Tips on how NOT to appear like a Drug seeker - page 12

by WillowBrook 70,460 Views | 150 Comments

Having read through some of the threads regarding Drug seekers in the Emergency Department I must admit I now feel quite nervous of being misperceived in this way. I take medication which causes some urinary retention and... Read More


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    I've worked in an ER for several years now and it never ceases to amaze me what lengths these drug seekers will go to. This thread is truer than just about anyone can believe.
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    Have you noticed how Mediports are now being placed in Drug Abusers, I am seeing more and more of this lately. Amazes me.
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    Their veins are probably all blown from years of abuse. All that hard living wears and tears on a body. They probably have real diseases now from all the damage they did over the years. What a mess! It's a shame. By the time I get a lot of these patients, they realize what they have done to themselves and their loved ones, but it's often to late.
    Last edit by NurseyBaby'05 on Oct 26, '06
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    Quote from gauge14iv
    Someone who wasn't a drug seeker wouldn't even be concerned about this.
    I beg to differ. My husband has ulnar neuropathy bilat and also has chronic pain from falling out of a 5-ton army truck with full combat gear (about 60 lbs) on at the time. He has has bilateral tib/fib stress fractures and feet problems from jumping out of planes -all thanks to time in the military. He is in constant pain. He is also a combat medic, paramedic, & law enforcement officer. He will probably have to retire in a couple of years b/c the neuropathic pain and symptoms have become so severe.

    Every time he goes to the doctor to discuss pain management he dreads it b/c he worries about telling the doc how much and how often he really hurts. He thinks that it makes him look like a drug seeker when all he really wants is to control the s/s. He is currently on hydrocodone 7.5 & Trazadone (both on his days off), Methacarbamol, Tramadol, 800mg Ibuprofen & Salsalate (when he is working). The Tramadol, Ibuprofen, & Salsalate don't help very much but at least allow him to function at work with only a few people know how miserable he really feels.

    Suggestions for him? He does worry about it & is not a drug seeker.
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    I just recently got out of the Army. Its a big stigma in the Military to tought it out. Yes it sounds ridiculous but it was hard to tell doctors you were in pain. Most of the time soldiers didn't even go because we were guaranteed Ranger Candy (Motrin 800). They RARELY ever gave you anything stronger when u were definately in pain. I was Airborne and sometimes you land wrong but they rarely gave you anything so most of the times didnt bother. I STILL got huge bottles of 800 and naproxen LOL.
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    Quote from grims_mom
    I beg to differ. My husband has ulnar neuropathy bilat and also has chronic pain from falling out of a 5-ton army truck with full combat gear (about 60 lbs) on at the time. He has has bilateral tib/fib stress fractures and feet problems from jumping out of planes -all thanks to time in the military. He is in constant pain. He is also a combat medic, paramedic, & law enforcement officer. He will probably have to retire in a couple of years b/c the neuropathic pain and symptoms have become so severe.

    Every time he goes to the doctor to discuss pain management he dreads it b/c he worries about telling the doc how much and how often he really hurts. He thinks that it makes him look like a drug seeker when all he really wants is to control the s/s. He is currently on hydrocodone 7.5 & Trazadone (both on his days off), Methacarbamol, Tramadol, 800mg Ibuprofen & Salsalate (when he is working). The Tramadol, Ibuprofen, & Salsalate don't help very much but at least allow him to function at work with only a few people know how miserable he really feels.

    Suggestions for him? He does worry about it & is not a drug seeker.

    Ouch...I say find a new doctor, preferably one with at least SOME experience in pain management. It bugs the snot out of me that people can't get adequate treatment for their pain. Many doctors are ignorant, scared, or both when it comes to pain management issues.
    And thank your husband for his military service, grims_mom . I hope he gets to someone who will get him back on the road to wellness again.

    vamedic4:spin:
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    DEFINATELY needs a pain management specialist.
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    Quote from vamedic4
    Ouch...I say find a new doctor, preferably one with at least SOME experience in pain management. It bugs the snot out of me that people can't get adequate treatment for their pain. Many doctors are ignorant, scared, or both when it comes to pain management issues.
    And thank your husband for his military service, grims_mom . I hope he gets to someone who will get him back on the road to wellness again.

    vamedic4:spin:
    Thanks! We are trying to get him a new Dr. but it is through the VA so not likely to happen and he won't refer to a specialist for the neuropathy or the pain.
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    I used to be very judgemental of people who were in "pain" when they came to the ER.
    If they didn't appear to be in any pain and rated their pain at 10, I automatically assumed
    they wre drug seekers. Now that I have chronic pain myself from RA, I've changed how I think.
    However, there are some people who come to the ER wanting more pain medication when they
    are falling asleep in the triage office. The amount of pain medication they list as daily med
    is completely ridiculous. I've had people 25 years old come in on Fentanyl patches 100 mcg
    and Oxycontin 60 q 6 hours for breakthru pain! They'll also be on phenergan, klonipin and soma.
    I don't know how these people have any quality of life, I am thinking I would rather have some pain and be lucid than be gorked out of my mind all the time, but then I haven't had to walk a mile
    in their shoes either.
    Simplepleasures likes this.
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    Quote from grims_mom
    Thanks! We are trying to get him a new Dr. but it is through the VA so not likely to happen and he won't refer to a specialist for the neuropathy or the pain.
    Why no specialist referral? Sounds like you need to start contacting the Patient Care Advocate, Chief of various services (Internal Med, etc.), your senators, even the head of the VA. This is a good time to kick up a fuss if you are not getting adequate help from VA.

    One thing I noticed at the VA is that it is staffed almost totally by residents and med students and that attendings, who are paid to be present in the clinics and paid to oversee and actually teach the residents and students, are almost never actually on site or even being consulted by phone. Is that the case where your husband is treated? Is he a guinea pig for learners? Yes, they have to learn but they are supposed to have a teacher present to actually evaluate the patient and do some actual teaching. Does he get a new doctor every time? Not acceptable. Raise H and advocate for your husband until he gets proper care.

    Of course, if he has insurance and can see private docs, why not do that?
    Simplepleasures likes this.


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