Monday, April 29, 2013

What Happens When You Lose a Prescription? You Punish Yourself

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I recently lost two paper prescriptions from my last appointment with my pain management doctor through a series of incidents involving my extreme forgetfulness and an unfortunate coincidence. The details probably don't matter so much.

As I sat here drying my tears, trying to talk myself down from being so upset at having realizing this happened on a Friday evening (with no way to find out how the pain management clinic will handle it until Monday), I started to feel like a fraud. A fraud in my role as a patient advocate and educator.

There are two entirely different ways I respond to this kind of situation depending on whether the person going through it is me or someone else. Were I talking to another patient going through this, I'd encourage her to be kind to herself. After all, we all make mistakes, and my memory issues are directly related to a treatment I tried for Migraine prevention. I'd try to talk her through some ideas for how to handle it and remind her this can't be the first time a patient in this practice has had the same issue.

But since I'm talking to myself, it's all about berating and belittling. "How could you be so stupid? So irresponsible? They're going to think you're a total loser and a liar for bringing them a problem like this. No one responsible would have this problem. The first assumption will be that you're a drug seeker trying to pull off a scam. What's wrong with you?" And on and on.

Intellectually I know part of the reason I reacted this way in this case was pure fear of the unknown. What if I can't get duplicates of those prescriptions and they expect me to go two months without any pain medication, including the patch I've been using 24/7 for at least a year? Maybe that fear isn't reasonable or rational, but I don't think pain management clinic policies have a reputation for being reasonable or rational. 

Being mean to myself when thing go wrong is a bad habit. I know it's not productive or useful. But when a few certain specific things set me off, it's all too easy to go there even though I know how damaging it is. At least the list of things that set me off in this extreme way is much smaller than it used to be.

Content by Diana E. Lee 

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.