Chronic Pain and Treatment – Lots of Information But…….

Chronic Pain and Treatment – Lots of Information But…….

By Liza Zoellick.

Do you ever wonder how many prescription pharmaceutical commercials you see in one day? Not counting advertisements in blogs, digital newspapers and magazines, print newspapers and magazines, television and radio and every other place you might see an ad for medication. I can’t tell you how many, but what I can tell you is that drug makers spent $5.6 billion in 2016, in ads that covered cinema, television, magazine, newspaper, and radio media spending – digital media was not included in these numbers. This number is astonishing and really impacts us and how we see chronic pain and illness because whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we are a society that tends to believe that everything can be cured or managed with a pill.

Liza Zoellick

Enter the chronic pain patient. We have done it all and I am not being facetious about this. Many of us have taken a litany of pain meds. Many of us have done alternative pain treatments from physical therapy to acupuncture with very little positive response. Some of us have attempted holistic alternatives to heal what ails us, or to even just control the pain to no avail. There is unfortunately no cookie-cutter way to deal with every chronic pain or illness patient, even if they suffer with the same illness because we are all different. It is frustrating to me when I see and hear chronic pain patients suffering because they can’t get meds. It is frustrating to me when I listen to doctors say that their hands are tied behind their back because of opioid laws. Because who is suffering is people like me and people like you. But millions and millions are paid out to big pharma who purchase spots on television and other ads encouraging doctors to prescribe and treat a certain illness with one of their drugs, and the doctor is not delving any deeper than a series of questions like fill-in-the blank and no one is looking to see what the root cause might be. Even worse, is that there is never a thought to fix us; the only idea out there is to keep us medicated, to keep us coming back and keep big pharma rich.

Until there is something else out there, an answer that makes it easier to treat me and my pain more effectively, I need to take pain meds. I don’t like it and I desperately wish there was something else out there that would make me whole again, but there is not. So, to function, I take opioids daily, 3-4 times a day. I take it despite side effects because it is the only thing that allows me to function.  I want those who are lucky enough not to struggle with chronic pain to understand that there is no other choice. None.

If chronic pain/illness weren’t bad enough; if finding a treatment to help us feel moderately better weren’t difficult enough; this constructed crisis with opioids at the root of it has made my life and every other chronic pain patients’ life even harder. Do you remember what it was like in Kindergarten when a few of the more challenging kids did something they weren’t supposed to, and the teacher punished the whole class and you couldn’t go outside? That is how I feel whenever I hear people use the opioid crisis as a blanket argument that includes people like me. I am not the face of the opioid crisis and neither are many of the thousands of people dealing with chronic pain. Yes, there are those with chronic pain who abuse drugs, but much of the epidemic is coming from outside the chronic community. The CDC includes in their numbers statistics whose only correlation is the fact the person took opioids, but not that their death was a direct result of opioid use. As someone recently disclosed to me in an example, I could be out driving (if theoretically I drove anywhere) and if I got into an accident and died, my death would be ruled a death from opioid use simply by my taking opioids. Not because the tests determined I was high. That, to me, is very unfair to include in results that are having such a profound impact on people.

Many chronic pain patients out there choose to remain opioid free and I truly respect them. I, myself, try a combination of opioids and holistic treatment as well as the treatment for my RA which includes Humira. However, I firmly believe there should be choices for chronic pain patients because everyone is different and what might work for me might not work for someone else and to limit a person’s medical options because of a hysteria that is in part construct is inhumane.

Liza is a 43-year old chronic pain warrior from Houston who has been chronicling her journey through chronic pain and illness for eight months now on her blog: http://lovekarmafood.com. She is a contributor to the National Pain Report.

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Authored by: Liza Zoellick

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Linda

To Rachel – just feeling so thankful once again, for the comments you made to me.

I keep them close by, to remind myself that ALL I am going through really isn’t some big mystery, because the not-knowing can be awful in itself.

I read what you wrote and find great comfort in it. It tells me “it’s not me” that’s making my body go haywire, not an unknown illness, but it’s my doctor that’s making my body fail so much.

I have multiple painful conditions that I won’t bore you with, and cancer. I live in constant pain. It has not mattered yet, anything to do with what is happening to me in regard proper pain management. It’s become a true dirty word and not to be spoken of at all. The pain word.

If you do you will be labeled a “bad patient”, instantly, and treated pretty poorly.

I definitely feel the room closing in and nowhere to run.

So your continue to comfort me, and I wanted you to know, and to say THANK YOU

Judy

I personally don’t trust Big Pharma, the CDC, FDA, DEA, our government or our medical community. Almost every prescription I’ve ever taken has only caused more problems. Except for hydrocodone…that helped, it didn’t take my pain away, but it helped me maintain some kind of semi-normal life.. But my doctor told me years ago that I needed to “learn to live with the pain”…..no more meds. I firmly believe just one or two hydocodone a day could greatly reduce my chronic pain, as it had done in the past. I no longer have the physical or emotional strength or energy to fight. I’m glad I’m old…..and won’t have to live this way much longer. And YES, I’ve tried everything…..even CBD & Kratom…..they did nothing for me either..

Tim Mason

Bradley, Your comment is of particular interest to me. I have been offered a LF, HF and MRI compatible SCS. I have declined all three due to the Data on the FDA M.A.U.D.E (manufacturer and user device experience). It is a searchable data base and you can search by make, model, type of complaint, etc.
From your comment it sounds like a different surgeon did the reinstall of your device. In fact, it sounds like the first person did not know what they were doing!
I have asked the pain management doctor for feedback from users to see how they like them and I do not get an answer.
I am highly interested in how your device helps you, I am looking forward to your follow-up.

Sandy Auriene Sullivan

Thank you Lisa! Right on point. Im not the face of the opiate epidemic; but it’s quickly becoming the face of a terminal patient due to government policy complications; with all the stress and med changes lately.
Oh and the flu but when you’re already losing too much weight [pain isn’t managed any more! Not like once before…] you can’t afford to get that sick – in the end that could have killed me! Yeah they would likely list it as a flu death *complicated by…* multi-drug toxicity.

Fact was when I lay here with a fever for 3 days late last week/weekend – almost was hospitalized if the fever hadn’t broke; have to keep onto pneumonia risk [for which I am prone] The flu could kill me without the drugs! But the drugs would get the focus due to my age rather than my condition.

Tim Mason

Deniese,
Alcohol and tobacco are now considered socially accepted addictions. They are heavily taxed too and perhaps that is why. Revenue
They used to use doctors to advertise Chesterfield cigarettes in magazines.
I remember seeing a pediatrician as a child and the doctor had a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
We have turned 180 degrees in medicine where a patient cannot get the medication he/she needs even in cases where a medical procedure alone has caused or will cause serious pain,
I honesty think the whole world has gone Mad!

Jennie Kraus

Thank you for your insightful words. I couldn’t have said it better. It makes the fight hard regardless, but people like you make the fight easier.
Have you heard of The Lawyer in OR, who is looking for personal stories? If you haven’t and want her information please email me, and yes share her information so every one can inundate her with thier stories.
jenniekraus92@gmail.com
Jennie

I, will indeed jump on this band wagon, as I am a 64 yr old women who suffers greatly with RSD/ RCPD, severe back pain, fibro, RA , migraines, Neuropathy. We moved from Southern California a year ago to western central Missouri’ Not even thinking or advised that this is a place that only look at you as a drug seeker . If I were, I sure as hell wouldn’t be going to every DR in the area hoping to find it legally and safely. Even for my age, and being on Opiates for 14+ yrs with my illnesses they all just turned their heads. My Dr in CA said he wished every one of his patients were like me. Never an incident of any kind, never ran out of my meds, means taking incorrectly. Urine test great, I had some good days, and some bad days but still followed directions. Some really good pain control and some bad days but still followed what th Dr instructed. I would have never even thought it would be this bad. Come to find out Springfield Mo is the largest meth capital in the US. Well, that would be deadly for me as for one, wouldn’t even thinking about it, much less try and find it or doing it period.!! So, I have done some great researching online and couldn’t find nothing. The Doctors in Springfield MO and for what my diagnosis are, should not even be Dr’s. For two reasons, they didn’t even keep me on what I was taking, not even taking me seriously, I could show them I was a patient that cared about living, just not in so much pain I can barely get out in the community and meet all our new neighbors etc. We are New to the area but even getting ready to make myself presentable to the public. As I care what I look like, even with my illnesses. If they should ever get blessed with what I have, he/she will have a very hard time getting meds to let him enjoy what life they have left. As for me, I know my ending of life will be in a wheelchair not able to walk or stand for that matter. Then again, I wish to say, who the hell even cares as the Dr’s today are afraid of their own shadow. If a patient is in dire straights, help them for Gods sake. God is seeing what your doing to people that got their meds taken right out from under them, or are to afraid to prescribe what they need to have a little quality of life. Because if they do the opposite they will get their meds taken away for not following the Doctors dose they have them on. Believe me, you people who take it for fun, or to get high with the drugs, will be caught, and deserve to be taken away from them. But for Gods sake dont take the meds… Read more »

Tim Mason: Thank you for the info and the link! And I hear you about the lumbar fusions. Mine are failures..but at the time it was the best option. Thank you for reading and sharing with me.. I value everyone’s input and story.

HJ: As my statistics professor once pointed out to me, even stats can be manipulated w/o changing numbers deceitfully. Merely by the way it is presented. So yes, I believe the numbers can be slanted. Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

Denise Bault: I’m not sure they have succeeded in persuading everyone that fibro is real. There are docs who still don’t believe, who won’t diagnose fibro and who still thinks it is psychological rather than anything truly medical. I think the ad is misleading to some, at least someone close to me thought Lyrica was a cure for fibro. But it certainly has made people aware and i hope it continues to do so.

Jack A: I cannot do CBD oil. My pain management doctor opposes it and I asked him about it but he said no. But thank you.

Linda: Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing with me your story and the struggles you have encountered along the way. I truly hope things go better for you and that your treatments are successful.

Bob Schubring: I so hear you and thanks for that nugget of info about President Polk. Had no idea. I do believe while there must be a working relationship between pharmaceuticals and doctors the wining and dining has to stop.

M.C.

To Bob Schubring,
I don’t know where you got the story of Presidents Polk & Roosevelt.
President Polk was a Democrat & protege of Andrew Jackson, hence he was alive from November 2, 1795 to June 15, 1849 (aged 53). He died in Nashville, most likely of cholera, three months after leaving the White House. His Presidency was 1845 to 1849.
President Roosevelt was a Republican, He live from October 27, 1858 to January 6, 1919.
His Presidency was Presidency 1901 to 1909. Roosevelt took office in March of 1901, he was & is the youngest president to ever serve at the age of 42. He became President after President McKinley was assassinated.
Perhaps you’re speaking of President William McKinley, who was President before Roosevelt?
In any case, there is so much more to the story. It is not as simple as a surgeon did not wash his hands before surgery because of his ‘foolish opinion’ about germs.
I have provided a link about the assassination of McKinley below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_William_McKinley

Holly

Thank you for this article Liza. It’s the truth, no one cares! I went for my monthly pain management appt. Today was my 5th cut back. My wonderful husband went with me and told the Dr. how my QOL is going downhill. How the day he came home and how upset he got when he saw me sitting on butt trying to vacuum. But this is for my safety, she says. What about the 2-3 years prior when she had no problem with my dosage? I took her the paper from the Governor of Md which states chronic pain patients are exempt and pain management Dr.s too are exempt from the guidelines. SHE DID NOT CARE! It’s for my safety.

SIGH ….Many Tears…Depression…..

Maureen M.

Liza, once again, you speak so perfectly in representing those of us who need opioids to live our painful lives. Thank you for your well said post.

@Jack A. I’m currently using CBD oil and cream to my regimen to see if it can help me spread out my med doses. Some days it helps a bit, some doesn’t it doesn’t at all. Do you have any info for us on CBD? Thank u. Maureen

Cheri Furr

You hit the nail on the head! I feel like I’m being punished for everybidy else’s mistakes, and it’s just not fair. I scream and want to throw things at the TV every time I see another story on “the oipiod crises.” Chronic pain patients didn’t start this crisis and are not part of it. We don’t get high on these drugs, abuse them or buy illegal heroin or powdered fentanyl smuggled in from China. I have been to the same doctor and pharmacy for 18 years. I don’t share drugs and strictly follow the directions for usage. We’re lucky if they help the pain. They usually dull it but don’t completely get rid of it. My doctor told me that only people prone to addiction (the same way alcoholics are) are thd ones whi become addicted to drugs. If we were truly addicts, we would be going from doctor to doctor and ER to ER. We would constantly be asking our doctor to increase our dose. But we have to suffer because of others who have abused the system. Every time you see a headline or hear a story about the “crisis,” they never mention chronic pain patients. We are the forgotten consequence of the opioid crisis. In my state, you can only get a prescription for 5 DAYS’ worth of opiods at a time! The doctor can give you refills, but don’t they realize how much of a burden it is for us to get transportation to the doctor to get the prescription and then take it to the pharmacy to be filled???

Yes,the government needs to separate everything differently than they have been but for them it’s easier just to group everybody into one huge category of drug addict opiate strung-out people. And with all the parents of OD’d kids out there screaming and crying and saying oh my God to the government that doesn’t help even though they’re the parents they should have noticed things right off the bat but no they didn’t notice it and their kids died! To blame chronic pain patients for their children’s demise is so untrue their kids got drugs off the street and those drugs put them in a coffin I have no sympathy for those parents because they’re the parents they should have noticed something and I guarantee you you half of them did and didn’t do anything about it they didn’t put their kids in treatment. I guess I shouldn’t be so hardcore about those dead kids but for me and others like me we’re going through something that we shouldn’t even be going through we should be able to live our lives in the least amount of pain as possible.

Rachel

Well said Lisa. All good points and if you look on Medscape (there is an app you can download) , the Doctors bible ie. instruction book in the USA, under emergency care for pain management every single time opioids are the first line recommended treatment for both chronic and acute pain. Trump’s advisors told him the statistics did not justify an opioid crisis but he called one anyway. Even doctors in the UK are writing opioid warnings in clinical letters to their patients even though they have never told their patients they believe that Opioids are dangerous when taken at the correct dose for pain. They are covering their backs in case anyone goes through their records. My doctor put my opioids up today as I am in cannabis withdrawal (cannabis is illegal here yet all the pain doctors I know tell their patients to use it, including the THC element). Quality peer reviewed research from Glasgow has found that CBD alone ie. medical cannabis, does not work for most patients. I am therefore having a pain emergency, even though a month ago I had a letter from him saying “he was not a pill person and I should not be taking all the meds I am, including the opioids”. Haha!! He also put up my benzodiazepine, a med he also told me in writing I should get off one month ago as he could see no reason for it. In fact although they have many risks benzodiazepines potentiate opioids and relax muscle spasms so a lower opioid dose can be taken and tolerated with increased pain relief. In addition for “not a pill person” he has refused to speak to the best and most knowledgeable member of my pain team, a trauma counsellor and cranio sacral therapist who has treated me brilliantly for 14 years, completely understands pain states, yet has NO MEDICAL DEGREE. Hippocracy or what? Gold standard pain care should be integrated including so called complimentary therapies. All members of a patient’s pain team should be talking to each other. This is Government advice in the UK and it rarely happens because of Doctor arrogance and lack of the holistic view long proven to benefit pain sufferers. To LINDA and ALL PATIENTS WHO ARE GIVEN OPIODS PART TIME ie. on an on/off basis: your doctor is medically negligent and abusing you. She is putting you into withdrawal every single month. 1. Your body has to work so hard to deal with that, 2. Your system is under massive stress just because you have chronic pain ie, your CNS is highly oversensitised to every physical and emotional challenge yet on top of that you a have a monthly challenge that would be hard work for anybody to deal with. One that for all other conditions is recognised as a MEDICAL EMERGENCY ie. a withdrawal state. And, under treated pain is a medical emergency. It kills brain cells & damages organs because the flood of adrenaline released has that… Read more »

Bradley B

This site has saved my life…of course I knew there are a lot of people that are going through the same pain, agony, and confusion of why is this happening. I would sit in my Doctors office and I could tell which patients were there for a fender bender causing low back pain and of course the stiff neck. Just a few weeks ago my doctor said you were red flagged because I was taking something to help me sleep due to the pain and he told me I have to stop or the DEA would cut me off my pain medication….. I couldn’t believe it!! I asked him don’t you reply to these ass holes and tell them I’ve had 11 surgeries, six being fusions and the last one on 10/2017 I had the Nevro implant surgery in hopes to lower the meds…he said the DEA doesn’t care. Well, us sufferers do care and we’re mad as Hell and we are not going to take it any longer!
If this implant helps I’ll let everyone know. By the way this was my second implant the first one the surgeon put it in to low and the lead wires pulled out in less than two days. I found out he’s only observed this procedure before, so I was the Guinea pig. Not only did I have the worst pain it got infected because they didn’t sew it up good enough.The surgeon that put the paddle version in said “who in the hell put this in” and why is it down in the lower butt area. People we have to “fight for our right to party”! because no one else will.

William Dorn

Liza please send a copy of your article to every major newspaper and tv station in america.You have said what everyone in pain would like them to know.If the right person reads this they might start to tell the truth about this phony crisis.Folks like you need to be heard.You and Dr Lawhern no how to tell our story so well.GOD BLESS you Liza.

Your article is a mirror ro my journey to which i feel at times im losing the battle…I recently had an L4-5 laminectomy after suffering for 6 years in debillitating pain thruout my lower spine…I cannot walk yet …Prior to my onset of pain…I was active,.had a great career which i was forced to leave …My wife divorced me in this time…I live in Fla originally from Ny …Healthcare and the opoid epidemic in general leaves me at the hands of so called professionals who are just following a script written to them as to how im treated…These percocets and tramadol are for toothaches not spine pain….I cant afford to run to the E.R to get immediate relief with a morphine shot which lasts 3 hours at best…I can write so more but even that is a struggle at times…..Im only 53…PT wants to come to my house but they dont care if im in pain or not….I have even went the MMJ route for a while ….My days of wanting a buzz are way behind me but more importingly it has not helped with pain relief at all…..People will say oh u must be depressed thats all….Well Duh, of course i am….If one is not suffering they just dont get it….Frustrating

Kathy C

Well Stated! The continuous barrage of Pharma Commercials, shows something is rotten at the core of our Medical System. The Data does not show the impact by design, except top show the profitability. Sprinkled among the Pharma Advertising are the Lawyer ads, for the drugs that caused a few well documented side effects or death. With Industry Insiders on Regulatory Boards and the the FDA, it is only getting more prevalent. Many of these drugs are dangerous< expensive, and no better than previous treatments. The commercials serve two purposes, unfiltered deceptive promotion of a healthcare system that has failed most of us, and Profit. The only requirements for these drugs is that they perform slightly better than placebo, and are not immediately deadly. They only have to appear to be better than Placebo, in an Industry funded Double Blind Study. If anyone were to test these drugs against a previous medication, they would be sued before the Study was even implemented. The Industries decided to categorize Pain and Chronic Pain as a Personalty Disorder, a noxious Mental Illness, which is incurable. This was how they have avoided researching it in any meaningful way. They realized they could not cure it so they redefined it. This also allowed numerous opportunities to market other drugs. They push Psychiatric medications on people with chronic pain, not becasue they work, but becasue it fits their description. The Medical, Insurance and Phrama Industries have been hard at work for decades, making sure that the Government could not collect all of the data. They took over Academia, by making them entirely dependent on Industry funding. The only research being done is the kind that the industries allow. Science is not the objective, only increasing corporate profits. Any research that might show a negative about anything that could interfere with profitability, is squashed before it is started. That is the only way to describe the lack of research. With pain defined as a Psychological Problem, it limited the 'Research". No real research is being done, it was replaced with nonsense "Studies" which they repeat in the media as "Science." Psychological "Studies" replaced science based medical research. All they had to do is mislead the general public, which includes Policy Makers and Health officials. Virtually no meaningful Research has been done on Pain, since they declared it a Mental Illness. That definition increased profitability and lack of accountability for the Industries, while destroying the lives of people with pain. They created terms like "Catastrophizing" that way any attempt to describe pain to a Medical or Psychiatric provider would be proof of a Mental Illness. I came across another use for that word, in an article about the Psychologists that helped our Government torture detainees. In 2009 that same Psychiatrist was given 31 million dollars to create a program for our Soldiers, to make them more resilient to torture, and traumatic wartime events. According to Seligman, Soldiers could be "trained to psychologically resilient and resist catastrophizing traumatic events." The… Read more »

Ibin

Very well summarized aricle for the pain management patients now in a worsened state of health Lisa. All the other contributers of this article all have excellent points of observation such as “we have been around the block” several times in the pursuit of pain management. We now what will is effective for pain management,, and if it is opioid medication, we have been baiscally abandoned, a deaf ear turned to us by those that could reverse the discrimination against “one and all” patients. Even those that have used our medicaion…..responsibly to be able to perform necessary activiites. Activitites that do not end for life. I fortunately do have a doctor, a spine pain mangement specialist but, he also is under the influence of fear to exceed CDC policy. It’s NOT a policy, it is enforced compliance or face the medical board by DEA action. He is thoughtful, takes neccessary time to converse about the rediculous situation and jeopardy the CDC policy has placed him and his patients in, even those that have been treated for decades. He offers all alternative therapy he can prescribe: wihtin his ability but, as already said, been there, done that, decades or years ago. I, and I am sure that no one wishes to see another overdose and the grieving that comes with family members because of it but, who…..is concerned about the grief being caused by policy for the millions? of patienrts that have become disabled, amd worsened disability? NOT the medical board because they know me by first name, NOT my DC representatives. NOT HHS, or at least the issue is not on the A list. I agree that alcohol and tobacco sales are dangerous but, they are legal: to use in any amount that we wish. However personal pain management has been “standardized” whether effective or not. I STILL say JEFF would use whatever substance he could get if he really needed it. Including the “dangerous” cannabis products but, with authority comes….privilege. He can get whatever he or a family member may need. True, big pharmacy is only interested in $$$$$. The more “drug abuse” is raved about, the more it costs we patients and the insurance providers with more costly abuse deterrent medications. WHAT ABOUT all the patients that do and have been responsible opioid medication users? There is no distinguishng the pain management patient from the unfortunate people that choose to use whatever they can get to get high on. A different approach needs to be used instead of “punishing” all pain mansgement patients that have used medication responsibly. The situation with pain management patients, I will say legitimate patients is not getting any better…..fast enough. They may have to arrest me (I hope not) for voicing my concern to the “authorities”, the elect, because I will not simply conform to a wrong policy.. I will not be abusive when I contact the agencies, the people that could make a difference in patient abandonement, but I will not stop… Read more »

Steven Smith

The bottom line for most chronic pain sufferers is that their condition is getting worse. At the same time we’ve had are medicine either taken away completely or reduced to the point where we can’t cope. It is obvious where this combination leads. The people who have needed opiates for perhaps decades have no alternative. CBT and the like treatments or another word for no treatment. They simply don’t work. My doctor says I have to make friends with my pain. That prescription could only come from a Dr who has never experienced severe and unrelenting pain.

DWEEZY

CBD’S DON’T WORK, ITS ALL IN YOUR HEAD.

Kris Aaron

“I could be out driving (if theoretically I drove anywhere) and if I got into an accident and died, my death would be ruled a death from opioid use simply by my taking opioids. Not because the tests determined I was high.”
My physician was called before the state medical board on several occasions when one of his opiate-prescription patients died. The board didn’t bother to look at the individual patient records showing the deceased individuals had multiple chronic health issues including extensive liver and lung damage from a lifetime of tobacco and alcohol use, failing kidneys, obesity and diabetes. All the board was concerned about was their opiate prescriptions — they seemed to believe my physician should have let his patients live and die in agony.
Now, my physician’s employer has decided that none of their doctors will be allowed to prescribe any opiates to anyone. They are deeply concerned — not about patient suffering, but about the expense of defending their employees against a DEA prosecution.
Chronic pain patients have become collateral damage.in America’s “war on drugs”. Very few of us have ever sold our prescriptions — we need them to survive. Many if not most overdose deaths in the past few years are due to illegal fentanyl imported by drug dealers from overseas. But how do we fight statistics that are so vague as to be almost irrelevant? How do we overcome the image the media and politicians have created, with us as “drug dealers” spreading death from coast to coast?
And how can we best educate people that the current overdose hysteria is a product of fevered minds and knee-jerk solutions with little relevance to reality?

Linda

Liza, you are so well spoken and just get to the nitty gritty of it and I appreciate that so very much in your writing. Thank you.

In my opinion, the bottom line to all of This, all we all read and write about is simple – we want opiods. Period. We’ve been around the block so many times that we couldn’t even count. The blocks of so many different drug tries and fails, physical therapy, etc.

We know. We know what we need to be able to get up and move. I personally cannot get up and do any thing – without my correct dosage of OPIODS.

It is interesting, my doc gives me enough opiods for 3 weeks out of each month. She tells me to “work it out” the remainder of the time.

How unprofessional we’ve allowed our doctors to be! How harmful we’ve allowed them to be. Because of her prescribing this way, the affect it has on me is pretty unbelievable by most. Between the constant counting, figuring out when to take the full dose based on how many and what kind of doctor appt I’m going to have, to planning showers, dishes, etc, which each require my full dose not half… the amazing stress of going through this, and awful anxiety. It removes any quality of life, at all. It then adds great suffering on top of no quality. A double whammy of sorts.

Now there are chest pains I’ve never had before out of the blue.

Lastly, I was just diagnosed with cancer.

I have many doctors – not one cares. NOT ONE.

Tim Mason

Many of the advertised drugs for arthritis have side effects that are worse than arthritis. In fact these alternate drugs can kill you.
Anti-depressants of the serotonin reuptake inhibition class are bad.
SSRI Problems https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15641869
If would love to live my life pain free without drugs but that is impossible.
I was sent to 4 different back surgeons before have a lumbar fusion. They all said, “Surgery is the last resort” I finally had to give in and have surgery to prove I was helping myself.
Now, along comes an SCS and they say this is the last resort but they are in constant need of adjustment and only effective in 20 to 55% of the patients with the hope of reducing your pain by 50%. Add to that the numerous surgeries involved for battery changes and failed leads or modulator.
My sister has taken some of the advertised NEW pain meds and they made her sick.

There are drugs out there that have been around for a long time and are now cheap and work better than the expensive stuff Pharma pushes on Television.
Great article!

Big Pharma is the biggest drug pusher out there ! Think about it. Why are they allowed to spend billions of dollars on advertising to the general population, so that we can “Go ask your doctor about…?”
Then they spend billions of dollars lobbying our elected officials, in order to continue to make billions on medications – selling many meds that should probably not even be on the market, but were “fast-tracked” by the FDA. SHAMEFUL! I’ve been a guinea pig for Big Pharma for 14 years. The only thing they have done for me is to at least acknowledge through their ads that fibromyalgia is real. THAT’S IT. Alcohol and tobacco are no longer allowed to be marketed as such – and they’re drugs – but follow the all mighty dollar and you will see where the buck stops. I guarantee you it’s on some Big Pharma’s Ceo’s desk in the form of another yearly hundred million dollar payout package. Again, absolutely SHAMEFUL!

Bob Schubring

Those $5.6 billion dollars of advertising, about which Lisa complains, reveal a serious deficiency in our healthcare system: Busy doctors lose their curiosity about medical science.

Their job becomes routine. They repeat the same tired answers to the same disappointed faces, telling them they have no cure for what ails us. Or vary it up a bit, by blaming us for our symptoms, as if we had some sort of choice in what disease to develop.

Getting these jaded, zoned-out medical practitioners to actually read about new discoveries is hard. So Pharma firms make an end-run around the jaded doctor, by informing patients about what products a doctor can prescribe for them. When patients are asking for a substance by name, this persuades a doctor that maybe he should do some reading and learn what’s new in the field.

Part of the reason that doctors are overworked, is that many years ago, some of them wanted to be overpaid. So they hired lobbyists and lobbied state legislators to cap the number of medical school admissions that are allowed, causing a doctor shortage that bid up the price of healthcare.

The problem with having a doctor shortage, is that because there aren’t enough doctors, the doctors who are allowed to make all the money, are also overworked. There isn’t time to both treat patients, and keep up on the news about better ways to treat patients.

One of the reasons why we’re having an Opioid Crisis right now, is that so many doctors are completely uninformed about medical research that they ignore important discoveries. Some doctors probably still believe that cannabis is harmful, so they prescribe deadly methamphetamine to children for treating ADHD and don’t read the studies showing how cannabis can work better for ADHD, with fewer side effects. This misinformation then cascades down from doctor to patient to community. There are kids getting hooked on deadly Methamphetamine right now, because everyone from their lazy doctor to the DARE officer who comes to their school to talk, is telling them that safe cannabis is somehow dangerous, and deadly methamphetamine is somehow safe to take for ADHD.

This is not a new problem.

Theodore Roosevelt became President when President Polk died of an abdominal infection. Mr Polk was the victim of a failed assassination attempt, and survived. But the doctor who removed the bullet, did not believe in germs and never bothered washing his hands before surgery. Germs had been proven to cause disease 30 years previously and thousands of scientific articles had been published about how to keep germs away from patients…but this particular doctor didn’t know or care to inform himself and stuck to his foolish opinions, giving Mr Polk a fatal infection from some dirt underneath his fingernails that was full of germs.

Medical misinformation is a serious problem. I wish I had a solution.

HJ

We need helpful/relevant data if we are to address an issue as complex as opiod use. People who simply use opiods who die in a car accident should not be included in opiod death statistics. This helps nobody and is totally misleading.

Sadly, I think people who produce these statistics know that they’re producing useless statistics, but it gets quoted all over the place. That’s very misleading. They should have a social responsibility to speak out against the mis-use of statistics in this way.

Jack A.

Liza, would you be amenable to trying CBD’s for your pain?