to take two at bedtime. I left and cried the whole hour it took me to get home.

The next three appointments were with the same physician’s assistant. Again I was reduced to crying and begging for something to help the pain. He would leave and come back and tell me the doctor said I am on what I need to be on and there would be no changes.

I asked him, “Why I am coming here if you are not going to help me?”

His answer was to shrug his shoulders. I never went back.

12_7.jpgAmy Grogean lives in Ohio.

National Pain Report invites other readers to share their stories with us.

Send them to editor@nationalpainreport.com

The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that! It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.

Authored by: Amy Grogean

There are 9 comments for this article
  1. Brenda Alice at 2:00 am

    This is not fair and such treatment should be illegal. How did the USA mix up pain patients with criminals? We are back to the 1800’s except now medication is available for when its needed. Please bond together to fight this. Hoping you have found a better doctor. I am so sorry.

  2. Jamie Glick MS, PT at 8:23 pm

    Amy, sorry to hear of your struggles with chronic pain. I hope you are able to find a good pain management physician in your area that can be the “quarterback” for your pain condition. It sounds like you’ve been through the ringer for many years. Keep your head up! Have you thought of seeing a pain psychologist? They can be very helpful in helping you deal with the pain you are experiencing. My two cents! Hope it helps…

  3. Anonymous at 6:17 pm

    I am so sorry that you had to go through that! Unfortunately this seems to be a recurring theme for us CP patients! I went misdiagnosed for years! I have ben through some similar episodes with ignorant doctors! I don’t understand why we have to put up with this. I am traumatized! My condition got much worse due to misdiagnosis! The funny thing it the Doc who accused me of being a drug seeker was himself busted for Cocaine possession with a Prostitute! I am so tired of these stories, sick of hearing about this while nothing improves!

  4. denise at 4:54 pm

    Amy and Jacqueline—-I too have had the same issues. I stopped taking meds from the pain tx clinic because they wanted me to come in for a “random” pill count. I was sick with stomache flu as were my kids so i told them i just couldnt and they stated if i didnt come in by 5pm i was cancelling my contract….i said sorry i wont soil myself in public just so u can count my damn pills. I have not found one Dr. that is sympathtic to chronic pain pts. I have DDD–through the whole spine, fibro, parkinsons, and so much more and what do i get…NOTHING!! because I wont sign another contract for them to do UA’s every single month, count my pills every single month and randomly call me up for counts…for Gods sake I am bedridden most of the time…where is the “dr do no harm”? I would rather die.

  5. BL at 10:19 am

    It is not uncommon for patients to have to take these drug tests every month. Didn’t you clarify on your first visit if the person you were seeing was the dr or a drs assistant ? I’m sorry I’m not clear on why you stayed with this dr so long when your pain wasn’t managed and you knew that he wasn’t a reputable pain dr ? Reputable pain drs don’t have patients in their waitng room discussing selling their meds and not able to walk due to being over medicated. But, I’m sure you knew this from your previous profession.

    There is so much talk about patients that abuse pain meds. There are also drs who abuse the privlidge of prescribing them. When we tolerate these drs, we make it harder on all pain patients.

  6. Julia Hicks Poole at 9:57 am

    So sorry you were treated this way. Do you have a great rheumatologist in your area. I have had Fibro for 29 years and have DDD in cervical and lumbar, CFS, Cervical Radiculopathy, Interstitial cystitis, and the the list goes on. My rheumatologist gives me my pain meds without any questions because she knows I am not a Drug Seeker. She has pain of issues herself, so she is very empathetic. Don’t give up!! Keep searching for the right Dr!

  7. Wendy Hanson at 9:18 am

    I feel so bad for you!!!! I have chronic pain with Fibro, osteoarthritis, sciatica, and other back ailments. They do random tests at the Dr. office now. One time there was a mistake or something. It said I didn’t have my meds in my system and they only gave me enough for 1 week and made me come back for the rest of the month. I have been on pain meds for 20+ years. These days I never go 3 days without worried that I might fail the drug test. They have created an addict. At one time I too would hoard medicine to have it when needed most. Not now! They don’t understand that we would do anything NOT TO TAKE pain Meds.We are there because we need them. I hope you find someone to help you. It seems like different states have completely different levels of tolerance. I think that should change.

  8. Jacqueline Rainwater at 6:38 am

    That is absolutely unconscionable to me. You deserve far better treatment than this ! I am so sorry for your suffering. I too have multiple medical problems and chronic pain. I am given codeine and this is all for my pain.

    The medical community treats us like criminals and we’re not freaking criminals. When I had pain in The United States I had been given ultram I believe which If I remember correctly is a glorified aspirin. I asked for something a little stronger because it was not helping me and do you know what the doctor did? She wrote down *drug seeking behavior* in my medical chart which I only saw because she forgot to take it with her. I was waiting for my blood tests and even the technician said I don’t know why but the doctor is giving you every blood test we have. I was so ashamed.

    Here when I go to get my pain medication it is met with the same disapproving attitude.

    Amy you deserve so much better hun. I support you and am here if you need someone to talk to. 🙁