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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Interesting Information re: war on doctors in FL

These new laws in Florida are having a major impact upon legitimate patients who need pain medications for real illnesses and injuries such as cancer, lyme disease, elher's danlos, severe damage to the spine and more. They are being denied pain medication when they present a legal prescription to the pharmacy, even those who have never shown any drug seeking/addictive behavior. Even patients who have filled at the same pharmacy for years (exactly 30 days apart, always from the same doctor; following all the rules), without any incidents such as demanding early refills or saying they lost their meds, are being turned away.

The statistics

Some pharmacies are refusing to bill insurance companies for narcotic prescriptions ( and only the CII scripts; they'll fill and bill for anything else for the same patient), demanding the customer pay cash and charges anywhere from $6.00 to $15.00 per pill.

As a chronic pain patient I have no problem following all the rules, am seen at the same doctor's office that I have used for the last 9 years, use the same pharmacy for those same 9 years (for all meds), pass all my urine and blood tests for medication levels etc. etc. Yet now I have to worry that I will be refused my medication without cause by the pharmcy or the pharmacy demands I pay cash when I have insurance and they've always billed the insurance until this month?

The government is using false statistics. Anyone who dies with a narcotic in their blood stream is included in their counting of deaths via these drugs, even when the drugs weren't the cause of death. They are not reporting that many of these deaths are by people with histories of drug abuse and with MULTIPLE drugs in their system, not just prescription pain killers. So long as there is a prescription pain killer in the person's system they are counted as a drug overdose to that medication, even if they died from a car accident, or combination of illegal drugs/alochol with the prescription medication. This is misleading people on purpose!

"the opioid issue looks very different when you examine the numbers closely. For one, the rates of Americans addicted to OxyContin, Vicodin, percocet, fentanyl and other products in our synthetic narcotic medicine cabinet are not rising. In fact, they have been steady at 0.8% since 2002, according to the government's own statistics."

"fewer than 1% of people over 30 (without a prior history of serious drug problems) become an addict while taking opioids; for chronic pain patients who are not screened for a history of previous drug problems, the addiction rate is 3.27%. That means, of course, that more than 96% do not become addicted."

"these statistics usually go unmentioned in media accounts because they do not confirm the preferred panic narrative. Also left out is the fact that around 80% of Oxy addicts (a) did not obtain the drug via legitimate prescription for pain and/or (b) had a prior experience of rehab. Their contact with the medical system—if any—was not what caused their addictions."

(same link as above)

2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that ,"non-medical use" of prescription painkillers in the last year among people aged 12 to 25 has actually dropped since 2002.

It is really sad that my constitional right against illegal search and seizure has been removed with this new FL law. Any law enforcement official can now go into my doctor's office and say there is an investigation and walk out with a copy of my medical record, WITHOUT A WARRANT and without proving their is actually an investigation. Courts have upheld the idea that law enforcement can lie to people in order to get information. This new law removed the need of a warrant to obtain medical records for any patient who received a prescription pain medication.  Why is this allowed? because I am a chronic pain patient who takes opiates, so I don't get the same rights as others anymore. Why isn't this allowed against diabetics who can give away their needles or have them stolen by IV drug users? Why isn't this allowed for high blood pressure patients or any other patient in need of a maintence medication (med taken daily to control disease/illness)?

The other thing that is not making it into the news reports is that the vast majority of the "pill mills" (walk in, pay $200 bucks walk out with a bottle of hundreds of narcs) are already gone! Most of them have been gone for a year now. The DEA has shifted focus to any doctors who prescribe pain medication. They are also not reporting when trucks that are transporting the drugs are hijacked or robbed, nor are they reporting on the number of drugs that come from other countries such as Mexico. Instead they are focusing on doctors and pharmacies. As a result doctors and pharmacies fear treating pain and turn patients away, drop them from their practice, or just refuse to give them their medication.

Did you know that a patient going through narcotics withdrawal who also has high blood pressure is at a higher risk of dying from a stroke or seizures during withdrawal? This terrifies me! My possible death doesn't matter, so long as the people who CHOOSE to engage in illegal activities are saved from their own CHOICES.

Law enforcement should not be allowed to decide what appropriate pain treatment is for a patient, that is the doctor's job.

Anywhere from 75 to 116 million (depending on whose statistics you read) Americans live with chronic pain, yet we no longer deserve our constituitional rights or proper medical treatment because of the choices other people make.

It is NOT the doctors fault, nor the pharmacists' faults, that some people choose to take these meds and get high off of them. They should not be penalized for the choices people make.

As usual it is the chronic pain patients who are being denied proper medical care and suffering. Many of us won't speak out about it either. Why? Out of fear of being labeled a drug addict and losing what little pain control we do have (if any at all). Thus we are intimdated into losing our right to free speach because if we speak up, we are said to be "drug seeking" and "addicts" and lose medical treatment.

I am so scared. My doctors are scared.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Florida Gets Worse For Chronic Pain Patients

Florida has become even worse for a chronic pain patient. So far removing our rights to privacy of our medical records, insisting on drug testing, telling us which pharmacies we can go to, primary care doctors no longer allowed to write controlled substances or treat pain, dose and time limits on pain management after surgeries (based not on condition of patient but dea guidelines), removing our constitutional rights regarding search and seizure (allowing police officers or federal agents the right to take our medical records without a warrant), requiring we only use one pharmacy at all times, and more is not enough for the government apparently. I've written before how chronic pain patients are losing their rights, especially in Florida. This is just one more thing in that direction.

Now pharmacies in Florida are actually refusing to fill legal prescriptions for pain medications! Some of the stories are simply the pharmacy refusing to fill the prescription outright, but others are much worse. One patient had a pharmacist demand to see her medical records and x-rays/cat scans/MRI films to prove she had a condition that required the medication. Other patients were lied to by the pharmacists. They were told by a pharmacy worker that the pharmacy was out of the medication and when they went back a couple hours later (on a hunch and because they are only allowed to use 1 pharmacy) they were told the pharmacy had plenty at the time and that the pharmacy's stock of the medication had been fine for weeks.

There is a petition, started by Donna Ratliff of the American Pain Foundation Florida can be found here:

The goal of this petition is to get the pharmacies to stop refusing to fill legal prescriptions. Please take a few minutes to read the petition and the comments made by those who signed it, then sign the petition!

Chronic pain patients are NOT drug addicts and we should not be treated as such!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A good loss of pride

My eldest niece has come to live with us. She is 17 and a wonderful girl. Last night we needed to go to the store because she needed some clothes for school that meet the uniform based dress code. I'm not sure why but when she mentioned it something in me jumped up and seemed to yell "I WANT TO GO TO THE STORE!". This surprised me because I have not wanted to go to the store in a while since walking around really hurts. Also I have refused to use the little electric scooter type carts in the stores. The idea of using one made me feel embarrassed, humiliated, and afraid everyone would be looking at me. I know these are stupid reasons for not using an item that is meant to help my mobility and thus retain (or regain) some of my independence. Ron said I could go to the store but I had to promise to use one of the electric scooters and I agreed.

On the way to Wal Mart I was nervous and felt a bit defeated, but I was also so happy to be out of the house for something other than a doctor's appointment or procedure. So when we got to the store I chose a scooter and sat down. I read the directions and was happy to see how easy this thing would be to use.

This is not exactly like the one I used but very very close. Anyway, I used the scooter and at first I felt a bit embarrassed but I was surprised to find that it passed quickly. It was replaced with this wonderful feeling of freedom and happiness! I was shopping and could zip around the entire store without all that severe pain I now get when I walk or stand for more than 3 to 5 minutes! I was ecstatic! Heather and I got quite a few laughs out of it as well. They take a bit of getting used to for things like turning and backing up. I kept backing up on accident, or hitting a rack when I turned. At one point I accidentally pushed the end cap of one aisle out from where it was supposed to be. Heather put it back for me. I was a little embarrassed when I did that, but mostly I laughed at my mistakes and just enjoyed being able to go all over the store without hurting myself.

It was fantastic! Getting a taste of the freedom and independence I could have if I owned a scooter erased all my stupid reasons for not trying to get one before. Those reasons all boiled down to pride. Now I want a scooter, so I am going to find out how to go about getting one. Either a scooter or an electric wheelchair, something so I can have my independence back a little.

I am very proud of myself for finally trying the scooter. I also feel really stupid for not trying it sooner!

Here's hoping I can get one.