I am a patient who has been bumped around in the system for years, first as a member of a high class insurance program offered by my employers
and now as a disabled person in my late fifties in a state-run health services program that is determined by need and my pre-existing health conditions.
It is so depressing and disheartening that I am now at the mercy of the public health system and nurses and doctors that have villianized opiate pain medications that have made it possible for a person like me who has chronic pain to move and continue to be active. I live in a state that has made it literally impossible to receive these medications without paying exhorbitant fees to clinics who under-prescribe and have copious amounts of paperwork for me to fill out along with demoralizing drug testing. I have never abused my medications, always following the prescribed directions on the labels. I have not increased the dosage as I have been warned would happen to me if I was given these medications. I have been on the same dose of lorazapam for sleep and muscle relaxation for over seven years-1 mg-even though the doctor gives me 2 mg tablets I halve them. Yes, I do have a problem with NSAIDS and their gastrointestinal effects. I have gone to the hospital ER not being able to swallow it has been so bad, even taking omeprazole and and antacid like gaviscon. I have found that the ONLY people who get narcotic pain medication are those that lie on questionairres that ask if you are frustrated with your doctors (of course I am), and if you have anxiety over your pain (who wouldn't). If you mention that you get headaches, you will never get this medication, or if you are stressed out by your pain. If you say that massage makes it better, and it usually does for anyone, they won't give it to you either. You have to know exactly how to answer these questions and be very crafty. I know people who are very manipulative who are alcoholics and always use up their prescriptions early and their doctors prescribe them things like morphine and fentanyl. Yet my doctors hesitate to prescribe me 2 lousy vicodin a day, that do nothing to relieve my pain after a devastating injury that I experienced 3 years ago. I was a passenger in the front seat of a car that was driven into a ditch when my friend fell asleep at the wheel. Before the injury I had degenerative changes, scoliosis and sciatica. Doctors have recommended spinal fusion but I can't imagine the pain involved with a surgery that involves being cut from the front and the back, with no adequate pain medication. I had discectomy 3 years ago and that worsened my condition. They are also recommending surgery on my neck, I refuse to do this with this health plan that is really no plan at all when nothing is covered, not even lidocaine patches of physical therapy. This is Obamacare. It is not compassionate and neither are healthcare workers that refuse to relieve pain that is unrelenting when a patient is doing everything they can to get well, I have religiously done all my exercises, diet (kept my weight down), taken my supplements and followed my doctor's orders, except for the surgeries. So please, don't treat me like a drug addict when I come into your clinic looking for relief.