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Pain Management Help

I have been pretty unfortunate (medically speaking) over the last several years. I ruptured a disc in my lower back during labor (requiring surgery), had a tumor on my foot that required two surgeries, have had 2 root canals which both required re-treatments (very painful), and now have a severe sprain in my thumb.
I had the best family doctor when I was a teenager but he has since retired. I am still looking for that doctor that meets the standards that I once knew.
All of that being said, I have had a lot of different meds prescribed from various doctors, including Urgent Care centers. I have had trouble getting urgent appointments with my family doc so I have found that UC has been more convenient for me. Just recently my family doctor who I had been seeing for about a year sent me a certified letter saying he was dropping me. I called to get an explanation because he was uncomfortable with my past drug use...even though the reason for taking the meds was well documented and explained. I have NEVER used street drugs or anything like that. Only what has been prescribed to me.
I am seeing an ortho for my sprained thumb and he wants me to see a pain management doctor. Any doctor coming in that doesn't know me could easily pull my pharmacy records and think that I was a drug seeker or a doctor shopper. (Which I do admit that I did shop doctors but not for meds....just to find the right doctor.) Along with the thumb injury that I would be seeing the PM doc for, I have chronic back pain, and have off and on since my back surgery in 2008.
My question is this: am I going to have a problem with a pain management doctor due to my past history and the fact that my primary doc dropped me? Also, is there a "black list" that doctors can put people on to warn other doctors? Is that something the family doctor would have done when he dropped me?
I just don't know what to do because I truly am in pain....but apparently the doctor didn't believe me.
Thanks in advance for your help!
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi cmccarty,

First I want to welcome you to the Pain Management Forum and let you know that we are glad you found this Forum. I want to let you know that there are NO Doctors on this Forum only CP - Chronic Pain - Patients that help each other with our OWN expertise and experiences that we have developed through our OWN CP Issues.

I'm sorry that you have had this happen to you.  I wish that you had joined this community sooner as we would have advised you NOT to go to Urgent Care to get pain meds as the Pharmacies and Doctors Offices ARE connected and your Doctor WILL find out what you are doing.  I WISH that you have been upfront with your Doctor to start with about your pain and ASKED him to send you to a PM Doctor as this never would have happened to you. :{

Th VERY best thing that you can do is to be UPFRONT with your PM Doctor and let him know what happened.  IF you don't and he finds out - and chances are pretty good that he WILL find out about you being dismissed as well as chances are VERY good that he WILL pull you pharmacy records - then he will discharge you and you VERY definitely will be "Red Flagged" by the Doctor's.  :{  So JUST be HONEST with him from the start.

I have to ask you this as it will be EXTREMELY important in what happens - did you EVER - even once - get pills from DIFFERENT Urgent Cares BEFORE your other pills were used up?  This could make a HUGE difference in what happens to you when you go to your PM Doctor.  Another question - when you saw these different Doctors, did you get Pain Meds from EACH one of them?  This again COULD be a problem for you.  How many times have you used Urgent Care this past year?  Once, twice or every month instead of your regular Doctor?  The more information we have the BETTER advice we can give to you.  :)

I'm looking forward to your update, so hopefully, we can give you EVEN better advice.....Sherry  :)

Avatar universal
Hi again,
Thanks so much for responding so quickly! I wish I had found this forum sooner as well. :(  Let me give you a little bit more information.

1) Urgent Care Centers: I use/used Urgent Care often solely because of the convenience of getting seen immediately. I have only seen them for pain related issues maybe 3 or 4 times. I usually used them for illnesses (I.E. bronchitis, flu, sinus infections). I did not receive meds before a previous prescription ran out unless I was having problems with the previous prescription. (For example, hydrocodone makes me sick to my stomach, so they switched pain meds.)

2) I was up front with my doctor about my pain. I gave him a run down of my surgeries, injuries, and chronic pains. I did not tell him every time I had received pain meds in the past as I didn't feel it was necessary since I told him the other stuff.

3) What exactly is being "Red Flagged"? For instance, since I've been dismissed, I need to find a new primary care doctor. If my previous doctor Red Flagged me how will that affect me becoming a patient and receiving care from another PCP? Is this something that any doctor would see immediately or something they would have to search for?

4) I'm hesitant to even go to the PM doctor now for fear that things will be worse. I've read horror stories on other posts from people who are honest with these docs up front and are refused care. I just don't know what to do.

Thank you so much for your advice. I truly appreciate your help!
Avatar universal
Hi,

IF you AREN'T honest with him then you may not have a chance.  Just be honest about the Urgent Care.  Explain WHY you had to switch the Hydrocodone, i.e. that it made you sick. :{  

Just let him know that you NEVER thought that you had to mention to your PCP about the pain meds as you had told him about the pain.  

Let me ask you one other VERY important piece of information.  Did you sign a Pain Management Contract with your PCP?  Anything that might have stated you HAD to inform him of ANY medication that you might have received from some other Doctor OR that stated that you COULDN'T receive any pain medication from anyone BUT him?

Your VERY welcome for my response.  We do our VERY best to get back to the posts ASAP.  Sometimes it will take awhile as it might be a question that we don't have a lot of expertise on. :{  BUT we do our best!!  :)

I can give you a better idea AFTER I find out the answer to the questions above as they are of UTMOST importance.  Sorry that I didn't think of it before............Sherry
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