It’s Time for Doctors and Patients to Stand Together

It’s Time for Doctors and Patients to Stand Together

By Jay Joshi, M.D.

drjoshi

Jay Joshi, M.D.

(Dr. Joshi is a nationally recognized pain physician who will attend the CRPS Conference in Chicago on Saturday. What follows is his commentary about the conference specifically and the environment of chronic pain treatment generally) 

With this recent election cycle, two topics have become very clear.  We have issues in America with healthcare and discrimination.  Access to healthcare (especially good healthcare) has diminished, premiums have gone up, deductibles have gone up, coverage has gone down, and the total cost of healthcare continues to rise.  Discrimination, based on race, color, gender, disability, and more continues to be a problem.  In some ways, it is worse than it was 10 years ago.

What we are seeing in our broader society seems to be amplified (much like the pain in CRPS) within the pain patient population.  We are seeing access to good pain physicians diminishing, premiums for pain patients rising, deductibles rising, coverage for pain procedures diminishing, reimbursements diminishing (to the point where it costs more to do the procedure than we are getting reimbursed in some cases).

We are also seeing bigotry and discrimination increasing within the pain patient population.  It seems that the general stereotype is that anyone who is on an opiate is a drug addict.  Somehow pain MANAGEMENT is worthless if there isn’t a cure.  While we are always working toward a “cure”, we are not there yet.  And management is a lot better than the alternative, which is failure.  Failure leads suicide, which I’ve become increasingly convinced some people who hate pain patients welcome with open arms.  Patients with CPRS and central sensitization are doubly discriminated against because most people in our society (especially physicians) have little to no understanding or compassion toward the disease or the patient.  Thus, their views and practice philosophies are based on stereotypes and opinions, not science.  This leads to bigotry and discrimination.  I’ve personally been a victim of both simply because I properly take care of and advocate for pain patients.  In fact, this happened again to me this month.

Saturday’s conference may be the pivotal point in the management of CRPS and central sensitization.  We all know ketamine infusions are helpful.  The experts know the science behind it and it is not based on opinion or stereotype.  We need to come together and fight these disgusting people who treat pain patients and legitimate pain physicians like some contagious disease that needs to be eradicated from the planet.  There is a place for humanity in our society and a place to treat our fellow mankind with dignity and respect.  There is no place for racists and bigots in our society or ignorant physicians and non-physicians who slander, defame, and threaten patients and their providers.  So let’s stand united to defeat this insurgency of hate.

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Authored by: Jay Joshi, M.D.

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Shirley Hinton

Is there any one I can talk to please ..I am in a not good situtaion and need help ..please ..can somen eplease write me or give me the name of someone to help me know what to do .Ive been on medication for years and I was dismissed because I was “rude to staff ” ..oh yes .. i havebeen yreated like a addict and Iam tired of it ..they lie , they treat you terribly but you made tomsign their stupid contracts and accept absue ..pee in cups when you naver had a bad result or abused drugs He dismissed me knowing I have a bad problem now with more pain because of what is a possible breast implant rupture very stinging painful condition hoping for MRI soon ..ultra sound saw somethimg suspicious . THis doc is a monster after he couldnt give me another possible shot told me he could do nothing more .. then when I didnt stop going he started being ridiculous in his behaviours . They weote my perscription for 31 days then said I went sooner by one day ..i told him it was his mistake .. then hen I was made to wait for a long time and blood pressure went up to 162 ..when normal is 120 I was not happy ..told them i hasnt had pain medicine because I had to drive This was with possible ruptured implant we think ..which was painful to drive Although I still have neck pain and definately have Fibromyalgia ..I am debased and humiliated and need help ..I have adjusted to lack of medication on my own but am in pain ,, My poor husband who has had cancer and heart attacks is till working for insurance .. we are responsible good people ai am 67 ..husband almost 70 .. this is going to kill us .. the mere stress is unbearable feeling ..feel so forsaken and hurt by treatment . We do all they tell us and they just het worse and worse ..Its horrible .

Lance

COP TO DISABILITY TO JUNKIE… Well that’s how I’ve been treated lately for simply being a pain patient diagnosed w 5 herniated bulging cervical and lumbar discs. I was employed for over 12yrs in a county law enforcement job. On 2nd shift we picked up lotsa new rookies when they mistakenly removed the cuffs from a schitzo affective very violent individual high on PCP aka angel dust. In short the ensuing struggle to re handcuff this dude resulted in me flying backwards down 30 steps fracturing all ribs damaging discs in my neck lower lumbar area.. Surgeries and referrals to pain mgt and being told ID be in lifelong pain resulted in a 2yr desk job and disability. I’ve had great doctors but every 6mos to a year in Cincinnati Ohio the pain mgt docs are harassed poked at by DEA agents made to feel like dope dealers and they leave the pain mgt discipline. I had the same doctor for years now I’m lucky if I have one for 6mos! suddenly ea doctor focuses not on pain or injuries but more on just cutting meds regardless of pain levels or preferences tolerance bodyweight or years of med use. In the past doctors would work w me to find a good working med w out side effects to simply keep me functioning active etc. I was receiving 20mgs roxycodone 5x day roughly 100mgs after 10yrs of pain mgt this cocktail seemed to work well. BUT one day I walked into doc appt and the doc says we have to cut everyone’s meds so I asked why would every patient in this practice be subjected to having meds just cut down irregardless of medical problems? So as it turns out all the doctors discretion disappears and his or her decisions are based on fear of sanction via the state. The doctors now pull out a chart that displays the governments ceiling of 80mgs a day!!! Wow… Amazing that governor John kasich who ran against Trump dogged Donald Trump then petered out in the race had a relative e a drug problem and he has waged war on pain doctors and patients. If u need pain help it would be best to avoid the state of Ohio as we have the label of being the toughest state in the Union to obtain help and or meds for pain. My doc who had to terminate all patients in 7days advised all patients to go out of state anywhere but Ohio as the government now controls pain mgt with mandated ceilings on opiate meds daily ie. 80mgs. So the cancer patient the car crash trauma patient the former Marine combat injured patients all fall under same umbrella and that is here is the state pain chart and that’s it. I myself went from 5 20mg tabs day to 3 10mgs day and I asked where did u arrive at this figure?/well doc said uh well that’s what we write everybody.. So several surgeries 17… Read more »

Sandra G

Nice hearing that Tina. Glad you found a good doctor. My husband an I have thought about going to San Deigo to live. I was afraid to because I didn’t know how bad the doctors are.. Please let me know more Tina if you can. Thank you
Sandra G

Sandrag

People need to stay away from Washington and for sure Olympia, WA . No kindness here from doctors . Palliative Care is so sad not happy people.
I can’t make it to doctor appointments due to pain. I have 90 pain pills for the month. Oh my goodness that’s four extra pills a month. I ( for seven years ) always used those pills for when I’m awakened in the middle night with pain so bad it sometimes makes me scream out.
So all this was told to my Palliative Care mr ignorant wrote on my perscription bottle….(.can take additional tablet prior to healthcare appointment …) it make a customer at pharmacy laugh. He said he had a meeting with the guys tonight that it was going to be a good chat. Hummm whatever that ment.
I really have a ignorant doctor. He is the one who said if I had my way I would get rid of all the alcohol and drugs. I’m setting in pain and this is a Palliative Care Doctor. Can you believe what I got myself into.
I don’t know what to do.
Thank you for listening
SandraG

Sandra

It’s hard to get with doctors who have dumped you because you need pain pills. I honestly think most doctors really don care.

Maureen

Tina, I feel for you. I went through a very similar happening 2 yrs ago… It took me another year find a decent doctor to manage my pain care. It’s truly ludicrous and unhealthy, what we have to go through. I’m happy you found a good, caring doc…they are rare to come by these days. Keep strong.

Tina

Until recently I was going to a clinic in San Diego for pain treatment and every two weeks I would have to go back and get my refills and about every month they would lower my meds. I went in for my two weeks and told them I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms and the Dr. just laughed at me and said I was going through menopause. I just started crying. My blood pressure was through the roof and my pulse was 125 and she still told me I was going through menopause. These Drs. have no understanding, sympathy or even any idea of what they are doing. Needless to say I quit going there. I found a great compassionate ,caring Dr. Who truly cares about me as a patient in pain. To top it all off the clinic never even called to ask why I had quit going there or even to check on my welfare or well being.

I understand completely I’ve had fibromyalgia since 1984 finally was doing okay with treatment doctor retires new ones want me go to a pain clinic instead. I’m frustrated I just want to live the rest of my life the best I . This has to stop I never asked for more or took too many. Why .cant they leave me alone?

Anonymous

HJ- thanks for responding. I agree with and relate to so much that you wrote. Keeping in mind that “it’s not our fault” is helpful because I can always manage to twist things around and blame myself. I used to have pretty much the same opinion about doctors. Saw them rarely and trusted them completely. I alternate between being angry and depressed too, neither of which serve me well. I think I would also benefit from seeing a therapist who specializes in these issues. Our conditions are enough to deal with. The lawmakers and agencies “playing with people’s lives” is sickening.

Tina Combs

If another 30% of my medication is cut in half, I WILL go to the streets. I WILL do what I WILL BE FORCED TO DO to keep from killing myself for my family’s sake. If that’s not enough I don’t know what is!!

HJ

Anonymous, I’m sorry you feel that way. People don’t understand. I saw a cognitive behavioral therapist that a doctor insisted I see. She helped me… mostly by validating my experiences. “Yes, it IS hard to live with chronic pain — no wonder you’re feeling depressed — I see why you’re having a hard time with your doctor, I tried to talk to him, too…”

It’s a real shame we can’t get the same validation from those who are close to us. I think they deal with frustrations that they can’t express… like, “She’s not who she used to be.” That’s valid, too, but it’s not our fault. They also can’t understand our experience, because they haven’t lived it.

This is very, very isolating. Few of us are lucky to get support from the medical community — especially now. Before I got a diagnosis, I had reached the point where I felt my life as it was… was intolerable. I was so beaten down by the medical establishment when I tried to find help that I was planning to go home for Christmas to say good-bye to my loved ones and then find some way to bring an end to my existence.

The current state of the oppression that we face from the “top of the chain” that’s trickling down through our interactions with our physicians has really left me wondering if I’ll again be put in that position at some point at which I’ll lose the parts of life that give me meaning and purpose.

Why don’t they just legalize doctor-assisted suicide? It’d be more humane than throwing people into withdrawal, taking their support away and beating them up over their “failure” to live with their pain.

The irony is, if I had diabetes or cancer or any of the “acceptable” chronic illnesses, I’d have a whole danged support network of specialists and treatments. I’d have folks watching out for me. I used to not have this kind of attitude… I used to think doctors were Gods, could do no wrong, always had my best interests at heart… Now I’ve developed this sort of attitude to protect myself.

I’m so mad about the way things are. Just wait awhile and I’ll run out of energy to spend on being mad and I’ll be depressed. These lawmakers and the DEA are playing with people’s lives.

Anonymous

HJ, I find it absolutely amazing, and indicative to me of just how connected we as humans really are, the fact that you happened to use the phrase “treat me like garbage.” For the past couple weeks, I have been using those EXACT words to express how I’ve been feeling, not only by the medical community at this point, but also family. I guess I’ve become a colossal inconvenience of sorts; they want to be able to fix me and be done with it. But when I read those very words, I could not believe it. I am tired of being treated like garbage!

John Plummer

It is unfortunate that so many pain management drs are intimidated by the DEA. DEA who violates HIPAA by demanding access to patient records to determine whether Dr is meeting their nonprofessional standards. DEA which forces drs to give expensive multipanel drug tests to their patients. DEA who threatens drs with license revocation for recommending Cannabis for pain.
We all need to stand against this interference in healthcare

Jean Price

Dr. Joshi….in revisiting your article, it’s not surprising to me to see even more appreciative comments thanking YOU and APPLAUDING your article! In this day and age, most people with life limiting pain are sadly more used to being rejected, condemned, or discriminated against by the medical profession… including nurses and even pharmacists…and lately even our medical insurance companies. As both a person with a background in nursing and a person with a long history of daily pain, I have wondered since the beginning of this witch hunt against opioids and people with pain…WHY? WHY have SO many doctors failed their oath AND us, their patients…. * by no longer treating long term, daily pain appropriately OR AT ALL? * by not standing up to the CDC “guidelines” and the DEA gestapo tactics, to fight for themselves and their right to practice medicine AND for their patients? * by not even doing ASSISTED referrals and COVERING the patient’s medication needs until pain management appointments could be arranged…actually breaking the law by abandoning care and forcing people into withdrawal!? * by allowing the lies, the skewed statistics, and the deceptive medical rhetoric of the CDC to go unchallenged? * by not answering and protesting the media’s sensationalized and distorted coverage…at least by presenting editorials about the absurdness of the medical misinformation, uncovering the many false statements regarding opioid pain medications, and by working to definitively separate the issues of addiction from the legitimate use of opioids for pain…perhaps even highlighting the BENEFITS of appropriate use of opioid medications as an adjunct therapy option to help people with persistent pain lead much more functional, quality lives? * by not researching and exposing the conflict of interest some CDC officials have in OWNING drug rehabilitation clinics and in being affiliated with many big pharmaceutical and insurance companies? * by not protesting the actions of Senators who have deleted ALL questions about the QUALITY of pain care received from the patient’s hospital care surveys…so the hospital’s REIMBURSEMENT by government insurance will not be reduced by poor patient care scores REGARDING PAIN?! * by not joining with their fellow professionals and organizations IN FORCE to protest the AMA’s DELETING pain assessment as the fifth vital sign? * by not publically protesting this ongoing discrimination of themselves AND their patient’s, and the erroneous changes in the educational curriculum our upcoming physicians are receiving regarding the use of opioids to be a dangerous and ineffective treatment of persistent pain? * and lastly…by CHOOSING TO BE PART OF THE PROBLEM INSTEAD IF BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIVING IN MORE PAIN THAN IS NECESSARY!!?? So I’m still left here without answers…just a lot of WHYS? Is it because people in pain aren’t “fun” to treat? Because there are no ACTUAL CURES…so no “good doctor” feelings of success? No “I’m the expert…I have fixed you!” justification at the end of the visit? Or maybe it’s the task of discernment and the TIME and ABILITY, even… Read more »

Stacey Fields

Thank you for speaking out for chronic pain patients. We need more doctors to stand with us and to speak out as you have. I have chronic pancreatitis due to gallstones, as well as 3 herniated discs, 3 ruptured discs and a lower lumbar fracture. According to some pancreas specialist CP is one of the most painful things you can have. I also run a support group for people with CP, we have over 1600 members and growing daily. We have lost several members to suicide in the last year due to having their pain medications taken away and they could no longer take this horrendous pain any longer without medication. I too wonder what happened to “Do no harm”? Chronic pain patients are treated like common criminals. We are subjected to expensive urine screens ( my last bill was over $1000.00) rising deductibles and premiums, ours has risen to $800.00 per month with a $7500,00 deductible per person. It cost me $250.00 every time I see my PM doctor. Not only are we treated inhumane we are also being gouged for more money that most of us simply do not have! This new war on opiates is causing more harm than these politicians seem to understand. Most chronic pain patients also suffer from PTSD from all they have been put through as well as suffering from depression. I would think this would be against our rights as human beings! We MUST ALL stand TOGETHER in order to change this tragedy. This means all the pain groups NEED to work TOGETHER as well which does not seam to be happening. The rally in D.C. is a start but most pain patients can not make the trip due to pain or finances. The DEA recently tabled the ban on kratom because they got so many letters from people so maybe we all need to send letters to the DEA (All mailed on the same day) so that we make a statement when they are overwhelmed with our letters? I am not sure what the answer is but I am positive if we do not take action NOW we will certainly lose more people to suicide. I have heard that the CDC is showing all deaths as opiate related if the person has been on opiates for pain which will only strengthen their stance. Let’s all ban together to fight this and get the government out of our healthcare! I can be reached at fieldsie62@gmail.com if I can help!

Lisa Hess

Dear Debra, I feel your pain both emotionally and physically. I do have to say that I too have Fibro Myalgia along with several other pain causing problems/diseases and like you have been on Pain Management since 2000 but didn’t start taking medication on a daily basis until 2006 when I could no longer stand the pain and became permanently disabled. I had a similar experience with my Pain Management doctor (I actually responded to another post that was from the original Dr Joshi post about that experience). Fibro myalgia in and of itself can make you be bedridden and it is true that Pain Medication does not work for FM. Could it be possible that the relief you were feeling from your pain meds was actually working for you with your other pain causing issues, FM on the side (I too have a very bad immune system stemming from long term, undiagnosed and untreated Lyme Disease and its co-infections, Thyroid Disease and FM). For now, go to your GP and see if he/she will put you on either Lyrica (I don’t personally like it as I had too many side effects). I am on Cymbalta for my FM. When I first started taking it in 2008, after the first 28 days I felt no relief and called my PM and told them .They told me to be patient as “it takes at least 30 days to take affect” and believe it or not, on that 30th day and for the first time, I felt relief from my Fibro Myalgia. I will never forget that day. Cymbalta is an anti-depressant and because I was already on anti-depressants, I had to use it as a replacement for my depression which stems from my illnesses so be careful about that. There is another drug out there for FM but not sure of the name of it. Anyway, don’t give up searching for help. When what happened to me like what happened to you, I almost gave up, but with the help of my Spine Surgeon (I told him exactly what my former PM did to me, which actually didn’t surprise him of my PM’s actions and because I’m the type of person who tells it like it is) he said doctors do not like to be challenged or told what to do but he understood because of who that doctor was. My spine surgeon is the one who found me the most wonderful PM Doc for me and I loved him from Hello. He was the only doctor who accepted the challenge of having me as a patient and I am his sickest (physical and pain wise) in his practice and has me on the highest amount that the DEA allows because he knows we have tried everything there is out there including nuero-stimulators but nothing works. I’ve had well over 30 invasive and non-invasive procedures and several years in PT but nothing worked, and because steroids are used in most of… Read more »

Lisa Hess

Hi Kristin, 3 years ago I was where you are now with looking for a Pain Management Doctor who would accept me into a program and this was before all the “Epidemic” status was in full swing. But before I tell you what happened, please be careful taking so much Advil because it can thin your blood (which is what is happening to me right now because I take it for dental work) and can make you get bleeding ulcers of which you have enough pain you don’t need those. Second, you said you don’t know where to turn now, If you are seeing a specialist for your condition that is causing your pain, ask him/her to help you find a competent Pain Management doctor or organization and third, and I learned this the hard way, if you call and they tell you right away that they only do procedures or injections, just say fine and make the appointment. Through others I have found out that they use this tactic to deter “Doctor and Pill shoppers” Do whatever they ask you to do and unfortunately, if they don’t work or if you have your records stating so and they still want you to try then do it. They will offer you medication if so warranted at that point. In other words, follow the program again and do what you have to do to be compliant. I too have always been compliant, negative drug tests, yada yada, and it doesn’t matter to a new PM, so just follow their lead and see where they take you and if you don’t like one doctor in the practice, ask to see another in the same practice because you may have a personality conflict (this too happened to me). So, In a nutshell here’s what happened to me. I’ve lived with Chronic Pain for 20 years but have been disabled for 10 years because I had to go on pain meds on a permanent basis. My current cocktail of medications is 60 mg of morphine and 30 mg of Oxycodone. Whereas, at the beginning I started with 50 mg of morphine 2x/day and 1-10/325 every 6 hours of Percocet (name brand) for break-thru pain. People may say, that is excessive, but if one struggles with the amount of pain from several diseases of which I have been for the past ten years, it is not excessive and some days maybe only one or two Percs could get me through until these past 3 years. So, three years ago my PM wanted to wean me down to a total of under 120 mg equivalent of morphine per day. So we started by going down to 80 mg morphine x2/day and 1 10/325 every 8 hours. Most days, waiting 6 hours was very hard, waiting 8 became almost impossible. Now, the reason the PM gave me for weaning me down was a story he told me about there was a study done with 200 participants over… Read more »

Terri Lewis PhD

Bottom line?

There is no veracity, reliability, validity to treatment protocols derived without the patient voice.
Those who are the most affected by treatment have the right to scientific rigor.
Any consent derived without the best of the information (known and unknown), an identified change management protocol, and meaningful measures of impact is fraudulent.
Those who are the most affected must have a seat at every table.

EVERY table.

Runaway patient harm and costs of care are the result of treating through a reimbursement based system as opposed to an evidence based system.

All parties to this equation should insist on this. It’s in everyone’s best interest.

Kristin

Thank you Dr Joshi, you have given me that one sliver of hope to hang onto. Because at this point I don’t know how much longer I can “live” this way. I have done everything right for over 10 years. I’m still trying to do everything right even though my meds have been reduced by 2/3. Because if I do find a new doctor to take me as a patient I want to be able to show them that even now in this daily agony I’m being put through, I have not violated my pain contract. I am up to 20 Advil a day which isn’t really helping, but I have not exceeded the daily dose he now has me on or tried something else.
Also I noticed someone posted your dr retiring has nothing to do with it. That is not true. Unless you know how to Dr shop, which I don’t, finding a new primary Dr is impossible once you mention that you are a chronic pain patient. It does not matter that you have 10 + years of perfect records and that the back specialist recommendations say there’s nothing we can do for her, continue with medical management if it’s keeping pain at bay. Nowadays no doctor wants to deal with it. That just doesn’t seem right. So I was sent to the only pain clinic around where they are weaning everyone off and you are suppose to be mindful of your pain. That is my treatment, or lack thereof.
I don’t have withdrawal symptoms, but I have pain that now hovers between 7-10 where before I was around 2-3. It’s taking its toll on me. I’m trying to stay strong for my family, but it is very hard. I miss walking. I miss picking up the kitchen. Just simple things. The real kicker the other day was my dog was injured and they told me how they were making sure he was comfortable with pain meds. So there you have it. I’m being treated worse than a dog.
I wish there were more doctors like you.

Maureen

Dr. Joshi,
Such an awesome, clean and truthful post! Thank YOU. I always enjoy and fully appreciate your writings, and your support. You and the other doctors who post on NPR give me HOPE to hang on to.
I appreciate you all! Please keep us updated. With gratitude, Maureen

@Gracie…wow! lucky you to have Dr. Joshi in your life/care!
@ ALL…. please lift up a prayer for the Pain Rally happening in DC this weekend!! They are doing it for you!! This is the beginning of warriors getting out there and showing up about our community. Please keep them in your mind…

Debra Powers-Konczal

Dear Doc, I have been in pain management for ten years. I have a number of issues. Lupus, Fibromyalgia…(it’s ridiculous Dr. says new studies show pain meds don’t help with Fibromyalgia..I can tell you they do.) I have herniated discs, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, Diabetes, Latent TB. I could go on and on. Your probably wondering about the tb it’s because of what the Lupus has done to my immune system..not to mention my muscles and heart.. At age 47 heart attack needing stints. To my point then. My Dr. has labeled me as OPIOD DEPENDENT….ok..I’m also Labeled INUSULIN Dependent….I’m NOT addicted. BUT he has taken my credibility and slandered me in the worse way. HE has VIOLATED his oath of first do NO harm. He and his staff called me an ADDICT, and put that in my chart. NO other DR. will see me now. A 28 year old snott nose has the ability to take away my quality of life, dignity and slander my name. NOT only that he labeled me a Hostile and abusive patient when I reminded him of his oath to First do NO harm.
I have written the Board of Directors I don’t think it will go far. I now have NO credibility. I never asked for more than prescribed and I always passed drug test….It was just we are trying to save you and help you. Under the new guidelines by the DEA you don’t meet the requirement for pain management. I’m trying to save your life. blah, blah, blah,….. When I told him I do meet the criteria and sited why he became upset. Told me NO more pain meds he’s weening me off because I have a problem….WOW…..
I destroyed my pain meds…and haven’t called in for his “weening off dosage”. He didn’t believe me when I told him I did this…I got the condescending “IF you were able to do that I’m proud of you.” Honestly he needs a good spanking. Anyway I did it to take control of my life on my terms….I don’t know how long I can hold out in this much pain. I’m bed ridden with ice packs on my spine, 3,600 mg. of Gabapentin and Flexeril….I DON’T HAVE A LIFE. IT WAS TAKEN FROM ME BY THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. 🙁

Kathy Galm

Thank you Dr Joshi for being the advocate that you are. Patients must understand that they have to be their own best advocate here. This is a CRSIS people!!! Yes, we all have our pain problems however if we don’t stand up for our human rights them the CDC and the DEA with take your medications away from you. It’s not about your doctor retiring. That is the least of your worries. There is no such thing as a pain specialist. They are family doctors that have taken an interest in chronic pain management. They are not protected just because of a label called pain specialist. These doctors are being persecuted for only wanting to help their patients live the best quality of life they can…..Unfortunately if you think these guidelines won’t effect you are clearly mistaken. A good physician who treats chronic pain is not exempt from the repercussions of the CDC, DEA and many others who are opposed to these medications being used. A hospital in New Jersey has removed opioids from there ER. Everyone will be affected by this. Write letters to your politicians!!! Start a class action law suit against the CDC. This is outrageous!!! Your lives are in the hands of people who could care a less about your pain med needs. The media has taken this by storm and turned it into a fiasco!!! This has nothing to do with pain patients. It’s about illicit drugs crossing borders!!! You are being thrown into the same category as a drug addict.
The hippocractic oath is not something that doctors have to take. It is a choice!!! They are and will do harm. They are in fear of being sanctioned by these regulatory agencies.
Please hear my words. Rally together in your own towns, cities, states. Don’t sit there and do nothing and wait for someone else to fix it. Start the dialogue and be an active advocate. Be part of the solution, not the problem.. Pain patients are in a crisis!!!
I hope everyone understands where i am coming from. I mean you no harm from my words. Only wisdom!!!

D

If doctors would challenge the CDC to examine the unintended consequence caused by choosing to have representatives of the addiction industry develop a chronic pain treatment guidelines, then maybe those with chronic painful disease wouldn’t have to suffer as if they are substance abuser being treatment with the “12-steps to suicidal pain” treatment plan.

Kathy Galm

These regulatory agenies are playing with our lives. They are being our judge, jury and executioner. I am a pain patient that has used the fentanyl patch for over 3 years. I have recently weaned myself off it completely and I am now in the same pain I had with cervical osteomyelitis that caused a severe permanent kyphotic deformity. I am bedridden in severe pain again. Carfentanyl is the real problem!! It’s being supplied by the black market in China and crossing borders. It’s a elephant tranquilizer!!! Go after the real issue and not the suffering pain patients. This is prohibition, people. Please stand up and fight for your rights. Do everything you can!! Anyone who takes this little green pill from the streets, is basically putting a gun to their heads. Russian roulette!!

P.S I weaned myself off the patch because I new this was coming. They are not going to be the ones to dictate my life. I will find something else that works. Hopefully😢
From Canada

Robin G Noel

I understand those thoughts exactly. Even though I have a great pain management doctor that will prescribe the pain medications that help, I still struggle with pain and depression. I can’t ride very far in a car and I certainly can’t go out in our boat. We live on the lake and I have been out in our boat one time in a year. Any kind of compression to my spine, puts me in excruciating pain. A slightly bumpy car ride and I have a severe headache that could last for months…months. I’m blessed to have two boys, so it won’t matter when my parents pass away because I couldn’t do that to my boys. I’m SO thankful for my doctor but I often consider what will happen when he retires. What will happen if I can’t find another doctor that trusts what I am telling him about my pain and doesn’t have ten plus years of history with me to know that I take my pain meds as directed and that during times when my pain is better, I go off of the pain meds and I don’t horde them. He trusts me as I trust him. It is so stressful to even consider finding another doctor at some point. I shouldn’t have to be afraid that I won’t be able to find another doctor that will treat my pain with pain medication that is actually developed to treat pain, instead of a bunch of different drugs that were never meant to treat pain and come with all kinds of nasty side effects that I would have to learn to live with. I’m one of the lucky ones, I DO have a pain management doctor that is committed to managing my pain with the proper pain medication . Why are doctors treating our pain with all kinds of dangerous medication, instead of the pain medicine that will work with out so many of the nasty side affects? Why?? Because others are abusing them and so those of us suffering with pain are being made to pay the price. Doctors need to be the doctors that you trained to be. Not the judge and jury of your suffering patients.

Donna Rubinetti

Thank you for your advocacy work and for lending a voice for all to hear about chronic pain, particularly RSD/CRPS. I pray that the October conference brings advancement for treatment for this illness. It truly is hell on earth.

Lisa Hess

I commented yesterday when I first saw Dr Joshi’s story, then I watched the Presidential debate last night. We are in a lot of trouble no matter who gets elected and it frightens me to the core. Suffering from Chronic Pain is not fun and I wish I could just go in front of Congress and scream “I know you know someone who is suffering from Chronic Pain!” “Do you want them to suffer more?” or “Do you remember how much pain you were in when you had a broken bone, or severe sprain, bad tooth ache or surgery?” The latter I ask my husband all the time to remember the pain and his answer is always the same “but I knew it would go away.” People who live in Chronic Pain know that the pain never goes away. Sure, we may have one day better than the day before, but we also know it won’t last. We are told to do more exercise which is a good alternative for people in Acute Pain, but Chronic Pain sufferers can’t really exercise because it makes the Pain worse, especially when your back muscles spasm 24 hours a day. In 2015 I had to have the spinal cord stimulator removed from my back that was supposed to help with my lumbar and sciatic pain, but it didn’t work. I was constantly having more issues in my neck, arms, lumbar and outer legs and the stimulator was supposed to work on at least my legs, but I had to turn it up to it’s full capacity because I had the stimulation on the inside of my legs and under normal settings I couldn’t feel any relief so by turning it up full blast, at least I felt the residual stimulation to the outside. I finally convinced my Spine Surgeon that I needed MRIs after both my arm and leg Nerve Conduction and EMG studies came out positive. When the Neurosurgeon asked me where did I feel the stimulation and I replied “on the inside of my legs” his response was quite loud of “SHE’S GOT THE ‘U’.” I said “Excuse Me?” And that’s when he told me a secret that very few doctors and/or patients don’t know about but the Stimulation companies do, but it is not in any documentation, websites or reps telling the truth. The nerves that send the signals to the brain where the the stimulation works are Criss-Crossed in my brain and that I should never have had the stimulator in the first place and that I am not ever a candidate for a stimulator because it will never work on me. He told me that it is rare and very few know of this condition with the stimulators, so I asked how did he know and he said if he hadn’t seen it one other time before during his own training, he wouldn’t know about it either. My stimulator trial actually failed and I didn’t want to do… Read more »

Kerry

You know how desperate this situation is for the masses and the individual. You can take what you’ve encountered and translate it into how it converts over into pain patients lives. We haven’t seen the wave of suicides hit yet that can’t be hidden. We’ve had waves but there’s still many who are able to hang on. There’s going to be a limit to what a human can endure and this huge wave will happen all at once from those who were taken off pain meds all at once.

Thank you for speaking out! My hope is somebody will rise out of these ashes and lead, not just us because we are too sick and are suffering to get out there, but our advocates and what pain patients can, to clearly state this is intentional genocide and it’s just that simple. We can’t hold on forever. Thank you for your courage and your words Dr Joshi!!

HS

I want to know what happened to “do no harm”?! These doctors are taking our pain meds, the only thing that helps make moving bearable, after we have been on them for years. Suddenly the dea & politicians say they have “new suggestions & guidelines ” for dosing, my meds are cut in half, my body goes back to the muscle spasms, stabbing, burning, electric shock impulse feelings, swelling, etc…. which in turn raises my anxiety, blood pressure, pain levels and throws me into an even darker depression because now I’m back to laying in bed or on the couch not being able to do anything but think of ways to end my pain. I have had back problems since I was 9, I am now 45. I have degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease, spinal stenenosis, spondylosis, bone spurring, tmj, spinal fusions with cadaver bone graph and laminectomy , titanium rods & screws, herniated cervical disks and more…
At what point does this become malpractice??!! My Dr. Knows what medicines help me, treat me, & make me able to somewhat function, BUT instead listens to a “suggestion” from a non-doctor source/person/group & changes or removes my treatment; therefore causing irrefutable harm.
I hope there are enough money hungry attorney’s willing to go for it. Take it to the Supreme Court! I’d go first.
Dr. Joshi, thank you for being a true doctor and keeping your oath! I sure wish you were my Dr.. please keep fighting for us.

My brother has CIDP… his pain is becoming increasingly excruciating by the day ….
He is falling down frequently .. he fractured his hip…he can’t hardly walk …his toes are on fire .. and he fell down yesterday again..
I..have been disabled since my twenties. . A myriad of different illnesses plague me . Among them ….antibitioc resistant infections…another crisis in our misdt ..

I wonder .. our God is the only one who is in charge of human lives but the pain is too much too bear ….is this the reason why ….euthanasia, assisted suicide is being legalized and accepted in more and more countries every day ???

No one deserves to live in sheer agony … that is not a way to live …
Is there a place, an organization , a website.. where we can all , chronic pain sufferers join our voices and demand the treatment and compassion we deserve . Please .. publish the data.

There are millions of illnesses that can keep a person in agony for years .. some are well known …others …are very rare like cidp …but the gamut is extensive .. too much human misery ….cancer is not the only illness that destroys lives ….
Chronic pain deserves the same attention as cancer pain

Dooney

Thank you Dr Joshi and always Dr Ibsen. I read a story last night about the news laws going into effect next year in Maine. A pharmacist said chronic pain meds don’t work and we should exercise. I fantazied about shattering her leg into millions of pieces (my bad! ) and giving her some Motrin. I just fell 3 weeks ago, fx my elbow, bruised ribs. On top of other pain, it’s wearing me down . After 15 years of pain caused by botched surgeries, it’s getting harder to be in pain. I’m exhausted, trying to keep a job, keep up with chores and deal with the financial issues, nearly bankrupt. And yes my copay, deductibles, and premiums went up again and no raise for 5 years. And I wonder why my stress is through the roof. I’m scared of the future. I do have some joy with family friends, grandkids but the assault day after day with pain, even with meds, it’s really wearing me down. I’ve tried everything to help my issues but don’t have any more energy left to try. I used to be so strong, could deal with lots of pain and power through the day. I’m so tired and exhausted. Im just ready to be done. And when did not wanting to be in pain become such a crime? I’m sorry for every single one of you who are suffering. It’s BS the way everyone is being treated.

Lisa Hess

I do hope that you cover the subject of Chronic Pain as a disease that is caused by so many other diseases other than just CPRS. I have lived in Chronic Pain for 20 years which started with a head on car accident. I worked the first 10 years un-medicated thinking that if I work it would keep my mind off of the pain. Sometimes it worked, but not always. I’ve had every non-invasive to extremely invasive procedures on my neck and Lumbar spine including, but not limited to a Spinal Cord Stimulator and nothing has worked to relieve my pain. By 2006, after my third cervical surgery I could no longer work the pain was too excruciating and exhausting that I couldn’t do anything without medication to relieve or somewhat relieve my pain. Through the past 10 years I’ve had 5 spinal surgeries, Accelerated DDD causing so much damage in my lumbar and cervical spine, Degenerative Facet Disease, Fibro Myalgia, Degenerative Osteoarthritis, RA, and Lyme Disease (which caused the acceleration of the damage to my spine), And, what do I get? A very lonely life of pain and suffering when I can’t turn my head or my hands don’t work or I can’t walk because it’s so painful I’d rather cut my arms and legs off. Unfortunately, only Opioids help manage my pain whereas I can have a couple of hours to 6 hours of productive time. Not always, but I’ll take what time I can get even if just to be able to enjoy a creative outlet. Having my medications cut in half in January 2016 and will be cut again in January 2017, I’ve become a prisoner in my own home because I’m in so much pain I can’t go anywhere. This is not the way I pictured my life to be at 55 years old. So, please be the voice for so many of us who suffer with Chronic Pain 24/7/365 (and yes I have had many days where I’d rather die than live in this kind of pain) from so many other diseases and not just a few.

Richard Veeck

Thanks for all you do Dr. Joshi! My life changed in 2007 after an ulnar entrapment surgery. Before this, I never complained of pain. Being an athlete, a bodybuilder and power lifter, a health nut, I was and still am, very in tune with my body. Having been through serious sports injuries, broken feet, reconstructed AC shoulder joint and others, never once asking or accepting pain meds. I was able to get through without issue. Then after my 2007 surgery, RSD/CRPS started and it is the worst pain I can imagine. I am a big and strong guy and it literally brought me to my knees in tears. Only way I can describe is it can feel like my feet and my left arm are broken, on fire and with knives piercing the skin. Death would be better. The only things that helped get my life back is opiate pain medication and a botanical called kratom. Even to this day, people do not understand the level of pain, nor why I continue to take pain medication. I have no idea how else to live without the medication. I hope I become a candidate for a ketamine infusion or one of the nrw treatments on the horizon. For now, I feel that pain pills and Botanicals are the only way. I still feel misunderstood. Sad.

Jean Price

Yes…it is time!! Past time, in fact!! But better late than never, as they say! I think you can see the hope you’ve generated as just one doctor speaking out…one doctor who cares about people with pain and what is sadly happening to pain treatment options in this country. We must become more visible, more appropriate for the issues, more active, more supported by the public, more willing to lay it on the line to our own doctors instead of being so afraid they will cut off our medicines completely!! They are at risk too, and we must tell them we won’t desert them if they are treated unfairly. As a united front, we have more clout to be heard, even more numbers. And ALL of our PAIN ADVOCACY AND INFORMATION GROUPS AND SITES must ACTIVELY JOIN US…or risk losing our continued interest and support of their organizations. I applaud your message and your courage, Doctor! The time IS now. The rally THIS WEEKEND IN D.C. is starting off a public awareness and dialogue which we all must work diligently on, each adding what you can, to keep going and produce results. We can do this. We must. And working together, we will.

Samantha Garamillo

My injury that led up to my journey to this crps diagnosis began in March of this year. Sadly to say, my pain management Dr has treated me like my pain was nothing! Even with all the symptoms in front of his face! After the bones scans and testings ect were given to him and I’ve been in excruciating pain, he has me on the lowest pain meds possible that do absolutely NOTHING for me. He suggested a patch of something and I explained and demonstrated with a band-aid that I developed skin irritations. He didn’t care. He continued the same meds. It’s like CRPS is something that will “go away in time” and I should be “oh so thankful” that he gave me anything at all! In the area I live in the pain management specialists clearly don’t care about us and our chronic pain! All they care about is getting their deductible upfront and making me wait 2 hours to see them while everyone else leaves with things they don’t even need! (I know some of those people personally, that get scripts for HUNDREDS of strong opiates and they SELL THEM! Yet they pill count me for tramadol? What’s wrong with this picture) I’ve never called in a script, EVER! I make my appointments on time, I’m honest, and I’m treated like I’m a drug addict! It’s just WRONG! Thank you for speaking up for us!

Sandy M

I thank you also Dr. Joshi for understanding chronic pain and that it is real. I have Thalamic Pain Syndrome as the result of a right Thalamic hemorrhage 15 years ago. The pain has only increased in these years. I certainly do not abuse my medication. In fact, I take less per day than I should be because I knew something like this would come and I can’t get anymore medication for my pain. Now my PVP wants to take my Xanax away and I only take it at night because I hurt do bad I can’t sleep and I get 3 or 4 hours of sleep, sometimes only 2 hours. I thank you for attending this meeting and hopefully we can get things changed. Im 69 years old and am not an addict. It only gives me a little relief so I feel like getting out of bed. Doctors say they understand this condition but they dont. Only my neurologist who retired this month and has taken care of me all these years understood it and he said in all his over 50 years he only had 2 or 3 people with this condition and my was worse than the others, but he admired me because I try so hard. We chronic pain people have to, we have no choice! Thanks again for all you do for us in chronic pain. I’m sure we all wish you were our doctor too

Reduced

I have had dibilitating pain since I was 18 years old; having multiplayer compression fractures as a passenger in an auto accident. I turned to opioid treatment full time when I was 22 after given Adhesive Arachnoiditis AA from multiplayer epidural steriod injections that went astray. The pain doctor wouldn’t treat my pain with opioids until after he created AA in my spine. Here I am 20 years later (42) and now I take an opioids along with other treatment modalities. I have a family (2 kids and a wife) I have never worked because of my disease and honestly if I were at least partly ok looking I would be alone (charm can go a long ways).

I wish I had though out having a family like this. My wife has a good job but we are still lower middle class. I never thought I would feel so worthless inside. Today I woke up to see my wife off to work and I cried the whole time I was in the shower. I’m a big strong man, reduced to nothing by pain and the prospects of my future. Thank pain haters, I didn’t feel awful enough before the threat of losing opioid pain care.

Thank you so much. We desperately need doctors to be on our side vocally. It’s “nice” when a doctor tells you they’d like to help, but can’t because of the DEA. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. We need these doctors to stand with us. For now, they are throwing pain patients under the bus. It wasn’t our fault that others became addicted or diverted their meds for money or recreation. I think doctors know this – now they need to stand with us!!!

I am a Fibromyalgia patient who has been in pain since my pain meds were discontinued by my pain management physician six months ago. I want to help any way that I can. I just don’t know who to talk with, who would listen, and who would make the change in how pain patients are treated.

Michelle

I’m 45 years old I haven’t been able to work in nine years! I was approved for disability at 39 years old how sad is that, my Dr is weening me off my opiods because of the CDC he states their is a war on drugs! I am a advocate for the US Pain Foundation and I know that the CDC provides guidelines but many Drs are running scared! But what about me what about my pain and how much I’m going to suffer does any body not care about the damage that is being done to me? Pain kills it snatches ones life away it wares on your heart one can only take so much pain. I already am not able to do many things because of my pain level I have lost so much my quality of life is already diminished now taking me off all opioids what kind of life will I have? One that consists of laying in bed all day I’m already laying on my couch most of the time on a heating pad I’d rather give up my life than have my husband see me suffer and him not have a life because of me! He doesn’t deserve a broken down wife he is too good of a man he deserves better than what I can give him and I love him dearly.

Deborah Fochler

You are wonderful and we need more doctors like you. Back in 1990 I suffered multiple spinal fractures. Was actually sent home from the ER because doctor said I wasnt crying. So I did damage to my spinal cord by moving around for several days (in agony). I attempted multiple surgeries and they all failed. The last one didnt heal correctly and left me in horrible pain. After several suicide attempts, my doctor stood at my bed one day and said. “its horrible. Not going to get better but you have family who loves you and you can either lay here and feel sorry for yourself or get off your ass and live your life despite the pain.” He put me on morphine. Over the last few years, I have cut my doseage, gone back to work and never failed a drug test, never not have enough meds. Have gone out of my way to do the right thing because I know he doesnt have to give me morphine. Back in October last year my leg got numb (does it often) and I fell face first onto pavement. Had a broken nose, broken arm, broken wrist, fractured knee and for some reason they said my oxygen was dropping. They admitted me to the hospital. The doctor who admitted me told me she was going to give me “my own meds” as I had them in my purse. I was in so much pain I literally couldnt move. What she actually did was give me NO pain medicine. When I started vomiting the third day and all I could do was cry – the nurses got angry. Then I realized what she had done. They waited until she was off call and called another doctor to get me some morphine. She has placed on note on my medical record that I am addict. So when I see a new doctor it is hard because they dont know me. And my primary care doctor (I had over 30 years has retired this year). My pain specialist is in practice still. Thank God. I hope he never retires.

Tim Mason

This Doctor needs a slot on CBS/NBC/ABC and perhaps some of the tabloid shows that have put us in a class with child molesters other evil doers.

I am a Fibromyalgia patient that had my pain meds discontinued and pain management had nothing more to offer. Please share how I can help. My contact info is dlfbhunt1@verizon.com. Thank-you.

Richard Oberg M.D.

Perhaps this is some turning point in the discussion – excellent post and so far I seem to be one of the few physicians willing to speak out (and be generally ignored) by our profession.

Everything you say here is correct. I’ve been in healthcare for 38 years (including training) and honestly, have not seeing anything as abominable as the direction and opinions of physicians most of whom should know better. We don’t treat ANY other healthcare issue like this. Physician on Kevin MD sound as ignorant as the lay press or have no experience seeing and treating pain patients yet wish to comment as if they’re a healthy bigoted lay person.

Physicians independently like Dr. Joshi, me, my dermatologist wife, or others similar aren’t going to move the needle on this – subspecialty physician organizations can and aren’t doing it. I know for a fact they can lobby to keep physician incomes higher – why not advocate for patients for a change? It’s not going to happen unless physicians begin lobbying their respective subspecialty organizations (including the AMA though it doesn’t have much of a voice these days) to get involved and challenge the power takeover by politicians and the politician-physicians at the CDC.

Hydrocodone manufacturing quotas (reportedly 25% but the DEA says 66%) have been cut by the DEA for next year – perhaps once this issue affects EVERY chronic pain patient we’ll get a loud enough voice to be heard and not just those who’ve already lost it.

Thanks again Dr. Joshi – would love to have a discussion with you and you’re brave to do this. As you correctly say, our profession doesn’t approve and THAT needs to change.

Mark Ibsen

Thank you Dr J. Great article. More docs need to unify And Advocate. Here is my letter to Tom Frieden at CDC: 6425 Head Lane Helena MT 59602 October 18, 2016 The Honorable Thomas Frieden, M.D., MPH Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027 Delivered via email: tomfrieden@cdc.gov Dear Dr. Frieden; As a fellow physician I treat people experiencing chronic intractable pain each and every day in Montana. With 100 million Americans in chronic pain, one-third of the US population (33%), chronic pain impacts more Americans than cancer, diabetes and heart disease collectively. Financially speaking, pain costs our nation between $560 and $635 Billion dollars annually; not just in healthcare costs, but in lost wages, decreased productivity when they are able to be at work, and in disability pay. Think about what our country could do with that amount of money if we addressed this monster of pain. Even with this one-hundred-million people in pain, only six-million are addicted to these pain pills, that is a low six percent addiction rate. The War on Drugs has failed dismally. It’s now become a war on people – vulnerable people including our honored veterans. Patients have come to be viewed as criminals, and the government dictating to doctors how we should prescribe. Regrettably approximately 16,000 patients per year die due to prescription drug overdose; .0001% of our population. These are not pain patients. These are people who obtained these medications illegally. Many of these pills are in fact counterfeit and imported into our country having nothing to do with doctors legitimate and legal prescribing habits. My idea would certainly curtail prescription drug abuse. I would require a marker which can be detected in toxicology studies to be placed on all manufactured pain pills and to use that identifier to trace prescriptions. We have the technology to do this, we just don’t have the political will. We track everything: Ebola, Zika virus, tuberculosis and HIV. Our country uses fingerprints, VIN numbers, bullet rifling patterns, and even lot numbers on food and other items. We can certainly trace our prescriptions from sources. Let’s track pain pills. Why not? This is now a murder investigation, is it not? We trace bullets and other fingerprints. Let’s give a fingerprint to every pharmaceutical, and let’s declare the War on Drugs over. It. Has. Failed. It has become a war on people, vulnerable people. It has failed every party it was intended to aide. I am wakened from sleep with recurrent conversations in my head: Agencies, regulators, bureaucrats, “What’s your oath”? Don’t they know about “do no harm”? The ethical code you and I took to never discriminate against our patients? Is there some idea that chronic pain patients are criminals and, even if they are, that we, as physicians, should not do our best to treat them? Or by doing so that we are some kind of criminal for treating whomever comes to us with a need for compassionate care? I… Read more »

Mary S

All I can say is thank you Dr. Joshi. I am always hopeful, we chronic pain patients would get help from someone who seems to understand chronic pain. This is a huge issue in the medical field, the health care system really doesn’t understand chronic pain and how to deal with it. Big issue! I would like to know how can over 100 million chronic pain patients all be making things up about pain to live on medication? Not my first choice for my life! After my injury I discussed with my spine Dr. quality of life verses quantity of my life. I told him at age 33 after 2 neck surgeries, with life long nerve damage, that I would want a quality of life. We’re all going to pass away someday, but between then and now I’m living part of tolerable pain free life due to my opiate medication here in question. Opiates have be around since the beginning of time to relieve pain. I’m like everyone else, the only relief I get is from my opiate pain medication. I can function to a degree with my pain medication. I can do the dishes, shower, can’t vacuum, can’t make the beds. I couldn’t haven’t children when I got injured. So unfornatulaty I have no children, dr said I would drop my child right arm so damaged by nerve damage I was told RSD, years ago before anyone knew anything about it. Better than being in bed all day, not sleeping, can’t eat, can’t do anything, can’t find any comfort.

I thought we lived in America, since when did we begin to live under such messed up rules.
I feel so discrimated against because I’m a chronic pain suffer whom is disable. This country sends our soiders off to war and won’t care for them when they come home missing body parts. Think about that, something in our society is really messed up!

I have hope with Dr. Joshi on board, maybe things might start to turn around, it only takes one to begin and hopefully other Dr’s will start to understand and follow. I’m hopeful in my heart! ❤️

Patricia Phypers

I had 10 ketamine infusions and am pleased to report that the infusions helped me. It is not a pleasant experience to go through, but the end result was worth it.
It is unfortunate that this treatment is not more readily available.

I am thankful that this conference is taking place and am hopeful the results will help people like me who have suffered with CRPS.

Holly Clowers

I’m a dermatologist disabled due to Ehlers-Danlos and its complications. My husband is a pathologist disabled due to psoriatic arthritis. I couldn’t agree with you more or appreciate your post more. Thank you for being willing to suffer some blows on pain patients’ behalf, especially when you are mostly alone in doing so. We’ve spoken up, but it seems our voices don’t count because we are patients and because we can no longer work. Despite the fact that giving up our careers was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do, it has depleted our worth in the eyes of many of our colleagues, as has the fact that we suffer from pain.

Please consider submitting your post to KevinMD, MedPage Today, and other sites where it will be seen by more physicians who desperately need exposure to something beyond the typical propaganda.

We are afraid of what the future holds.

Thank you again so much.

Lynn Saunders

I have chronically ill and disabled family members. The prejudice and discrimination they have suffered is unconscionable.

The current hysteria is just a newly packaged just say no failed drug policy.

The people this punishes are not the drug addicts, but the chronically ill patients who need medication to have any semblance of a quality of life.

Cynthia

Wow, so great to see a DOCTOR stand with us. Thank you Dr. Joshi. We can’t fight this by ourselves, I don’t think. ……we need doctors onboard. It’s scary for them, but if lots of them band together, they have great power