When You Have to Fight to Get Your Pain Medication


Editor's Note

Editor’s note: The following is based on an individual’s experience and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before going on or off medication.

I am so tired of fighting. I fight my body each and every day. I fight to get out of bed. I fight to take my pills. I fight to get the energy to even move off the couch. I spend so much energy on just making it through the day. Now, I have even more to fight.

The opioid crisis.

I have been on my medication for over three years now. I have been steadily dropping the dose in order to not raise so much attention as to how much medication I take. This helps prevent the pharmacy techs from looking at me with quite the judgmental eyes. I am on a third of what my medication should be. I do this at the cost of my own personal comfort. I trade my comfort and ability to be somewhat “normal” so I don’t have to be judged on what medication I have to take and how much. I am entered on databases. I have to sign a controlled substance sheet now to document how much I have. I have to have my driver’s license scanned and copied. I am monitored on my usage. It reached a new level today.

I found out my doctor is retiring in a few weeks. It is always hard finding a good doctor. Someone who believes you and still finds ways to motivate you. Someone who cares and wants to help your well-being. This is not a great time for me.

I called to get my last set of medication from my doctor. I am trying to prepare for my search for a new doctor. I call in to the pharmacy and request a refill. They deny me saying I need to call my doctor to get approval. I call my doctor and they fax everything over. Call back to the pharmacy and they say they don’t have any paperwork. I ask them to check again and give them the exact name and dosage of the medication. They then say it has been denied by my insurance. I tell my information again and that if need be, I’ll pay for the medication out of my own pocket. They then say I have been flagged for too much medication and that I need to use what I have left before getting more.

I have two pills.

I inform them again that my doctor is retiring, I have only two pills left of the main medication (an opioid-based med), I will pay for it if my insurance won’t, that he faxed the information yesterday at 4 p.m., and what should I do in time being without my medication. The pharmacy tech informs me that I have been denied and flagged by a government system that says I am receiving too much medication but that he will resubmit my information again to see if he can “push it through.”

It goes through.

My medication will be filled and waiting for me later this afternoon. My fears of what waits for me next time I need to get a refill are very real. I fight so much to just exist in a a relatively pain-reduced (I am never pain-free) world. Why must I fight bad doctors, bad pharmacies and now the government tracking me?

I am so tired, and it is not the just the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

I just want to get the help I need. I just want people to believe me. I am almost to the point of begging for help at times because people don’t seem to care. I wish I could explain it better. I wish I didn’t have to fight. Hell, I wish I didn’t have this chronic illness and had to take medication with the “wonderful” side effects. I already have such a love/hate relationship with having to take it, why must it be made worse with fighting to even receive it?

This is my story. This is my life. This is a regular occurrence.

Still fighting.

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Getty Image by ittipon2002


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