When a chronic pain pt becomes over verbally abusive not liking my free advice

the 1+ minute audio file below is from a chronic pain pt who reached out to me for assistance. Apparently, a  Wags Pharmacist refused to fill this pt’s controlled Rx.  This pt reached out to me via FB chat. It took me ~ 90 minutes just for the pt to tell me who the pt’s insurance company was.  Finally abt 80 minutes in the back/forth in FB chat, the pt shared a copy of their medication insurance card. The card said Prime Therapeutics, and doing a little research online. I discovered that Walgreens and Prime Therapeutics had jointly created a new company https://www.alliancerxwp.com/ that is a PBM, mail-order pharmacy, and specialty pharmacy. At that point, it seem obvious to me that her PBM was owned by Wags and it was Wags that was refusing to fill her controlled Rx.   I spent another 30-45 minutes talking to this pt on the phone about her issue, and another 30-45 minutes giving her a detailed suggestion that might get her controlled Rx filled.

Maybe I should have just told the pt that the letter could not be changed in any way to get that Wags Pharmacist to fill her controlled med.

This pt’s phone number was from the East Coast, but claimed they were living on the West Coast. The pt was also wants to have someone to find her a new doctor.  I referred to a couple of people within APDF https://americanpaindisabilityfoundation.org/ who could possibly know more about doctors around the country who will possibly properly treat chronic pain pts and are pain refugees.  The advocates were not aware of any prescriber in the pt’s area who the pt could be referred.

Then various verbal abuse started coming. I see ~ 20 emails sent from this pt. The APDF advocate that I referred to, has told me an untold number of calls to his home by this pt. Below is a voicemail that this pt left me. BE WARNED, the language used could be offensive to some.

12 Responses

  1. Steve, just seeing this, I’m appalled anyone would treat you this way. It’s suspicious to me. Could someone have set you up for this abuse? I know, we all appreciate you so much. The time you spend, helping people is amazing. You are a treasure here, on Twitter, FB Thank you!!

  2. I’m so sorry, Steve! I have followed your blog since I found you and you do so much for our pain community. It’s a shame people feel the way this person does, Entitled to take advantage of your big heart and then rip you apart. My apologies for your horrid attitude. Please know how much so many people here appreciate all the time you give to our issues. God Bless you!

    • I have pretty “tough skin”.. I think that the “label” that would be applicable to her is a “KAREN”

      • She is obviously very frustrated, in pain, and she took her feelings out on you, Steve. I honestly don’t think she was just directing her anger onto you consciously. You don’t have any power over her situation. It would bother me to be put into that particular role. The longer this keeps happening the angrier people are becoming. It’s very depressing to know that you’re being treated like a two year old and you have been doing everything right. I’m not excusing her behavior at all. It does help to try and understand her perspective. Make your boundaries known and how much you’re willing to endure. No one has the right to belittle you. She’s not blaming the correct people. You’re just an easy target. Take it with a grain of salt. You know what you have done and your record proves that. I think we all could do better with our communication skills. The last several weeks have been Hell for me so I haven’t been on FB much. Partially due to my emotional state. I know when I’m in serious pain it makes the world look grim. I don’t want to share that with others. Being an advocate for CPP’s is an honorable position to be in. You need to set your boundaries and let people know what they are. You’re not a punching bag and she was clearly in the wrong. I hope you can work it out. Good luck and thank you for all that you do ❤️

  3. Its a shame,,,Mr.Areins has graciously help me 100’s of times,,Its a shame some do not realize,,most of us our all in the same boat w.out a paddle or a motor,up stream,,w/boulders the size of mt.everst in front of us,,Mr Arein has a tough skin,,and his mind is more then capable of ”out witting,” any insurance company or government agency,,Its a shame this person allowed her/him physical pain to control her behavior towards him,,cause Steve will help you,,I have witness and been a recipient of his help 100’s of times.This person ,whom-ever it is,,should be ashamed of there behavior,,,orrrrrrrrrrrrrrr was it the DEA???? just sayen,,,jmo,,maryw

  4. Wow!!!! So sorry, Steve. I know how hard you selflessly work for the community. I’ve been following you for years. I know there’s a bad apple here & there, but, yeah, just WOW!!!

  5. I’m truly sorry that you’ve had to deal with something like that, Steve. I’m always amazed (not in a good way) when people apparently seem to think this is the way to get help with their issue from someone who owes them exactly nothing, including their time. I think most of the rest of us could easily agree that we appreciate everything that you do for those of us who have chronic pain, including sharing your opinions with us through this blog. I know that I personally value your advice and the time/effort that you put forth to be of help to those who need it and we are grateful that we have you to look to. It’s frustrating to see something like this happen because these are the types who ruin a good thing for everyone else. I hope you know that the majority of us truly appreciate you and are thankful to have a voice of reason in the sea of madness that is pain management at this juncture in history. Many thanks and much respect to you, sir.

  6. Would that it were possible I would internet slap that person on your behalf.

  7. You need you check YOUR attitude? I would say, imho, that potty mouthed person needs an attitude adjustment!

  8. Shocked and appalled! Wow. Abusive, ungrateful, insensitive ignorant individual. I really would not have been anywhere as patient as you! I applaud you Steve for all your hard work within the pain community!

    • That audio file was the VM that she left me. I thought that I had blocked her EVERYWHERE… apparently my iPhone just passes blocked numbers to VM. I guess she never heard of the rule…”If you find that you are digging yourself in a hole, STOP DIGGING!”

      • Try blocking this ignorant hateful individual at the carrier level:

        “Missed or rejected calls go to voicemail, which is a carrier feature, not a function of the phone. In order to block them from leaving a voicemail, you would have to block them at the carrier level. Contact your carrier to see if they offer this feature”


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