‘You don’t know the half of it…”
…That is what I told the ER nurse that afternoon in my hometown of Elkhart, Indiana, on the fifth day after calling my pain management doctor, for that month’s refill prescription. The same RX that he cut dosage in half on the month prior, without even mentioning it to me. The same RX, that I would send my 80-something parents to retrieve, for I would be in the throes of a withdrawal so intense, I averaged a blood pressure of 247/169 , with a resting pulse in the 90’s, for the better part of a week. The same RX that I was determined to eliminate from my system, with the aid of an ER prescribed vaso-dilating medication… that for all it’s dilating, my body would retain water to clamp the veins shut again. The same RX, that up until a new state forced law cut 60 pills a month from, and then Dr. Grewal’s unmentioned half drop in dosage. I had taken the same amount since my first spinal surgery in 2007. The same RX that I had reported having increasing breakthrough pain between doses for over a year, the same med that was only giving relief for 40-50 minutes of the 6 hour interval, along with the many statements at appointments that I was not ready to increase amount of dosage at the time. The same RX that had an origin date TWO DAYS PRIOR to my coming into the doctor to retrieve the written prescription, being told, on that FIFTH day,
I had to wait until Monday.
I left, and drove to the emergency room.
Because I had gone through the beginnings of withdrawal prior to ths occassion, since being referred to Dr. Grewal by my surgeon. I knew I had no choice, but to once again go wait at the ER for a blood pressure medication called Clonidine. Unfortunately, It did not give the same results as in the past. As I realize now, my body had been going through withdrawal, due to tolerance for many months. The breakthrough pain is indicative of tolerance to dosage. These other symptoms I easily attributed to allergies, age, and its accompanying aches, as well as digestive issues. Even the severity of the hot flashes, I blamed on a post menopausal curse some woman keep. All the above however, have a direct correlation to BAD medicine, and Medical practice! The fact is, this was not my first, second, or even third experience being put through withdrawal… This was the forth time ‘something,’ from the point of my call requesting a monthly refill, and arriving at the doctors office 5 days later, that I was told they had no RX. On this 4th occasion however, after following all procedures, jumping through all the ever changing hoops, and yet another oversight, or mistake, the new receptionist proceeded to tell me I was to blame. After showing her my phone’s call log from 5 days ago, to no avail; I realized, explaining how withdrawal symptoms had already begun, at this point, would be mute.
I wouldn’t advise anyone to stop cold turkey any medication that your body has learned to depend on. It can be very harmful, even fatal, if not under medical care and observation. After I calmed from the anger of what I had been made to suffer, again- I saw the wisdom in what others were saying, and decided to obtain a titration schedule for dosage, which would help in easing the noxious medication from my system, lessening the adverse effects. After several calls to Dr. Grewal’s office by parents, husband, myself, and another doctor I am in the care of… several days after obtaining the medication I needed, I was finally called and told how to lower dosage, with the minimal effects of something like a flu virus.
My family is concerned that the level of my pain will keep me from having much of a life, always hurting.. I worry about that too. But I worry more that the ludicrous way our state is attempting to solve its addict problem, will only continue to cause undue suffering for ligament patients, doing little to nothing to change anything for the better. I know it has been a nightmare in my world for years now. I worry that good doctors in the pain management field will leave this state, if they have not all gone already. I worry that other troubles may come, as only one remedy can ease the hurt in my spine, as Pain Management and its pills and practices, I will never return to… The CBD’s and THC occurring naturally in marijuana. One good thing- I know that legalizing weed could put a huge dent into state addict issues, and eliminate the god awful experience of withdrawal from an opiod pain killer. I’ve never experienced anything as exhausting, painful, demeaning, humiliating, or hopeless as how a person is summed up, and treated, or simply ignored, being a pain management patient. …”But you only know the half of it…” It is so much worse than I could ever explain.