They’re Not Even Being Trained…

They’re Not Even Being Trained…

I noticed a comment recently on one of my articles that sparked something in my mind. It is something that I have only noticed within the past year too. Part of this recognition might come from my overall preference to go to older doctors.

The ones who were still trained when compassion was a thing.

The ones who honestly were in it to help people.

Now they are the ones taking early retirement instead of practicing medicine in a world where they can’t at least attempt to make their patient’s comfortable without fear of losing their medical license and/or going to jail.

Consulting an older doctor has not always been perfect because of that long-held belief that fibromyalgia was all in our heads. I’ve heard my share of the “I don’t believe in fibro” mentality within the medical community. I’ve argued with my share of them.

Denise Hedley

I have even changed a few minds over the years. I’ve also walked away and labeled them hopeless and made damn sure that I never crossed paths with them again.

And up until 18 months ago, I had at least one honest advocate on my care team. The kind of doctor who made it a point of getting to know my other doctors so that he could understand the complexities within my conditions. And then I moved, and the Doc and I remained friends.

When I say moved, I’m talking the thousand-mile variety. The kind of move where you must start over. The kind of move where you don’t know enough people to know what you’re getting into. A complete reboot of my life.

In an environment where I have my advocates, I function well. I managed to keep myself out of the ER for the most part except in the direst of circumstances. By dire, we’re talking bowel obstruction where I’m brought into the ER in pain worse than childbirth.

But then again, from 2013 to 2017, I also had pain management in my life. Those long-gone historical days where I was given a prescription of Percocet every month. There were days I would only need one. There were days where I wouldn’t need any. And then there were those days where I wouldn’t surface from under the covers unless it was to take two of them every 6 hours. Those days where the pain was far beyond anything, I had in me to fight.

And then there were none.

No relief.

I weaned myself off them. I had read the changing winds correctly. There would be no more.

Almost two years later, I’m a thousand miles away from there. My new primary care and I are still getting used to one another. I have had two failed pain management appointments because they just weren’t a good fit. I have been hospitalized as an inpatient twice. And I’ve been to the ER at least 6 times, which is at least 4 times more than the 3 years prior.

I have no meds.

Ah yes – the ER. This is where you run into the younger doctors. You can tell that they haven’t been out of their residency for all that long. They have enthusiasm. They have a small degree of compassion that lies dormant.

They have also been lied to.

Indoctrinated by the opioid opposers. They might be taught a little more than their predecessors about the illnesses and conditions themselves, but they’ve been lied to about what treats chronic pain effectively and what doesn’t.

My last ER visit. I can still see this so clearly. Young doctor. They had decided to admit me. He comes in to tell me and says:

“Well, I don’t know what to do about your pain – everyone knows that opioids don’t work on fibromyalgia.”

This is where age and experience can come in handy.

“No sir, I most certainly don’t know that.”

He stopped and looked at me.

I explained to him my history – in a calm conversation. I told him exactly how those of us in the chronic pain community see this topic. How we feel about losing our meds

The difference between functional and nonfunctional.

The difference between a quality of life and none.

He excused himself. Moments later, a nurse hurried in with an injection.

I don’t know just how much I might have gotten through to that doctor that night. I’m hoping that he truly listened and that it was more than just momentary.

It was obvious what was missing on his end. He had been fed lies. He believed them. He didn’t think of the pain patient’s side of things.

He had not been trained.

There will be more. They need to hear it from their controllers because those who suffer cannot always get through.

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Authored by: Denise Hedley

Denise Hedley was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2009. Her condition has worsened, and was diagnosed with bilateral RSD in January, 2019. She also suffers from Osteoarthritis, 2 herniated discs, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosis.

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Mark N. - I hated to leave, but I honestly didn’t have a choice. I was in an abusive situation and running like hell was the only escape from it. Trust me - I miss Colorado more than words. I left a part of my heart there and it will always be my favorite place. With the exception of my pain being untreated, I’m much happier and healthier in my new surroundings. I have less stress and no abuse, and that really helps.

Jacki Silvers

It’s just getting worse. Now patients are being denied pain med after surgery. Doctors treat you as if you made up the reason for surgery just to get pain meds..this is so out of hand. One should not have to go to drug dealers in the ghetto just to get post op pain meds.

Ann Sable

Adam H, I have the very same thing and many other dibilatating issues on top of that, as well. I completely agree with you and that I am now 42 with over 20+ surgeries, but still waiting for a doctor to even do something about my spinal issues though. It is bull and I’m over it all as well. This is so ridiculous!

Judy Dunn

Our Government has made Billions fining these Pharmaceutical Company’s
Yet the people that have been hurt received NADA. Once gain they are going
after them and using us as an excuse, more Billions to be made. They know
dam well that Chronic Pain Patient’s have done just fine on our medication
Until they decided to screw with it. If they really wanted data on pain patients
I suggest they check their records, they already have this information.

All the money that they got from these Company’s, the fines they were given,
does anyone know where that money went. Did it go to any of the people that
Were harmed by these Company’s? Did it put these Company’s out of

Wake up, once again our Government is telling us what to do, our body’s are
No longer ours. They did it with the smokers, it’s our turn. They want us off
Certain drugs, cost is too high, so they push us to use what they want whether it
Works for us or not.

In the meantime, they are the hero’s, they are getting the big bad drug company’s and giving addicts narco, while putting us on their drug of choice.

Eddy Haynes

I reported the nurse practitioner that threw me out of the pain management program I was attending for being absolutely irresponsible and negligent. The program tested for items that even the CDC had stated should NOT BE TESTED FOR EVER (April 2016 report). She never had time to listen and stated she didn’t care. I just received the report. My complaint was basically ignored. There is no hope. No one in the state of Washington health care cares about anyone but themselves. The state allows these clinics to make a lot of money while abusing their clients. If we as citizens are allowed to be treated this badly, what does that mean for the U.S.A.? I’m not talking about whose president, I’m talking about those that are consistently re-elected over and over again no matter what unconstitutional laws they pass. Please check your government employees (yes, even though they are elected, they are still our employees) voting records. The only way we’re going to change anything is to get rid of those that continue this mess. I’m voting every chance I get.


Alice Carroll brought up a point that I think is the REAL reason all these states are screaming about opioids “A massive payout to rival the Tobacco Settlement is anticipated by the winners so they are using the media to push their agenda to the public as it will most likely be a trial by jury.”

I remember that massive payout and I was a smoker at that time and that money was supposed to go to help illnesses caused by smoking. NOBODY knew where that money went. I did track down in Georgia some went to pay for dental work for homeless children. Not kidding, some senator’s hobbyhorse. He could preen and prance about that for votes.

If they REALY wanted to stop deaths, STOP the TRUCKLOADS of illegal drugs. That’s where most of the overdoses occur. If theses states can sue Purdue and Johnson & Johnson and get billions for all their little projects (like dental for homeless kids) they can really roll in the bucks and say what a wonderful thing they have done saving lives.

Glen said this and I wholeheartedly agree: “WARNING. If a patient dies from suicide following an Opioid cut off, there will be a mandatory review of medical license. If a second patient dies within a year the medical license is suspended for no less than 5 years.”


They also teach that anyone coming to the ER in terrific pain is a “drug seeker”, their term incidentally- my friend - who has not been out of residency all that long - told me this with a straight face. I am hoping she sees differently now. Also a LOT of these young doctors have never experienced sever pain and do not understand what it is, or sometimes don’t believe it exists. Only drug addicts.


Cindy, I also live in Florida & have gone through similar issues with pharmacists in the area.
My problem now is with finding a Pain specialist who isn’t terrified to prescribe opiods. I was seeing a pain mgmt doctor for many years when as soon as these guidelines were issued I was forced to taper/cut my meds more than half. I decided to leave that practice & found another one, but I’m running into the same problem. I’ve also never thought about ending my life until that happened. The thought of pain, along with withdrawal terrifies me. I still get my meds, but not nearly as many as I need to get my pain under control.
It’s so hard to know which of these doctors really care for their patients & who is just worried about what everyone else is doing. They all tell you on the phone that they’re basically all about giving injections, so it’s impossible to know what doctors really empathize with your situation.
So, yes, I live in Florida and continue to have difficulty getting the meds that help me. If you have any advice on how you were able to get help in our area, I’d love to hear it.

Anne M Cassler

Thank you, Denise. !!!


This is so well written, I got goosebumps. I have been in the exact same situations, but I didn’t handle it as well.
Some background is that i have been in horrible chronic pain since I was a child. Then I stupidly got breast implants, and for 14 years they caused me to be ill for 14 years, but I didn’t know why my health suddenly declined, because doctors are not trained in these things, and are lied to.
I developed countless autoimmune disorders, severe cognitive impairment, and such extreme pain that I was forced to retire from my teaching career.
However, right before I had them removed, I had upper back pain so much that I couldn’t breathe, and finally went to the ER. A young, arrogant doctor told me to be quiet and let him be the doctor when I told him what I suspected. He told me that implants were safe and it was not the cause of that particular pain issue. Then he told me to walk and do yoga, which I have done all my life, and I was 62. He never came back, dismissed me, and his diagnosis was “back pain”. I thought that was the symptom!!!
Two months later, I got the implants out, and the capsules surrounding them looked like slabs of overdone bacon! I feel like showing him what came out of me!.
That same month, my pain doctor, who had been cutting down my dosages of pain meds, accused me of trying to get more meds when I rescheduled an appointment. He got so angry that he beat his chest, saying that he was not going to lose his license because of me! What?! I left and never went back.
After my fourth surgery, I developed a potentially deadly bacterial infection in my chest wall
and was in severe pain until it festered, and the culture showed the source, The young doctor gave me 1 Tylenol!
We are ignorant of the root causes of illnesses and pain and lied to because the doctors are not trained well, and it’s all about money!
I now go to an older doctor who finally understands, and is keeping me a bit comfortable,
Thank God!


I have a pain med Dr in FL over ten years. No issue with meds. Severe IBD and spinal stenosis. I’m going up to Cleveland Clinic for gastro care. Am I going to have a problem?

Ms. Lloyd

I was just recently advised by my pain clinic they could no longer treat me as my test showed Narcos. I was like ok. I went home and checked that narcos are Vicodin of which I’m allergic to. My dr., didn’t even address me it was a nurse practitioner or a P.A. They gave me a list of drs that W could try to see. They gave me 60 Tramadol 50 mg. They tried me on these and they dropped my heart rate down. I’m very upset. I have a herniated disc L4 and 5 and 2 wedge compression fractures of the T spine and osteopenia. Sometimes the pain is so bad I can’t make it out of bed. Who patrols these dr’s drug screening kits? Obviously there’s are old or outdated. I have taken my meds and they said my test was negative.

Karen L Spencer

I am an. NP and l can say with certainty physicians don’t learn pain management in Med school. I know this because l am a pain management specialist and used to teach it to Residents. We learn the meds but not really how to effectively use them. I know this because we take the same pharmacology classes. Depending on where they do their residency and who they do it under they don’t learn compassion or communication.
Do yourself a favor, find a practice where there is a DO and or an.NP. l guarantee you your experience will be better.

Brenda Jackson

Your story mirrors much of what has happened to me. My pain origins were from a serious truck accident, leaving me with one leg compromised, several fusions, titanium cages. Add to this list heart disease which has led to damaged kidneys. Not to sound dramatic, but cancer can be added to my story.
Now with pain centers being the growing ” thing ” and moving 4 times in 6 yrs. Well, you can imagine. I have little faith in doctors. Absolutely no one wants the whole mess. Well, I don’t either. I wish I could pack it away.
Enough pity party. I’ve always been the pull up my granny panties, pull on my boots and get the job done - kind of woman. I’ve been reduced to a what sounds like a blithering idiot.
My husband is tired of being a
… giver. Our definition of a care giver varies greatly. I’ve been doing that for over 40 years. Smile. He has to buy groceries and do a few household chores and his life is ending. Oh well. Life goes on, I guess.
No, we cannot afford housekeepers, senior living, etc. So we are both in a situation we don’t want to be in. Add to it, arguing with every doctor over each and every medication. After other doctors have already put me through all the tests , trying medications, etc. The new one wants to do it again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Are patients allowed an opinion? Evidently not. What are patients to do? Appreciate the opportunity to express my frustrations.

The medical profession has definitely started, ” throwing the baby out with the bathwater “, by lumping everyone who has taken opiates into one category; addicts! I can totally identify with Denise Hedley’s story. I have had chronic intractable pain syndrome, for most of my life, secondary to a congenital spinal deformity, and multiple spinal surgeries, in an attempt to correct the problem, and aleviate my pain. At one point, inappropriate spinal hardware was ised to try to stabilize my degenerative condition. I’m sure that the almighty dollar, and an agressive surgical insturmentation sales pitch was the incentive for this application, which, later proved to cause Flat Back Syndrome, which causes increased deformity of the spine, as well as increasing pain and disability, as the spinal cord is stretched. That hardware was removed and I underwent a complete spinal reconstruction, suffered post op complications, including MRSA sepsis, which almost took my life, leaving me more disabled with no pain relief. After going to pain management, and going through the pain ladder, which is a proceedure where, starting with physical therapy, biofeedback, spinal injections and non opoid pain medications, which all were unsuccessful in giving me a quality of life I could live with, opoids were finally started, being titrated, until I finally had a pain level that I could tolerate and be functional. I was and have never been pain free. Over the years, I have had to repeat the pain ladder protocol, several times, due to newer modalities of pain management and relocation, to satisfy the requirements for my physician to be able to prescribe opiates. I moved back to my home state, and ended up with nothing for pain control for over a year, because my old physicians had retired and the young ones wouldn’t pull my previous pain management records. I finally found a kind physician, and have some pain relief. Grandfathering in documented long term opoid complaint, chronic pain patients.

Adam H

I notice some people seem to think only senior citizens deserve adequate pain [edit] because many diseases like rheumatoid and spondylosis and many spinal, neurological issues dont spare us who are 40 and younger. We’re not all drug seeking junkies..Jesus Christ people only care about their own circumstances and often to hell with the other people is the mentality. We’re all in this sinking ship together that’s not going to be saved it seems. Maybe force is only way to get our point across that we want our meds back, nothing else has gotten through at all. Drs are becoming cowards only interested in phony wishy washy methods of pain relief and giving hazardous number of steroids..anything to boost profits without dealing with opioid prescriptions even though they are still totally fine at 90mme..but they lie right in your face saying otherwise. I long since resorted to getting 100mg methadone a day at a clinic..its very convenient and reasonable with no worries Ill be suddenly abandoned to become deathly Ill and crippled to constantly being bed ridden by spondylosis degenerative disc disease.. No more games for me Im done getting screwed.

Kathy Meyers

Thank you for joining the fight. I am 68, have had degenerative disk disease for 35 urs, fms for 25. My pain dr I have been with 25 yrs stopped practicing med. My new pain dr of 2 yrs left the state to practice. I live in KY. The law here is the strictest of all 50 states. specifically stating reasons you can receive more than 3 days of med…example a terminately ill cancer patient.

I have flair ups that cause muscle spams in my back that last for weeks that feels like labor pain. I have always under utilized pain meds and have never wanted to use them when the pain was under control. Now. I can not get any meds for flareups.

I have enough issues with trying to function and have a meaningful life. I need the medical field as my partners. The legislators have tied their hands.

I hope I can make it until the pendulum swings back, if it ever does.

In the mean time, how are people coping? It limits your choices to none that a normal. responsible would do.

D m

Thank you for this. I encourage everyone to be active with their rebuttals. I see terrible journalism and I email these kids that have no idea what real pain is. That this medicine allows us to live a somewhat normal life. To be able to pick up our kids. Enjoy life without loads of pain. The rush to stop heroin and fentynol use is getting lumped in with pain medicine. It’s awful


Beautiful article. You spoke so eloquently for those of us who have lost their opioids, or me, who have lost my benzodiazepines for my extreme psychosis and anxiety. These young doctors just don’t get it. And now, some of the older ones have been scared into fear of retribution… leaving us to either self medicate or live our lives in pain for panic. Thank you for this.

Laura Roschnow

I have been on pain meds for 10 years now I can’t find a doctor to help I just had surgery on both feet so I have a few I just don’t understand why these doctors don’t get that some people have to have pain meds I have fibromyalgia 7or more herniated discs arthritis in most of my body disc degeneration and more in pain everyday feel like no one cares The Emergency room refuses to help Thanks for listening God bless you


If you are like me and live in Illinois, you are most certainly out of luck with pain control.

Alice Carroll

The more I read, the sadder I become. Glen, Good Lord what you’ve had to go through. What kind of country are we? Those of us with chronic pain are treated as if we’re disposable. If we are treated properly with prescribed opiates our quality of life improves. I’m convinced that we are a pawn in the lawsuits brought by state governments, municipalities, etc. to blame Big Pharma for opioid OD deaths. One facet of their strategy follows: In the 60 Minutes story of February 24, 2019, “Did the FDA Ignite the Opioid Epidemic?” A mid-1990’s rule change by the FDA allowed opioids to be prescribed for long-term chronic pain. This opened the market for increased sales and more drugs were produced. Some of these drugs were diverted or stolen leading to abuse and overdose deaths. To win their lawsuits it must be proved that opioids are NOT effective for long-term pain and that the FDA was misled by Big Pharma. A massive payout to rival the Tobacco Settlement is anticipated by the winners so they are using the media to push their agenda to the public as it will most likely be a trial by jury.
Chronic Pain patients who have been prescribed opioids successfully for years are THE PROOF that opioids DO work. This is the reason we are not being listened to. It is also the reason that Senator Manchin (D-WV) has filed a bill to re-label opioids to end long-term use. West Virginia is a part of the lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.

I do not understand how a manufacturer of a product is responsible if a person misuses the product leading to their death.


I noticed a reply from someone on Colorado. .is there any organization in Colorado that I could join to help fight this crazy trend of being ignored and left in agony. .my basic human rights are being taken and im going to fight.. somehow..

Paulette Wright

That is correct. My training in pain management was very detailed. I am old school. We were trained at Pain Week to do all procedures to keep patients pain under control.
The new doctors are minimally trained in med school. If they dont seek out training after school, they dont know. This is typical now that everyone is so limited by government, medical boards, and peer pressure due to competetion.

Nanci Strunk

Absolutely correct, in fact many of the older docs and younger compassionate ones sometimes can’t even look you in the eye because they know what’s the right thing to do and yet feel that if they do the right thing they will perhaps forfeit everything. I am old enough to remember the last of the 60’s early 70’s Harlem heroin problem. In my case I cannot stand upright as I had broken my back long ago. Like the author some days are better than others, but for all days I need some form of pain relief. Many times what they do is not enough, but I try to be thankful for anything. In reality the doctors work for us and pain is not ‘ imagined’ unlike the author I could not walk without it.


Most here probably have relatives or friends to help them.I don’t. That wasn’t a problem until I got old. I have no health insurance and depended on the VA now since “Desert Storm”. Now they want my oxycodone. I have had to Camp for the last two and one half years. Last year I had to pay a private clinic for Oxycodone. I really needed that money for food and shelter. I called the Whitehouse Hotlibe. “You are paying for pain medication that the VA had provided?” The good news is the VA called and wrote a prescription and re-imbursed my 6 months “out of pocket” expenses. I had been living in a 19 foot camper all winter with no electricity or running water. With great pain I carried Popane and risked carbon monoxide poisoning .(I was concerned for my Beagles. Not me. Dying was looking good). You might think I am saved at last. No the prick VA cut my pain medication again. (With a Pittsburgh Pain Speciality Doctor recomnending an increase. “You are under medicated”. So, off for another VA review recommending Oxycodone (15 mg). Still, a CLPN at the Altoona VA reduced it anyway to 10mgs. They have piss tested and counted my pills twice since June. I cannot afford Private Pain Clinics and they know it. Of course now the Whitehouse Hotline will not respond. I have reported to the OIG, my Congressman and Senator and filed a TORT 95 malpractice. (Third time). Veterans were the first to be overprescribed and the first to be cut off.

Amy Lewis

Denise I’m sorry to hear about your experience particularly as my family is discussing moving! I have traveled to VA every 2 weeks for 4 years. Until 2018 I could fill my prescription at the same chain of pharmacies I use in PA (CVS). People who have legitimate medical conditions should not be treated as though they are doing something wrong by trying to obtain treatment that works. I would not have been able to work for the last 20 years without good pain care.


Hmmm.. My phone changed my spelling. I preserved my toenails in plastic. I lost some of my collection. My dog ate a couple. I was sitting on the floor of my tent in the rain during my surgery. (Yes, I was homeless at the time). It is worse than you think. I had to crawl out and find a tree to pull myself up to my feet. I had torn my meniscus in my right knee a few months prior and waiting on VA treatment. (I am already service connected for both knees)


Specialty Clinics? We now see that Pain treatment has been added to the things General Practioners do not have to do. What do Doctors need Medical school for? Simple procedures can and should be done. (Like refilling prescriptions that were determined necessary by previous well qualified doctors). I drove six hours to get Primary Care at a VA medical center. I had an ingrown toenail. “I’m going to give you an antibiotic and send you to podiatry”.) ‘But Doctor, it isn’t infected lets just cut it out!’ So, weeks later I get to Podiatry. “I’m going to remove the nails and fix it so they don’t grow back. I’m doing one today and will schedule for the second one”! So, I went to a private clinic and a PA removed the one bad nail and offered me the tools because they do not sterilize. So, for the next year, I cut out my own ingrown nails. I can’t bend over very far and I am nearsighted. I would dig deep into the nail bed and rip they out with players. (I usually would get a little meat and lots of blood. My pain tolerance better than most). Eventually, for fear of losing a toe or foot, I had a private doctor cut out the bad section andand treat to stop growth. I still have my toenails. I have preserved and agitated the pieces of toenail. Doctors are impressed with my work and my phone pictures of bloody toes. They had shut off my Vicodin and I drove to a VA pain clinic. Doctor says “I can’t give you any pain medication, but would you mind if I take a picture of you toenail collection?”

David barnes

Hello to all of my friends that are dealing with chronic pain and this idiocracy opiod epidemic I have been in chronic pain for almost 11 years now and I completely agree with these doctors that are not being trained right and brainwashed my biggest complaint is that all of these lawsuits against these pharmaceutical makers and making them look badd Is just a joke the government and everybody that wants the opio aids to stop is not listening to the chronic pain patients in this country where is our help for the legality of doctors stopping our pain medication or tapering us off of what works and makes us have a functioning life who is sticking up for us who is suing our government for putting out the lies and Destroying our lives as chronic pain patients how many people have to die of suicide because they can’t get their meds and cant walk and function and lose their houses and turned to herion because of these stupid guidelines that were even for chronic pain patients I am so fed up with the stigma of everybody thinking that we are addicts Well hell yes we are addicted Because of something that makes us have a functioning life or relief from the pain that we endure every minute of the day that never stops I would love to find a lawyer out there that will get a civil lawsuit against our government to help protect our chronic patients how many lawsuits and people do you think would join that lawsuit would it be the families that had lost their husbands wives daughters sons to suicide because some idiot doctor stopped their meds because the government was going to take away their license we all know the real story that the officials of our governmment probably stopped getting the payouts from The pharmaceutical companies and they probably got pissedl because they weren’t getting the money anymore While millions a millions of chronic pain people are suffering in this country please somebody help us we are screaming for HELP thank you for reading Dave B in Denver co

David Hickle

Again it doesn’t matter what doctor er specialists hospital urgent care mental health minute clinic anyone goes to when all they do is hurt the patients iv been hurt by the state of Ohio and USA for 38 to 39yrs of my life I’m sick and tired of it now this is why I will be leaving the state of Ohio and USA using international medical health care system and international medical health care plan and insurance and coverage for good I live at 4045 castel dr groveport Ohio 43125 USA my name is David hickle and because of the criminal actions against me I now utterly hate the state of Ohio and USA burn in [edit] hell state of Ohio and USA

David Hickle

To me it doesn’t what doctor hospital specialists er urgent care mental health minute clinic anyone goes to when it’s the health care system that hurts the patients this is why I will never again use the state of Ohio and USA health care system and it’s why I will be leaving USA and using international medical health care system and international medical health care plan and insurance and coverage because I’ve been hurt by USA for 38 to 39yrs of my life I now have only hate for the state of Ohio and USA because of the criminal actions against me

Chris Ward

That is so true!


Reasonable guidelines. 1.Do not stop Opioids on patients 60 years of age or older. 2. Do not stop Opioids on patients who have been safely using them 10 years or longer. 3. Do not stop Opioids if there is even a slight risk of suicide. 4. If you decide not to prescribe Opioids you must refer patient to a Doctor who will. WARNING. If a patient dies from suicide following an Opioid cut off, there will be a mandatory review of medical license. If a second patient dies within a year the medical license is suspended for no less than 5 years.


Great article Denise!

I am at a loss for words anymore on what our health care has become. So very sad……

I have one Dr., my gastroenterologist who has the most compassion… I am grateful for him but I wish he was my all around Dr.

Wishing you the best Denise. Again thank you for this article.


Again, I am sure that any new Primary Care Providers are “trained to withhold opiates”. I find that the real Doctors delagate prescription authority to Certified Registered Nurses. They give them a little training and waive the magic tongue depressive over them. “You are now a pain expert”.

Deborah Baron

I am so glad someone listened. I am so not able to function. What is the point of living if you cannot sit, stand, for more than 30 seconds, shower or even entertain the thought of leaving the house because you need to lay flat with 10 ice packs


In mid-2017, my pain management doctor - a man in his late 50s - introduced a young female PA to me, told me the PA was joining the practice, and asked me if I’d allow the PA to observe my office visit. I said it was fine; I’m all for young medical professionals learning about real-life patients and their conditions.
Two months later I got a letter saying that the older male doctor was leaving the practice, and that the young female PA would be taking over his case load. I was worried, because I didn’t think the PA would have enough experience, or the very specialized knowledge required, to be able to treat my pain properly and effectively.

I was right. I had 13 monthly visits with her, during which she struggled to find her professional “groove.” One visit she was bubbly and cracking jokes, the next brusque and detached, the next almost grandiose. It was bizarre. I looked up her credentials online, and she had graduated less than 2 years ago. I knew there was no way she had anywhere near the amount of specialty experience she claimed.

She began trying to get me to agree to taper off my pain meds. I consistently refused. Office visits began to take on an adversarial feel. She said at one visit that she’d been told to get all of her patients off of opioids; apparently I was jeopardizing her annual performance review. Two months later, in December 2017, I was fired by my pain management PA, because according to her, I broke my pain management contract. I had not. I scrupulously followed the rules. Every CPP in the country knows that’s how the game is played.

This PA had no compassion for the pain I suffer with, 24/7/365 for 15+ years. She didn’t care about my quality of life. She pressured me to have invasive procedures I’d already tried, which didn’t help my pain. She told me my pain was “all from inflammation” and prescribed Celebrex. And finally, she resorted to lying to get rid of me.

I guess “do no harm” isn’t part of the Hippocratic Oath anymore.


Also, where do people live who have been abused by pharmacists?

I’ve never been mistreated — called a drug seeker, addict, etc — by anyone, anywhere.

Some years ago, I was told by a pharmacist at Publix that he couldn’t fill my Rx b/c they’d met their quota. That stunned me b/c I’d never heard of such a thing back then. I have no idea what year that was but I do think it was prior to the 2016 CDC Guidelines. Due to the FL pill mill scandal, FL has had a slingshot overreaction to opioid access, and NPR did a story years ago on how patient access to opioids in FL was a crisis, and I suspect that was the reason for that denial.

Over the last year or so, I’ve had CVS tell me a few times, which was too often for me, that they are out of my drugs and won’t have more for a ridiculous amount of time — like weeks. And so I dont’ even try them any more. I also believe that excuse to be code for “they met their quota”, given that they never said that they’d have what I need within a couple of days.

For the last few years, I’ve gotten my monthly opioids at a Walgreens directly across the street from that CVS. I have never had any sort of problem. Once or twice, they’ve been out of something, but only for a couple of days; —- not a couple of weeks like CVS.

The only reason I tried CVS a few times instead of my Walgreens was when my Rx insurance changed, making CVS a preferred provider but not Walg’s. But, now I don’t care if Walg’s costs me a few extra dollars. They have what I need in stock 99.9% of the time, and I am always well treated. The lines are far too long and the wait is far too long due to understaffing by their corporate HQ, but the staff are always incredibly kind and patient with everyone, and most importantly, they fill my opioid Rx’s with no problem. Knock on wood.

Before I went to Walgreens, I used Costco Rx for some time and had no problem there. I dont’ remember exactly when that was. I switched to Walgreens for convenience.


Usually in the ER if you are older, have a “history” they separate you to the dead end of the list. Last time I went in with stroke level blood pressure, vomiting and wild diarrhea for 24 horrible hours I waited 11 hours. When the very last patient had left at about 4 AM they took me back. Started an IV and gave me something to quickly lower the bp. Then sent me to xray. They had already drawn blood and my cardiac enzymes were raised. This was at COX HOSPITAL SPRINGFIELD, MO.

The doctor kindly offered my demerol for the headache the bp had raised.

Got me stabilized. Made sure it was not a heart attack then sent me home.

If these untrained jerks didn’t specialize so much, and if they tried to find out why that happened (instead of just stopping the issue for the moment) they would have learned my stomach had moved up into my chest.I had a sliding paraesophageal hernia.

I flew to Florida to a very special surgeon who (without a nissen fundoplication) surgically corrected the problem.

I am terrified to go to a doctor here now. I keep finding reasons to put it off.


When people say that they can’t get any opioids at all, I wish I knew where they lived.

I wonder how much geography plays into patients being given what they need or being refused.

I live in SW FL and got what I needed until last fall when my pain manager reluctantly put me on a forced taper after showing me the CDC Guidelines and telling me, essentially, that he feared I’d be blacklisted and he’d be pressured.

But a couple of months ago, I told him that I couldn’t live like that any more, and emphasized the new statements by the FDA and by the CDC authors of the infamous 2016 Guidelines, and he increased my dose to almost the original, and it’s sufficient.

For me, opioids never gave me enough relief to fully function. I could never work and still struggled with daily chores and even personal hygiene. But, at least I could occasionally go out for something pleasurable. That quality of life was a miracle compared to my quality of life on the forced taper.

The forced taper really caused me to be a total shut-in except for doctor appts, and w/o a friend to grocery shop and help me with a lot of other things, I can’t imagine how I would have survived it. (I live alone.)

Not to mention the pain spike last Feb which caused me, on Day 4, to spend hours considering suicide b/c I was afraid to take another pill b/c of my very precious ,and limited monthly supply. Finally, after hours of wondering if I would survive the day or if I’d kill myself, I realized that I could take an extra pill or 2 that day to survive that day and worry about the rest of the month later. Making up for those 2 extra pills was extremely painful, but they literally saved my life. I never ever considered suicide before the forced taper.

Back to my original thought for this post — where do people who can’t get any pills live?


I truly belive they are pushing the disabled and elderly out of society. .we are a burden ..we drain all the money they could have for more exciting things in the world. We are being forced to suffer with no help because sooner or later it will kill us when our quality of life goes so does life expectancy. .it’s proven..just a matter of time

Signe Topai

Thank you for pointing out the obvious. I had not just a doctor turn me away but a whole Town of doctors refusing to treat me…Grand Junction Co.
In 2011, I was diagnosed with Severe Myfascial Pain Disorder. It took me three years to get a diagnose. In 2013 I was let go by my School District, Windsor Unified School district because a PE teacher couldn’t teach from a wheelchair…discrimination! My daughter and I moved back to Co, due to a cheaper cost of living and family to help me handle my disease. Because, I was on pain medication NO DOCTOR WOULD SEE ME. My meds ran out, My pain increased to a 8/10 dailey, went through horrible withdraws, and I ended up in the hospital. In the hospital they found 4 hernias, Endometriosis and an appendix about to burst besides my Myfascial Pain. I could of died! While in the hospital, I had a doctor who’s husband had chronic pain and was very compassionate. She found me a doctor in this backwards town who treated me until that doctor movers I was left again with no one to treat me.. I now live in Denver where my pain is managed. For those still suffering my prayers go out to you. We are the “New Aids epidemic”!

Mark Nawrot

If you wers getting such good care from the doctors you had, then why did you move,,, you KNEW,,, how bad it could be in getting pain relief from new drs.!


I agree 100%. I Look, screen and do what ever I can to not only find a mature Doctor (like you said, there IS a difference) an internist rather than a GP, I find they are most knowledgeable of Pain and seem to be more educated and mature for the most part. I look for as many reviews as possible before I waste my time. At least it cuts the search/Appointments more than half, and I don’t walk out of appointments feeling all beaten up. I have had long term Chronic pain witch helped turn into Chronic depression. Best of luck to you and I hope you find a good doc.!


Your post gave me goose bumps. Very rarely does an article grab all of my attention so that I read it in its entirety. Yours did just that.
I just wanted you to know that there’s a familiar, stranger in Idaho that thinks you’re amazing. 🙂
I know things are going to get better for us. I believe that in my heart. I just hope and pray that it happens sooner than too late, for some.
Bless you Denise. I wish for you many, pain free days ahead.

I keep warning people that if they don’t learn the REAL cause of drug abuse and teach it to everyone, learning the science of homeopathy versus dark ages allopathy, we will be in the dark ages again with pain management. They are teaching doctors that opioids are bad medically, even though that policy is purely politically contrived and untrue. But as time passes and more doctors are taught it, it will be harder to reverse. NOW is the critical time and the people refusing to learn and teach the truth are guilty of destroying the lives of people for the next 50 years. So learn it!! The truth can be found on doctorsofcourage video page.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Thank you very much. Yes the new doctors have believed the lies about opioid medications and I fear that not many of them can come to the truth. It’s sad what our government has done to us.

Suzanne Bodensiek

Although this may be the case in many circumstances, I am finding the opposite. Example; I’ve been going to my primary doctor for over 30 years. I recently went to see him about some very important health issues, now involving CRPS. He was not compassionate all and brushed me off and did not bother to initiate testing or treatment for this. I went back to his son 3 weeks later, at the same practice, I explained to him gently about my experiences with his father. He listened intently, physically examined me, offered me some new treatments to help me with my excruciating pain, and suggested ketamine infusions, which I did extremely well with during my total knee replacement in April. These doctors are osteopaths, and I know the younger doctor has much more modern knowledge to treat diseases, do manipulations, and has a much more open mind about how to treat and give someone a better quality of life. He definitely had much more compassionate compassion than his father. His father is old-school ways let his ego get in the way of treating me properly. He had no compassion for me that day.

Janet S. Flowers

Oh Denise Hedley how I can relate on every point you stated! Excellent article! I concur that this is *Exactly* what us CPP’s have to do with all Drs we have to see for pain- even ones that have been practicing for a while, bc I’ve found that, especially if they belong to a group, they are held back by the group in how far they can go (they just follow “the rules” and what they’ve been ordered to do)- even if you’re a patient with intractable, chronic high-impact pain & long-time opioid user with no problems with the medications or violating “the rules”. Most will say “I’m sorry, I can’t prescribe” but there are also some who will just not say anything until the patient brings up the subject & then has to recite their life story relating to CP treatment and medications. After that who knows what will happen. And I know I speak for many, but having to go through all of that is exhausting! Shoot, just *going* to the doctor’s office or ED is exhausting & *then* having to recite your entire CP med history, med’s- then reduced or none, quality of life & then no life at all, etc., & fight for your rights bc of all the lies the government has fed the doctors & all the regulations and scare tactics they have imposed upon them- or not even bothered to train them at all as you pointed out so well. It’s downright ridiculous that we CPP’s have to endure all of this!
I still say there *must* be *some* way that a class action can be brought against the governmental entities and the politicians also, for discrimination against us CPP’s, including the disabled CPP’s- for suffering, inhumane medical treatment, underteatment, and down right torture that they have all thrust upon us! Does anyone know about such a class action lawsuit or are interested in trying to form one?
Wishing you & the rest of the CPP’s blessings and courage as we struggle on hour by hour.