Stop punishing chronic pain patients for the opioid epidemic
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With opioid overdoses in the news lately, I am scared. I am not alone. Groups such as "The Mighty.com" and Facebook groups such as "dear fibromyalgia", are filled with stories of people who are scared.
For many of us, pain medicines keep us semi-active. We understand that complete pain relief isn't the goal, it's relieving enough so that we can have an improvement in quality of life.
Imagine having the flu, with muscle aches and dizziness, and at the same time, your whole body is sunburned. Add random sharp pains (as if a tack or nail is being hammered into random parts of your body), muscle spasms, and feeling spiders on your skin (then scratch or swat that sunburn). Imagine that all of your senses are intensified. Imagine that your clothes are two sizes too small, and someone keeps moving the thermostat. This is my fibromyalgia. Sometimes the symptoms are less severe, and some days, I don't understand why my body doesn't shut down. Fibromyalgia also makes my other physical issues more painful. I can't remember the last time that I was comfortable, let alone without pain.
I live in pain. Every day. I cannot take the non-opioid medications due to adverse reactions. I take oxycodone. I have taken Percocet, Vicodin, etc. off and on since 1997, daily since 2015. My doctors have seen me when I didn't have any meds for over a month (when I have moved). I have never had withdrawl symptoms, just pain. I have never misused, or shared, my medicine.
This is the brutal, honest truth. If I were unable to have opoids, I would kill myself. I already have days where I can't imagine living the rest of my life...this is the best I am ever going to feel. I have two adult kids who are the reason for not taking my life on the days I don't want to be alive.
I would like the officials who are making these decisions to get an adjoining hotel room with me for a week. I will stop taking my opoids. Maybe then, they will have some idea of the realities for those with daily chronic pain. Maybe they will spend some of the resources on finding a better way to control pain instead of taking away the only thing that provides relief. I take opoids so that I can go to church and my church groups, take walks and do my physical therapy, make healthy meals.
Please break up the statistics to show how many deaths are caused by people without a prescription, people who bought their meds off of the street, how many kill themselves because the pain is too much, etc. Make decisions based on this information. Share this information with the public.
Do the research. Find alternative forms of pain relief. Have insurance cover things such as massage therapy, chiropractors, accupuncture, vitamins, and other alternative forms of pain relief. There are ways for pharmaceutical companies to continue making money..they can do more research on vitamins, absorption, combinations, etc. Allow the vitamins to be sold by these companies with FDA oversight (guarantee the amount of the actual mineral or vitamin in the pills, let them compete to find the best absorption rate, etc.)
Realize that the systems in place, when enforced, work. I go to a pain clinic. Once a month I am drug tested, and my pills are counted. I know that they can call me at any time for a random pill count. My doctor is trained to look for signs of overuse and addiction.
Don't make me pay for others' misuse. You will see an increase in suicides. I guarantee it.
***UPDATE: Trumps Speech 10/26/2017
Wow, watching this speech, and am surprised by some of his plans. Spending money to find non-addictive pain relievers, fighting the illegal use and importation of drugs. Increasing access to treatment is great, if the addicts WANT treatment. Also, the Guardian angels, same as the treatment systems,
However, companies limiting meds to 7 days? So does that mean I have to see my pain doctor once a week? Even if they will take the 30 day script, I will still have to get to the pharmacy weekly. I don't drive. Many of us don't. Spending money for commercials? That's just silly. Drug addicts don't care about commercials, or that they are funding the bad guys.
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