Tips on how NOT to appear like a Drug seeker - page 3

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... Read More

  1. Visit  TrudyRN profile page
    1
    I just read up on Bornholm's Disease. What would you recommend for the pain, Willow Brook? I hope you don't have recurrences. It sounds terribly painful, compounded by ignorance on the part of docs and nurses.

    Also, get a lawyer and go after those rude ones, and write to Admin and your state licensing boards about them, too, docs and nurses. Their behavior is not professional or excusable. They need to be taught how to be respectful to everyeone.
    Last edit by TrudyRN on Aug 30, '06
    mrsmamabear2002 likes this.
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  3. Visit  TrudyRN profile page
    0
    Quote from EDValerieRN
    Word.
    Now THAT is excellent advice; wish I'd have thought of it.
  4. Visit  WillowBrook profile page
    0
    Quote from TrudyRN
    I just read up on Bornholm's Disease. What would you recommend for the pain, Willow Brook? I hope you don't have recurrences. It sounds terribly painful, compounded by ignorance on the part of docs and nurses.

    Also, get a lawyer and go after those rude ones, and write to Admin and your state licensing boards about them, too, docs and nurses. Their behavior is not professional or excusable. They need to be taught how to be respectful to everyeone.
    Shortly after that experience I believe that particular ER was placed under investigation after numerous complaints from other mistreated and disgruntled former patients. I don't know what action if any was taken, but these days the ED in question has an excellent reputation for it's quaility of care. As for pain relief in Bornholms, well I'm not able to give a qualified experience, but with what I experienced I doubt that anything less than Morphine, perhaps combined with a muscle relaxant would have touched that pain. I honestly thought I was dying, I had never experienced anything like it I was in so much pain and so scared and then to be treated the way I was on top of that, well you can probably imagine how I felt at the time

    I must admit even as a former addict (although I wasn't actually using in 1997 when this happened, I hadn't even tried Heroin back then) I do find it a bit perplexing as to why anyone would try and scam drugs from an ED. I know people do it, but it just seems to be to be an awful lot of trouble and messing around for possibly no gain. I mean if you are not in legitimate pain or one heck of an actor, chances are you won't be believed and even if you are then there is no guarantee you will neccessarily get what you want. Far easier to just pick up a phone and call up a dealer rather than hang around in the ED making up stories and hoping that you will be lucky enough to get what you need.
  5. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    1
    I work in an emergency room and disagree with the idea that someone asking a question about how to NOT appear like a drug seeker IS a drug seeker looking to buck the system.

    Especially if a person has hung around allnurses reading about drug seekers, who, granted, are a frustrating lot. It can make a person in pain a bit apprenhensive about presenting to a ER.

    We can get jaded and judgmental working around folks who try to trick the system. And that can show up when a person, in real pain, comes into our ER. I work very hard not to get jaded.

    Plus, even "junkies" can get kidney stones . . . .

    steph
    tsalagicara likes this.
  6. Visit  WillowBrook profile page
    1
    Quote from stevielynn

    Plus, even "junkies" can get kidney stones . . . .

    steph
    Yes thank you. I have been fortunate enough since my whole addiction with Heroin experience and overcoming it, to (most of the time) receive excellent care by Medical Practioners and/or ED staff; however there was one time (which I discussed at length in a thread in Pain Management) when a nurse seemed to go out of her way to be rude to me after a Doctor ordered Fentanyl for pain relief caused by my falling 8-10 metres through a roof and severely jarring my spine. I mean come on now, so what if I used to be a Heroin addict...I have just fallen through a roof, injured my back I think under the cirumstances "drug seeking" can generally be ruled out.

    It is because of these past experiences, as well as what I have read on here that I am concerned with making sure I don't get this "drug seeker" reputation if I ever do have to present to the ER with severe pain (for whatever reason). I think Vamedics advice about carrying a letter from my GP is excellent and I will certainly see about organising that during my next appointment.

    Just for interests sake, regarding how painful Bornholms is here is what a couple of patients have had to say re the severity of the pain.

    It appeared as a stabbing pain in my right side so severe that I thought I was being stabbed, I screamed out in pain!(Much worse than childbirth!)

    The pain I experienced was the worst I have known. Comparing this with the delivery(forceps)of second child weighing 10lbs. Removal of my gall bladder - gall stones.Passing a kidney stone.
    Last edit by WillowBrook on Aug 30, '06
    tsalagicara likes this.
  7. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    1
    Quote from WillowBrook

    Just for interests sake, regarding how painful Bornholms is here is what a couple of patients have had to say re the severity of the pain.

    It appeared as a stabbing pain in my right side so severe that I thought I was being stabbed, I screamed out in pain!(Much worse than childbirth!)

    The pain I experienced was the worst I have known. Comparing this with the delivery(forceps)of second child weighing 10lbs. Removal of my gall bladder - gall stones.Passing a kidney stone.
    :wink2: My pain scale for myself is if it doesn't hurt as much as childbirth, it doesn't hurt.


    Actually to be honest, I do work with a nurse who is very judgmental about ER patients and it bugs me to no end so obviously that is where I'm coming from. Just snap judgments and negative remarks before knowing anything about a patient. That is not fair, or professional.

    steph
    tsalagicara likes this.
  8. Visit  vamedic4 profile page
    0
    Just curious, did your significant other accompany you to the ER on this particular day?? I'd have had every member of the hospital's management team in there apologizing for your treatment...
    vamedic4
    Quote from WillowBrook
    Oh really? Reading through some of the threads on here about the assumptions that are sometimes made regarding who is and who isn't a Drug seeker, as well as hearing testimony from others who have mistakenly labelled as "drug seeking" and mistreated because of that fact, along with the fact that I have personally experienced being mislabelled as a "just a junkie looking for a fix" by ER staff, I seriously beg to differ with you on this point.

    In 1997 I presented in severe pain to a local Emergeny Dept. I was sent there directly from an after hours medical service and was suspected of having a Pneumothorax. I had been experiencing severe headaches and earaches all that day, by night time I was vomiting and being wracked by extremely painful spasms all through my neck, back and stomach. I have never experienced anything more painful in my life so far, and that includes crush injuries and fractures to my foot and post Laparoscopy/Hysteroscopy pain, I was literally screaming with pain and I could not help myself. When I got to the ED right from the start I was treated badly. The admissions Nurse berated me for not being able to say more than 2 words at once through the pain to give my details properly, the Nurse who was assigned to look after me once I was admitted was very short and abrupt with me, at one point she lowered the back of the bed down and it set off a series of extremely painful spasms, so she quite roughly shoved the bed back up to a more upright postion and walked off with a huffy "there hope your happy" comment thrown back at me. At all times, whilst I screamed and cried and begged for pain relief, I was made to feel as if I was just a huge inconvenience and annoyance to them. When the X-ray came back clear for Pneumothorax, do you know what they did?? The Nurses and The Doctor who were supposed to be looking after me went and stood in full view of me drinking coffee, laughing, pointing, rolling their eyes in my direction and making comments about "junkies looking for a fix". I was discharged with a valium and one Panadeine Forte tablet. I half squat walked, half crawled out of that ED, still in excruitiating pain and still vomiting. 2 weeks later it was finally realised that I had Bornholms Disease.

    So after an experience like this please do not try and tell me that only a Drug Seeker should be worried about being seen as such.
  9. Visit  TazziRN profile page
    2
    I know none of the comments were directed at me, but I feel as though I should defend myself here. Experienced AND CARING ER nurses and doctors can tell when someone is in genuine pain versus looking for a fix. Usually.

    And as for the suggestion about "Don't say that only Dilaudid works for you"? That also falls under the "genuine pain" argument. People who have chronic pain do know what works best for them, but those who are not and are just in for a fix are also often "allergic" to every other med that should be tried first.

    To the poster with Bornholm's, I am so sorry for your experience and I wish I'd been your nurse. I would have fought for you.
    mrsmamabear2002 and canoehead like this.
  10. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    0
    I truly am very sorry for patients that have not received adequate pain meds.
  11. Visit  vamedic4 profile page
    0
    Quote from TazziRN
    I know none of the comments were directed at me, but I feel as though I should defend myself here. Experienced AND CARING ER nurses and doctors can tell when someone is in genuine pain versus looking for a fix. Usually.

    And as for the suggestion about "Don't say that only Dilaudid works for you"? That also falls under the "genuine pain" argument. People who have chronic pain do know what works best for them, but those who are not and are just in for a fix are also often "allergic" to every other med that should be tried first.

    To the poster with Bornholm's, I am so sorry for your experience and I wish I'd been your nurse. I would have fought for you.

    Tazzi is correct about the sufferers of chronic pain, but it's my experience that many docs when you present to the ER will ask a patient who has chronic pain "What works best for you"...this added to the letter I mentioned in an earlier post helps to clear up any confusion the doc may have.


    vamedic4
    I don't want to go outside
  12. Visit  emeraldjay profile page
    0
    I have suffered migraines for the past 10 or so years. My last experience of having to resort to going to the ER for relief felt like a disaster. I knew I needed to be up for work in a few hours and couldn't get to sleep d/t the usual visual disturbances I get.

    During triage, the nurse actually said, it's 3 in the morning, what are you doing in here with just a headache. Is it really a migraine or are you just calling it a migraine. Why are you coming in now if you had it for three weeks. Only the final question is forgivable, though the tone of her voice isn't. I knew it was a migraine since it was all of the same symptoms as the last headache that got me a dx of having migraines. All I wanted at that point was to get rid of the flashing lights and get to sleep. I even told them what worked the last time, compazine timed IV push. Nurse took off in a huff. I don't remember actually seeing a doctor that night, I just remember the nurse coming back with a tramadol IM and a script for Ultram. Even after complaining that the flashing was still there.

    Then the most amazing thing happened when I asked to use the phone to call for my ride. I asked them to dial an in house extension and suddenly everyone fell over themselves to be accommodating. Like oh here use this phone.

    Now that I am on Depakote for the migraines, and Imitrex for the rare ones that get through, I'm treated with plenty of tender care when I say I have a migraine. I also carry a list of allergies and meds since half the time I forget to say all of them and only tell the ones that I think are relavant. I include dosages and freqency of my meds and the reactions of of my allergies. After that, the MD/NP can make the decisions.
  13. Visit  TazziRN profile page
    0
    Quote from emeraldjay
    Why are you coming in now if you had it for three weeks.
    I ask this kind of question a lot, because I often get more information this way. By asking this question I find out that there are new symptoms, or a worsening of the symptoms.
  14. Visit  Cyndee, MSN, NP profile page
    0
    Quote from ERNP
    Don't run out of chronic pain meds on Friday at 5pm. Even if you "called the office and they didn't call you back". Plan ahead!! Call them before Friday when you know you are getting low. If it is time to have a refill they will usually get one called in for you. If you are too early they will assume you have either diverted your meds or not taken them as directed.

    Don't call administration to complain that you didn't get your drug of choice.

    Don't throw your soda on the floor and go into full "writhe mode" as soon as you see me walking into your room. I have already been past your room and had found you resting comfortably. I don't hand out awards based on performance, like the Emmys.

    Don't call back 2 hours later requesting a new prescription because you lost, your dog ate, or you washed the old one.

    Growing new allergies during the discharge process is a dead giveaway. "What did you give me?" "Ultram". "Im allergic to Ultram", "That wasn't listed as an allergy nor did you mention it earlier in our interview... you remember when I asked.... "Are you allergic to any medications?" Were you not allergic to it then?

    I could go on and on... there is so much of this in our community.
    HA HA HA HA! You are describing so many of my pain management patients. I see this crap all the time, they'll even come in with a police report stating someone robbed them and took that meds! I just write them a script for a clonidine taper and tell them this will keep them out of withdrawal until they can get another refill. I just discharged someone today because I suspected she was abusing her meds...turned out I was right on the money...she tested positive for benzo's and oxycodone, but she was only being prescribed methadone. When she told me that she was getting the other meds from another doc, I showed her the contract she signed stating that WE were the only ones allowed to prescribe a controlled substance!!! She has 45 days to find another physician. I LOVE busting the losers!


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