Drug Seekers Suck


This morning as I was leaving my shift, one of the local cops mentioned that they are having a real problem with Vicodin sales and use … in the high school. Kids strung out during classes. Must be a great learning experience.

Where do you think these teenagers are getting their stash?

Then there’s this article about a doctor who was sued for giving pain medications to a patient and not sufficiently warning the patient about its possible effects upon driving. (Hat Tip to Kevin, MD) Oral arguments and the opinion of the court are at this link.

Keep the above in mind as you read the following which happened a few days ago.

A lady with a previous history of chronic neck and back pain now comes in with frontal headaches for the past month. Of course, her pain is a 10 on a 1-10 scale. She gets dizzy at times when she stands. Sometimes she gets nauseous. She says that she has vomited twice in the past 3 days. She used to take Vicodin for her back and neck pain, but she’s out of them now. I look through her old charts. She seems to like Dilaudid and Vicodin.

It’s a busy shift, so she had to wait for a couple of hours. When I walk in the room, she’s laying on the bed with her arms folded. She seems upset with the wait, but she’s playing the “nice” card, I can just tell. She’s sizing me up from in between those fingers over her eyes. Very polite. Says “thank you.” Compliments me on being so nice even though we’re so busy. I engage in some small talk with her and she actually is a nice lady. The little voice in back of my head is literally kicking me in the mastoid right now. “Hey! WhiteCoat! Don’t be a sucker. She may be nice, but remember her history! Being overly “nice” is page 2 of the drug seeker’s handbook!”

Since her headaches are a “new” complaint, I examine her from head to toe. No fever. No sinus pressure. No temporal arteritis. Fundi normal. No photophobia. No meningeal signs. No abdominal problems. No focal neurologic deficits. Oh, by the way, she still has that chronic pain in her back. Can’t find anything abnormal on her exam other than her “10 out of 10” pain.

I don’t care how nice she is, she isn’t getting Dilaudid. We give her some Phenergan for her nausea and some Imitrex for her headache. Her headache improves to a 5 out of 10.

“By the way, doctor, my head still hurts. Could you please give me something else for pain?”
“Absolutely,” I tell her. “But it isn’t going to start with the letter ‘D,'” I think to myself.

We give her some Toradol. Her pain is down to a 2 of 10. “See, lady?” I think to myself, “you don’t need narcotics to get rid of your pain.”

When we tell her that we’re going to discharge her, she is actually grateful. She thanks everyone for being so nice. “Kill ’em with kindness.” That’s page 3 in the drug seeker’s handbook. Well it worked. I sent her home with some Imitrex, Phenergan, and a couple of days worth of narcotics. The little voice in my head pulled the otoscope off of the holder and whacked me in the back of the neck with it. What a sucker I am.

That’s not the end of the story, though.

Two days later she’s back. Of course there’s another doc working that day. Divide and conquer — I think that’s page 6 in the drug-seeker’s handbook. Now it’s the sob story. The pain medications aren’t helping. Her head hurts. She’s vomiting more. Her doctor doesn’t have an open appointment. Oh, and now she fell and hit her head before her last ER visit, but forgot to tell the ER doc. Her neck hurts from the fall, now. Just to add to the drama, she’s acting like she’s confused. It isn’t January 2008, it’s really January 2007, “isn’t it?”

“Oh well, what the heck,” the ED physician thinks, “why not irradiate her body a little more?” So he orders a CT scan of her head.


Brain cancer. Multiple metastases. Poor prognosis. As in she’s going to die soon.

This was one of those “Hey, you remember that patient …” moments for me when I came to work for my next shift. People were knocking each other over when I walked in just to tell me.

At first, I felt horrible about considering that she could be a drug seeker. But I got her out of pain when she came to see me. At least that’s how I rationalized it to myself.

Then I felt bad for not doing the CT scan when she came to see me three days prior. Was there really an indication for ordering it? Maybe, maybe not. Just like the Super Bowl, everyone can always sit back and second guess what might have happened if ….

Another rationalization.

All these warnings from our malpractice insurers about saying “sorry” as an admission of guilt have me too afraid to just walk upstairs to the floor, sit on the side of her bed, and ask her how she’s doing. I genuinely feel bad for what she’s going through. The little voice in back of my head started to mumble something. I grabbed him and whipped him against the wall. Maybe he’ll just shut the hell up for a while.

Maybe my human side will win over my chicken shit doctor side and I’ll hit the 4th floor button on the elevator after my next shift. Then again, maybe I’ll procrastinate long enough and she’ll be discharged.

When people complain that doctors don’t want to treat their pain in the ED, this is a perfect example of what emergency physicians and nurses go through every day. Where do we draw the line? How likely is someone to abuse the prescriptions we give them? Do I risk putting more drugs out on the street? Or do I risk not helping someone truly in pain? All we have to go by is someone’s history … just in case you were wondering, drug seekers lie.

It scares the hell out of me that a prescription I write could some day be sold to my own kids and start them on the road to drug addiction. Yet it scares me just as much that I could let another person suffer in pain because I was too afraid to write her a prescription for narcotics.

And the public wonders why we think drug seekers suck.


    • So here’s the story that starts this whole blog off. I’ve tried to understand what gave this doctor the impression this woman could even be a possible drug seeker. Okay she was nice, way to nice, then gave you a compliment, ( sorry I had to stop for a second to keep myself from tearing up ) even though I don’t feel right in giving you kudo’s for sharing this sad story, but I must. Please I beg of you, this changed you,right? This should be used as a learning lesson for everyone’s sakes. The only thing lacking here which would of made a huge difference is if you would of made that visit to the 4 th floor. It would not have killed you!!!!. You wouldn’t of had to tell her anything about you misjudging her kindness as a medical flaw in your training. She so wouldn’t of sued your unworthy of the title MD butt. This makes me sick and I feel like crying, reminds me of what happened to my mother.

      • God forgive you all for who you are and what you do to patients who believe they can trust and depend on you, when you are someone they can not. This is one sad ass world. And most people suck!!!! Drug seekers are small in comparison, to all others with issues bigger and worse than theirs. Good damn night.

      • Today’s a new day,and yet I woke up and the very first thing I thought about was that story and that lady. From the depths of my soul I despise wrong. Mistakes are made and for the sake of everyone else but that patient a sorry is allowed to be felt but not said. As long as none of you own it and are held accountable you’ll repeat it. Most of us just want the truth and a sorry, we don’t want money we don’t want your jobs we don’t want revenge in spite of what your told and now believe. It’s the wealthy bastards who brainwash and control you. Their laughing at all of us while their greed grows and grows and grows. They do not protect you because they respect or like you, it’s all about them. Let the you no what hit the fan they’ll sell you out in a second, if fact they always make sure whatever is started, starts from the bottom cleverly making sure it never reaches the top! Whatever!!! Whoever claims otherwise is a very foolish clown.

    • I’m the staff that is the buffer every Monday Wednesday and Friday. They each call, email, get transferred straight to my office, walk in, demand status, lie, stop the whole clinic so they can get their biweekly dilaudid injection for their Monday migraine. As staff I refuse to put a chest pain on hold to reward drug seeking behavior. But I don’t get backed up by anyone. They have me writing the order for the doctor to click ok, mean while my whole morning is over.

    • For people who are suffering basically any chronic pain, I have to say, those who are looking for any type of narcotic are asking to set themselves up with a lifetime of habitual use, problematic addictions and reliance issues…dependency is so bad sometimes, doctors and family will stop trusting these people. I just did a report on a different type of narcotic-like drug that is specifically engineered to be LESS habit forming. that’s the benefit honestly. it is called tramadol. You can see so many benefits overthecounterpainpillsonline. blogspot. com and people posting about it all over the internet. This is all better than using the heroine, or the other pain pills they prescribe traditionally, such as percocets and vicodins. Those are just too life long habit forming and change everyones view on life!

      • I took tramadol earlier today for back pain due to a car accident on the 12th (almost two weeks ago). It worked amazing until just now. You aren’t supposed to take it for longer than 5 days….so then what? I agree…painkillers aren’t the answer unless absolutely necessary. Hydrocodone doesn’t barely touch my pain and painkillers make me sick, dizzy, I hate them. I am desperate for relief.

    • I went to the ER 13 times and my regular physician 16 times in 11 months. They just deemed me as a drug user that year but missed a bilateral strangulated hernia and long story short became huge assholes. I almost died but an ER saved my life in Boulder. Sue the ER for negligence if they push you off!!! Stop judging everyone. Stop relying on WBC and take high blood pressure seriously. I hate doctors only do what they assume not what’s best for the patient.

      • I totally agree with the writers that shame the doctor! I have either Gastroparesis or Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Once I have an episode I begin throwing up food. Hours later throwing up bile and by then I am so weak that I pray to God to help me. I either have taken an ambulance, or my husband and daughter have taken me to the ER. You sit in a waiting room full of people watching you with a sick bag dry heaving, this is so embarrassing! Then I finally get to the patient room and the doctor and nurses continue to want to give me Morphine. I have had a bad reaction to that drug, I was restless, had nightmares and itching feeling. I had 1 Hospitalist who was an Angel! She was kind, and she gave me the dilaudid IV, and by the way I had an angioplasty November 2014 sent to a specialized Heart Hotel and had a quadruple Bypass. The ribs were sawed and my heart and lungs were exposed. Once I came out of surgery the ICU nurse was horrible. I had a tube down my throat and I knew I was about to get sick. I was slamming my fist on the bed to get her attention, seemed was so angry at me and told me to stop doing that and she didn’t know why I was doing that. At that moment I began vomiting, then she came over and pulled out the tube and said oh well this makes sense now, she said “Now I bet you wished you had never been a smoker!” Who does this??? Evil witch! I was in so much pain, because the wiring around my ribcage was pulled too tightly. My Cardiologist said that I will always have this pain and the only way to correct it would be to go back in and cut me open, remove the wires and rewire loosely. A have had Gastroparesis since 2013, and a diabetic 2001. I took all the required testing and my tests came back almost normal 25% of my food rots in my gut but I’m imagining my vomiting. Even Disability hasn’t approved me yet. This is so wrong, where REAL drug attics have scared these doctors and nurses to death that only a few handful of doctors actually see the pain and listen to you with making an assumption. I am 52 years old, middle class married woman with 3 adult children and a teenager, plus a grandmother of 5. Please!!! Really!! I am so angry at the ones who caused all this garbage!!! These doctors need to do the right thing and help your patients, do NOT give them drugs that so as a side effect or an allergy just so you petrified to really help.

    • The reality Medical Doctors suck. They are very poor diagnosticians and need tests to make valid diagnosis. They have no ability to judge people. They are poor at their craft at are protected by legislatures who have made it impossible to sue them for mal-practice. Don’t you think you should be punished for your poor work? Another profession or unskilled worker would have been fired.

    • I have had drugs all around me. I have never been addicted to anything,. I have 3 children that are addicts. One is in recovery. My husband was told from his doctor about 3 years ago to take 4 tramadol in the morning and 4 in the evening and they were safe. Now he is in a panick tonight because he is in need for a refill and his doctor is not in today, but the nurse said they can do it in the morning. He has read the latest updates on tramadol and the withdrawls if you dont have them. He is mad. Told me if he dont get them I will probably have to take him to ER .
      Myself take 2 tramdol a day. I called in for a refill and was told the doctor rejected it. I dont know why. She is a new doctor. I quess I should had stayed with the one I had which is out of town.

    • this is to the doctor who wrote the article. you are a smarmy little shit, who doesn’t care about people. no one sees chronic pain, and only those who have it feel it. I live it every day, and it’s no fun. I’ve been called a “seeker” by doctors and nurses for 12 yrs. I did not ask to have polio, post polio syndrome, (causing painful atrophying muscles), osteoarthritis, (mostly in my back) a calcified spine, and rotator cuffs torn all the way . my situation causes me to barely be able to type this, yet my doctor of twenty yrs has his hands tied to be able to help me. thank you to all of you who agree with our all knowing government. they can get whatever they need when disaster strikes their bodies. I can’t.

  1. You relieved her pain. You treated her appropriately. The 2 day delay in diagnosis wasn’t medically significant. I don’t think she would have much chance of success even if she did sue you. Now if she’d waited three months to return…..eek indeed.

    That’s what bothered me. What if ….

    I’d be more worried if I’d seen her in the ER during the previous few months before the cancer was diagnosed but when it might have been more treatable if caught early. Any single mention of headache anywhere in the chart is going to be cause for a settlement. Vomiting, paresthesias, or “weakness” is going to be good for a NPDB listing too. That sucks.

    I don’t know whether I’d go see her upstairs either. Probably not.

    I didn’t. But now I wish I did.

    • this is why people like you have no business being in the medical field…pain is subjective…that’s the very first thing I learned in nursing school….you relieved her pain, with a horrible attitude..and you should feel terrible about even muttering the words drug seekers…most people that say they are in pain, very well MAY be in pain..you don’t live in their bodies you don’t know how they’re really feeling and you work in an ED? WOW…you’re a heartless human being and to think that she was thankful to you, if she only knew what you were really thinking of her..just about every doctor I’ve worked with think just like you they’re heartless as well and have NO business caring for other’s lives..thank the good Lord above the next physician had a little more common sense and wasn’t being LAZY like you were and took the time to write an order for a CT..I’m so glad I didn’t take my career further to become a physician because of pigs like you.

      • Not sure you need to be in the nursing profession, either. You are a nut. Or, maybe just too inexperienced to realize that no, everyone who reports 10 out of 10 pain MAY not be telling the truth.
        A patient who is calling out for pain medicines every single time they’re due (setting cell phone alarms to wake them up for their pain meds), and who is in the hospital every other week for their “pain” takes up a significant amount of their nurses’ time, tend to be reluctant to leave the hospital even when there is no clinical reason for them to be there, and cost hospitals a LOT of money. If you’ve never been denied a raise, or seen coworkers laid off, because of cutbacks, maybe you don’t understand how that costs affects you as a nurse. That time that you’re spending running to that patient’s room constantly might be needed by another patient who is a lot sicker.
        If you are a working nurse who truly feels that way, I am sure you’re a real joy to work with. You should bring your ideas about pain management to my hospital for a while…I guarantee you won’t have those same ideas when you leave 🙂

        • What in the heck is going on between Laura and Cathy? Can you both explain a little more, I’m confused. I’m really interested! Please continue. I’ll re-read it all, but Laura what’s your beef Cathy, and Cathy yours with Laura. I need to understand it’s important to me.

        • Well now we know that you are just in for the money. My expectations with hospital settings is that most of the money is wasted on the big docs and marketing and other unnecessary things. As an example my hospital had to implement epic MR and then you saw people being let go one after another cause the program did cost a fortune. I could go on and on about this.You should have learned by now that not every person Is educated on when it is reasonable to go to the ER, all they know is they are not feeling the way they are supposed to and are in pain. The first thing I learned working in the healthcare field is that everyone that is on pain medication is a drug seeker. I remember that so clearly. The sad part is I believed it until I was the patient that was treated as a drug seeker, even though I never Astor any pain medication. It’s just enough to wanting to find out why you are having this pain. It took years and going through many doctors and surgery to finally find out that I have a genetic disease and a lot of injuries could have been prevented if just one doctor would have listened to me and not just assumed that I am a drug seeker. I have never since then judged a patient on their medication history. The medical history is also there to tell you what hasn’t been done in the past to help to find the source of the pain but is most of the overlooked by the narcotic use history. It also reminded me that I choose this field to help, care for, and heal people and not to judge.

      • Oh you two are nurses? Really feel free to share. So one thinks the other is heartless, the other is what ready for a career change? So what do both of you feel about patients in general, question is don’t most people who end up in ED, or admitted for sure end up in some type of pain, never mind the level put that aside for a second. It’s all about the whole package isn’t it? I so would love to be a nurse, what an honor a true gift from God to be an awesome caretaker of the sick and I’ll. I would feel blessed to make a wonderful difference in someone’s unfortunate situation. Whoever stands up for all the patients, God bless you and keep you around.

      • Laura I have no idea why you have a problem with what Cathy said, doesn’t make sense. Yeah totally agree with Cathy after I read it over again. Cathy seems more open minded and fair. Guess it does all depend on years put in, hospital or office settings location- city and state. Everything factors in that creates ones opinion. Think it would serve a positive purpose if all medical folks could move around and experience it all. Oh Cathy is most definitely not a nut, I for one appreciated her thoughts 🙂

        • Do you sit in front of this blog all day, troll through, and reply to every entry?? Your input is getting really shrill and tiresome…

          Perhaps you should get a life and let this go…!

          I mean seriously, we are starting to feel embarrassed for you….

      • Observer thank you for your input and advice. I’ll consider it. Meanwhile I’ll reply to what I want and when I want. I am most certainly not embarrassed that’s for sure. I believe you didn’t respond to anyone but me, so just curious are you a seeker, pain patient, doctor, nurse or none of any of these. Just passing through decided your not okay with my opinions or feelings.That’s okay didn’t ask anyone to be. I had already planed to put this blog away for awhile, extremely upsetting and disappointing to say the least.

        • I don’t really believe anyone who is an addict seeking drugs is going to bother coming up with witty or profound things to say on this, or any other site. They are focused on surviving, and finding their next fix. I believe my point is fairly valid, considering I’ve been in recovery for 25 years. I am getting admitted to the ICU on Christmas Eve for a procedure which is still very new in treating my illness, and this scares the hell out of me, but I am desperate. It would be lot easier to just go back to my pain doctor and tell her I need a higher dose of medicine, but I don’t want to go there; I want something that might knock out my pain for two or three months, or maybe more if I score the jackpot. Merry Christmas to you all!

          • BethD I believe your point is valid too. I’d really like to understand your illness,because I care! May you and all involved in your care be blessed with wisdom and success. Be strong and positive okay. I’ll be thinking of you on that day and hope to hear from you soon after, promise me….

          • Observer had plenty of time to think about what you said. What’s sad sick is the reality of those who in their own words said or realized they were wrong about a patient and instead of owning it and being sorry made excuses or justified not being sorry, in fact wrote replies that were down right cold. Just curious are you the original blog story? And for the record hateful I did not respond to myself, I simply added thoughts. I’m surprised as smart as you must be that one couldn’t figure that out. And yes I did try and ignite some action on this dead blog. I also intentionally went back to the beginning with a response in hopes to update an interest. For me I want to know what and how doctors and nurses think. I’m on a mission it will take a year or two, but feel free to remember my name, I’ll remember yours. I am angry for just cause, I’m also driven, you’ll see.

      • By the way observer, I think your BD MD, and you said we, who’s we. All the stories on this blog, why not just one to any of them? I have an idea. 🙂 and I love it.

        • Follow many stories…many blogs…usually don’t comment as it is not my style. But a few persons continue to ping the inbox…over and over and over again…You seem to be carrying on your own conversation…going back over old blog entries and replies…I think BD left the room some time ago yet you continue to attack her/him. I honestly think you made your attacks much more personal and raging. It’s hard to find useful replies these days. No more discussion. As I said before, you made your point early on but seem to get more and more angry and are just replying to yourself. Like a one woman routine. It’s almost funny in a sick way. I can imagine others who followed the post in the past are just curious to see what you say next! Have had a chuckle or two in the break room with colleagues (“we”). Like watching Nascar and waiting for the crash!! Sorry you had a bad time but I’m not sure the effect is what you might be hoping for.

          • I stand by everything I said, and all that I feel. Happy it entertained you, gave you all something to laugh at. As much as I don’t want to admit it this hurt my feelings so congrats on that observer and friends, well done. That hardly ever happens. Guess along with everything else that’s happened, I’ll use this to help drive me towards goals that many of us are working on to achieve.

    • “I don’t think she would have much chance of success even if she did sue you.”

      Oh, That’s what you’re worried about.

      I know those are very real and valid concerns, but it seems like both sides of this coin are in a no-win. Very sad.

      I’m not sure you know what it feels like to be looked over like that, whether your Dr missed a terminal illness, or not – “Oh, super nice: drug seeking.”

      You could have gone up to see how she was doing – you made an unfortunate mistake, why would that prevent you from asking if she’s comfortable?

    • This is a thought and I decided to bring back to the top of this blog, where it all starts from. If I as a pain patient go to the e.r. With pain that’s unbearable (not knowing why) because my meds aren’t helping and you label me as a seeker assuming I’m just there for something stronger than what I’m on, one it would be untrue therefore it’s slander, being labeled a seeker is an accusation not a diagnosis. two if you do not do the necessary testing to validate that unprofessional judgement theory and I go somewhere else which I would. And I find out what you so negligently missed, because you assumed rather than doing your job. You would be hearing from a malpractice or personal injury attorney! I do not understand why some of these pain patients on this blog who shared their stories didn’t do just that? Do no harm includes, do not assume! Test results are concrete proof of a medical condition, and justify someone needing meds. Now it’s easy to tell if someone is abusing their meds I can even do that, that’s a whole different medical issue. Even an addict can end up in your e.r. With medical problems that have nothing to do with their addition. Bottom line is you need to do the job you signed up for, and do it well. You have no excuses no reasons to do less than your best. The profession you chose, those of us who depend and rely on you,hold you to a higher standard ,one you should want to live up to. And trust this the great ones do! Pain patients on this blog are screaming you get it WRONG. Be humble and learn, rather than acting arrogant.

      • Well!

        As a Chronic Pain Patient, I would have done just that! But due to the utter failure and lack of accountability in the Medical System, I still cannot get a correct diagnosis! I have thousands of dollars worth of imaging and other documentation, but it seems that is either ignored or dismissed. No doctor in this town will conflict with the original misdiagnosis, and they keep it going long past any Statute of Limitations! My former PCP even put nonsense in his notes so as to not conflict with the original misdiagnosis, so did my former Neurologist! We got into an argument about gravity! I had surgery in 2002, where a disc was removed, but this was not on the surgical report! for 10 years the MRIs referred to the surgical report not my actual imaging! this was to cover for the surgeon, who screwed up, and failed to put the correct procedure on the surgical report! He maimed some other patients after me, and was put on desk duty! When I found this out it was much too late to get a personal Injury lawyer, due to the Statute of Limitations! Imagine a Neurologist arguing with me about gravity, I had pain in my Lumbar spine after surgery! On my MRIs there was no mention of the entire disc being removed with out Fusion! There was no mention of the nerve root or the removal of the extruded disc material! I was told I “Just did not want to get better”. So this is jus tone example of the ell I have been through! The only thing that is constant is CYA, cover your ass! MY last PCP also lied in my Medical record, a Federal Offense that is not enforced! Apparently I have some sort of condition that Hysterical women get, where they should not be encouraged by looking at MRIs! The Idiot also told me I should exercise by Swimming, with a neck implant Hah! My Pain Doc was mortified! I have an implant that does not need the additional stress of swimming! 50 percent of these implant would have failed by now, and it is painful so I have to avoid certain tasks that involve twisting my neck! MY PCP refused ort acknowledge that! So along with the Chronic Pain I also have to deal with the Exercise in Futility that would be Contacting the Medical Board! They never do anything! I woke during surgery but the Hospital Redacted the surgical record, and claimed that I was a head case, I was Awake! They held out this information until the Statute of limitations was over! They have really good Lawyers, and they lie on Medical records, so it is very difficult to sue! Most Lawyers in my town will not go after our local Hospital, unless someone is killed or maimed! These cases are covered up! This is great idea if the system worked! Ironically I just hung up from my Medicare insurer, they wasted an hour on the Phone, trying to get a Prior Authorization for a Non Narcotic pain patch! They approved the Narcotics but they are now denying a Non narcotic pain patch that helps! My Insurance also will not pay for alternative therapies. I try to pay out of pocket but I also have to live! I pay 50 Bucks a session for Laser therapy on my neck, it helps a lot. The pain is constant but after a laser session I feel a lot of relief! There are a number of non Medication therapies I can’t afford! I also do a series of Stretches which are a combinations of Yoga, and Feldenkrais! They help, but don’t replace the need for pain meds! They may have allowed me to keep the dosages low! I don’t get any credit for that, instead I get “Gee you don’t look that sick”! you can’t win! I wish I could Quantify and sue for the amount of damage done by Doctors and misdiagnosis! The invalidation hurts, the idiotic presumption that the pain is “Hysterical” I did not even think they used that term anymore, it is misogynistic and non scientific! They can just write that down with no fear of accountability! I would like to go to a Medical conference with some alligator clips and a car battery to describe chronic pain to a smug Doctor, who has the lack of empathy to label people like me, and gets away with it!

        • This kind of stuff annoys me to no end, it’s just sickening . Our medical system is so seriously flawed. Our people in this country would be outraged if they all had a clear understanding of all the dangerous and unethical practices, the criminal acts of negligent cover-up’s and hospital corruption. It’s not a matter of IF this can happen to all of us it’s WHEN! These people commit crimes against humanity and the almighty dishonest lawyers and the good ole’ boys and that love for prestige and the need for greed over-rides right from wrong. Forget civil suits, I’d love to see the day when all acts of medical misconduct are held criminally responsible, bet if they knew they would go to jail or prison set in stone one would think twice before committing fraud and negligence. And the only way the harmed patient or the loss to a family of a loved one plus the courts would show mercy, would be through accountability. And we as a country would acknowledge those who take that oath and uphold it with respect, honor and integrity in the biggest way possible. Of course we wouldn’t have many dr.s or nurses left, bankrupt closed down hospitals, I look at it as only the strong would survive and we all would be better off in the long run! Kathy you so did have a lawsuit, to bad the low life’s and the statue destroyed your right to truth and justice. If you could press criminal charges on those involved vs. civil charges which would you choose? In your case I imagine both because of the debt. But if you could go back before the debt, which one?

          • I don’t know! I think Criminal charges if it exposed this corruption, and the Medical Industry for the damage they have done! My former Employer died after open heart surgery, from and infection caught at the local hospital. My Mother had a Condition called Lewy Body Dementia, though I really tried to get her diagnosed, she was not! when she was finally hospitalized by my Sister she was given Medications that made her worse! They also made a “Mistake” on her blood work, giving her blood thinners, for a broken hip. This led to an extra year in a nursing home,and misery for my Mother. The Medical system made money though!

          • Criminal that is exactly what we as a people with rights need to see happen, I’m positive we would see changes. They the medical world act like patients who have been harmed or families who have lost loved ones due to negligence don’t want justice by means of the truth and accountability, rather imply claims are false and it’s about money. When the truth is they by any means necessary ( fraud ) will lie to hold onto their reputation, investors, stock holders, CEO’S money. We only resort to a lawyer when we finally figure out who they really are and what their really about, sometimes you have to hit these kind of people where it really hurts and matters to them the most. It’s those deep criminal pockets. And their are no such things as frivolous malpractice lawsuits, they do not exist. You lost your mother to negligence to, not to mention you have been seriously harmed, which is negligence as well. I’d bet many of thousands of families who lost loved ones as well as harmed patients who experienced hospital cover-ups would welcome the opportunity to press charges against those responsible, and I’m positive that would set an example to others don’t go there, OR ELSE. The answer has to be extreme to get real results otherwise were all sitting ducks to this unfair, unethical, unjust risk management medical records and administration system. These people need to stop harming and killing us and getting away with it. Enough is enough!

          • I too would love to know what this unicorn of a patch is. Will now be going back to my surgeon for yet another operation, being scheduled for an entire day and includes 5-6 separate procedures. This will be my seventh open abdominal!!! N guess what I was called when I first got sick…a drug seeker and a faker!!!
            Am finally going to look into a lawsuit against my treating hospital. Ineptitude left me suffering another 2 yrs of agony and, most recently, my pcp sent surgeon of 13 yrs a long letter recommending I receive minimal pain control for “a few days?!”

          • These kind of stories anger me so damn much. I’m so sick and tired of this crap. Don’t be surprised if one day you get an e-mail asking if your story can be used in a. Book, documentary, or other. These horrific experiences are unacceptable and for me and others it fuels the fire for justice in a huge way. It’s true about some of our malpractice lawyers! We can’t win for losing as victims of negligence. If there’s not big money to be made it’s not worth their time or trouble. Every bit of this is all about MONEY. At our expense, never the less. For us it’s about truth, accountability and justice. This is such a huge problem and there are so many who have no idea, until or unless it happens to them or a loved one. That’s why I can’t let this blog go- it will be used! Hopefully to benefit us the most. Encourage others to tell their stories, sooner rather than later.

          • Are you having surgery soon? God knows we all wish you good luck, okay…for those of us who believe in prayers there with you…

      • I’d like to add, when they first got my CORRECT diagnosis, after over two yrs of pure hell and not being believed, at best, I did inquire into filing a civil suit because the original hospital quite literally destroyed my life. I was told by countless attny’s that pursuing this was an exercise in futility as basically no doctor will testify against another. The attny’s basically took only “dr accidently cut my head off and it was caught on surveillance” type cases. My only option, with little time left on the statute, was to try and involve my diagnosing, treating, unicorn of a surgeon and I was quite fearful that he’d run off at top speed the second “lawsuit” was mentioned. Very valid fear. The one before him had said, and I quote, “your colon probably does need to come out, but I’m not touching this with a ten-foot-pole.” So…it was either survive or be vindicated. With the agony and resulting depression, plus continued mistreatment by basically everyone but my surgeon (and by the way, my original treating hospital still has it down in the files I was just a crazy med-seeker, regardless of the novels they’ve since received to the contrary)I often find myself wondering if I’d made the right choice in choosing life over vindication. Even a simple apology…

        • That’s because there’s a blacklist out there naming medical experts, malpractice lawyers their families and clients. I know for a fact those involved in that blacklisting game will be brought down! I mean criminally! You’ll hear about it on the news one day soon. Couldn’t be soon enough as far as I’m concerned. If you think the system isn’t CORRUPT think again. I hate that I know what I know!! And I find out more and more each day. The truth is disturbing. Let me stop, I could go on forever and all it does is make me sick! SORRY

          • By the way Becky you’ve been blacklisted too! That might be something you disgust with an attorney as well. Wouldn’t be hard to trace it down!

          • Thanks, Carole! I should add, for me whatever happens would have to happen soon as I’m going for open abdominal surgery number 7 at some point in March (I hope, I have a new nurse at the Chicago office who seems to be playing games and won’t add me to the schedule, although the surgeon had said I’d be scheduled that day, and fear she’ll have no answer THIS Friday either, which will be the 2nd wk she has had me call) and there is a strong likelihood I won’t make it home, as the last two nearly killed me and, this time, I guess they’re “booking me” an OR for that entire day?! Still, I couldn’t be in more capable hands.
            To be perfectly honest, at this point I’m OK with not continuing on with my myriad of health concerns, but it’s not to be confused with an actual suicide…just an acceptance.
            I do want to look into an attny beforehand. At the very least, my life-destroying drs ought to have the fear of God struck into them and for someone with the capability of filing suit or, like you said, criminal charges, to have all the information and continue on with the case even if it only benefits my loved ones, should this be the end of me.

          • Your welcomed Becky… I actually wrote you something back that was quite long and lost the dang thing probably meant to be! But listen I know you’ve been through a lot already, you seem to be okay with the care your getting now and that’s great news. Stay strong and positive okay. But make sure your family has names, dates all the facts- as much info as you can give them. I just read something you wrote someone else and I like you have family and friends that are doctors and nurses, my husbands career his whole life has been in hospitals, that’s part of the reason I know so much and everything I say is the truth. And I have no problem speaking it! The corruption is very real… Being labeled is negligence!!! Patients are blacklisted!!! Medical records are tampered with when negligence happens for a favorable outcome for the hospital when investigated or sued. An eternal investigation is a meeting to get their stories straight, it’s a joke. Those in risk management, medical records and administration their not part of the solution their not even part of the problem they are INDEED the PROBLEM. There are bonuses, financial incentives to cover-up medical misconduct!!! I’m sick of this shady crap and I’ll do whatever I can do to stop it. It must be exposed in a big way, period. There you go I feel great now, how about all of you? Like I’ve often said their are many great ones but we as a country need to ween out the bad apples and make it impossible for hospitals to cover negligence up. And hold CEO’S much more responsible- fraud -jail or better prison time. I eat live and breath to demand and see change. Becky you also know this to be true, don’t you? No one in my family debates or argues back with me on these very subjects, and I also warn them they better never do anyone wrong or else and they believe it, as they should. I do not play!!! Becky Let us know when your surgery is so we who believe in prayer will do just that- PRAY.

          • Becky how are you? Please tell us you’ve had the surgery and your recovering well! I’ve thought about you often, and hoped for the very best for you.. Keep us informed we care.

      • Correction ( addiction) because someone uppity will jump on that! BD MD who is long gone would of! All you e.r. Peps aren’t replying anymore, probably because you were told not to. But your not owned, RIGHT? But I know your reading this blog! It must suck not to be able to voice your opinion now that patients are on your blog, and pretty much have taken it over. It serves you right, with all your negative and cocky attitudes. We have to live in fear of you, praying your not having a bad day, or just decided you don’t like us for whatever reason, or worse that you have personal issues in your life that could affect ours with one single mistake. It’s what you can do to us or what you don’t do for us. And that’s truly an abuse of power that ultimately you will be punished for. Everyone on this blog has had the trust they had in you and your kind BROKEN some many times. You need to treat your patients exactly the way you would want to be treated or the way you’d want someone to treat your loved ones. Well I know none of you wonderful people will respond because of what you fear, guess well just keep fearing each other. Understand though our fear of you not doing right by us is much deeper and more serious than you can imagine. What’s wrong with that reality? Sad, sad, sad.

      • Carole,

        This Patch, only addresses a limited pain issue, a broken Tailbone! The Patch, Lido Derm is basically a numbing agent! It in no way addresses all of my pain, but it help in this one area. My entire spine is messed up. C-Spine, T-spine and L-spine. Of course this was only diagnosed a couple of years ago! I asked about it for 20 years and was ignored. There are some Neuro issues that go along with this, my former Neurologist would not address it! My former PCP suggested it was Psychological! Now I carry a picture! Of course these Doctors don’t go for “Empirical” Information. They like to just judge you! One Doc Jerk, had an attitude because I was taller than he was, If I slump I hurt worse, so I don’t carry myself the way they think a pain patient should! This one had issues, drove a big black hummer, he could barely get into!
        I once lectured a Doctor who gave me a snarky comment about Opiates, I opened the door as I started! When I was done the whole office staff was snickering at him! There was a psychiatrist within ear shot, who patted me on the back with encouragement! His office MGR thanked me as she stifled the laughter, he was a tyrant, and needed a dressing down! He meekly wrote the prescription! I found out later some years later that this actual drug addict, and alcoholic was getting plenty of Narcotics from him because she was drunk, overweight and fell down, twisting her ankle! She milked him for drugs for close to a year! Go figure!

        • Thanks for that info about patch. Not sure that would apply to my situation. Was sure hoping so though. And kudo’s to you for standing up for yourself in that office, I loved that story! Always share those you make me laugh and smile all the time. You and i would get along so good I can just tell! I don’t have all the same medical issues that you do, but we do have a few in common. And without question I know exactly what you go through with those. You have more on your plate than I do, so I can only imagine how rough it is. It’s funny I don’t know you or BethD but I feel like I do, and I so care. Let’s keep this blog alive and kicking for as long as we can, it just feels good for some reason? The scaredy cats have left the building, ha ha. I find it POWERFUL!!!! You do realize it’s our blog now…

      • Hey guys wanted to entertain you with a little somethin’ – somethin’. For the sake of getting the true reason behind it – do it in the order I list it, okay. You’ll soon get WHY!!! First look up definition of medical diagnosis, I know you already know it but please go with it. Then look up medical misdiagnosis- read sixth, seventh, and eight site down. Now what is a drug seeker, read the first three sites. Second site click on red emergency room then observation status. Now what is a chronic pain patient third one down. Okay big one- codes and slangs used about patients, read all of first page for sure. Remember when a nurse called a patient a zebra I looked it up on this site- it meant. An unusually strange or unexpected disease from the saying ” when you hear hoof beats the smart money is on horses, not zebra’s”. ? Now look up ANA whisleblowers protection act. Now slander and defamation. Next doctors blacklisting patients. Read ( code of ethics ) last for now unethical and dangerous medical practices.

      • Stethoscope Nunchucks on


        Your expectation of what is supposed to happen on an emergency visit, is your fundamental error.

        The role of the Emergency Room (and hence the name Emergency) to assess for and stabilize, emergent life threatening problems.

        Your chronic pain problem is not an emergency. You not having a plan in place to manage flares or when you run out, or when you dog eats them, is not the ED provider’s job to fix. That’s on you and the one person who is responsible for managing your chronic pain. Again, not the ED provider.

        Failure to plan on your part, does not constitute an emergency on ours.

        • Valid point taken!!! And one I Can respect. No offense to all the other replies and opinions, but your one of only a few here that put it in a way that no one could debate or argue with. Or at least not me. I can put my hand up to God and tell you honestly as a chronic pain person prior to my surgery in 2007, when I finally gave in to needing and taking meds I had zero knowledge about them. I of course trusted my doctors and them knowing my fear of medications and them being responsible started me off probably where they start everyone off at. Well it didn’t always help, and as My medical condition progressed I would only go to the e.d., After many days of suffering trying to tough it out on my own. I was NOT there for a high which is what a true drug seeker is, I was there for much needed help which is my God given medical right. I am a responsible medicine taker always have been and always will be. So let me ask you this, because this has happened to me many many times– what I’m on now does help, I’m managing my pain right— but what if for whatever reason and I have no clue why two hours from now my pain level goes up and up and I take my meds every six hours – nothing is helping, just getting worse and worse. Can’t sit, stand, move walk just absolute agony. This happens every day all day long to chronic pain patients to no fault of their own. So In your professional opinion ( and I will take it ) how many hours or days, Should I wait to go find out if what’s wrong has worsened suddenly and get help? And last but not least be labeled unfairly a drug seeker which I am NOT… Please tell me because I’m afraid to go to the e.d.,for any reason after understanding we are not welcomed, (example- I thought I had a heart attack recently, to afraid to go to the e.d.) crazy but true.

        • I want to thank you because for the very first time believe it or not what you wrote and how you wrote it -really made me think. All this time I thought because I won’t take the strongest medicines they’ve suggested for me and I don’t want to take what I have three times a day, just and only when I do have flare ups, a level 10 !!! (Some times it helps some times it don’t! ) I thought yeah I’m in pain everyday all day long but I’m going to tough this out this way for as long as I can bear it, because I don’t want these meds to do harm to my organs and I seriously- seriously don’t want to become addicted, I felt with all my heart and soul in fact took pride in it that thats me being responsible. With all that said, and hopefully understood I feel like I still have a right to go to the e.d. For help reguardless, and no one should deny me care or compassion. But I do now see your point of view more clearly.

      • For you to refer to yourself as a stupidpainperson sounds like your hurting in more ways than one. Please vent here, we, I have your back. I’m sorry for what ever you’ve gone through, and probably still do! May I call you by your real name, because I’m sure your far from being stupid, and I realize that could be used for several different reasons. Open up and let it go here- BE HEARD!!!

    • I just really read this reply good and more than once.. Plus original blog story again. Scalpel told this fool he had treated the lady appropriately, REALLY- are you serious? He was an obnoxious sarcastic wrong as one could ever be doctor. The test he should of done and didn’t clearly would of told him she was no drug seeker and the ridiculous handbook is not reliable and needs to be re-written or more innocent and sick people are going to die. In his own words (her history) for there to be history she had to of gone there for help many many times, he knew of her neck and back problems and what she had been given to help. I’d be willing to bet millions that this woman had brain cancer for awhile, no wonder she had neck and back problems- that surely cancer is going to affect more than just her head!! gosh and I guess Vicodin and dilaudid that this drug seeking kind overly kind lady who gives out compliments preferred, actually helped, not completely DOUBT IT!! But in his mind his words we’re, see lady you don’t need narcotics!!! Because she went from a 10 to a two with what he gave her, bet if she went from a 10 to a 9 she’d be grateful and overly kind , Yeah he was sooooo good to her:( that lady or that family absolutely had a lawsuit!!! She had that cancer for awhile they messed up. They failed her miserably, she wasn’t the first and bet cha there’s been many more over these years. No accountability will do that. Of course their lawyers make sure and advise them deny, deny, deny, never say SORRY! That’s the professional and ethical way, roll with it, KARMA!!!

  2. 10/10 pain with no neuro deficits? For the purposes of ordering a CT scan: YAWWWWWWWWWWN. That’s why everyone gets a follow-up provider listed on their d/c instructions and that little “we treated you on an emergency basis only” blurb, no? Now, if she presented with a first-time seizure, that would be a different story.

    Now she’ll get all the narcs she wants.

      • You do NOT belong practicing medicine or in any other field where life and death decisions and empathy are required. You belong counting your dollars from taking advantage of the ill, poor elderly.and defenseless- maybe housing scams?
        When your time comes for serious and painful illness, I hope your doctor has your attitude and your suffering is very long!

      • The article Top 10 Reasons Not To Practice Medicine in FLORIDA was intriguing.

        However,few doctors who purport to practice medicine in Florida, do actually practice medicine for the well being of patients and advancement of ethical medical practices.

        They come to a beautiful paradise at young ages to follow the Medicare and retiree money and get wealthy without putting in the long hours of the truly dedicated physicians in other areas, research better methodology to ensure proper, empathetic care of patients.

        FIRST – DO NO HARM

        REMEMBER The Hippocratic Oath ?

        Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health. To justify that trust you must show respect for human life and you must:

        Make the care of your patient your first concern.
        Protect and promote the health of patients and the public.

        Provide a good standard of practice and care:
        Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date.
        Recognise and work within the limits of your competence.
        Work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients’ interests.
        Treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity:
        Treat patients politely and considerately.
        Respect patients’ right to confidentiality.
        Work in partnership with patients:
        Listen to patients and respond to their concerns and preferences.
        Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand.
        Respect patients’ right to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care.
        Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health.
        Be honest and open and act with integrity:
        Act without delay if you have good reason to believe that you or a colleague may be putting patients at risk.
        Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues.
        Never abuse your patients’ trust in you or the public’s trust in the profession.

        This does NOT describe the average Florida doctor

      • “Now she’ll get all the narcs she wants”?!?!
        First, you are again chopping off all evidence that doesn’t suit your notion that this terminally ill patient was a drug seeker?! Sounds so familiar.
        Second, I believe you simply were born without a soul. Of course, I choose this over the terrible notion that humans can come to be without the capacity for empathy…or common sense.

    • This comment actually made me cry. I had numerous ER visits for over a year, complaining of chest pain. I was young, so they said I was crazy. My own doctor referred me to a psychiatrist. A new doctor later that actually did real tests, diagnosed me with not one..but two heart complications. I live with this forever. Happens to me again, several times. I’m refused pain medication because I guess I fit that profile of a drug seeker, I’m young and it seems impossible that I could have all these health complications, and of course my blood work is fine. For 10 years now, I’ve had to deal with doctors and nurses treating me like I’m not worth anything. I never even took narcotics or pain medicine until I was in severe pain. I had uterine cancer, and it took a doctor to actually look to find it. I can’t have anymore children because it was too late to do anything besides completely remove my uterus. What do people like me do? There was a time when a doctor couldn’t find what was wrong with me, so he dismissed me as a drug seeker. The only hope I had for pain relief was ER visits. After my surgery I was just fine, no more pain..no need for pain medicine. People like us, go because we are asking for help. Do you know what its like to go to multiple doctors, do multiple tests but they don’t even remember your name on the fifth visit and tell you your pain is caused by a surgery you’ve never had. I do..I’ve lived it.

    • some people have low tolerances for pain and some can handle it better..obviously the woman had 10/10 pain did you even take the time to read what was wrong with the patient? or are you one of the no good worthless, heartless nurses too? I hope one of these days you have such severe pain and you are made to feel like a drug seeker and the doctor/nurse caring for you yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwns at you….and for you to say now she’ll get all the narcs she wants..you need to go into a new profession my friend.

      • Maybe you should try psych nursing, Cathy. I think it would be a great fit. And stop trying to be a career counselor. I’m a little worried that you chose nursing. You’re scary.

  3. Wow – that is a rough story. Still, not all headaches need a CT in the ED as well all know. The important thing I think is that she was referred to a neurologist for the new headaches. Small mets would not have even showed up on CT and would have needed an MRI (which routinely can’t be ordered from the ED).

  4. thanks for your blog. I am a NICU doc. It is good to hear others voice the unvoiced worries about daily life in the trenches.

  5. I work in a small ED that gets a high percentage of “drug seekers”. Most Docs take the attitude of give them a shot (one of the D drugs), narc rx, and get them out. One doc that I have grown to respect has taken the stance that the only way you will get narcs if you stay for a work-up. Otherwise its toradol or something similar. Even the ones that seem to be obvious seekers get a CT and in some cases LP for the headache if they do not have one documented in the past year. Guess what, he has found several significant finds like the one you had on people that were previously dismissed as seekers. The ones that truly seem to be faking for meds refuse the work-up and don’t come back when he is on. Work them up, great way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  6. You provided an accurate course of treatment based on the presenting symptoms and the response to the therapies thus administered. Defensive medicine is not Good Medicine. Usually a headache is just …a headache. Sometimes a Stegosaurus instead of a horse will be what we find when we hear hoofbeats. Thats the quirks of humanity. You did not make a mistake.

    Thanks for the support. 🙂

  7. How likely is someone to abuse the prescriptions we give them? Do I risk putting more drugs out on the street? Or do I risk not helping someone truly in pain?

    I say the first two should not be considerations with much weight at all, if any.
    Drugs on the street are used by people who will use ANYthing, the population of addicts is a fairly stable percentage no matter what they get their paws on.

    I think it’s a mistake to put this gatekeeping role on physicians, who I see as more properly guiders for correct, safe use, and evaluation of pain’s causes, than gatekeepers from recreational use of medicine. It’s immoral to deny relief to the suffering just to make sure the undeserving don’t “get away” with something.

    That’s the point, though. How do we determine who is truly suffering and who is “undeserving”? Do we just write narcotic prescriptions for everyone? The resources spent on drug seeking patients are immense. Why reward such behavior?

    • i think an ER dr should beleive the patient and give them one prescription with a peice of paper telling them about a follow up Dr. and that wouldnt hurt, what is one prescripton?

  8. whitecap nurse on

    I had an 18 year old girl with no medical history present with upper back pain after jumping rope the day before. Her pain got better after Toradol and Ativan. But at discharge, she said she couldn’t move her leg. I could have sworn she was just being a little drama queen, tearful, swaying from side to side and sinking to the floor when attempting to stand. Diagnosis later in the day – transverse myelitis. Another zebra!

    • What’s a zebra? And omg this nurse speaking about this patient as if she was exaggerating her condition. I’m going to show this blog to as many people as I can this crap is outrageous. And I’ll look up transverse myelitis, bet I’m going to end up pissed off. I’m going to start a blog nurses suck tell your stories give their names! I’m going to have a rating chart 1-10. Ha ha.

      • I know your just a few on here but man between what happened to my mom all my research about unethical and dangerous medical practices, hospital cover-ups, corruption in management, medicare and Medicaid fraud, kickbacks. I have been trying to convince myself the good outweighs the bad and it does not. IT DOES NOT. This is the truth this is the reality. My poor grandchildren.

  9. It scares the hell out of me that a prescription I write could some day be sold to my own kids and start them on the road to drug addiction. Yet it scares me just as much that I could let another person suffer in pain because I was too afraid to write her a prescription for narcotics.

    Agree with another commenter that the first sentence is meaningless, provided that you script an appropriate amount of meds for them to follow up on the outside. 3 days worth of appropriately scripted Vicodin isn’t a drop in the street drug bucket either from either the abuser’s or seller’s POV. Your and my kids are/will be exposed to drugs guaranteed, so education and communication are the best defenses.

    Just like our justice system, sometimes guilty people go free because the system is skewed to protect the innocent, and “reasonable doubt” is the litmus test, not “proof.” Nobody–and I mean nobody–should suffer needlessly because of the influence drug seekers’ behavior. Anybody that disagrees with that statement in principle should get the hell out of medicine yesterday. In practice, legitimate legal worries cloud the line, obviously.

    I fear, however, that certain ED personnel care more about gloating, “I told you s/he was a seeker!” than “Thank God we caught this [fill in zebra].”

    If Vicodins go for $10/each on the street (which is what I have been told by the police in our town), selling 20 pills will make you more tax free money in one day than many Americans take home in a week. Multiply that times several medical providers per week and your “job” could become quite lucrative. Sure beats working at McDonalds.
    I agree that there are a lot of healthcare personnel who are too concerned with catching someone lying about their medication history. That concern sometimes clouds their judgment when treating patients in pain. That is the whole point of this post.
    Your legal analogy is a good one, but I think you take it too far. We don’t do away with the criminal law system because we never want to jail someone who is innocent. We just put appropriate safeguards in place to minimize the chances of convicting the innocent. We have to draw a line somewhere.
    Had someone come in a few days ago who said he only got medications from one pharmacy and one doc. We called around to several pharmacies and he got medications at all of them from six different physicians. Should we just toss him a script for a few days of Percocet on the possibility that he really could be suffering needlessly?

    • Kathy Kooper on

      Most of those drugs on the street never went through the Dr. to patient system! Pain patients had nothing to do with it! The narcotics were sold out of the ware houses! They left this information out! They were “Stolen” by ware house workers making minimum wage over the course of several years! Walgreens and CVS did not consider it worth putting in security! Walgreens was fined 80 Million for this “lack of oversight” The DEA lied about this and blamed the legitimate pain patients. It is ironic! If I were diagnosed correctly I would not be on pain meds for the rest of my life!

  10. I totally sympathize. This was hard. The one nagging issue – the complaint of vomiting. I don’t often find that drug seekers add that in to their stories… but the chronic back and neck pain would make most docs suspicious of drug seeking behavior.

    • Have to say that you must not work ER medicine, Dr. Val. It is not uncommon to find patients sticking their own fingers down their own throats (when staff doesn’t appear to be present) in order to provide “evidence” they are really sick. Hard to believe, I know, but have personally witnessed this on multiple occasions.
      There was Munchausen before there was Munchausen-By-Proxy.
      However, I agree we cannot let this alter appropriate care. The sense of self-righteous accomplishment achieved by proving justified 999 times out of a thousand will be utterly, overwhelmingly, and devastatingly eclipsed by the one we pre judge incorrectly and cause prolonged suffering or, worse, harm.
      The struggle is to maintain a Zen-like, Beginner’s Mind, which incorporates training and experience, but views each patient with a fresh, unprejudiced, lens. There is a reason medicine is a practice.

    • I have chronic back and neck pain! I have an implant in my neck and a lumbar surgery, bit were ignored and I was treated like a drug seeker! What “Chronic Back and Neck pain”! I have MRIs and X-ray Pictures, both of which are assessable to ER staff! Fro some reason they ignore this! The Medical Cartel is a joke, I ma disabled now, because I was falsely accused of “Drug Seeking” The ruptured disc was misdiagnosed for at least 5 years! Now I will be on Opiates the rest of my life! Thanks Idiot Doctors! The same thing with my neck, the pain symptoms were ignored! Now I have permanent nerve damage there also! I had to leave College after all of my hard work, I have given up on working! Before the neck implant I asked of some reasonable accommodations, since I was being misdiagnosed I was denied them.
      The Other reason I don’t work, is the engineer I worked for died from a hospital acquired infection! I pointed that out to the Nurse who ignored me! Ironically the Doc who misdiagnosed me was on coke that day, he called me drug seeker! I keep his mugshot on my fridge!

  11. Don’t sweat it. Like Scalpel said, the 2day delay does not make an inkling of difference.

    Impossible to be 100% sensitive and specific in distinguishing the addict from the medical problem, and often they coexist.

    Dr. Val: I find drug seekers vomit/dry heave/gag themselves all the time. It adds to the dramatic presentation. Or is part of their withdrawal.

    Enrico: Agree in large part. Always giving people what they want is not always best. Enabling someown with a self destructive habit and not ever attempting to intervene/confront them toward treatment is cowardly.

    • I take my Prescribed pain meds as Prescribed, sometimes they make me nauseous! For a while I was having to go to the ER after 3 days of nausea and puking! I would ask for a Phenergan drip! The problem was that I was unable to take my meds leaving me even sicker! All I got was the Phenergan though, even though I have never broken the law or abused my Meds in any way! I too find drug addicts annoying, but at the Hospital I will always have the label, even though I went through agonizing pain for years, afraid to take Opiates! Once a Doctor thought he would show me, I told him that Toradol made me nauseous and asked for a half dose, instead he doubled the dose, leaving me doubled up in agony for 3 days! How is that for compassion?
      I was afraid of Opiates and using OTC Motrin, which caused my liver to blow up the size of a foot ball and destroyed my Stomach! I know other people with chronic pain that put up with the NSAIDS! They sometime bleed out form their guts! Docs were saying the NSAIDS were safe! I know a guy who is growing a breast from an NSAID of the crap they give you to buffer them! The Doc is unconcerned VA!
      My Pain Doc says I am stoic! I often forego the Anesthesia during procedures so I can leave sooner! “Stoic” while I get needles stuck close to my spine! I will try anything to lessen the constant pain, including subjecting myself to nerve ablation procedures, yet previous docs have said my pain was “Just Stress” or I was “just sensitive”,, because I am female!
      My only conclusion is these Docs are Sociopaths! My Life is ruined and I have constant Chronic pain because I was labeled as a drug seeker! I have no recourse and complaints against Doctors are ignored! My former surgeon maimed a few people before he was put behind a desk, he did not even put the correct procedure on the surgical report! This is the issue a corrupt medical system! How many people have Chronic pain and are afraid to get treatment because they were treated like a drug seeker! How many of these will consider suicide because of the unrelenting pain?

      • patient (aka med victim") on

        I went thru the same crap you did! Was young, so I was labeled a drug seeker?! Now I have constant pain, 7 open abdominal surgeries later, because I was written off for years, refused pain control, until my fantastic, CARING surgeon found me to have colonic inertia, an intussusception, enterocele, uterocele, rectocele, cystocele, rectal prolapse, severe NERVE DAMAGE?! Don’t even get me started, but the last thing I’ll mention is my cervical vertebrae had fused together…
        Despite all of this being on record now, I receive the same crap tX from the ER when I’m unfortunate enough to land there, despite the fact they’ve treated me for several small bowel obstructions and sometimes I’d puke for a month straight.
        I’ve complained (OMG, how terrible of me) and the most recent one, when an er dr had potentially risked my life was just another in a long line of hospital cover-ups!!! I won’t go into them all, but another was when I was sexually assaulted by a male nurse and suddenly discharged from the first hospital BEGINNING to discover what was wrong at 9 pm on a Friday night because I’d just reported the abuse to hospital staff (who failed to report it to the police). #1, there was suddenly nothing wrong with me (surgeon there was even contacted by local ER staff night before follow up apt because I was bleeding heavily from my rectum. Screamed at me, on my B-day by the way, that there was nothing wrong except psychologically). #2 was scared for his non-verbal pts and called pt relations after discharge, who said PD couldn’t come to me, I had to see them in HER OFFICE?!
        So, I’m not nuts, but am very depressed at having lost my schooling (had been 2 credits from my bachelor’s) and career to permanent disability due in large part to over a 2 yr delay in tX while everyone, especially ER staff, patted themselves on the back for having deterred yet another “drug seeker!”

        • ALL PAIN PATIENTS- in your opinion what do you think the medical pro’s definition of a seeker is? PRO’S what is a seeker? Just curious!

  12. Give the drug addicts their drugs! Who cares what they do to themselves? I doubt that many of them turn around and sell to others, especially high school kids with little money. And if they do, arrest them. Is there any hard data on this topic? (DEA propaganda does not count.)

    Why do so many scientifically trained doctors turn into baptist preachers when it comes to drugs? Drug addiction is a medical problem, not a mortal sin (am I confusing my religions? well, you get the idea.)

    If drug addiction is a medical problem, should I as a physician contribute to it further by prescribing medications to the addict? Do I next start buying bottles of scotch for alcoholics when they come in? Physicians have lost their licenses for prescribing narcotics to drug addicts that later died.
    When people complain about lack of resources and increased costs, drug seeking behavior plays a significant part to those problems. See this post and this article.

    • I do sympathize with doctors that it is a problem and the government, DEA, being involved in the doctor business is part of it. I think the key is the people that get enough drugs to kill a horse. However, a lot of people really are in pain, and who is to say what goes on in another person’s body. I think if a person is a regular drug seeker, and all test have been done to rule out anything major there meds should be cut into portions and they could only pick up for so many days. If they are really in pain, you might try varying pain meds, and give them drug holidays so they don’t build up tolerance. Our bodies naturally build up tolerance so they require higher doses to get the same effect. I dont’ take pain meds unless necessary, but I have a problem with NSAID’s. They give me ulcers and stomach problems, but that is one of the things listed for drug seeking behavior. People that have Lupus like symptoms, like I do, really have a problem. It is so bad around where i live I got labeled with DSB simply because I ask for something you see on TV all of the time and had taken it previously when I had trouble sleeping. I’ve probably taken it 3 months out of my whole life. I think the DEA really needs to get out of the doctor business because patients are dying and suffering needlessly because of them.

  13. Brain mets. Just curious… is the primary known yet?

    Not yet. Didn’t look at her inpatient chart and haven’t spoken to her PCP.

  14. EdDunkle: How about the more obvious point… giving them drugs encourages them to come back and annoy you again. Give them a 2 week course of Vicodin and they’ll be back in 5 days for another $10000 workup. And again. And again. And again. I remember a calculation about one homeless drugseeker who was estimated to have cost about 100,000 dollars in his attempts to get more opiates. Think about that for a second.

    Insert complaints about rising health care premiums.

  15. Myself, having been a cancer patient seven years ago, experienced some if not a few more of these types of class two narcotics…I can’t tell how excruciating the pain in my ass was until I finally could get it cut out…and I was glad to see it go…I got the assumption from people dealing with pain med’s by experience that “pain management” became teaching patients to tolerate some of it with in reason if not find other modes of dealing with pain…

  16. I am a former drug addict, but I did not use the ER as a source. I was cut off by a few doctors, but I always found a way. When a person is addicted, they will go to any length. Please don’t feel like you did the right thing by denying meds to someone. I had a back up plan that was an old woman with cancer. I hated myself for breaking into her house, but if the doctor said “No” I had no choice.

    A doctor needs to form a relationship with the patient. If someone comes into the ER with pain, treat them. If non-narcotics don’t work, give them a narcotic. Make sure they come in for a follow up. If they don’t show, no more meds. Too many doctors, in my experience were simply aloof to a fellow human being in need. You might say that a junkie deserves withdrawal, but it is one of the most horrible experiences a person can endure. That is why you can’t stop addiction by not writing scripts.

    How about being honest? Ask the patient if they want a narcotic or if they want to find the root of their pain. If they only want a narc, give it to them and tell them never to come back.

    Finally, I can’t IMAGINE a drug addict getting a script and selling it to ANYONE, let alone a HS student. My meds only went to me and other people that I used with. If a teenager gets Vicodin it is 99% coming from someone’s mom, dad or grandparents medicine cabinet.

    • I thought part of being a “former” addict was accepting responsibility for your actions. Saying, “I had no choice,” but to break into an old ladies home and steal her medications is a choice. And it is evil. Time to stop excusing the behavior as “no choice” simply because physicians were doing their job appropriately.
      If physicians wanted to be drug dealers they could have avoided a decade or two of sweat and training and simply gone to the nearest street corner.
      The first oath of a physician is to “Do no harm.” Giving inappropriate medication of any kind is indeed doing harm. It is neither ethical nor good medicine.
      As far as “imagining” a drug seeker selling scripts, many of the seekers have an entirely different substance of choice and sell scripts to get money for their preferred drug. If they want meth or crack, they sell opiates to get the money for the crack.
      While I am very libertarian in my views, and believe the drug laws in this country, and virtually every country, are Draconian and harmful, the practice of medicine is very clear in this respect. Doctors are not there to be your personal drug dispenser. They are there to determine the cause of problems and treat those problems appropriately.

    • Seriously,

      What if everyone with a sore throat wants penicillin. Guess I should just give it to them?

      Show me some writhing and tears with 10/10 pain. Not texting that can’t be interrupted when the doc walks in.

      The ER isn’t a damn grocery store. I can’t read your mind to know who is scamming me. That is why it is only for emergency. Get a doc who knows you and stick with that.
      ER Docs get screwed if they are too compassionate or too mean…

      I’ve done both primary care and EM. I’m less likely to prescribe narcotics in the ED…Know why? I see people who can’t withstand one day of any discomfort. Who flutter their eyes and moan if you deflect a hair on their skin.

      Blame your neighbor…not me…

      People go into primary care and EM because they want to help. Not for $$. That’s ophtho and radiology. But we get screwed for not doing “good” medicine on one hand and poor patient “satisfaction” on the other. This isn’t painting your house. A good deal of medicine is saying NO!! I can quote every bit of evidence but people want what they want…fast…and friendly…and….


      • No!

        well maybe you should get another job! I ma crippled because I was accused of being a drug seeker! I did not even want drugs, I wanted and x-ray which would have kept me from permanent nerve damage and a lifelong dependence on pain meds!!! BTW my Doctors either misdiagnosed me r were “Unavailable” I had a couple I saw for years who could not return one phone call, or recall the phone call! jerks like you should go into Proctology where you belong!

        • This supports what every doc on this site is saying…That your opinions and behavior are utterly not based on fact…

          As I proposed…let’s video all these interactions…Only to be retrieved when these issues arise.

          I care…I understand pain…professionally…personally…But it breaks my professional soul to be periodically used, criticized, and blamed when bad things happen…and they will…despite all my training, experience, and efforts, and emotion that I put out there.

          The real ugliness always comes out…Someone must of course be blamed for the suffering…Not that suffering is doled out by a power beyond simple humans…

          See what I see…in just one day….


          • kathy Cooper on

            The misdiagnosing Dr. was factually arrested for cocaine possession and procuring a Prostitute, this was after my incident, but he could have been on a multi day coke bender! Fact The Hospital Settled several lawsuits involving his treatment of women in the ER. Fact I have pounds of imaging documenting my spinal issues! fact! I go in ofr an C-spine MRI next week to see of the implant in my neck, which was misdiagnosed as a “Hysterical” i.e.. Woman’s problem, has deteriorated! Fact! My surgeries were done long after nerve damage became permanent! Facts! I have boxes of Facts! Thousands of dollars of imaging, and constant chronic pain! Those are facts! Boxes of em!

      • JadeDustEyes on

        I completely support what you are saying, BD. I can honestly say that I can count on one hand the times I have truly had 10 out of 10 pain, & during those times, I didn’t care WHAT it took to take away the pain! In fact, one of the HUGE headaches that had me calling 911 was so severe & came on so quickly that I was convinced my head would explode & I honestly wished to pass out, the agony was so horrible. When they got me to hospital, they did all the scans & LP & found nothing of note (thank God). As for asking for narcotics, I never did, as I was just so thankful the headache had finally subsided. I believe patients grossly overuse the “10” rating on the pain scale, & that messes it up for everyone else.

      • I had a swollen face from a tooth absess

        The dentist looked at the tooth and said, ‘I don’t see anything wrong with it.’ after the Seattle E.R. after an AMBULANCE trip to the E.R. with pain up to about to pass out from tooth and a walk in clinic ‘unable’ to treat

        E.R. took ex rays, pulled one tooth, said the one next to it needed attention a.s.a.p.

        and upon arrival ‘home’ to family dentist, on DATE of ACCOUNT with close to 100K in deposits from employment, sort of denied treatment, after SCHEDULED appointment 4 months after arrival ‘home’

        while in Seattle, a parent INSISTED I take the Vicodan prescription, which I dumped at the earliest possible opportunity, as I think I probably have a genetic tendency to get too hooked on things that are highly addictive

        they JUDGED me, postponed a BLOOD CLOT in femoral artery for EIGHT MONTHS and said I had a PSYCHOSOMATIC OBSESSION when the clinic forwarded me to E.R. after the concern / femoral blood clot

        I know whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but ….. 2 years with the chest pain and pressure and finally they provided a saline solution in vein that has caused a number of new problems

        now my thyroid has gone out
        since someone installed a 1″ outdoor cable in my home from the BREAKER box to the STOVE, caused the house to vibrate like RADIATION

        I’m still trying to figure out whose ‘medicine’
        date rape, denial, neglect, abuse and downright sabotage are


      • WELL….NO!!! Aren’t you the almighty powerful one. What people want is friendly and that’s a bad thing? What’s fast to you 6/7 hours after we arrive in that miserable germ infested hell hole. We hate going there as much as you hate us coming. Real patients with real pain with real problems want to get in and out as fast as we can knowing the longer were there our chances of being harmed or worse can happen!! well let’s just say the odds are against us, we are not stupid we know the real deal. SEEKERS don’t care how you treat them or how long it takes, I’d bet everything on that. And stop lying about the dollar bills, most of you find ways to make extra, legally or illegally!!!!!! Also if you were one of the good ones you so would of never said most of what you did, never.. Your unable or unwilling to separate pain patients vs. seekers, there is an honest difference so expect pissed off people, that would be a big fat Y E S…… Stick the no up where the sun don’t shine.

  17. She’s sizing me up from in between those fingers over her eyes. Very polite. Says “thank you.” Compliments me on being so nice even though we’re so busy. I engage in some small talk with her and she actually is a nice lady.

    I bet she would appreciate your concern. I don’t have as much to lose as you have on the line, but I know as a previously misdiagnosed & “nice lady” that it would probably mean quite a bit to her. Even if just to say, “I just wanted to check on you and see how you were doing.”

  18. “I had a back up plan that was an old woman with cancer. I hated myself for breaking into her house, but if the doctor said “No” I had no choice.”

    Had no choice? Please, Kraig, stop lying. You always have a choice. Getting off those street drugs will cause you the equivalent of a really bad case of the flu for two or three weeks, max. Those who use, like it and simply don’t want to not use. THAT is a moral problem. There’s an entire industry employing thousands who would all be out of work if they didn’t go along with the myth that drug addiction is a medical problem, not a moral problem. It’s a character problem, for sure….witness your witless statement of having “no choice” but to steal pain meds from a woman with cancer.

    • Let me ask you something. Have you ever been addicted to opiates, legal or illegal? Have you ever gone through the horrible withdrawal experience when those opiates are taken away or are not available? No? I didn’t think so. Much, much worse than ‘a really bad case of the flu.’ Take a hammer, smash both arms & legs, pound at your torso, turn the heat all the way up until it’s like a sauna, then the A/C until it freezes the sweat on your skin, drink some ipecac & pule every hour on the hour, take a whole bottle of stimulant laxative & empty your bowels constantly, with cramping in between, dehydrate severely, & take a steady dose of too much caffeine so your nerves are twisted & you can’t sleep. Then repeat over & over again for as long as it takes for your system to cleanse…could be 10 days, could be 28. Doesn’t seem to matter when each minute stretches for eternity & guess what? You’re scum. Reviled. Vilified.

      As a pain patient ‘taken’ off my meds, I know how this feels. And yes there is a rare occasion when they are lost or stolen, as happened to me. I stuck it out & didn’t bother with the ED…what’s the point if I’m going to be crapped on & blackballed. Drug addiction is a medical AND psychological issue…the moral issue enters only when a crime is committed and/or someone is wronged. And addicts don’t end up continuing to take opiates because it ‘feels Good’s and they just don’t want to stop. By this point, a dose is needed just to get straight & feel normal, stave off those wicked withdrawals. So take your judge’s robes off. While I would certainly never condone breaking into someone’s house to steal opiates, I understand the pain these people are going through.

      • Replying to a 8 year old post to say EFF YOU. Have you ever had a ligament completely severed? Starting from an injury to a fight.. a reinjury to rough housing.. to your first shoulder dislocation? P*ssy I lived with immense pain and a useless right arm for 12 weeks after one of the most painful surgeries I’ve ever experienced. 15 years later it still pops out of socket if I move the wrong way and I’m constantly uncomfortable or in some level of pain. Have you ever experienced a pinched nerve? Try the sciatic nerve, if you’re lucky, it goes numb, if you’re like me, unlucky, you feel stabbing pain from your butt to your pinky toe, literally, some days when you wake up, some days after walking 10 ft. I lived with that for 5 months before I finally got to a doctor who would prescribe me the required pain medication and gave me a surgery after which.. i felt so much better that I declined the script refil, despite euphoria they provide, and despite the potential grand I could’ve made off of the amount the surgeon’s office offered me. it’s because of people like you I had to spend 5 months begging my GP for pain relief where NSAIDS were doing nothing. He’s terrified of the DEA. You think withdrawal is pain? Having the scoots for a few weeks, some dull muscle ache and flu symptoms is pain? No, those are just consequences for your and other addicts IDIOTIC MISTAKES. A problem you can only blame yourself for unless you had so much freaking pain that treatment developed an addiction.. and that is regulated to cancer patients and people with lower quality of life than some POS just looking to get high. You will never justify yourself to me. I felt the effects of long term opiate usage BECAUSE I EXPERIENCED LEGITIMATE PAIN. I never got to the level of some addicts I’ve seen but, the withdrawal was NOTHING compared to the pain these things are actually perscribed for. You and anybody like you are total WIMPS claiming withdrawal is the worst thing in the world. If that’s the worst thing you’ve ever experienced you should realize how fortunate you really are because I’m led to believe that you and people who try to justify the actions of addicts like you do would have shot themselves after walking a mile in my shoes. Do the world a favor and OD in a place no one will find you next time you POS. As far as doctors, I went to a physicians care rather than an ER being uninsured with pain in a lymph node with no other symptoms other than a rash the week before. Doctor took 4 vials of blood for testing.. and I went and paid $411 for a CT scan on my neck which revealed nothing. They offered not even an NSAID for pain even thought I asked for something. Go to my GP the next day with CT results, showing NOTHING.. but the pain in my neck was rather severe. MY GP tested for mono and also my T-CELL count.. low and behold 21000 through the roof.. but he already knew I was lying to him.. he’s 1 out of 5 or 6 doctors I’ve seen in the last 20 years. Sometimes he can’t see me immediately.. but when he did he at least prescribed me some toradol, which isn’t a narcotic but it’s really helping with the pain, and I believe the anti-biotics are helping too.

        Medical professionals, you have no room for assumptions. There are not always symptoms. People don’t go to hospitals for scrutiny, judgement and to be the pun of your jokes. Yes, you will get assholes trying to beat the system…addicts who will justify their behavior to themselves however they can..but, sometimes some of us have dealt with enough pain life to be able to sit there with a smile on their face during their encounter with you. I do not present drug seeking behavior, never once. I am 100% honest with any doctor I have ever seen… yet my GP was terrified of prescribing me narcotics last year before a surgery resolved my pain when they were the only things helping me. What he did perscribe was not enough. My tolerance builds quickly, I don’t know if it’s a motabolism thing or not but having my first surgey at the age of 15, and some very painful conditions that also left me with a failed shoulder surgery, and also includes spontaneous pneumothroax, I KNOW HOW MY BODY WORKS AND REACTS TO THINGS. But some of you assholes would judge me before even looking at my medical history and would likely question my word if I tried to tell you about it. I don’t deserve that..you can’t make assumptions about people based on how they look. I am a casual dresser.. quite frankly piss on opiates and all that addictive poison. I smoke weed to manage some of my discomfort and pain. I don’t want the risks associated with presciption narcotics. I’ve known too many people that fell asleep and never woke up after partying a little too hard. I’ve kicked methheads and pillheads out of my life because I know what road those weak little bastards are going down. The bottom line – is anybody walking into a hospital is there because they need some form of help. Making assumptions about somoeone’s character you’ve never spent time with personally is NOT an admirable trait. The DEA needs to back off and let medical professionals treat people. If the patients break that trust punish them.. there are a lot of people suffering in this world and the choice of suffering 2-3 days in pain until your GP can see you, or paying $1500 for an ER visit just to get some pain relief and perhaps some possible diagnosis so you can maybe sleep better at night without the help of some sleep aid that causes people to do crazy things, or offering medication that comes with a list of possible side effects that sound more addictive/longer list than any opiate on the market is not logical. We’re Americans.. we’re supposed to defeat Tyranny.. we got away from greedy taxing monarchies..we’re supposed to stand up for ourselves and our rights… and its a sad state that the profession of medicine is also falling victim to being slave/stooge/propaganda machine for the richest/greediest enterprise in the world known as Big Pharma, using the FDA and their DEA enforcers to keep us all in check. So EFF YOU addicts.. for making it hard for real people in pain to get relief.. and EFF YOU DOCTORS/NURSES for assuming such horrible things about people when the only way you could know such things for sure are to catch someone in a lie.. with evidence.. empirical PROOF.

        Humanity.. you’re all a bunch of freaking morons.

  19. Drug seekers do suck. I can’t speak to what it feels like to have a diagnosis like that come back after you’ve discharged a patient. But speaking as a patient who is dealing with the frustration of looking for a doctor that won’t automatically assume that of me, your attitude is something I would be pleased to have. I’m glad to see that even though you see drug seekers every day, you’re still willing to accept that people can be in pain and look for ways to treat that pain.

    I’ve had a lot of doctors misdiagnose me. I’ve had a lot miss the “oh, by the way, you’ll probably die because of this” signs. That never upset me; there wasn’t anything they could have done differently if they had been right. But I have always remembered and truly valued the doctors, nurses, etc., that took the time to treat me as a person, to listen to me and do their best to help me. It sounds like you did that for this patient, regardless of what the little voice in the back of your head was saying, and that really can be more meaningful than you know.

    Thank you. I looked at your blog and hope that you continue it. There are a lot of doctors – me included – who could learn a lot from you.

  20. What a powerful post!

    The following is part of a quote I wrote that I keep on my
    sidebar: “Sometimes in life, all we can do is our best and it’s not always going to be someone else’s best, but it is our best at the time and so we need to be forgiving of ourselves when necessary.” I omitted part of it but I think the rest of it applies here.

    Also and I don’t know if it makes a difference because you indicated she is terminal, but maybe she needed to become an inpatient and if you had given her the drugs they may have delayed her getting the more important treatment she needs or possibly it would’ve been too late to get her affairs in order if she hasn’t already done that.

    Maybe I am wrong but I really believe we are meant to meet certain people so certain events can play out in our lives for whatever reason.

    You docs ARE between a rock and a hard place with these decisions.

    You were nice to her and she appreciated it and told you. She couldn’t hear your little voice. You have that voice for a reason. You need to be discerning in your profession. You know some ED staff would have totally blown her off. You didn’t. You worked her up and didn’t find any reason to order a CT. BTW…remember your posts regarding excessive radiation?

    Between a rock and a hard place…yep!

  21. I read this and my first thought was, “I bet some plaintiff’s lawyer would like to read portions of this post to a jury (or, worse yet, make YOU read them) if this case ever went to trial.” (Assuming, of course, the lawyer was competent enough to link you/your hospital with the blog, a big assumption.) It’s hard to imagine that 2 days would make any difference whatsoever, but was this the first time she had mentioned her headaches at your hospital? Remember Dr. Flea?

    I frequently think about whether something I write will some day be used against me. Those who have ulterior motives can always twist something someone says into something that meets their needs (i.e. reading “portions of the post to a jury”). But I’m not going to bow to a fear of what some lawyer “might” do. If we all become paralyzed from fear of lawsuits, no one would ever write another blog entry.
    This was the first presentation of the patient for headaches. If the case ever went to suit and some attorney wants to try to grill me about the difficulties physicians have dealing with drug seeking patients, I wouldn’t feel the least bit uncomfortable about reading the entire passage to a jury.

  22. Replying to an old blog post.

    Sorry but i get upset. I am a chronic pain sufferer. By all means, it’s rarely a 10, but i am at 7-8 on a daily basis.

    Before i finally found proper main manegement from a wonderful pain doctor i had to go to the ED many times. And Most doctors have been happy to help me, usually one or two Dilaudid shots and sent home with Tramadol (I asked for the Tramadol because it helped for years) I am now on the Fentanyl Patch 50mcg and Roxicodone 15 for breakthrough pain. Tramadol does not help anymore.

    Anyway, on to my reason for posting this late reply. Like i said most Doctors in the ED were wonderful but a few times I got some Doctors who thought i was drug seeking and i can’t tell you how frustrating and heart breaking it is to have a doctor look at you like you are an addict when you are not and you are in horrible pain.

    I don’t understand why some ED doctors are not compassionate about Chronic pain patients and why so many of you think we are drug seekers when we are not. Yes, i understand you probably see a few drug seekers a day and i understand it how frustrating that gets for you, but imagine how frustrating it is for someone in horrible pain and being looked at like they are an addict.

    I think some ED doctors out there need to go back to school just for this sort of thing. Most people who go to the ED ARE NOT DRUG SEEKERS. Most of them are good citizens and good people.

    Next time you are treating a chornic pain patient, try to have a little more compassion and don’t assume just because someone has been there 5 times in the last 6 months for chronic pain that they are drug seekers!!! Next time you or a loved one is in pain, remember… what if it was them going to the ED for REAL PAIN and they we’re turned away because the ED doctor thought they were a drug seeker.

    This all makes me so mad. It’s not fair. But, at the same time i have had some great ED doctors who treated me wonderfully. But, once in a while I’d get that young whipper-snapper doctor who thought he was going to save the world by turning away someone who he mis diagnosed as a drug seeker!!!!

    • Yeah? Somehow common sense and personal responsibility never comes up.

      Get one doc and stick with them. Don’t show up in the ED for chronic pain.

      I have chronic pain and know what it’s like.

      I’d love to have a video camera in my room. That would reveal the truth…

      The nastiness, the demanding, the drama…

      That’s evidence my friends. This is all he said, she said.

      Let’s just use video evidence in every room for the trialS…

      Know what? Many more docs who be vindicated and not vilified.

      Chronic pain is not an emergency medicine issue. Have a plan in place. Don’t “lose” your medicines (why does no one lose blood pressure or diabetes medicines)…

      I have chronic pain. I work in an ED.

      Feel free to follow me with a camera…and all my colleagues.

      This isn’t a grocery store. We do excellent medicine.

      I wish all ED’s had recorded visits saved in a secure vault for when the doc gets sued or complained about being mean…

      The truth will set everyone free.

      And save a lot of money.

      In my old clinic patients swore they were told things on the phone. Cussed out my staff. When we played back the recording and THEY were flat wrong…it was STILL our fault!!!

      God Bless America!!

      Bug me/video me…I care…I practice good medicine. Patient’s can be horrible…then claim they are the victim….I am unfeeling…incompetent…

      All should see what really happens…

      Maybe a reality show? The people on COPS? They show up in the ED!!

      How about a little evidence in this medicine!!

      • I routinely lose medications, which are NOT narcotics, just because I have a terrible memory. Sometimes I find them, sometimes I don’t. I believe that there are a LOT of people who claim to have “lost” their pain meds, but you can’t say people don’t lose their Toradol or their Elavil.

      • There is a Petition to have all Doctors wear a lapel cam! Especially surgeons! The Statistics are pretty scary! One is three patient will experience a Medical “Error” That is a fact!
        There are also Articles about Doctors “misbehaving” and bothering their Co-workers! Do we really have to make a law about this! If these Docs are so nasty to their Co-workers what about patients!
        Oh and lawsuits all they seem to worry about are statistically insignificant! Less than 3 Percent of Complaints, including death and dismemberment, end up in a Lawsuit!
        I have been on Pain Meds since 2001, my first botched back surgery! I have never lost or misplaced or had them stolen! I have run out because of a postponed appointment, Pharmacies did not carry then meds or a former Doc did not think it was important enough to return a Phone call in week! I try to stay polite with my Docs, I often have to bite my tongue when they say something degrading or stupid! I am the patient yet I often see how the Doctors home life or previous patients are affecting their interaction with me! I even asked one Docs Nurse, “Why do we have to suffer because he is not getting any? we had to laugh in secret for fear of setting him off! My former PCP, I would tell him to just sit there and breathe for a minute before talking to me! Good Grief! Yes the truth will set everyone free! Unfortunately Empirical “Truth” is not available in Medical setting, too much CYA if ya know what I mean! Most of my Medical records are incorrect, while I have MRI documentation! There is a picture of the damage to my spine, yet Doctors ignore that and label me! They often make me wait hours with a broken Coccyx it is painful to sit for hours! I was told that was Psychological! I had to bite my tongue unfortunately the question “what Kind of a Moron are you?” is not helpful! Forgive the typos, my neck pain was ignored for 5 years, while I tried to hold down a job, in agony every day! This impinged the nerve to my left arm, making it difficult to type! I was told I was just stressed and ignored of 5 years, now the damage is permanent! I am not “just sensitive” I have a High tolerance to pain! This worked against me, because I tried to have a life at high pain levels and work, while being told it was all in my head! I was ignored, labeled and dismissed! Even with 2 surgeries behind me and thousands of dollars in Imaging, I am still labeled! My Former PCP became enraged when I showed up with corrected imaging! Good grief! They made a “mistake” on a Surgical report which was referenced in my MRI, for 10 years! That was until I instructed the Radiologist to write down what she saw on the MRI, not the Surgical report! I am the Patient for heaven’s sake! This is just more CYA (Cover Your Ass) Medicine, rampant in the system!
        “God Bless America!”
        America has the most expensive and least effective Medical System of any developed Country!

        • Oh my Kathy Kooper you and I need to talk. Myself and many others are working on something huge that you would be welcomed to be part of. Everything you speak about is exactly dead on. It’s as if you took the words right out of my mouth. Things I’ve wanted to say you just did. Thank you so very much. Everyone on this blog knows it’s true but can not and will not be truthful or forthright,I’d be surprised if that MD wrote you back! But maybe observer will:). I like you, tell it like it is. Let them know what we know, all their secrets will be exposed. I am positive the flawed and corrupt system will be made to change. Power in numbers and knowledge.

        • So Kathy nothing from anyone but me, your welcomed! The doctors and nurses on this blog could care less if you haven’t noticed. I’ve read many blogs, first one I’ve ever responded to. How I got to this blog in the first place was typing in unethical and dangerous medical practices. The original story speaks volumes, and the replies priceless. This one will be very helpful in proving the coldness in these so called professionals we are lead to believe we can trust, depend and rely on. I’m up to 127 people across the U.S. For sure one in every state, and growing! Working on something I hope will be positive for us all, including all of the great and awesome doctors and nurses. I believe all that have been harmed or worse lost their lives, and the families not getting the justice they so rightfully deserve, will be an illegal, immoral, unethical issue of the past. I will live to see changes in the corrupt system. And I’ll do whatever I have to do to be part of the solution. The problem as big as it is, is not bigger than We The People…. Good luck getting anyone on this blog to respond with anything good or bad. Their so much smarter and better than us average folks, don’t you know that Kathy?

          • It’s all fine, and really appreciate that you did for obvious reasons. Extremely sorry about your health issues. Wish I could help, more than you’ll ever know! Your a perfect example of those who don’t respect or honor that so called oath and their profession. The mistakes and errors and cocky attitudes of even just one are why your in the position your in today. I get their are bad apples in every walk of life, what I don’t get and find to be as evil as one can become. Is those in positions of assumed integrity and trust, betraying us. Can you just imagine all the secrets and lies most of them walk around knowing, it’s so disheartening. Plain and simple when they don’t stand up for right, their cowards, and we the patients pay the ultimate price one way or the other. Again I am truly sorry on behalf of those who have wronged you. Oh thanks for the info. I’ll pass it on as well!

      • This is the issue I have with your statement about chronic pain pts not using an ED?! How about the 9/10ths of us whose pain is undertreated and sometimes gets to the point we can no longer deal with it? Or whose pain gets to the level they (perhaps correctly) assume that they must be dying or, at the very least, be in a medical crisis? What you’re saying is ridiculous and the fact that many ER docs thus make decisions regarding our care is downright criminal negligence: CHRONIC PAIN PTS DESERVE LESS ACCESS TO EMERGENCY CARE, PAIN CONTROL?! As we’re in pain already, we deserve less or no empathy and substandard care?!
        Yes, you’ll have people who weren’t legitimate pain pts in. Probably on a daily basis, it still should NOT EVER color your interactions with other pts in pain and especially not those of us with chronic health issues causing daily pain. Do we show up to you daily for a dose of our medication?! Didn’t think so! The only reason we put ourselves thru the nightmare ER visits we’re subjected to is from legitimate intractable pain, fear of being in crisis and, guess what?! Many of the times, over the yrs, that I bothered to drag myself to you, I HAVE been in crisis, complete w needing emergency surgery, hospitalization, etc.
        But I shouldn’t need access, like everyone else has, because I’m a chronic pain pt.

        • Extremely well written- in fact the best valid points written so far. You covered everything, no one in their right minds could, would or should debate or challenge these thoughts. OUTSTANDING… I’m impressed and that’s not easy to do! Many pain patients on here express some of the most thought provoking opinions that are so deep and so meaningful so touching. I either end up with tears of sadness or anger, most times both. These people have no idea or do and just don’t give a damn!! I wonder how many pain patients lost their lives with those believing they were careless or irresponsible when in fact they just had lost hope and faith in those they should of been able to trust and believe in– who unfairly labeled them and caused them more anguish and harm? You doctors who have done that and you know who you are should be so ashamed of yourselves. Oh well for us, RIGHT? Figure it out already for God’s sake. Just try to be great at what you do, PLEASE.

      • Hi. I work for a large physicians group. We have many, many chronic pain patients. In your above post, you state “have a plan in place”. I’d like to ask you, just what that may mean to you? What exactly is it that would be acceptable to you as the ED physician, when someone is in the situation of needing additional pain relief, in the situation of say….over a weekend, or an extended closure of the office, when patients PCP is not available. I know first hand how difficult it can be, trying to provide quality service and care, but things are not always foreseeable…situations do arise…so what would be your suggestion, beyond the normal of call for RF in advance, etc…

        Thank you for your opinion. Im interested to see what you’re thinking.

        • That is a question that every chronic pain patient has asked including many more. (Out of frustration feeling ignored not always in a nice way! Sorry) Just maybe through you and others like you asking and getting answers can help those who feel helpless and hopeless. I will speak for all pain patients THANK YOU because you can tell you obviously care or you wouldn’t of asked.


  24. I was that guy for awhile.
    The polite well dressed professional middle class guy in your E.R. complaining of rib pain. Well, lying about it anyway. I would say that I “slipped on the ice and just came down on a parking curb. Darndest thing, but no bruising, so I just put up with the pain for a few days until my wife said I could have a cracked rib and should go see a Dr.”
    Of course it’s Sunday or 3 in the morning and “it just hurts to breath a bit, or cough, and it sure would be nice to get some sleep.”
    I would even make it look like what I would really like was a script for a just few days of sleep meds.
    I would be nice to the nurses. I would flinch as you, the Dr., would push on my ribcage. I would be “splinting” as one Dr. called it. Sitting up real straight on the table as if something hurt.
    After a few X-Rays and some re-assurance that I would be O.K. , I was on my way out the door with a script for some hydros.
    It never failed.
    I’m sorry.
    I admired all of you. I respected you as well. Yet I still burned you.
    I was probably on day 2 or 3 of withdrawals because my dealer was temporarily out.
    He got his merchandise from guys that were legit patients that just didn’t like the pills that the Dr.s gave them as much as the money that they could make.
    I was a consumer. I never sold or gave away any thing prescribed to me. It was MINE.
    The drugs that someone would try to sell to your child came from one of those many, many legit pain patients that are getting 90 to 120 10mg hydros (or maybe even oxys) a month and selling them off.
    The seekers you see are in desperation for a 3-5 day fix until the supply returns. It always goes in cycles. Those scripts never see the street. Ever. Unless that seeker gets ripped off by some neighborhood kids.
    Now that I’m clean I try not to think about what I did to you people. It hurts too much. The lying really does suck. I hated myself. It’s not a happy addiction. I spent my time, money, and energy on not just chasing a buzz, but avoiding being sick from withdrawals.
    I never did break into any old ladies houses.
    But the thought had crossed my mind a few times.
    I am so lucky to have been helped by a compassionate circle of friends and family. Say a prayer for me that I can stay out of that miserable existence. And the next time I’m in your E.R. It will be because I ‘should’ be there. And I hope that I will be able to say, right off the bat, that I am a recovering addict to opiates.
    Please don’t worry about the seekers scripts getting out on the street.
    Please remember that the pills on the street came from those legit pain patients with the endless monthly supply.
    Money is stronger then pain for those individuals.

    For the first time in a long time, I am not lying to Doctors

    I kind of like it.

    Once again…
    Sorry I burned you guys.


    I am truly glad for you that you were able to beat the demons inside of you. Keep up the good fight because I know that those demons will always be nipping at your heels.
    Would you e-mail me (whitecoatrants-at-gmail.com)? I have something to ask you privately.

    • “Please remember that the pills on the street came from those legit pain patients with the endless monthly supply.
      Money is stronger then pain for those individuals.”

      I am just insulted and disgusted, even though I know this could be true. But to say it like all chronic pain patients sell their pain medication, is just unfair.

      I have a rare kidney disease called Cystinuria. My body makes cystine stones DAILY. I can pass 50 or more stones in a 24 hour period if I’m having a bad day. There is no cure for Cystinuria and the current therapies, Thiola and Pen-D, are not very effective. I’ve had more surgeries for stone removals and blocked ureters than I can count on both of my hands. I live with constant pain in my kidneys, more so in my left. I just moved to Mid-MO in July and I am having the hardest time finding a doctor to believe me. Yes, I’ve been in and out of the ER for pain because my new primary doctor wouldn’t really do much about my pain and other symptoms even though my previous doctors mailed her my full medical history, and let me tell you it is HUGE!

      First, I must explain. I was on 15mg oxycodone three to four times a day, for 3 years, in AZ. All my doctors trusted me. I never asked for refills early. Most of the time I was using 120 tablets for two months, sometimes three, instead of every month. But when the pain was horrible from an increase in stone production, infections, blockages, surgeries, I would definitely need the 120 a month. AND I would never give my medication to anyone else. Not only is it very addictive but it’s dangerous!

      Anyway, I moved to MO thinking doctors would help me with my disease like all the other doctors I’ve seen in AZ and NV did. BUT since July, I’ve only seen TWO doctors who have truly helped me and believed that I was in pain. Just days before going into the ER, I begged, cried, and even argued with my new primary doctor for some kind of relief. I had a UTI ten days before I first saw her, was treated for the infection by an urgent care doctor and given 5mg vicodin for pain. I was happy to receive ANYTHING for pain, even if it was something that didn’t help very well. Going from 15mg oxycodone to 5mg vicodin for REAL pain is hard! I really felt like I was going to die. So at this first visit with my new doctor, she doesn’t seem too worried about my disease, but tells me she can’t help with my chronic pain and tells me she’ll give me something to last until my appointment with a pain doctor, which is a month away. She said she will give me a 30 day supply of oxycodone 10mg and said she’ll follow up with me in a few days if my nausea and pain doesn’t seem under control. She makes appointments for a urologist, it’s a month away, great! I get handed a prescription for (30) 10mg oxycodone but it says to take half to one every 12 hours for pain. OK, how is this supposed to help with pain for a whole month? I figure I will just have to suffer because she refuses to write anything more than that. At least she gave me something, right? I did do a UA and I did tell her I felt like I had another UTI or kidney infection. She said follow up later. OK. A miserable week goes by, withdrawals along with passing stones and not enough pain meds, and these other horrible symptoms. Fever, chills, sweats, nausea, vomiting, PAIN. I end up in the ER the same day she tells me she can no longer help me because I am asking for pain meds. I kept calling the clinic asking for HELP, not just proper pain management. I knew something was wrong. And in the ER the doctor is shocked that I was treated so poorly by all these doctors and nurses. I’m dehydrated, blood in urine, kidney infection, stones in my kidneys, and in the collection cup is a lot of “gravel” and some small stones. I’ve been to the same hospital once before and went to a different hospital before that also. Both times I was treated like a drug seeker. I was even told that “cystinuria isn’t a real disease, it just means I have stones sometimes. And stones in the kidneys don’t hurt so I should do my homework next time.” Then given 12 to 20 tablets of 5mg oxycodone for “maintenance” to be taken every 12 hours, when this whole time I was right and had an infection. The pain was BAD because of the infection and passing stones constantly. So why the judgement as soon as I walk through those doors? Even my previous primary doctor in AZ was trying to call doctors and have them help me, explaining this weird disease to them. But, no. They wrote me off as a drug seeker and gave me a few pills to keep the withdrawals away. I admit, I burned through those pills every week. Taking one or two 5mg’s every 4 hours for REAL severe pain because no one was really helping. Even as I sit here now, with no narcotics in my system, using Toradol for pain (even though it doesn’t even take the headache away) and feeling like another infection is here, I can’t find a doctor who wants to help me. So, will I end up back in the ER asking for relief? Most likely, yes. I’m still waiting for my appointments, they’re next week, finally! But for now, I’m left here to suffer and be sick. Infection? Blockage? Maybe. I won’t know until next week.

      Please, try your very best to help people who are ill and really need help. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. I’ve never heard “stones in the kidneys don’t hurt” until I moved here. I am frequently in contact with the director of research at NYU for Cystinuria. He has provided us stone suffers with enough medical research that, yes, pain is real and stones IN the kidneys DO hurt! Especially after having so many surgeries, infections, blockages, and stones. I even have crystals on the OUTSIDE of my left kidney. Painful? **** YES! So, please, listen when someone says there is something wrong. Even an addict can have kidney stones or a blood clot! Pain is pain.

    • I agree with everything you said greg I was addicted to vic’s for years and i bought them from a guy who had alot of older “friends” every one of them got scripts every month for 120 to 150.

    • This guy Greg’s story goes way back in time, as much as I appreciate his honesty this the the very reason why this problem exist in the first place. I’m sure most are not so thankful to you or your kind. Hope wherever you are right now, Your clean and sober. Not just for your sake, but for everyone’s.

  25. All these warnings from our malpractice insurers about saying “sorry” as an admission of guilt have me too afraid to just walk upstairs to the floor, sit on the side of her bed, and ask her how she’s doing. I genuinely feel bad for what she’s going through. The little voice in back of my head started to mumble something. I grabbed him and whipped him against the wall. Maybe he’ll just shut the hell up for a while.

    Maybe you should be listening to the little voice instead of the insurance company. There was a very interesting article in the NY Times a few days ago suggesting that an apology and admission of wrong actually reduce the overall cost of medical mistakes. Most states have made such actions on the part of doctors inadmissible in court. You should check your state laws; it might be a comfort to you.

    My own guess is that lawyers don’t want you to admit wrong, not just because it can be hard to defend (if it were admissible), but because if the doctor solves the problem with an apology, the need for the lawyers goes away. Think about it–by soothing the patient with a soft answer, you’re cutting the lawyer out of business.

    We need more sophisticated juries. The average person in this country does not appreciate how much medicine is judgment and art rather than predictable treatment courses, especially in today’s rushed up environment.

    And the problem with all juries in all cases is that hindsight is 20/20, and when you have unlimited time to think about something, it is easier to come to the right conclusion. Most liability cases involve fairly quick decisions on the part of the defendant. You accidently hit someone with your car–how much time did you have to think and react to the situation? Yet the jury can take as many days as they like figuring out just how, in that 2 seconds you had, you could have avoided hitting them.

  26. My name is “Kayla”, and I am what some would call a “functional addict”. In reality, I am as dysfunctional as they come. I am a real person with real problems, who obviously does not know how to deal with them. My purpose in stating these things is not for self-gratification, but rather to put my problems out in the open, as this has been a secret for far too long. They say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. I see many blogs by ER and ED doctors and nurses about the drug seekers they see on a daily basis. Part of me wants to be angry at them, for being so crass and uncaring, but I can also see their perspective, too. They are real people as well, with real problems, but they aren’t popping hydros just to get through the day now are they? NO! I envy them. I envy the people who go through life on a daily basis with a smile on their face without needing a chemical to alter them enough to make them think they are happy. Are there resources available, medicines available to help this. I know substituting one drug for another is not the answer but at this point I am scared shitless. I need help and I know it. I do not want to become a statistic in your emergency room, as I have never had to drug seek in the ER.

  27. Ah doctor, doctor – you know that us chronic pain patients hate the term “drug seeker.” We prefer pain-relief seeker. Even if you don’t believe us. I won’t go into that – i’m pretty sure you’ve been to my blog so you know how I feel about doctors undertreating chronic pain.

    I was just wondering how it came out with the patient. I don’t know if it helps any but among other pain complaints, I was suffering from chronic headaches (which I didn’t realize were migraines and I was pouring OTC sinus medicines down my throat), dizziness, blind spots, visual disturbances, nausea and vomiting and went to the emergency room a couple of times myself for it. Those doctors would just say headache (still, no one saying the word Migraine) and those doctors never gave me Toradol shots and they worked just fine. I was never given a MRI either. Couple months later….wait for it…..Central Retina Artery Stroke. But hey, my internal medicine doctor missed it too. It wasn’t until I was in my hospital bed with blood thinners running through an IV, that a neurologist said the word migraine. Migraine induced retinal artery stroke. Who knew? I was irritated that no one asked me How Much OTC sinus medicine I was taking until the neurologist – over 40 pills a week. Now I use midrin or Toradol shot if midrin doesn’t work.

    By the way, I dumped my internal medicine doctor after the stroke. Why, you might ask. Not because he missed the diagnosis. It was only because a couple of weeks passed and he didn’t give me the courtesy of a phone call. And no, I didn’t sue him. I’ve been misdiagnosed before, all with drastic consequences to me, but I realize I am the zebra.

    Those attorneys saw a windfall because…I hate to say it…a child was involved. Juries make decisions based on emotion, not facts. Superior Court judges, I read all the opinions and their decision wasn’t based on facts. Patients have a duty to be self-advocates and not put the public in jeopardy. Stupidity rearing its ugly head again.


  28. I read your blog often. As do I read other ones that were linked to yours. I actually stumbled across it while trying to learn exactly what a “drug-seeker” was. Unfortunately, I was labelled as one, and it cost my son’s life. I was pregnant. Reported to the ER numerous times because I felt as if I were dying, bleeding, cramping. Since I was not bleeding the first 6 times I went in there I guess they figured I told the blood to come out of there so that someone would believe me but they still didnt. I was sent home over and over again. 31.5 weeks pregnant and I was asleep in bed when my water broke. I had vag bleeding, cramping, and I do mean SEVERE cramping. I labored for 27 hrs before requiring an emergency c section. All this time, I was abrupting. I begged for an epidural. Unknown to me, the nurses had labeled me a drug-seeker. Well, I guess I was. I was in such pain that I couldnt see straight. I WANTED ANY DRUG THEY WOULD GIVE ME! I would have taken a hammer or iron skillet over the head if it would have knocked me out. My son required 20 minutes of cpr. he did come home, fed through a g tube, had HIE, many many problems, mechanically suctioned. I was urged by nurses at the NICU he was transferred to, that i needed to file suit against the hospital and nursing staff and my dr. Taboo huh? I never ratted these nurses out and I never would. How likely is a nurse who suggests you sue to get a job, eh? Well, I consulted an attorney. But no, I didnt follow through. And it took me reading your blog to make sense of some things. Initially I blamed insensitive and uneducated, crass, mean nurses and staff for killing my son. I was so angry at them. For calling me a drug seeker, at the expense of my child. Nothing could take away the pain of finding my sweet baby lifeless and blue, the blood already pooling to the side of his little face. NOTHING! I blame society! The drug seekers who swarm into your ER DAILY looking for drugs. They made this happen to me. They cause the medical field to doubt any one in pain, given the reaction. In hindsight, I guess I appeared to be looking for meds. I went in begging for them because I hurt sooooooo bad. Time after time after time. but even more, I wanted them to find out what was wrong, but it was too late. The people plagueing the ERs and other depts, made my life hell. They caused the medical staff to think my condition was not a true medical emergency, but rather a need for narcotics. I do understand why you get so angry and fed up with them.

    As much as my child deserves justice for his pain, me sueing will not fix this. I wish there was something that could be done, some way to have a magic ball and know who is faking and who isnt. If you did, maybe my life would be different. Damn those seekers, THEY killed my child.

    • I am sorry for your loss. It was the doctors fault, not the seeker. They DOCTORS clumped you in with seekers, the DOCTOR didn’t do any of the tests they should have done, the DOCTOR didn’t listen to you. Just because a few seekers come in doesn’t give the doc any excuse to lump you in with them. Labor is a very painful process, and any doctor who doesn’t expect a pt to ask for pain meds shouldn’t be in medicine. The DOCTORS killed your son! In all honesty during my pregnancy they labeled me a seeker. When I pleaded for pain meds for my labor they refused and walked away from me. (I lost my son, he was stillborn).. I feel your pain and I understand why you feel the way you do, but your blaming the wrong people.

  29. Firstly I think its a hard thing to fess up like you have and admit your initial assumption was incorrect.
    That’s admirable. I wish all Medical professionals could do the same.
    My last consultant never acknowledged what she didn’t do for me as a patient and it nearly cost me my life. I don’t hate her, nor am I bitter and twisted.I just don’t want her near me again. I believe that Doctors are human, and its not about making mistakes its about things that just go pear shaped. Every human body is different, and you can’t always get it right.Doctors aren’t gods. The job is stressful(I was married to one)They too suffer human responses. Anaesthetists have a high rate of drug abuse and suicide, which is sad. No occupation is infallible. Drug seekers piss me off too, because I don’t want to be labelled either.

    I learned different ways to manage my pain. My last post I wrote highlights this. http://neo-conduit.blogspot.com/2008/09/pain-control.html

    I use distraction technique and clean my house up when in pain while grooving to music.

    What I do query though is does it mean your a drug seeker if your nice to the staff? That’s disconcerting as I would rather be respectful and genuine than get into full on yelling arguments like my EX Consultant did with me (and her other patients.

    My other issue is I tend to leave things too long, and actually got a bollocking for leaving infections too long and going into sepsis. I would be asymptomatic, then thinking I was getting a flu I would wait it out, not wanting to annoy E.D staff. I have a G.P who’s marvellous but due to my condition her hands are tied as it often requires specialist intervention.

    So should one stay calm polite, and respectful to staff and risk being labelled a junky when the medical condition may be life long? *Sigh*
    I’m confused.

  30. As a former drug addict, I find some of these posts to be right on point and others so far from the truth it makes me laugh.

    First, the post by SarahW
    “Drugs on the street are used by people who will use ANYthing, the population of addicts is a fairly stable percentage no matter what they get their paws on” is both sad and laughable. I was addicted to opioid pain killers, ie. Hydro and oxycodone, and later, Methadone. I would never use “just what I could get my hands on.” I disliked cocaine, meth, LSD, as well as other pharmaceuticals like Xanax, Soma, etc. The majority of narcotic (pain killer) addicts are exclusive to their drug of choice.

    To the doctors out here: Drug seekers who go through the effort of the ED are NOT going to sell their pills. They are looking for a way to eliminate withdrawals or that awful feeling that precedes them, the anticipation of WD’s. Most scripts from the ED would only last an addict half of a day. At the height of my use, I would take anywhere from 20 to 30 Vicodin a day. Say what you want about liver toxicity from the APAP. I don’t know why I didn’t fall victim, but I didn’t. A script of 10 hydrocodone will be one ‘buzz’ for a true addict. They won’t even get high off of it.

    In close, shortly before I admitted myself to a rehab facility, I went to a doctor (not an ED) and made up a sob story, literally, to get a few methadone. In my car was a gun. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but I was desperate. I probably would have robbed a pharmacy or killed myself or both if the Dr. hadn’t been kind enough to replace my “lost” pills. My advice is always do a work up, if they refuse, you refuse. Keep scripts small, write the number in longhand, and don’t be afraid to ask if the person needs help. During my addiction, most Dr.’s were coarse in their refusal of meds. Addicts don’t want to be the way they are, but the pain of withdrawal will drive them to desperate measures. Deep down, they want and NEED help. You could be their savior. Be objective in everything you do.

    I like the idea of asking a patient if they need help. I had a very rewarding experience with a lady who I busted, but who I then saw several times in the ED afterwards to help her get through her withdrawal.
    Thanks for sharing.

  31. i am a drug addict .never thought i would become one all started with a toothache so bad i wanted to put my head into a wall ! i got my first scrip for vicodin at the ER . it took my pain away but also liked the way it made me feel . i would do any thing to go back and not have taken that first pill. i want to be honest with my doctor and tell him i need help but im scared he will pretty much laugh in my face ! so coming from some one who is addicted to pain pills give people in pain non narcotics first . because you never know like i said before i never planed to become addicted it is my falt i keep taking them i have tried to stop but i cant deal with the withdraws . and its way to easy to buy them off the streets .

    I hope you get the help you need.

  32. The only reason I am even reading this web page is to get an idea of how doctors REALLY think about people going to the ER for pain relief. I am trying to deal with this chronic back pain without useing medication, but I don’t see any other way at this point. My main problem is that I am a young man (23) and as soon as I start talking about relief for pain, the doctor shuts down and labels me an addict. Since when does not wanting to be in pain denote you a drug addict? I have a strained back right now with a pain that will not go away, but I am honestly afraid to go see a doctor, because what happens when I pay them good money to just turn me away with a prescription that does nothing, or just some advice? I really don’t want to waste a doctors time when they could be treating someone with somthing more severe, but I woudn’t be wasting my time if I wasn’t in real pain. I have found that doctors are going to do whatever they think is best for you, and you no longer (if ever) have any say in what you think you need. I also can’t stand it when a doctor asks me, what would you like us to do, and my answer is “help me get rid of this pain” and their first response is “go home and take an ibuprofen”, are you kidding me?

    • Never ignore back pain, I thought I had a pulled muscle, told an emergency room physician about it and he told me it would probably be better in a month, it finally became so bad I had to go to the doctor, she made an appointment for a chiropractor, then I ask her, feel my stomach and see if this is normal. I figured I was just getting a litte round belly like some older people, but it turned out to be an ovarian cyst the size of a honeydue melon. Back pain can be so much more than a strained muscle, always have it checked out for the cause. I had emergency surgery, and probably would have died, had I not caught it in time.

  33. Definitely a catch 22 between underprescribing and unwarranted suspicion at one end; license revocation and jail at the other.

    What I haven’t seen physicians do (that seems to be the logical choice) is to take a real position on the issue of chronic pain and push it via a union arrangement or cumulative legislative push by a majority of doctors.

    Either choose that treatment or erroring on the side of prescribing narcotics is in the best interest and run with it politically and legislatively, or decide that abstinence and suspicion is the best policy and run with that politically and legislatively.

    Obviously, treatment with possible collateral damage would be the preferred stance. Doctors are all aware of the problem yet only the PRN seems to be actually DOING anything legislatively to get the DEA out of medicine.


  34. This is what is happening to me. My doctor can’t see me for at least a week. I am in pain, all test have come back negative. The thing is, I don’t care about the pain killers. Sure they help…They help a lot. But I am willing to live in pain till they find what is wrong with me. I KNOW they think I am a “Drug Seeker” and that my symptoms are non existant.

    Did it ever occur to the medical establishment that “Drug Seekers” actually seek drugs cause they ARE IN PAIN! DUH! If you really think that the person has an addiction, treat them for that. Do a blood test. See if they have drugs in them. If you think they have a mental problem, refer them to a Shrink.

    I actually told the last doctor I saw to run every blood test he could think of. I HAD TO TELL him to do it. So sad the state of medicine today.

    • Docs almost always recognize real pain. You should see the drama and behavior in our offices! What if I came to your place of business and behaved like that??

      • kathy Cooper on

        Nonsense BD MD!
        Doctors remain ignorant to pain and might only treat it in wealthy upstanding citizens! What a joke if you believe that you are delusional. Doctors misdiagnose up to one third of all visit pain ofr otherwise and get away with it! I have box full of misdiagnosis! I have had to be in agony and bite my tongue while a doctor makes ongoing idiotic and misogynistic remarks! How are people supposed to act
        t when they are in agony and are being patronized, and ignored?

      • Bad MD she wouldn’t act like you that’s for sure. You have a bad attitude about everything and everyone. You hate people, patients, and your job. You are one of those ones who are burned out and need for the sake of mankind, get another career. Maybe you just hate the people in your state, perhaps a move? Might change everything and protect innocent people.

  35. I think drug seekers must be the most selfish people that exist in a modern society. I am a primary care physician that can never get my REAL patients with REAL problems to see me within good time. I went through my schedule for the last three months and roughly estimated that up to 25% of my patients in one day can be of those who seek “establishment of care”, or whoose “doctor is on vacation”, or simply “didn’t treat me right”.

    Whenever ANYONE new patient or old specifically asks for a narcotic and mentions it with name, I put that in the chart as a medication I will NEVER give them. If they want it, then go back to their other doctor. He can’t be that bad if he was giving out candy to begin with. This policy of mine has actually made some of the other docs somewhat bagry with me, because now these SOB’s show up at their doors instead.

    At the same time, I have people with MS, CHF, Cancer or what have you that cannot get an appointment because these ***** have taken up precious time.

    Sorry drug seekrs, but you guys have collectively forced me into this situation. Having said that, I am very happy not to see so many of these ppl any more. One day, I met a patient at a store and he started yelling and cursing at me and it actually made me happy, because I knew he had probably wented this to someone else as well.

    And if any of those ppl later on could find a reason to sue me for “making them hooked”, they will find some wicked ambulance chaser that is ready to construct a sob story to a jury with a combined IQ that is lower than their shoe size.

    Doctors need to stand up against drug seekers, lawyers and all the other pure SC** out there who make our lives hell every day. My practice has totally turned around after I started being an Ass to these ppl. I will also here mention that I know my OWN patients very well and have no problems giving out anything to the ones that really is ill.

    Finally, the person here that bragged about breaking into some old woman with cancer and stealing her meds, should be given a final pain medicine -> .45 between the eyes, IMHO. World would be better and maybe my patients would not have to wait two weeks to get to see me.

    • I agree with most of what you say…EXCEPT…labeling someone a drugseeker because they mention a drug by name is from the ice age. Folks all to often look there symptoms up on pc before going to doctor. So it is a normal thing for them to know the name of a drug.

      • Amen! They advertise drugs to ask your doctor about all of the time. I’m careful about which drugs I take because I’ve had serious reactions, and if I find one I don’t have a serious reaction to, I’m going to ask for it. It is a matter of life and death for me. My life is ruined because a CNP would not give me what I had been taking and gave me Tramadol, which almost killed me. Treat your patients for the individuals they are, not by what they ask for.

    • I agree, especially younger people. Do you really think you are the only one that can read a medical journal. I have a degree in molecular Biology. I have more of an idea on how a drug works on the body than you do. Doesn’t mean I am a “drug seeker” cause I can name something with the correct nominclature.

      And whats up with this “drug seeker” crap anyway. My feeling is that this is doctor propaganda. People who do drugs will do any drugs they can get their hands on. Doesn’t matter if you give it to them or not. They have a mental issue. Then the other half are “seeking” drugs because YOUR medical community is not trying to help them find the cause of their pain. Of course someone will seek drugs if they know they will work cause they are in PAIN. Just because your tests don’t show anything wrong doesn’t MEAN anything. You know that! Why are you refusing your medical oath in favor DEA propaganda. Sounds like you should be in drug enforcement and not a doctor.

    • Ariel, I had a very similar experience to you at my community health center. I tend to think that I ran a “successful campaign” to weed out all my (former) problematic pain patients. In the process I also created a reputation so others will not come to see me. I know these scumbags communicate to each other outside of clinic. Now I see relatively few of these non-productive/non-members of society. I now actually spend most of my time on patients that actually want to get better (as is possible). And this is soo much more satisfying.

  36. This does not make sense to me at all. I was put on Norco for a diagnosed degenerative arthritis and polymyalgia rhuemitca. I then started to have pain over all my joints. Another blood test was run. My sed rate came back at 95. Of course any doctor who graduated med school should know that means inflammation. I began having severe pain in my big toe I called her and she told me to go to ED or Urgent Care. I chose go to urgent care. The UC doctor ran another blood test and my sed rate was 75. She then diagnosed me with gout. She scripted 20 percocet that I did not ask for and told me to stop taking the Norco while I was taking the Percs. Yes I did fill the script for Percs. She told me to follow up with my Rheumy. I got an emergency appointment the next day. Well when I went with my wife, she turned the follow up into a 40 minute scolding about accepting pain meds from another doctor. I was not on a contract with her. She left the the room then called my PCP and told him what happened. She came back and told me she would not be writing anymore scripts for pain.

    The very next day I got a letter from my PCP of 12 years stating he was no longer my PCP. He stated in his letter he will treat me for 30 days but in bold letter he stated he will not prescribe narcotics. He labeled me a drug seeker. I had to go to he ED (I have been there once in 5 years) because of a virus, I was violent vomiting for 2 days. I was treated for the illness. But because of the timing, they specifically told me they would NOT treat the pain associated with my documented illness.

    This alone has diminished my respect doctors. As a matter of fact I hold doctors to higher standards and I have documented problems and they label me as a drug seeker in less than 2 days? I was a patient of both doctors for 12 years!!!!!!

    Needless to say I am fed up with the US health system. It is pitiful to say the least. Doctors in the US expect to be treated like GOD, but the patient is expected to comply like a slave. I once questioned my Rheumy about Indocin. I read it created heartburn. She told me to tough it out and if I didn’t like it then go to someone else. I decided to be compliant. Of course I also ended up with severe acid reflux for 2 weeks. When I called and told her about it , she said…”you are a big boy, you didn’t have to take it”.

    Now I sit here because no doctor will treat my pain. I had an independent blood test run at my expense. I had no idea how much it would cost but I got a bill for $1325!!! The nurse called me and said my sed rate was still high at 65 and everything was pretty much off the charts.

    I called my Rhuemey and she didn’t seem concerned and pretty much blew me off. So I fired her.

    I thought that pain was supposed to be treated as a disease and not a symptom anymore.

    I sit in agony typing this because I have no doctors at the moment when I had documented issues. I have paid at least half to 3/4 of my salary to my healthcare in the last 9 months only to be labeled as a drug seeker and have no doctor to treat my illness. I am out hard earned money and the Doctors get paid big bucks to make my situation WORSE!

    To all doctors……your are NOT GOD. We are taught from childhood that you go to a doctor when you are hurt or are sick. You are taught to accept advise from a doctor. Doctors get paid GENEROUSLY to fix and COMFORT people if they are is distress.

    What the hell has happened to our health care? I am out thousands of dollars and my doctors are RICH to tell me I am a drug attic and refuse treating me. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!

    • You story is so sad! I belong to some online pain support groups, and your story is not that unusual! I went through something similar, I lost everything while I was misdiagnosed and labeled with an alleged mental Illness! The ER director who denied me an X-ray and labeled me a “Drug seeker” 29 years ago, ruined my life! I did no want drugs I wanted a diagnosis! He was actually a Coke addict and was busted! His comment are still in my file! I have piles of imaging, yet hey ignore it! I ma now on Medicare/Medicaid so the taxpayers are subsidizing my minimal care!
      It is an outrage that anyone should go through this! Our Medical System is so broken and corrupt! One out of three Patients will incur Medical Harm or misdiagnosis, that is the Statistic!
      I would not even be in pain now if they had correctly diagnosed my ruptured disc, they ignored it until I was nearly paralyzed!
      I had an implant t put in my neck, and woke during surgery, they all lied about that! The Nurses made fun of me calling me a drug addict, they denied me any Pain Medication after the surgery though I had been taking pain meds for years! They then lied on my Medical records and even redacted the name of the Anesthesiologist!

      I have chronic pain due to the misdiagnosed spine issues that led to permanent nerve damage and disability! I have no rights because I look normal! I can’t work. So I know what you are going through, I too spent every penny I had to try to get a diagnosis, each time I was ignored or passed along to another Doctor. All of the Doctors in our local system will not override the previous misdiagnosis! My Neurologist lied about my condition because it was part of her job! She could not make the other docs look bad and give a real diagnosis! This is the state of our current Medical System! They lack and integrity, morality, common sense or empathy!
      In my town the Doctors with integrity left the System in many left town, leaving us with the dregs! No matter how incongruous the misdiagnosis was with the Scientific data, my MRIs and recorded nerve damage they deliberately ignore it!
      The Idea that nurses would make fun of and verbally abuse me , while I was recovering from a traumatic surgery is unbelievable, but these are the people they hire! Some of these nurses and Doctors are pathological, they only got into the profession to appear like good people or the money! I know that nurses have it hard, it is a hard job, and getting harder, but they take it out on patients! One thing Nurses are not aware of is that they have a pretty high rate of ending up with a chronic pain condition! Hospitals blame the ER patients who are indigent ofr their high costs, but the truth is these patient do not have a PCP! The hospital make money off these patients, while their CEO makes millions! Nurses should take their anger out on the greedy CEOs of the Hospitals and insurance companies instead of helpless patients!

      I can’t quantify the damage they have done to me and many others! My dear friend died from an infection caught at that hospital! The night before I had pointed it out to the Nurse, she claimed she would follow up with the Doctor! Pain Patents are not the only ones being ignored! we are the ones who live to tell about it or complain! If I were to inflict and injury on someone I would go to jail, but a Doctor can ruin your life, misdiagnose you and cause you life long Chronic pain with a few flippant comments, and we have no recourse! None! The nonsense about Tort reform is just nonsense! Most patient will either die be to sick to sue or will have their diagnosis delayed in order to not have another Doctor look bad! They are very Good at CYA! The Topic of so many articles in Medical Journals are more about CYA than diagnosis!

      Our Congressman are bought and paid for by the Billion dollar medical Industry! These Doctors have a Bevy of Lawyer ready to attack and degrade any one who complains!

  37. I honestly hope that this “seeker” taught you a lesson to not judge a book by it’s cover. Doc’s on their blogs say that they always assume that the patient is truely in pain until they send up a red flag. I beg to differ. I RARELY go to the ER, but when I do it’s when I have maxed myself out on every pain med I have (tyl, motrin, imitrex ext…) They look at me like I am scum, and I have had docs ask me what I am “really there for” WTF I hadn’t been to that ER for atleast 2 years!!! and no other ER’s! Several years ago, about 7 or so, I went to the ER with a severe migraine and severe upper back pain. They were downright rude to me, they certainly changed their attitudes when they found out I was sicker then they had thought! Viral Meningitis. I won’t even go into the time I had appendicitis…. YOU ARE NOT GOD!! and “Migrainers” as you call us are not always LYING! I realize you do have a lot of people who lie, act, and fake pain to get narcotics. I do realize they use the migraine or fibromyalgia to “score” pain meds.
    I think another thing I have read in blogs (this is to all the ER docs who read this and blog as well) is the appearance of your patients, not everyone who is unbathed, and homeless is a scum sucking addict, and their homeless because of their “crack/cocaine habit” (I have read this time and time again) Some homeless people do get sick! In fact they may get sick more often because they ARE homeless. You know… cold weather and shit like that. YOU ARE NOT GODS!!!!!!

  38. I hope and pray to God that any doctors that read this site please read this comment. If you can’t reply nice then don’t… I had a migraine, not a typical one, it hurt so bad my neck hurt, and was stiff. Why was it still well it could have been anything from sleeping the wrong way to a serious condition. I swear I tried everything imaginable to cure it. I was at a #8. I got the priviledge (sarcasm) to have a doctor with a real shitty attitude. He was rude, and when he asked me what worked I told him, I didn’t say “That stuff that starts with a “D” I spit it out. I told him, “I am in no way asking for it” he stomped out and just said F it and gave it to me and immediatly let me go, with out bothering to ask if it was gone or examine my neck. I was labeled a freaken seeker and I did nothing at all to even make him think I am. WTF am I suppose to do? I will say now I am gonna think ALL docs are a bunch of dicks and die before I seek care from them. SO YES SEEKERS SUCK!

  39. This is like having a credit score with no recourse.

    What if you had a bad credit score because someone posted false information on your SSN and you had NO recourse to adress it.

    These “databases” need to be changed. You should be able to find out if you are labeled something and have a recourse for address.

  40. As a physician, I can say confidently that at the least 75% of the people that come into my ER and 75% of the patient’s I see on IM service are drug seeking. The people with actual pain will not do the things advised to them in order to control the pain.

    For example, those with low back pain won’t lose weight, exercise, and strengthen their abdominal muscles. Those with shortness of breath/COPD exacerbation won’t quit smoking or take their medications appropriately. Those with abdominal pain won’t stop eating fatty foods and lose weight and stick to a high-fiber, low fat diet. Those with migraines won’t avoid their triggers, sleep too much, and keep taking more and more medications, which lead to rebound headaches. They all believe that narcotics are the answer to their problem and that me, as their physician, is to blame for their lack of pain control when it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DOC and everything to do with their personal responsibility, something that these people lack. You may tell yourself that you have something truly wrong with you and that you are the only one who is *special*, but you really need psychotherapy to discuss why you felt unimportant to your parents, not more pain medication.

    I treat addicts. I have no problem with asking if they want help when I see these people ask for opiates repeatedly. But, if you are an addict, you are a liar, too. The two cannot be separated.

    To ‘reform’ healthcare, we need to stop spending money on these leeches of society.

    • Kathy Kooper on

      For a pain patient staying fit is a double edged sword! I have multiple spine injuries and inoperable painful conditions all documented, but because I clean myself up (it make me feel better) Oh and I ma in better shape than a lot of Doctors and their office staff. They assume that I am not in pain! I should be 250 lbs and out of shape, but I know if I don’t exercise, stretch and eat right my pain will increase! Imagine having my pain ridiculed because, though I am 20 years older than the Nurse, my ass is half as wide!!!!!!

    • A great big wow to this one. We’re to believe you got into this profession for the love of people, most of you medical people who have replied sound like you hate people. It’s scary!

  41. I have lupus anticoagulant and crohns and fibromyalgia. I was sent to a ruematologist who put me on percocet and told me to come back in 2 weeks. I got to the desk for appt. but they gave me one for 2 months. The percocet was not working ,Iam in terrible pain so I try to call the doc and they dont return my call, I tried everyday to get him but no answer. I went to my regular doc and said these dont work and gave the med for him to distroy. He sent me to a pain management but the prescription was for methodone it scared so I gave the script to my doc.’ I tried the ruemy again but no answer. I even tried late night call and he didnt respond. Finally I got him. They mailed me a prescription but I didnt fill it. I told him I needed to see him. He finally answered. When I got there I waited a long time. Finally Im called in and a large woman told me that the doc dismissed me. i asked why. She put a paper on the counter and I didnt get to look at it. I old her I wasnt on any drugs and she is wrong. I took the prescription out and she snatched it out of my hand and said THANK YOU FOR giving my prescription back. I told her she is wrong about me. I saw the doc behind her look at me and he went into his room. The lady told me to leave, I was crying trying to understand. She said she will call security. I left not knowing why or not being able to say I didnt take the meds. Later in week I got a 3 dollar invoice for me to pay for them mailing me that prescript she snatched from me. She did not take time for me to ask and tell things that happened. I was dismissed.

  42. I am not a drug seeker but got labeled one. I went to er because I get blood clots. I take lovenox shots in my stomach and cyclosporine. My legs hurt so bad but the er doc came in and said I was not a emergency. He wanted me to get detoxed. I said what? He left and didnt come back 2 hrs passed and I called my daughter to pick me up. She helped me walk to he car. I had blood clots in my legs.

    What ever that damn piece of paper says is WRONG. I was judged and jurried by him. I dont know how to get that paper and see whats on it.

    Labeled a drug seeker by that ruemy and now I hate going to er because they read a piece of paper and didnt talk to me about it. They judged me.

    • You have the right to review your medical records, all of them, by law. They have 30 days from your last visit, and if you can prove they charged you unfairly with drug seeking behavior and you had clots you can charge them with slander or liable. They almost killed a friend of mine for the same reason, and 100,000 later in medical bills, I would have sued, had I been her. It is wrong and they have just gotten plain stupid with it.

      • I don’t agree with suing anyone, but when doctors totally write you off as a drug seeker when you really are in pain and they almost kill you because they don’t do you the courtesy of trying to find why you are in pain, they should not be in the doctor business. you can have compassion even for an addict. If they are addicted, get them help.

  43. I too have been labeled with drug seeking behavior and I’m mad as all get out. whether a person is a drug seeker or really sick, they still need to be treated with compassion. You have no way of knowing whether a person is a drug seeker or a real patient. You can’t control everything that goes on in the world. People who want drugs will get them, but people like me, that have legitimate complaints are paying for :drug seeking status, with our health and our lives.


  44. I work in a community health center and I LOATHE pain patients!!! Every now and then I have a patient that actually wants to get better – these are the more educated and motivated patients. You chronic narcotic over users and abusers should learn from them – high dose narcotics are not in your best long term interest! Furthermore, throwing a tantrum in a health care clinic is not appropriate behavior.

    • Yeah, we know you hate us. That’s why we don’t trust you. You wouldn’t last 20 minutes we the condition I have. Maybe you need another job, like scraping road kill off the road. That would actually be too good for you.

      • Great!
        A community Health Clinic where the poor and uninsured go! A great cross section of the underserved! People who have routinely been patronized, misdiagnosed and ignored! Shame on you! people that go these “Community Health Clinics are desperate for any health care! Many have put off going to a Doctor until the pain is unbearable! To be in agony and ignored, maybe frightened, because the pain may never go away! How are these people supposed to act? I actually got some traction as 2 security guards removed me form an ER! It took the pressure off my disc! I have boxes of documentation, but if I go to the Local Er this will be ignored! I will be labeled!

    • LOATHE, people who are in pain, WHY, we can’t help it, I didn’t ask for this, as if we want this for our lives. My neurosurgeon is amazed I’m able to even walk, get around as well as I do and am not on any major pain meds. could be it would be justified? I’m a 7/8 level and had no choice but to learn to live and survive with it, seekers don’t suck as much as freakin pain does, go screw yourself loser. I always say I could never wish this pain on anyone it’s enough to drive someone crazy. Of course if I were to change my attitude about that and did wish this on people like ypu. It would make me into a lowlife piece of garbage like you, no way am I coming down to your level. Your cruel words and opinions without doubt are going to bite you in the butt. KARMA, careful now!

      • I wish just one decent doctor would show and say something positive, everyday I lose more and more hope in that things are going to get better. I bet all these doctors on this blog, these same patients they complain about smile in most of their faces while faking they care making that next appointment for them on their way out. Of course none of them make good money, well unless their committing medicare or Medicaid fraud. And that whole kickback scheme thing. Thinking these patients with their damn pain, I’ll teach them I’ll up code and over charge their insurance. Just because I LOATHE them. And I’ll keep doing it over and over, then get on a blog and talk s–t about them.

  45. I was not labeled with drug seeking behavior because I ask for pain medicine, I was told I had drug seeking behavior because I needed something to help me sleep, and I had taken Lunesta several years before for a few months. I have multi-drug allergies or intolerance to many medications and am afraid to try anything new. Turns out it was my thyroid causing me not to sleep, so my over the counter meds work just fine now. However, it does not excuse any stupid person for telling me I had drug seeking behavior because I couldn’t sleep. I was about to lose my job because of a lack of sleep, had had no sleep in days, and was a danger driving down the road. Get real, this crap has gone far enough. One of my friends almost died because she had pain in her legs from blood clots and they told her she had drug seeking behavior.I don’t belive in suing people, but I think when it comes to your life, you have no choice, if that is what will keep you alive. It is also a crime to label someone with an untrue charge. It is called slander, and if they write it, it is liable.

  46. I just had an ACDF. I’ve found that most medical people don’t know what that is:Anterior Cervival Disketomy Fusion.

    I spent most of last year in excruciating pain from 2 herniated discs. I went to the ER 4 times in a 4 week period because the medications I was prescribed-muscle relaxers and narcotic drugs-did nothing for the pain.

    We have two hospital systems in my city and for some reason I just kept going to this same system even though I had some snotty nurse ask me what I wanted them to do for my pain. I think I was crying each time I went-that’s how bad the pain was. I was even prescribed Neurontin which made me so sick I wound up in the ER from dehydration.

    I finally went to their spine center and even though my spinal cord was compressed to 5 mm at C5-6 from a central herniation and at C4-5 at 6.6 mm-the PA who saw me there says I am not a candidate for surgery and refers me to some pain specialist for Epidural Steroid Injections. Lucky me-I was his patient for about 13 weeks and only had one injection. He did tell me that I was probably going to need surgery and looked disgusted when I told him I hadn’t been to a NS or OS because I have no insurance and they wouldn’t see me.

    Well, November rolls around and after suffering since June with the pain my leg became numb. By then a heating pad had became my best friend since all the pain killers they prescribed did nothing-not even MS Contin. I went to the other hospital system and the ER doc automatically referred me to their on call Neurosurgeon who tells me at the consultation that I had a significant spinal cord compression that needed to be addressed. He said that since the conservative treatments had failed-the drugs, PT and epidural-surgery was my next option. Since I was sick of the pain I said I wanted the surgery.

    I’m not going to lie and say I am 100% better but at least the stabbing neck pain that brought me to the ER is gone. I still have numbness in one of my arms and occasionally I get pain plus I have lost some strength in that arm that might never return. Progressive Myelopathy is no fun.

    My point though is that I was treated like a drug seeker too by the first ER that I visited even though I had no previous history of visits to the ER for pain and had NEVER been prescribed a narcotic from them or anyone else except when I had my surgeries in 2010. Even then I never used them because I had no pain. But pain from a herniated disc is horrible and I spent most of the time in tears from it.

    I find it really offensive that some ER doctors think EVERYONE who comes in to the ER in pain is a drug seeker. Karma is a bitch and one day those same doctors are going to get their payback big time.

  47. It’s interesting that the dr ends by blaming “drug seekers”. Isn’t that how he started out in the first place? By labeling “people”? At least this dr was going through some sort of soul searching and for that I give him credit. He also confirmed something that I have known for a long time: Drs use pain scales, especially the 1 to 10 scale, against patients. He also confirmed that no matter what we do as people who are in chronic pain… we will have any dispostion (happy, sad, nice, beligerent) against us.

  48. Ironically,
    I was labelled a drug seeker, adn menatlly ill when I went to the local ER with severe back pain. I was in bed in agony for days before going ER. I was afraid of Opiates in thase days. With the Mental health and Drug addict label it took years to get a diagnosis. I couldn’t work, couldn’t attned College, pretty much my life went down the toilet. I was ridiculed and told I had “female trouble”. I now have permanent nerve damage, Chronic pain, and I am on SS, and Welfare. So I am costing everyone money! I would like to work, but the minimal requirements, like ergonomic work area, and padded Chair are too difficult to get. I am also tired of the invalidation, and ridicule! I can hardly even type, the “stress” and Mental health issue that was actually damage to the cartilage in my neck requiring surgery, damged the nerve in my arm!
    The ER Doc, that called me mentally Ill, Drug Seeker, was recently busted with Cocaine and a Prostitute in the red light district! I put his mugshot on my fridge!
    I had to put my life on hold becasue of the numerous misdiagnosis. It took them 15 years to diagnose my Broken tailbone, mind you Medicare paid for thousands in Imaging, and unnecessary tests.
    I have finally found A kind, empathetic Doctor, I haev been through hell. I am afraid to go to the ER. Toradol makes me puke from years of taking NSAIDS until my liver blew up. One Doctor thought he was being clever and doubled up the toradol, leaving me in the featl position for 3 days, puking my guts out. I was on Oxy, until the reformulation gave me hives, my previous Dr was unconcerned. I had to go cold turkey, or else scratch myself to death! I fired that imbecile. So many of the responses made me realize there are a lot of morons out there and many are Doctors. Why should Doctors be in Drug enforcement? Why don’t they treat Drug addicts? Why do people with Pain have to suffer and become disabled, unable to work, as their condition worsens? Why is there such a lack of Empathy? I used to hate drug addicts, they are annoying, and now I understand that many of them are in some kind of pain, physical or emotional, that should be treated. The “drug War” is a joke! Doctors who lack empathy, should go work in a prison or something! I have met some real imbecile Drs, the ones that think all women should fawn over them, the ones with the attention span of a gnat, the ones who look at a tablet, when you talk to them. I wonder if they are looking at Real Estate or Porn? Whatever it is has nothing to do with my chart, because I have to repeat information that should be on the tablet.
    I once offered to set up a Booth for Doctors at a Convention, to simulate various types of pain! I was going to use car batteries, alligator clips and other devices. I thought it would be “educational” and fun! No Luck!

  49. I am a Physician Assistant in New Mexico at a major teaching university clinic. The hospital there promotes drug abuse and diversion because it helps there bottom line. More visits is more money. The hospital management wants zero complaints. Less complaints improves reimbursement. 90% of complaints come from drug seekers who don’t get what they want. So hospital management threatens to terminate the PA or NP who gets a complaint. They don’t tell the PA of NP to write more narcotics. They simply tell the PA or NP that if you get more complaints from drug seekers, you’ll be fired. By way of indirection, the message from management is that the PA or NP should write a scrip for narcotic whenever it is demanded by a patient or risk termination. Does anyone wonder why New Mexico has the highest death rate from drug overdose?

    • I know this was written a long time ago but I’m going to comment on this anyway. New Mexico and I live in las cruces, is not where you want to move to if you have more than a few medical issues lets put that out there right here right now. In response to what the PA said, that’s unreal and explains a lot..So many people with so many problems with drugs, a sad reality. But remember there are legit folks with real pain not looking or wanting a high just help and relief. Greed doesn’t care about anyone, does it?

  50. Ironically, being treated like a “drug seeker” by uncaring, god playing, overpaid doctors actually TURNED me into a full blown junkie. Because lets face it, someone in chronic, severe pain will turn to whatever they can to get relief…even *gasp* street drugs. So, thanks all of you for ruining my life. I show up to a doctors office with a REAL problem and am sent away with exercises I can’t do (btw, my joint pain is in NO way caused by being overweight. I’m 5’9″ 165# not overweight in any way shape form or fashion.) And muscle relaxers I can’t take without a 3 day hangover. All because you are ALL overpaid cowards who care more about the “rush” you get from catching a “drug seeker” than providing meaningful relief for people who are truly suffering AND paying your salary. Really guys, if you wanted to bust “dopers” you should have become cops…oh wait, pays too little, too much risk, AND involves REAL work! You are all despicable. The worst kinds of humab beings. I have jury duty in a month and I PRAY that I’m called for a malpractice trial, because I WILL ignore every shred of evidence and vote to convict regardless. Turnabout IS fair play after all…

  51. I have had a migraine for the last six years. No, this is not impossible. I do have pain free hours, sometimes 5 or 6, but I never have a totally pain free day. I did NOT go directly to narcotics for help. I go to the Jefferson Headache Center, which is one of the top facilities of it’s kind, and they are now at a loss as to how to help me. I have been in pain management, where I am allowed to take pain medications three days a week. This means I have to decide which three days I want to function well. I frequently guess wrong. If I know I have an important event, like my son’s graduation, I will wait to take pain meds so I can actually get through it. I have, unfortunately, a vast sea of experience with being treated like a drug seeker. I have told doctors in the ER, “Look, if you think I am here to score drugs, you are right. I am in PAIN, and I am trying to get pain medicine so I can stop being in PAIN. I don’t need a take home prescription, I have meds at home, but obviously they are not helping which is why I’m here. My ER copay is $200. If I wanted to just get high, I could cop a pretty good amount of drugs off the street for that amount of money, and they would probably last me longer too.” It is so sad that people have to suffer, or PROVE their suffering somehow. Addicts will use no matter what, because addicts are professionals at being resourceful. Stopping the human treatment of pain patients won’t stop addiction. Addiction has been around a long time, and will always be around. A reality check for medical professionals is needed.

  52. This is horrible, this is what we pay for? How dare you judge patients. Totally offended. I am on predisone since the age of 1, i am now 39. I deal with unbelievable side effects, pain because of a medication you doctors put me on as a baby. Then you have the audacity to have a problem with pain?! Doctors damn near killed me twice because of them assuming. Malpractice lawsuits are what you deserve if this is how you treat the sick!!

  53. Despite what happened you are a good doctor, you are looking out for those drug seekers that make it so difficult for people who actually have pains eithe long term or short term.

    Let me tell y’all my ER visit, recently found out (10/15/14)I have genetics kidney stones at the age of 19. My last two visit with the ER were astounding ( I think because they were tired of seeing me in there) lol they first looked into my file to see i believe if i was in there for narcotics and looking at my record i had 10 kindney stones from age 14-19. This prompt them to do test but because of so many CT’s ive already had they decided sonogram would be better. well 3 hours passed just sitting down ( the stones also create intense lower back pain) and i wanted to ask if i could get something for the pain but because of being scared under drug seeker, I did not ask i took the pain like a champ! Cried A few times in the bathroom and layed on the floor to ease the pain (ewwy!) Then they finally called my name they told me i had 4 kidney stones in the kidney one was close to the tube but the rest were just hanging out in there luckily the biggest one 1.5cm was not the one emerging but the one out of 5mm was… i told them i had a follow up with my doctor i had been waiting over a month to go for my last kidney stone trip and i told them the symptoms aren’t bad at the moment but they said they will be. The doctor understood, he prescribed me 5mg norco along with ointment from a surgical tear in my belly button from throwing up constantly for the pain. One day after i get the pain, i know this pain and its coming! So yesterday (friday) I go to my primary appointment i tell her what happens and i tell her the 5 mg isnt working because i end up throwing it up immediately after. She cuts me off and tells me there is no way she is prescribing me pain medicine and that they are “just kidney stones” I tell her i understand that i am young but if she just looks at the sonogram she will understand well turns out her staff after realising my ER papers never got em. GREAT! so shes telling me i didn’t realise em im telling her i did to look it up then i offer her my ER papers and she says it irrelevant she doesn’t even know if i do have kidney stones?!by this time im upset her story keeps jumping back and forth i asked for a urology referral then she tells me she will prescribe me norcos just for one month and i told her i dont need it for one month i need it just for a week max until the other stones start coming then she switches and says that even if i prescribed u these u wouldnt get them ur healthcare wont cover it and u cant get it out and if u pay for it u will be cut of healthcare. Son she new i needed them, threw my blood work paper at me then stormed out so im sitting there confused, and then she comes back in and tells me that she has nothing more to say to me and she isn’t gonna negotiate with me. Short story. I got upset and stormed out and when i got up she laughed in my face. I asked when i can get my urology referral she laughed again and told me “You don’t think you’re going today, because u have to wait 7 business days” i proceeded to tell her her attitude towards me who have pictures, who have evidence on poor health is extremely rude. ” and this DOCTOR laughed and said whatever.

    Safe to say i need a new doctor and that, my friend is a bad Doctor.

    • Oh my goodness, I am so sorry that was unreal. Did you pass the stones? My husband had those never have I seen him in so much pain, he ended up hospitalized and they gave him a morphine drip, which made him as unhappy and sick as the stones and pain did. What he was told by the female doctors and nurses that had given birth and had kidney stones was the pain was the same. Only there was no bundle of joy to have and hold afterwards!! Trust me I felt even more sorry for him after finding that out. Did you my dear file a complaint, not that it really makes a difference, however it does remain in their files from what I was told. Lord help me Jesus if a doctor or nurse throws anything at me. After I call the police and press charges, then I’m putting on my gloves, it’s going down!!!! Hope so much your doing okay by now.

  54. This site is one of hundreds I’ve read concerning the horrors of so-called “Excellent Medical Care in America ” What a bad joke. What I learned reading thru this is to NEVER EVER go to an ER, even with a broken bone sticking thru skin, (I will have done it to myself?) hemorraging, stroke, heart attack, you name it, I have “willed” myself to have a stroke, etc to “get drugs?” No thanks! I’ll let “whatever” kill me, it’ll save me money, as it appears I would more likely than not to be immediately labeled “addict” than that ER looking for why my face is sagging on one side(I suppose I can make that happen too!) so why bother going? I see new ads nearly daily for frivolous drugs, such as one I saw to stop one from peeing so they wouldn’t be “inconvenienced” at the mall, but nothing in the way of pain killers that actually work that aren’t narcotic! Nothing! What I’ve found is EVERYONE’S a drug addict, that’s all Drs/nurses can see, so why bother with an ER or even an office visit, when no health care is going to occur? Labeling people as “addicts” is now more important than someone with terminal cancer! And if your PCP dies or retires, congrats, you are now a drug seeker or doctor shopping for trying to find a new PCP! I wonder if Ebola victim, Mr Duncan, was booted from the ER for saying his stomach “hurt,” potentially unleashing Ebola all over the place? Thankfully it didn’t, but look at all the contact tracing, etc that could’ve been avoided if they would’ve heard the two times! hospital ER was told he was just in West Africa, but only heard the word “hurt” & boom! Drug Addict is ALL they could see! Wait for enough ppl to die, who have their “suicide letter” tucked away, (there’s a LOT of them, I found over 50 in 1 day of reading “health forums”-how many more who don’t post?) explaining why they did it, not from depression, but from total lack of healthcare & could no longer stand the misery of whatever illness they had & are making sure their death isn’t written up as some bogus “heart failure”- can you spell huge class action suit? It’s coming & all because those 1-2% of population addicts is all the medical “profession” is concerned with. OK!

  55. Yes, we have to judge patients…

    It’s years of knowing when someone is sick…when pain is real…or amplified…It’s how you learn to tell when something is really wrong…

    We do this with everything…not just pain…

    And I hate to say most of us were educated in all of the above in the most painful way.

    Being played and burned in the most humiliating ways…

    Having to justify what we did to higher ups when we clearly did not see the red flags…and the evidence behind them…

    Fool me once…

    Can’t you tell when you are being manipulated into something by your kids?

    What we are talking about here isn’t even usually that hard to figure out…

    I have to trust my instinct and what you tell me and how you tell me and whether it is internally consistent and physiologic guides me.

    If I deflect a hair on your skin and you cringe in pain???


    Nearly every single time my instinct said not to…and I did give that narcotic refill…it came back to disappoint me…

    We aren’t gods…we are sometimes wrong about things…we learn from them…

    We learn from everyone who was real And suffering and dying and we learn from being played and made a fool of…
    Is it really that a sequence of grossly malpracticing docs were in your life path? Sounds kind of too bad to be true…

    Fool me twice 🙂

    But not so after so many years…I happen usually to be right in these matters…Not out of arrogance…But because this is what I know…what I have given my life over to be the best at…

    So I won’t be fooled twice 🙂

    But I won’t be wrong twice either…!

    • Oh my goodness, first sentence I judge patients! Are you serious. Judge but doesn’t want to be judged , and you are arrogant if you think you know it all. And you don’t always learn from your mistakes, give me a break. Bet you’ve made some of the same ones over and over. I went back and re- read everything you wrote, some of it, pleased with, some of it just down right pathetic, tell the truth you don’t really like people do you, is it just the sick and I’ll or is it everyone. Did something happen to you when you were a child? Did you get help? Wow,wow,wow. Honestly I’m confused, are you really a doctor? Or someone pretending to be one. Because sometimes you sound like you have no clue..

    • My imaging is on file! I don’t understand why Doctors refuse to use the Scientific method? I guess I ma one of the Lucky pain patients, all of my pain generating issues are clear on my Numerous MRIs and X-rays! That doesn’t matter, I still get treated like a Criminal! My Pain Specialist says I am “Stoic” yet I have ben told by numerous Doctors I ma just Sensitive! He does Radio Frequency Ablation, Most tough guys won’t try that remedy! I often do procedures with out anesthesia, because I don’t want to wait for the recovery time, I have an hour and half drive home! I am so sick of these ignorant doctors! “I deflect a hair on your skin and you cry in pain”! Ever heard of RSD! My leg was like that for years after my surgery because of nerve damage! Even socks still irritate my leg and foot! All of this is documented but an ignorant Doctor like you would not understand! I can list the ignorant Doctors in my Past! One was busted for Cocaine, he called me a drug seeker, though I actually had an undiagnosed ruptured disc, that went on to cause permanent nerve damage! I did not even want drugs I wanted a diagnosis, it seems I have a high pain threshold, so I only went tot he ER when the pain was unbearable! I would have refused Opiates at that time! Now I can’t do anything with out Opiates! I will be on them the rest of my life! If that ruptured disc had been diagnosed, with a simple X-ray, I would likely be working now, and have a life with out pain meds! You are typical of the arrogant and ignorant Doctors! The stupid comments I have had to listen to over the Years! Oh you are just sensitive ( I have a dangerously high pain threshold! The most ridiculous was the Female trouble “Hysterical pain” comment! Doctors lie you ruin lives with your callous disregard! You are already a fool! You lack basic human empathy or common sense! I ma crippled and in constant pain because of Doctors with your attitude! I do not lie being disabled, I did not like dropping out of College after I worked so hard to get where I was, and was denied simple accommodations because of another ignorant and nasty Doctor like you! I doubt you learn from much! I have no legal recourse and Hospital protect incompetent Docs like you, good for their bottom line! You Suck!
      Instead of Judging patients you should look at their imaging! You sound like a real creep!

      • Kathy, your not going to get any where with his person. I wonder how many patients have been harmed by this MD’s narrow minded attitude. There’s another one on this blog that’s just as bad. They have really convinced themselves they can always tell the difference between the seekers and the legit ones with real pain. Maybe it’s just me but I get the vibe they don’t even have compassion for them either. They seem really mean spirited and gave me the impression they hate what they do. It really aggravates me that as so called care takers, professionals, oath takers, that instead of giving you kind and helpful suggestions or advice, they just manage to upset and mess with you more,emotionally. For them there opinions are set in stone, therefore they have nothing to offer to anyone at anytime, and make no positive difference in the medical world.

      • You women made a point at first but just sound angry and vindictive now! You are undermining yourselves. You probably should stop.

        • Observer do you have a story or just an opinion? Can’t tell those who have had awful experiences that changed their lives, they don’t have a right to be angry. You couldn’t of walked in their shoes or you’d understand. I have so I do understand, and could care less about all others opinions. Just ones who can relate to me and me to them.

        • Observer I will speak for myself. On this blog I’ve read doctors, nurses, seekers, and pain patients stories and replies. I honestly have gotten a deeper feeling of not just anger but what sounds and feels like hate from the professionals . The pain patients are angry but more hurt, feel betrayed. May I ask you which of these people are you? For me and my experience I truly struggle, and I always listen to both sides of a story, and do my best to be fair and truthful. Some of these replies just floored me, their absurd and cruel, I will always stick up for whom I believe is being unfairly judged and mistreated. There are so many unbelievable doctors and nurses out there which I admire and so respect. On sept. 3-4 2012, my mothers fate was met with some of the worst, I am forever changed. I am a pain patient, but unlike some of you I can manage to find compassion for the seekers, their simply drug addicts who need help, hopefully in a rehab and not in the ED.

        • I’m not vindictive, I feel very strongly about anyone being wronged by another. If I could start my life over and if I knew then what I know now, I’d be a patient advocate. Not working for a hospital of course that would be defeating the purpose. From my experience I do not trust and never will hospitals risk management, medical records staff, and the biggest low life’s of them all the administration CEO’S. And here’s the truth no one and I mean no one not doctors, most of all nurses and patients can trust these people in these positions. They can and do screw everyone of us over. I never knew how bad a lot of nurses have it. So listen we all have our own stories, the only ones I care about are those who have been harmed and hurt by others, the ones who do the hurting and harming which many replies proved to me their part of the problem rather than the solution. Therefore those who are truly living and surviving with pain are just fighting back, wanting and needing to be heard, explaining how unfairly being labeled has further harmed them and no one seems to care on this blog. Those who label just try to justify why they do it, it’s unfair, unethical and you don’t always get it right and you ruin peoples lives.

  56. I’m a recovering opiate addict. I had been for 7 years. 2 years ago I “switched” to methadone. But you know, if it walks and quacks like a duck…it’s still a duck. Im today 68 days clean of everything by white knuckle method. I’m not really replying to tell my story. I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I sought out my drug and I lied and manipulated to get it. I can’t tell you how ashamed that makes me. If I had any advice to give it would be to start a dialogue with your patient. Just tell them your concerns, share the dangers of addiction and offer help if they feel like they could use it. Not all will admit a problem or accept help, but some will. It only takes one spark to start an fire.

    • Good luck…
      It requires your desire and strength one white knuckle day at a time…I hope you have a lot of people around to help you….

    • Talina I respect your honesty, and you know it’s one day at a Time! You can do it. Much success and a happy and healthy life.

  57. Thank you!
    I’m well supported by my family and NA group. I think most addicts have a desire to be clean and free of their addiction… It’s just difficult to believe it’s possible. It took me a few years, but I’ve set my sights on waking up every morning and not needing a drug to function. And that is exactly what I’ll do.

    • Lost my husband to alcohol at 44.
      Even 3 young beautiful children weren’t enough.
      Addiction destroys not only the victim…
      But the whole family unit…
      My boys have suffered as they grew up,..

      Be a success story with and for your family!!

      • There it is , I knew something had to of happened to you for you to feel as strongly about this subject as you do. But what should balance it out is you said you live with chronic pain to, I believe. This subject and you I find interesting, I’m both curious and confused. Seems to me because you have experienced both sides or point of views you’d be better at helping patients,and less closed minded and judgmental. That’s how you came across on most of your replies. I’m just saying!

      • Good for you, good for you, good for you!!!! I hope next year this time you share with us the same great news. I pray I’m alive to read it, I love a success story.

  58. You have NO business being in the medical profession. And to go as far as to say “Drug Seekers Suck!?” You disgust me. Apparently you’ve never experienced pain, nor had long term prescriptions fo4 painful medical conditions. Your empathy and professionalism seems WAY beyond sadly lacking. I’m sure McDonalds is hiring. Be a fry cook. Little to no professionalism required. Oh and BTW- YOU suck!

    • Christie have you noticed that BD MD can dish it out but can’t take it back. She managed to upset several of us with her ugly yet truthful opinions and negative attitude. Then wondered off! I don’t know about the rest of you but for me she confirmed the fear and concern I have about who we can and can not trust in a emergency situation. Before this blog I already hated the very thought of going to the ER for any kind of help, putting extreme pain aside there are many different reasons one might end up there. Her and others opinions about not just seekers but indeed real pain patients has-left me feeling more unsafe more unsure more convinced we are all sitting ducks at the mercy of those we pray will help us and not hurt us. From this point on I’m going to always wonder what’s in their hearts and on their minds. And are they judging me as a person rather than helping me as a patient. I do expect integrity, honor and one having morals couldn’t hurt.

  59. Three years ago I had a wonderful job as an elementary school counselor, recently married, lots of friends, great loving little boy, personal trainer… I had it all. Until we went to mexixo to get married and I came home with renal failure. I was then in and out of the er for the last three years with chronic pneumonia, pregnancy complications, severe illnesses. And after the shock to the system I developed fibromyalgia. Now I know NEVER to ask for pain meds at the er. I have never been treated so poorly by anyone in my entire life. I laid there listening to the nurses talk about all the patients on the hall and that we’re all a bunch of drug seekers. I felt so demoralized at one hospital so I switched to the other and they were even worse!! I am more educated than them and they treated me like a dog!! They dismissed me saying I was just hungover when I was actually in acute kidney failure and needed emergency treatment. What happened to the kindness and compassion? They make me feel like the slime of the earth for asking for help. Im so sad. I guess I’m wondering what the ers are even for and what are the rules of ethics that you follow? I’d rather die in my bed than be laughed at and talked about behind my back. “Oh just give her some saline” when I was in kidney failure. I made my family swear never to take to one ever again. I have seen plenty of mentally ill patients and drug seekers but what about the rest of us?

    • It sounds like you have objective legitimate disease. Honestly it’s pretty easy to distinguish seekers from real pain…I wonder why you are running Into trouble? No excuse for talking about patients that can be overheard but the ER is an abusive environment to all and “debriefing” is going to happen…It should be private…Life can be brutal. Having it all to having bad luck and losing it all. I’m sorry for your suffering…

      • Well I scrolled up, read something else you wrote, and man your worse than me with the back and forth opinions , at least mine are because of the respect I had and still really want to have but it’s a honest struggle towards the profession. Between the cruel and inhumane way my mother died, adding insult to injury the deceit and betrayal of it all. Give me a break, how can I or anyone else be okay with that. You can and do come across sometimes so insensitive, it’s disturbing!! Your a Doctor were suppose to be able to trust you, depend on you, spend some time with us before ( and don’t lie, your in and out so fast ) you negatively judge us. Your attitude towards patients, is why I have the attitude towards some doctors, some nurses, I can not stand risk management, medical records and admin. Staff at all!!!! That’s never going to change, ever. I don’t wish to call a hospital a hospital anymore, prefer addressing it as a corp. or business. I’m going to tell you something you and every other doctor have a right to be angry at those who lie to you ‘ drug seekers’ they make it bad for the legit folks. You might get it right most of the time but you don’t get it right every time. You seem to be more concerned with someone getting over on you, than patient care.

  60. Someone said, “Find a doctor and stick with them.” I agree; I have a doctor, and I see him every six weeks or more often if I need to. But he is not available 24 hours a day. I have had to remortgage my home due to my illness; a $200 ER copay is not high on my list of things I want or need. What I do need is to not be in so much pain I want to kill myself. I do what I have to do.

      • I hope, wish, and pray you are okay, I hope you don’t mind, but you were prayed for. I read these stories and they stay with me for awhile. Since losing my mother and understanding patients really don’t have any rights, and I don’t believe the so called oath “do no harm” exist, however I do believe that there’s an oath of silence that just makes me sick. Isn’t it sad to realize the medical profession that most of us until something happens to us or someone we love or know are harmed or killed due to negligence, are people we can trust, depend and rely on? you believe they choose it for the love of mankind, want to make a difference, will be kind and compassionate to those who are sick, I’ll, and in pain? One day you’ll find me thinking the good outweighs the bad, next day researching unethical and dangerous medical practices, all the shady corruption that most people have no clue about, at least I didn’t! Brings me right back into realizing we should not ever trust any of them, not even your own doctor. How scary, at the mercy of someone who in a second can decide if you live or die, by either something they do or don’t do. As of today I found out I have been blacklisted, why because they the hospital and e.r. Staff, harmed, didn’t help, and covered up mothers death -long story- how dare me complain, how dare me to ask for and want truth, accountability, and if no one minds a dog gone sorry…here’s one for you- I wish I could ask those who were involved, from 1 to 10, 10 being the worse pain you’ve ever had, that slap on your hand that risk management and admin. Gave you, what’s your pain level. Truth is if we had a system that our medical records were untouchable by those who can alter them, I’d bet everyone would try extra hard to do and be their very best. Well sorry guys, hadn’t planned to vent. I live and survive with severe neck and back pain, seems like I can deal better with that than the monstrous way I lost my awesome, loving beautiful, mom. Pain is just so damn painful..

    • I don’t understand why the medical doctor hasn’t responded back to you, with you feeling like you want to kill yourself. Or for that matter anyone else. I feel scared and worried for you. Do you have family and friends that are there for you? Like you said , you do what you have to do. May I ask what that is? A 200 dollar co-pay is outrageous, bet your meds cost a lot to. I’m so sorry your going through this, and because I have felt just like you do at one time before my surgery, I can relate. I still need two more on my upper and lower spine had to put them off to help and take care of my mom. I want to go back to the same neurosurgeon that is in Mississippi , easier said than done though. His name is Dr. David Lee I highly recommend him. But anyway a good day for me is when my pain level stays at the 7/8 that I live and survive with. It’s the severe muscle spasms I get all over my body that brings me to tears and to my knees, the agony is unreal and I wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy. So BethD please be okay and don’t give up. I hurts so much in so many different ways reading hundreds of stories, experiences of pain and loss. But through this reading I’ve gained knowledge, which hopefully I’m able to use to protect my family and friends from this point on better. Oh today is my birthday, want to hear something I’m not proud of ? All this year I thought I was 54 , well I wasn’t yesterday I was 55 now today I’m 56. So as far as I’m concerned I’m 2 stinking years older rather than one. My birthday wish is please God keep me out of the hospital, no er, no er no er. Bye BethD God bless.

      • My doctor does respond to me. I see him every 4-6 weeks. He is one of the top neurologists in the country, and he has run out of ideas for me. He referred me to pain management, and what I “need to do for me” is take pain meds three days a week. Those are my neuro’s instructions; don’t treat the migraine with anything, even aspirin, more than three days a week, and I do my best to adhere to that. There is no known cause for my illness, and obviously no cure, if they don’t know what causes it. I am hoping new research will be just around the corner.

      • BethD, i misunderstood a little bit, sorry. So it’s not like no one is trying to help you, it’s because they can’t. I’m sure everyone who reads your story wishes they could help. I have no words that could truly make a difference, God knows I so wish I did. Vent here I’m sure many will reach out, it can’t hurt that’s for sure. God and mercy be with you Beth. Let us know if and when this is figured out, that will be some of the most awesome news.

    • BethD are you okay? How did the procedure go? All of us pain patients should reach out and support one another, others who should be caring about us don’t! All the hell we have is each other, act like it, show some compassion. When someone spills out their heart and souls a few kind words wouldn’t kill you. It’s so rude not to reply at all, leave someone hurting HANGING is so e.r.ish! Read BethD’s story, there was something she said that really concerned me, surprised no one else caught on most of all the so called professionals. Sad stories galore on here- everyone wants someone, anyone to listen and freakin care. I want to know if BethD is okay, please help me. Can any of you wonderful loving doctors or nurses be of some positive use on this upsetting blog you created.

      • Carole,

        You are so right! “Find a Doctor and Stick with him” that is a joke! It took me ten years to find a good PM Doctor, after numerous run arounds. My Former PCP’s phone message directs people to go tot the ER, because they can’t be bothered to respond to phone calls.
        The one thing that helped me when my pain was misdiagnosed, and my life was falling apart was online groups. I found out that I was not alone with this, that it wasn’t me.
        it was so invalidating to be told my pain was “all in my head”. Even now with thousand ion Imaging, I will get that response from most Doctors. My current Pain physician is a remarkable person, He has an implant in his neck and knows what it is like. To have one person in my life, understand what I am dealing with made a lot of difference. The online groups help also, there are a lot of us out there. The story is pretty much the same, usually women misdiagnosed and invalidated for years.
        There have been Surveys and Studies done by credible institutions regarding pain, yet very little of this gets disseminated to the Medical Community. I have waited years to get a diagnosis, and I don’t really have one now. My imaging is on file at my local ER, but they won’t refer to that. They will assume I ma drug seeking, even though I have none of the markers at all! The AAPM has a checklist for legitimate Pain Patients, though I have never engaged in any activity on that checklist I ma still labeled. We have to support each other, and validate each other, because the medical community will not. They have no accountability, no empathy, except for a few exceptional doctors like mine! The stress of dealing with all of this actually increases pain. There seems to be a war against Pain Patients, a recent NPR show told of a pain patient going to 50 Pharmacies to get a legally prescribed medication, I have given up after 7. This increases my pain levels, dealing with ignorant pharmacists. I even carried around a binder with pictures of my spine! No only do we have to deal with the pain, and the loss associated with it, we have to deal with ignorant Doctors and medical professional who think their opinions mean something, not Science, not Empirical evidence! We should have rights to be treated like human beings, but the sensationalism of the Drug war, make that nearly impossible. Our Medical System is broken, right now I ma waiting for a topical non opiate patch that helps with some of my Coccyx pain, they paid for the opiates, but not the patch! They won’t pay for any non drug alternatives, while denigrating us for taking pain meds! Absurd!
        Hang in there, You are not alone! No one should be treated like this.
        Oh! I have written my Congressman, talked to people on the Drug Policy Board, they remain remarkably ignorant! It is easier to blame Legitimate Pain patients, than address the social problems that cause Drug abuse.
        One they label us they can deny our humanity! My Pain Doc says “never argue with the ignorant”! I try to live by that, the frustration and abuse we get is apparently OK, and looking at the response of some Docs on here, they feel morally superior or justified! They do that when they maim patients also! One third of all patients are misdiagnosed, pain or otherwise. I don’t know why people continue to put up with this, but the Medial Lobby has more say in Medial decisions than common sense! There is no accountability! There are story after story of pain patients on some of the online groups, yet nothing seems to improve! We can only support each other, and know we are not alone! it took centuries to get Doctors to wash their hands, and some still don’t, so pain being invisible to them isn’t going to be taken seriously.

        • Are you serious about that patch, that’s unreal! Can’t win for losing. Like you I’m sure! I’ve had countless amounts of MRI’s, cat scans, nerve conductive test, only one epidural because I was considered high risk because of the severe spinal stenosis I have, the worse thing or test I endured was a myelogram. I would not wish that test on anyone, and I will NEVER have that done again. Therapy of course. Have had surgery on my c3/4, need 2 more. Had to put them on hold to take care of my mom after my father passed. My honor and no regrets of course. Don’t most pain patients go through all these testings, therefore have proof their legit? The results are enough to separate us from the seekers. I guess only a truly skilled e.r. Doctor who knows how to read and does will get it right every time- duh! That’s why it’s hard to believe when they get it wrong doesn’t make sense. Until what happened to my mom in the e.r. I have to admit we’ve had it pretty good, been blessed. She lost her life to incompetence, and it’s forever etched in my memory. In fact I re-live it almost daily! I never knew how criminal and unethical the hospital system was or is until this happened to us. Kathy the original blog, proof positive the poor lady was dying!!!! he or she got it wrong, because the lady was nice omg give me a break. I can’t read it ever again because I get so pissed off it makes me sick. Pain patients ARE NOT SEEKERS, there’s help coming trust and believe that!!! Don’t any of you lose hope change will come.

          • Carole,

            I whole heartedly agree! We could be twins! I have had 2 surgeries, and the other areas are too dangerous for surgery! I was stupid and wet to “Pain Clinics” where they did the Steroid shots! So on top of everything else, I have scarring from the shots, which did not help anyway. These so called “Pain Clinics’ Only did the steroid shots, they did not prescribe Pain medications, or any non drug alternatives! My Mother passed away last Spring, I did what I could for her, She had undiagnosed Lewy Body Dementia, after years of trying to get her diagnosed, my Out of State Sisters showed up and took financial advantage! I had an Appt with Neurologist which my Sister blocked! It was incredible my Mom could barely walk, She fell while my Sister was there. At the ER because they did not have her Diagnosis they gave her the wrong Medications which caused more damage! She had a broken hip, but they misdiagnosed it as Cardiac Event, and gave her blood thinners! She never recovered. My Sister ransacked here house and did not call me until too late. I had taken her to the Cardiologist and there was nothing wrong with her Heart! My Mother went through hell! I had been driving her around and taking her for Appointments, as she declined. I used to joke that she better not fall because we would both be in the ambulance! I tried for several years to get help form various Agencies, but there was none. My Sisters took advantage of all of this. They even tried to take her home! Apparently because I did not have the income for a Lawyer due to all of this Medical Stuff, they were able to exploit the situation. They stress made my back worse! So I know about incompetent doctors, the ones who had no idea of my Mothers diagnosis, I could not believe it, she would wander into the parking lot, and I would chase after her! The Doctors and Social Workers had no clue! I repeatedly asked Adult Protective Services for Help, they took 4 Months to even interview my Mom, then they claimed she was fine! I have her PET scan, there is no way she was “Fine”. My sister had lied about all of this, she even tried to sell her house out from under her!
            My Sisters put her in a horrid nursing home and got POA, they had my Moms cash so they could get unlimited legal help! She had a second hip surgery, after which she went back to the nursing home. 3 days later she was still unresponsive, and it was her birthday! I thought they might have given her too many meds, it turned out she had not had any pain medication, for 3 days after the surgery. They wrote on her chart that she would have to request it! She could not! I think other residents have died there because they failed to follow up after the hospital. The Agencies that are supposed to be watching this are incompetent and corrupt! After that my Sisters refused to give me any access to her Medical information!

          • I bet cha’ a million bucks I can describe each and everyone of your symptoms, I know what you go through minute by minute, you have to be strong as hell to survive and we do! Unless someone takes one step in our shoes they couldn’t possibly understand or relate. Other pain patients with neck and back issues they so get it and watch now the responses. The severe spasms and they affect my entire body, even my belly, are without question torturous I could not wish them on anyone not even those responsible for my beloved mothers death. Won’t ever be that cruel to a fellow human being! Unlike some people! About your mother, that hit home. Omg that broken hip of hers I’ve often been told how extremely painful that is, many don’t survive long after that, at least that’s what I’ve been told -don’t know it as a fact though. Poor thing my heart goes out to her and you, seems like you both have gone to hell and back. I’m sincerely sorry Kathy. Not so funny but I had a sister situation to but she didn’t stand a chance. My sister is 7 years younger than me, lives where were from-that mom never wanted to leave and shouldn’t of had to, if my sister would of done right by her, and little sis had no medical issues either! Let’s just say my mom ended up with the right daughter, she was loved and adored beyond well taken care of. I stepped up and it was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. Took a toll on my body but well worth the extra pain, I lived! My dad would of been proud of me and i know my mom was happy. Thanks for sharing about your mom, probably was hard:( we do have a lot in common!!!! Those two new stories did you read them? That first one choked me up bad. The second one, loved the honesty. Make sure you read them, okay? Do you think any decent doctor or nurse will ever reply, just saying it would be nice, I’d love to believe the good outweighs the bad, all it takes is just one then another and another to man or woman up, to show they can be leaders not followers! You would of thought by now a great one would of spoke up took a stand. Just saying

          • Kathy post number 74, Dorothy- did her post show up in its entirety on your email or just two sets of two letters? Please let me know I’m just curious!! Thanks.

        • Kathy tell me if you agree? First doctors story who started this blog, admitted and let’s say he got it wrong went as far as explaining how and why- I believe he put it out there only to get feed back about being sued needed his buddies to tell him it’s all good. Then there was this nurse K, evil B probably in prison by now!! Then BD MD, had some moments with BethD but over all gave off a bad vibe about patients in general think she might want to retire. Then there’s observer- gender I can’t guess thinking man! Responded only to me. Had some decent insults but no intelligent insight on human nature and suffering .i almost lost it on him because it was like he was mocking my mothers death and making fun of what I’ve been left with, a true e.r. Trauma experience. But instead I decided to diagnose him with narcissism, prognosis not good! Probably will leave the medical field from the inability to have and hold onto compassion and empathy for others. This is an e.r. Night shift blog and yet pain patients have taken it over! Trust me they care, not in the good way! and want to reply, just scared of those who’s butts they have to kiss everyday. They don’t have a mind of their own, because someone else owns it and controls it. It feels so good to know I answer to no one but GOD. If you think about it we should feel sorry for them, NOT! Because they should have the guts to stand up for themselves and their patients who depend on them. and I believe they were taught and trained to be patient advocates not robots who go through the motions for the sake of corporate wealth! They get caught up in that shady system and their morals and courage are tucked away until their shifts are over. I’ve learned a lot from this blog and it confirmed my distrust in e.r. Staff. SCARY!!!!!!!

  61. After what happened to my mother, negligence and cover-up, drove me to research unethical medical practices- lets just say a profession I once admired and respected, after what I’ve come to learn and know, have a clear understanding patients do not have rights, there is no oath “do no harm” that’s a lie.. We can not truly trust any doctor, nurse, risk management, medical records staff, admin. There’s more that do not care than those that do, and those that do have no choice but to be spineless cowards..we are all sitting dead ducks, unless by the grace of God we get lucky. Omgoodness scams, schemes, kickbacks, fraud, fraud, fraud, dishonest coding, e.r. Doctors calling slow codes or no codes on elderly patients who are crashing due to procedures that harmed them, to cover up negligence. Oh deep nasal suctioning procedures do have risks,coulda, shoulda been informed— bloody airway obstruction/ deprived of oxygen, not one person did anything to help her as I begged and pleaded. Hypoxia- bradycardia. I asked for truth, accountability, perhaps a sorry!!! Procedure, r.t.s name, major bleed out not in medical records..FRAUD mfer’s ( if it wasn’t documented it didn’t happen) COVERUP. I will never trust another medical person again in my life, since I would have no clue who’s good or bad, who loves their job and those who don’t , those who are brown noses, ass kissers, scary cats, cowards. An internal investigation what a joke, it’s a gathering of those involved to get their stories straight… Oh, there’s also the ethical payback, revengeful practice for those who file complaints— it’s called the blacklist!?!?!!!!!, you all who harm and kill patients and commit fraud to cover it up are fn criminals, you are the worse of the worst kind of people. I hope, wish and yes pray, you get yours!!!!! For those of you who have never been dishonest and love what you do, and would step up and do the right thing for a patient, a fellow human being, your respected, honored, admired, and rare!!! Thank you who ever you are, and where ever you are, wish you were in las cruces New Mexico. This site just pissed me off, another injustice to true patients who need true help, dr.s treating us like crap, same oh same oh, burnt out, bad attitudes, big headed, holier than thou, down right jerks. Thank God for the few good ones

    • Just like anything else in the world (think Ferguson)…there are always two sides to the issue. I’m afraid with you current thinking, it will be impossible for any physician to meet your expectations…

      In order to become a doctor…or nurse…or PA, one generally had to plunge themselves in debt and give up their young adulthood to medical training. No one goes into this for money or any other reason other than we do care…

      It may be instructive to really follow an ED doc/team if it were possible to see the generally rotten working conditions that are experienced along with total blame and responsibility and no recourse for abusive, nasty, or rude patients. Over time…what might happen to that young idealistic person?? He or she is not a machine but a person as well…who carries around every loss, every doubt, every accusation of being less than infallible…with the threat of punishment for same…

      I wonder…

      It’s a two way street. A single vitriolic attack can deeply shake a doctor who was trying to do the right thing…Make them more distant…more guarded…more suspicious….more self protective. And it affects the next person they see…

      We always try to explain it away but “oh, they don’t feel well”…but that is only sometimes the answer. Some people are just jerks…just demanding and rude and impossible to please who view the office or ED as a grocery store…

      Not all…But the number can be alarmingly high…

      What might the outcome be?

      • My expectations, you have no idea how much I’ve always respected your profession. There have been many times here and there I could of complained about this or that, but no I let it go. I have always been friendly no matter what. Listen if your being honest, and it sounds like you are. Do you agree some of you should change careers? When you guys no longer love it, trust me we as patients can tell. In the long run it works out for all of us. Because of how much money you’ve invested do you feel stuck? Wish I could help pay off your debt, and ask you who are burned out to move on. I am someone who gets both sides, that’s why what happened to my mother was so unfair, unjust, and unethical. Never in my life did I expect to experience negligence right in front of my face. And I guess the attempt through medical records to deceive the readers and those who could be investigating what happened, really did damage to me. Ruined my trust. Your wrong about expectations, most of us who end up in the ED, expect the worse and hope for the best. Trust me most of us hate going there as much as you hate us coming. And what you described more than likely goes on in the big cities. And there is no excuse because someone just doesn’t feel good to mistreat someone who is there to help them.That would tick me off, but what would tick me off more is that doctor or nurse mistreating them back. Getting even or getting revenge is not the answer. That’s dangerous. I do see both sides, I side on who ever is right in the situation. My expectations were never to high, and now I expect even less.

        • I have no sympathy for this ignorant doctor! I was in College, I was misdiagnosed, and had to quit! I ma now permanently disabled, because I was misdiagnosed and labeled by several Doctors, they all cover for each other including lying about my Actual condition! I would not even be on pain meds if one Doctor had taken the spinal issue seriously, instead they labeled me, I did nto want medications I wanted a diagnosis! I had no idea at the time I would be lied to misdiagnosed and told my ruptured disc was all in my head! Now I have difficulty walking, constant chronic pain and my spine is disintegrating! I tried to work, but a doctor decided my Spinal Surgery which removed the disc leaving bone on bone, broken tailbone, and damage to my neck needing and implant was an “Emotional issue” I have given up! Soon I will not be able to drive, and my Pain Physician who has Actually looked at my imaging thinks I may be in a wheelchair soon! The first Doctor who misdiagnosed me was himself a coke head! He was arrested for it, but the Other Doctors still go by his ignorant comments! I ma afraid to go to the ER because of my label! I had no idea I would be crippled for life and a list of Doctors would look the other way as my spine collapsed! I did not want to be on Meds! I would rather have even half of my life back!

          • Kathy, your story is way past sad, and as sad as I am, I am more angry. To label you to is outrageous and no question cruel. That coke head doc. Is he still around? Have you looked into taking him to court? What about filing a complaint with the attorney generals office, the fraud division. Is there an patient advocacy organ .where you live. Take your story to the paper. Man this really bothers me, there’s got to be something that can be done. So do you have a primary doctor? For sure a personal injury lawyer would take your case, can’t see why not. Don’t you dare give up, I’m going to be looking into everything I can for you. For those who have wronged you, payback is a b.

      • You know what else I think should happen for you doctors and nurses to get an understand of a patients point of view. Next time your sick, really sick go to an ED not the one you work for, don’t let anyone know your a doctor or nurse, now that’s important. If your in pain, which for the sake of the reality test hopefully you are, hopefully not for long, God willing. Now your pain level it’s off the scale way past ten, been there so I know real pain. I never have asked for any certain pain meds, will inform them what I take at home that isn’t helping. Always have trusted their decision. Now for you though you ask for a certain one, do not in any way shape or form give it away who you are and what you do. See what they do, pay close attention to their faces and attitudes. Also keep track of the time it takes to help you. Now their going to admit you, do not get upset if it takes hours. Don’t complain just deal with it. Wait for them to tell you their waiting on a bed, meanwhile you best believe there are dozens free. Be on your best behavior , kiss major butt if you have to. Now after all the time and testing happens,doc comes in, tells you we have no clue what’s wrong with you. Now you know something is wrong, you know your own body, you’ve never felt this way before, your still in so much pain but their going to release you, and they are sending you home with no pain meds, suggest you take something over the counter. How do you feel? You know the truth. Did they make you feel it was all in your head, or your just looking for a high. Don’t you dare be annoyed, their humans they make mistakes, they have bad days, they did their best. Now go to the hospital you work for, oh my goodness your co-workers say, thank God you came here, don’t worry we have your back your one of us, only the best for one of our own. You find out had you not gone there you would have died. What do you do I ask? Nothing it’s all good. Do you file a complaint, I mean you didn’t die, but them thinking you just wanted drugs, and they really didn’t do their best ,has done damage, you now have some serious medical issues. Don’t expect truth, don’t expect an apology, they’ll expect you to keep your mouth shut and get over it. And if you don’t, welcome to our world. Truth is wherever you are in the world and you end up in the ED you’ll always make sure they know who you are and what you do, in hopes it will make a difference in your care, why because you know for a fact, mistakes are made that harm and take patients lives, and you of course don’t want to be one of them. If most of you experience that just once, perhaps you’d be able to relate to that patient that’s acting out, because maybe they’ve already been there and gone through that more than once. I’ve always heard that doctor are the worse patients, that’s funny, because we your patients all know why. Your more scared than us, because it’s what you know. And that is the truth.

        • Sigh…Well, obviously you have your opinion. I just wonder what your survey size is. Yourself, a couple family members, friends? Vs those of us who see thousands of patients a year. About why people show up to the ED. And how they behave and what they expect. We don’t all bail from medicine until we just can’t take it anymore. See most of us will still retain hope despite being dangerously (more me and YOU) overworked and beat up by colleagues, patients/customer/, and lawyers. And like I said, we can’t get back the decade it took to get there. Before you pass judgement on ED staff, I suggest you work as an ED clerk or volunteer in patient care for maybe 6 months. Maybe then instead of being so critical and accusing everyone of being heartless and cruel, you might get the real picture…Generally one should acquire a good deal of information before making general statements…about anything. But good luck to you…!! Hope you run across one of the ‘good ones’…

      • I have the advantage of seeing things, literally, from both sides of the fence. My best friend and 3 going on 4 siblings are practicing physicians, one in a trauma center/ER. I hear the stories, I was around when they were making the huge sacrifices you speak of. They also were, through all of my experiences, some there to see me receive the mistreatment. I do take comfort in the knowledge that there are a few out there, then who received this as a poignant message of what NEVER TO DO when practicing.
        I often hear how certain actions taken (or not taken) by my providers could be somewhat understandable given the daily struggles you go through yet are NEVER acceptable ways to respond to anyone’s complaints.
        I believe Drs have a responsibility to, when they see themselves becoming cynical or burnt-out, seek help, practice good self care techniques themselves and even excuse themselves for a period of time, if necessary to assure NO pt suffers at their hands due to maladaptive coping skills. We entrust our lives to you, the least you can do is take a self-inventory and make sure you are worthy of that trust!!!

        • Becky, I’ve thought about you every single day since we last wrote to each other. I sincerely care, and admit I’m worried. No one from your family contacted the e-mail address I left you, wasn’t sure you got it in time. Let’s you and I keep in touch off this blog. I believe you, myself and Kathy can do good somewhere else!!!! It will be helpful not just for ourselves but for thousands of others.

  62. And you told me off, right? And I’d love to work as an ED clerk, or volunteer in patient care. And for the record I have acquired a good deal of information and they were not general statements and they were about something. So how come it’s okay for you to talk about or complain about patients, but not okay for me to complain about my or our personal experience? See hears where I’m fair and your not. You do get beat up by your colleagues, patients, customers, and only lawyers when you mess up bad! I am not okay with that, you however and I can tell would cover-up negligence because your opinions all of them sound like you think and feel all patients suck. And that were all bad, right? That’s the vibe I’m getting or had gotten. Hello readers is that how he came across to you or is it just me, if so I couldn’t be more sorry. And you couldn’t be more dishonest if you said mistakes don’t happen and there intentionally hidden. Until or unless it happens to you, and of course that would be different, always the famous double standards, always. You to don’t judge, which is exactly what you did MD. I hate when anyone is wronged, including you who I don’t know , but have a better idea now, even with that though ,would I be okay with anyone harming you, no. Would I be okay with a patient disrespecting you, no. Would I be okay with you being accused of something falsely, no. Wouldn’t be okay with those admin. Jerks bullying you, hate that the most. Now your pay, unless your getting kickbacks somewhere somehow please say that doesn’t happen, really? Well anyway most of you earn what you get and some deserve more. Are you one of the good ones? And I know you know if you are! You said I hope you run across one of the good ones, my God why shouldn’t I be able to. Since we do have patients rights and all. I understand how you feel, and agree with most of it, bet you don’t care how I feel or what we’ve been through. I don’t think I’m right I know I’m right. Come on back to me, tell me off some more , I love it. Shows and proves your true colors 🙂

    • Don’t understand how you wildly veer off the point…

      Anyway, I’m not interested in this game…

      I don’t believe I can mount the vitriol you are able to.

      Good luck out there 🙂

      • I knew you would give up. There are always many points to be made, about many different things. You just don’t like what’s being said to you, which is the truth, bottom line. Hey good luck to you too. I am going to still read out of curiosity,what you write others, just won’t reply to you anymore.

      • And you know what I did often veer off, for that please forgive me whoever else ends up reading this. I just needed to squeeze other thoughts and opinions in, that’s all. I’m so heartbroken, confused, angry and don’t want to be, I have to constantly remind myself of all the great care we’ve gotten before moving here, and not let those 10-11 people or bad apples mess me up for life. I know I vented, and it felt so dog gone good. See ya, merry christmas and happy new year just in case I don’t read this for awhile.

  63. From a patients view:

    Had 2 major back surgeries and 1 year after something went wrong. My surgeon got paid and couldn’t be bothered , told me to go to the ER. Upon arrival being carried in by husband and only 35 with no history of drug abuse I was accused of being a drug seeker. I was beyond pain I was suffering. Note same Hosp I had surgery in. Left distraught.
    It takes a while to get an apt with a Dr so I stayed in bed screaming , couldn’t eat, shower etc. My neibhor heard me every day and came in to check on me and was horrified in the condition I was in, at this point I had lost over 30 pounds and weighed 90 lbs. he against my saying not to called an ambulance and was taken to a different hospital.
    They gave me a shot of diladid which did zero and x-rays found nothing wrong. Discharged with a week of 5mg Percocet. To make a very long story shorter, I was in and out of 7 ER’s plus every type of Dr under the sun in the following 18 months of hell. The ER missed the MRI they did on me which was picked up after so much damage was done that I have had 3 more surgeries and live suffering and bedridden. My hardware was broken, my fusion was messed up and my nerves were coiled in my spine and crushed. But you ER Drs, nurses, PA’s, etc. Jump to oh she’s just a drug seeker and if you did your job correctly and caught this my first time in I most likely wouldn’t pray not to wake up those seldom times I get a few hours of sleep. This healthcare system is a disgrace and plays God with people’s life. I can say this because I am a suffering victim.
    Now I’m on end of life dosage of fentanly because nothing can mute this pain and even this doesn’t help me. I’ve yet to find 1 damn compassionate Dr that will or can help me to this day. My only son can’t even see me cause it breaks his heart and hurts him mentally. He found 1 Dr in the whole USA that shows promise of helping on the West Coast but I cannot sit for more than 20 minutes or my body flares up and I’m suffering. So thank you all in your field for turning your backs on the reason you got into the field your in.
    My demise and I’m sure many others is the lack of humanity of the hospitals in this past tense what once was the best Country in the world. You should all be ashamed of yourselves as your pulling your Mercedes into your beautiful homes. I’d take water boarding any day or having my head decapitaded over 7 years of pure hell.

    • Wow Kay! How you have been treated is so cruel and inhumane. I’m heartbroken by your experiences and story. I’m not usually lost for words, but for the first time in a long time I am. Most times we can offer each other advice or words of encouragement, I have nothing that could possibly help or make a difference. It is what it is and it sure is sad. If there is a bigger and better word than SAD then that’s what I am for you.

    • So Sad but unfortunately this happens all the time. Doctors put us all in on category they don’t see individuals they see dollar signs. I am so sorry for your struggle my prayers for you and all who encounter this which I am afraid is more than anyone could imagine.

  64. OK. Let us start with doctors are people too. Just like all of us the have good days and bad ones. Sometimes they are right, sometimes not. Medicine is not a perfect science at all, and well pain, there is no test for it. I feel I can speak to this subject having been an opiate addict in the past. First let me say this. No one, once they truly become an addict, wants to be an addict. It ruins you. If you have never felt the withdrawals from opiates you cannot know how miserable it really is. My addiction came after a head and neck injury. In the beginning I gladly accepted the hydrocodone because I indeed was suffering. In my mind this pain was temporary and I never saw myself taking them for a long period of time. Yet, it did not get better. So there I was, three years had gone by and I was still taking them. Now of course I am hooked. Not only are what I am being described being abused, but I am buying them off the street as well. It is a horrible experience. So it has been years now, my pain has gotten better but now I am a junkie. I always dreamed of being a junkie, sarcasm. Now it is true drug seekers do lie and can do it well. But I wish doctors would realize this is not the person it is the addiction, and most addicts are good and loving people with a huge monkey on their back.I am not saying they should not be accountable, but I would hope doctors would really get this. No one wants to be an addict. The want comes from withdrawal and that is it. And unless you have kicked these types of drugs you have no idea how bad it is. Its beyond misery. Not to mention you do not sleep a wink, not a wink when withdrawing from opiates so there is not even temporary relief. I decided on my own to kick the habit because I was tired, so tired and knew it was destroying me. Doctors suggested I taper down, but that did not work for me since tapering still causes withdrawal, not as severe, but I chose cold turkey because I knew I would fail at the tapering. It was hell. I literally did not sleep at all for 8 days. yes, its possible. I always understood after why sleep deprivation is used in torture. By the ninth day I swore if I didnt get some sleep I was gonna just go nuts and do something crazy. Yet on that ninth day, I feel asleep. Albeit only for 2 hours but it was a start. Took me about 3 months to really feel better. So was my pain gone, turns out no and I am miserable even as I write this. Its such a double edged sword. With the meds I can function much better, sleep, eat better, etc, but sadly because of tolerance, there is never enough. This is the truth. I just wanted you to know a few things. Do not worry about the small amounts of pain pills you give out in the ED. The addicts do not sell them, are you kidding? Last thing an addict would do. People who do sell them are those prescribed them but do not take them. The non addicts. And these are usually in larger amounts than any ED doctor would prescribe. Second, in my humble opinion, it is better that a junkie get a few pills than to make the mistake of not giving relief to those who need it. You may not be able to tell them apart, the junkies from the ones telling the truth, but those who are being honest should not suffer without a helper, because a doctor is the only one that can help them. Without you what can they do? If they keep coming back tell them this is the ED, we do not prescribe narcotics for long term use, this is for your primary physician to discern. Sadly, many primaries are the same way though. Third, forgive yourself, and others, including the junkies. I am not saying enable them, but forgive them, they really know not what they do. Third. Please realize medicine is not perfect, nor are you, and that humility goes a long way toward understanding. Just because it does not show on a routine test does not mean its not there. I have had horrible experiences with doctors over the years, waiting for the good one everyone says is out there. And I had become jaded about doctors, like you have about your patients. Yet I forgive you, them. I refuse to let some bad doctors paint all of you, in return you should not let some damn junkie paint all of your patients. Better to give a junkie a few pills then let the rest pay for a junkies illness. Been on both sides. One last thing, the next time you come across an addict, do not look down on them as if they are trash. You only reinforce how they feel about themselves already. Think to yourself, This was once a little child, no child says they want to grow up to be a drug addict. I will no longer take opiates for my pain, and suffer I do. But that is my choice and not for everyone. I just cannot tell you enough how degrading it is to be suffering and to have someone tell you they are not going to help you. If doctors will not, who will? Answer, nobody. Stay strong. I always tell my kids, everyday is a new opportunity to be humbled. We could all use more humility and more compassion. Best wishes to all of you, doctors, nurses, patients, and yes, junkies too.

    • I just did! They and you know who they are, won’t . If they do they’ll just have a good break room laugh. Some of us do care on this blog, only ones who’s opinions matter anyway. Just vent it will make you feel better. Because of the profession they choose, them being just people to, don’t cut it for me. I don’t care what anyone says more and better is expected from and out of them, period! Yes their going to make mistakes but it’s about learning from them, owning them! Instead they make excuses, unexceptable.

      • And to add to that opinion, giving those people in their profession a free pass for incompetence when their already well protected is reckless. On this blog I believe there has been one nurse and one doctor who stepped up with a reply that showed they have integrity. Most of the rest have been unprofessional and just good ole’ boys and girls who are undeserving of the respectfully earned title medical doctor and register nurse. I have the upmost respect for those who worked hard to be in the medical field for the love of mankind, those who would never harm a single soul and if they did would right their wrong, ones who would never tolerate misconduct no matter what their peers think or say! To err is human, so is being truthful and accountable. There are not different rules and laws that apply depending on who you are and what you do in life. Although it happens and it’s called corruption. And when your a victim of it ! It sucks more than seekers do ! Trust me.

    • Not true, as I just did and thought it very well-written and thought-provoking. I pray someone in the medical field will take the time to read everything written here that is, if they haven’t all run away, as Carole says. Sadly, I believe she’s right but let me say this: several siblings of mine and my best friend from college are doctors. My little brother is actually an ER doc in a trauma unit and, if nothing else, I know that my story, anyway, has affected them and so has made a small difference “out there,” anyway:)

      • Becky I think those who work in trauma units are on a whole other level, one that I have the upmost respect for. To be honest their probably our biggest hero’s in the medical field. These people love what they do, and their great at doing it. You must be very proud of your brother, as you should be. My family and friends know what happened to my mother their loved one was negligence, they had to hold me together because she was harmed and not helped right in front of my face. I begged and pleaded for them to help her-they did nothing God’s honest TRUTH. I re-live it every single day.. The worse betrayal was the tampering with her medical records to cover it up. Being wronged by a profession we both respected so so very much has harmed me deeply. I love and miss her so much!! And I blame myself for bringing her there that night with that crew. I will always blame myself as much as I blame them. The guilt of letting her down kills me a little bit every day, they didn’t just take her life they have affected mine, I’ll never be the same!! One day I’ll share the details, because I believe it will help others in the future. As it is right now as I type this up I’m crying and hurting so bad, I just wanted a sorry it wouldn’t of brought her back but it would of helped me to heal and not be scared to go to the e.r. I’ll probably die at home before I’ll feel safe going for help. I want to believe the good outweighs the bad, but I know so much- and as bad as it is, IT’S WORSE. I pray I live long enough to see change, that’s what it would take to mend my broken heart. 🙁

      • Becky did you ever see an attorney? I’m sure your family and friends with all that medical knowledge had encouraged you to do so? I re- read your post to see when your surgery is, march sometime right? Just checking in on you. I hope you looked up and read some of the things I suggested. Could help in the long run. Take care

  65. Its so sad that ER doctors get to determan if a patient is in pain. Usally if a patients bloodpressure is high, xray shows kidneystones, blood in urine, that patient needs pain meds. I feel that even if that patient has been to the hospital 20 times in a month. Doctors took an oath to heal and save lives, not to judge or profile.

    • If your someone with a permanent medical condition maybe making copies of all your medical test results and bringing them with you along with your meds asking the doctor to read them and add them to your hospital medical records could help. Since I have not gone to either e.r. here and to do so I’d have to be in pain that’s out of this world to get me there. It would be difficult for me in severe pain to explain everything precise and clearly. I know when I’m in that much pain I can’t think straight therefore I believe it couldn’t hurt. I know Kathy said she did that with no positive results or feedback. I think for me because of this blog and others I’m going to get it all in order just in case. Anyone from an e.d. Would you please answer if that would make a difference in your judgement call. What can legit pain patients do to convince you to help them and not possibly label them incorrectly. We don’t want to be in medical trouble nor do we want you to be in any legal trouble. I can get why the seekers make it hard for all of us. But pain patients can’t be left stranded, that’s just unfair. So your honest opinions would help!

      • Am I A Drug Seeker? Yes I am Seeking A drug to relieve my pain why would I seek something that will not relieve my pain.
        Slippery Slope,
        When I have to go to the ER i am a drug seeker arent you / if not then why are you there, I am seeking what will help my pain (NOTHING MORE and NOTHING LESS.)

        • Gail, it is a slippery slope! until I read this blog I honestly never heard the term seeker.I really find it used by professionals to be degrading and petty though. The biggest reason in this blog alone, several Dr.’s and nurses made the wrong judgement call, and by doing so mistakes are made that can and probaly do hurt patients. just my opinion. I’ve read many replies over and over, pain patients stories, people who called themselves seekers, or addicts. As for me I am a pain patient I do take meds, take them responsibly! Always have always will, my choice. I do that for me and my sake. I think what your expressing is if a legit pain patients meds aren’t working and they had to go to the e.r. For help, aren’t they seeking something stronger. Yes and no and not always the case. If I started experiencing more pain than usually and added to that something I never felt before I’d be more concern with why than the pain, at least for as long as I could tough it out. I’m not sure what the answer is for everyone concerned. I can see and understand everyone’s point of view on this subject. It’s a serious one I know that. If you feel comfortable calling yourself a seeker or them calling you one that’s just fine. I wouldn’t want anyone to refer to me by that, and I would not have a problem telling them so!

          • Gail don’t ever let anyone call you a seeker, EVER! I believe a seeker is someone looking for a high, not help. Pain patients are looking for help to relieve pain, big difference. Isn’t that how you feel? Like you said nothing more nothing less.

      • Hi Carole,
        Sorry this site is so confusing for the computer illiterate I didn’t get notified of any responses/posts until just now. Just texted my brother your question for docs, so hoping I can give you and I a good answer to that.
        We’ve been waiting to hear back from a fiancé’s attny friend re a suit. NOW my pcp threw all over my records I’m prob an addict. Surgeon of 13 yrs no longer likes me, won’t write for me following surgery, and I just found out the BITCH pcp has just discharged me from her care. For no reason! So I don’t think I’ll make it back from surgery alive and, at this point, sadly it doesn’t much bother me. Tired of the pain and being treated like moldy trash.

        • Becky I’m so deeply sorry and hurt for you, and angry as hell at those who have caused you harm and more harm over and over. Look at just the stories here on this blog, can you imagine the number of pain patients in our u.s. That are being discriminated against in OUR e.r.’s as well, and labeled? Wonder how many didn’t know they were labeled a seeker, and took their lives feeling hopeless and uncared for. This is a serious sad problem one that’s gotten so out of control and didn’t need to be. The so called professionals and the true seekers have made this a nightmare for us legit pain patients. ( Pain patient someone who has chronic pain needs meds takes responsibly in order to be able to function in life )I’m not looking for a high never have never will!!! I did not smoke, drink, or get high EVER in my life. I was someone that didn’t even believe in medicine- I always handled any type of pain with the attitude – positive think it away, strong will it away, pray it away, not so much as a damn asprin for headaches cramps I mean nothing!! Well a serious fall happened, as I progressed and progressed I finally had to give in or I had no life. I NEEDED HELP… Every shared story on this ignorant blog, are people wanting o be heard and understood, shown a little compassion and empathy from others, not one doctor or nurse could find it in their hearts to DO JUST THAT goes to show what we are all dealing with. Even on here they disrespect us. I know GOD doesn’t like ugly that’s a fact, so what goes around does come around. Becky I’m here for you please reach out to me. Don’t give up please go see a lawyer, it’s not much but you’d be surprised how awesome getting justice can make you feel!!! Let me know before you do any surgery, okay please?

      • Sorry, as long as I found a route back today (lol) I thought I’d make some replies I’d meant to too long ago for comfort. I can’t find a way to reply to this post so I hope it’s not too confusing to everyone I place it here:
        Carole, if you conjured up your mother, in your mind’s eye, how would she respond to the guilt you’re placing upon yourself every day? I cried when I re-read the emotional agony you’ve had laid upon you by people who should’ve been made to answer for their conduct and couldn’t begin to imagine the depths of your grief and despair upon so many levels but you must lay the blame where it lies…with those (un)professionals.
        She wouldn’t want you to place one ounce of that blame on yourself. As she left, I feel her soul experienced your fierce love for her and determination to prevent her passing. You had no choice but to seek the help for her you did and it was impossible for you to have prophetic powers, to know what was to come from each one of this series of events.
        YOU did not fail her, THEY failed you both!
        When you do, as I’m sure you have many times, conjure up an image of her, try to imagine your mother smiling, young and happy. If you see it again, wipe the image of her on that fateful day from your mind. She would never wish this pain upon you. Remember her as you know she’d want you to and cherish your memories of happier times. In that way you can honor her and her wishes for you.

        • Thank you from the bottom of my heart, no one until you and now really spoke or replied directly on our tragic experience, she suffered a long cruel agonizing torturous unnessary death due to a procedure that I was not advised of risk, never even heard of this procedure before that night had no info on it. and of course because she was on asprin had been for years she so was at risk among other medical reasons to, and to make matters worse it wasn’t even considered medically nessary to do she should of gotten just another berating treatment. He injured her airway on the way down being aggressive and not experienced as I found out later, immediately right after procedure she coughed and blood came out of her nose and mouth,aspirated on blood of course, a lot of it you have no idea!! her room was directly across from desk, I yelled and screamed for help because that fool took off fast- he knew what he had done! no one and I mean no one helped to clear her airway but me.they none of them so much as came up to her in any way only looked at her from the doorway no LIE. Failed to rescue, plain and simple. The machine was going off like crazy I said something about that over and over, they told me sometimes the machines act up she then was in resp. Distress, she was being deprived of oxygen. That e.r. Doctor knew the r.t. harmed her and decided to call a slow code or no code. Played God and decided she’s going to have to die for their sakes. I can still see my mom looking at me so scared poor thing and me telling her mom I am so sorry I don’t know why their not helping you. was trying to do what I had to do and not scare her more. I never let up and it did no good we were straight up ignored, it didn’t take long to figure out they were trying to cover up negligence. They tampered with her medical records of course. She died from being deprived of much needed oxygen ( hypoxia which caused bradycardia her heart just slowed down and stopped.) I knew to suction the blood from her mouth, I didn’t think about a damn chin tilt, maybe I could of saved her. If only and only if I could do that night over, I wish I had never taken her there. I adored her she was my dearest and best friend to, it wasn’t so much that I lost her I knew I would one day and I knew it would be hard and I would hurt forever.-it’s the way I lost her!! How could they be so cruel, HOW? I just don’t understand we trusted them. I brought her there for help not to be harmed and ignored then die. Thank you so so so much for letting me tell you her story, she was such a sweetie pie, you all would of loved her. Becky you have no clue what you just did for me, a little kindness goes so far and can make a huge impact. I am deeply grateful to you.

          • Can’t believe it mis-spelled, MIS-SPELLED. Eyes were still messed up, I’m not okay with any smartass correcting me!!

  66. I have a question for the emergency medicine providers who may be following along: Why do you think that the buprenorphine patch isn’t used more often in ED situations like this? I think that it neatly finesses the differential of chronic pain vs. opiate dependence because it is an appropriate treatment for both. I know that it’s generally thought of as more of an outpatient treatment, but it seems like its advantages are even more important in an ED setting where you are trying to make this decision with limited information. It’s also new and expensive, but it’s got to be a lot cheaper than multiple emergency room visits.

    • I Agree, it takes a long time for the Medical Community to adopt common sense options! Their only motive is profit! They have such obvious contempt for both pain patients and drug addicts! Unfortunately common sense is not in their job description! Most Physicians are not available so we are sent to the ER! I took a bad fall and it took 3 weeks to see my former Physician, I was afraid to go to the ER! I figured I was in too much pain to deal with it, even though I was bruised and battered, I was afraid they would mislabel me, and I was already in too much distress to deal with that! Due to the spinal Injuries the fall was a more than just a fall, because it had jarred my spine! They would not have understood this at the ER! They make all pain patient wait for Hours, to persuade them not to come back! I remember laying there in Pain while they catered to some guy who had eaten gas stations sushi! I wanted to go give him the lecture the doc did not! But apparently mild food poisoning is a serious condition, I had no idea, I would not go to the ER with Mild food poisoning, I would just ride it out!
      Forgive the typos, my Left arm has permanent nerve damage because numerous Doctors dismissed the pain in my neck as Stress! It was actually my C-spine collapsing! I had a job at he time, no more! Thanks Doctors!

      • They make all patients wait for hours to persuade them not to come back!! I never thought of that. That is funny as hell:) you crack me up, because it’s probably so dog gone true. GOOD ONE KATHY. Breakroom you know you want to laugh!!!!!

      • I had one ER doc, awhile ago, who said he was going to teach me the ER wasn’t the “chronic pain center.” My Dad comes back in and I tell him, so he furiously confronted the dr upon his return but was told he’d never made that statement.
        Best friend whose now a dr took me to same ER maybe 3 mos later as it felt as though an organ had ruptured and, guess what?! Same jerk dr. He says he definitely won’t do anything for the pain I’m having and when his bare minimum test came back ok he handed my friend my discharge papers. She didn’t even want to tell me what it said for diagnosis but I insisted, only to hear that it was “morphine dependence?!” We later learned I’d been suffering repeated small bowel obstructions and had several prolapsed organs plus colonic inertia and an intuscusseption. But thank God we’d learned earlier that all I was suffering from was being a med seeker?! So the rest of that really had no bearing. LOL

    • That is a good question and a valid point! You did mention though it was new and expensive, wondering if any insurance companies will cover it? Hope someone with some pull will ask and look into that. That would help everyone concerned, wouldn’t it? I think so, it’s a start.

    • Carole, I assume you mean why isn’t Butrans prescribed (given as a tame home Rx) in the ER? Because it has to be on a certain number of hours before it kicks in, so it wouldn’t work in an ER situation (unless someone was there a VERY long time.) I just wondered if you meant, as a Rx to take home and get filled? I used Butrans at two differing strengths, and at first it was helpful. But after about 36 hours it stopped helping, and I got a nasty skin-rotting type of rash where I had placed it.

      • HEY BETHD, there you are! Thank God I was worried about you. Yeah I thought CM had a good idea, made sense to me. If the patch isn’t a narcotic and it works. Years ago the doc I was with in Georgia suggested a patch for me, I had declined because I had heard horror stories and serious outcomes. But not sure at all if it was the same kind or type of patch? CM said this one was new, and what I got from that, it isn’t a narcotic either- perhaps I misunderstood? And to I forgot about the time it takes for those patches to kick in. But we are in those e.r.’s for a very long time aren’t we? So happy to read you back on this blog.

      • So is the patch you used the same one she’s talking about? Um the skin rotting rash, well that’s out of the question for me. Not willing to add more medical issues to my life, no matter what.

          • Oh okay! So far so good with what I’m on, yeah there’s times and even days when it doesn’t work and thank God for now I just toughen it out, but as I progress I’d like to know what’s out there and works for others. Last time I went to the e.r. For myself was in 2007. By all rights I needed to go and probably should of many many times but the whole being in agony and being in the waiting room like that just is enough to keep me away. Plus that keeping patients waiting game worked on me!!!! I feel dumb

          • Oh okay! So far so good with what I’m on, yeah there’s times and even days when it doesn’t work and thank God for now I just toughen it out, but as I progress I’d like to know what’s out there and works for others. Last time I went to the e.r. For myself was in 2007. By all rights I needed to go and probably should of many many times but the whole being in agony and being in the waiting room like that just is enough to keep me away. Plus that keeping patients waiting game worked on me!!!! I feel dumb, that’s why that comment Kathy made was funny to me never thought of it like that. Hey do any of you read KevinMD.com? I do and have for awhile, today he had a topic on e.r. Drug seekers! I wonder if he’s read this blog? I’ve felt since following him he’s pretty fair and objective. One topic I do not agree with him about is malpractice suits are fruitless. Let me say this that does not happen!! A person or a family has to go through so much just to be heard much less a lawyer taking your case plus you still have to prove you have a case to many others. It’s a process and a long one, and it’s no joke. You can have a perfectly proven case and still get turned down. Out side of that he’s pretty good, a must read. Haven’t been on his patient blog though, believe I’d have to be fake to be heard, not willing to do that!! And thanks for the reply.

      • 152 people strong! AND COUNTING. justice is SWEET. Proud to be part of this problem solving solution (project) one day I’ll dedicate my part to the hospital staff that was responsible for my mothers death, and most of all those who commited fraud to cover it up THEY DIDNT! And to this blog and observer.

    • Really!!!! So did you block your post so I couldn’t read it or what?? I wonder why:) can’t imagine why.:) funny though.

      • All over the U.S. Great people getting involved in a just cause, not just the amount is impressive but the WHO’S are so grand!!! Investigative journalists are relentless at exposing corruption and exposing those responsible!! Our numbers are growing daily.. And the thrill we’ll all get taking down the dirty white coat thugs with no morals or ethics is JUSTICE… Not to leave out the CEO’S and administration bully criminals. I despise all you ego maniacs, with serious mental illnesses. You all are a disgrace to our medical health system. I hope, wish and pray everything you’ve done to each and every patient you have harmed or have been part of covering up for someone else, comes back to you and takes you where you so rightfully belong. That would be HELL… Yes I fell very strongly about this and I sure in the hell don’t feel bad at all for doing so.and this blog and these peoples stories made me even more convinced that some of you are evil ass low life’s who do not deserve to call yourselves doctors.or nurses. Just take off your coats and scrubs join the thugs on the streets because you are no better than them!!! In fact your worse..

        • Carole,

          That was very well written! The Medical Industry is broken, beyond just pain management, one in 3 interactions with he medical Industry will result in harm! They rant and rave about Painkillers, while so many people would not even need them if they were properly treated! Medical boards are corrupt, there is no accountability at all!


          • Thanks Kathy the truth these so called medical experts put out there for us all to read is going to hurt them rather than help them that’s a fact. For people who clearly believe their much smarter than us lay folks you’d think they were actually high school bullies who haven’t gotten theirs just yet!! They sure in the hell aren’t grown ups who honor sacred oaths, well maybe the one of silence and the crimes they commit for what they decide is a greater good for them and their buddies, that’s clear to read by their post and replies. And all the stories on this blog…

      • Carole,
        I’m sure I’m not the only one admiring and appreciating your grit and determination in fighting for us and what you know is right!!! I for one felt more courageous in opening up on here and I think you know what I mean when I say it has been cathartic to lay here a record of their mistreatment. Notice the dr who started this thread only ever responds to the posts supporting him and his decisions?! Just wants someone to pat him on the back, sympathize with him about the burdens he’s taken on? Funny how, even after he saw the results of his bias and discrimination, he continues the behavior that first led him to write about what he knew was reprehensible treatment of a patient in his care. It SICKENS ME, LITERALLY to see that, even now, he hasn’t learned from his mistakes. With the pretense of seeking feedback here, the only comments he’s interested in are those which reaffirm his beliefs, actually!!!!! Why f-in’ bother? Accept responsibility for your actions!!!

    • Wow Dorothy, pissed off several pain patients!! Way to go miss ugly attitude. I was unable to read your post in full, so I just understood that, as you blocked me, which for the record is a major compliment.. If I really want to know what you wrote I could ask any of my fellow pain patients to send it to me and they’d be more than happy to do so- trust that!!! We will stick together and have each other’s backs. Being discriminated against and having everyone of our rights violated and being harmed by negligence has outraged not only us on this blog, but hundreds to thousands all over this country. You have no idea what’s going to be done for all those who have been wronged, but I DO. These stories are being read by very important people, I make sure of that-me and many many others. each and every time a new one shows up on this. So keep em coming. Oh pain patients do us all a favor, very very important… Whatever state and city you live in look up and print up 2 things- both pain patients being blacklisted against as well but separate malpractice lawyers being blacklisted by medical doctors and hospitals. Look up and send that to every malpractice lawyer you can find. Also wouldn’t hurt to make a copy of this blog and send that to!!!! Good luck and for sure God bless.

      • Woohoo Carole! Sorry, I get few if any notices of updates from this site, so I apologize if I don’t comment often but am oh so grateful for your advocacy of all of us. Hey, you mentioned this blacklist several times-how do I access it?! N I will look it up.
        I spent this weekend doing some things long-overdue I’d like to have if it all goes South and the countdown begins…Friday morning I go in. If you can please find a way for us to keep in contact better, I’m pretty poor w knowledge of the “ins and outs” and DO NOT want to be providing personal info on a public forum.

        • Same here, blogger has done something, I just know it!! Don’t matter got all the important stuff needed. I feel the same don’t know how to go about getting info to you or others to keep in touch outside this blog, I am working on it though. Friday gosh that’s soon, let me work on this hard I will figure this out. ASAP. Let’s see if this goes through, just sent you something before this it didn’t go through. Might be something I’m doing wrong-something’s weird though, know that. I want to see if you get this now?

        • Becky I’ll have an e-mail address to give you tomorrow, it will be a one time thing it belongs to an in-law. I can give it to you on here no problem. Once you send her your e-mail address she’ll give it right to me then she’ll delete yours then I’ll write you on mine- so well have each other’s personal ones. If that’s what you wish all up to you, whenever okay. Let me know when I can post it. Yeah there are certain things I can’t and won’t say on this blog believe it if you will, I know that’s hard to imagine from me!!! Only certain things about project I won’t mention, just a little bit here and there!!! If for whatever reason your unable to post anything else before your surgery, I use to tell my mom fight like hell stay your sassy butt here, everyone needs and expects you to be here for them, they need you. Your important. Your family needs you Becky, you ain’t going no where not any time soon. You got that!!! God be with you and keep you safe… Your friend now sincerely, Carole I’ve healed a little bit today thanks to you.

          • Carole,
            Thanks so much and glad to know I helped. Been wanting to tell you that for awhile. I have my fiancé home today so if you want to do the email exchange I’d love to today. We probably won’t be home from about 9 to 2pm as, believe it or not, I’m about to put myself out there one more time and see a PAIN SPECIALIST! Yes, you heard right, even though I thought I’d learned my lesson long ago this man is supposed to be very compassionate and experienced and they’ve already gone out of their way to help me. They found a spot for me with it being so late, I actually heard her catch him walking by and the receptionist told him the emergent nature of my problem so yeah, fingers crossed? Am afraid though, because one more dr being a dick I think could literally break me but this guy did win two awards for compassionate care of pts and they were national, once a yr type awards.
            Thank you for all your support and encouragement. I too consider you a friend:)

      • Carole, you were not blocked from my comment. My comment, as you can plainly see, was: “TL ; DR”, which is Internet shorthand for “too long ; didn’t read”.

        • So since I couldn’t see all that you had written, where it seemed others had I thought either you are the one who controls this blog blocked me, of course it annoyed me because I’m curious and most definitely want to hear from people in your position, we want to hear your point of views good or bad, in spite if we agree or disagree. I am not beyond saying I’m sorry if I am wrong, so SORRY, I was WRONG!!! However I’d love to know what you wrote that seem to fire some folks up. In a half second I’d be able to tell if your a nurse that is truly a patient advocate- as you all are trained to be or not. When I get a chance I’d love to give my point of view about nurses vs. doctors and administration- ceo’s. The only reason I include nurses along with doctors in most that I write, is to honestly piss you guys off to entice you to stand up for yourselves, and hopefully get some truth out of what I know to be the real deal. How your treated and what is expected from you, BY EVERYONE, I also know what can happen when you try to do the right thing, it sucks you can’t win for losing. Now on this blog these nurses need to get another career. Nurse k I’d have to accidentally trip and most likely she’d fall into my fist, just saying whatever would happen would be worth it to me. But all- all the other nurses I know or have had in our lives, top notch.. The floor care my mom got before at that same hospital that killed her was outstanding, excellent.. Those nurse were awesome no complaints not one!!! I know the flawed system your all up against, I’m not stupid, none of us are!! I do however have such mixed feelings, it all boils down to having morals not looking the other way and doing right by each other. I don’t believe we people (patients ) have unrealistic expectations of those we believe we should be able to trust and rely on, one unfair unfounded opinion not diagnosis can and does cost us dearly while the so called professional responsible goes on with his or her life. When this blog started it was a lot of s. . t talking about patients period when we fought back now there to good for us, don’t have time, please.. I’ve wanted so bad for just one to say something positive and give us hope that many of you guys do care and you hear and understand us. THE LEGIT AND TRUTHFUL CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS… We do exist!!!! Again sorry for my mistake. I need to reach out to someone on this blog that needs our help!!!

          • So I have to go back on the blog to see who you replied to with to long, didn’t read? Tell me it wasn’t someone who opened up and shared their story of pain, agony, hurt and disappointment. Ahh I just now this very second got what went down here.. Do you honestly believe that person knew what those letters meant. I some what remember your original post, I’m going to re- read it to understand who and why they responded to you in the first place. Well I have to give you some credit you at least replied!! It wasn’t much, short and some what rude, could of been worse. I know mine is TL. TR. too, got it!!!

          • Carole?
            Becky, here! IDK how I got your message to my email, did it just happen to come for once to show the new stuff you ask them to notify you of?
            Am trying to reach out to Jean w/ urgent mssg! Think that may be impossible…

          • Your post and mine showed up on blog which means she should of gotten it but hasn’t checked e-mail as of yet. Go to the blog you’ll see our post. I know, I to am experiencing something weird. What is going on! Or it’s just me. This confusion with Dorothy’s post has made me have to because I need to apologize to her more than once. I’m still confused and trying to correct my misunderstanding. I thought it was just me and my iPad but something is fishy, she could be at work and hasn’t seen our posts yet. Like I said it shows up on current blog site. I could of sworn I seen past post from Dorothy today I looked and there’s just one, the one that shows up on number 74 and I have no clue who she replied to. Anyway I hope if she’s a good person she don’t leave the blog because of me and my mistake. Still confused as hell though!! Don’t know when the next time they’ll update blog but it’s 4:29pm here.

        • Dorothy thought I had it figured out, guess not. I went all the way to the top of this blog I did not see any post from you other than the one I replied to. TL. TR.. When it first showed up on my e-mail side- did you reply to someone who wrote about a cop approaching them before or after work about narcotics showing up at schools? Or were you the one writing that ? I must get this right. Are you a nurse or a patient? If I owe you another apology because I’m confused I want to do right by you. Allow me!

          • Dorothy I feel so stupid , wow so many things going on on this blog right now, I have no good excuse or reason for thinking the worse, I thought because of how it showed up on my e-mail you had pissed off what I consider are some friends now. If you don’t forgive me I’ll understand, but others deserve your feedback and would love for you to give your truthful opinions. I’m sorry I was so wrong!!!!

  67. This story was a real eye opener for me. I have 3 herniated discs in my neck with osteophytes pinching my C5 nerve root and pinning my spinal cord to the other side of my neck. How did it happen…a Dr referred me to a chiropractor for minor shoulder blade pain and my neck was Karate cracked by the Chiropractor (Im not in the medical field so IDk the term). I have a connective tissue disorder and apparently cracking my neck was contra-indicated but hey it’s all business to them and to the medical field right? Why not give me the works and F me up for life. I was knocked unconscious and came to feeling like my neck needed to pop. a day and a half later I couldn’t lift my head off my pillow and was in more pain than I had ever experienced. A year and a half later I was finally able to work again. I also have a thoracic and lumbar herniated disc from when I was put on a Beta Blocker and told to eat a lot of salt bc my blood pressure was already low. I fainted a number of times on the beta blocker and the last time I landed on a step and have had sciatica from the herniated discs every since. I have been on pain pills for 10 years as a result of these injuries. I recently switched Dr’s and found out that the pharmacy had been putting my pain pill scripts under an ER Dr instead of my prescribing Dr about 75% of the time. This has made it look like I go to the ER every month or so to get pain pills when I am already getting them from my prescribing Dr. Apparently I am basically marked as a drug seeker in the Prescription Drug tracker database or something until I can get the pharmacy to fix their mistake. The new DR told me this after harassing me and treating me like shit for the entire hour I was there and ignoring the pain in my arm that I came in there for.

    The eye opener is that I had no idea that I will be treated like a drug seeker and have my medical problems ignored for the rest of my life even when I get my prescription monitoring program record straightened out. I have went to the same DR about my arm 3 times and a year later I still haven’t gotten an MRI of it and I’m now loosing Range of motion in it. I have lost all faith in the medical field. 100% faith gone. The most confusing part to me in all of this is why half of the retail stores in this country are not allowed to do anything at all when they see someone stealing (outside of asking does the person stealing need help with anything), yet I can go to a Dr for help (HELP! NOT DRUGS) and be treated like a junky, scumbag piece of shit. Every time I go to a new dr and they start telling me that they are going to work to get me off of my pain pills and they start harping on me about how “I don’t need them, just get a new pillow, do exercises….” I wonder why they even think that is there place when they don’t even know me, my history, or my pain level. That is the most hurtful part outside of being treated like scum of the earth and having my medical problems ignored. Every time I’m having the degree of pain that makes me have to hold onto the dinner table just to be able to sit up and eat so I can take my pain pills bc I’m in so much pain, I ask myself why the hell would ANYONE EVER want to take my pain pills from me. Guess what Doctors, without those pain pills, I wouldn’t be able to work. I would be just another person who you complained about having to support with all the high tax bracket taxes that you pay out every fat pay check that you get. I can’t win either way can I? I am done with all of you. You all want to treat me like all I want from you is drugs and you ignore all my medical problems anyway, so guess what…That is all I want from you at this point. If I didn’t have to have pain pills in order to work to put a roof over my head or food in my mouth I definitely would never be seeing anyone in the medical field ever again. I just ordered a Medic Alert necklace that will be engraved with “F**K YOU. MEDICAL PPL HAVE MADE MY LIFE BAD ENOUGH. DO NOT TOUCH ME. DNR”. You definitely wont ever have to worry about seeing me in any ER so now you have one less person to label a drug seeker.

    • Not that these jerks on this blog care, but good for you expressing how you feel!!! I read every story that shows up on here, again yours another sad one. Tara just keep venting and standing up for us pain patients, okay. If a decent one ever shows up and has something positive to say let’s all embrace it While it lasts. If one is an asshole let’s rip him or her apart.

  68. So really, did you learn a damn thing?

    This is what doctors, pharmacists, any medical ‘professional’ who has tried to convince themselves that they know who is drug seeking and who isn’t, should learn from this story: YOU ARE NOT MIND READERS AND YOU CAN’T KNOW. You aren’t. YOU AREN’T. YOU AREN’T!!! IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO READ A PATIENT’S MIND.

    I’m pretty sure that angry behavior is considered drug seeking behavior. Now being kind and/or grateful is drug seeking behavior? YOU SEE ALL BEHAVIOR AS DRUG SEEKING BEHAVIOR BECAUSE THAT’S ALL YOU THINK ABOUT. You’re PARANOID. And yes, you are a coward and about 10 other words that express cowardice that I am not going to say here because they aren’t very classy…but I’m betting you can think them up if you try.

    Oh, poor you! What you go through daily! Oh the terrible burden! The things you poor ER docs and nurses have to decide every day! When are you going to understand your job?

    You are supposed to BELIEVE people who come to you for HELP!

    Newsflash: The public isn’t wondering why you hate drug seekers. They are wondering why you have all turned into cowardly, un-empathetic pieces of trash. They are hoping that you are struck with a disease that leaves you in incredible pain so that you can finally see how it feels to be treated like a drug seeker when you’re just in terrible pain.

    You aren’t law enforcement officers. You are DOCTORS. TRY ACTING LIKE ONE. REMEMBER THAT LITTLE OATH YOU TOOK?

    God help this country when doctors all act like this.

    • YES,YES,YES… Love it love it love it. Andrea great thoughts and opinions. None of these incompetent unethical immoral unprofessional beings would stand a chance to get a thought in with just us here on this blog sitting across the table from them. I know most of you who work in our e.r.’s are cocky and arrogant and think your crap don’t stink some of you are truly disturb because somehow someway you’ve decided your God like. You my friends need to get treated for these serious mental issues, your dangerous, but of course that’s where you get off, huh? Knowing this about yourself. Sick, sick,sick.

    • A little note to all, I still access the medical databases, etc I had to use to DIAGNOSE MYSELF, as my drs couldn’t, and then had to prove it but finally got the right tests n doc but, I digress…
      Anyway, one should look up “pseudo-addiction” in which a patient can appear to be displaying “med seeking behavior” but not actually be addicted. They call this “pain relief seeking!” One of the most common causes of the under-treatment of pain in our society.
      The people we’re trusting are all-to-often labeling us for becoming desperate for pain relief, which is absolutely understandable given our poor functioning, quality of life due to pain but sets us up to be the recipients of abusive behavior, labeling, and poor quality of care by said physicians.

      • Should add…for example, when I first got sick and from day one with the worst of the pain, I went to my doctor. No help, treatment or otherwise, so I ran over to GI. Visited ER several times, as time went on went to different clinics. One could call this “doctor shopping.” A “med seeking” behavior. I was in incredible pain and terrified. I wanted an answer and relief from pain so bad I was considering taking my life and as each visit ended with no relief, not even from the fear I was dying I began to panic. I couldn’t take the pain! I began to cry, to beg for help, therefore labeled an even worse “med seeker” and treated even worse?!
        Interestingly, when I finally got compassion and, sadly, a little common sense within a provider and got some pain relief, ALL of those behaviors STOPPED!!! Thus, proving this was “pseudo-addiction.” As it was awhile before I was finally diagnosed I yes, saw new doctors/surgeons etc in an attempt to literally save my life and thank GOD I finally got some (nothing short of a miracle I’d survived till then) but the point here is once the pain was controlled (as well as it could be as their lack of response left me with permanent nerve damage) I was no longer asking each doctor for help with meds, etc.
        This is a hallmark of “pseudo-addiction”. I wish to God the docs on here ignoring us, even some of the nurses, etc would take a few moments to educate themselves and thus be actually able to weed out the “drug/med seekers” from those of us with true pain. Those of us they’ve taken an oath to aide and who they seem to have forgotten about.

  69. I have been dealing with emergency room docs that have the same attitude that because I show up 4 times in a couple months with severe I mean SEVERE left temple pain and the vein in my temple is swollen and visible but since I’m in my 30’s they think I’m a drug seekef. First off most drug seekers can get them on the streets. I keep getting brushed off by the docs they haven’t done a head scan or nothing. Yes I want my pain relieved by something anything that works narcotic or not. But I don’t even get that. They just look at me tell me about muscles in my face. I had this pain for 2 months straight 24/7 nonstop and yet because I say I’m in pain I’m labele . How about stop lableing patients and order a exam it won’t kill you to do so but could kill the patient if you don’t.and if I find out from a doc that something bad is wrong with me after months of er visit with no exam.. you better bet I’m gonna follow through with some kind of suit as should anyone. This lableing has got to stop and do the job you signed up for to help ppl by CHECKING THEM!!!

    • Jean do you have a primary doctor? If not get one as soon as possible. If you do he or she should of by now sent you for an MRI/cat scan. Keep each and every visit to e.r. And who you seen documented, of course go get all of your medical records. With today’s phones record your visits, make sure your state allows it. As long as your part of the conversation you can record it, still look up what your state laws are. Nail the s.o.b.’s who are hurting you rather than helping you. Voice your opinions on this blog there important, just as you are.

      • Carole, can you please contact Jean as you did me?! I checked w the secret coalition (lol) of caring docs and they warn that she needs immediate care to check for a problem that could result in her going blind!!!
        Not to freak her out, but please tell her to check my reply to her?!

      • Jean please read and respond back to Becky like ASAP. Look you must research what she wrote you, important that anyone that sees you understands you have done the work and your not playing or putting up with no help,, being ignored is unexceptable , you want what you say to be documented, make sure it does . Be strong and confident if you can bring someone with you for proof and support that would be smart. Sweetheart Becky has access and so do I,to some reliable sources- made a call just now- person said quite possible, not set in stone of course because they have limited info, enough for me to try and convince you to go get help. If possible at all go to another e.r. Get back to us good luck God bless.

    • One of my favorite comments I say to my treating physicians was, “I do not care how, but please relieve my pain. I am NOT here asking for meds to get high on. If you said monkey piss would alleviate my pain, I’d happily drink it by the gallon!!!”
      Jean, I’ll make contact with my “secret, CARING physicians” (you’ll understand if you read thru my comments) and ask about your problem if you want, although like I had to after determining what mine were, you’d still have the hurdle of getting someone to believe you and confirm said possible diagnoses.

  70. By the way I myself am extremely polite to the docs in the er because I’m hopeful they will help me and find out why I’m in so much pain with visible vein in my temple and would be greatful. But after reading this maybe it don’t pay to be nice hopeful greatful or have manner . This is a sad world. And as I type this I’m still in pain and starting to think no point in going to er anymore they just don’t care but you better bet they want there pay for doing nothing. There has got to be real doctors out there that do care I’m gonna keep looking. Hope I find one before a aneurism or something.

    • JEAN! I hope you see this! Was pretty freaked myself so I’s very sorry but I did consult w “actual caring dr’s coalition” but:
      You need it looked at RIGHT AWAY! They fear it could be TEMPORAL ARTERITIS which can cause BLINDNESS!!!

    • Possible temporal arteritis and she should demand to be checked, if she has to, to ensure that is not the problem or to receive treatment RIGHT AWAY, if it is!

      • Becky I reached out to Jean, I also asked a reliable source they agreed suggested she look it up print it up bring it with her wherever she ends up going, she must be persistent, and needs to make sure it’s documented also would be wise to bring someone with her for proof she wants them to consider this as the possible problem. They hate when we believe we might know what’s wrong with us, but I’m constantly hearing and reading how we as patients must be pro-active in our own care and relationship with our doctors and caretakers. There’s nothing I hate to hear more than when a person gets told it’s all in their head.. REDFLAG Lazy as doctor!!!!! ( A wannabe ) Want to be paid to do nothing, ha! Ha! Anyway I asked Jean to write you, might take her until tonight, let’s hope not.. We’ ll stay on top of this!!

      • Carole thanks and SORRY! LOL! Like I said before, for some reason I get 1/10th of the replies or comments people make. Thank you so much for getting in contact with her! Like you said too, not set in stone but incomprehensible it took our sources a few moments to peruse and determine the danger several doc’s were too busy/cynical/blind to prevent…
        Then again, that’s why we’ve all come together, isn’t it (Those of us taking a stand here, anyway). I was in her place FAR too many times. Am again, as a matter of fact. The sick part is, if they’re even reading this, even if Jean’s diagnosis is confirmed their discrimination will continue.
        I would see it as a win, though and a huge one even to have it ruled out and to know she’s ok (at least from that possibility). I pray that she sees this. That’s what’s most important. I fear changing the minds of any of these doc’s is a lost cause:( Well, their silence even to us asking how to prevent further mistreatment from the medical community is testament to that fact.

        • Not set in stone only because they can’t because she’s not their patient or are they in a position to get all the info or facts. But just enough to lead her in the right direction, it is huge to make sure it’s documented or she has someone with her. I’m hoping she’s able to go somewhere else another e.r. rather than the one she’s gone to. Think of original blog story and what he said, they were concerned if she had been there before and they missed something, only worried about lawsuit not poor lady God bless her. All she was concerned with was getting help and relieving her of the pain she was in. We will hear back from Jean, great catch.. You take it easy she’ll be fine okay:)

          • Carole – probably my last chance her to really talk. Thanks for your support. If you have an email, please send notice here. I will have Dusty go on and check before I leave. Then we can stay in touch by email as well. Thanks.

            Also, any news on Jean?

          • Okay here it is- miaravoorhies@yahoo.com she’s an In-law, she’ll be looking for it and make sure I get it. I’ll be praying for you, I’ll have our church on it to. Be strong and fight for life with everything you have and more!!! These are the times we have to have faith in what we still believe are the ones who love and care about their patients and their profession.. And did take that oath and meant it 🙂 you’ll make through, I refuse to worry.. Get back to me ASAP, I’ll be WAITING.

  71. Oh poor poor doctor. What you go through every day, I feel so badly for you and those you work with. Does this little story mean you’ve realized that your judgement can actually be wrong?

    Doctors are not mind readers. I wish you were. But you’re not. You’re not a mind reader and you need to stop trying to be one. You can’t know if someone is a drug seeker or not – being a doctor doesn’t make you superhuman or a God. You CAN’T CAN’T CAN’T. So for fu*k’s sake, stop trying to police people and TREAT YOUR PATIENTS.

    You said,

    “It scares the hell out of me that a prescription I write could some day be sold to my own kids and start them on the road to drug addiction. Yet it scares me just as much that I could let another person suffer in pain because I was too afraid to write her a prescription for narcotics.”

    Are you naive? Your kids are going to find drugs if they want to find them. Good God, can doctors be this stupid? Newsflash: YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL. YOU CANNOT CONTROL WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO, EVEN YOUR OWN KIDS.

    You’re scared? I’m betting you’re not nearly as scared as the legitimate pain patient who has need of emergency care for new acute, and severe pain. Yes, I said acute pain. Amazing, isn’t it? Chronic pain patients can have acute pain. And when they do, it’s terrifying. It’s terrifying – terrifying more so because they have to deal with YOU.

    “Yet it scares me just as much that I could let another person suffer in pain because I was too afraid to write her a prescription for narcotics.”

    Tell you what…why don’t you imagine this scenario instead?

    Imagine that your son or daughter has a chronic condition that causes them severe pain. This condition has been devastating to you and to your child and your family. Your son or daughter spends most of their life (if you can call it that) suffering greatly.

    One day, they have a legitimate, real, substantial increase in pain. It is more severe that their already draining, horrid, non-stop chronic pain. They have desperate need for medical care and relief. In their desperation, since no clinics are open, they go to the ER.

    Imagine your child, the child you love, going to the ER for assistance, and being looked upon as the lowest of life forms; a drug seeker, a person just trying to manipulate a doctor. In spite of your child’s protests, they are treated horribly and with utter disdain, and are sent home with nothing, no help at all. This causes great despair to be added to their suffering.

    But let’s take this a step further.

    Finally, your child has lost their emotional strength; they can no longer think clearly, the pain engulfs them. They turn to the street because they can no longer live in such excruciating pain, and doctors do not help them. They become a junkie, become addicted to heroin, and overdose. Your child, dead in an alley, with a needle in their arm.

    Or, we could change that ending: Instead of turning to the streets, your child ends up in such utter despair that they finally cannot take any more. The many years of doctor visits, the lack of pain relief, the cruel treatment from doctors who should be helping rather than hurting them, has worn them down, and they choose to no longer live such a life. To escape the physical and mental anguish, they commit suicide.

    *** The interesting thing about those stories, is that not only could they really happen to your children – they could really happen to YOU.***

    One day your body will break down. You will get sick. You will be scared. You will suffer, in a way you have never suffered before, and you will experience pain you did not know was possible. And perhaps you will suffer with no end in sight, because the only people who can help you – the doctors like you – REFUSE to.

    • There you go, Colette couldn’t of said it better. Now will she reply back? because if you haven’t noticed most of them on their own are cowards. In truth they really only have each other’s back when their negligent and each one of them are involved one way or another. I don’t even believe most of them respect one another otherwise. Because they act like high schoolers they talk about each other as much as they talk ugly about us patients, professionals PLEASE!!! unless we kiss their asses of course, And we’ve all been there and done that haven’t we? heaven forbid if we piss them off we could end up dead. Or as many of you have experienced go home as sick as you came in, just to end up right back in there for nothing and Lord knows your twice as afraid when that happens, now your labeled a frequent flyer now your a problem because how dare you challenge them who do you think you are ( A PATIENT ) a human being with medical rights.. C’mon?

    • In reality it’s just people being able to relate to one another and having each other’s backs, so when comments as hateful as this one was ( fibro storm ) and that D med. show up and you provoke angry feedback were crazy PLEASE.. – I’d love to know who you are and what you do? A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL with a loving heart and someone with integrity? Correct.. That’s what I thought. I just knew it 🙂 You be blessed TN with all your greatness. You are so so sweet and kind. And take the agony comment shove it up deep, sure you like it that way!!! P.s. From all the aunties on this sick blog.

    • You know what I love and consider it justice, when that bitch KARMA teaches people like you a lesson, you WILL end up being a chronic pain person dealing with assholes like yourself. Clicked on that fibro storm post, WOW, for everyone who had the nerve to smile or laugh good luck to you as well. What a disgrace most of you are! Don’t know if your a little girl or a little guy, but if your a female shame on you, if your a guy- pretty sure you hate women, can only imagine what your side job is !!! SICKO, therapy won’t help, but prison will keep us women safe from you. Just don’t bother to exist, really.

      • TN!

        What a ridiculous and misogynist response! A typical douche response, by and ignorant person who may be in the Healthcare business. Statistics don’t lie! Educate yourself, this is a National problem, it is covered up by the Media, and sensationalized. If people want to vent it is none of your business. The Policy makers and Medical Business are not listening to Chronic pain patients, many of whom are chronic pain patients because of Medical “Mistakes”. You are typical of the ignorant cretins who make obtuse comments about this issue! My Pain Specialist tells me to “never argue with the ignorant”. He is brilliant and of course you are to stupid to educate yourself on this issue!

        • TN- just wait they’ll be more coming your way, if not that awesome auntie Kathy whose replies I always look forward to, (she often makes me smile, makes my painful days just a little better.) will be quite enough for me.. Now since your so smart and all SORRY MEANT SMARTASS can’t wait to read what exciting info. You have to offer back- start off with everything you know about (fibro) since you mentioned it! THe agony ladies lounge awaits for the appearance of the fabulous. TN—–

          • Kathy Kooper on

            Thanks, Carol!

            Some of these comments really get to me! The stupidity hurts! I am participating in the National Pain Foundation, Advocacy Information. I try but I don’t see much “Advocacy” going on. It is stunning how ignorant and non -scientific these pain comments are. Unfortunately no is listening, we are ignored and dismissed. There was even an Article on the Pain Report site about just that subject. There is a sample letter about Malpractice and Medical Incompetence causing Chronic Pain, maybe why they refuse to address it! The Steroid shots the Doctors referred us to instead of real Pain Management are causing Arachnoiditis, another CP condition! I probably have that too, an ignorant Doctor caused a Hematoma on my spine during a Steroid Injection, they then lied about it. I could have easily have ben paralyzed! What they are doing to people with pain should be a crime!

          • Me to, when their hateful I’m gonna be hateful right back!!! When their decent I’ll be decent as well, I’d love just one intelligent, compassionate, doctor or nurse to reply with anything positive, but really this blog wasn’t created with kind intentions about a very serious problem that affects us all, mostly us pain patients who are paying the price for others sins, obviously!!! You know what cracks me up, the talk about all the years and thousands of dollars that goes into their career choice,which for the record is oh so very true. On this blog What doesn’t appear to be truthful is the claim of these guys doing it because of the love of helping people. I honestly had no clue just how mean hearted ,ugly spirited immoral and dishonest many of these people in this profession can be, it’s my own fault because I’ve always thought so highly of them, put them on a respectful pedestal refer to them as saints- angels, just goodness. I know in spite of this crazy blog which almost had me!!! the great ones outweigh the suckle ones, I refuse to believe otherwise from this point on. It could better, it needs to be better, and it banking on it!! Oh we’re going to have our own blog soon, can’t wait I have so much info to share, GOOD STUFF, you’ll get justice, believe that!!!

          • Carol!

            I totally agree! I have had to bight my tongue while in agonizing pain while I was insulted and asked stupid questions. it took every fiber of my being to not call out a Doctor or nurse! After one of my Surgeries the Nurses, commented right beside my bed that I was a “Drug Addict” even if I were this would be abusive. I am not! I had an implant put in my neck, and the anasthesiogist screwed up! I was awake during surgery, they lied about this and made false allegations about my Mental health! Geesh! I think that would have driven a weaker person insane, I could not sleep for months! The hospital redacted the information when I went to lawyer! This is not unusual, these people are criminals, and cover up much more heinous crimes than this. Then try to cover it by lying and attacking the patients credibility! Statistically about one in three patients in injured by the Medical business!
            About the original thread, They Doctor worried about his Kids. I guess he should be, any kid that had an A hole like that for a father would be taking whatever drugs they could get their hands on! These kind of Hysterical statement s make no sense! I ma certain his spoiled entitled brats will be able to buy all of the drugs they want, and they won’t be from pain patients, they will be from real dangerous drug dealers!

          • Kathy , observer and his ( I say he, just guessing, until perhaps we find out differently ) e.r. Break room pals want their blog to vent about DRUG SEEKERS ( chronic pain patients ) back. Just an idea lets me and you back off for a couple of weeks and see if it’s true we are keeping honest to goodness awesome doctors and nurses from this blog. Now they claim their just venting about set in stone known and proven drug seekers . Although tell me if I’m wrong, original story he was convinced she was a seeker according to the manual, and turns out she was anything but!!! Shame on us for feeling sorry for her, because that’s what this is really about for those of us who’ve replied to begin with. I’ll keep reading this blog for more reasons than I share, but I won’t reply for a couple weeks, so curious if any of them will address how this issue affects chronic pain patients and they as healers and life savers don’t like it because they do care, and don’t want someone who’s suffering to suffer more???? !!!! Perhaps a regroup on both sides of this issue or huge problem is what’s needed. The problem for me is if a pain patients shares a story not to respond right then and there. I’m going to give it a great try, just to see what shows up. I’ll reach out after-

          • Oh my Kathy observer is observing!!! Aren’t you special:) I’m so convinced he’s more involved with this blog than he lets on. Let me ask you a very simple question…. He did say we can dish it out but we can’t take it, right? Was he really serious? No way right? I’m sure like me your not backing down, I’ll reply to whoever the hell I want to whenever the hell I feel like it! There’s nothing he or anyone else can say that’s going to change that, in fact I’ll do it more just to annoy him and others. The way I read and viewed this sad blog way-back in December was them saying the most arrogant and cocky comments that rightfully so pissed off pain patients who replied back with their stories and experiences many shared how being labeled wrongly and unfairly further caused more harm to their lives and nothing,nota one could manage to express empathy compassion or understanding. PROFESSIONALS not on this blog! This blog brings out the worst in me, and for some reason I’m so ok with it, guess I really just distain bullies and uppity people, more than I thought. And that’s what we’re dealing with!!!!!!

          • Here’s the problem C, you want to vent your anger and frustration and derogatory generalizations about medical professionals then please do so! That’s what support groups and patient blogs are for. This blog was meant for medical personnel to vent a little to each other. Nice that you hijacked this “sad” blog and made it into your personal vendetta. Nice language too. Reminds me of my teenage daughter! We got your point in the beginning but because you continue to rant and rant in an unsolicited way, your audience is being disgusted and turned off. You can’t FORCE people to show you compassion and caring when that is the behavior you display. The audience here is wide and I believe you are having the opposite effect that you desire. Your ranting and name calling and general disparagement is only serving to create and reinforce negativity for a group of patients. Is this how you really behave? I think you are doing a great deal of damage to others who haven’t yet found that perfect doctor. Who might see someone who read your diatribes against all of us and may add that to his/her mental list of negativity about chronic pain patients. We are human too…We remember too how WE are treated and spoken too. Even though the expectation is that you get credit for being sick or in pain, there is no excuse for utter nastiness when you then demand that we turn around and take care of you…We do…But we don’t forget…I hope you realize that potential damage of your words in this arena. Empathy is NOT what you are generating…quite the opposite. And that is what is “sad” about this little blog…

          • You’ve never read where I said I didn’t have a good doctor, I do, and I do not go to a pain management clinic. Got me mixed up with someone else, sorry. Before coming across this blog my issue and anger yes that’s right and lots of it!!! was with negligence and those involved covering it up, well hospital corruption!!! I won’t bother telling my mothers cruel,inhumane and torturous story again, most of all not to you. But I soon discovered this blog read the original story, then the replies of your own, to the chronic pain patients, I was shocked and applaud, took interest in this for two reasons I to am a person who lives and survives with constant pain, and felt so so sorry for those who shared their stories and that had been labeled a drug seeker unfairly which is unethical. all day long!!! and how doing so caused so many more problems for them, which is negligence all day long!!! These people were trying to tell you that you do get it wrong most times, and quite frankly it’s obvious you guys don’t care at all! Or you would of replied in a different way. You do have a right to vent, so do we!! what you don’t have a right to do is act like you know it all and your beyond learning from those whose problem this really is. (OURS) That’s why everyone has referred to you all here on this blog as arrogant and cocky. Because of your attitudes. You guys can always take this blog back over, vent all night long I suggest you go for it, I’ll back off for awhile and see if that makes a difference, bet it don’t though!! For the record I only care about the pain patients on this blog the rest of you have proved your true colors over and over. We can’t win for losing if we try to reason with you nicely were drug seekers if we get angry were drug seekers( stereotype ) PLEASE you’ve all made sure what ever emotions are shown it will justify what you say and what you do to us. Cover your butts why don’t you, that’s how it works out for you when you make mistakes. Reply more observer, I’m sure you’ll get civil responses back, let’s see…

        • JE-SUS! Apparently you girls can dish it out but anything that is slightly critical to your obsessive trolling of every sentence ever posted on this blog is fair game for nastiness, name calling, and spittle containing anger. You are totally offended by being typecast yet you do the same, only exponentially worse!! You are unwittingly feeding into every stereotype inferred by the original blog. You hang onto and pick apart every word. Lash out and disparage the very group of people you long for perfection and compassion from…
          I have to cringe when you refer to your “perfect” pain doctors…This is what borderline personalities do. Oh doctor, you are so wonderful. All the rest of them are douchebags, scum, idiots, or worse. Every possible medical mishap had happened to you at the hands of uncaring and greedy doctors? At some point…hate to say…it does sound batshit…Every cycle of obsessive ranting brings on knowing nods and flashbacks to this kind of behavior that we have all experienced. I’m glad you have your wonderful pain doctor because that means one of us dodged the bullet!! And see, I haven’t used one vulgar, demeaning word…But I’ll bet this reply will bring on a few that shows just how classy you ladies really are…

  72. Dear god some of you are batshit crazy. I was sucked into this post for a good twenty minutes, reading in horror the conversations between healthcare professionals and patients. I am a nurse in the ED. I see both sides, the drug seekers and the chronic patients. I have empathy for both. And, to be quite honest, will dole out anything the doctor orders to either side. I am glad it is not my decision on what to order. The only thing I care about is that you treat me with the same respect I treat you with. And that goes for ANY kind of patient. Because far too often I get yelled at for something I cannot control. Someone doesn’t like the medication ordered, or more frequently “why can’t you find out what is wrong with me!” Im trying my best. That is all anyone can do. I will offer kindness and support, if you will only offer me the same. And as an end note, can some of you jerks not label medical professionals all the same? I studied hard to be where I am. We all did. We don’t deliberately miss something, but we’re human too. I love (most) of my patients. I love being able to provide relief to those in pain. But what I don’t love is the mean people that come in. Don’t be mean guys! That’s pretty much the answer for anything.

    • Lola Just curious which medical persons comments were batshit crazy to you? Thinking just the upset chronic pain patients venting about their treatment being labeled, and experiences bothered you a little more? How come when people are pissed off about how their treated they have to be labeled CRAZY? said you see both sides and I’m positive you do! would it be fair to say though in your position you see and understand those in your professions side much more? That’s normal,see how fair that was?? If only!!! I’m sick and tired about how we all treat each other, really. Even as upsetting as this blog is, all the stories I’ve read, my own experience, I’m not walking into no e.r. And treating anyone with disrespect, I’ll be honest if someone speaks to me ugly I’ll give it one more chance thinking perhaps someone just upset them a patient or one of their own- whatever, then if me being polite and kind still is met with ugly, then I’ll probably just be ugly back!! Not with yelling or cursing just serious straight faced, pretty much exactly however their speaking to me- is that unfair or wrong. NURSES ARE ( can) BE TREATED LIKE CRAP BY EVERYONE– not to exclude your very own!!! That is, I’m sorry more batshit CRAZY!!! Will not make excuses for patients but most of them you experience are SICK, and most times SCARED, and let’s say have been mistreated by others, could sound like an excuse or perhaps a reason for non trust., were human to, right? Those of us who respect those of you who do care and love what you do— and have done right by us all. SO SO SORRY when someone treated you unfairly for just doing your job and THANK YOU, from those of us knowing you feel unappreciated a lot. You do deserve better from us all, ALL.

  73. Carol and anyone else!

    It is not unheard of for medical insiders to monitor these posts! Undermine the positions of people who post negatively, and even deny medical care to people who express a negative opinion! They have so much money to spread this propaganda!

    • Carol and anyone else!

      It is not unheard of for medical insiders to monitor these posts!

      This is a medical blog.

      It is posted on the website of Emergency Physicians Monthly.

      Who would you expect to be “monitoring these posts”? Aluminum siding salesmen and acrylic nail technicians?

      • Anyone else, I know that— and don’t care!!!!! Shared my truth, experience and God given right opinion— as if….. Please””””

      • Dear Mandy, I re-read all my replies and comments, it was amusing how you put that out there (the amount to poke fun of me,) however completely unfazed by it, sorry? I stand by the opinions I expressed based on my personal experiences. And many replies were to pain patients stories I felt sorry and sad for, the other replies were to what I felt were ugly and mean spirited people for no good reasons, basically bullies! What I know now and didn’t know then-is this blog is suppose to be an outlet for you guys to vent about us people (patients) voice your pet peeves -whatever- I’m all for that!!!! What’s irresponsible is it not being kept private, we do not need to know how much we are disliked and how everything about us annoys lots of you, and hundreds of reasons why we should not come for help ever, no good can or does come from that, it provokes outrage, distrust and fear. Aren’t things bad enough for everyone without anyone trying to make things worse? This blog is an isolated few of those who don’t love what they do any more ( based on replies and comments) in comparison to the thousands and thousands who do love what they do and are great at it. I will show respect to those who deserve respect, can’t see myself allowing anyone to be mean or rude to me over an honest opinion without me defending myself. If that gives you guys a target to vent on – just go for it… Sincerely Carole…..

        • Haha. You took general sarcasm and turned it into nasty and ugly and personal. Just like now, you troll over and over every entry and spin yourself up into angry little fit. Talk to any profession that deals with the worst of humanity. They talk amongst themselves…everyone does it 🙂 But the nasty edge has come from you and your gang of pain girls. I know what you are trying to do but as I have tried to warn you before, the rage and insults only reinforces every negative stereotype about certain patient groups. You are hurting your cause. Many professionals read this and quietly are glad you are someone else’s patient. This isn’t the forum. You should be doing this in a patient forum and then perhaps translating the group opinion in a more coherent way in a professional forum.
          Honestly, you weren’t invited to this party. If you don’t like the atmosphere or the food….leave. Don’t stick around and stir up fights with anyone who will listen.
          In sure a professional with an axe to grind could find their way into a patient forum and undermine every comment about doctors and medicine that were bandied about.
          But we would never do that. Patients need places to say what they feel, what they have tried, who helped them, etc. Go there and help those people if that is your goal. You are hurting them here.

          • So—-just and only sarcasm from you guys here perfectly innocent and professional behavior CORRECT? Just regular old human beings- venting!!! And of course rage (please) from those who long before I showed up took what they felt were unfair and negative comments and outlooks on a topic that did apply to them by the way, so yes they took it personal- and also vented. Am I missing something? Do you want because you put it out to the public feedback or not, are the rules anything goes for you and for us-to walk on eggshells or else? And that ( or else ) speaks volumes about some of you and your characters. This blog here isn’t the only one that’s got double standards and is unfair to people ( patients). You know what’s so rediculous, other medical blogs I’ve read the public feedback to the SARCASIC ONLY remarks made by this one and that one -we ladies here have nothing on them!!! Not even close… You know what to observer I hardly even reply anymore. So get over it already, jeez!!! It’s not that serious!!! Since your an expert, what exactly is the decided agreement on the pain lady stereotype? I AM SO CURIOUS, I’m going to predict you wont go there , but I beg of you to prove me wrong!!! PLEASE. You to also don’t have to read what I write, nor reply, guess you can’t help yourself, as well, HaHa back at ya! Practice what you preach, or don’t preach.

          • And I wasn’t angry, nor did I through a fit, give me a break. Just a little extreme on this one this time, observer. If anyone displayed anger it was you, over a comment that was honest and truthful for the most part fair, I’m confused its weird what you will reply to vs. what you don’t!

          • I rest my case…
            ‘It’s not that serious’? My point to you initially. Go back and count the number of promoted and (mostly) unprompted replies to statements made some time ago on this blog. You always find something new to scream about.
            If you don’t like it, don’t join in. You don’t like the attitude some have towards some pain patients? You aren’t helping…I warn you.
            I cringed for you initially. But now it’s just morbid curiosity as to how crazy this gets. Like a train wreck you can’t tear your eyes away from…

  74. I hurt my back a few days ago loading done garden supplied into my car. I aggravated a pre-existing ligament injury from 20+ years ago. At first it was just the back pain, I got a decadron shot from urgent care and they sent be home with toradol and a mild muscle relaxant. I was okay until two days later, when I woke up with horrible, strong back spasms that felt like they were going to cut me in two at the lumbar spine. I fought my husband on calling paramedics because I didn’t want the expense, but after two hours of the horrific pain,I relented. It was an ordeal on its own just to move me from my bed to the stretcher. I am a med student and I’ve worked in the ED as patient tech for years before… I knew what I would probably face because it was pure muscle spasms, no fall, no bruising, no paresthesia, no radiating pain to the legs, no bowel or urinary compromise. I went in feeling defensive that they’d treat me like a drug seeker. Sure enough, the nurse was already crisp with me, the doc, who didn’t remember me from when I worked there was very passive and took a while to even do an exam. I must have had ten spasms before they gave me anything. Within ten minutes after they pushed iv diazepam, the spasms began again, climbing in intensity. Doc set of another round off spasms when he did my patellar reflex. I kept trying to explain I didn’t want pain drugs,I just wanted the spasms to stop, but I think it only made me sound crazier. Even my husband got annoyed with me because I kept telling them no narcotics. My nurse for some reason would twist the iv line and pushed it deeper every time she gave meds. The whole stay started feeling as if I was being punished for coming in with pain. They wanted to discharge me without doing any imaging, and it wasn’t until I insisted that an xray was done. Nothing got resolved, I got sent home after a couple of hours, and I just felt ashamed and let down after the whole ordeal was over. I have a high pain threshold and gave birth twice with no pain meds. I didn’t so much as whimper didn’t labor, but my back pain was so horrible,I screamed like a mad woman and twisted trying to find a less painful angle for my spine… and could only imagine this is what rabies must feel like, from those images in those old medicine books.

    I realize that drug seekers are a big problem, but not everyone in pain with an obscure etiology is seeking drugs.. Then there will be people like me, who are in excruciating pain, but will refuse relief on the principle that we don’t want to be labeled drug seekers and judged by our care takers when we accept narcotics to end the pain.

    Like someone early on said, pain is subjective, and only the person feeling it can determine whether it is something they can handle or not. I hope that my own experience well make me more open minded and careful about how to judge a patient’s needs once I earn my md… I certainly don’t want someone coming to me, seeking relief and gave him or her feel like she should be ashamed or punished for coming in.

    • May I ask you what did your x-rays show? And are you okay now? Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m positive all the troubled pain patients on this blog will show you the upmost respect, even more so because of how you’ll apply what you went through in a positive way to help and understand others.

      • Okay no reply back, it’s all good..really hope everything turned out okay for you.. NoveMSIII…. I wanted to leave this message for WhitecoatMD. I could be wrong, and it’s just a gut feeling, but something tells me your showing up here as observer. You have a friend/ fan in another area called peebles that suggested we’ve kidnapped you and hi- jacked your blog, she wants you to come back soooo bad ( just saying I’d watch out for her) FREAKY!!! Please let her know your okay and you were just in the break room all this time observing 🙂 and for the record when those of you are called out or told off by people you offend and hurt- playing the cray-cray card against folks is expected, and has no impact because it’s old and weak, and that’s where you always go because you have nothing else!! MD you being as smart as you are why couldn’t you tell I was giving you guys a taste of your own medicine. How did you guys like being judged and if your good care takers being lumped in with others who are not?? Next time MD and there will be one just go UP STAIRS ,if you didn’t do anything wrong and have nothing to hide- YOU DONT, and it doesn’t take a lawyer to tell you so. and throw away that handbook it sucks!! Labeling innocent chronic pain patients is irresponsible and negligent and you know it!! Do something awesome in this world and re- write that handbook. I stand solid on my opinions of errors and mistakes harming and killing patients and those responsible not being held accountable as an evil and corrupt expensively designed system that’s unfair and unjust. That might protect you for the moment but honestly I don’t know how you can live with yourselves selling your souls to the devil. Yes you advance with your careers at the expense of others whose blood is on your hands, and you know who you are out there!! For me I already knew the truth I saw it with my own eyes- I WANTED A SORRY AND ALWAYS WILL. You’d feel the same if you were in my shoes, odds are you probably will be 🙁 One day… WhitecoatMD take your blog back, you should thank me I blew it up and brought it back up top made your own feel sorry for you, you shouldn’t need or want that though I’m sure you have thick skin don’t you? I’ve heard that’s what working the e.r. Does to you””””

    • I aggravated a pre-existing ligament injury from 20+ years ago. […] They wanted to discharge me without doing any imaging, and it wasn’t until I insisted that an xray was done

      At some point in med school, they will teach you that soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments do not show up on X-ray. Strained ligaments and muscles spasms are neither going to show up on, nor be helped by, an X-ray.

      Until then, you would probably do better not to argue with the actual working physicians when they tell you things like, “an X-ray is not medically indicated for your history, symptoms and presentation.” The X-ray you finally got, after insisting you wouldn’t leave until you got one, showed nothing, because there was nothing to show. Which is something the physicians knew all along, but were too scared of you kicking them in the Press-Ganeys to refuse your demand.

      Nothing got resolved, I got sent home after a couple of hours, and I just felt ashamed and let down after the whole ordeal was over.

      I’m genuinely curious. You were apparently given IV valium and other unspecified IV meds, you were by your own account quite vociferous in your refusal of analgesics, you were given a physical exam, and you even got the X-ray you demanded. What do you think they should have done differently? What treatment do you think would have given you a better outcome? Did you feel that you needed more benzos than what they gave you? Were you hoping they’d somehow insist, in the face of your adamant refusal of analgesics, that you must have opioids anyway? I feel like I’m missing something here.

      • Kathy Kooper on

        What a smug response. You are correct that most of the time a soft tissue strain or sprain won’t show up on X-ray. I lifted a box of tile while sanding a floor 15 years ago. I felt something snap. I went for a long time without a Doctor, I also went to a Chiropractor. The pain only got worse. I was denied and x-ray for years due to the Doctors ignoring me. I asked for an X-Ray, not medication, repeatedly. It did not occur to me to take anything more than Ibuprophen. I was Labeled a drug seeker anyway. In my case an X-ray might have saved me pain, nerve damage and Surgery. On nasty Doc was on Drugs himself, busted for Coke! I was told the pain was “All in my head.” This went on for years! By the time I had an X-ray, I have permanent nerve damage and my leg was nearly paralyzed. Several Docs told me my pain was “Hysterical” or I had a female condition, the ridiculous diagnosis I got were pure crap! I will likely never work again, my surgery was too late to fix it. They removed the disc, and wrote the wrong procedure on the Surgical report. If only I had a real diagnosis. I even tried to work and function in excruciating pain, which waiting for referrals and help of any kind! There was none for years. I ma so sick of smug Doctors and their deliberately false records!

      • I was responding to NoveMSIII’s comment. I wasn’t generalising as to every single person who has ever had any type of back pain, ever. Why do so many of you sit out there thinking that every single comment is about you, personally?

        I aggravated a pre-existing ligament injury from 20+ years ago… [I]t was pure muscle spasms, no fall, no bruising, no paresthesia, no radiating pain to the legs, no bowel or urinary compromise.

        This is the specific scenario to which I was responding. The ED physicians didn’t feel that an X-ray was warranted, and based on the information given, I tend to agree. No one here was actually talking about you.

        A doctor can write a comment about a mother who brings her child in for a mosquito bite above the eye and demands an unnecessary MRI to make sure it hasn’t “gone to her brain”, and somewhere out in blogland there will be a perpetually-aggrieved keyboard warrior ready to fire back, “Well my cousin’s husband’s sister’s child was getting headaches and blurred vision and they took her to the ED and when the doctors gave her an MRI it turned out to be a grade III glioblastoma!!11!!! And she DIED!!! So you stupid doctors should just shut up and give people what they want!!!11!!!”


      • What one might call smug another might call a perfectly fair Question. Because of this very sensitive topic, I would of hoped Nove… Would of shared more info, like did problems persist and she ended up needing an mri or cat scan, because the x-Ray could only reveal so much. I know it’s only our business if she makes it our business but I would of hoped her story ended up proving her needing that visit to the e.r. To shut down doubters or sceptics. I believe she shared with a bigger picture in mind though!!! That she was in a position to see and understand both sides of this issue from a fair point of view. That’s what I got from it. Bottom line hope she’s doing well.

    • Nove, thanks for sharing your experience, it was honest and sincere. I can’t imagine anyone having anything negative to say about it. I sure hope your doing good by now. I do believe because of what you experienced it will in the long run work out for you as a doctor and for those who end up in your care.

  75. I know this post is old but I would like to share my story. I was in a neighborhood that I wasn’t too familiar with for work/training purposes the person training me wasn’t too familiar with the area either. However, we both knew the area was a bit sketchy. At around 11am I started having what felt like gas pain decided to take a gas x threw up and thought I probably threw up the first gas x maybe that’s why I’m in pain. Took another gas x and threw up again. By now the pain was severe (I gave birth without an epidural I can handle this) I was going to go to my hotel and sleep it off. I started throwing up again and decided I should probably go to the ER. I don’t know where the hospital is and neither does the girl training me. We Google and find one its not in a great area. We get there.
    I walk in and tell the lady behind the desk that I’m in a lot of pain and I think my appendix is going to burst. She ROLLS her eyes SIGHS says I’m probably just looking for drugs. I start crying she gets my information down tells me to sit at this point it’s too painful to sit to painful to stand I start pacing back and forth mumbling I’m not going to make it. After 30 minutes my name is called I tell the nurse I think it’s my appendix he asks where I feel the pain I tell him it’s in the center often belly button he tells me that it’s not my appendix then that it’s probably just kidney stones tells me to sit outside again. After another 30 minutes I’m taken into an exam room I get my blood drawn I tell the doctor what’s wrong he pushes on my left side and I don’t feel extra pain he pushed on my right and I scream. Turns out it was my appendix and he said, “that nurse who told you that appendix pain is on the right side always was wrong it usually starts off in the middle.”
    I dealt with a lot of wonderful people that day I just can’t help but think about the what if’s. I was almost labeled a drug seeker. Most people go into the emergency room because something is wrong they don’t need anyone else to make them feel worse than they already do.

  76. I’m just checking to see if I had been punished and cut off?? Freedom of speech, sorta for a little while… He did warn me!!! Sorry people in pain- God bless

    • Kathy Kooper on

      Good Grief!
      I commented a long time ago, and I have not ben responding to this nonsense! Poor Carole, I guess us people who have to deal with pain are not worthy of competent care!
      The Douchy Doc who started this Post! Thanks for the sensationalistic Crap! I am sorry about your poor kids, I guess their lives are sufficiently miserable they will take other people’s Opiates, or huff gas or something! A lot of these teenagers steal them from Grandma and Grandpas medicine Chest, so you better start there! I t was nice to know the ignorant rationalization behind denying people pain care, ruining lives, misdiagnosing Pain, and just the general attitude among some of our worst Doctors, who are allowed to vilify Pain patients and their “Lessers”! That Doc is one that probably doesn’t think people deserve access to any Medical care without paying. I have read these Doc Newsletters, all they do is whine about how they are not appreciated, they thought they would be treated like gods when they became Doctors!

      Geesh! Poor Carole!

      • Kathy that thought was in reference to observers replies to me, I thought since I’m outspoken and he ( warned me ) id probably be silenced here on this blog so I tested it and I never expected it to go through, but it did! I now, read just about everything on ( w.c. c. r. ) I’ve made a few replies here and there, but none of them have gotten a rise out of me like this one. In fact some reads have been most positive. He (observer ) pokes fun at me about crashing but truly the jokes on him, I crashed on sept. 4 th 2012, speaking up and fighting back about issues I’m passionate about- heals me and makes me only stronger. Notice this HE did not answer my question exactly in his opinion what is the stereotype of a pain LADY!!! I really want to know, no kidding I’m sure we ladies will find it very interesting. What would be even more hurtful is if he is really a SHE!— In all honesty for me, this Doctors story about drug seekers suck leads to several other problemed topics and medical issues left unresolved, causes collateral damage for everyone. This is my story and I’m sticking to it!!! My name is Carole I live and survive with constant pain I don’t need or want pity, I need and deserve help. My mom was harmed and not helped, by a profession I admire, respect, and trusted. Five little letters put together S O R R Y…HUGE, If that had happened you would not be reading my words right here right now. Let me make this perfectly clear—- you are our Hero’s and Angels wheither you want to be or not—( for some of you resenting it ?) you should be loving and embracing it -as your HONOR… Falling off that pedestal that some of us put you on ironically could lead you in our places. Please have understanding and show compassion……

      • Oops, is there a medic in the house? It appears we’ve had some blue-on-blue action here. Poor gals are so trigger-happy, they’ll fire on anything that moves!

        • Now you’ve done it Mandy!! The girls are going to be so offended that they might…DOUBLE DOUCHE you!! Way worse than just one douche! Run for the hills!! Did I not say this was becoming high entertainment? You can be a hero and an angel one day (do you wanna be her angel?) and a DOUCHE the next!! Although, we may have discovered the problem here. Last time I heard “douche” used as a “mean” word was out of the mouth of a 12 year old boy!!

      • Hey Kathy– thank God you did not reply to those two who were slapping each other a high five as if they really said something great, I was like, what? ? first for Mandy, umm I had nothing! then observer shows up for the night shift and at 1:05 (must of been a slow night) made his grand appearance, I still had nothing. Still don’t.

  77. I have been diagnosed with herniated discs at the c5 and lumbar sacral joint. I was assigned a physician after an episode of transient global amnesia. When I complained of neck pain and told him I use ibuprofen in 1000mg doses he replied that he saw nothing in my records about herniated discs then put me in a headlock and tried to force my chin to my chest. (This after holding up three fingers and giggling when he told me he gave me a prostate exam but probably don’t remember it) I am sick of being treated like a drug seeker so I no longer seek treatment for it. I just live with taking four thousand or more milligrams of ibuprofen a day. One day the pain will drive me to suicide since I can no longer do anything I enjoy. Doctors and the medical profession suck they don’t treat patients they treat insurance policies.

    • Polkadottybatty on

      David, I totally understand & empathize with you about the true lack of pain management & treatment from doctors & the ED. However, *please* DO NOT continue to take 1000-mg. doses of NSAIDS! You will totally wreck your stomach & risk giving yourself a bleeding ulcer. I, myself, have had to rely upon NSAIDS for a number of years when doctors pretty much told me to “piss up a rope” when it came to pain control & even though I followed their exact directions, doing this ate a hole in my stomach lining & to this day I cannot take them for this reason (also, since I have gastroparesis, which causes most/all of my pain issues, NSAIDS cause me to vomit every single time and cause me horrible nausea, no matter how many of my prescribed PPI’s I take beforehand). I am truly afraid that a GI bleed may be in your near future if you continue to dose yourself this way. I am sorry for your pain. Please know you are not alone & that there DO exist sympathetic doctors. It’s just a question of finding a good one & hanging onto them. Will keep you in my prayers. 🙂

    • David, you definitely should take the caring and concerned advice from ” polkadottybatty”. I’m sure your question then would be so what do I take? What do I do? Can you get another referral to see a neurologist, a neurosurgeon? I believe that might be your best bet for help and relief of pain. I’m really sorry about your situation and I’m hopeful someone else who cares will read this and suggest something that would make your quality of life better. God bless and don’t give up, never give up.

      • To: CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS ONLY…. Do you want to feel like someone cares about us, go to Kevin MD.com’s blog join it, today he has a post it reads Managing pain is a focus of medicine today, Here’s why. I realize reading this doesn’t resolve the negative treatment you RECIEVE in our emergency dept.’s or with some of your private care takers I’m suggesting you read it with the understanding that there are Dr.’s out there that do care, and are trying to help us be understood and not judged and labeled as seeker’s . We have a long way to go, I get it. Meanwhile hold on to any hope you can get and don’t give up…

  78. You did not cause her cancer. It’s terribly sad to find out that’s what was really wrong with her, and I’m sure you must feel like an ogre for thinking she was just a drug seeker out to manipulate for her fix, but you did act with compassion regardless of what you thought was going on.
    Don’t berate yourself. This isn’t your fault.

  79. Wow, being overly nice means you’re a dope fiend?! I treat people with kindness and consideration because of the way I was raised, but if I ever end up in the ER in severe pain then I’ll remember that I have to be a jerk unless I want to remain in terrible pain. This is terrible. The term ‘drug seeker’ shows what’s wrong with this way of thinking. If someone is in pain, then why wouldn’t they be seeking drugs? The term itself doesn’t differentiate between legitimate pain sufferers and dope fiends, and it sounds like the ER doesn’t either.

    • I feel youn are totally right! I just wish this world learns soon that drugs are no good, rather just harm and harm. One should stay away from them. I am glad people like yon are sharing such useful articles.

  80. This complete propaganda , I have chronic pain that surgery would fix and all the doctors and insurance companies wasn’t is for me me to keep popping pills that dont work. opiates don’t work they get you high nd mask the pain but the problem is still there , they wan to turn me into some junkie cause they will make more money off me than just doing the surgery and fixing the problem. doctors and insurance companies are making a nation of drug addicts. Opiates do not work!

Leave A Reply