Yes, you read that correctly. With all the new stringent “guidelines” for strict amounts of pain relievers, many pain clinics are simply getting rid of chronic pain patients who require more than the niggardly 90 MME suggested – and being followed – by pain clinics. (MME is Morphine Milligram Equivalency. ( http://waragainstchronicpain.com/faq/ )
Just how do pain clinics shove chronic pain patients out the door? It’s very, very simple.
And it happened to my best friend.
“Shelley” has severe chronic pain. She had a bad accident when very young: broke her back in several places, smashed her hip. As she’s grown older, the pain has gotten far worse. She’s had a number of operations – has more plates than a Waffle House in her spine.
Recently, she blew out 3 discs in her neck –.She’s in agony.
She was on a serious amount of meds, just so she could walk and feed her animals. And take care of her husband, who was dying.
And then I get a call.
“Ima, you won’t – won’t believe what happened. I just got back from the clinic.” She was sobbing so hard she couldn’t talk.
“Can’t be that bad. Come on, tell me.”
“They reduced my meds by nearly a third – and Ima. They want me on no meds at all.”
I was speechless. This wasn’t possible. One thing I knew for sure: if they took Shelley’s meds away, they would be taking Shelley’s life as well. I get it because I’ve been there too: most of us have, at one point or another.
“Ima! I give up, I really do. First “Ralph” died, and now this shit.”
I found my voice, and my logic. “All right, so you go to a new pain clinic – and you do it fast, before they cut all your meds.”
“But why – why are they doing this? They’ve seen my MRI so many times!”
“Honest to God, I have no idea. Doesn’t matter at this point: you going to a new clinic does.”
And that’s what happened, with one small glitch. She learned that some pain clinics are now refusing to take any new chronic pain patients – for the same reason, no doubt. But Shelley found a great new one who truly cares, she’s back on her normal meds, living what life she can.
Until now I had no bloody clue why a doctor would suddenly decide that someone who is in constant agony had no more need of pain meds.
Now, thanks to an article in the Washington Post , we all know. That clinic is dumping anyone who needs more than that damned 90MME. Too much of a bother: they might get warning letters, whatever it is.
This is alarming news indeed, but now pain clinics and pain physicians are getting involved. Finally. On our side!
Eyes on this spot for news as we find it.