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theo

Pain issue VA withdraws pain meds in Oklahoma due to opiod crisis

Question

For 20 years I've been taking pain meds for a surgery the VA performed in 1994 partial nephretomy kidney.
I've had nerve pain every since.   I just relocated to another state a year ago,  and the VA here refuse to continue to treatment me with pain meds.

I'm wondering how to handle this issue.   I've gone through the pain clinic in Los Angeles some years ago, was put on the meds for pain. Now this abrupt denial of treatment for something that is a result of surgery caused by the VA.

I have a 1151 issue that Berta and I discussed sometime ago.

The doctors prescribed the medication for pain in LA, it appears some of the meds were apparently at the new VA not supposed to be prescribed with the oxycodone like valium.  VA prescribed!
Now the local VA tells me I'm abusing medication by taking the medications as prescribed.  According to one of the surgeon recently told me I have nerve pain.  He also said, he cannot operate for pain, because you only get pain with additional surgery. 

One thing I know about pain is, it can drive you crazy if it not managed.   The Ibuprofen, muscle relaxing drug, and other meds do not address my pain issue.

They tell me at my age 70 the pain medication does more harm if I continue to take it.  My take on that is, quality of life is more important to me than quantity.

I'm wondering if I can file against the VA in this matter or sue.  Or should I move back to LA. 

Need some input!

Theo
 

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They are doing that all over.  My advice..wean yourself off the Vicodin or whichever pain med it is, by gradually reducing it until it gets to zero.  You know, if you are taking 4 a day, then take 3 a day, 2 a day, then one, then a half, then none.  Or, save the meds you do have for when the pain is severe.  

There is a "sweet spot" in the middle.  In other words, many years ago they really did not have a way to treat pain.  Now they have many ways to do it.  So dont try to eliminate all pain, just take the edge off very severe pain.  

You will be glad you did.  A lot of pain meds are worse than the pain they try to eliminate.  

A certain amount of pain is "unavoidable" no matter what you do.  Medicine can not make our lives pain free.  It is unrealistic to think that is possible.  

Like yourself, I have pain and was previously prescribed Vicodin.  Now, I take zero vicodin, and am better off. 

Vicodin is constipating.  I wont take it anymore.  

One thing that helps me:

For knee/joint pain, I use "Voltaren Gel"  Its a topical gel you rub on the painful area, and my doc has no problem prescribing it.  It gets rid of the pain faster than pills.  Voltaren is basically an nsaid that you rub on the affected joints.  Its non addictive and you can use it like about 4 times a day.  

 

 

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similar issue... it took 20 years of suffering, went through the pain clinics in the 1980's 1990's....2000's..- no help at all. got the best dosage for me, but I moved and some pain doctor jumped into my case... out of nowhere and changed the script the doctors had me on for ages in the previous state. it was just right, and took 20 years to get the sweet spot, this doctor was only interested in her pain clinic non-sense. and took on the pain meds, they compliment each other, quick release then slow release, etc..etc.. she removed on the quick release, that can only last 4-6 hours, the slow release is suppose to last 8 hours. I came to the new state asking for my spinal shots to continue, and she didn't read my charts, and thought i was using them only for spinal disease. Never looked at my charts and saw the pancreas disease. They also give me constipation, but I need them or I have straight diarrhea. I went through 10 years of straight diarrhea, I ate a box of immodium a-d per week, and even then wasn't enough,, was skin and bone. I may get into some argument about pain clinic stuff, but found pain clinic b.s. It a bunch of babble and doesn't help when you are suffering bad. I would rather have the side effects and live then lay in my own sick and suffer because of some crazed pain clinic doctor non-sense. They put you in a horrible situation. No is no guarantee that if you go back that they will raise your dosage back up. They made me go through years of head doctors kept saying pain was in my head, and it was really pancreatic disease, spinal disease, etc. Not sure if you have to go through these head doctors again. If you could taper, they are forcing it on you either way. If the pain stops you from eating, gaining weight, living your life, it can be tangible proof that you need pain relief. These doctors don't really care if you feel miserable, they want some test of other doctor to back them in the pain meds. I am loosing my doctor he is retiring, and have no clue what they are going to give me, as some of the doctors I will not see they treat me terribly. They act like they need to know you for along time, and if you just meet them and come into their view for the first time, they will mess with you chart, scripts, etc... I don't know why, they should see it took us our whole lives to get to this point. and then they just pull the rug out from under us. Maybe do this, ask them for help with the pain, in other ways, tell them it took all these years to find this sweat spot where you can live, and if they want to change it find an alternative for you, You shouldn't have to have do that they are the one who changed it.

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Theo, I would ask you if you can find a private doctor who is willing to do pain management?  Most doctors will say that nerve pain cannot be managed with pain killers but I beg to differ.  I have nerve pain in my legs and arms and take pain medication in the smallest does possible to take the edge off.  There is another medication called lyrica that also helps with nerve pain that I take.  It is an ugly drug but really does help and at 70 you will probably not be concerned with the side effects.  Bronco is right that many VA's are following this protocol.  Good luck and God bless. 

The VA also called me an addict for taking pain medication as prescribed.

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Well, in the "patient rights", a patient has a right to pain treatment.  Of course the docs get around that by prescribing Ibuprofrin or the like.  

The VA has created a crisis.  Vets with pain are turning to "street drugs" since docs wont prescribe pain meds.  Its much worse.  

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