Pain Management Community
So much pain!!
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So much pain!!

I am a 53 yr old female who is on total disability now for 4 years due to health problems like seizures, tremors, chronic pain, migraines, pernicious anemia and various other problems like hypertension, RLS, sodium, iron, B12, and potasium deficiencies. I am on several medications that control the seizures, help the tremors and migraines and RLS. I have been taking Hydrocodone/APAP 10/500 mg for several years now along with Temazepam or Ambien for 40 years of chronic insomnia. My doctor is concerned about the Hydrocodone and the sleeping pills of course, especially because the insurance company gives him such a hard time for prescribing them for me each month. Sometimes I have to do without the medications for a week or 10 days while they fight it out and the pharmacy finally fills the scripts. I have even offered to just have them filled at a pharmacy where they don't know that I have insurance. I am in extreme pain, true true pain and cannot sleep no matter what, even with sleeping pills I only fall asleep for a couple hours. So of course I have all the side effects of chronic pain and sleep deprivation. Last week, I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy where they did some biopsies and fixed some obstructions, but during those procedures they believed me when I told them I was hard to put to sleep during surgery and they gave me double the highest dosages they ever had given to anyone. I didn't even feel the medication, no drowsiness, nothing. I ended up wide awake, alert and talking and laughing with them during the colonoscopy and then in the recovery room was able to go ahead and get dressed within 5 mins instead of the hour or poss 2 hrs they predicted. The doctor told me he had never seen anything like it, he said to always tell my doctors that I had the biggest pain tolerance he had ever seen and that if I tell a doctor I am in pain, then they should believe me because it means I am in excruitating pain compared to most people.. He said for them to call him if they didn't believe me to tell them to call him!! So I am sure that I need the hydrocodone and sleeping pills, I am also sure that I need higher doses and I my medications when I need them, not when the insurance company says okay or not for a limited or at irregular intervals. When I have to go without I am sure I am going thru withdrawl (withdrawal) of course but I am also very much in pain and stressed because of it. I guess I don't have a question, just wanted to vent and see if others have this problem and how they are coping with it. Am I wrong? Is this just addition? I don't see how the medical profession and insurance companies can leave me with this pain and sleep deprivation every day of my life. It seems inhumane to me.
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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82861_tn?1333457511
I think you need to move farther up the food chain at your insurance company to make sure you never have coverage delays again.  Your insurer probably has something in its computer system that flags narcotic prescriptions, so any pharmacy you use will give you the same hassle.  It'll take some work and time to get to the right person, but every insurancy company has a patient advocate who is supposed to help deal with these kinds of issues.  You can't rely on the computer or the clerk answering the 1-800 phone number to do this.  Depending on the company, getting them to turn off the computer flags on your account will be as easy as talking to the right person one time, or as nasty as hiring an attorney and putting everything in writing and sending it certified through the Post Office.  

Start with the 800 number on the back of your insurance card, and work your way up the chain of command until you get someone who will help you with this problem.

I hae a pretty high tolerance as well, but because I've worked with the same doctors for over 10 years, they're all aware of it.  My gastro doc in particular is great when I need to have any scope work done.  He makes sure all his patients are fully OUT, and doesn't rely on the one-size-fits-all theory of anesthesia.  If only the nurses in the facility understood that fact.  They're the WORST!  "We had to use more medication on you than we ever have on anyone else.  Just what do you take anyway?  And who exactly is prescribing it?"  One time I was still a bit out of it and told that biatch, "I get my drugs from the same place everyone else does: the nice teenagers on the corner of [a bad part of town]."  Oh boy that p*ssed her off!  My doc was within earshot and cracked up laughing.  :-D
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your ideas and reassurance. I never thought of calling the insurance company patient advocate. I always worry that if I complain or am just persistant with trying to get my meds, that they will just think I am an abuser. So what if I take drugs to help with pain and sleep, I don't run machinery, drive or work. I am in my own home trying to suffer through it and wondering if I should take a dose now when the pain is so bad or if I should wait and see if I can get thru it so that I can have a day or two more later in the month. No way to live. If we let our dogs suffer like this they would put us in jail for animal abuse.
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356518_tn?1322267242
I wasn't even aware that ins co could flag your anything you pat them so get them to do teir job!!!!!!!!!! also the pharmacy is out of line your  a paitent and the doc gives u rx so its yours if need be pay of pocket and then make ins co pay you back you can even get lawyers free to help lortab is inexpensive so rather than go wo buy it and fight them with a lawyer there are free legal serv for this kind of thing or call your ins commisiner every state has othey will whip em into shape good luck
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82861_tn?1333457511
Oh yes, many insurance companies keep very close tabs on their customer's narcotic (and other) prescriptions.  Some are just worse than others about it.  In their defense, abusers do obtain multiple narcotic scrips from multiple doctors to feed their addiction, and the backlash hits legitimate pain patients.

Some pharmacies are worse at playing DEA cop than others.  Walgreens is the worst, followed by any large, national chain (CVS, Wal Mart, etc.).  I fired Walgreens years ago.  I had a refill on my pain med scrip, and they refused to release it until after midnight because "the computer said so".  It was 5 days past the time I could have filled it, and showing them the bottle and pointing out the dates made no difference.  I went to the grocery pharmacy across the street and the pharmacist just shook her head, transferred the scrip, and I've been there ever since.  I have nothing but praise for this pharmacy and its entire staff.  They have been nothing but helpful in all these years.
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228936_tn?1249097848
I understand your need for pain meds and something stronger than hydrocodone will be more helpfull. As far as the benzos for sleep, It doesn't sound like they are doing you any good and if possible it would be better to get off of them. These pills can really do damage to your sleep cycle. all the best
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390644_tn?1205885470
I hear you!  

I am on low dose oxycontin with percocet for break through pain.  The combo is a pretty heavy dose and I do see a pain mgt specialist.  I had to sign a waiver, I assume due to the abuse that goes on.

I found oxycodone/contin medications help much more than hydrocodone for my pain (L4-L5 herniation with shooting pains down the legs), a cervical spine issue (stenosis, curvature that never existed before) and severe abdominal pain from 8 prior surgeries.

If Ambien doesn't help you some doctors prescribe zanaflex to help sleep especially for fibromyalgia patients or a combo of both.

My pharmacy is privately owned and great, my neurologist yelled at me once for what he though was a hydrocodone script, it was HYCOTUSS, a cough med 180 ml NOT the 180 pills he thought. So many people have gotten neurotic over pain meds.

I find it takes the edge off my pain and I am not high or stoned from them EVER.  Some people just don't understand

I wish you the best of luck and health.  You might want to see a pain mgt specialist (anesthesiologists are usually in that field)
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that has had problems with Walgreens not filling my 'scrips, even if insurance AND my doctor has given them the green light.  Not only that, they treat me like a drug abuser - as if it is my fault I am disabled and in pain!

I also didn't know about the insurance co. putting flags on you, but that doesn't surprise me now that I think about it; I am going to look into it on my end if ever I have problems.  Most of my problems with getting 'scrips filled have simply been Walgreens and the way they are; I have switched to Rite-Aid and am hoping for better service; at least, so far, they are treating me like a human being and not a drug addict!  

Sandragene - I'm just so sorry to hear about your struggles.  No, humans should not be allowed to suffer so.  I truly hope things get better for you; just know you aren't alone in your suffering...there are many of us out there that live in varying degrees of pain.  Bright blessings & best of luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
im 26 you know what can cure your pain? heres a crop just will be found in the philippines "yacon" it eat raw. and if your familiar with goijo juice it is also a good drink can cure cancerus illness. email me if you want to talk about it ***@**** im rose
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228936_tn?1249097848
IS THIS AN AD FOR A BUSINESS? I know that these chain pharmacies can be very restricive in conjunction with the ins. co. Sometimes it may be just better to go to another Rx and pay cash.
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82861_tn?1333457511
Just an FYI: Instead of posting your email address, you can go to My MedHelp and set up your profile to send and receive private messages.  Spammers troll through public boards and collect email addresses, which is one of the reasons Med Help blocks them.  
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408158_tn?1202152877
I personally think Wallgreens should be run out of the Rx business. I don't know what State your in, but when it comes to Walgreens it doesn't matter because they have a blanket policy (they must). Treat all customers who come in with repeat pain killer scripts like dirt. They opened my eyes to their feelings over 20 years ago & I see it hasn't changed. And i know its not only Walgreens.. someone said it before.. "Most chain stores".. Which is why i stopped using those a long time ago. I've had to deal with Dr's & pharmacy's since i was 11 years old, & the one thing I see thats gotten worst over time is that Pharmacist have gotten worst at trying to play doctors. Can anyone sense my hostility?? Sorry..
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82861_tn?1333457511
My sister needs vicodin once in a while for a horrible back problem.  A 60-count scrip lasts her a good 3 months, and Walgreens gives her grief every single time.  She mentioned the problem to her doctor, who said, "Walgreens is the WORST!" and told her to change pharmacies.  Even the doctors are sick of dealing with Walgreens.  Why anyone still chooses to use them is beyond me.  Even my 76 year old mother, who is nearly crippled, had trouble with them for a simple one-time darvocet prescription.  She's stuck with them though due to Medicare BS.
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408158_tn?1202152877
I used Walgreens myself when i didn't know any better. I actually had one  walgreens pharmacist  tell me once, "they didn't carry tyl #4, & couldn't get them." Its amazing how thy lie right to your face & think you don't get it. Everyone is dumber then the walgreens pharmacist. We should all kiss their rings. Anyone that has to fill pain pills scripts at Walgreens will sooner or later get the gastapo treatment. They just can't help themselves
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390644_tn?1205885470
If that is how Walgreens treats you REPORT them to their main headquarters. How DARE they!

Is it the pharmacist doing this or their help behind the counter?  A pharmacy aid or pharmacist?  Let the main HQ know the NAME of the person giving you a hard time. Ask them for their name if they don't have something on them with it. Today's pharmacists at CVS and Walgreens are usually from ther countries as we don't have enough of them in the United States.  They bring in people from Canada, the Phillipines, and different parts Asia. I found the language barrier to be unbearable with many errors at CVS (I normally filled there a while back, not at Walgreens for no reason other than CVS was closer)


As I said, contact their main headquarters and let them know. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.  If all of you stop using them it affects their business eventually.  Take your business elsewhere, no one should be abusive to you but do realize many scripts are taken to the street and sold unfortunately.  A high demand from teenagers is out there to get a HIGH :(

I'm glad I have my pharmacy that is owned privately with a CVS 1/2 mile away and Walgreens across the street that is dead as a door nail.   People in my area prefer using a smaller, privately owned pharmacy to keep the small business owner going after many years. It took 10 minutes for them to fill my pain meds today, I sit in the car and wait and they come get me when it's ready!

Good luck!
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441382_tn?1329196690
Sixty vicodin over a 3 month period is NOTHING!!  Your poor sister having to go through all that nonsense because of Walgreens!   If they are THAT afraid to dispense pain pills then they need to close their pharmacies altogether and just stick to being a chain of variety stores.  People should not have to suffer because they're too scared to dispense pain pills.  As someone else pointed out, if we allowed our pets to suffer in this way we would be arrested for animal abuse!

Ghilly
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Avatar_m_tn
AMEN! I use percocet 10/650 and I am an hiv patient with chronic pain. The Dr. had written my script for1 day early when she changed my dosing from 10/325 to 10/650 and the treated me like I was going out to the parking lot to sell 'em.Needless to say I changed pharmacies. Walgreens are dirt bags. What the Dr. says should GO!
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