My Story: Why Are Doctors Giving Up on Patients?

My Story: Why Are Doctors Giving Up on Patients?

By Christina Ream

(Editor’s note—Christina wrote in the National Pain Report commentary section about her forced taper experience, which we felt should be shared more widely.)

I have several chronic pain conditions. Some were diagnosed a few years ago and others recently. I also have major reactions (anaphylaxis shock) to many medications. After a difficult surgery last June my life began to spiral.

Christina Ream

Without going thru the back and forth, my primary care decided to taper me off opioids and has stated several reasons I still don’t understand. He couldn’t find a pain doctor to take me and said I would be doing a slow taper, we would pause if needed, and gave me a CDC booklet.

I struggled physically and had to pause frequently but came down until I got to a point of no pain control and my body in total chaos. I sent a message about my decline and expressed concern that the treatment plan was crossing our fingers and hope there is no pain. I also brought up why he notated at every visit, that I was in agreement with the taper when that wasn’t the case.

Then my life got so much worse!!!!

My doctor just in the last two weeks decided the taper was prolonging the issue of my pain being because of the opioids. He cancelled my office visit and instead told me via Mychart, that he was doing an expedited rapid taper and done in 8 weeks. He also stated his decision was final but would be happy to keep treating my Non-chronic pain conditions.

That was not true.

Stephen and Christina Ream

He has ignored my mychart messages and had the head doctor tell me that they are no longer treating me and advised me to go to the ER. Who can help? How long do we wait for help? Can anyone help me have a voice? I’m scared and have lost the ability to even function as a human being. My husband being a cop can’t help me and my family has to sit and watch my life keep passing by as I try to hold on and not let go every second of every day!

Christina Ream lives in Middletown, Ohio with her husband Stephen and eight children. Her story of being abandoned by doctors is too frequently heard these days.

Subscribe to our blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Authored by: Christina Ream

Christina Ream lives in Middletown, Ohio with her husband Stephen and eight children. Her story of being abandoned by doctors is too frequently heard these days.

newest oldest
Notify of
Christina Ream

Doctor Garrod,

I was also at a loss and sent an email to the doctor today. I know I will never hear from him again but it wasn’t for him. It was about saying what I needed to say. The message I hope he got was shame on him and his supervisors for thinking it was ok to treat someone like this. They abandoned me and my entire family during a pandemic. Doctors are not taking on new patients. He left us in a no win position. I truly trusted him with my entire family. My heart hurt the most that they all new what this would do to me physically and mentally and not one doctor that decided my fate, called or messaged me one time. I have cried many tears. I don’t know if I will ever really trust a doctor and be the same. Sad but reality! Thanks for your advice and that’s what we are working on now. I have to stand up and try to have my voice heard. What if he does this to someone that is scared to speak out! Even if nothing happens, I know I tried and did all I could do. God bless!

Philip Garrod MD

Hi Christina, I am so sorry to hear your story of being abandoned by your physician. It is somewhat embarrassing to me because I am a retired physician and treated individuals with acute and chronic pain throughout my career. I also have chronic pain. It seems unconscionable to me that a physician who has taken the Hippocratic Oath would behave in that way. Unfortunately, he was responding the poorly written 2016 CDC guidelines for opiate prescribing in chronic pain as well as outside forces such as shaming-for prescribing opiates-and licensing and legal concerns. I don’t have any fresh ideas for you to help in finding another physician who is willing to treat you. However, there is an option for you to make your voice heard regarding the treatment-or lack thereof-you received at the hands of your doctor. You can file a complaint with the Ohio Medical Board. It seems to me that your experience probably will result in the initiation of an investigation to which your doctor will be required to respond. The medical board has many ways to manage the investigation and also options as to how they may make your doctor accountable for his/her actions. If enough people who have experienced the same as you file complaints perhaps physicians will start to take notice that forced tapering and expulsion from a practice is inappropriate behavior and that there are many ways to manage such situations with better outcomes for all. I wish you the best.


be sure to leave a note to where you know some one will find it besides our government or cdc to get the word out to let these people know that is why you did this im not saying at all that I am but the way they are treating us people that are in cronic pain day in and day out if they keep cutting us down on these meds. I can see it happening there will be killings then they will turn on there self or they will just kill them self and say I cant take this pain any more if we don’t stand up for our rights to be in pain where we can tolerat it we will never be totally pain free at least most of us will never be pain free all tho it would be nice if we could if we don’t stand up for our rights it will just keep getting worse stand tall America what if you were in pain day in and day out

Christina Ream

Hello All, Sorry it took me some time to get back to you. As many know, withdrawals are not easy and I had another huge drop. I wanted to at least try to respond to a few comments and questions and will check back often. In response to Oldgoat, I am a fighter and had already began the process of litigation. Thankfully, everything that has been done has been in writing via Mychart. For me, I could not understand how my doctor had 2 supervisors join him because I had such a hard and complex case but decided the rapid taper was the solution? Even with the CDC, FDA, and HHA advising against rapid or forced tapers. They even go on to say it causes more harm, as some will have no pain control, increased depression, and causing one to try to find relief illegally. I sent my doctor a message saying I don’t agree but I had no choice, he had decided for me. In the end, those 3 doctors decided to treat their complex patient by….giving me 3 days notice of the rapid taper. Still assured they would help the withdraws and keep me. Days later terminating not only me but my entire family of 8 kids and grandbaby. I sent a msg that I was having issues and requested meds to help withdrawals symptoms as they said they would help with, that was ignored. Request for 30 days maintenance meds (time to find a new doctor), were denied. Doing all of this as we were then in a state of a National Emergency and now Pandemic. Doctors are cancelling appts and not taking on any new patients. We have no clue how our children will get their needed medications, now that the Coronavirus has caused doctors to stop accepting new patients. This was a doctor I trusted and he would not even respond to me (before dropping me). I don’t have any option but to go to the medical board and litigation. They literally abandoned our entire family! I’m scared, depressed, cry day and night! Thankful I have my family here to lean on and this article, I felt I had a purpose again. Thank all of you for that ❤️


I had a doctor go to the board of directors meeting of her clinic and get written permission to not treat my pain. At my last visit with her I literally gave up, and moved to an entirely different State. This of course was after multiple attempts to gain some sort of control over my severe chronic pain, I saw many specialists, pain management doctors ect. I tried multiple treatments and medications with no success. She was my last resort and she failed me miserably. At the time my son was young, and being a single mom, and the only income source for us, I was eventually forced to file for disability, even though I am a college graduate and had a successful career at the time. I lost my job, house and car and now live off the government and live in poverty. Being abandoned by our doctors will cause a ripple effect of increased suicides, depletion of our social security funds (disability), possibly causing homelessness for some, and why? Because of the refusal to treat someone’s pain who has documented painful conditions?? To me it’s seems so simple, if someone’s in pain, they should not be held to the same “drug seeking” mentality as someone who comes in asking for pain medications with say a history of drug abuse and no documented painful conditions. I have never failed a drug screen, never even objected when I was required to submit to drug testing even while NOT receiving any sort or pain medication what so ever. If you are in pain, prepare to be treated like a criminal/drug addict for your ‘crime’. Its so unfair. It actually ASTOUNDS me how doctors treat people that are in pain! I even started a Facebook group for this exact reason, feel free to join, its called “Bad doctor Good doctor” where we help people try to find decent medical care. I just pray that some day, this injustice will be eradicated and we will get our basic human rights back!


I, too was given up by doctors. My autoimmune disease was crippling me, and the only recourse was autoimmune suppressing, but I felt terrible on all of those drugs. To manage my pain now, I use kratom, along with strong Tylenol, and that helps me TREMENDOUSLY. Kratom has helped me incredibly well. I can function normally, and I enjoy the things I used to do. God bless.

James Lucas

I feel your frustration. I wrote the article “Sad Shattered Potentially Deadly….”

Being a chronic pain patient in today’s messed up America where most Dr’s are only concerned with the Gov coming after them and the patients well being are secondary. Things need to change, but for many it will happen to late. Wishing you the best.
James Lucas

Mark Brock

My belief is now that people who make over $700,000 a year don’t pay income tax that money can go to harvesting pain patients for the body parts they need to live much longer lives, they know when you have CRPS (RSD) and are suddenly dropped off your meds if they find where you are going to end it , the only Pain Meds come from the Opium Poppy. Lobbyists from Big Marijuana put up ads and billboards a company called Leafly put up an Anti-Opiate billboard maybe 8 blocks from me but took it down when people started catching on the CDC who should have been watching for Flu became Anti-Opiate when Big Marijuana’s Lobbyists on Capitol Hill were filling the CDCs grants and asks people to believe CBD is a pain killer I haven’t found one country whose PDR says Pot is good for Chronic Pain CBD may help minor pain but more States with Legal Marijuana means more money , maybe one day the CDC may care about the poor , the old and disabled ,I hope we in the USA don’t punish us for our pain , there may be tasty morsels for the rich to Harvest ,I have never drank or smoke pot ,I just do as prescribed by my Doctor since when do we have Socialists vs Fascists , we are still free after all to not get anything for Pain from Our Doctors Sadly Mark Brock

Mark Brock

What makes Doctors think I have never tried PT and Acupuncture and Acupressure and getting Stellate Ganglion blocks (Doctor went too far to the side and numbed my lungs, the Nurse said oh he is turning grey,I could not breathe almost died and have night terrors all the time with PTSD) so next came Epidurals for my back it helped for almost 4 hours but all the trouble for a slight reduction )i got Lidocaine I could hardly feel anything except awful and nervous I prayed often, then the Acupuncture where they run electricity through the acupuncture needles I could go on for thousands of words I was diagnosed in 1968 the injury was in 1960 but my dad said I was staying up all night crying because I wanted attention. We have CRPS or terrible pain Doctors we have tried everything SCS Spinal Cord Stimulation (is this the American INQUISITION?? A Morphine Pump but no Morphine in it , honest DOCTORS WE TRY EVERYTHING we do not love PAIN believe it or not we have a brain and go everywhere we hear something might help our pain ,I wont go further I’m 66 on March 11 and if I’m taken off pain meds that is it remember the movie “DEAD MAN WALKING” I feel someone should run ahead of me saying Dead Man Walking,I tried where they kill the nerve with radio ablation OMG all of us try anything we can Pot is not a pain killer and nothing made from pot helps severe pain a lot Doctors if you hear us we try and try we all wish for a pain med that was not an Opiate it has been used at least 11,000 years please try believing your patient Doctor or admit we are too expensive for insurance so you want to make us jump off a skyscraper Thank You rsdno


Sherrinthete is a NATIONWIDE protest MARCH 20th go to for info. also going to be A Crawl on Washington, not sure of the exact name of it, its in May I think.


Doesn’t everyone see what is happening? America has become a communist country and we sit and cry. Why aren’t we organizing our families and getting the entire lot of us and demanding change? Are we going to sit by as they ration toilet paper like in China too? Have Americans become so complacent that they do nothing in the face of draconian controls on even our pain?

Something is deeply deeply wrong folks. And my instincts tell me it’s going to get a whole lot worse if we don’t take action.


This has gone on long enough and it’s time for a trip to Washington to DEMAND. Do you really think that legislators go without? If so I have a bridge to sell you…

We have heard far too many of these stories and if we wait and stand transfixed like deer in the headlights as our most basic rights are forcibly yanked away from us then we deserve what we get.

Let’s start organizing - the time to complain has passed. It’s time to act.

Jan Velsor

Doctors are using us as a message to fight against the government. We are being sacrificed. Let’s at how we can fight for our lives. In my state, it’s against the law to withhold medication from the elderly. But reporting doctors requires you complain using a different form than used for a care giver. Complain. Any way you can. Next, research torture. If this is a war, then we have been inducted against our wills just as any terrorist. We should have the same humane rights as our enemies or our veterans. Pain is torture and withholding medication is INHUMANE. Look it up. We must find a way to file charges against HHS and Trump, if necessary. The Coronavirus scare will unfortunately bury us in the media. Average pEople and doctors don’t seem to understand that we may be jerked off pain meds, but then what? The pain is still there, even worse. We might have to file charges against the USA with the UN for refusing medical treatment. Being at war, gives us more options. Government should not toss out words of fear, with facing the consequences.


Tappering is the same as, Kill Them and Let God Sort em Out. A common military guote! Good people are suffering for the stupidity of others.


I know the nightmare. I had travelled out of state, told the pain doc I was going to, did not know how long. I asked about getting scrip at a doctor where i was going, he said no problem, just let them know. I went to an out of state doc. He said I needed to go to a pain clinic there, which is cost prohibitive. He called my doc, the pain clinic called my doc. The doc’s office called me, screaming about me trying to get hooked up somewhere else, and they dropped me as a patient. No tapering, nothing. Not only had to deal with the hell of pain, but also the withdrawal. I had the gun in my mouth, not an exaggeration. I FINALLY got my family doc to get me in at a clinic, they have treated me ever since. I would think a pain doc would understand not only the problem, but the dangers of cold turkey withdrawal from meds. This was the second time I was cut off by a doctor, the first being an ass who said I was in it for the disability money, even though it was his diligent efforts that got me denied by soc. security. He also cost me my marriage.
I am currently with a pain clinic that cares, that helps, and that doesn’t test my pee every damn visit to get a kick back from the lab. I owe this new doc my life, literally. But so many, including my brother, are being cut off from help.
We as pain patients depend on our meds, we are dependent, not ADDICTS. I want to go out and scream from the roof tops about the lunacy going on with what should be medical professionals turning their backs and having government come between patients and doctors. BUT, I can’t. If people know you take meds, you become a target from home invasion. I men, opiate meds cut off testosterone, which causes not only ED, but physically turns a man into a child, with huge weight gain. What doctor with any common sense would think we want to go through any of that. Those in pain don’t get ‘high’ from meds. Actual pain patients are being punished for the small percentage of our population that are addicts only.


I hope some of these suggestions for doctors will help you, but your situation is meaningless if you don’t sue this doctor for malpractice. You are in real good shape with a paper trail of emails. It means nothing if doctors can do this with impunity. You would not be the 1st person to sue a doctor for ignoring pain and there were some pretty big settlements in the other suits. And the ones I am thinking of were before the AMA,CDC and FDA warned doctors about unrequested tapers and discontinuation of medications. We have to send a message that this is unacceptable and the message has to go beyond The National Pain Report. Nobody can do anything about this other than those its happening to. Everyone will be behind you, but you have to be out front. After you find reasonable pain control, of course. Please think about it….

Paul Bartolini

So much for the medical community taking care of patients. I hope they all die of the Corona Virus. I’m so sick of being treated like a drug seeker and not a patient. Sorry, but I’ve had it with American doctors who are supposed to do no harm to their patients but because of the CDC’s bs opioid epidemic. Lets see how they handle a real epidemic instead of going after people in pain.

Jeanette French

Yes, seems like things are still getting worse for patients, not better, This whole cdc about face was supposed to help us but it did nothing, Pain patients are still being dismissed, treated like sub par humans and dealing with daily torture that no one in this country should have to deal with. I really thought the US was against torture.


I am so sorry. I’m not sure what makes this situation worse: a doctor who falsifies medical records (which is illegal) or a doctor leaving his patient to not only suffer with increasing pain but withdrawal without offering the option of reducing those symptoms with methadone or sublocade or some combination of medications to ease the torture.

I, too, have noticed that my records say that my doctor has referred me for therapy, since January this year. Which they haven’t. It doesn’t even say what kind if therapy! There is also this new diagnostic phrase: Opioid Use Disorder. Which suspiciously sounds like college speak/double talk for Drug Addict. Yet I’m taking medication as directed by my doctor for a condition that is very provable.

Please don’t give up hope.

Audrey Lynn

If anyone is ever presented with a doctor saying they’re going to forcing taper you starting next visit and you do not agree with it, put it in writing! Write a letter to your doctor, including why you think this is a lousy ideas and what it will do to you. Make two copies and bring one with you to your next appointment and ask the doctor to sign it and include it in your record.

If the doctor refuses to sign it, give them the copy you brought with you that you have signed and ask them to include it in your records (which they may or may not do). Then when you get home, if you have one of the patient portals available, take a picture of the other one you have signed or upload it digitally and send it to them that way. All questions and correspondence done through the portal is included with your records. If you do not have portal access, then you can either send a copy to the practice itself or to the hospital they’re affiliated with. It may not be much, but it is a start, and you have a record of it.

If you change doctors and request your records, you can also include it then. Hope this helps! (There is also a place where you can file a complaint - my chemo addled brain can’t remember it right now, but I will look for the information and post it here along with the lawyer that is looking for stories of harm to patients during and after forced tapers, etc.)



I’m sorry for your predicament, but the answer has been available now for 4 years, and CPPs just jump to another doctor instead of ending the fiasco with the truth. Drugs don’t cause addiction, but the government-for the purposes of confiscating assets-has led people to believe they do. So now they are even teaching it to the doctors in the conventional medical settings. The pain will continue, and in fact, worsen until no doctor will prescribe opioids. But again, the answer has been here. Is it possible you might listen and learn? Then go to the video The REAL Cause of Drug Abuse on Join us for our 5th Monday webinar where I will present it and answer questions.

Terri Wetz

Christina, please call my pain mgmt Dr in Columbus, OH for an appointment. I’m almost positive he can & will help you! And yes, he is still accepting new patients. Contact details:
Dr. Sachit Manocha
85 East Wilson Bridge Rd
Worthington, OH
He’s affiliated with OSU Hospital, is a licensed anesthesiologist and surgeon. Many of his patients travel from long distances to see him, one woman I know of flies in from Nevada every month! He is very patient and attentive, I never feel rushed or ignored even after 17 years of seeing him every month. Please please please contact him, I’m sure he can help you begin to get your life back on track.


I am so sorry Christina. Guess what? My Pain Management Dr. as she was cutting me back wrote the same thing! That I was in agreement and we would successfully continue to cut me back! I only had at least 5 meltdowns in her office begging her to not do this! In a way it was my fault because I had stopped reading the patient portal office visit reports, so I didnt know she wrote this!
So after getting cut back too low I basically was forced to go to a Methadone clinic. I must say my pain is better controlled now the the last dose I was cut back on. I lost 30+
lbs. in 4 months from the stress of this Dr. I was 88 lbs. when I went on Methadone but have gained 5 back. 👍😀 There was no way I could go thru the withdrawels and cope with my pain going any lower. I’ve been on pain medicine for 28 years minus a couple years in between.
You so called Dr. Is a COWARD! He had to have the head Dr. do his dirty work. Unbelievable! I hope someone can help you.. You’re in my prayers. This whole “opioid epidemic ” is a bunch of BS !!

Robert Gordon

My primary GP and two Pain clinics I have tried have refused to prescribed ANY opiate for my chronic pain. I live, barely< in constant pain.. I need an opiate, they refuse to even give me Tylenol #3, much less hydrocodone

A travesty. The best advice is to find a pain clinic, even if it’s quite a drive.


This is going to sound unreasonable. But consider moving to New Hampshire. The state is working on protections for pain patients and doctors who treat them. I lived in Western NY. I was forced down to 90 MMEs after my pain doctor received threatening letters from the health department. Then my pain doctor retired. I found another clinic, but they were forgetting to put my script to the pharmacy (I’ll spare you the trauma).
Unfortunately, I’m now going through divorce. I moved to NH on a wing and a prayer, without a doctor even.
But not only did I get a doctor to treat me, but due in part to patient advocacy, and the state’s conservative values, they are putting forth legislation to protect us, even though NH has a high addiction problem. (Yes, it’s been rough here after the CDC “guidelines” too, but Gov’t here is listening). NH has no state taxes. Social needs not under federal purvue are taken care of mainly by the people. NH takes care if it’s own! I’ll pray for you!

Mike Largent

Have you thought about trying Kratom. It helped me so much with my issues and I know several others that it has helped as well. There is a lot of bad information out there about Kratom but so much positive as well. Watch the documentary called a leaf of faith on Netflix and go to the AKA(American Kratom Association) website. There are several good online vendors that can be trusted. The test there Kratom by a third party so you know it’s safe. I pray you find relief and good this helps. Please don’t discount Kratom as an option until you see it fir yourself. It is not dangerous like so many think it is.

Holly M

I am in the same place with opoid taper. My primary care whose been treating me for years decided I needed to go to pain management. She knew they would taper me, but that wasnt her story in the beginning. I have diagnosed Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, heavy arthritis, edema, high blood pressure(thats now higher due to pain-which my primary care knows), reflux, and Ive had many surgeries starting at age 16. Im 49 now. I have documented the need for a hystorectomy, shoulder replacement, left knee replacement (have had both replaced already, but because of my age they only did a partial on one so its needing full replacement now), and my teeth need manor work due to taking meds for years and no-one told me to use biotine or anything.
I got into pain management and the first thing the doctor did was cut my meds in half and said she was tapering my break thru med completely out over three months. Note, Ive been on pain meds for 20 years with no issues ever.
I had wrist surgery scheduled and it was a nightmare with the pain doctor telling me my pain would be fine after surgery and Id be taken care of. Well they decided that conversation never happened. I went thru weeks of torture because the cast they put on was to tight. They thought I was looking for meds. When the last cast was taken off the P.A. for the surgeon said ohh my I guess it was hurting. I took pictures of it, but that doesn’t help the pain I went thru for weeks. My wrist was reconstructed so it was a painful surgery before the castings.
So now I have a tooth ache. When I last saw my pain doctor she said no worries again with the dental issues and pain meds. One of my teeth literally broke off in the pain doctors office. Im sure she thought that was”set-up” too. It was not. Anyways, I got into the dentist after waiting days. To make long story short, my pain doc refused to let dentist give me meds. Im now waiting till late April to see a surgeon with 3 days antibiotics left, and more than a month to wait. Why?


Oh Christina I am so sorry to hear your story. I wish I could give you more advice or hope but the opioid crisis has really crippled people like us and it’s not fair!!!
I was in a similar situation about 3 years ago. I finally found a new primary care practice that would take care of ALL of me. (Yes I’ve had to follow them to new locations as they open and close offices in the small towns surrounding me) Not just my chronic life long pain but my high cholesterol colds occasional kidney stone and any other issues that came along. It is very hard to find a doctor willing to help with pain unless it’s an expensive pain clinic where you are just a dollar amount and another cow in their herd. I live very close to a large city where there are 3 major universities that educate doctors
and still have concerns and issues.
Unfortunately our ER will not treat pain other than in the actual hospital. No take home meds. And if they do treat you for pain at your visit you are locked in a room. Crazy huh!? This world and the CDC needs to walk just a few minutes in our life to see how it is! They would NEVER make it thru the day let alone for the rest of their lives.
I pray God will send you some relief hope and renewed spirit as well as a caring doctor that will care for ALL of you and actually listen as you speak and find solutions to YOUR needs! God bless you!


Dear Christina,
Sounds like somebody leaned on your doc…
I am so sorry. I really hoped maybe the docs would wake up to what’s going on but, obviously, they haven’t.
The same thing has happened to me. After these pogrom years of the trump medical attacks, I am finally completely debilitated. I guess they saved some money off our hides so the rich could have tax cuts. Bully for them! I used to have hope, no longer. Now, we get to deal with this virus on top of everything else.
Oh well. Love to you ( all I can do)


Christina, I feel your pain and can relate. This happened to me last year and I have been a mess ever since. Nobody wants to help me. I cannot blame my doctor, though. I have been seeing him for over 20 years and trust him completely. When he started tapering me, he said he had no choice because ”they” were investigating him for overprescribing. He took me down from six pills a day to five for three months. It was difficult, but I managed. And then the real nightmare began.

He was only allowed to prescribe three a day, and he was leaving the practice because of it. He said he couldn’t handle all of the pain and distress it was causing his patients.

That was June 2019 and I haven’t found another doctor who will prescribe me the pain medicine I need. I went through the worst withdrawal imaginable and now spend nearly 90% of my life in bed with pain. Knowing that I will probably never again be able to manage my pain. My life is no life at all and I cry because it shouldn’t be this way. I cry because it makes no sense to me that I can no longer have the drug that made my pain tolerable. I cry because this is not freedom in America.