Today I fired my primary care doctor. She has been my doc since I moved to the United States three years ago. She has always been a bit hesitant about treating my chronic pain, but has come through with the scripts even when I could tell she really didn't want to write them.

This weekend, I am going home to Canada for a couple of weeks, so stopped by the doc's office to get a 60 pill refill of 5 mg. oxycodone, some prevacid and my BP med. As she wrote out the script for the oxycodone, I watched her face. Honest to God, the woman looked like a deer caught in a set of headlights.

I point blank asked her if she was worried about me turning into a "drug addict" or if she was just plain scared of the DEA. She flat out admitted that she is terrified of the DEA. She said "That's my DEA number that goes on the prescription and I don't want them coming here and ruining my practice."

I told her that I thought the DEA was out of control and that it was time for physicians and patients to start standing up to them. She responded with "the DEA has become too powerful for doctors or patients to fight it."

I responded with - "What is this? Gestapo Land?"

She just sat there, looking embarrassed and frightened. I felt badly for her, but also disturbed by her lack of commitment to me, to her other patients, and to herself as a physician.

In the end, I asked her to write me a referral to a doctor whom I know has many chronic pain and terminally ill patients and treats them respectfully (for the most part).

She breathed an audible sigh of relief and thanked me! After I had the referral in my hand, I told her that when I found a new family doc, I would ask for my pertinent files to be forwarded to him or her. She looked so shocked. She figured that she would continue to dole out scripts for other things and that would be that. I told her no. That I wanted a doctor who could be there for me and that I didn't think she was that person.

Personally, I don't think any of us who are part of the health care system, whether as doctors, nurses, patient advocates, social workers, home health care workers, or pain patients should be sitting around wringing our hands and doing nothing. We can write to our congressmen and senators and newspapers. Heck, we can protest in our town squares.

As a patient advocate and a chronic pain patient myself, I have been doing some of those things already and plan to step up my efforts.

I know I am the "foreigner" in all this, but I honestly do not understand why anyone in the USA is putting up with this kind of nonsense from the DEA. They have really overstepped their boundaries and show no sign of letting up.

The so called "war on drugs" was not designed to terrify doctors so badly that they would ignore their Hippocratic Oath. It was designed to go after the "criminal element." Well the DEA failed at that, so they appear to feel a need to justify their continued existence by bullying innocent patients and caring physicians.

When I came to the USA from Canada to get married, I had no idea that I was entering a country where doctors and patients could be so brazenly and openly treated as criminals or criminal wannabes. The patients are afraid that they are going to spend what is left of the lives living in agony and the doctors are afraid of loosing everything they worked to build.

It's flippin' nuts. End of Rant (for now)
Totally Appalled and Disgusted


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