Meet a Doctor Who is a Grandma and a Fighter for Chronic Pain Patients

Meet a Doctor Who is a Grandma and a Fighter for Chronic Pain Patients

By Ed Coghlan.

Let me tell you a little secret. Part of how we have tried to grow the National Pain Report is to continually search for important voices. Sometimes they are patients or loved ones who have a story to tell. And sometimes it’s a doctor.

Let me introduce you to Dr. Debbie Nickels Heck from Muncie, Indiana. She was a woman who went to medical school in her 30’s, is a mother of three, a grandmother to seven and a woman with some very strong opinions about the  environment in which chronic pain patients are being treated.

We literally met on Twitter—and I’ve been following her for a while and thought she was intriguing.

So I reached out and said…”hey can we chat?”

She said sure.

Then I didn’t follow up…realized a couple of weeks later I hadn’t and reached out again.

I sent her the following questions:

  1. What is happening to patients?
  2. What is a patient to do?
  3. What alternative therapies do you recommend?
  4. What will the government do?
  5. What should the government do?

Pretty basic, right?

What I received in a response was the following: (I decided not to edit):

Excellent questions with very easy and difficult answers. The solutions are easy (reverse bad laws) but the govt is run by people who react to hysteria, not medical evidence, and once changes are in place, reversal is horrendous to get done.

The alternatives for patients are truly few when opioids are PART of their treatment plan and obtaining them has become so difficult due to legislative actions made by those who have reacted to media hysteria without medical justification and doctors afraid DEA agents will be knocking on their doors taking away their licenses to practice with accusations they are “writing too many opioids in dosages that are too high” without any background on individual patient needs. HOW can medicine be practiced in such an environment? And yoi want to know what alternatives PATIENTS have? What alternatives do DOCTORS have when fearing prosecution for having done nothing wrong?

There are such a wide variety of types of pain which is something those outside the field don’t understand. Those with diabetic neuropathy may only need meds in the anticonvulsant class and respond to them. Other types of chronic pain NEED opioids to get complete relief but usually do best when also COMBINED with various antidepressants found to be very helpful. However there are about 15% of the population who will gain significant weight on some of the SNRIs that work well like Cymbalta but a newer one, Fetzima, is a better choice and doesn’t cause weight gain in those vulnerable. It’s very helpful in treating pain conditions, especially fibromyalgia, and it’s been helpful with my own arthritis and some neuropathic conditions. Muscle relaxants are helpful in many chronic pain conditions.

Acupuncture has proven helpful for some people. Reflexology is another alternative therapy many have found useful as an addition therapy. I’m a great believer in massage therapy. I had a massage therapist in my office who helped my patients greatly with general muscular pain as well as myself with my fibro.

I’m in GREAT disagreement with those who state you shouldn’t take benzodiazepines with opioids because those with chronic pain very often also have significant anxiety. As with ALL of medicine it’s in knowing how to use them carefully. I’m a great fan of valium because it has a muscle relaxation effect which helps pain patients in 2 ways. I’ve found they can often reduce their dosage of pain med with a low dose of valium if they are feeling significantly anxious if they take a low dosage about 20 minutes before taking a short acting pain med as the relaxation effect allows them to need less as their pain is then less intense. This is FAR different than having patients take it on a regular 3-4 times a day basis but on an “as needed” basis. KNOWING your patients makes a difference as opposed to running them thru on conveyor belts.

At this point when patients with intense unrelenting pain can’t get the pain meds they need, they are becoming more anxious and being told they can’t even get what they need to help them relax. Is it any wonder we’re seeing so many such patients committing suicide when deprived of what HAD allowed them to lead normal lives for years, all due to those who obtain substances ILLEGALLY causing legislators to enact LAWS to prevent LEGAL prescriptions?

So what’s the answer as to what patients can do? I don’t know because I’m also one of those patients who has been trying to find a doctor to listen to me with no response. My blood pressure skyrocketed and I know exactly why. Pain. My neophyte family physician 5 years out of residency refuses to treat it because she “just doesn’t want to.” However, she’ll refer me to a cardiologist and nephrologist to try to figure out why it’s so high when I’ve already given her the answer. She won’t do anything about it because she “wasn’t trained” as I was and refuses any suggestions I’ve made as to conferences I continue to attend for updated information on pain management so she CAN become knowledgeable. It’s not like she hasn’t HAD ths opportunity. She’s just CHOSEN NOT to take it. How can the treatment of pain improve when our current crop of “doctors” have attitudes such as this?

I don’t know if this is helpful but it’s a perspective from both unfortunate sides. If I can further elaborate, I’d be glad to but I tend to get a bit verbose so I tried to keep it as concise as possible. Thanks for asking me.

Blessings always,

Debbie Nickels Heck, MD

Editor’s Note:  I’m going to ask Dr. Nickels Heck to send us more “thoughts” like these.

You can follow her on Twitter @DrNickels

You can follow us on Twitter @NatPainReport

You can follow the author on Twitter @edcoghlan

Are there other voices in the chronic pain world you think we should amplify? If so, let us know at by email editor@nationalpainreport.com

Subscribe to our blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

newest oldest
Notify of
Peabodys Cow

I have read the “”do not mentions” to new physicians,however,im65 yrs seasoned,and after multiple ridiculous misdiagnosis 3,4 and 3physicians (internal medicine ORTHOPEDICS rehab.medicine) coming together after ,biofeedback,hypnotism,physical therapy,multiple injections,nsaids,steroids,finally as last resort(fentanyl patch and morphine breakthrough(a neurologist fellow taught how to use,pros/cons what to be aware of with patch(&heat) NOW 20+ yrs with NO problems until…New pain Dr decided I was inept,and only he had the ability to explain that I wasn’t capable since(as he physically acted out,he took a framed degree from the wall to show he was 3x degrees from Yale – all I was was a retired wannabe to him) he was the Dr I was nothing). After having continued my same regime for over 2+yrs…the Dr decided to terminate both meds,without titrating down,simply stopped suddenly. Even pharmacy suggested he reduce the dose slowly,he wouldn’t listen.
I have never been able to take many drugs,Benadryl (children’s 12.5 mg) Phenergan 25mg has to be quartered then half of quarter. Theignored orthopedic injuries,torn ACL ,LATERAL COLLATERAL LIGAMENT,TORN ROTOR CUFF,scheduled TOTAL Knee replacement both knees cancelled due to diagnosis of Chf. The constant lack of treatment for needed injuries were justified by not having enough docors,leaving the pt to suffer. NOW,in spite of MRI,X-Ray,documents nothing matters and pain Dr specifically stated if I don’t take the meds he’s prescribed,even though I have adverse reactions,he’ll terminate completely. I’ve done everything I know including appealing to the Chief of Staff,who recently stated I would be able to continue ir morphine for two yrs. The next meeting with the pain Dr,he dismissed what was said,and stated he expected me to terminate asap. I live alone,and after 1\3rd of the last part of my life I’ve been able to function because of the med regime. Now,it’s all I can do to get out of bed .I didn’t need to use my walker 10 months ago,now I can barely go from one room to another. My scooter,I can’t bear weight so when I’m in a store or at the hospital,I use it. I can’t tolerate the pain to use stairs,my knees swell leaving me completely unable to function. The Dr stated if it hurts to use steps use twice as often,I can’t wear my knee braces because of swelling,he tells me they are simply self pity reminders that help me feel sorry for myself.
I’ve lost so much money having to pay others .I have NO VOICE.

Tamara Ann Williams

Hi Dr. Heck! I am a chronic pain sufferer. In 1987 I fell down a flight of stairs resulting in a compression fracture of the L5 S1 level. In 1994 I had the disc removed after repeated herniation. Over the years, my spine has continued to deteriorate. I now have degenerative arthritis as well as spinal stenosis. I also have Rhunetoid arthritis affecting several joints. Last Oct I was hospitalized for severe back pain that was triggered simply by bending. ( not my first episode). The month before I had a denervation. I have weakness in my legs, and use crutches to walk long distances. I am scheduled to have an Emg on the 25 followed by a neurologist appt. I have seen many Drs including neurosurgeons and they all say there is nothing they can do! I take neurontin 3 times a day, tzanadine, and cymbals as well as methotrexate but I often get severe electric shock type pain down my legs without warning. I also take tramadol when I can get a script from my Dr., but use is very sparingly as I know how worried my Dr is about writing a script for opioids too often. I am only 60 years old, but some days I feel so much older! I am so tired of living like this! I am a Grandmother of 4 and feel very discouraged that I can’t keep up with the grandkids! Thank you for your article and for fighting for the rights of us chronic pain sufferers! It is not fair that we have to be afraid to ask for relief because our Goverment thinks that everyone who needs pain relief to live will become an addict! I have been on and off many opioids for years and have never had a problem. Sorry this is so long, but it feels good to vent to someone who truly listens!

Barb

Dr Debbie Heck
You are spot on and I’m happy to hear it’s not just me that’s going through this alone., but not happy that you are too. I’m so tired of being pushed from one Dr to another because no one wants to take the full responsibility for all the medications that I need to be on. I have fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, spinal fusion, bulging disc surgery, 3 knee replacement, major migraines, chronic pain syndrome. But no one wants to prescribe pains to control the pain, just enough to exist, but not LIVE LIFE!

Mary

Addressing Susan Edwards recent post: Perhaps “We Chronic Pain Patients” and like minded clinicians (including Dr. Debbie Heck) have more power to address CMS/HHS Office of the Inspector General regarding responsible utilization of opioid therapy combined with other modalities. Susan, you are right: it is not fair for our government agencies to cast a wide net over responsible patients combined with addict individuals. But it happened. And it is wrongful, indeed.

About opioid titration and the recent CDC 90MME “recommendation”: one size does not fit all.
Titration is individual to the patient and a pain specialist will understand this.
Some pain specialists admit a patient diagnosed with intractable pain to the hospital for 4 to 5 days where they are medically observed while being administered their Rx opioid medication for accurate titration. I was one of those patients. My Rx dosage was over the 90MME daily CDC “recommendation”, but it was medically justified in 2003 and remained the same until CMS/HHS Medicare’s Opioid Overutilization program began.

Some patients require an increase in meds over time, but some do not.

Sadly, not all pain specialists admit their patients to the hospital for accurate titration.

Maureen M.

That you Ed for posting this story and Thank you Dr. Heck for your honest insight and sharing your own disheartening story of how you too are treated as a person with chronic pain.
It truly is mind blowing.
I have shared my story on the NPR in the long ago past but the short story is that before I moved to Fla. over 3 yrs ago I had a most wonderful compassionate Pain doc who listened well and medicated me properly.
I moved to be closer to my siblings here, for help with my conditions, (which has never happened) and thats when the witch hunt was beginning, to my ignorance. Had I known I would’ve never moved here. My life suffered greatly because of it, in several ways but in this instance…its’ regarding proper care.
But, Dr. Hack, your thought on proper treatment reminds me of my CT. doc.
He had me on my Pain med as well as Valium PRN for muscle spasm and sleep. It truly is a good combo for heightened relief.
I also have CFS/ME so I am very sensitive to most drugs so I can only take a very low dose of it once in awhile. I’m still ‘sparingly’ use the Valium, from over 3 yrs ago, because no doctor here will give it to me.
Keep strong Dr. Heck, and all!! We must win this fight!!

Mist

we need to find a fresh young lawyer who would be willing to file suit the disabled and elderly have rights why are those rights being treated as though they do not exist ?

SUSAN EDWARDS

Dr. Heck… tiny doses of benzodiazepine with small doses of Percocet help so much with chronic fibromyalgia pain. We need to get the government on board. Write letters. It’s not fair for the government to cast a wide net over people who abused and steel and obtain . Opioids illegally and need more and more to get euphoria. Using them wisely can mean the difference between living your life and not wanting to live. I agree with every single thing you said and I found joy in hearing somebody intelligent with a doctor’s degree speak as you did. Please keep speaking up till somebody listens. They are looking at pain medications that I believe work like opioids but instead of going to the brain they go to the spinal column but they might not be available for 5 years. God bless you and thank you for your words.

Hugs
Susan

Lenore

Absolutely on target with intelligent thinking and compassion! Thank you Dr. Heck!

Laura

Between 2009-10 I had 3 surgeries on my left humerus/shoulder due to bone cancer. For reasons no one has been able to explain to me Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) set into the shoulder radiating down the arm. For the 1st 2-3 years I was on narcotic pain medication but, as I also have IBS, the side effects were particularly difficult to manage. When it became clear to me that CPS was my new normal I asked for alternatives to the opioides for daily management. The 1st recommendation, a spinal cord stimulator, failed. The 2nd, an intrathecal pain pump, is working, infusing the drug Prialt continuously into the intrathecal space of my spinal cord. Prialt is non-narcotic, made, from all things, sea snails. I do also have a prescription for a breakthrough pain medication which is a narcotic that works for me. When I started seeing more news about an opioide crisis I talked to my doctor’s about how it would affect my treatment. They weren’t sure but hoped it wouldn’t affect pain patients. They know now they were wrong. I was recently approached by my pharmacist about Narcan & told they could write the script for me, which they did, based solely on that 1 out of 12 meds they refill regularly for me. No one thing is a perfect solution, I still have pain crisis’ that require medical intervention & the nature of those are changing I’ve noticed. I purposely go to the same ER where I hope not to be seen as drug seeking and, so far, I have not been. Before my diagnosis, surgeries & CPS I had a negative opinion regarding death by suicide. And here I will apologise to anyone who has lost a friend or family member to suicide, I do not mean to appear insensitive. The news has been reporting about the sudden, sharp increase in the suicide rate in America. I don’t think I would be speaking out of turn to say that those of us who suffer with chronic, excruciating pain are not surprised. Alone in the dark, screaming in unrelenting pain for what seemed an eternity, well, I can only hope you will forgive me my weakness when I admit that suicide seemed like relief in those moments.

Quite sad, not to mention “pathetic” really, that other physicians were not as brave and caring as this grandmother.Just imagine………………….
if ALL OF THE PHYSICIANS “HAD BEEN” this inteterested…………………….!
Makes one wonder or atleast it should.

Paul Bartolini

Great article. It’s sad that there isn’t more doctors doing what she is doing; listening to her patients and meeting there needs. I was taking 7-8 15mg Oxycodone a day and 2 Xanax a day for sleep for 8 years with no problems. Now I can’t find ANYONE to treat my chronic pain and am getting my meds on the black market. I don’t want to become a statistic but they have given me no choice. Street drugs or suicide what would you do?

carl s. dunn

After talking to a politician about a bill to be introduced for a vote, an interesting fact surfaced, and this was called “the law of unintended consequences”. It goes like this; say congress passes a law designed to lower the number of people dying from overdoses, so they pass a law limiting the number of prescriptions doctors might write for their patients asking for pain medicine. Well, what happens is doctors also risk losing their license to practice because the DEA is now allowed to prosecute them if they write too many. What happens? Doctors stop writing the prescriptions and/or limit the amount of the drugs so they can be gainfully employed in their profession. Patients must adapt or die. Doctors adapted or quit. The law the politicians passed was to reduce overdose deaths mainly from heroin and/or fentanyl, but including pills, without realizing the law of unintended consequences of patients being forced to reduce their usual doses of medications and doctors being forced to reduce the number and amount of prescriptions. You may ask why did doctors have to reduce the drugs given to patients who for decades were able to sustain a gainful life using them responsibly? Because our government has never been one to decide things using logic or common sense because it is incapable of it. The article states public opinion is the driving force why politicians do anything, and they only do things that will look like they are effective and should be re-elected. No one will ever change this, so what can be done? One of two things are possible. Outright revolution which will destroy our institutions or change beginning at the grass roots level. Everyone passionate about this injustice must run for an office, even if it is the dog catcher, trash commissioner, whatever! Only a new slate of candidates dedicated to change the two party system from the inside will work to do this monumental task, and brother, it will take all of us to do it. Quit sitting behind your computer and volunteer yourself at a third party headquarters if you truly want to change the corrupted two party system that holds sway over what was a democracy and a free America.

Donna Hofmann

Great article and response! Thank you!

Debbie Nickels Heck, MD

Thanks to each of you for your kind comments. I’m honored that you gained something from my experience, both professional and the unfortunate personal. I will always advocate for those in pain however I can. I hope to restart practicing to be able to do more.

Andrea

Dr. Neckles,I live in Valpo Indiana and I am having the EXACT same problems as you.I moved here from Illinois in 2015. In doing so I also had to leave my family doctor I had been seeing for 15 years. He had me on low dose generic Xanax for my anxiety and muscle spasms and Hydrocodone 10-325 3x a day and Oxycodone 5mg for break thru pain.My trouble started when an epidural while having my daughter was not done properly.They “dug’ around in my lower back trying to get the needle in – it took 4 tries before they got it right.Afterward, I would get some sciatic pain but not bad. In 2003,Once my daughter got big enough to have a bath in the bathtub is when the real pain began.I couldnt do it.Bending over the tub was so painful I would be crying while giving her a bath.Finally, by the time she was 3 yrs old I had to teach her to take a shower.In 2006 I finally went t to my doctor and told him what was going on.Did MRI and x-ray.Showed numerous diagnosis.He prescribed me Hydrocodone 5-325 and I was already on the Xanax because of my anxiety.I also was diagnosed with Bipolar around this time.I was prescribed Seroquel and Celexa.Life was ok again.By the beginning of 2011, my pain was really getting worse and he upped my Hydrocodone to 10-325. It was becoming more and more painful to walk, sit and stand.I did well until I slipped and fell walking down the stairs outside from an ice storm the night before.He had to up my Hydrocodone 10-325 to 2 tablets 3 times a day and sent me to a neurosurgeon.Now my neck was part of this mess also.In the MRI and XRays,problems I have herniated disks from C1-C7 and L1-L5 and problems in S1 and S2 and bone spurs and lots of nerve damage.December 2012 I had my first Anterior Stage 2 Cervical Neck Fusion C5-C6 and C6-C7.I did great! Then June 2013 I had a Laminectomy and Micro Discectomy in my lower back at the L5-S1.I have to cut this short so life happened got divorced and only work I could get was UPS.This messed up everything. Moved here and have never been able to get the care I need. I have been accused of being a drug addict, which I have never touched drugs in my life,nor alcohol. I just left another office where office staff refuses to submit pre-auths for medications and have been told I am belligerent if I ask any questions. May 3 2018 had Cervical Neck Revision.I couldnt even get much pain medication 6 hours after surgery. I was told they no longer give anything stronger than tylenol. There is more to this but no room

You can’t write yourself a prescription but I wouldn’t suffer. I would write my spouse a prescription and use them myself. What’s happening is a disgrace to our nation. We denounce other countries for human rights violations while we commit atrocious acts causing more suffering than any country I know of.Kratom saved my life when I was praying for death after being cut off cold turkey from oxycodone 150mg per day. Now they want to take that away too. And the idiots running our country wonder why suicides are rising so rapidly.

Terry

I wish there were more doctors like you. What we need are advocates willing to talk to Congress and explain what chronic pain patients go through on a daily basis. Armed with REAL statistics rather than twisted stats that fortify the conclusions and decisions that the CDC and DEA make that ruin so many millions of people suffering from chronic pain and depression in many cases. They are clumping everyone into one category using one set of stats. For instance, they claim that like 80% of deaths and/or overdoses are caused by opiates, well that’s pretty vague to be making decisions that affect chronic pain patients lives and well being. For example, most opiate overdoses come from heroin or fentanyl or a combination of both. Less than 1% of overdoses/ deaths from opiates are from chronic pain patients with legitimate prescriptions for truly legitimate and indescribable chronic pain. Why is it so hard to simply explain to a designated group of congressmen and senators what we are going through. Let them form a committee to investigate and make decisions based on their findings? See there’s no money in it for them, chronic pain patients are a minority in the so called opiate epidemic. We need somebody with a voice to be our champion to save our lives and restore our quality of life. I have emailed both my senators and congressmen explainin everything I’ve just outlined. I received the standard “thank you for contacting us and we appreciate your views blah, blah, blah” and so on. None of these elected officials could care less about a group of people in the minority. Like I stated earlier, there’s no reward in it for them. They don’t want to get behind a cause that could possibly cause them votes because public opinion is against us, people believe everything that they hear on TV and repeat what they’ve heard as fact. Unfortunately the chronic pain community is on their own and s#*^ out of luck. I’ve never felt so defeated in my life and without the proper meds my life is basically over. Thanks to the knee jerk, overactive responses by our government officials. This is and always will be the facts of this truly horrible situation that rules my life. Thank you elected officials, thank you very much.

Robert Grdon

Finally I know there is at least one physician that understands what the government has done to chronic pain care patients.. I was a pilot in Vietnam and was shot down resulting in back and neck pain for over 40 yrs. And as I have grown older, numerous other health issues piled on the pain. Until hydrocodone was rescheduled due to the idiots who abused it, my quality of life was manageable on low dosage and under care of my GP of 20 yrs. When the rescheduling took effect no Dr. would prescribe. I was made to feel I was a dope addict just looking for a high, even with the myriad of tests, MRI’s, x-rays etc. Three days ago a flash fire burned my face with 2nd degree burns, I went to the ER in severe pain. A Dr. spent no more than 3 minutes “evaluating” me. I was given an antibiotic salve and told my burn was not bad, just like a bad sunburn, told to take a couple of over the counter Tylenol. When I asked for at least Tylenol #3, he said I can’t help your kind and was sent home. This insanity must stop! I have no hope any longer there will be a change in the remaining years I have. I never thought I would have to live in constant pain with no chance of relief in my senior years. And this same government and Drs. seem perplexed why suicide rates for seniors is rising dramatically.

Lori T.

Thank you for such a fine post. I agree with the other people here in that we should try very hard to get her voice heard at the DEA, FDA and so forth. I have been posting for a time now about what I have been seeing happening with the fake opioid crisis. I agree with the good doctor 100 percent. Hopefully there will be a way we could get her words out before these draconian proposals become law. Once that happens, it’s a real barn burner to reverse laws. Case in point, the legalization of marijuana.

Kerry Heffner

Finally a Doctor that relates. I’m having my opioids decreed after being a pain mgt. patient for years. I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease and severe osteo arthritis. I’m anxious as hell. That’s even with being on clonzipan and anti depressants. Where is my treatment plan going? I’m not a junkie. I never feel high. I get about 60% relief when I’m on my pain meds. Would like to know how you feel about marijuana CBD. Our state (AR) is dragging their feet at getting the ball rolling after a passing vote. I don’t want to have to leave my family to go live with relatives in Colorado just to get some relief if I am left with no opioids for pain. Guess I just wanted to vent. Thank you again for your understanding.

Cindy Calhoun

It really seems hopeless when a doctor can’t even get HER doctor to listen to her.

Kris Aaron

Physicians who can educate themselves but won’t are a bane on humanity! I, also, have a young family physician who is convinced I’ll DIE!!! if I combine opiates for neuro pain (methadone) with Ambien for sleep. In her mind, keeping me alive so she won’t have to answer for my (possible) death to the state medical board is far more important than my overall well-being. My living with a sleep-deprived mind is preferable to the “risk” she runs if she prescribes the only sleeping medication that works for me.
Physicians are not only coping with DEA assaults on their practices but also with skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates for anyone who writes opiate prescriptions. No wonder so many are refusing to provide pain relief for their patients who have a history of dysfunctional bodies.

Ed,
I used to write for the National Pain Report several years ago. I also wrote for other publications and authored a book with my physician about living with chronic illness. I made a decision to stop contributing articles because my health had improved so much it was time for me to step down as a member of the pain community and build the new life in front of me. I still subscribe to the National Pain Report, share articles and recommend the publication to many that I meet.

The article today by Dr. Heck is an especially fresh and informed voice and I love it that you prefaced with how you met and that you chose not to edit.

You have done such a brilliant job growing your pool of writers, publishing articles that are both brave and compassionate, and addressing the pressing issues of the times. I just wanted to congratulate you and thank you for helping so many.

Please, keep up the good work.
JOY

Jacqui

We need more doctors like this on our side ! Thank you for the great article !

Rita KIMBEL

I’ve reached the point that I need an increase in millegrams of XTAMPZA. I was forced stopped off oxycontin last year, I had taken 80 mill. but didn’t start at that strength of course, it took 14 years and a neuro-stimulator. It’s spinal cord injury pain, palliative care. When forced back to Pain doctor he started me on low dose Xtampza, after a year, added nucynta. Side affects caused me to stop nucynta this month and until I get CBD oil I just have to deal with this pain, my pain doctor is scared but will up my millegrams next month for me, 36 milligrams is closer to what I was taking 2 years ago, so we will see how it works out. This is all crazy, I didn’t know how to say I need more but I just ask him straight up, “is it legally ok for you to up my millegrams?” I just want to be pain free again and active as I was before being forced off oxycontin, I can’t put my hand in water yet, that’s all I want to do.

FormerPatriot

I wish we had her testifying at the HHS hearing, this would have been a fantastic perspective to present there. Let’s all watch for the next opportunity to get this woman’s story in front of the legislators. (Probably too late for the FDA docket.)

Kathleen Kaiser

Wow I really like this woman. She sounds like a wonderful doctor whose hands are being tied unfairly as both the patient and the doctor. I really loved her answers. I think you got a lot from her. But I will bet that talking to her one-on-one would be even better. After all she said something about being verbose when talking directly to an interviewer. If you ever get a chance to do that I would love to be privy to your conversation.

Heather

Yes, I would like to hear more from her as well. I’m sorry that she has to live with pain as well. This is a disgusting situation that chronic pain patients are in. And doctors, too. But doctors need to stand up to the system and speak out. The same doctors who are cutting pain meds dosages or deciding to abandon their practices are the same ones who will be reading the obituary section of the paper with great regret.

joanne pluta

Thanks for advocating for all pain pts. You truly know what we go through !