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When a Doctor Forced Me to Taper Off Pain Medication

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I was with my pain doctor on the same medication for 20 years when the medications that control my chronic pain were stopped without my consent.

On that day in April 2017, I arrived at my doctors office for a routine follow-up when a doctor I had never seen before walked in. He told me he was brought in just to take everyone off their pain medication within one month. Because I broke into tears and begged for an extra month, he gave me one full prescription and began the forced taper the following month.

My worst pain comes from chronic cluster migraines, a back injury with a rupture at T-10, T-11 and my neck is fused. I also have fibromyalgia, chronic kidney stones and severe facet joint degeneration.

The fourth week of August 2018 I was having one of the worst cluster migraines have ever had, and it was on its 10th day. The T-10, T-11 was really hurting and kidney stones had started to pass. I was in horrific pain and considering suicide.

My contract with a new pain doctor requires me to contact the clinic if there is a problem. My son called the clinic to tell them because of the horrific pain he was taking me to the hospital. He was told he could take me, but under no circumstances could they give me any pain medication. My son called three more times; on the last call they told him we must have the doctor’s permission and he had already gone home.

No human should be forced to live in horrific pain. As a person in constant incurable pain I am one of the millions who were forced into a taper or the pain medication was stopped completely. A family pet would be shown mercy and never be forced to live in pain.

I live in unbearable pain 24/7. I’m one of the many people in pain whose doctors have abandoned us and ignored our pleas for help. Many pharmacists profile us based on their perception of our appearance. Some will not even fill prescriptions from cancer patients.

I have disability benefits awarded by my government for intractable pain, yet I suffer discrimination and cannot get treatment for that pain. Until our government admits the epidemic is about street drugs like fentanyl and heroin and stops persecuting people in pain, there will be more and more deaths by overdose from street drugs and more pain patients suffering.

Where do we go from here?

Getty image by SeventyFour.

Originally published: October 29, 2018
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