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Avatar universal

In total DISbelief!

To members of this community, let me apologize for this being long.  It's my first post and I'm desperate for a friend to communicate with, who is going through similar issues.  I have my wonderful husband of 22 years and other family, but would like some give and take feedback with a "friend" here, online, who actualy EXPERIENCED PERSONALLY things similar to what I'm going through.  I'm sorry this is lengthy, just feel facts are relevant.

I have been going down hill for 2 years, but especially the last 8 months.  They say I have FMS, but I don't believe it.  I have like only 4 of the 18 trigger points.  MRI last week confirmed bulging disc in C6-7.  Rheumatologist Dr. gave me Lortab and Soma.   I also do heat, ice, jacuzzi and have a massage therapist come to my home, as much holistic approaches as possible.  However, I have been in such severe pain the last 10 days I have had no choice but to take Lortab, Darvocet, Phenergan and Soma, as well as Klonopin (Clonozapam) (AS Prescribed - not all at once) and Pristiq, because when my pain level skyrockets, I feel my life is spiraling out of control and I guess I'm the "control freak" personality type, because when the pain flares to 10+, I get so much anxiety I have trouble breathing and that's what I take the Clonozapam for.  I hate taking meds, but realize they're sometimes necessary to get through a day and have a little quality time with family before I'm six feet under.

So, today my husband and I had the DISpleasure of meeting "Dr. God" the spinal specialist.

I told him I had gone through MORE than the "1/2 to 1 tablet once or twice daily" of Lortab, prescribed by my Rheumatologist, who is convinced I have Fibromyalgia.  I have NOT been sleeping AT ALL.  There is NO comfortable position.  I CANNOT drive because I can't turn my neck and don't feel safe behind the wheel due to "blind spots" and having to turn my neck (which I can't do) to change lanes, etc.  So, I'm pretty much a shut-in except when my husband of 22 years or my "almost 18" son are home and can chauffeur me around.  NOT driving is my CHOICE.  I feel it is the PRUDENT AND RESPONSIBLE decision.  I'm a Christian, my moral standards are high, once again, my choice, and I don't lie, among other things.

But today, "Dr. God" had me do a urine sample.  Fine, no problem.  This was my first, last and only meeting witth him.  My husband and I answered all of his questions and gave a brief history of how in January of this year I started working out with my personal trainer again.  Also, my husband and I were taking dancing lessons and were at the studio 2-5 nights a week.  So weight was falling off fast and I was getting really lean again.  BUT - THE KICKER beginning in January when I started again with my personal trainer I KNEW SOMETHING WAS OFF/DIFFERENT than during the previous four years of periods of fanatically working out.  The difference was: MY SORENESS AFTER WORK-OUTS AND DANCING WAS COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE LEVEL OF ACTIVITY I WAS DOING!  I stayed sore and aching.  It never let up.  To this day, even though I've stopped working out AND stoppped dancing, (which is really SAD, because I really enjoyed both, very much!)  the pain is unrelenting except with the Lortab - but, I took more than 2/day because they don't last twelve hours!  The Rx for 60 tablets, supposed to last a month, lasted right at twenty days.

So I do the urine sample and "Dr. God" walks back in to talk to my husband and me and tells me I FLAT OUT FAILED the urine test.  We asked what that meant.  He said there is no trace in my urine for narcotics, opiates nor benzos.  My husband and I were almost speechless.  We asked how is that possible.  "Dr. God" says he sees it all the time - people doing something to the urine to "pass the test".  I immediately told him I was no liar and I wanted another test and I wanted him, "Dr. God", two nurses and my husband in the bathroom with me to do over.  Dr. refused.  He agreed to the do-over but only with one female who worked there and my husband.  Comes back again, "YOU FAILED AGAIN, so I cannot give you any prescriptions for pain medicine, but I can do a spinal injection that might or might not help alleviate some pain."  I demanded that he get someone in the room asap to draw blood and do a blood test, because his urine test is obviously WRONG.  He refused.  We left and agreed to never see him again and we scheduled an appointment with another spinal specialist to do the spinal injection.  I don't care if no one ever gives me another Rx for pain.  BUT I HAVE A REALLY ENORMOUSLY HUGE PROBLEM  with being called a LIAR!!!  The test was wrong,  "Dr. God" has never and will never make a mistake and he has the personality of a serpent, so it's satisfactory to me that I get the spinal injection from another doctor (the same one who was my husband's doctor and did my husbands' spinal shots) and let my husband's doctor make the money from treating me.  "Dr. God" won't get a cent and I'm considering reporting him to the AMA or wherever.  I am desperate for pain relief - I'm so hoping the spinal injection works, but until then I will have to take pain medicine.  Can someone please explain to me or share some experience they've had and how they handled it.  I really need a friend here.  The worst part was the insinuation that I was lying and the second worst was that he refused to do a blood test (because it would have proved him wrong).  I have cried my eyes out today, all they way home.  I'm so frustrated!  Can someone please just talk to me.  How did that happen - "failing the urine test"?  I just don't get it.  God Bless all of you in the community everywhere, I pray solutions will be found for all.  Thanks!
18 Responses
547368 tn?1440545385
I am glad that you have found us At the Pain Mangement Forum of MedHelp. I am so very sorry to hear about your pain and your meeting with Dr. God.

I've been on the forum for well over a year and I can tell you that your post is not all that unusual, this happens. There are some surveys that clam the UA Drug Screen is up to 40% inaccurate. There are different theories regarding why this happens, some have to do with metabolism, others is calibration or the cut off point that the clinics use, when you took your last dose and so on. None of that really matters now because Dr God has formed his opinion and you will no longer see him, which in my opinion is a great idea. He is actually following guidelines (probably law) that the DEA dictates he must conform to in order to remain under their radar and continue to practice. If you fail a drug screen they cannot prescribe narcotics for you again.

Mollyrae has an informational article in her journal (check her profile page) on why this can happen. Unfortunately she is out ill or she would tell you to read it. We do have active members that the same things has happened. I will contact one and ask that she respond to your post also.

If this was the first time you saw Dr God that apparently another physician is prescribing narcotics for you so you will still obtain some pain relief. Be prepared that he will report the fact that you failed the drug screen to whom ever (physician) referred you to him.  I'm sorry to tell you that but that is generally the why it works in the medical community. You may face more drug screens from other physicians. Do your research, learn all you can about failed tests to determine if you can find a logical reason to the failure. Request blood drug screens if you are required to submit to another one.

I have been very lucky that I have not had to submit to a drug screen, except for an employment drug screen, which was positive for narcotics, as it should have been. (Yes I got the job.)  I have the fear that I too will fall in that 40% error rate regardless of the fact that I too take my meds as prescribed.

What's done is done. All you can do is put Dr God behind you and chalk it up to a bad and unfortunate experience. You will never change his mind. Other physicians will believe and treat you. I do, and I don't even now you. But your sound sincere and  honest. Your anger and disbelief comes through in your post loud and clear.  

Although I have not been in your exact spot I have met numerous Dr God's that failed to even beleive I had any pain. I've been called a drug seeker, a malingerer and more. I gave up. I was near the end of my rope when I stumbled onto a physician that not only recognized my pain but diagnosed it in less than two weeks. I wanted to return to all the physicians I saw over the years to tell them how inept and wrong they were. Initially I was so angry because my condition went years without treatment and now cannot be successfully treated. Now I count my blessings. If it weren't for a wonderfully thorough and skilled physician my life would not be worth living. In your situation you were lucky to discover that Dr God was such a bahoota early on and not into treatment or after your condition had earned him lots of money.

Keep on, keeping on. Don't let this set you back. We are here to support you. Please feel free to vent or post whenever you need to do so. Keep in touch and please consider becoming an active memeber of our community. I will look forward to your posts and updates. Best of luck to you in your future contacts with spinal specialists.

Take Care,
387767 tn?1345875627
I don't really have an answer for you, but I want to let you know I have almost the same type of back pain you have, and the same response to exercise.  But I also have pain in other joints--knees, elbows, shoulders, jaw.  I was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome and Fibro also, but now the newest doctor I have is thinking some type of undiagnosd autoimmune arthritis, along with osteoarthritis.  I don't think it's fibro.  I also have 3 herniated discs in my neck and a bulging disc in low back.  My entire back, according to the doctor, *has enough arthritis for 4 people.*

I used to be a workout nut, I did it 5 days a week.  Now I do nothing, not even stretching because everything causes too much pain.  The back and knee pain is unbearable.  I did PT, but I refuse to do it again, it's too painful.  I'm 53, feel 93, and have no life.  All I am never given anything for pain.  I have Ambien to help me sleep, but the pain is always there.  I take Tylenol Arthritis.

I know this misery, I know the anxiety and depression.  I know what it's like to go to rude, uncaring doctors!
356518 tn?1322267242
Hi Fed Up,
I know exactly where your coming from. I was seeing a PM doctor who was also a friend as I was friends with his wife also. I failed the test too and the doctor and his wife has seen me take my meds several times during social outings and he dropped me. He was not rude but he has a policy that ANYONE who fails is dropped. He knew I was taking my medications and even set me up with another wonderful doctor. I do appreciate that but I now have to build a new relationship with this new doctor.
I know you feel betrayed and seen as a liar, I felt the same way. I cried and cried and I was sooo upset for a long time. This all happened a couple months ago and it still upsets me.
These test are not infallible. There have been so many people that have failed them and doctors need to realize there is something wrong with the test itself or the people handling it are making mistakes or there is a medical reason.
I also have some information on this in my journal. I will post it here to make certain you see it. There are drugs that will cause a false negative and there have been studies and reports of this happening.
My advice is to let it go hun, do not let it eat you up inside. I had to learn to let go and it was so hard but I have a new doctor now and he is great so I have to look at the positive side of things.
Have your doctor refer you to a pain management doctor ( pm doctor) pronto. Pain management doctors in my experience are more helpful with treating your pain and also keeping up in new treatments for pain. They also can offer you more options for pain control as they are specialist in this area and know more about pain and it's effects on us.
Please do not let this upset you any more than it has, look toward getting a doctor to understand your in pain and need help and leave the insinuations of the doctor who treated you so badly behind you.
You can report him to the AMA if you would like. I have to say I am surprised he agreed to do a second test. Most will not even entertain this idea. he should have done blood work but he was not required to do so.
I would write a letter explaining your feelings about how you were treated and that he refused to do blood work that would have proved you were in fact taking your medications and send it to him. This becomes part of your file.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask. We understand your pain and want to help you all we possibly can.
We are here for you:)
356518 tn?1322267242
With all  the posts inquiring about false negative urine test I wanted to put this in my journal for reference.
When this issue comes up I always have to research the information so it is easier to just add it here in my journal. It is unacceptable that this is happening to anyone who religiously takes their pain medications. When they are tested and then fired because their test are negative for the medications they are prescibed it is unfair. there are too many variables to fire a patient on one negative test and the mistakes that can occur are too many to name. We need to have a contract with our docs just as they have with us only we need one assuring us they will not abandon us over one false negative result.

A drug screen is a complex thing and the higher tuned (more sensitive)
it is the more complex it becomes. You see, drug screens can be
adjusted to detect various trace amounts of many different types of
drugs. Some test react positively for the presence of drugs
(substances or derivatives) only if those traces appear in the test
medium in certain volumes. For example, a person on parole may be
given a test for marijuana (cannabis, hash, etc) that will respond
positive if the test medium contains traces above  a certain “cutoff
level” where the cutoff level is very low (10ng/ml possibly) . Whereas
a person applying for a job may be given a test for marijuana
(cannabis, hash, etc) that will respond positive only if the test
medium contains traces above a certain “cutoff level” where the cutoff
level is very high (50ng/ml possibly).

There is some recent history with false results as is evidenced by
studies conducted by the Veteran’s Administration (VA). For example,
the VAGLAHS Outpatient Pain Program (OPMP) utilizes a standard Drug of
Abuse (DOA) immunoassay and Biorad High Performance Liquid
Chromatography (HPLC) Remedi-HS. These tests are used to monitor for
medication compliance. In 2004  as many as 44 % of patients tested
were found negative for opiates despite patient prescribed opioid
medication. The VA concluded that the DOA test was not sensitive
enough (in other words the cutoff was too high to detect the presence
of opioids commensurate with what the VA considered minimum
.‘Result of Urine Toxicology in VA Patients Treated In a Pain Clinic’

In order to test positive for our meds we have to have the required amount in our system that the test requires in order to test positive. If one test requires only trace amounts then surly there will be no problem, if one test requires that a high level be detected then we will have to have that level in order to test positive.
356518 tn?1322267242
These are the drugs that will cause a false negitive.....

The reactivity of 13 quinolones (levofloxacin, ofloxacin, pefloxacin, enoxacin, moxifloxacin, gatifloxacin, trovafloxacin, sparfloxacin, lomefloxacin, ciprofloxacin, clinafloxacin, norfloxacin, and nalidixic acid) was tested in 5 commercial opiate screening assays from September 1998 to March 1999. In 6 healthy volunteers, we confirmed the cross-reactivity of levofloxacin or ofloxacin with these opiate screening assays. be positive, therefore some will and have failed these test.
Avatar universal
besides my sympathy [empathy, i suppose, for i have had chronic pain for 7 years] i have one specific suggestion that might help your lack of sleep. i use generic ambien. they come in 10mg tablets, and my doc has prescribed me 2/night. you may only need one. they may not work at all, you might have side effects, but its worth a try. it may sound strange, but if i take one and stay awake it actually gives me some pain relief [and, of course, makes me drowsy]. it has been a life saver for me.
Avatar universal

Hello to all of you.  I have not felt well enough to even get on the computer for many days, but, wanted to thank all of you for your kind words, sharing your experiences, wisdom, research, facts, etc.  Looks like getting in to see the next spinal specialist re the spinal injection, due to some red tape, is going to take a while, oh, well, I will wait.  I had no idea why I was asked to give a urine sample when I went to Dr. god.  Boy did I get a quick education.  How naive of me.  I would never have thought that if you/one tested negative for drugs, that was cause for a doctor NOT to prescribe them.  What do they think you/one does with the prescription, other than take it as prescribed?  And why don't they use a RELIABLE test to see if you/one is taking Rx as prescribed?  I wish only the best for all you and am touched that you each took time to read and respond.  I really don't know where else I could turn for answers.  I'm just really feeling deflated and defeated.  I've pretty much given up, at this point.  But my husband is on a "mission" to get me accurately diagnosed, feeling better and seeing the right doctors and he will not stop until he's satisfied that I have been diagnosed and reliably treated.  God Bless You All.  I pray for healing for each of you.  Thank you, all of you, for taking time for me - a stranger.  It's very significant to me!
547368 tn?1440545385
Hi Fedup,

I am so sorry that you are experiencing so much pain. I very much appreciate the update. I have been wondering how you were doing.

It sounds like you have a great husband, a real keeper. I agree with him. There is a physician out there that will diagnosis and treat you. Please don't give up. You know my story and that it took me a long time to locate a wonderful and caring physician. I also gave up. please don't do that. Life is too short to live it in unbearable pain.

As I said earlier there is a physician out there that will take interest in you, believe you and finally diagnose you. She will treat you and your pain properly. I know how disheartening it can be. I was so tired of being looked at as some kind of pond scum. I have the perfect doctor-patient relationship, the kind I would like you and everyone here that doesn't have that relationship to experience. Hang in there, they do exist.

Blessing to you also,
Avatar universal
I am so happy for you.  And, yes, my husband is a great one - without him, many times I would've given up already.  He won't let me, not for long, before he makes me "snap out of it"!  Thanks for wondering about me - for even thinking of me.  My husband, of course, works to provide a wonderful life for us, we have our youngest son left at home.  He's a senior this year, there's a lot going on for seniors and I don't want to miss a second of any of it.  But with my husband's work and my son's school and two jobs - not my choice - he's been an "overly independent" young lad since birth.  My husband says that's a good thing.  I guess so.  It just always felt like the apron strings were cut much too early with this one.  When he was two years old I took him with me to a salon to get them to fix the mess I'd made of my hair.  There was an elderly lady there who was enthralled with him.  He kept her entertained while her hair set.  She looked at me ever so seriously when she was leaving and spoke to me softly, like she KNEW something and said, "Your son is destined for greatness.  Trust me, I know."  Then she was gone.  I've never forgotten that, which was 16 years ago, now.  Not that it means anything.  But his independence just almost kills me sometimes.  I'm like, gosh, son, let me be your mother, already!  I acknowledge you're a man now, but I'll always be your mother.  Anyway, I'm rambling on now and my point to all of this is I have a lot of time on my hands - too much - and it's lonely sometimes, especially when the pain is bad which is almost always.  When the pain isn't bad, (forgot when last time was) I have more to do, so much so, that I wish there were three of me, so I could get it all done!  So, Tuck, thanks for reaching out.  I'm grateful your crossroads have taken you to the right places and that you're in a really good spot now, at least have found the "rare" good doctor.  

My husband and I discussed last night that it's interesting that when my Rheumatologist put me on a super-mega-dose of Vitamin D, 50,000mg 2/week, I got to feeling better almost immediately.  I don't understand why they took it away after two months.  Seems they rather you on narcotics than on vitamin supplements!  WHY?  The vitamin D worked miracles!  We're going to pursue that further.  And, for Dr. god, he's got it coming, we're going to find out the proper protocol and start writing letters.  The fact that he refused to do a blood test, which  would have proven him  wrong, to me, is unethical.  My insurance certainly would have covered it.  He just didn't want to be proved wrong.  But, right now, I'm looking forward, not backward.  His time will come and he'll get what he's dished out.  Right now, we just have to find out what will get me off the sofa and heating pad and up to do all that's waiting on me to do it.  I love what I do, when I'm doing it - it's photography and restoration and editing.  It brings me so much joy.  I have enough work just on family stuff right now that I could stay busy for years doing archival stuff.  Well, I really can't thank you enough for reaching out to this stranger and giving me hope.  I can tell you are a very kind soul.  May you continue to be blessed every moment of every day.
Your sister in Christ
Avatar universal
I had a really bad experience with a spine doctor.  After ordering and MRI and looking at the results he says I have the spine of an 90 year old.  I was only 31 at the time.  5 compressed disks in the neck three of them buldeging and one causing spinal stenosis.  He told me i was to young to operate and did not want to give me any pain killers.  I was with my partner and we where both floored that he was just going to send me away.  Thank god i have a great PCP who set me up with a pain management clinic that has been the best.  thought i am still in a lot of pain i feel like they are there trying to help and support me.  I am so sorry u had to go threw that BS.  Some DRs are just heartless and have never had the kind of pain we are in.
Avatar universal
AGREED!  Heartless doctors exist in multitudes, but those with a sympathetic and caring heart also exist and, I think, outnumber the "evil" ones.

I have taken matters into my own hands, along with my husband, and our massage therapist that comes to our home to work on me, since I've stopped driving, she has her own portable table and is just a little angel,  I want to adopt her!  She told us about a patient of hers where she works who has FMS and has the MOST WONDERFUL DOCTOR WITH THE MOST WONDERFUL TREATMENT!  It's called "Prolotherapy" also, inaccurately, I think, called B-12 shots.  This is not so new, but seems to be not very adequately known by PCPs.  It's been helping many people with what has been described as "miraculous" results for years.  I started doing my own research and took an inch-thick stack of papers to my PCP a couple of weeks ago.  He said, "Hey, I've never heard of this before, but this guy is a board-certified Physician in Physiatry, so I will absolutely give you the referral.  Anything is better than the way you've been living."  So, I got the referral, got the appt. for October 12 (new patient - have to wait, but that's okay).  I  also have a bulging disk in the neck area, I think it's C-5, but I just know that is NOT my main problem.  I have done TONS of research, till I'm bleary-eyed and found out that several things aggravate FMS, one that tops the list is ASPARTAME!!!  I was drinking Coke Zeros all day, every day!  After stopping that and just switching back to regular coke and a whole lot of H2O, I'm feeling better.  Not great, but BETTER.  I can't remember the last time I could say that!  I encourage everyone to take their health matters into their own hands.  This is the 21st century.  We have NEVER BEFORE had so much information at our fingertips.  Of course, you have to chunk the junk and sort through for good information, but OUR LIVES  ARE WORTH THAT, RIGHT!!!  If they aren't, nothing is!

Take charge.  Demand alternative treatments if you have proof that they worked well for enough people in trials.  Don't let doctors get you hooked on pain meds that aren't fixing the problem and are turning our minds to mush!  RESEARCH, RESEARCH!  That's what I did and I think my answer is waiting for me at an Oct. 12 appt. with a brilliant doctor!  Good luck to  everyone.  Keep plugging away, don't give up, even when you feel like it.  It's YOUR LIFE!  TAKE CHARGE!
1152183 tn?1273015295
I can identify with your situation. I stopped dancing, used to work out, and can no longer sing without aggravating my neck pain. Today, I'm sitting in bed with my laptop because the weather changed, and we all know what that can bring with it.

So far I have been lucky with my meds. I attribute this to my having my narcotics contract altered to limit any testing to blood tests only, to check for liver function since I take Vicodin daily.

It may be wise for all pain patients facing urine screening to ask the test be modified so that you take your meds in the office, wait the amount of time it would take for them to show up in your urine, then get the sample. Present your argument for this change with some documentation from a reputable online source, stating that you would like to be sure the test isn't flawed.

If a test conducted this way still yields inaccurate results, it is no longer just your word against a doctor who would rather not treat you at all.

Does this make sense to anyone else?

Is it just me?
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