Dear Zenith News:
I read your article in the Zenith News (“Everything You Know About Opioids is Wrong.” October 16, 2018) article about the “opioid crisis” BS. My younger brother, a former Northlander now in Alabama, developed severe peripheral neuropathy. OxyContin helped him to be able to function almost like a normal life.
He didn’t need high doses, just one a day, if that. When offered his usual refill by his doctor, he made the mistake of saying, “I’m ok, thanks, I still have 30 or 40 at home.” This was well into the “opioid crisis" epidemic and doctors getting hammered for over-prescribing. The doctor freaked out. “You mean you’re hoarding them!? What are you doing with them?!” They thought he was reselling them or something, and the doctor stopped the prescription.
My brother has tried everything from Lyrica to homeopathic medicine to no avail, and his disease has gotten markedly worse, to the point where he cannot stand or walk nearly at all, is scared to drive, and can hardly go up a flight of stairs. He’s gone from a healthy 32-year-old guy to nearly a paraplegic in the two years since the overreaction of his doctor and the State of Alabama. Would you know of any place or provider that he might turn to?
Jennifer Martin-Romme replies: I’m sorry to hear about what’s happening to your brother. He’s not alone. Tens of thousands of pain patients have been abandoned by their doctors since 2016, when the Centers for Disease Control issued their opioid prescribing guidelines, without public comment and based on the data the CDC knew to be false.
Ideally, your brother could find another doctor willing to treat him. He might also try consulting with a medical malpractice attorney to see if his situation constitutes patient abandonment.
PainNewsNetwork.org is a great resource online, which includes patient-led support and news reports affecting chronic pain patients. PNN brings together thousands of pain patients, offering each other encouragement and advice to get through the challenges posed by being cut off their medications and abandoned by their doctors.