By Judie Plumley.
Take the lowly pain patient. Generally, we are middle aged or a bit older, we are just normal people that something bad happened to. Different causes of pain demand different patients. Many of us do well for years on our medications, until the government comes along and takes away the only lifeline available for some.
First, you make all of us go to pain clinics, where we are often treated like criminals and we have to have a drug screen, we are questioned, we are experimented on, but nothing really works. But the word has come down.
Opiates have to go.
Pain is big business.
Yeah, we know.
Now doctors are force tapering these people way too quickly, long before their bodies can start to remake endorphins. Pain clinics require expensive procedures that may or may not help. Most pain patients feel like they are exploited. They live in a constant state of fear that they will lose their medication that the pain clinic will shut down and that they will be left with nowhere to go.
We feel the government and the medical community have let us down, and in fact, a great many pain patients feel the government is trying to kill us. As pain clinics close, that fear increases. Many of us have already thought of suicide. Some of us have already prepared just in case the pain gets too great.
I have read article after article about pain management and the ideas the medical community are coming up with. Some are really good. I read of one medication surgeons are using in the surgical site to deaden it for several days until the initial pain is over.
There is another thing that resets nerve endings so they don’t send pain signals. They use sound waves to reset nerves. If that works that will be pretty great too.
Physical therapy, orthopedic massage therapy, and chiropractic are all wonderful for pain because they don’t mask the injury, they actually fix it. If it’s fixed. it won’t hurt, but mindfulness? Excuse me, that may help you relax, but let someone drop a rock on your toe and you try to control your pain with mindfulness. Please.
You have all these bills and all these experts who are going to tell you what they think. What about us? Don’t you want to know what those who put you in office think? Could you stand by and see your spouse in horrible pain, day after day, and deny them relief? Could you live like that?
Please think of us as you decide how you want to vote. Please do not forget the thousands of people who live in pain every day. Any tool that we can use to help us should be considered, but do not be so quick to discontinue opiates. Until there is a better answer for chronic pain, let us use them.
Pain patients no longer trust the FDA, CDC or DEA. That needs to change. We should not be afraid of our own government. But we are.
Judie Plumley is a 61-year old Memphis woman who has chronic pain.