By Kerry Smith
It has been one of those weeks. I began the week Sunday night with heart palpitations and nausea and Monday morning torn between trying the new Hydrocodone extended release pill and totally stopping opioids altogether while spending yesterday in my family doctor’s office undergoing blood tests and an EKG. Today I have taken steps towards changing pain management clinics and attempting to go in a different direction with my pain management, one I am not so sure I haven’t already tried but my body now asks me to pursue again.
You see, the change agent in this pursuit is my body which is revolting against opioids which I have taken on and off, mostly on, for 14 years. Attempts at trying to discover a way to have my pain managed by a doctor familiar with medical marijuana have been fruitless in a state that is against the use of cannabis and I now am having to work with a system bound to opioid engineering. This is as awful of a place as I have ever been in! And I cannot meditate nor exercise nor vitamin my way out of this one either as my body continues to change and not for the better or younger. Dear God in Heaven, what is it that has grabbed me and my friends right under our noses in the name of sound medical knowledge?
As desperate as this sounds right now, right now in the midst of the squeeze I find myself in, I do not see this as an end. But I swear, I swear this just has to change, doesn’t it? We all believe that our great republic will stop this, don’t we? I mean surely there is someone reading this right now and they are saying, “within months, there will be a pain pill or a procedure that will give help to you and the 108 million chronic pain suffering adults and give them the relief needed to once again be whole.” Am I hoping beyond hope here? Am I?
I am just not sure. The war is on opioids. And what this says is that we must declare war on that which is attacking our friends and loved ones kind of like the new mosquito born virus Zika. Billions of dollars are being spent on research now on how to prevent it from spreading which is about billions of dollars more than is being spent on a national strategy to end chronic pain.
It isn’t right, nor is it far!
Tomorrow is coming and I am not sure it will be any better but what I will be doing is contacting the 5 different doctors that have treated me over the past 3 years (no I have not doctor shopped; it is simply all of the different parts that have gone bad in my body) and attempting to have all of my records sent to a Pain Management and Rehabilitation Clinic where I will undergo new testing and where we will create a new strategy for my own suffering. The new one may or may not be much different than what it is now but at least I will be attempting to move forward, and that my friends, my pain suffering friends, is the absolute most that any one of us can do for each of our conditions. In the meantime, will someone pass along our dire situation to someone who gives a rip because whatever is being done is just not good enough.
The time to act is now.
Editor’s Note: Kerry Smith is a former minister, a professional artist, and has suffered with chronic pain for 14 years. He has lectured and written on the topic of chronic pain for several years. Here’s a link to his art studio website.