Doctor on vacation

My doctor is on vacation this week I went in to go get my prescriptions as they are due and the other doctor who is filling in for him looked at my chart and said that the medications I'm on are too dangerous and she does not feel comfortable riding them in the meantime I am going to be out of them today and she will not write them (edit for content)I take oxycodone and oxymorphone with Xanax for almost 10 and 1/2 years does she have the right to do this she's just filling in for him why won't she write my prescriptions because she doesn't feel comfortable was her answer what do I do now I am extremely sick and cannot not deal with this I can't barely move I can't even do simple things right now let alone drive to the appointment tomorrow to discuss this with her shouldn't my doctor have had my prescriptions ready before he went on vacation



  • Welcome charmin13 we’re glad you’re here!

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  • This is a consequence of the opioid crisis unfortunately. 

    When your doctor is back in town I’d call to get your scripts then.

    In the meantime if it happened to me and my pain was so high I couldn’t function I’d go to the ER.

    Good luck and please keep us updated.

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  • Most of the time our meds get refilled on time.  There are however times when things happen and we are forced to do without meds for days at a time.  For example my pain management dr will not refill my meds on a Friday.  So if my refill date happens to fall on a Friday I have to either try to refill it a day early or wait till the following Monday.  This has caused me problems on a few occasions. 

    I have also had issues where my insurance company has played the "prior authorization needed" card.  I will go a whole year and everything is fine then unexpectedly I will need prior authorization.  When this happens I am out of my pain meds and have to wait three to five days for the insurance company to approve it.  Also if my dr does not submit the request quickly then its even more time without meds.

    What can we do about all this?  What I try to do is keep at lest a week of meds in reserve just for this kind of problem.  Its not always possible but if I can go a day and save just one pill a week then in a few months I will have a weeks worth of meds if I need them.  Not the best advice I know but going without pain meds is sheer torture for me. 

    God bless


  • Charmin13,  I think most of us have experienced something like this in the past.  I had a great MD for 13 years who helped me as much as possible.  He began to take more and more days off and at this clinic no Doctor would write narcotic scripts for another doctors patient.  So if he wasn't there I was out of luck.  It happened so many times that when It was close to refill time I would call the front desk to make sure he would be there.

    At my PM clinic I go to now, they make our appointments 28 days apart because they write our meds every 28 days.  So I go to my appointment every 4 th Friday and take my scripts to the pharmacy right after.  Still there was a time the PA was sick for a few days, one time we had an ice storm and they didn't open, a few times where they had scheduled the doctor to be there but he ended up at one of their satellite offices.  There will always be times where things just happen.

    I agree with Dale that setting a few pills back each month for emergencies is a great idea.  I have been doing that for awhile now just so I could get thru a week if need be.  With this Coronvirus situation I think I will step it up a bit.  Would be nice to have 2 or 3 weeks worth just to be on the safe side.

    Charmin13, I like you thought my doctor should have checked records as to who needed meds and write scripts before he left.  It never happens though.  Is this a PM Doctor?  If so, could you call your Family Doctor and see if they could give you enough to get by?  One used to be able to go to the ER and they would help you out in a pinch but I don't think they will anymore.

    I know exactly how you feel.  It's scary not to have the meds you need.  Let us know how things go.  

    When your Doctor gets back I would certainly discuss with them a better way going forward.


  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 299

    Dale, why won't your PM give you your prescription on Fridays? Just curious. Jerome

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  • Its a situation where they just don't want to be bothered.  They have a big sign in the waiting room, "No prescriptions processed on Fridays".  They also will not help us with "prior authorizations for short acting pain meds"  Again I guess they don't want to be bothered.  Of course my insurance company is all over this.  I must pay for short acting opiates out of pocket.  Tell me this is not crazy. 

    As my dr is the ONLY pain management dr within 50 miles of my house I have to go to her.  She is caring but those two issues drive me crazy.

    God bless


  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 299

    Dale, indeed it sounds very odd. Do they see you or other patients on Fridays? Have they ever explained the logic behind that decision, presuming there is associated logic?

  • Jerome I have never addressed this issue with them as my insurance has yet to require prior authorization for short acting meds.  I have had them request prior auth for my long acting meds.  I will ask them at my next appointment.  I think the whole thing of insurance companies using the prior auth card is to try to stop people from filling their opiate scripts.

    I really like my pain dr.  She is both kind and caring.  I think the whole thing with prior authorization is the staff is spending too much time working on prior auths and cant get much else done.  We all know prior auths are used by the insurance companies to try to get out of paying for the meds. 

    I will ask at my next appointment.  As a matter of fact now I have to go to pain management every month now.  I used to have to go every other month but now am required by my dr to come every single month.  She claims its the government doing this.

    God bless


  • Dale,  At my PM I have always had to go once a month.  Twice now it has been brought up that possibly I could do once every three months(this was at least 5 years ago), and nothing.  I know Medicare discounts office visits  and everything else.  Medicare may also require monthly visits.  I need to check on that.  

    i will keep everybody in my prayers as it sounds like a busy month for all of us.


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169

    How it all differs!! My PCP requires me to go every 6 months. I have to see my PM doctor to refill my pump every 2 1/2-3 months. When my insurance requires a PA, I call my RX insurance, give them the name, address, phone number and fax number for my doctor and they send the form to the doctor. I've had to do this 3 times lately but I get a response by that afternoon.


  • in my state, I have to go to my doctor monthly to receive a Schedule 2 Rx...written monthly for 30 days

    also electronic Rx now required office sends all of my Rx in to my pharmacy before I leave the office same matter when they're due in the month...usually within no more than 5 days before my Schedule 2 Rx are due for refill...the pharmacy sits on them until 3 days before they're due then will fill...then I'll just go in on refill day to pickup

    new law that Schedule 2 Rx can't be filled earlier than 3 days before they're due here...don't know what will happen if I am ever going to be out of town on vacation when they're due...have always gotten a vacation override allowing early fill...guess those days are over and I'll now have to schedule out of town trips around my refill date...unbelievable 

    Dale, I hope you get things sorted out...sounds horrible

  • Thank you for the kind words Scinmyheart. 

    I don't mind going every month now as it gives me easy access if something flares up or I do something stupid which is usually the case.  My PM dr always sends my scripts in about five days early so I have to wait.  My pharmacy will NOT auto refill pain scripts so I either have to go there or call the day of my refill and TELL them to fill them.  I have asked a million times PLEASE refill on the due date but they wont.  You would think calling would be easy but no, they leave you on hold forever or forget about you completely which is a mess.  The whole opiate crisis has made something as simple as refills a nightmare. 

    Of all the problems I have being sick, having cancer or having degenerative disc disease the thing which makes me the most anxious is the opiate crisis.  I live in constant fear the coming month will be the month when I will either be cut off or our government will stop production of pain meds and I will have to live in pain. 

    I have pretty much been on the same two pain meds for years and years.  I am getting tolerant and that fear is also making me anxious.  I can not take most pain meds as they quickly empty my stomach in about ten minutes which is not a pleasant experience.  Meds like Percocet, Vicoden, Tylenol 3 and Oxycodone are just a few of the meds along with Fentanyl patches which I just can not tolerate.  I am very limited.  I have even had drs tell me to just take OTC meds in the past.  I have been told they are just as effective as opiates.  I am just amazed at what some drs will say.  I remember the day I broke my arm bone at work, the humerus  I believe and also tore the rotator muscles.   My company sent me to their dr.  He took xrays and gave me some advil and then told me to go back to work the next day!!!   I got up the next morning and could not move my arm.  I went to my own dr who laughed when I told him what the company dr gave me for pain and to go right back to work.  I was a shipyard worker at the time which meant heavy lifting. 

    God bless you all


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169


    If you are on vacation and use a chain pharmacy, you can go to that pharmacy where ever you are and they can pull up your scripts. But to be safe, check with your pharmacist to see what their protocol is. I use a locally owned pharmacy and they will always give me extra until I come back.

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 299

    I tried to refill a pain med several years ago when I was out of state. Although it was one of the big chains they would not give me a refill because I and the doctor were from another state. Even with the opiate crisis I thought there were exceptions for illnesses such as cancer. I am sorry to hear of your issues. I wish you the best, Jerome

  • Probably 10 years ago I was going to visit my parents in another state.  My Doctor was sure that Walgreens there would fill it.  Something I had been refilling for many years.  Even the pharmacist here said they should be willing to fill it.

    so I took a chance and the pharmacist said no.  The doctor was out of state and they didn't feel comfortable filling it even after my doctor called them.  My doctor felt terrible about it and all I could do was drive home early.

    now with all that has changed I wouldn't take the chance.  Two years ago I had to go back to my parents because they needed me and my PM is always accommodating giving me my script a week and a half early.  The pharmacist here requested a vacation override and all was fine.  I wonder if insurance companies will stop allowing vacation overrides on schedule 2 meds.  It's sad because there are many situations we just can't see coming.


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