I have a spinal fusion, spinal cord stimulator, and I am in pain management program but they do not have urgent appoints and will not adjust meds between appointments so they tell be to go to the ER but the ER staff treat me like an addict. I currently have a hugh bruise going across my back and hip from a fall 2 days ago and am in terrible pain. Any one else running into these problems of caught in the middle between pain management and ER?
Unfortunately unless your situation is a life or death matter the ER is more concerned with keeping their licenses and not going to jail then treating the patient who is in so much pain that their only option is bring themselves to the one place that is designed as the fail safe for those who have nowhere else to turn. Who is to say it is not a life and death matter to the person in that situation as a patient, trust me pain sucks and sometimes its enough to wish it would just go away no matter what the cost.
We live in the great land of Federalism and because every state depends greatly on federal dollars the federal government controls everything. Go against the fed and they cut your funding it's that simple. Even worse is the federal court system which is not tied up and bogged down with case after case but rather prosecutors can sit back and go after anything they want and unfortunately nowadays that means they are after the medical professionals who the government blames for the very undefined and often misunderstood "opioid epidemic". I have a lot of articles recently (peer reviewed, academic, and not propaganda) which contradict the definition of "opioid epidemic", measurement of the statistics used to support the critical government findings in the "opioid epidemic", and the correlation of cause and effect to suggest that how the government is proceeding is actually working. Addiction is not dependence and for people living with chronic pain (and acute flair ups) stop interfering with their medical care. Good people are dependent on these medications so that they can live their lives by reducing their pain to a somewhat manageable level. Stop harassing the medical professionals who have made in their professional opinion an assessment that using these pain medications benefits the patient more than it could possibly hurt them. Stop the incorrect propaganda and the ridiculous laws being passed and let's get back to patient care and doing what's best for them.
I make it a point to ALWAYS inform one of my doctors (PCP or neurosurgeon, NOT the pain mis-management team!) that I'm going to the ER, and that they should expect a phone call to verify that I am NOT a drug seeker and would ONLY resort to going to the ER if I was in dire pain. It has worked for me the two times I've had to invoke it.
You can also demand to see the patient advocate, every hospital has one.
Also, if you are treated poorly, BE SURE to get names, and then report them to your county, state medical societies AND to the DHHS. Your head will spin at how fast you get results when DHHS gets involved, especially with the new rules from the Task Force!!
I find it fascinating to hear what people think of an ER. I have Fibro, ruptured discs in my back, neuropathy, arthritis and I’m an ER nurse. I see how people are treated in the ER. I think there is a lot of confusion about our role in medicine. Emergency Medicine doesn’t touch on any of these diagnoses. ER doctors want to do life and death emergencies only. I work in a rural ER where we see more clinic type things due to the area we are in. When I ruptured a disc in my back I went to the ER, they refused to do an MRI or anything other than an X-ray. They are now not wanting to run the other tests because according to them, that’s where my primary care doctor should do that. I felt like I was being treated like a drug seeker! I even told them, I don’t want pain meds. Only Ketoralac and a steroid, they happily did that. I told them they could flag my chart if they want. I’ve had gastric bypass and can’t take NSAIDS because it could cause failure at the areas they put your bowel together. I have found pain pills do the same thing. I use edibles and medical marijuana capsules. Both help me immensely. I couldn’t work if I didn’t. Having said that, I don’t take anything when I have to work, I wait until bedtime, take my capsule and go to bed. Works well for me.
It's horrible. This ridiculous solution to "the opiate epidemic", is to cut off prescription medications to those in unbelievable pain...while heroin addicts continue to die from fentanyl overdoses. I had spine fusion surgery and was released from the hospital, which was 80 miles from my home, with 5 days of pain medication. A surgery where 8 screws, 4 rods were screwed into my spine and 5 days of pain meds were all they could give me. I could get no refill, only a new prescription with a paper prescription. My husband had to drive that 80 miles to get that paper.
I already knew never to go to ER, because they wouldn't help. I went once in such severe abdominal pain I was almost passing out. The first thing they said was "we cannot give you any pain meds"...and I only wanted to know what was wrong. Turns out I had 3 pre-cancerous tumors and severe adenomyosis. A condition listed as one of the most painful and very much related to inflammatory disease. One day this era in history will go down as one of the most severe abuses against those suffering from painful disease. For now, folks just want to feel warm and fuzzy about all the heroin addicts they might be saving. The ignorance is astounding.