Your Pain, Your Rights: Dealing with Your Physician and Your Hospital

Her HMO balked at the cost of fentynl and suggested that she was not really hurting. A physician at the clinic told her she was drug seeking. A clinic pharmacist yelled at her when she came to pick up medications and told her not to come back for “her drugs.” It took an HMO appeal, a complaint to the state insurance commissioner, and filing a complaint in a local court to get her relief. A little over a year later, a re-evaluation started it all over again…

Abandonment is a tort (legal wrong) that may give you cause for a legal action against your physician [or pharmacist?]. To prove abandonment you usually have to show (a) a physician-patient relationship; (b) that was terminated or neglected by the physician and (c) that caused you harm. An attorney can advise you about your state’s requirements. Additionally, there is a tort called “infliction of severe emotional distress,” which requires (a) an action taken by the defendant (b) which was reasonably foreseeable to cause severe distress; and (c) that it did in fact cause severe emotional distress. Some states require a physical injury, but there is some precedent that recognizes pain as such. A growing body of medical evidence that untreated pain has serious physical consequences would substantiate this view…

Can the Florida Academy of Pain Medicine help pain patients?

President’s Message, 12/20/14

I want to highlight this past year’s activities on behalf of our membership and take a moment to discuss some upcoming initiatives…

As a result of this resolution, FMA initiated a teleconference between all Florida pain related medical societies and authoritative representatives from the DEA, Pharmacy Associations, and Florida’s Board of Pharmacy…

I attended the October teleconference on behalf of our Academy. I found it to be an open forum where all parties had an opportunity to clearly state their concerns and positions regarding the dispensing of controlled substances by pharmacists. All parties agreed that access to controlled substances must be made available to those in need. Furthermore, all parties seemed interested in working together to resolve the problems and will meet face to face in Q1 of 2015…

Jeffrey A. Zipper, M.D.
President FAPM

Kenneth E. Webster, EdD, Executive Director

P.O. Box 13489
St. Petersburg, Fl. 33733
Phone (727) 581-4319 FAX (727) 581-8537

Where’s the year-end report for New Mexico’s program?

Dispensaries in the state recorded $112 million in medical cannabis sales last year, nearly triple the total in 2013, according to the Arizona Department of Health’s year-end report…

“Interestingly, the uptick in the number of applications for qualifying patients after June 2014 is also partially attributable to the increase in the number of new dispensaries,” the report reads.


Arizona — 6.62 million

Number of patients — 63,417 (PTSD added in July 2014)

Percent of population — 0.95%

New Mexico — 2.08 million

Number of patients — 11,000+

Percent of population — 0.005+%

Voices of pain patients

Carol Auten (on Facebook) said:  My Pain Doctor is great. It is other doctors I see that seem to be judge mental. I live in Florida and have to submit to a drug test on a monthly basis, but that doesn’t really bother me because I have nothing to hide. What really makes me angry are the restrictions the State has put on the Doctors and Pharmacies regarding Narcotic Medications. This month it took me 6 days for one of the 7 pharmacies I went to, to get my medication in. I guess they can only have a specific amount in stock at a time. The Doctors can’t write your refills until the 29th day which means I went 5 days without my Narcotic pain med and went into withdrawal. I know there has to be accountability for Controlled Substances, but it is getting harder and harder for patients who truly need the Meds to get them.

Ginger Harp Ray Custer said:  Talk to the Patient Advocacy. I used to have to go to them all the time when I was an Ombudsman. I have used it here for the V.A. here when they wouldn’t send my C-Pap refills. It helps and they will talk to you Dr. Especially with the E.R.

Stephanie Sunderland said:  I have always fought and got nowhere. Now I manage my pain with weed.

Sherry Frendreiss said:  I feel your pain, literally. I have gone to the same family doctor for over 10 years and since I developed fibro, she has literally told me, in no uncertain terms, that there’s nothing she can do for me. She has given me meds like gabapentin, plaquenil, and flexeril, but none of them are helping. Four months ago I was told my my rheumy and her both, that I have lupus with the fibro. Now I am being told I have just fibro. What?!?! I feel like they are playing a guessing game with me. I asked to be referred to another rheumy and also a pain doctor, and she refused to write the referral, even though she said she doesn’t know how to help me anymore. I asked for something for the horrible pain I have been dealing with, and she blew me off and walked out of the room and ended the appointment. I have been feeling unheard for months…

Julie Conway said:  I still haven’t figured out how to deal with it. I have a Dr giving false diagnosis codes just to refer me all over the place, another that acts as if it’s all in my head, another that if they would look at my chart for once they would see that they put me on what they are asking if u have tried…. I’ve fired Dr’s, told off Dr’s, complained about Dr’s, and everything else and nothing gets anything done. This is going on 10yrs of trying to get a Dr to actually figure out what is going on. It’s hell.

“No Pain, No Gain” extremely overrated

Working out until you can’t move is not a badge of honor.  What is going on in our heads that makes us think that if we assault our body to the point of pain, we have accomplished something? Isn’t the point of exercise to support our bodies, not break them down? But why do we so often ignore this piece of advice and come into the gym swinging with a “No Pain, No Gain” attitude?

Brainy quotes on forgiveness

“He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.”  Thomas Fuller

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  Mahatma Gandhi

“People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what’s bitter and move on.”  Bill Cosby

“I shall be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that’s his.”  Catherine the Great

“God forgive you, but I never can.”  Elizabeth I

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”  Thomas Szasz

“Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.”  Jane Austen

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  Mark Twain

“Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.” Robert Frost