I see my pain specialist monthly. I give a urine sample each time. The doctor used to use "plain", or "generic" sterile urine specimen cups, and then send them to a lab for testing (his own lab, by the way! $$$). Three months ago the practice switched to the "instant read" type of urine test cups. They give the results immediately then and there. The first time I used the new "instant read" cups I tested negative for my pain medications (methadone & oxycodone). Since "I am an established patient who has been seeing him for a long time, etc., the doctor told me the "cup must be defective", and not to worry about the negative test results. The following month my urinalysis (instant read type) tested positive for the correct medications. On my last appointment I again tested NEGATIVE for my medications!!??!!. This time the doctor was a little "upset". Rather than see him again in a month, I have to see him in two weeks. I was given my regular medications, but just the two week's worth, rather than a month's supply. At the pharmacy I filled my prescriptions and purchased one of those "home drug test" kits. The "home test kit" I purchased tested POSITIVE for opiates, but could not specify what types like the doctor's office's test cups can indeed do?!.. I consider myself very lucky that my doctor trusts me somewhat to continue to prescribe my pain medications that I need to function as normally as I possibly can. I do know of a few other patients that were "discharged" from his practice for the exact same thing that happened to me! I know I take my medications properly. My purchase of the home test kit was to make sure my medicine was actually in my urine. The doctor's test cups are obviously defective, or at least a good percentage of them are. I wonder how many patients have been discharged because of this, or have had the same thing happen to them? I did offer to immediately give a sample in another cup. The doctor refused the offer, stating that they are too expensive, and that it probably wouldn't make any difference anyway! Does he trust me or not? I'm certainly going to bring an unopened "home test kit" to my next appointment just in case. At least I will be able to prove that an opiate is in my system with it. So far for me, 2 out of 3 of his test cups have been defective. I asked him about this and he stated that "He rarely has problems with the new cups". I feel terrible for all the stories I have heard of people not getting needed medications AND being booted from their pain management programs. It's a tough thing to deal with, and definitely not fair to "honest" patients. Sorry this was so long, I'm just very disturbed and anxious about this.
I would have offered to pay for a 2nd cup and/or took the test you took at home in to him to see. I would be afraid of a doctor who uses this type of unreliable equipment espcially when there is a fear of being discharged. I am wondering (as I am hearing more and more problems of this sort because of the widespread abuse of pain medications) if he is doing this to weed out people. I know the DEA and the insurance companies are really coming down on doctors prescribing pain medications and want them to start bumping people off or cutting them down significantly so maybe he is just doing it to get rid of people. Just a thought.
I also wanted to say, I think this problem with doctors who treat pain is just going to get worse. I, like you, have leginimate pain, have all the MRI's, surgery's, etc. to prove it but I believe because of people abusing their med's, it is going to get bad for those of us who need medications. God knows what we will be subject to before our lives are up. I had a doctor tell me I tested dirty for delauda which I have never taken in my life and they charged me $275.00 for a separate office visit to tell me that I tested positive and then gave me a warning. I knew I never took it, wouldn't know where to get it, so I went to a new doctor.
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