Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Mother was right and it hurts in more ways than one.

HO-LY SHIT! I really didn’t learn a damn thing from all the speeches my parents gave me. I mean, hellz bellz peoples, I lost track of how many times I heard, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse, young lady!” from my Mother. *sigh* And apparently? She was right.

 I know this is far-and-away NOT gonna be my bestest post, finest writing, or most cohesive chain of thoughts, but I’ve managed to add a whole new chapter to the original script of the Soap Opera that is our life (As The Mind Churns), without so much as even trying. (Yeah, ‘cause I’m THAT damn good!)

 I may or may not have mentioned before that I don’t watch the news. I also don’t read the papers. Personally I find it all too depressing, since the stories and sound bites rarely include anything remotely redeeming about the world. Besides, Hubby watches and reads, so that’s close enough, right? I figure if there’s something I REALLY need to know, either he’ll fill me in or it’ll pop-up on Facebook.

 But one thing didn’t. And now my lack of current events consumption is circling around and biting me square in the ass.

 As of december 15th, new State Law (in compliance with a federal mandate) pertaining to the prescribing of pain medications that appear on the list of controlled substances, took effect. And can you guess who’s already broken a law she knew nothing about? Good old ME!

 Right now I’m sitting here with a brain fuzzy enough it really could use a good wax and shave because I dropped the ball.

 Oh, my gut reaction is to blame a couple of Docs who neglected to follow their end of the State requirements. And don’t worry, I screamed enough obscenities last night that it probably created its own cloud of foulness that’s currently bouncing off the moon and heading into deep space. I threw my phone and stomped my one good leg while the string of four letter words flowed like black honey from my lips, freezing the entire house in its tracks. (I can’t prove anything, since I was kinda otherwise occupied, but I’m pretty sure The Girl was taking notes on new word combinations and the inventive use of threats.)

 The long-and-short of it is, I’m completely out of my pain medication (which I’ve been taking for three years) and the prescribing Doc has informed me he will no longer treat me for anything pain-related. Because I didn’t keep abreast of the new laws. Which is nobody’s fault but my own.

 Here’s the basics of Indiana’s new laws per an article by Richard Feldman titled Doctors get order to limit painkiller prescriptions that appeared on on November, 2013. (And since they’re based on a federal mandate, ya might wanna check your own State if you’re taking any controlled substance.)

• Perform a detailed history and physical; have the patient fill out mental health, opiate-addiction risk and pain-assessment questionnaires.
• Discuss with the patient the benefits and risks of opioid use, alternative treatments and medications, and counsel women between the ages of 14 and 55 about the risks of opioid use during pregnancy.
• Develop an individualized treatment plan with meaningful goals. This should be reviewed at each visit.
• Require the patient to sign a Controlled Substance Agreement that includes prescribing policies, consent to drug screening, permission to conduct random pill counts, requirements to take the medications only as prescribed, and the consequences of violating the contract conditions.
• Perform urine drug screening initially and at least yearly.
• Review initially and at least yearly the patient’s INSPECT report that documents narcotic prescriptions dispensed from pharmacies.
• Require office visits at least four times per year and every two months if 
there are dosage changes.

 “How did this slightly crazy, yet fairly mild mannered citizen break the law,” you ask? On Friday, January 3rd I called my Rheumy for a refill of my pain meds. The very nice Nurse returned my call to let me know he was out of the Office until Monday. Then the snow hit and his office was closed Monday. And Tuesday. And I ran out of meds Sunday night. (Yes, as a matter of fact I DO always wait until the last minute to call. Doesn’t everyone?)

 Tuesday morning, I called my GP for an emergency two day supply of my meds. Which they gave me WITHOUT telling me I was breaking a law I didn’t even know existed!

 This would be why I am now brain fried, bouncing back-and-forth between abject terror and blind fury, and in some awesome-ass pain to boot. And it’s my own damn fault.

 I’m fairly certain I should have received some kind of notice from the damn Doc. I’m 100% sure they should have scheduled an appointment for the required urine test. They might have wanted to see me one of the multiple times I called for an appointment, instead of sending me to my GP or Prompt Med. And that contract I was legally required to sign that I didn’t? I was informed that it didn’t matter if I’d actually signed it or not, since it was implied within the law. (How the FUCK does THAT even work, y’all!?!)

   Before I forget about it, here’s another sweet tidbit of info; if I ever find myself in the ER in need of pain meds? They can’t administer me any without the Doc who handles my normal script calling it in. Nice, right?

So here’s the best moral of today’s weird tale of sharing that I can pull outta my seriously addled brain; know the law. There may have been a federal mandate handed down to the States, but each state is free to write their own law, make the restrictions even tougher than the mandate, and add medications to the list of controlled substances.

Trust me guys, this is one case where 20/20 hindsight is NOT the way ya wanna go. If you’re on chronic pain patient, look up your state’s laws and chat with your Docs. When it comes to our pain meds, safe is ALWAYS better than sorry!

PS Just in case I’m scarce over the next couple of days, my GP’s hands are just as tied as my Rheumy’s at this point in time. So, yours truly is all cold turkey-n-shit. From the research I’ve done, vicodin withdrawals are similar to those experienced by heroine users. I’ve never been more grateful than now that I’ve stayed on a lower dose over the years, taking only enough to function. Hopefully? The next few days won’t be too bad.   


  1. Oh Lady….I don't blame you and I understand the situation you are in….been there…a little over a year ago….I was just thinking of you last night …must have been the curse words ….I could hear them… wink wink

    1. Oh Sister, I can't even imagine what it'd be like to be a pain patient in Florida! I know of another woman who has been fighting that fight for the last 3 years. She was labeled drug seeker because she's tattooed, pierced, and has colorful hair. All the Doc's will prescribe is ibuprophen. INSANE!!!!
      (And yeah, you probably DID hear the scream-cussing all the way down there! *grin*)

  2. Call your doctor and find out if you are able to get a prescription for ativan. It is not a pain medication. It is given in the hospital setting to help with people who will be withdrawing from medications/alcohol/etc. It helps to prevent seizure activity and helps the process to be a little better. Sorry you're having to struggle through this.

    1. Thanks for the info Dana! I'll write that down so I don't forget it.
      About 15 minutes after I posted this, the Rheumy's Nurse called to inform me this was basically just a misunderstanding. Yes, they'll refill my meds. She also went through my file and (again) found no contract. So now I'll have to go in and sign one as well as pee in a cup, (If I choose to stay with this guy.)
      It's just crazy that there is suddenly so much fear involved with pain management. And maybe it's born of that fear, but it seems like there's not that much compassion left over for those suffering.
      I just hope it calms down a bit and looses it's Witch Hunt feel for all our sakes. *hugs*

  3. or come here and i'll give you some pills. oh sweetie try to lay as still as possible, keep it dark and eat sugar. are t3's under the new law because they will help. xxxx
    ps come over and read about my mom, it will cheer you up

    1. At this point Bev, I'm starting to think I should keep all the "Canadian Meds" flyers I've been getting in the mail! Heck, Canada ain't THAT far!
      And yep, T3's are on the list because they contain codein. Sweet!
      PS, your daughter is absolutely stunning! And despite what your Mom says, I'm betting she got at least some of it from her Mom! *hugs*


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