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  1. I received a letter from the VA Medical Center in Fayeteville, Ark stating that on May 6, 2013 the VHCS is looking at the safety of prescription narcotics. Your primary care team will work with you and review the narcotics you are taking. This may result in a change to your medications. The goal is to reduce the side effects that occur from narcotic use including: Depression Impotence Suicidal Ideation Decreased ability to breathe We want to find a plan to fit your needs. VHSO has many ways to help you with this goal. The first step is to review the pain medicines you are taking and decide if you need to make a plan. You and your primary care team can explore ways to help you safely manage pain like: using non-addictive pain medicine, acupuncture, or other methods we have here at the VHSO. We want to keep your pain under control and make sure you are safe at the same time. Thank you for your support as we begin working on this safety plan. If you have any questions, please call your primary care team. Apparently this letter has gone out all over the VA Health Care system. Tonight I received a phone call from the nurse of my primary care team telling me my Doctor is sending me a letter detailing how he will be withdrawing me off of my pain meds. Now this is totally contrary to what the above letter states but anyway I will wait for the letter. This past month he decreased my dose without discussing anything with me. I have been on pain meds with the VA for about 12 to 15 years now and I am at a point where my pain is controlled and really don't need any tinkering with anything. I have never complained about any of the side effect and don't experience any. I have taken the whole gamut of pain meds and have now been on Methadone for over 10 years. One thing Dr.s don't understand about Methadone is one does not "get high" on this medication. It last a long time in your system so one does not have to take it but once a day, unlike other pain meds where you take them every 4 to 6 hours. I have never had any problems with my UA's I am required to take. I am unable to walk and really do have serious pain levels daily at or above 7 on the pain scale...feels like someone has hit me in the back with a baseball bat as the pain takes my breath away..but with my pain meds I can manage to at least eat food. I receive AA and need someone to help me daily with everything I do so living in my body is no easy task. I am wondering do I have any recourse with something like this...I don't understand why they don't treat Vets on a one by one basis instead of Systemwide. Is anyone else experiencing this, have you received your letter, if not then beware...the nurse said they are doing this with Medicare also but the VA is ahead of the curve...yeah!!
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