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The well never runs dry

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There is always a steady supply for stories... I will warn you. This is a long one. If you decide to plow through this, you might want to get some food first to make it all the way through.

Today I had the privilege of gaining a good look at yet one more facet of our medical system, and so much that is wrong with it. An acquaintance of mine who has MS was in a car wreck a little while ago, and broke his leg in three places. For reasons not germane to the story, he needed a ride to his doctor this morning, and no one to take him, so I stepped in to do a good deed. And you know what they say about no good deed going unpunished…

I arrived at his house bright and early. It was so early it wasn’t even really bright yet, but his appointment was for 0830, and I didn’t want him being late on my account. I am compulsive that way. He has been getting around the house in a wheelchair, with a walker for those short bits where the chair won’t work. I ushered him out to my truck, and got him installed in the front seat. I offered to put his walker in the back seat. He said, “Oh, just leave it here! I’m not going to need it anywhere, and they have a wheelchair for me to use at the doctor’s office.” Now, I am a fan of having it and not needing it rather than the other way around. But even though I had room for about 50 walkers in the truck, I acceded to his wishes, and off we went to the doctor’s. This leaving the walker home will become important later on.

We arrived at the doctor’s office in good order. I parked the truck at the front door temporarily, and went in to procure the promised chair. I eventually got the attention of the vacuous looking young lady behind the counter, and got her to bring a chair out. As I was going out with the chair, some man came striding in who looked like he had no business there as a patient. This is a pain management shop, and he certainly moved like he had no pain at all. I discovered a few seconds later that he was the Doctor Himself, and he had already chastised my passenger for parking in the no parking zone. When he discovered the need for the chair, he was appropriately mollified.

I won’t go into the sordid details of sitting in the office with the TV blaring and the dedicated conversationalist sitting next to me. Suffice to say, it was not fun. But after a 30 minute wait, we were on the road again, this time to the pharmacy. He has two choices in his town. The one place is pretty efficient about filling his prescriptions, but rarely has his pills in stock. The other place usually has them in stock, but has created a whole bunch of extra rules to make things even harder to actually get your script filled. Think of the efficiency of the TSA and you will get the idea.

True to form, the first place did not have the pills, so we backtracked to the second place. It was there that we discovered that the mental giant at the doctor’s office had written the one prescription for ZERO pills. This is where the real fun started.

“I’m sorry sir, but we have to give this script back to you. We can’t fill it.”

Now, I am sitting in the drive through window, and since I am driving, I am the one who has to carry on the conversation.

“Can’t you just call the doctor?”

Oh no, we can’t do that!”

“Well how ‘bout we have the DOCTOR call YOU!?!?”

“Oh, no, we can’t do that either. You have to go back to the doctor and get it redone.”

“And I suppose it will take a second hour to get it filled when we return, right?” This pharmacy has a policy of taking an hour to fill narcotics prescriptions, under the guise of checking to see if the patient is trying to get multiple bottles of pills from different places.

“That’s the way it works sir.”

“Why?” People hate this question. Commoners are not supposed to ask WHY. They’re just supposed to obey!

“Because sir”, she replied officiously, “We need the time to check his public records.” Yes. She actually said public records, like that would end all discussion of the matter.

We just looked at one another and he shook his head. I asked him later on if there was a place we could go on the web where all the pills he took were listed out for the general public. :P

So back to the doctor’s office we went. I parked in the same place in front of the doors, on the chance that I would have to haul him in (their chair is one with the little wheels that the patients can’t use themselves) to get the thing fixed. As it was, they remembered me. But now there was a line. Some lady came in behind me, looked at it and said, “Is this the line!?!”

“Yes ma’am, and I hope you’re not in a hurry.”

“You’re joking, right?”

“Have you been here before?”

“Yes. You’re not joking.” This with an eye roll that would make a teenager proud.

When I got to my turn, I held the prescription up and explained that they had tried to fill it, but had no bottles for no pills. The woman there looked at me like I had three heads, but promised to get it taken care of “right away”. Right away turned out to be about 15 minutes. She got hostile with me when I commented about how this thing went through the hands of at least two or three people and no one checked the number of pills on it. In my head, I was thinking of the recipient as well, but who checks things like that? Isn't the DOCTOR, who insists on reviewing everything before he signs it supposed to do that? Finally, with our brand new prescription in hand, this time with an actual number on it, we headed back to the friendly pharmacy.

We turned it in and picked up the first one. We got a big insincere smile, and the assurance that this one would be filled in another hour, after the required background check. Because, you know, within that last hour, we could have been all over town with fake prescriptions for zero pills.

By this time we were hungry. There was a Dunkin Donuts next door, so we went to their drive through window. I decided on the turkey sausage, egg and cheese flatbread. It was awful. I had a few bites of bread, just to get some carbs into my system. It was some sort of multigrain slab, so I did not eat much. I removed the egg and sausage. The egg was like plastic. And, it had all the flavor scientifically removed. The turkey sausage had the same texture and appearance as one of the floor mats in my shop. The flavor had NOT been removed. It was truly awful. I do not know about the cheese, as it was glued to the bread, and was not coming off. But, it filled the tiny hole in my stomach with some sort of Protein.

At this point, my charge announced that he had to pee. He then allowed how it might have been a good idea after all if we had brought the walker with us. I had visions of having to hose out my truck.

“Do you think… would you mind… could we drive back up to my house so I can pee?”

His house is about five miles out of town, but we had most of an hour left to kill, so I said sure. Besides, I know what it is like to be in a spot where you have to go and you can’t. But all the while I was thinking about that walker, and how some cranky old man wanted to bring it along. We drove up to his house, took care of the needs of nature, and then decided to hang out there until the pharmacy notified him on his app that everything was done and ready.

He briefly toyed with the idea of just sending me down, so he wouldn’t have to go out again. I was fine with that. The temperature had risen all the way from 8 to 12 degrees, so it wasn’t exactly pleasant for him out there with a busted leg and no real mobility. In the end, he decided to go along, just in case the nice young lady with the demonic eyes decided to jerk us around one last time for the day. We completed the transaction, and I dropped him off after 4 1/2 hours into a projected 90 minute trip. And that was just the first part of my day. The rest has been just about as exciting, but that would make this story even longer. ;-)

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How funny and really frustrating!!! You are a good EGG to do this for your friend!!!! You will get your prize soon. LOL

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I had a shitty day but this account made me smile!! lol

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That is soooo frustrating! Unfortunately most of that was not caused by out medical system, but by our legal system and how many laws are passed to supposedly keep drugs out of the hands of addicts and criminals. Instead, law abiding citizens, who actually care about having no criminal history are the ones made to pay.

Personally, I have had it with it. Thank God there are still people out there with compassion left, because I have none.

Everyone has learned biases, and drug addicts and no more compassion are mine. If they want to do drugs, by all means let them and hopefully they will quickly die without harming someone else in the process. I know that sounds harsh. But their actions combined with the actions of our society and legal system have made me heartless.

Just trying to purchase psuedoephidrine for my husband and an elderly friend who could not drive.... they treated me as if I was criminal. Told me I could not purchase the quantity I was requesting even though it was I think the first time in 3 years I needed to purchase that particular drug.

My husband needed the larger quantity because he is truck driver. You can't get meds that actually work out on the road, you often can't purchase them OTC because you have an out of state license and they can't track it.

My elderly friend doesn't drive and felt to ill to get out. So 12 pills for each was not going to help either of them for very long.

After 35 years of having ADHD, I decided to try some of the meds that were available. I hate coffee, but I had to drink it before school, at school, and after school for years until I learned to keep most of my hyperactivity to myself. The rest I was often in trouble for being disruptive. Eventually, I lost myself in books. My teachers finally realized, not making the connection, that as long as I maintained my A's in their classes, leave me alone if I was reading in their class or not participating.

About two years ago my company had just moved us into a new building that was a poorly thought out layout for a person who has ADHD. I have severe issues with all the foot traffic and noise because now they have us set up like a call center almost.

I began and still have terrible issues concentrating, focusing and multitasking. Whereas before I was machine and rapidly becoming invaluable. This new location though... my usual meds, the only ones needed and allowed, that I used while driving a truck the 12 years previous, caffeine and fish oil were no longer sufficient.

So I explained my situation to my doctor. Texas makes you have to go thru a state certified counselor to become certifiable lol. So my doctor started me out on Adderall. After some trial and error it worked great! I was dieting and working out religiously. Staying focused.

But I had the same experiences trying to get medication. I was treated like a criminal. I tried other prescribed meds to avoid that treatment, but they were even less effective than caffeine and fish oil and some even put me into severe depression. So I went back to Adderall.

Then my insurance company began to refuse to pay their portion because I was over 18 yrs old. I had been self medicating with caffeine since I was 5 yrs old. Being treated that way, my meds costing $350 a month, I have given up the fight for now.

I just had my surgery and will try meds in a year or two. In the meantime, I still struggle at work, especially now because I have been off of caffeine for 6 weeks and still have 3 weeks to go before I can take any.

I hate having this legal and criminal stigma from medical community attached to me because of actual criminals.

I think that is why I have lost my compassion for them. Then I think of my addiction to food and how hard I have tried for years to gain control only to fall off the wagon over and over. And I get a little of my compassion back. I remember that in my belief system as a Christian, that our soul returns over and over to learn things. We are spiritual beings on a The Human Experience Rollercoaster, and that we chose this experience. And like Jesus we all have a cross to bear, but fortunately for me, I am only responsible for myself.

So I keep trying to take these trials like at the pharmacy, the feelings of being out of control over my food my entire life as teachable moments for my soul.

But in the meantime... I am going to fight those bastards to stop criminalizing a patient because they need something more than Tylenol for pain or caffeine to help me focus.

Yeah, so my rant was longer. Sorry. Checkmate... giggling..

11/11/16: HW 380

11/28/16: Duodenal Switch Surgery

11/28/16: SW 374 lbs

12/14/16: CW 350 lbs

Edited by Miss Impala

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@@Miss Impala Oh yeah, the issues surrounding psuedoephidrine are incredible. I buy the stuff about once every three or four years, and I have to submit ID, be checked out, etc, because I MIGHT be running a meth lab on those 24 tablets. :rolleyes:

I understand the issue of addicts very well too. That part of the story did not get told, but I am well aware of it.

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Thanks for sharing another funny but frustrating story. I swear these days, it is so difficult to deal with all of the rules in place for people who abuse medications when there are other people who need them for pain or illness.


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Good Times!!!!

Edited by jimmc77

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@@LittleBillThanks for sharing another funny but frustrating story. I swear these days, it is so difficult to deal with all of the rules in place for people who abuse medications when there are other people who need them for pain or illness. Ridiculous!

And if the laws aren't bad enough, people keep trying to out Herod Herod, heaping extra rules, procedures, blah blah blah on top. And it all makes no sense when taken as a whole. For example, this pharmacy has all sorts of extra Draconian rules set up. BUT! After all the crap they put a person through to get his pills, they will hand those pills to ANYONE who shows up and knows his birthday! Now, some might say, "Well how many people would know that?"

The same people who would know he is taking those pills, that's who. The same people who might see that as an opportunity to grab them for herself. Oh wait. I slipped there. ;-)

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I agree with @@Miss Impala assessment. In the past, some doctors generated scripts for narcotic pain medicine like they were dispensing candy. As a result of this abuse many patients became addicted. The government steps in and decides to punish the innocent as well as the guilty and now threatens doctors and drug stores with severe punishment if they write scripts for this type of medicine if it is beyond their guidelines. Therefore the people who really need this medicine to manage their pain, have to undergo extreme vetting.

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We have a doctors here locally who runs a "pain" clinic. She was writing so many prescriptions for narcotics that she was investigated. She was suspended from writing prescriptions for narcotics so she hired multiple FNP's and she "manages" her clinic by having the FNPs fill out the prescription. All of her patients go to her knowing that they can get narcotics and Marijuana cards for a hang nail or a boo boo to their Bo Bo.

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We have a doctors here locally who runs a "pain" clinic. She was writing so many prescriptions for narcotics that she was investigated. She was suspended from writing prescriptions for narcotics so she hired multiple FNP's and she "manages" her clinic by having the FNPs fill out the prescription. All of her patients go to her knowing that they can get narcotics and Marijuana cards for a hang nail or a boo boo to their Bo Bo.

I have to wonder if that is what is going on here, as it seems the Nurse Practitioners are writing the prescriptions and the doctor just signs or otherwise approves them. This guy really needs them with the problems he has. For me, I have a half bottle or two of Vicodin lying around that are both about five years out of date. I still have about half of the oxycodone they sent home with me after my surgery too.

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Drugs are definately not handed out easily here, in fact if you have a chronic pain problem, the emergency rooms wont even help you.

Last November, I has my second spine surgery in a matter 4 months. The second surgery was to try to relieve pain caused by the first surgery 4 month earlier. I was in severe pain after surgery #2, I in fact dealt with it for 10 days and in those days had called my "new" neurosurgeon 4 times with no call back. They did give me norco 5/325 when i left the hospital but they were not touching this pain. On day 11 the pain was so pain i was crying and my husband was pissed that we were not getting a call back from said neurosurgeon. So, he helped me into the car and off we went to the closest hospital for help.

The same hospital where the surgery was performed 11 days before.

I was immediately take back to a room and when the nurse went over my pain control post surgery she admitted i was under medicated.

About 30 minutes later, doctor comes in and asks me when the pain started. I told him right after surgery #1 which had been 4 months earlier. He then said this was considered chronic pain and it was against their protocol to provide medications for chronic pain.

By the way this was a friday night.

My husband immediately jumped in and said, are you telling me I am supposed to take her home in this much pain with zero help from you?

She had surgery in YOUR hospital 10 days ago and her pain is unbearable.

My husband told him that he needed to page my surgeon or deal with the pain himself because we were not leaving.

By the way, at this time I was not on pain meds following surgery 1 so it is not like i had this giant history of narcotics.

So, the reluctant doctor increase the norco to 10mg but now I was told i could only take one which was the same dosage as I was already taking.

So we took the script left and called my general doctor as they instructed given my surgeon was not responding.

The next thing I knew they sent me to a "pain specialist" - ha.....I would not let this guy treat my dog. Before I knew it they had me on 4 different drugs (i hate taking drugs) and I had to sign a contract stating I would not get prescriptions filled anywhere but one pharmacy that I regularly use.

I tried taking these drugs: Cymbalta, Desiprimine, gabapentin and now 10mg of norco. Now i was trying to take all this crap, getting black outs, syncope and still it was not controlling the pain.

Because I had just had that surgery they wanted an MRI but wanted to wait for at least 12 weeks so there was no stuff in the pictures that was related to the 2nd surgery.

When I started getting the blackouts, they took me off desiprimine, switched me to lyrica. No change in the pain.

Then I had shoulder surgery in feb and they talked and decided now to put me on a combo of MS Contin(morphine) and 5mg norco for break through pain. For the first time in 9 months my pain was more under control but my stomach and brain was not liking this routine and i was barely functioning.

My general doctor took me off MS Contin and norco and put me on a fentanyl patch!!! I knew nothing about these darn things but i knew the first dosage did not give me any relief and the pain was worse so she increased it to 50mc patch.

Well, I definately got some relief but now i was literally a veg all day long. I think i slept 14 hours or more a day. I hated these darn things but they had no plan to deal with my back pain and yes, if i did anything, the pain was still there.

I was on that stupid patch for 3 months and it was hell on earth. It would take 14 to 24 hours for the medication to kick in and it was supposed to last for 72 hours. Well, it didnt so by hour 48 I was now back in pain plus going through withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl so i was sicker with them than without them.

I finally told these doctors I need to get off all of this crap asap because it was NOT helping my pain and making me sick on top of it.

So, we built a 3 month plan to get me off of it all. My plan was to get the hell out of that system because all they did was try to cover the problem with medications and PT. I had been in PT for a very long time.

By July, I was off all of those medications, I was alert and yes, still in a lot of pain but decided it was better I learn to deal with it in other ways.

Since then we have been treating with epidural, nerve blocks, pt, biofeedback, acupuncture and warm Water pool therapy. I still have the pain, I take nothing for it at this time.

I cannot work a normal job, I started my own consulting company. I can do 99% of my work from home and so far that is worked out because I have a client in another state. When my contract wears out, I am not sure what I will.

In every instance where we had to get prescriptions filled, I felt like a drug addict. Anytime I ever talk about my pain, it feels as if it is all in my head because that is how these doctors and nurses in this system make you feel.

I know this is not true, because I feel it every day and cannot function normally. I am only 53, and I dont want to take medication because it doesnt help anyway.

What would help is if these morons would listen to their patients. I have 3 tumors on T9, T10 and T11. They insist that the pain is not coming from there. One of them on T10 is very large. They have ruled everything else out. About a month ago, I let them do a intercostal nerve block and at the time I think i asked at least 20 times, is this going to help my back? Not just my ribs? And was told, we dont know until we try it. It did absolutely nothing for my back pain and about 20% improvement in my ribs which has already worn off.

I now have to wait until December 30th for my follow up.

In every instance where I had to get pain medications, I had to jump through hoops just to get it. It is not worth it at all in my opinion.

I used to live in Minneapolis and i have had 7 total back surgeries (fusions, big ones) - my pain is not in my head. I never had these issues when in Minneapolis but here is Wisconsin, you practically have to stand on your head to get anyone to listen to you about your pain.

Not sure what will happen next, part of me has given up trying to get any help because clearly these people do not want to listen to their patients. I guess the good news is, I am in a different system and at least these people are trying some things that dont involve narcotics that I really dont want to take and they dont help anyway.

We will see what happens at the end of the month.

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@@Djmohr Wow. You have really been given a tough row to hoe. I can't even begin to imagine having to to through all that. Please tell your husband that I said good for him! A lot of these medical people, whether doctors or not, treat us like slabs of meat. And I know there are lots that don't, but sometimes it seems like the apathetic ones are in the majority.

I've had very few hospital experiences so far. For the two times I have been in the hospital in the past 30 years, I had excellent care from the nurses. The doctors were okay. There were a few times I had to get firm, and one time I told the doc bluntly that he was working for me and would answer my questions to my satisfaction. But that was a rare instance.

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