this nurse is REALLY ticked

  1. about 10 years ago i was on duragesic patches for chronic stomach pain. was on it no more than 3 mos.-had surgery. afterwards tried to stay off the duragesic, started having withdrawl symptoms. tried to wean off with percocet. it didnt work. i began to get very ill and had to face the realization that i desperately needed help overcoming my dependency. i decided to check myself into a detox. was one of the hardest things ive had to do. i dont drink, i dont take drugs. it was like "lowering myself". im sorry to say that. i dont mean it as an insult to anyone but it is how i felt at the time.
    i was given clonidine for withdrawls and sent home. that night i began getting clonic/tonic seizures. i went to the hospital, admitted overnight and sent to one of the main detox areas in the city.
    there was NO WAY in hell i was going to let my kids see me detox. this was something i KNEW i had to do to get that crap out of my system.
    i was home three days later but it took a long time to recover.
    since then i am terrified to take pain pills or any kind of pain meds. i will if the pain is bad but i am oh so damn careful.
    i hurt my neck at work and although i was given pain meds i ended up throwing them and my muscle relaxers away.
    only thing i take for my pain is ONE darvocette 2x/day..and ibuprofen 1x/day. it has helped me with the pain and doesnt sedate me.
    today i go to for an independant exam by an orthopedist and he tells me I HAVE A HISTORY OF DRUG ABUSE....********!!!!!!!
    there is a difference between drug abuse and dependency. this crap is in my records.
    getting an attorney goes without saying ...my question is...what kind?
    any suggestions would be helpful...
    thanks
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   radnurse2001
    I can't believe this!!!! How wrong is that???? I would get myself a good civil attorney, with a specialty in medical malpractice. Who wrote this on your chart? I would look into the possibility of slander. I would sue who ever wrote this.
    Anne Patterson RN, CRN-studying to be a LNC.
  4. by   hoolahan
    Agree with rad, plus, if you had a sensitive healthcare provider, they would order something like toradol for your pain, or send you to a pain management clinic, or set you up with a tens unit, suggest accupuncture, the list is endless. There are many things that can be tried, if that is what the pt wants, before drugs are used, and your wishes should be respected. I applaud you for recognizing when you needed help, and trying to do the best not only for yourself, but your family.

    I think a lawsuit would only add more stress, I would try to find a reputable pain management clinic, get a consult, tell them upfront you wish to see your medical records and history when done, and get copies of that into all your other medical records, providing it doesn't say your a drug addict!

    BS like this is the last thing someone needs when facing such difficult hurdles. Stay strong, and seek alternatives that give you a good result. Don't waste time with people who do not take your concerns seriously.

    When my PPD turned positive at work, I was 35. I was told I was at an age when prohylaxis was "on the line" due to my age. So, having been a witness to pt's turning orange from liver dysfunction secondary to inappropriate prophylaxis for TB, I opted not to accept prophylaxis. The ID consulktant told me I would always harbor the bacillus in me, even after 6 mo of therapy, and if I were ever to become debilitated, malnourished (fat chance, pun inteded), or immunocompromised, I could still get TB.

    Well, a RRT who apparently was also exposed and converted (which is how I figured out who the pt was, she was at the same code, in the right window of time), told me she was in the other room waiting to see the doc for an eval of same. She confessed she heard our whole conversation, but when I was done with the doc, he then dictated that I refused prophylaxis, but his words to me were "we mutualy agree that you will not take prohylaxis." She apologized for eavesdropping, but wanted me to know. Fortunately, I have a copy of his H&P, obtained by me after I heard this, and it has no mention of refusing anything, just the facts, and findings. Lucky for him!!! I'm not sure what I would have done!
  5. by   thisnurse
    thanks you guys
    i am definately going to find out how that got into this insurance docs folder (it was from the insurance company, no doubt) and i am also sure that they obtained this from my primary care.
    talk about breech of confidentiality.
    what makes me the maddest is that i am getting the same rap as a crackhead when i dont even do drugs.
    this was not something that is obscure in the chart...its RIGHT IN THE FRONT...THE FIRST PAGE!
    it is an attempt by the insurance company to discredit me.
    they really need to watch what they do/say because they are not dealing with the stupid general public. ive caught one of the insurance docs trying to ******** me...he suddenly remembered i was a nurse and changed what he was going to say.
    bottom line is this...i DID get hurt at work. the pain continues. the insurance company is trying to say that i was hurt at work but the pain i have now is due to arthritis in my neck, in other words not caused by the injury. this is ********. i have had terrible throbbing in my neck since this happened. if i let the throbbing continue i get a horrific migrane. they are saying i have had a history of migranes...partially true. i have never had to have treatment for migranes as i only got them maybe twice a year and they were NEVER preceeded with throbbing in my neck. i have been back to work for a few weeks now, only a few hours a day on sedentary duty. I WANT TO GO BACK TO WORK DOING PATIENT CARE BUT I DONT WANT TO JEPORDIZE MY HEALTH. as a nurse i realize the long term affects of arthritis. i know i have to keep up my exercises. and i also know that another injury could have some drastic consequences.
    these insurance docs are pushing me to get back. they dont need to... i think i need an unbiased opinion of someone i can trust. you know they have a nurse that assesses injured workers. she told me that my headaches might be caused by HORMONES because i am 44. i never realized hormones made your neck throb. i truly felt sold out by this nurse. like being turned on by one of your own kind. she has promised to "help" me. yeah i believe that.
    hoolihan, i am going to a pain clinic for this neck pain whether they pay for it or not. when i was on the duragesic...100 mcgs no less....i knew that was too high of a dose for my stomache pain but at the time i had tried nerve blocks and everything else. i would have sold my soul to stop that pain. and i can honestly tell you, if i had wanted to, i could still be on duragesic now. that doc had no problems filling my scripts. I WAS THE ONE WHO HAD A PROBLEM WITH IT. I AM THE ONE WHO MADE IT STOP.
    in my eyes this is a blatent attempt by the insurance company to discredit my person.
    otherwise it sure as hell would NOT have been on the front of that chart. that has NOTHING to do with a work injury.
    and when i think of them trying to mess with you about TB FOR GODS SAKE...I GET JUST AS DAMN MAD!!!
    it is such **** that we get these patients with diseases that we dont even know we are going to be exposed to until after the exposure, but there was that big deal about testing health care workers.
    test ALL PATIENTS for everything, and DONT EVEN TELL THEM. at least we will have a better idea of whats going on. some of these *******s with AIDS..even after an employee has been exposed, refuse the damn testing. and the stupid insurance docs try to find a way to get you out of the system.
    oh yeah...and check this out...i thought my appointment was at 10:30 this morning...i got there at 10:30. it was actually at 10. i would have not had a problem going back if he couldnt take me. it was my mistake.
    right in the middle of the exam this idiot asks me if i had a "good reason" for being 45 minutes late. i sat out in the damn waiting room for over an hour.grrrrrrrrr
    oh geez...im getting mad all over again.

    thanks for your support. tomorrow morning i find an attorney.
  6. by   fiestynurse
    **********
    Last edit by fiestynurse on Mar 31, '04
  7. by   NurseDennie
    You go for it! I wish I'd been more re-active when I got hurt at work!!! I just listened to their BS and went back to work after I hurt my back. The day I went back, sciatic A**lock got me, and I fell down and broke my arm. The workers comp NURSE changed my incident report from A**lock to "tripped on the phone cord." Grrrrrrrrrrr So now I'm permanently off floor nursing because I couldn't afford the time and therapy I needed to get back to normal.

    I went to a pain control seminar, and one of the doctors there said that most people were faking their injuries, and seeking drugs. In nursing school, they tell us that pain is what the patient SAYS it is.

    It gave me a whole different outlook. No WONDER the workers comp patients in hospital are all angry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don't let them paint you as something you so CLEARLY are NOT. We're all behind you.

    Love

    Dennie
  8. by   P_RN
    I could just change the names in your story and have a pretty good self description.

    No, not the med dependence but the doctor, insurance, worker's comp etc. etc.

    When I got hurt "THEY" made me feel SO VERY USELESS...until I began to believe it for myself. I was nearly suicidal, it was so stressful.

    You don't put where you are from, but PLEASE find the BEST worker's compensation attorney available!!! They do it on contingency..no money up front.

    If you are in SC, I'll give you the name of mine...he was a REALLY Aggressive one and he was REALLY GOOD.

    If not, then call the bar association or get another attorney's references...that's what I did....

    He found MANY misstatements and downright LIES in preparing for my case. He addressed EVERY ONE and got retractions.

    He even addressed a separate issue with a car loan disability payment company. He made them SQUIRM!

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE.......the stress is now.......after you get the attorney it GOES AWAY!!!!!!!
  9. by   kids
    I agree with P_RN 100%

    I blew disks in my back getting a med out of the narc drawer. My DNS was standing next to me when it happened, she and an RRT picked me up off the floor.
    -The insurance company initially denied the claim...luckily the State backed it.

    My Ortho died 7 months after my 1st surgery-his partner picked up my case.
    -The claims manager claimed I was faking it and DOCTOR SHOPPING

    8 years and 4 failed surgeries later I am in a ******* WHEELCHAIR (a recent concession to the pain) due to the spinal stenosis from all the scar tissue and bony overgrowth.
    -The claims manager is demanding a 4th IME in 7 months so they will keep paying for pain management (but not the spinal nerve stimulator) because the last 3 IME they got rated me with a CAT 5 disability and recommended the implant.

    Fortunately I am still working...God forbid I should ever have to depend on these people to buy my groceries. I do have an appointment after the first of the year with an attorney.
  10. by   hoolahan
    I am reading these posts, and I have decided, if I ever get hurt at work, I am going to make up another reason for me leaving, if possible, then I will go to my private doctor and tell him I hurt myself doing something at home. I don't think I will ever go through workers comp. Do these docs and companies get bonuses for saving money??

    I had one pt once who came in for his 4th PTCA. He cried that night to me, he was so frustrated, the angina was ruining his life. He's exercising, lost 50 pounds, yet cholesterol and TG were still elevated. I gently asked him what was keeping him from proceeding with CABG, he said his insurance company would only pay for the PTCA's!

    After reading the replies from P_RN esp, have read her struggles with these issues before, I say listen to her, go get an attorney and get your name cleared.
  11. by   grouchy
    Dear This Nurse,

    I agree, get a good employment/workman's comp attorney ASAP! Not to sue, but to protect yourself.

    Getting, and even paying independently for a pain clinic eval is an excellent idea, but you may want to speak with an attorney first.

    In January 2001, I fell down an unlit flight of stairs while doing an inner-city home-care visit, and broke both bones in my ankle. I had to use the ER of a local hospital that has a bad rep- that was my company's approved workman's comp site. There, I was seen only by a PA. She splinted the leg, said one of the bones might be displaced and that I might eventually need surgery, but that I should go home, letting the swelling go down for a week, and then see an orthopedist.

    Ortho is not my field but I thought this sounded wrong. I was per diem, then, and only had a catastrophic coverage medical policy I paid for myself.

    I went to a board-certified orthopedist the next day, fully expecting to pay for the office visit and the handi-van transport I had to use out-of-pocket. The orthopedist said it was a good thing I came in: One bone was seriously displaced and required surgery ASAP.

    Moral: Trust your own judgement, and don't be afraid to spend money in a crisis(It was eventually paid for my workman's comp).

    I did get an attorney. He noted that my company self-insured their workman's comp coverage. This meant they could potentially have refused to pay for my surgery because the orthopod I consulted wasn't part of their approved network, and he was the one that reccomended the surgery, not the PA.

    I tell you this not to freak you out ( I remember how freaked out I was when I heard this), but to emphasize the importance of reviewing strategy with an attorney.

    In my case, my company gave me no problems with payment. I believe that is because I had such a clearcut injury, and because my fall was witnessed by the TWO escorts I was with (it was a really bad neighborhood).

    Unfortunately, back and neck pain is the kind of nebulous injury that these jerks know they have more of a chance of screwing you on.

    My heart goes out to you. I remember how awful it was to face all these insurance issues as I was just trying to deal with pain, adjusting to crutches,etc.

    I debated whether to mention some of these points beacuse I don't want to increase your stress, but I decided it's better to know now, and be prepared.

    I'm rooting for you. Please let us know how this goes.

    Grouchy
  12. by   thisnurse
    i keep in mind always who pays these people. i keep that in mind when i speak with them and when i am examined. ive had fights like this before, i am not afraid, i can handle them. i know the medical system from the inside being a nurse, and from the outside, being a patient. while i may not be able to prove my pain was from this injury...and it was..i also know that they cant prove that its not. and i keep saying to them all...so ok..what do i do about this? listen just make the neck stop throbbing and my headaches will go away and this will all be over. i get the same non-answer from all of them. "i dont think your pain is from your injury" so i guess what they are saying is ...i dont care, if its not from your injury then my job is finished, and frankly, i dont care about you. the only thing i think i can sure for is breech of confidentiality. i cant/wont even try for mental anguish or anything like that.
    i just want the proper care and the drug "addict" tag removed from my records.
    i was so ticked when that doc told me i had a history of drug abuse and i told him i didnt. he said "well its right here in your records". i started to explain and he said there was no need to explain. and yet there WAS a need for him to bring it up.
    but see i do understand it all. i understand their motivation in trying to make me appear as something i am not. i will not let them get away with this.
    ive been seeing the same orthopedist since 1977 when i was in an accident. my femur was broken in 3 places and my arm was shattered. yes arthritis set in. he knows me and he knows im not a seeker or a faker. i see him every couple of years for cortizone injections and what not. ill go to him. ill pay for the eval myself if i have to. i have been pushing for the pain clinic for weeks now. must be expensive cos they are doing everything to keep me out of there.
    its such crap that i have to pay an attorney just to make sure my rights are kept in tact but at this point i have no choice.
    im so very sensitive to this drug thing because checking myself in a detox was one of the hardest things i have ever had to do. i was in a lock down unit with dual diagnosis patients. you know the funny thing is that although i was ordered tranquilizers...once the worst part of withdrawl was over, i persistantly refused them. all i would take was clonodin and vitamins. i grew dependant on a drug that was perscribed for me. EVERYONE that knew i was on this knew what the consequences were going to be. my primary apologized to me for not knowing just how bad the dependancy was. and here i am, so many years later, injured, severe pain..asking ONLY for darvocette once in a while, getting this rap. yeah i am mad.
    thanks all for your support and stories. they are a source of encouragement to me, especially when i am on the verge of thinking that maybe i am crazy and/or a hypochondriac...which is just what they want.
    and thanks for letting me vent..you guys are wonderful.
  13. by   grouchy
    P.S. Here are some tips for dealing with lawyers, gleaned from my own bitter experience with the probate lawyer for my Mom's estate, and my subsequent excellent experience a different lawyer for my Dad's estate.

    1) Make copies of all relevent documents. Give the copies to the lawyer and keep the originals, in case you decide to fire the lawyer and get another one.

    2) Trust your instincts, even if you've never dealt with a lawyer before. I fired my first workman's comp attorney when he delayed my initial appointment 4 times, and got a well-organized large firm.I wish I'd fired my Mom's probate lawyer as soon as he started acting flukey, but that was the first time I had dealt with a lawyer and I didn't trust my instincts.

    3) Get an agreement in writing regarding the billing arrangement. If you are paying, I think by the hour is better than a retainer. My wonderful second probate lawyer printed the bill out at the end of each meeting. This eliminated the possibility of her padding her hours.(And this was HER idea!) For document prep time when I wasn't present, she gave me an estimate of the bill beforehand and stuck pretty close to it. If they are working for a portion of your settlement, find out if there are any fees they want to bill you for seperately (Workman's comp wanted me to pay title search fees on the building I fell in, but renegotiated when I balked).

    4) Just in case billing disputes arise, keep independent records of date, time, and length of meeting and phone calls. I wish I'd done this with the first lawyer.

    5) The first consultation should be free.

    6) To aid your case, keep your own records of your contacts with doctor's, workman's comp reps, etc. If you talk to an insurance rep or someone on the phone, write down their name and a number they can be reached at. Take notes during or immediately after such conversations or doctor's appts. Name. Date.Time.Purpose of coversation or visit. Issues discussed, especially anything problematic. This will help your lawyer alot.
  14. by   Joe,RN
    What's the old cliche? Been there, done that, have the T-shirt! I wish you well in your endeavor! Bear these things in mind. Do you want your medical history on the street for all to see? Do you want your life totally disrupted for the four or five years that it will take to litigate your case. Are you ready for the predjudice that is directed towards healthpros with aledged drug dependencies? The antidepressants that helped me cope were as bad as the pain killers. The rumor mill (composed of your friends, family and co-workers) alone will be tough to deal with. Finally, are you asking for enough in damages to support you for the rest of your life because you may have trouble finding a job afterwards. Don't forget, you'll have to share about half of it with your attorney, if your case is ever settled. Lawsuits have a way of becoming what your life is all about. Sometimes it is better for you to let something go and get on with your life. Don't kill the messenger here. I've been through what you are considering and the end result was not worth all the effort and certainly not worth the five years of my life. Please know what you are getting into before you head in that direction.

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