Search Our Site

Logo

Your donations allow us to protect the doctor-patient relationship.

Amazon Smile logo

Lauren - Denied post-op pain meds, force tapered, OUD and drug seeking behavior put in EHR


Lauren - Denied post-op pain meds, force tapered, OUD and drug seeking behavior put in EHR

My story covers being denied post operative pain control AND force taper of my already low dose chronic opioid therapy.
I’ve had 6 abdominal surgeries since I was 13 years old. I’m now I’m my late twenties. I have never had trouble getting post operative pain control until my most recent procedure which was a laparoscopic total hysterectomy and endometriosis excision, with robotic assist. In total the procedure took around 5 hours due to extensive endometriosis and scar tissue from all the previous surgeries. 
I had started on a relatively low dose of opioids about 6 months before my most recent surgery due to the severity of my pain. It was at that time I signed a pain medication contract with my primary care provider. It’s also important to note that at that point in time, I was unable to swallow pills so I was on all liquid medications. My PCP explained to me before my surgery that I needed to get my first post op medication prescription from the surgeon, and when I needed more to call my PCP and they would send in what I needed. 
So I had my surgery. When I first woke up in recovery, they said they were going to bring me my pain meds and something for the nausea I told them I was experiencing. Rather than bringing IV medications, they brought me topical nausea meds, the kind you rub between your wrists, and a pill. 
I told them that I was not able to swallow pills. In a frustrated tone, the nurse told me it was 5mg oxycodone. I repeated that I could not swallow pills, I needed liquid. The nurse continued to try to coax me to just take the pill, even when I begged for her to just call the surgeon to get updated medication orders. Instead, she proceeded to literally shove the pill down my throat. It triggered my gag reflex so I immediately vomited all over the bed and myself. 
The nurses got me a fresh gown and changed the sheets on the bed by rolling me all over the bed, which was extremely painful immediately after abdominal surgery. I kept asking for pain medication since I couldn’t keep down the pill. After about an hour in recovery I was moved to my room on the floor. I asked the floor nurse for pain medication and something else for nausea, and told her that I can’t swallow pills. She brought me liquid nausea meds, and another 5mg oxycodone pill.
When I reminded her I couldn’t take pills, she said that’s all the doctor had ordered and that the hospital had a new policy that they can’t give IV pain medication. She left and I didn’t see her again for many hours. I kept vomiting but the nurse never came into my room. I only saw the tech. My husband and my mother both had tracked down the nurse at separate times to ask her to get the doctor to change the orders. 
By this point it was around 12 hours since I had woken up from surgery, and I was in agony. Finally my husband decided to call the doctor himself. The doctor said he was never contacted and that he would absolutely go ahead and change the orders to liquid form immediately. I waited another hour and still hadn’t seen the nurse so my mom went and got the new nurse since it was after shift change. She came in with liquid oxycodone for me. It barely touched the pain, but they refused to give me anything else, even Tylenol. 
When I was discharged the next morning, they had sent a prescription to my regular pharmacy for the same liquid oxycodone I had received only twice during my stay in the hospital. My pharmacy called as soon as they received the prescription to tell me they didn’t have any in stock and were unable to order it. I told the doctor who was discharging me and he said I would have to call around to different pharmacies myself to find out where I could get it. I tried calling but most pharmacies said they could not tell me if they had a narcotic in stock until they received the prescription for it, which the doctor would not send. 
So I ended up going home on the same dose of liquid Norco that I had already been on for the last 6 months. I was able to get in contact with my PCP and she was able to find a pharmacy in the next town over that had the medication in liquid. Then I was finally able to heal from surgery.
Now that was 2 years ago, and I’ve still been in the same pain I was in before surgery. Several doctors have told me it’s likely from scar tissue from my 6 surgeries, and possibly returned endometriosis. I cannot find a doctor willing to do anything to try to find the root cause of the pain. I’m still on Norco like before surgery, only my PCP has reduced me from 7.5mg 4x per day, to 5mg 3x per day even though my pain is not controlled at all anymore on the lower dose. It has impacted my entire life. I had to leave the job I loved, I had started my own business even, but I cannot do any work on that anymore either. I’m almost completely bed bound most days because the pain is so bad. But so many doctors won’t take my pain seriously because of my age. They say I’m “too young to be in this much pain.” I’ve been labeled a drug seeker and Opioid Use Disorder has been put in my chart, even tho I’ve never failed a UA or drug count, or asked for an increase in dosage other than asking to go back to my original dose of 7.5mg instead of 5mg. 

I’m nearing the end of my rope and I don’t know what to do to get some help. I feel like my PCP won’t change my dosage back to normal out of fear of the DEA and the health group she works for. There are very few pain management clinics near where I live and all the ones that are here are not accepting new patients. The CDC and DEA need to stop practicing outside their scope. Stop practicing medicine without a license.

The Doctor Patient Forum

Claudia A. Merandi 5 Chedell Avenue / East Providence, RI 02914 / USA 1.401.523.0426

Follow Us: FACEBOOK REDDIT YOU TUBE TIK TOK 2 TWITTER