By Kerry Smith
The Maureen McGovern song “The Morning After” rang true for me Friday morning following the CDC “public” meeting. In the song she says, “There’s got to be a morning after. If we can hold on through the night. We have a chance to find the sunshine. Let’s keep on lookin’ for the light.” I was one of those pain patients that used up a bunch of spoons, holding my phone for 4 hours in order to get my 2 minutes worth in. Then after that, I am left to wonder if I was really heard.
Was the CDC really even listening?
One of the callers gave a soulful, passionate plea to the members of the CDC, and after her time was up, a member blurted out something to the extent of, “Please keep your comments to only concerning the makeup of the workgroup we have formed!” Most of us turned a deaf ear to this attempt to control our access and the seas opened up from those that were suffering and in need of the only medicine that seems to give any kind of hope, even with all of the side effects.
For my 2 minutes, I attempted to get across to those that would listen that the CDC is focused on the wrong thing. I know, I have seen the interviews, the statements by politicians, the shows, all given towards the “opioid crisis”. But my friends, this is all wrong. Every bit of it. The crisis is that we are hurting and no one rea! lly seems to give a damn! I know, I cursed, and yes my grandmother would roll over in her grave if she knew I used such language, but the CDC and our government have this issue all wrong! We do not need just opioids to fix us; WE NEED A STRATEGY THAT WILL LEAD TO THE CURE OF CHRONIC ILLNESSES!!!!!!!
Those folks from the CDC? Some of them bring their own personal bias towards the use of opioids and if I were to be a betting man today, (wait, isn’t the Power Ball over $1 billion this morning?), if I were a betting man, I would bet that they are going to use the newly formed “working group” to say to the world that there is an over prescription of opioids and that needs to stop without giving one freaking word as to how we can cure chronic illnesses! Who here wants to take that bet?
Like the song says, the sun is going to come up, just like it did yesterday and I hope that we will “keep on looking for the light”, even though it seems to be awfully dark for we who suffer. Please remember this morning that the pieces of you are way more important to our world and to your family, than none of you!
I propose that in this year, while there are some who seem to have their heads stuck in the rear of whomever it is that it is stuck in, that you the pain sufferer, and me the pain sufferer, will use some of our pieces to demand changed. That in this great country of ours, that we become whole and healed, where a strategy is created to find a cure for our pain, and that we in this year “keep lookin for the light”, even where there is so much darkness.
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.