Have any of you chronic pain sufferers noticed how many of our fellow patients who surround us in the waiting room seem to laugh and talk and never dwell on why they are really at the Pain Clinic in the first place. This annoys the hell out of me. These very same people will mope and drag theirselves into the office, check in at the sign up desk, and once that is done start socializing. I have actually seen these very same patients limp up to the checkout window and once they receive their pain scripts they sprint out the door. The pain clinics have created their own coattage industry. People will divert their scripts for large amounts of money. This causes authentic pain sufferes to have problems receiving the medicine they so desperately need to help with their pain. If you are in your pain clinic and see an exchange of money for a script or hear plans of a patient planning to divert their medicines for profit-drop a dime on them (narc the bastards out). They are making things intolerable for those of us with severe chronic pain, and needed to be removed from these clinics and blacklisted from others.
I haven't noted that behavior in the very reputable PM Clinic where I am treated. Indeed I have seen the ppl turned away that come in for what I suspect (and the clinic suspects) are seekers.
The DEA has valid points sadly we are often all lumped into the same category. It's true that we pay for the seekers abuse. I'm also so fatigued of hearing the media talk about prescription drug abuse. No one discusses the true Chronic Pain Patient!!
I wish I had some good answers.... I don't but you are not alone in your anger and disgust. You can vent here any time.
I can't say I have ever seen something like that at my Dr.s office. If I did...I would actually have to say I would change Dr.s...How do you know they have prescriptions for narcotics? And not something else or even PT or a diagnostic test?
A good PM Dr. will have all eyes on a patient from the receptionist, and possibly cameras (not seen) in the waiting room. As well as the NP that comes in first to talk and take vitals...
All of this, plus the Dr.s examination which includes having his patients have actual MRI's, CTScans, and other tests that show there are actual things wrong or diagnosis that cause the pain.
A good PM Dr. will treat their patients with a comprehensive treatment plan that includes exercise, PT, yoga, aqua therapy, acupuncture, injections, TENS unit, muscle relaxer, nerve pain med, pain medicine, quitting smoking, eating healthy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc...
To name a few...LOL...
On the other end....I have to say that there are sometimes when someone can laugh and smile and still be in excruciating pain...Especially a lot of us with chronic pain...this is our life. It's a totally different animal than acute pain. So...my entire life isn't spent with a scowl on my face and no laughter...
Thankfully my PM Dr. knows me for years as do the staff so they know how much pain I am in.
Again...a pain clinic or pill mill that is filled with dozens and dozens of people having 5 minute appts. would be a place I would stay far away.
My PM clinic is very strict. You must take random drug tests and have your pills counted and be willing to participate in physical therapy and alternate pain relieving procedures such as trigger point injections, both of which do help. I chose to stop taking opiates because I felt they were beginning to control my life. I exercise 3 to 5 times a week. Since I don't talk about my pain a lot and am relatively fit there are people,especially at work, who do not understand why I have to go to the doctor and PT so often and even suvgest that I am faking just to get out of work. I suppose if I complained and cried a lot like another person in my office then it would somehow validate my absences.
As for the folks in the waiting room, based on appearances alone the majority of them "look" like they belong there. Many are elderly and walk with a cane or use wheelchairs. I guess someone could look at me in comparison and think, "oh yes,I KNOW why she's here."
I guess I am just stubborn and refuse to let my two compressed disks, bone spurs, and calcification of the nerves in my neck, along with the muscle spasms get me down and detract from my quality of life.
I do know there are people who abuse the system, which is why it is so difficult for those who truly need them to get the meds they need. I just felt I needed to resoind because while I understand where the OP is coming from, looks can be deceiving.
My pain is actually treated by a Primary Care Physician so he sees people from all walks of life, young and old, with pain or without pain. So not everyone in the waiting room is there for pain, in fact, I have not a clue what they are seeing the doctor for. I do believe; however, that what you speak about does exist! And when that is truly the case, it is very frustrating as it can make it harder for those of us with real chronic pain to be heard and believed when we speak about our pain.
I agree that looks can be very deceiving. Another reason pain patients in the waiting room were laughing and smiling is perhaps because they were having a good pain moment. I have found out that it is possible to be treated for pain such that a person experiences very low pain levels throughout most of the day. I am a recent testimony to this possibility as I switched doctors recently and have started new medications that control my pain very well. Therefore, they could have been experiencing a pain free moment and just waiting to see the doctor for their 1 month checkup and to get another written script for next month. So I don't think that pain patients have to be in excrutiating pain all the time and not laughing and smiling especially if the medications prescribed for their pain are working well.
May I encourage you to speak with your physician about your pain levels to see if there are some changes that can be made to your regimen such that you are able to smile and laugh again???
Yes Femmy. My pain was also treated for years by my PCP.... until I relocated and this state requires I be managed by PMP. I saw none of the behavior that laurreey describes in my PCP office. Additional I have observed very close scrutiny of patients in my PMP office.
I agree it may be her particular PMP and whole heartedly agree with your statement that looks can be deceiving!! Anyone that met me on the street would never know the agony I often endure. I'll bet the same is true for you. We're programed to "hide" our Chronic Pain.
It is a shame that people who abuse the system make things more difficult for those of us who do suffer from constant pain and need meds to make it through the day. As for socializing, I do talk to a lot of people while in the waiting room. I have met some great people and it helps to talk to people who experience the same types of issues. Plus, it helps pleasantly pass the time while you are waiting! :)
I also have to visit my pain clinic every few months or so. The one I have been going to for years has had its up and downs as far as their care of the patients.
I have seen people go in there that honestly had no need to be there. My average wait time was 4 hours! I have been there as long as 7 hours once and many times 4 hours and longer. I always knew something was going on in the Clinic but I surely did not want to rock the boast. I don't understand how Doctors are allowed to pass these so called notes about " Drug Seekers" to each other and actually harm the patients.It kind of takes the Hippocratic Oath to the same class as toilet paper!
I was in a car crash where I had so many injuries I have forgot many but Broken legs ( femurs and tibia's) , head injuries, cut liver in half, 8 broken ribs, broken hips, life support 4 days and a mediated coma for 14 days, etc...After being discharged from the Hospital I kept having pain and was sent to pain clinic where they put me on methadone and said the pain could be in my head basically. The Doctor they referred me to asked me to stand and he would support me by me holding his elbows and would not let me fall. I had been in the wheelchair 4 months and let me tell you about taking the things like wiping your own butt really comes out front when you have the pain I had just moving to cleanse myself. Well, I tried and I couldn't move me right leg due to the pressure was so painfull. The Doctor started to lower his elbows. I told him if I hit the ground, I would break his nose..Last time there. Well, I went back argued with Ortho. Surgeons and to no avail..Then during a rehab appointment something hurt so bad I cried out in front of everyone then composed myself fast due to being the only guy in there.They ran to my aid and I said it must have been a muscle popped. Well, my rehab gal found out my femoral neck was broke and said I could not come back due to the serious injury...4 Moths due to being labelled a seeker..It got fixed...
I complained for 4 months and they blew me off as a seeker. Then after they repaired they through everything at me even though the pain was far less after repaired.
I made the mistake of telling the Doctors years ago when I had Chronic Kidney Stones for over ten years that I think I had become addicted after the pain was gone once I had a lithotripsy.. Dear God that followed me to this day.
The pain clinic I was afraid to complain about was taken over after the DEA was on them due to multiple deaths. I saw a friend I had not saw in years who told me he was on 160 or 180 mg Oxycontin's for his pain. The same clinic cut everyone back on meds before the DEA came in whether they needed them or not so he could still give his seekers their little piece . I wanted to leave so bad but hey, I was afraid to rock the boat due to past problems for being honest. My buddy died as did about 7 others. Still I do not think the Clinic was responsible at least in my friends case. I have seen him before I was in crash take up to 15 pills at once. Never gave it a thought until friends starting dropping left and right.
Now the time I spend in clinic is 45 mins to 1.5 if they are doing Urine tests. My bone in the same hip has lost blood supply so it has died. They said I need a hip transplant but want me to wait as long as possible. I just hate that people who suffer the pain like I have and worse, are being put into a class that causes more harm to the people who all they pray for is some relief..God Bless everyone of us who suffer from pain... God Bless the ones who were forced to start using heroine because they gave up on the system.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday to all... God bless you all.
PS: Sorry about structure being all over the place..
I started suffering from chronic pain when I was 26. I was a married mother of 3. I had crazy symptoms... Severe pain that seemed to move around. I was tested for everything and the doctors could not figure it out. I was told it was in my head, that i had firbro (but i knew that my issues did not match those symptoms) Thank God that I finally ended up with a PM that didn't just assume I was OK because I looked fine and the tests didn't show anything. He treated my pain! Now I'm 33 (for 3 more days) and was recently diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos!
I live in an area that has a BUNCH of addicts and it can be frustrating... Like when you get your script you have to drive to 5 different pharmacies to see if they have it... Because they won't tell you over the phone! And there are many, many other issues like that around here.
The senerio you discribe happens because you can't see pain, so doctors have to take what the patient is saying as truth. And and for people like me thank God they do! Otherwise, I would have killed myself years ago.
So, when I get frustrated about drug seekers making I hard on me (and I do) I try to focus on the positive aspects and have empathy in my heart, that a lot of these people started with real pain and became addicted, or even if that is not the case... I know that they have problems, like I do, just different.
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