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- Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:59 pm
It is a long story, but I had been on pain meds prior to surgery through a pain Dr. The Pain Dr. had referred me to the Surgeon as they worked out of the same hospital had been consulting back and forth on my case. I had the surgery and was directed to stay on my current meds and was given scripts upon discharge as well. It turned out later that what I was given at discharge from the surgeon was very close to what I had been taken all along from the pain dr. It had a different name, but was almost the same thing I later found out. I never questioned it as I had been on multiple pain meds prior to surgery.
It is now 5 weeks after surgery and after requesting a refill on the medication I was receiving from the pain Dr., I was called back by the nurse who was very nasty to me on the phone saying she needed to talk to the Dr. about my case. At this point I was confused so I called the office back and asked that the Dr. please call me so we could talk about this issue. I spent 4 days trying to get him to return a call to me. I was told that I was not to receive anymore meds until I saw him. He was in an office 2 hours away and I have not been cleared by the surgeon to drive and I couldn't arrange a ride until the following week. I explained this to the nurse and they grudgingly said they would work me in to see another Dr. at the Pain Clinic at a location an hour away.
I told this Dr. who I had never seen before that I had not realized that the meds I had been taking from the Surgeon and Pain Dr. were pretty much the same thing. He became very angry with and basicly called me a liar. I went on to explain that the names of the meds on the bottles were different. He calmed down and said "you may have cooked your liver and if you did there is nothing we can do about it". I was terrified at this point. I had been honest with everyone about what I had been on in terms of meds from start to finish and the meds I had been on prior to surgery were listed on my discharge paperwork when I left the hospital, along with the new scripts. It ends up that the Dr. leaves, a nurse comes back in and says that they are dismissing me from the pain clinic. They give me a 30 day script of another pain med I have never taken before and a sheet to get a blood test for liver function. I was also given a discharge sheet that says I need to find another Dr. to continue meds.
I am totally confused and scarred at this point and I don't know what to do. I am worried I have hurt myself and on top of it I was treated like a criminal and just cast off like trash. I need some advice on what I should do. I know that there are 2 sides to every story, but if someone could please provide some guidance from the assumption of what I am saying is true.
| Faye Lang, RN, MSW
- Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:30 pm
If you do not have an attending physician apart from the pain clinic, please arrange an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible. If you haven't proceeded with the liver function test, it would be a good idea to go ahead with it. If you have unusual symptoms, bleeding, nausea and vomiting, tarry stools, or increased pain, see someone in urgent care.
It would be a good idea to make copies of all of your discharge paperwork to take with you to your new doctor; keep your original copies. Ask your pharmacy for a printout of the medications prescribed, and make a copy and take that along, too. Also ask the pharmacist for information about all of the medications that have been prescribed; product inserts should be provided when the prescription is filled, and part of a pharmacist's usual role is to help you understand what the medication is for and to understand potential side effects if you ask for assistance. It might be helpful for you to request your medical records from the pain clinic; you likely will have to do that in writing. The clinic may prefer to forward the records to your doctor; in most states in the United States, a person is entitled to copies of their records, if that is an option that you would prefer. You can check the status of where you live by doing an online search for patient rights in that state or country. Document what happened from your perspective before you see your doctor, to clarify any details and so you don't have to do it from memory if you are stressed. It's often very helpful to maintain a daily record of your symptoms, including when they occur, their duration, what helped or made them worse, and the medication dosage and time taken.
You can submit documentation of your concerns to the local County Medical Board, to the State Board of Medicine, and/or seek legal interpretation of your situation, according to your preferences. I am not encouraging you to pursue legal assistance, although that is your right; I am trying to help identify routes of action that you might or might not consider in trying to resolve your problem and plan for future treatment.
Finally, although your situation is scary, try to wait and see what the result of the liver function test is. "You may have fried your liver" is a statement of possibility, not of fact. Once you have seen a doctor and gathered your information, you may find that while there was risk, there was no or minor damage in actuality.
I hope this information is helpful to you and I wish you the very best of luck in this situation.