My Story: My Search for a Pain Doctor Continues – National Pain Report

By Janell Ansell.

I’m a 35-year-old woman who lives in rural Michigan. I’ve been suffering from knee problems for most of my life. I have had four failed knee surgeries. My knee continues to dislocate. My past doctors have said I’m too young for a knee replacement.

From 2016 to 2018 I was seeing a pain management doctor in Marquette Michigan which is about an hour from where I live in Escanaba. In late August of 2018 he got shut down out of the blue. I then went to see my primary doctor in Escanaba and asked if she could prescribe the medications, I was getting from my former pain doc until I could find a new one.

She said she couldn’t prescribe methadone and gave me a month of my usual oxycodone dosage. The next month I went in for a refill and she refused saying I failed a drug test which has never happened in the 5 years I’ve been a pain patient.

When I was tested the bottle was not marked with my name on it or anything so I don’t know if there was a mistake or not. I asked her to please retest me and she refused I asked her to wean me down and she refused. She told me no one ever dies from withdrawals. At that time I was on 90 mgs of oxycodone a day.

I left that practice to find a new doctor and found one at Great Lakes Family First Center in Gwinn, Michigan. In February I started seeing a doctor and he said he could prescribe me up to 50 mme a day and I said that was fine. So, the first month he started me on 7.5 mgs of Norco 3 times a day and said he would up it as needed.

The next month I went in and he said he couldn’t up the dosage because the board wouldn’t let him citing the CDC guidelines. I brought in a paper to his office for him to read and show the board from the CDC stating those were just guidelines not laws. I went in the next month and he handed me back the papers and said he knew how to do his job and then told me he was dismissing me as a patient.

I asked him why and he stated that he wasn’t happy with me bringing in that paperwork and that we obviously had different ideas of how my pain should be treated. I’ve been without a doctor since. All the pain clinics up here have been shut down voluntarily or involuntarily and I haven’t been able to find a new doctor that will help with my pain.