Running on — Running on Empty…

I ran out my pain medicine today, five days shorter than when I was supposed to. That is a major problem in my world, because I need the medicine to function and not be 100% confined to my bed. Also, I’ve been taking it for a while so I can’t just stop at once. The bottom line is, I need to get another five days worth until my next doctors appointment on Tuesday. As many of you know, it’s not as simple as just calling my doctor’s office and picking up the script.

First, when I call the office I need to get a hold of someone who can help me, that’s never an easy task. Today I didn’t have terrible luck in that department which was good, so I explained as plainly as I could that my pain has been substantial and even though I’ve tried to ration the medicine to make it stretch until Tuesday, it’s not going to be possible. Since there is a regulation with the pharmacy now that I can’t fill the same narcotic script within 30 days, I can’t just get five days worth of what I normally take. I don’t know what the doctor’s office is going to end up saying because I haven’t heard back from them yet, but my anxiety is through the roof over it. What if they don’t get back to me? What if they tell me just to deal with it for the next five days? What if they give me a hard time about how quickly I went through the medicine to begin with?

I have an epidural scheduled on Tuesday for my L5/S1 and I’m in severe pain in my lower back/left leg (and other locations, but my back is the priority right now). I turned down refilling my meds at my last P.A. appointment because I knew I would see the M.D. on Tuesday; I had no idea at the time I wouldn’t be able to make things stretch. At the time of the P.A. appointment they tried to give me a script for my pain meds, but I reminded them I wasn’t due yet. I thought that it was the responsible “patient behavior” thing to do, but today when I called them I felt like the biggest drug addict. Feeling like someone, or a group of people, stand in the way between you getting the medicine you need to feel better is an extremely vulnerable position to be in.

The last couple of days I haven’t been taking the amount I need because I’ve been trying to stretch it out and I’ve noticed a significant difference in my pain level and therefore mood. After talking to my husband about it last night I realized it was barbaric for me to suffer in silence and not call the doctors office just because I didn’t want them to judge me for drug seeking behavior. So now I sit and wait for their decision, hoping that they realize how critical it is that they get back to me within 24 hours. I hope that those of you reading this aren’t struggling with the same thing, but I know the odds are that you must be. Please don’t do what I did and let your pride get in the way of calling and telling the doctor what is going on. This is the first time in years I’ve ever had to call before my 30 days and get a supplemented script. I’m so sensitive that people will think I’m an addict due to medications I’m on & the generalizations people make about chronic pain patients. Even though that couldn’t be further from the truth in my situation, it still stings when I need to make phone calls like today, or get drug tested (even though I understand it’s policy). These things just chip away at me little by little because I haven’t fully accepted my chronic pain situation and the bullshit that comes along with it. But I’m trying, and in sharing this experience with all of you, it takes it out the shadow of my life and exposes it so it’s no longer something I’m ashamed to admit that I deal with.


Sending you healing vibes,



Leave a Reply