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2106457 tn?1333924567

husband with pain issues

My husband has been dealing with pain most of his life. If it wasn't broken bones and other such things when young it is severe osteoarthritis. He had a stroke a year ago. A month ago he fell and fractured his ankle. I must add he had taken a great deal of hydrocodone and Xanax in a 3 day period prior to the fall, whether depressed from the stroke or memory probes prevented him remembering how much he had taken, is all in question. His hospital records described a diagnosis of "narcotic overdose" along with "chronic pain" on his records. A psychiatrist saw him in the hospital. We explained to him we were in the process of getting him in to see a pain management Dr. This Dr.said good and said perhaps taking him off hydrocodone and starting Fentanyl patch would work better. On down, he was started on Fentanyl, has not seen pain management yet. He started referral in April. Fentanyl script was running out. We saw PCP, who started the referral process and told him we never heard from the pm Dr. His office Finally contacted them and informed is my husband can't be seen due to DUI or drug charges. We have been married 23  years and he never had this occur. I asked him in all his life did he ever have dui or drug charges, he said yes, but 40 years ago. Now our PCP won't treat for pain and neither will pm doc. How can we get his pain addressed?
8 Responses
7721494 tn?1431631564
There is something wrong here -- mistaken identity, error in medical records, etc.

You have a choice -- either negotiate with the first doctor, explain the situation, or find a new pain doc now.

For now, I'd find the doc who started him on Fentanyl and ask for another month's RX. This will give you the time to work on the long term problem.

Or, ask your husband's PCP to cover the medication for a month or two until this issue is resolved and he gets settled in with a good pain manager.
Avatar universal
No you do not understand , people are not being helped when they hurt. People are saving money by not giving you pain medication a lot of money. It is really politics million and millions of dollars in the pockets. Read up on news paper articles information on the web ask for the information different ways to get your answers. This will cause most of the aging population problems in our future, this is about you to.
7721494 tn?1431631564
Thank you for your comments, 4usanra. While the political aspects of the pain epidemic and its corollary problem of opiophobia occupy much of my time in other endeavors, I try to keep that stuff out of my work here at MedHelp. (I don't always succeed.) While we who participate on MedHelp Pain forum do talk of many things, I have discovered that it's usually counterproductive to discuss both cabbages, and kings.

Simply, most people here do not understand the big-picture problems of which you speak. These problems go right to the core of our Medical Industrial Complex -- a borrowed phrase that refers to the business of medicine.

But this is more than an ethical crises. The pain crises also a personal struggle that exists in attitudes that are deeply entrenched in the fabric of a society that has been manipulated into an autonomic obedience of authority, a profound fear of drugs, and a deep feeling of shame over living with a chronic illness that often requires pain medication to restore function.

We live in Orwellian world and it is possible that I might agree with your point of view in another time and place.

But MedHelp is not a forum for political action. Try Twitter and search on the hashtags #chronicpain, #chroniclife, #PainAwarenessMonth, #opiophobia. There you'll find people actively involved in fighting the political battle.

After all, September is Pain Awareness Month. Wear a blue ribbon.

Most people who come to MedHelp don't know where to turn. They're hurting, afraid, and for many, no one seems to care.

People who come here for help have never before been faced with a debilitating illness like chronic pain.  

Others do not understand how to utilize the medical system to improve the quality of their lives.

Many do not understand the fundamentals of their bodies, and have successfully left its maintenance to experts -- until now. To their chagrin, the experts in which they've trusted their health either don't know what to do about their pain, or they just don't care to treat.

We try to help individuals manage their particular pain problem, and too often help them navigate the dangerous rocks and shoals of universal precautions in pain management -- those protocols that involve profiling, pill counts, random UDTs, controlled substance agreements, overzealous pharmacists, and the other forms of excessive scrutiny that make them feel like they're criminals.

After all, this is how we treat criminals in prison -- through excessive scrutiny and control.

What no one understands is that universal precautions in pain medicine assumes that anyone who is prescribed an opioid analgesic will abuse that medications.

What no one understands is that universal precautions in pain medicine are designed to minimize risk to practitioners, clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical giants, and other stakeholders in the Medical Industrial Complex from the legal consequences of the war on drugs.

People here, in general, do not understand the economics and politics of the pain epidemic. Political action occurs at a level above that which we deal with here at the MedHelp Pain forum.

So please don't misunderstand us -- our peer-counselors do understand many aspects of this scandalous crises that has turned the practice of pain medicine in America upside-down. We're all people in pain -- we feel its effects every day.

When the millions in pain can learn to reliably attenuate their pain, perhaps they can turn their attention to understanding why it was so difficult to find care, and maybe then do something about it.

Until that day, someone needs to help the suffering. We do what we can.

If you're knowledgeable in how to find pain relief, I invite you to  please join us in our volunteer work of counseling those who are not.

If you're for us, Sandra, then help us.
547368 tn?1440545385
Welcome. I'm so very sorry to hear about your husband's pain and situation. My heart goes out him - and you who love him.

First a heartfelt thank you to Phil - who writes so eloquently, speaks for many of us and works "behind the scenes" an attempt to begin change and educate -  in this unjust opiophobia United States.

My dear I thought I had heard it all - but to refuse PM (Pain Management) because of something that occurred 40 yrs ago certainly takes the cake. This one makes no sense - but many things in this opiophobia climate makes no sense to me. I've never heard of a PMP going back 40 years to check driving/criminal records. Like Phil I'm wondering if this is a case of mistaken identity.

I encourage you to obtain your husbands recent medical records - all of them. See what his physician's and hospital records contain. There may be errors that need correcting or addressing. You'd be surprised what can "hide" in those records - often untruths or half truths. It's frightening. It's my guess there is something in those records that can explain (at least in part) the reason these 40 year old charges are being brought up. If you know what you're fighting you'll have a better chance.

I would hope that there is more than one PMP is your area - or at least within driving distance. I drive almost an hour to see a PMP that I am at least comfortable consulting. He doesn't judge me. So it'll be your job to locate a PMP if your husband's PCP is unable to do so.

You said your husband took a "great deal of Hydrocodone and Xanax in a 3 day period."  Does that mean instead of 4 a day he took 6 - or does that mean instead of 4 he took 20? I ask because too often a hospital or ER is quick to DX a "narcotic overdose."  An extra tablet or two does not mean overdose, in most instances. The majority of ppl that don't have Chronic Pain simply can't understand chronic pain. Xanax may have been the bigger culprit in this situation - that's water under the bridge as he requires pain management now. I just encourage you to know the numbers.

I'm hopeful you will be able to persuade his PCP to treat him. Have you seen him in person? Is this a long time PCP?  If he refuse to treat your husband's pain find another PCP as this one apparently has no concern for your husband.

Please get those medical records! Please keep in touch. I'll look forward to hearing from you. My heart goes out to you.

Take Care,
Avatar universal
Oh my Dear Lady.  I've been keeping an eye on your post and you've received, as always, excellent information advice from both Phil and Tuck.

Tuck has always been a huge advocate of keeping a close eye on all of your Dr.'s records.  She's right on the money.  You need to get those immediately as there has to be more to this story than something that happened 40 yrs ago.  They might be hiding in those records.  You need to read every one of them carefully.  You will be surprised what they may have written in them.  Some can be out and out lies.  You just never know.

Along with both Tuck and Phil, I'm astounded that your husband would be turned down by a PM (Pain Management) Doctor.  Of all people, he should have been sent to one immediately.  

I, too, hope you will keep us informed as to what you learn and how your husband is doing.  We're all VERY concerned for him and for you as his  aretaker.  Tuck and I know exactly what a toll it takes on those of us who are the Caretaker's of our loved ones.  :)   Be sure you take care of yourself, also!      

Looking forward to your updates.... Sherry :)
Avatar universal
Hello - I'm brand new to this website and forum, but have been researching extensively online with regards to pain management and, in particular, Suboxone treatment for chronic pain.  I have been suffering from chronic pain (daily) for over 4 years now, and have been taking opiates as prescribed. However, over the past two years, due to a few stress fractures and aggravated arthritis, I my pain has become so bad that I cannot seem to find relief and I refuse to continue upping my dose of Oxycontin. I have begun tapering down my dose over the past month, but as soon as I have a "bad pain day" I sometimes have no choice but to up the dose again and it completely ruins my taper. My new pain management doctor, as well as my PCP are both highly encouraging me to "try the Suboxone" - "you will feel 100x better", they say. Well, I've read NOTHING but horror stories about the dextox from Suboxone and how hellish it is. When I brought this to my Pain Mgmt. Dr.'s attention, told her my fears & concerns, she said, "That's because they didn't taper under proper supervision."  I believe they're both very good people and are trying to help me, however, I am having a hard time accepting that I may be in pain for the rest of my life, and this drug seems to be my only hope.  I really do not want to take it as I know that it is just another opiate and how will I ever come off of it?  I'm only 40 years old. I have a 12 year old daughter that needs her mommy to be functional, happy, and healthy. I can't function as I am currently, but how will I ever be myself again on a drug that seems apparently impossible to come off of??  Please, if ANYONE, physician or pain patient, can steer me in a good direction here, I'm open to any and all advice.  Thank you for taking the time to read this. I sincerely appreciate it!
Avatar universal
I want to thank you for starting your own thread on our Forum.  You did the correct.thing and I will go to it and answer your question as best I can now.

                                        ..........  Sherry  :)
4851940 tn?1515698193
If your husband is having an acute spasmodic pain, a heat pack can help with this.  

Some muscle spasms are relieved by a cold compress and others by heat.  I find a heat pack works really well for acute back spams.

If you are not able to get any pain relief medication from any of the doctors at all, it is worth trying over the counter pain remedies.  As your husband cannot remember how many pills he takes and may take more that the recommended dose, I suggest you keep the tablets away from him and give him a dose as directed on the packet at the right time.  Usually every 4 hours.  

Ant-inflammatory drugs can also be purchased over the counter without a prescription.  And if he does not have an allergy to them, or has no stomach problems, you could alternate a dose of an anti-inflammatory and a pain relief medication.  Anti-inflammatory drugs can cause stomach bleeding, liver and kidney damage - they should NEVER be taken on an empty stomach.  Always follow the directions on the packet.  They should NOT be used by someone who has a stomach ulcer or stomach problem.  Always check the label on the packet.  Your pharmacist will be able to advise you regarding any over the counter medications that would be OK with the medicines that your husband may be taking now.  Always check with the pharmacist.

Other ways to help treat pain, is by analgesic creams that are rubbed into the skin, embrocations and sprays that you can purchase.

If his foot is still not well, make sure this is elevated as much as possible.  Applying natural set yogurt to a swollen and inflamed joint can help to reduce the inflammation.    

Acupuncture may be helpful and you could consider purchasing a TENS machine.  If you know someone who already has one, ask if you can try it on your husband before purchasing one.

Relaxation will also help to reduce symptoms of pain.  Depends where he feels his pains, he may benefit from a back, neck massage. Arnica message oil is very good.   Aromatherapy and reflexology may be helpful.

I also agree with the other posters about challenging the decision and asking for an explanation in full, why they will not treat your husband.
You need to explain to them also that due to his stroke his memory is impaired and that it is highly likely he unintentionally took too many of those medications.  

If you do not have one, you may find a pill box helpful and keep all medicines under lock and key away from your husband.

Best of luck.
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