Do You Know About a Suicide from Chronic Pain?

Do You Know About a Suicide from Chronic Pain?

It’s an issue we’ve talked about a lot on the National Pain Report—patient abandonment and suicide from chronic pain.

We see it in statistics, we report it in stories, and we see alarming threats of it—many threats—in our commentary section.

(Some so alarming, that we’ve contacted the folks and tried to make sure they were talking with mental health professionals.)

That’s why our radar went up over the weekend, when chronic pain advocate Terri Lewis, Ph.D., sensitively but directly asked people on Twitter to share their stories about loved ones who may have been abandoned by their doctors and/or have chosen to end their lives from chronic pain.

What she is looking for specifically are;

  • Deaths post passage of the CDC guidelines in March 2016 and suicides or deaths from inadequate care among those who completed the survey
  • Confirmation of physician abandonment, under treatment, imposition of step therapy with an unsatisfactory outcome, insurance and/or pharmacy restrictions.

Here is the thread she published:

“I have a grim request. As I begin the analysis on suicide data for persons who chose to end their lives due to unrelieved pain or involuntary taper, I am searching the survey data for persons who submitted & have since deceased.

We know that many remain SKEPTICAL that anyone might make a well-considered decision to end their misery or refuse treatment. I am particularly interested in deaths post adoption of CDC’s guidelines March 2016.

If you have last communications that you are willing to share that document the reasons for their decision or death, please communicate with me so I can follow up with you?

I want to treat these folks as a special data cohort and respectfully address their submissions, their choices, and identify the unique questions that might be raised.”

This survey that she talks about has been promoted heavily by us at the National Pain Report. The survey, which is now closed, had an estimated 5,000 chronic pain patients respond—the largest chronic pain patient survey yet conducted.

If you filled out that survey and have a story to share—email, her tal7291@yahoo.com

If you also are comfortable in sharing those comments—or have your own story to tell that may not fit what Dr. Lewis is looking for and that you are willing to share—please do in our comments section.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Noelle Pastor

I am a 25 y/o female, I have had chronic pain for 10 years without a diagnosis. I have been seen by selveral different doctors, each passes me onto the next with no answers.. I was on opioids for about 3 1/2 years and after seeing a “pain specialist” once for about 10 minutes he told me I can no longer have opioids and the pain is all in my head. I know it is not in my head and is very real. I go to work and sit and cry at my desk because the pain is so unbearable now and I’m unable to work due to the constant pain it’s all I can think about. I am no longer able to do household chores and I no longer go out with friends and recently ended a 5 year relationship due to my health issues coming in between us. I’ve tried literally every non pharmaceutical approach as well as non opioids they do not work. I got a referral to palliative care about 6 months ago I thought this was going to save my life, I was very wrong. I confided in this new doctor that I am scared I am not going to be able to live in this pain much longer and will have to resort to buying medication of the street or ending my life. Neither things I want to do. I WANT to live. I am doing everything I can to get help from my doctors as well as everything outside I can on my own(homeopathic remedies and massage therapy) My new doctor has now told me he is “at a loss” and doesn’t know how to help me and told me to go to a psychiatrist. (I am already seeing a psychiatrist as well as a pain psychiatrist both of which I started seeing well before and on my own) once again another doctor no help with no regard for my life.

Substantial Tarantula

Accidentally posted twice! Lol, anyways, don’t die folks, just try methadone 🙂 If not that, try Sub!

Substantial Tarantula

I was forced from methadone (which is the holy grail of pain meds folks!) onto Suboxone. I am fine. Sub is great too 🙂

chuck darrah

One thing you must consider is that there are many more patients considering suicide who will not talk about it because Doctors can use that as grounds to discontinue opiod medication and / or throw you out as a patient.I am not a person who would consider suicide because I am a fighter who never gives up hope of change; even though if change comes it is far down the road.Also my wife and my loyal dog give my every reason to live even though I suffer constant horrific chronic pain.We all deal with horrible pain and no quality of life but our suffering is magnified when we see our Doctors who refuse to even answer when we ask what are we supposed to do when our pain is unbearable ? Many of them try to get you to take spinal epidurals which are both dangerous and do not work anyway. I have had 96 shots in my back in 19 years none of which worked at all.Also I have terrible knee and shoulder pain so a shot in my back would not help my pain even if they did work. My neurologist told me never to take another spinal epidural, I have already had way to many and the shots themselves could have made my back problems even worse than they already were.Keep fighting everyone eventually the insanity and inhumane treatment will end Never give up hope.

I have literally hundreds of PMs from people that have considered, tried or have completed suicide, plus posts in our C-50/Coalition of 50 State Pain Advocacy groups. My own father suicided plus my son has been in the psych ward four times in two years for suicidal ideation. Too many of our own C-50 members who were friends are on ‘the list’ now, plus all the others. One of the very early projects I was trying to get going was to see if group Admins could receive crisis counseling training from counselors and if we could get retired or volunteer counselors to help pain groups – I don’t know what the liability or other road blocks would be? Like many of my projects I’ve handed off to members – I never heard from them again. We are all so worn out, stressed and in pain with battling our individual health issues/life chaos and then fighting city hall on top of it all – anything extra can just be TOO much. I totally understand and don’t blame anyone, as so many are just hanging on. I am still hoping for some kind of help for those who can’t get out for counseling. There are mobile outreach teams in some towns, as my son called one of them when I was out of town and couldn’t get to him to get him to the hospital immediately. Please call those crisis lines, 211 info numbers in some states and call Medicare/Medicaid/insurers – they are there to provide doctors. I set up plans for a Buddy System about two years ago, that we are hoping to implement ASAP in the C-50/Coalition of 50 State Pain Advocacy Groups. There’s SO much that needs to be done, especially meeting with policy makers in groups, which is our sole focus (as I used to work for Congress and in other political jobs) but so many people’s mental health is deteriorating as the pain increases while the doctors keep tapering.

Linda Hampton

I have watched my husband, a service connected disabled veteran waste away due to pain since the lovely VA has decided to taper him off his pain meds saying he doesn’t need them. He has been on pain medicines for 27 years. Multiple failed back fusions and stimulators. Dr. Yhat has decided to take him off is not a pain specialist and said he doesn’t understand why my husband is in pain. My husband can’t sleep due to pain, can’t eat due to pain. No physical activity now due to pain. His quality of life has torpedoed in the last 3 months and they just reduced his medicine again that he will receive this next week. It is hard to watch a lived one waste away to nothing when something like pain medicine can reverse the situation.

Maria Elgin

I am so heartbroken yet so very pleased to read your article today. I survived stage 4 metastatic ovarian cancer in 2010 but have suffered severe chronic pain since treatment. Over the years sadly, I lost many friends to cancer. Alarmingly, I lost as many or more to suicide from undertreatment, or patients getting dropped from their pain management doctor. Until I got sick I would have never had the capacity to understand the relentless daily suffering some people endure. The emotional turmoil(feels like madness at times)and loss of all quality of life has had me question how I would continue to go on over the years as well. I am grateful that the proper agencies and authorities have finally recognized this tragedy and have taken steps to save lives! I feel so very fortunate to be a part of this group and a few others who understand and support people like me! To the many doctors and medical personnel who stand behind chronic pain patients, God bless you! I have hope if my daughter or anyone who might face this is the future will finally be heard. Thank you again! Sincerely, Maria E from MO

Angela C Holbert

My life has been nearly completely destroyed due to the government bullying legitimate pain patients. I was cut to less than half of my meds in one month & completely off the next. I have RSD of the right arm and I have been taking medication for about 10 to 12 years. I’ve remained on the same dosage amount for that time because I am young and I knew that there would be a time when I may need a higher dosage. I have never had any dirty urine test or any issues with my doctor but when all of this went down myself among many many others are the ones who have suffered. I immediately started taking any kind of substance that I could to try to treat my out-of-control pain and severe withdrawal symptoms. I had never done any illicit drug before that time and had never even smoked marijuana. Now I am going to a psychiatrist because I became suicidal and kept myself locked in my home for weeks on end without even opening the door or answering my phone. I also am now in a suboxone clinic which is a waste of my time and money because it does not treat the pain. So where do we turn now? If the government would have been honest in their so-called research into the “opioid epidemic” the findings would have shown that the issue this country has is with methamphetamine, heroin and other illegal drugs. In all honesty I believe the government wanted people to be required to go to their federally mandated Suboxone clinics and what they have done to legitimate patients is nothing less than governmental genocide. My rights as a United States citizen have been demolished. I foolishly assumed that I had the rights of life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. ALL of that has been taken from me. I have thoughts of suicide nearly everyday.

Eric

I don’t know any suicides but i know 3 people that turned to heroin

Shame the Govt not Others

Some of the comments blow my mind!! Continuing to blame addicts! Speaking as they are not human! I’m an addict in recovery over 10 years clean! I have cancer, stage 4 & was cold turkey pulled from my pain medicine! Why because of judgmental opinions like I read that was enforced by the DEA/CDC! I was 32 began with opiates for legitimate pain due to auto accident, after 4 years put myself in rehab! On my 1 year clean dx with cancer when meds pulled at 7.5 years clean in cancer recurrence never a failed drug test! I didn’t shoot them, doctor shop! If I ran out – there was always the patient selling them who went that didn’t need them for $$$. Yeah no-one brings them patients up or doctors who at one point that did abuse their license!!! Now we have people shaming people for talking of suicide saying we sound like addicts! There is freedom of speech. There is being dependant on them & real pain! Bottom line we fight this United and Stop the Judgment or the DEA/CDC wins! Honestly, what is the difference if one turns to heroin for relief or suicide?! In the end, they are the same especially with Fentanyl out there! Stop with all the judgement and shaming!

Rebecca Carpenter

I had been taking pain meds for over 10 yrs when in 2009 my doctor deceided to retire and his predecessor was against opiates. Cut off , completely cold turkey. As a medic in the US army i know the difference between a person addicted and a person physically dependent. I wzs the later at that point. I tried everything to manage my pain to no avail. So i turned to the local street dealer. That got expensive and i live off a military disability check. So i started buying heroin. That turned into a full blown drug addiction and 6 freaking yrs in prison. So i got out in 2015. Went to my childhood doctor. He put me back on my orginal dose but as he gets close to retirement i worry about what happens then??? Maybe then i will think about ending my pain forever. Because i wont and cant sit another day in prison. Idk the future but thanks to our government my past looks pretty fu@&ed up. Thats the thanks i get for serving.17 yrs in the army and losing my left leg above the knee with lots of other shrapnel injuries. I pray for all of us living in constant pain and fear of having our meds taken away and with that we might ss well be living in our own prison of pain. God bless ya all!!

Bob

I’m going talk about a Dr in Dixon Il
Ksb hospital pleacha name .
I went to him needing help was in bad accident all these new Dr are scared to treat pain and treat u like addict if u r hurt having your back crushed between farm equipment and in missery and told him I need help my pain is horrific he said my brother died from pain meds and don’t want to risk my patients by giving it to them he refused to treat me right
Treated me like an addict weekly drug test wanting me to see shrinks and he wouldn’t treat me right if I didn’t go for 3 hours of shrink a week I snapped I said I’m not fucking crazy I’m not an addict I got hurt really bad spent 3 months in hospital and I want have my life back and able do stuff he said if u don’t go I’m not going prescribe anything so I said I would he give it to me that night had my dad’s old shotgun and was out in my barn and was tired of hurting tired of being treated like a dope fiend by Dr cause I was in accident but I didn’t instead I went to Dr turn my phone recorder on he said all the wrong things and said I refuse to treat your pain cause u won’t see a shrink cause your an addict but the x Ray’s the MRI and CT scans says different and so did the law got new Dr and got some pain help but 1.8 latter ksb paid and was warned patient hg hAve rights and that Dr learned and his lies got him a year of suspended from practice .

Carol

I am a chronic pain patient for 20 years. On the same meds and mg for over 15 years. I never missed an appt, a procedure, a pill count. I always passed the pill count and drug test. I was always 100% in compliance. Now due to the powers that be my medicine has been cut down by half my quality of life has went down extremely. I mostly sit propped up in my bed. I have never had high blood pressure in my life. Ever since my medicine was cut in half my blood pressure keeps going up because of the pain that I’m in. Today at the Dr it was 164/112. I checked it again a few minutes ago and it was 179/104 and I am in so much pain it’s almost unbearable. I have never tried to commit suicide due to my religion and my beliefs. However there have been several nights I go to bed in tears and pray for God not to let me wake up because the pain is so unbearable. But I think of my kids and my husband and how much I love them. But now I feel like a burden on them and other extended family members. I know God will call me home when it’s my time. I keep praying for God to fix this mess that I and all the other chronic pain patients are having to.go through. I have seen God’s miracles 3 times in my life. So now I continue to pray and hope for change for all of us chronic pain patients.

Stephen Powers

This is how I feel. Since the government are making our pain management doctors unable to truly treat us Choric pain patients I think we have a right to be given enough phenobarbital to take at night and go to sleep so peacefully and never wake up and live with brutal pain 24/7 365 till you die. Chronic pain is tantamount to torture – if doctor are not allowed to manage our pain then we should have the right to take a med and stop the suffering for good. Our no good government just keep taking our rights away. Putting a guide line on pain meds is the most asinine thing I ever heard and every ones pain is different plus now people having brutal surgeries are not having their pain controlled. Because drug dealer were buying prescription drug threw the dark web from China, getting them from the tons of drugs that The Drug Cartel from Mexico bring into America and those people who are stupid enough to shot up prescription drugs, heroin, smoke all kinds of drugs, missing prescription drugs with other drugs and mainly alcohol and over dosing, end up dying and the drug dealer plus the few bad doctors in Fl. and W.V. and the drug stores that were working with them in prescription pain pills to any one so they could get richer and drug store get richer should be the one that should be punished harshly. But the government punish the real Chronic pain patients and those who had a brutal pain full surgery. It took the best pain management doctor I’ve ever seen or heard of – it took him over a year to get me on the right amount I needed to get my life the best it could be then Azar sends letters to all doctors with guide line and I get cut back 120 mg of the long acting pain med which works better than the generic break threw pain med my life sucks now. I have to make myself do stuff that makes me hurt way more. I’m totally void of life. I bet people in congress can get higher amounts that’s on the dumbest guild line – congress is bought and paid for. Azar G.L. dumb.

Yvonne White

#so much back pain. Can’t live like this. Government wants seniors dead anyway so they can save on Medicare

Cass

the pain has now unfortunately become my friend

Alex

I had Lyme disease for 10 years undiagnosed. When I found out I had 4 tick borne infections and was put on high doses of fentanyl and Dilaudid and oxycodone. I got better after several years and had safely quit all opiates. I’ve never done a drug in my life and am an outstanding pain patient. Then I got in a bad accident a couple years ago. And now I’m again reliant on hydromorphone. But my doctor retires in 2 weeks and no doctor will take me because I take opiates even though I have no drug abuse history and documents saying I need opiates. Im willing to switch to anything that works. Unfortunately methadone isn’t the answer as my specialist said that. Doctor’s won’t even begin a interview with me because I take opiates. I was on the Roy green show a few weeks ago on cknw980 to talk about this. I really feel that when my meds run out in a month or two I’m going to die. I know Im going to die. I don’t want to die. I’m only 31. I overcame so much and now. I feel like no one cares if I do die. Doctor’s have lost compassion. If u tell them you’re going to die unless helping you is convenient for them. They will let you die they don’t care about you just their own careers. Is that reasonable?
If anyone actually wants to save my life. It’s alexyoung85@hotmail.com

Someone please do something

Teresa A Eubanks

My husband had 2 back operations with 4 months. The last one was a triple fusion. He did good for about a year or two and then started going down hill. He was unable to find a doctor that would take him on as a patient. Eventually we found one. But because of the difficulty in finding one he turned to illegal drugs. Mostly cocaine. The doctor and neurologist both agreed he had the worst back condition they had ever seen. The doctor prescribed pain medication and he felt like a new person. How ever once he went back in two weeks the doctor discontinued the pain medicine because his lab work came back with cocaine in his system. The thing is he was tested the same day they gave him the prescription and therefore the doctor thought he was using both which wasn’t the case. Once he was given pain meds he stopped the other stuff. That has been a few years now and now due to all the publicity he won’t write a RX. Last year he was in a car accident and broke his neck and another section in the lower back. The doctors didn’t won’t to give he pain meds for that either until I threatened to sue him if my husband committed suicide because the pain was so bad. With his back and neck he is in chronic pain all the time and he has talked about committing suicide because he’s tired of hurting. I have thought about suing the government if he does. I even sent an email to a Congressman who is also a doctor that has pushed against prescribing pain meds but he never replied. What they don’t realize is the patient isn’t the only one that suffers. He is so irritable that we can’t live in the same house. It’s sad at nights hearing a grown adult groan and cry because of the pain. And he has a lot of tolerance because he has hurt for so long but he’s getting really tired now of hurting. I never know when the phone rings if it’s a call from the hospital saying he’s gone.

Sherry Howard

The man I love the best friend I was blessed so much that I was going to wake every morning secure in the fact he loved me
That man was also a Marine
He served for the better of 20 years. So needless to say he was as little banged up. He was just finishing his 4th and final deployment. At the base that the process of getting geared up to be home he asked one of the other Marines if there was a good doctor That would help him manage all the pain he was in
He had run out of all his medication and was in a severe ammout of pain. I was lucky to be there and advocate for him that day. He never asked for a higher dose of anything. He never asked for an early refill. The doctor actually told him that he was an addict and that he was not going to waste time on someone that didnt want to get better. I was so stunned by this diagnosis that zo couldn’t wrap my head around it.
I was heartbroken to have to leave him and get back on plane knowing how miserable he actually was. As soon as I landed I called my doctor explained the situation and she would be happy to treat him. But I never got to tell him…becsuse on May 28th 8 days before our wedding, The love of my life and my soulmate decided that he couldnt endure the pain. He took his own life
All I have now is a flag(his parents were very compassionate) some silly memories that sometimes I feel a loss so profound that I can not breathe. And it didn’t need to happen. That night my rock, my protector half of my soul sat on the bathroom floor and shot himself. And instead of having the time of my life finishing my wedding prep I had to cancel. And plan to say goodbye

Danny R O'Neal

I have been a chronic pain patient for many unfortunate years. Also I volunteered my time to The American Pain Foundation for years until it closed the doors do to this backward thinking that every person is the same. When the CDC Guidelines came out,and it is a good thing if kept in mind that they are just Guidelines, not Law. It seems that some, not all Practitioners are running scared and defining it as Law. This to me is the wrong way to think about how to prescribe the best pain relief for any chronic pain suffering person. Every person has a different level of pain that if treated correctly can have a high functioning life style just like a normal person without pain. Please people try to think outside the box and before jumping to a conclusion about what is right or wrong do the research first. I am certain that The CDC Guidelines are a good baseline but please don’t stop there and do what is best for each individual. Speaking for myself if I could do away with every medication I take no matter how small or large the dose, I would in a minute.

Mark A Chambers

Look, There is a problem with the New CDC Pain Medication Guidelines..They were NOT meant for existing Pain patients,still Drs are using them to lesson risk to them of sanctions and headlines saying they have been charged for over prescribing opiate. It’s B.S.

Mark A Chambers

I understand why some would choose suicide over pain. I have been tapered down from 35 years of pain meds, seems only a matter of time before I lose all pain control

The only thing all this talk about suicide is doing, is too make us all look like drug addicts that can’t survive without opioid medication. I to suffer but I know suicide is not the answer nor is talking talking about it if you don’t get your meds. Please for all our sakes please stop. They will want to put every chronic pain patients in the care of a psychiatrist.

I have already lost two of my friends to suicide because the only pain mang Dr. in our town has acrost the board has cut patients meds in half , he is scared to treat anyone anymore because as he says “I won’t go to jail over treating patients ” , I have asked him in my appts . What will you do if these patients cant take it anymore , he said it is out of my hands ….. I feel that x patients will self medicate with fental or meth and then we will have other provlwms with people dieing or being locked up in jail ..the last thing these hurting lepple need ..I do believe this “epidemic” is blown way out of perportion and caused by people that just wanted to get high and those that need it , are suffering . E en if oxycontin eas marketed as safe or not it really did help people and now patients in cheonic pain are left to suffer. AND METHADONE ISNT THE ANSWER IT IS WORSE THEN HEROIN TO BE TAPPERED OFF OF .. I pray for us all… Because honestly I dont believe anyone one cares !!!!

Thomas Bayner

Is this the comment section? I have been put on an involuntary taper. Medications other than narcotics have had no effect on my pain. Currently in the process of trying electronic stimulators, H wave and intrathecal implantation of an electrode hooked up to a stimulator. I hope it works.

Joni

I moved to a new town I a completely different part of Texas. I brought my surgical reports with me. I went to one clinic rattreated me like crap then found another doctor. He doesn’t help pain so he is sending me to pain management. I’m in so much pain right now that I cannot stand or sit for very long. I’ve had 5 spinal surgeries and cannot take the pain. I’m afraid I’m going to overdose on otc pain meds that don’t work. I feel like I made a mistake choosing to move to where I can afford a place to live rather than stay with my doctor that understood all I’ve been through.

ElizabethR

Continuation of response: The overwhelming majority of long-term pain patients, especially elders, use their medication responsibly. We have tried most, if not all, available alternative approaches to pain management. We are not “drug addicts”. We did not cause the opioid problem. We do not deserve to be abruptly cut off or involuntarily tapered. We do not need further dehumanizing, condescending, demeaning interactions with healthcare providers who are running scared of government overreach. We do not need “our” government making healthcare decisions for us or intimidating our physicians.

ElizabethR

Fatalities from the war on pain patients may have yet to peak since there are probably tens of thousands who continue to struggle under the 2016 “Guidelines”. I am one of them. We’re still marginally hopeful that the government pain-punishment cabal ultimately will fail in its mission to deny us effective treatment. I’m old (82) and likely nearing life’s end. However, I have a spouse (89) and two senior cats who still need me. For now, I cannot reconcile leaving them of my own accord.

Currently, I take a low dose of a mild opioid. Although prohibited by the one-sided, punitive contract I am compelled to sign (the alternative being loss of access to medication), I have stashed an emergency supply. If self-deliverance becomes a realistic option for me, it must be successful on the first try. An unsuccessful attempt would mean total denial of pain relief in the future with a resultant exponential increase in suffering. One of my greatest fears as I grow older is that I could lose what limited control I still have over my body and my life. Pain only augments this fear. For obvious reasons (thank you, DEA/FDA/CDC!) I cannot mention any of this to my physician–so much for open, honest doctor-patient communication!

The fact that many long-term pain patients have not yet chosen self-deliverance does not mean that we do not contemplate it. Speaking solely for myself, I am of sound mind. I do not need and would not benefit from mental health involvement. What I do need is assistance in retaining as much functionality, independence and quality of life as possible. I need continued, assured access to physician-supervised pain relief–along with restoration of my human dignity.

Rebecca Prewitt

It is sad that I have lived in pain for over 20 years and now I can’t get the Tramadol I need to continue to work. You are treated like a drug addict. I want to work. I don’t want all these steriods and other medications shot into my body. Even with those there is damage to come after long periods of use.
I have no on It of criminal record. I have multiple non curable non treatment diseases. Without the Tramadol I will be forced to retire early. Not what I want. I can relate to people killing themselves because of the pain is so intense. I think of it often because our government has decided to let us live in pain. They need to back up and regroup on this pain management issue.

Jenny

I to have had mine taken away. I have been on a very low dose of pain medication for a couple of years now. Have never had any abuse issues. Went by my doctors order on them. Never had an issue getting them. Then I moved. And now I cant not find a dr that will prescribe them now. I suffer from severe arthritis. Had hip replacement done, still needing another. Bad back pain from arthritis. And now I cant get my pain medication.

J carr

I am a chronic pain suffer and my Dr just stopped my pain meds bc in his words my license isn’t worth a few pills. So after months of being outta pain after suffering for years here I am back in pain and what for bc the government has to cover there butts and look good to the country. It is affecting my marriage, my life with my kids, my job everything. And what’s left to do buy off the street? I feel this is what the problem is that they just stop meds after months or years of taking them is what’s causing there so called crisis.. I could go on all day but for now ig I just have to deal with the pain and hope I don’t get to the point that my only choice is to but a bullet in my head.

Megan Lynn Remick

What a heart wrenching epidemic.
I used to feel so alone in my suffering.
It blows my mind that they just stopped allowing my meds. ADDICTION? Really?
I personally was never addicted to my meds- as I took the smallest dose that worked for me and treated the drug with respect. However, I would rather be addicted to something that HELPS me…rather than live this life as it is now —TORTURE.
Since my chronic pain journey started in my mid 20’s….I am now 44 and have built my life around dealing with it.
I never had children. On purpose due to a long list of pain related concerns.
I never got married and insist on living alone due to needing to be able to control my environment at all times. It helps me cope better with the pain.
I spend every single day preparing my body to get ready for work. Then I go to work and start the process all over again.
My days consist of whole food preparation- hot salt bath soaks- stretching-meditation-topical pain relief applications-self massage-naps- ice packs and wrapping myself head to toes with braces so I can waitress 7 to 8 hours. Then I start the whole process all over again.
It is not a life….but I am coping.
When I was younger – I did not realize how important self care is. I relied on my doctors only. Thank goodness I learned self care techniques that help me cope without my meds since the government stepped in and just denied us access. There have been many times I felt desperate and trapped by my pain. Day after day. Unrelenting and unfair.
Today – I won’t let it win – but it would be a lie if I said I wasn’t worried about the future.
May you all stand strong in the face of this disease. God bless.

derek rooney

I had COPD for 9 years. My first symptoms were dry cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath. My first chest x-ray only showed bronchitis. Finally I went to a pulmonologist and was diagnosed with COPD.i have used all the medication yet they don’t work, last year December I was told by a formal emphysema patient to use totalcureherbsfoundation.com herbal treatment which I really did,i was surprise the herbal products effectively get rid of my COPD totally. When you get where you cannot breathe it may be too late. Good luck to each and every one that will be trying their herbal treatment .

Monica

This is I feel going to be a blessing to so many people..I live it everyday,yes,EVERY DAY

Sarah

I’ve thought of suicide many times. When I was treated with OxyContin for 3 years, I never had an increase, nor did I become addicted. I was able to live far more comfortably and able to participate in life. I was cut off all of my meds 3 years ago and have become bedridden.

I recently had a conversation with a medical marijuana doctor and he was adamant that everyone who takes opioids will become dependent or addicted. This wasn’t my experience.

My health has drastically suffered since being taken off of the life restoring opioid pain medicine. I’m overweight, have high blood pressure, and find it very difficult to fight off illnesses. When I was on medication, I was fit, active, and able to function. Now I won’t be able to attend our son’s high school graduation, our other son’s college graduation, or even go to our daughter’s wedding. That is not living, it’s a life sentence, one I had no hand in creating.

Terri James

I want to be the voice of the police officer who took her life and left an 11 year old son behind. It was one of the stories posted here on the National Pain Report months ago. Stripped of her medicine she could no longer perform her job nor take care of her son. I’m sorry, I have forgotten the ladies name although I have not forgotten her, her son and family.
Also, I still want to know what’s happened to Bernie. Surely you all remember, his birthday was Christmas Day. His birthday present to himself was suicide.

Dear God In Heaven,
Please continue to help, guide, lead, bless and give all of us the miracles we so desperately need. Also please forgive us for our anger towards these people that continue to hurt us and act like we’re invisible. It is in Jesus most precious name I ask these things. Amen.

Renee

Politicians have no right telling Doctors what to do. I have CRPS and it’s crippling. More has to be done to protect chronic pain sufferers from being labeled addicts. Over 80% of chronic pain patients don’t get addicted to their medications and I’m one of them. God Bless whoever is suffering from debilitating pain.
It most certainly is very hard to live pain free without help. I will never be pain free but I will try my hardest to fight it!! Stay strong pain warriors! Renee

Oli

It will be a plan. I cannot even get access to a proper doctor or follow up with specialists for simple things. Combine that with a federal cut in finding for things like dental care and yes. They know what they’re doing and I will just be another person on an ignored report. It’s not for lack of trying on my part.

James bailey

35yr ago mostly due to depression and not being able to controling my pain I went to a high end hotel took depressants crawled into the bathtub but I failed I’ve worked on my pain and depression that is tell last month my pain medicines are two types one for deep bone deep the other surface headache arthritis that type well doctor that helps with by spine is worried about the CDC it has decided not to prescribe so I’m stuck in bed and I’m getting those thoughts again. Yeah it’s been Tuffy’s all these years I’ve had my ups and downs in my back doctor after my operation the most I received wear 60 pills but I after 3 months I was 15 pills I’m still having problems at a year but I’m taking those 15 pills it has lasted me three months in the doctor it’s worried that the CDC it will go after him 15 pills for 90 days or more this is a travesty where the government is telling us what to do in all aspects of Our Lives

S.M.

I have had chronic, intractable pain since 2004, due to permanent nerve damage & scarring in my lumbar spine. Like most CPPs, I’ve had multiple surgeries, and tried every potential therapy and procedure the doctors offered, some of which I really didn’t want to undergo. None of those procedures or treatments did anything to reduce my pain, and a few actually made things worse. I have played by the rules 100%, not wanting to risk losing the meds that were the only things making my life bearable.

Yet I got dumped by my pain management doctor in January with a false accusation of having broken my pain management contract.

It’s been a rough few months since then. I would be lying if I said I’ve never thought of suicide, and it’son my mind now more than ever. On really bad days, I roll the idea around in my mind, savoring it, because I find comfort in the thought that if the pain becomes more than I can endure, I have an option, an “out.” It’s very depressing to think that the rest of my life will be nothing but pain. Feeling like I have the final say, a scrap of control over my situation, helps me feel a little less depressed.

Would I actually kill myself? Right now, no. Next month, next year… who knows. But if I do, I plan to make it quite clear that I did so because I could not endure living in pain 24/7/365 without the opioid medications that gave me back a little quality of life.

The CDC, lawmakers, and the medical establishment should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of thing to happen to legitimate chronic pain patients. It’s cruel and inexcusable.

After reading all the information from the National Pain Report and all of us suffering through our pain medication either stopped or decreased it makes me wonder, who is the only group that benefits from our suffering. Who are those who benefit from doctors not writing pain medication? The insurance companies have saved millions upon millions of dollars not having to pay for all the pain medication we need. The opiate crisis is from illegal drugs not from doctors treating their chronically ill and chronic pain suffers. The Fentanyl that is being mixed with heroine killing thousands is not the same Fentanyl that is in our patches or prescribed from our doctors. The crisis is not from those of us with incurable diseases. It’s illegal drugs. Yes there are some issues with doctors over prescribing opiates. But there are also many doctors that have over prescribed antibiotics. But you don’t hear about a antibiotic crisis because antibiotics and cheap. They are cheap to make and cost so little that many pharmacies don’t charge for them. This disaster we are facing is all about the almighty dollar. Insurance companies benefit from doctors not writing pain scripts. Insurance companies profits are through the roof. Why we haven’t look in their direction is amazing to me. This crisis is manufactured and promoted by insurance companies filling the Internet with false information. I wish we would wake up and realize nobody really gives a rip about our suffering. Most politicians are supported financially by insurance companies and have no interest in helping us. Until insurance companies are stopped being able to have lobbyist and donations to politicians are stopped we will all continue to suffer and continue to not get the medication we need. It is all about money. Who was it that said “money is the root cause of all sorts of injurious things?” I believe it was God.

Emily

Just a week ago today I was getting ready to write my suicide note. I’ve been off opiates since November of 2018 after being on them for six years. It’s been hell. I have chronic neck pain. I received stem cell injections two weeks ago and thought they weren’t working. My pain is now almost gone. They are working where steroid injections did not. I’m happy I held on. My son and sister would be absolutely devastated.

Arianne

The most tragic thing is that many suicides due to pain will not ever be made public.
Suicide carries the same sort of stigma and shame that addiction and now being a pain patient does.

That being said, with the false narrative that has made addiction and opioids synonymous, and suicide being looked at as something shameful, few families will likely want to come forward to speak about this.

The greatest threat to pain patients who take opioids isn’t addiction,
it’s suicide.

Maria

I have been in pain since 2004 and until 2017 i could get pain relief oxy, morphine, fentanyl, etc. I was always conscious of the side effects especially addiction.

Since 2017 I’ve cut down to tramadol ( does nothing for me) not because I’ve wanted to, but because pain doctor would no longer prescribe opioids, At this point I no longer have a pain doctor cause I was no longer a fit…???

Yeah I’ve heard the people care [edit] also heard there’s nothing else I can do for you crap. My life is not my best life. I can’t get up without pain. I cannot cope.
I want to crawl under a rock and die this way people could quit looking at me wishing they could do something knowing full well that they can’t.

I’d be lying if I say I haven’t thought of suicide.

Gail Honadle

Correction BP in Severe Hypertension at 175/95

Gail Honadle

Can you add in those who die of Heart Attacks and from diseases like Lupus when the treatment is poor? My Niece with 2 children under 13, was in the ER yesterday with 170/95 they finally got the BP down to 140/93 still in Hypertension zone when she was released. Either the doctor had taken her Oxygen away or Medicare/Tenn-Care had cancelled it. She has Lupus, Lyme’s with Kidney, Liver and Lung issues, just added Emphysema and FMS to the list. BP meds have a bad GI reputation. Her 13 yr old is Duchenes MD Gene Positive and receiving NO treatment.

Anna Harris

No border to stop illegal drugs from entering our country..but crack down on our doctors and pharmacists from helping Amercan citizens legally. All the while our children are overdosing from these illegal drugs and our American citizens are committing suicide because of chronic pain. Why is it more attention and rights are given to illegal immigrants in this country than to our citizens??

Vincent Morraele

How can you incorporate the number of suicides of people that don’t tell you that they are about to commit suicide via street drugs. This is a great topic and can open the door to even better data that will help the greatest misunderstanding of the 21st century.

Joy Robinson

I have chronic back pain and unrelenting sciatica. Failed back surgery syndrome and now a recent MRI shows spinal canal stenosis and bilateral foraminal narrowing and new disc bulges. YaY! My medication was quite insufficient as I had been on that regimen for a number of years. So, on Nov 8, 2018 I wrote three letters to the ones I love most. Took all my medication. Layed in bed waiting for eternal sleep to sweep me away. I was at peace with my decision and I do not regret taking my life. However, my plan was thwarted due to someone repeatedly calling me. Since they didn’t get an answer they sent someone else to check on me. Thus finding me near death’s door.
I had been a compliant pain med patient. Never failing a pill count or urine test. I had two more pain management appts following my suicide attempts. Terrified they would find out, but no, nothing was ever said and both pill counts were as they should be. Finally, on Valentine’s Day, of all days, they called me into the office and a Physician’s Assistant who never treated me informed me I was being dismissed due to opioid overdose. She never admitted she knew it was a mental health issue even though is was on my hospital records as I spent 5 days in the hospital. Now I spend my days in unmedicated pain doing even less than I could previously do.
If we can’t get the pain relief we need why can’t we end our suffering?? Is it really better for us to be here “for our families, and, to spare our loved ones from loss”?? Death happens every day. That’s just a part of life we can never change nor avoid. We are told regarding our pets it’s better to end the suffering. We should have the same choice.

Researcher

Margie
Sorry, I was addressing your points.
Not directly YOU on the 2nd part of that. I’m sorry if it sounded harsh.
Peace&love