Change current CDC guidelines for chronic pain sufferers
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The CDC changed the guidelines for opioid pain treatment in 2016 without consulting the public or the FDA. The FDA is the only government agency that can pass regulations on the use of prescription medications.
Millions of Americans suffer from some form of Chronic Pain Syndrome. If you are not a CPS sufferer chances are you have a family member or friend who is. How might this effect Non- CPS consumers? What is to stop the CDC, FDA, or DEA from deciding one day that muscle relaxers, antidepressants or seizure medications are being overused and/or abused? This is not impossible. Each of these classes of drugs are also used to treat chronic pain. THIS IS NOT JUST MY STORY BUT ALSO THE STORY OF MILLIONS OF OTHERS.
In 2003 I had a household accident. I was treated with hydrocodone for the acute pain. However, 6 months later I still had the pain but in more places in my body. It took 5 more years of doctors and specialist to finally get a reason for the pain. Fibromyalgia. By that time I was put on a maintenance dosage of Oxycontin ER (extended release) and my life became functional again. I still had days when the pain was unbearable but they where few and far between. In 2013 I developed polyneuropathy from being a diabetic. I began taking Lyrica. In 2014 I was finally referred to a pain management clinic. They made me start from the beginning. I had to go through every non-narcotic pain treatment for 3 months to see if it would manage my pain. Of the 11 different medications; six did nothing for my pain and the other 4 I developed severe allergic reactions to. Ah ha, so it back to the Oxycontin ER. Finally life begins to look up again. I had 4 months of a functional life back.
In June 2015, after getting my monthly prescription for the Oxycontin, I was told my insurance would no longer pay for it. My sole source of income being SSI, I did not have $385 to fill the prescription. I called my pain doctor and he tells me he wondered if the insurance would pay. Apparently many of his patients were having the same problem. Now it is Oxycodone for the pain. What I discovered about the difference between extended release meds and immediate release meds is this; extended release will actually work for 10 to 12 hours whereas immediate release meds (especially narcotics) last about 3 to 4 hours but you can only take them every 6 hours. So much for my functional life.
This went on until August 2016. By then everyone in the CPS society knew the CDC was on the warpath about Oxycodone. Too many people in West Virginia were killing themselves taking the stuff. It did not matter that most of those people did not have either a prescription or legitimate pain problems. In August of 2016, at my usual monthly pain clinic appointment, my pill count came up short. Every month you have to bring in your prescription bottle so the medical staff can count them. It was their way of dealing with abusers. The prior 3 weeks I had had a significant jump in my daily pain levels. I called the doctor and let him know the usual 60 mg per day was not helping at all. I was told I could increase my daily dosage by one 10 mg pill. So I did. End of the line, you are now a drug seeking junky. That was how I was treated. No more pain meds and no need to make another appointment. This is the standard practice if you are short on your pill count. I sat there in shock when I was told this. I did not count the pills myself.
I was allowed just enough oxycodone to get me through the withdrawal period. I went to my primary care doc and she put me on a drug that is supposed to suppress the urge for narcotics and relieve pain. I spent 5 days in hell going through oxy withdrawal. All I got out of 4 weeks of use were blisters in my mouth, horrible diarrhea and stomach cramps and a boat load of pain. Can I get back on the oxy now I asked her. NO. You are an addict and I cannot give an addict narcotics. It took six weeks before my rheumatologist finally took pity on me and gave me a script for oxy.
The type of treatment, I described above, is widespread throughout this country for anyone suffering from chronic pain. Not every chronic pain sufferer is an addict. I am asking you to email your congressional representatives, call the CDC and FDA. Tell them that the new "guidelines" are cruel and inhumane.
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