This is a problem. One that affected me personally this week. I had a cardiac ablation which involved three catheters physically irritating my heart, including a few shocks and destruction of some electrical pathways. The procedure involved two groin puncture sites, an IJ, a Foley, and a long time lying flat on a hard table.
They sent me home with NO pain medication. "Tylenol should be enough." OK, no. By the next day I was so miserable I went to see my PCP, who said the standard of care is for the surgeon to handle postop pain, which I knew, but he wouldn't give me pain medication because all that stuff somehow wasn't supposed to hurt. So my PCP felt sorry for me and gave me 12 Norco 5's. For which I'm grateful, but seriously what the hell?
People come into the ER with NOTHING and they get 30 Percocet. I, conversely, have frigging heart surgery and they act like I'm trying to pull a fast one asking for pain medication. I don't get it.
I'm all in favor of doctors not turning patients into drug addicts and of not overprescribing; however, that trend isn't even really happening, whereas at the same time people who NEED pain medication aren't getting it because providers are so jumpy. So in the current climate, you have a better chance of getting narcotics for a sprained ankle than for heart surgery. What sense does this make? None! It's made me angry this week several times. These providers act like I'm a drug seeker, and I feel a little silly having to say, "but I have a good reason to be in pain, I mean, heart surgery and stuff?"
Somewhere in this kerfuffle prescribers have apparently lost sight of the fact that pain prevents healing. So far this brute-force "no more pain medication" thing is a huge pail of fail.