Pride Over Chronic Pain

Pride Over Chronic Pain

This past week, I found myself once again in a place that too many of us in the Chronic Pain Community are way too familiar with.

I got sick.

I knew what was wrong.

I knew the pain was going to get worse.

I knew I needed to see a doctor and get on antibiotics.

I stalled.

My doctor was out of town so my choice came down to the ER where I had an equal chance of pain relief or humiliation. Second choice being Urgent Care where I respect the doctor, but pain relief is off the table completely.

I chose Urgent Care, and I once again truly suffered. There is a point where the pain is not as important as not being humiliated. There is a point where our pride is more important. There is a point where we have to put our emotional state above the physical just to attempt to keep our sanity.

By the time I got to Urgent Care, I was a day away from Sepsis. The cellulitis in my ankle had crawled halfway up my leg. I couldn’t put any weight on it. I couldn’t keep my balance. Every single step brought tears.

We were able to do a very high dose of antibiotics which worked almost immediately. No pain medication was offered. It made me think though. Borderline Sepsis is nothing to mess with. I should have gotten in at least the day before.

I am known for not going to the ER when I should no matter what is wrong with me. Everything from bowel obstructions to chipped ankles to sprained backs to dislocated knees…okay, so I don’t fight the bowel obstructions any more because those suckers are worse than childbirth.

I have been dragged to the ER kicking and screaming more times than I can count just to avoid the ever-present labeling as a pill seeker. The disbelief that I can actually function at the pain levels I claim to function at. The looks of doubt wondering if I’m putting on an Academy Award-winning performance because my symptoms just aren’t visible to the naked eye.

We have all heard the whispers behind our backs. The ugly accusations that since we don’t look sick, we must be lying. But who is to blame for this?

Is it the fault of the addicts who attempt to fake our very real symptoms?

Is it the fault of medical schools who fail miserably when it comes to teaching pain management?

Is it the current fake opioid crisis?

Also – and I really have to wonder on this one – are the walls we put up and the masks we put on around others to enable them to believe that we’re okay. Have we gotten to good?


Because we are tired of the negative treatment. Tired of being falsely judged. Exhausted from being accused of being addicts. But we are also in that state of exhaustion due to our illnesses themselves.

This needs to stop. We need and deserve to be treated like human beings again.

Enough is enough!

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Authored by: Denise Hedley

Denise Hedley was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2009. Her condition has worsened, and was diagnosed with bilateral RSD in January, 2019. She also suffers from Osteoarthritis, 2 herniated discs, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosis.

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My friends and neighbors know I refuse to go to my local ED unless I am unconscious and on deaths door! Not worth the grief!


Thank you so much for writing this article. I live with chronic pain from Fibromyalgia and Migraines. Every day I work, parent and just generally try and exist with some level of constant pain. There are times when the pain is so excruciating that my normal medications don’t touch the pain and I’m left with the same debate you described. Do I go to an urgent care? When I do, they literally ask me what I expect them to do for me, and the only thing they can offer is a shot of a strong NSAID – except I have kidney disease from years of using too many strong NSAIDS to manage the pain. If I go to the ER, it’s a 500$ copay, hours and hours of waiting only to be looked at like a drug seeker… so most times I do nothing. I leave work (which is not ideal) and lay on the couch hoping to the pain to subside even just a little. I get the opiod crisis. I get doctor’s are terrified of being sued, so much so that they have forgotten their oath of “do no harm.” But do I have to be looked at/treated like a drug seeker? Do they not realize that by the time people with chronic pain seek medical treatment, it’s because we’ve spent days using every single one of our relief “tools?” Mostly I think they just don’t care. The medical community for the most part (particularly ERs and urgent cares) are burnt out from the drug seekers, the political agendas and the government watchdogs, and it is much easier/safer to dismiss us all as drug seeking than it is to stick their necks out and help. Unfortunately, I think this is the new normal for our medical community.


I know I’m late posting this. If I read NPR everyday the stories just break my heart. I had a great pain Dr. for years who moved to another state. New doc was okay but the PA guy not so much. On the third visit I was 3 pills short on the pill count and I told the nurse I forgot about the 3 pills in my daily pill sorter. PA comes in screaming nastily ” if you’re short, you’re either overdosing or selling!” Three pills?? I didn’t go back. Pride over pain! I’m in my mid seventies,don’t take crap from anybody. Course, now I’m in trouble. Did withdrawal, suffered greatly for my pride. After about 6 months tried an old pain Dr. I hadn’t seen for like 10yrs. He is an angel.. Gives me the meds, doesn’t push procedures, does urine tests but no pill counts, treats me with respect. Still I’m careful what I say. My point is keep looking for that good doctor out there. Don’t. give up. They exist. Hang in there. If you have to play the game to keep your meds, don’t think of it as humiliation, think of it as winning their stupid games!!


One more, I worked in an ER while in pain for about two years. The motto there was no one died of pain. That’s part of how they could be so dismissive of those in pain. They were concentrating on folks with obvious life or death situations. That’s triage on a battle field or ER.
After a year plus of pain and surgery during grad school a car crash gave a brain injury and another surgery. I had enough and showed up in the same ER where I was declared clinically dead. I came back after about 13min. My family had been told I was gone and I was to be donating organs etc.
An ER confuses transient pain with persistent or cronic pain. Cronic or long term pain does kill and people do die from it.
I’ve lived about 28yrs now in pain and it’s more like the old days again.
Best of fortunes and self kindness to all.


It’s the fault of our Govt who runs this Country! The DEA’s crap handling of everything. Failed War on Drugs since 1972! The CDC bs guidelines! The Dr’s a blame the DEA the DEA blame the Doctors. The patients blame addicts but addicts can say well look at these patients who went faked pain & sold their pills $5, $10 up to $30+ piece to ppl and addicts! Then you have the original bad doctors.. It truly comes down to who has control over it all and it’s our Government! I feel every doctor needs to stand together and take their jobs back! Remind them they have a oath to upkeep!!! If expensive Chemo was addictive or dependent would they pull it – hell no! Not that $$ maker! Or Viagra? Oh no then most them dirty politicians wouldn’t be able to get their meds!!!


By taking away pain relief, there’s really very little doctors can do for their patients, so, they take everything else too and abandon you.
We are not their patients anymore, we are simply fees they collect and move on to the next one on the conveyors belt. At worst, we are their enemies.

Esp if one is one Medicare/Medicaid for a chronic condition, we don’t seem to count at all.

I think the gov under the republicans is trying to flat out destroy our medical system. They’d rather build new nukes or see what’s on Mars I could only wish they’d go NOW.

The Dems are just as sucked into this. No place to run, no place to hide.

Linda Marie

I went in ER , in Las Vegas, no problem did x-rays and gave me some pain meds but I was in process of moving to Texas. I had slipped on something slimy when I stepped off the curb carrying a box. I had a broken shoulder in 2 places and small fracture in neck. My arm was black and after coming to Texas I went to 3 or 4 doctors with no success-not even a shoulder or neck brace and none even did an x-ray! I asked one why he would give me nothing for pain he said I don’t know who you are and said you could be just seeking drugs–beyond belief as my arm was completely black and swollen. I finally had to go to the ER for the pain and some PA comes in questions me and draws blood. When I asked what the blood draw was for-as I wondered why she had not ordered an x-ray and the girl taking the blood draw looked and told me it was a drug test. I was refused any pain medication as the test showed some marajauna in my system- it is legal in Nevada . I never use it but a friend had given me a little so I could take my shirt off .I had been unable to change it and had to fly to Texas in a few days but it did not work.Finally she cut it off. I explained all this to PA She says that is no reason to commit a crime so I ask for a brace to hold my arm She would not even do this claiming they have none. Afterward I finally had to go buy alcohol which I hate but it did give me some relief. I went to another doctor told them what was going on and he did give me a few-like 15, 5 mg vicodin or something like this.It did nothing to help as the pain was so severe. I suffered months in agony -having to use alcohol to medicate myself and almost fell due to having to resort to this. I hate Texas.


It’s very true, we hide our true pain only to have it thrown back in our face. This year I’ve basically said [edit] it, I’m done hiding and making excuses. I’m done listening politely to the idiots at Walmart that see me hold my neck in pain and think it’s appropriate to tell me about the miraculous healing their third cousin’s sister in-law’s best friend achieved with yoga and essential oils. And I’m done being ashamed for being on pain meds. At the beginning of the year I was force tapered to 1/3 of my regular strength pain meds that I’d taken exactly as prescribed for years. Why? Because the PHARMACY (parent co is Albertsons) refused to fill a strength that was just over the CDC guidelines. They required everyone to be BELOW the CDC guidelines, even though those guidelines were never meant for chronic pain patients. My doctor is wonderful, but my medical care is being dictated by the government and corporations because “someday” there “might” be laws that would be as strict so we should all be restricted now. Just BS. I lost a dear friend recently, she took her life to end her untreated pain. She was the one person in the world that understood what I dealt with every day. I’m still receiving some help for my pain, but if that’s taken away I may follow in her footsteps. What her family doesn’t know is that her previous stays in the mental hospital were calculated and planned months in advance in order to build up a supply of medication so she would have enough to do the job.


As a septagenerian, retired RN ,CNN, and chronic pancreatitis, fibromyalgia, cancer twice, spleen removed, and debilitating migraines since I was 5 yo truly understand the shame placed on us. I’ve always been a COMPLIANT Intracable Chronic Pain patient.Young child doesn’t have migraines it’s just being a girl and emotional unstable at times.
Teen years emotionally unstable due to female hormones and periods, just cried, vomited, dark room, aspirin, ice. I was blessed with a mom who totally understood and help me me in any way she could.
Married still shamed and by now I was given Demerol with Phenerghan and it worked better than nothing given me before.
Mother of children now and still shamed. My name kept in files a pain med seeker. Still shamed by physician’s, ER physician’s, nurses, family, and friends.
I am in 40-s I’ve learnedthat being a migraine suffer is next to drug addiction, you even mention pain medication your seeking pain killers, you a female, fix your hormones first, you depressed, your older, your not learning how to handle pain you need psychotherapy.
I’ve been profiled, bullied, shamed, ridiculed, refused medical care, laughed at, called vulgar names, the list after 50years is so cruel. I was in the first study of imitrix used injections worked well for four hours migraine back with a vengance. Now a septagenerian I told my physician I’ve more years behind me than ahead of me I’ve had the pain medication drill for 65 years and I’m not taking any more brutal attacks. Now after a life of “PAIN” because I have chronic pancreatitis I can take Opoid I pick up script, urine test leaving purse with nurse shutting water off in bathroom every month, scrutinized by pharmcy. Tiredness becomes so profound even sleeping is hazardous to ones health. Life of an Compliant Intracable Chronic Pain Patient
has always been profiled as “Drug Addiction”. I have PTSD R/T constànt battle fatigue 24/7/365 from collateral damage “first do no harm” not given duediligence.

Kathleen Ganley

Karelee: I don’t know if you will read this, but I am so very sorry that you lost your mom in this way.

Carice Gravot

I have suffered crps/rsd since 1993 and a spread 2013 due to a back surgery down my left leg I now have spread yet again into my left foot and ankle due to surgery but I knew that couldn’t be helped. I was reading the article about this person urgent care visit vs er visit I totally understand. I don’t much like going to the Emergency department either for that very reason, I get treated as a Chronic pain patient even though I go there for a different problem something needs to be done about this so that us chronic pain patients are heard when there is an actual medical problem other than just pain , it’s just so frustrating when you are not heard. I am sorry this happened to you.


My testicles hurt along with my regular back and referred legs pain for over a year. I don’t know how long really. Scarring in nerves
causes referred pain.
Dr’s can be frustrating, great or real jerks depending on the Dr.
Turns out I needed another surgery to fix my unit 3x size of the other. That showed another problem on the other covered up by the first problem. Now I’ll probably need another surgery for the other.
I wish all of us good fortune and as much kindness as possible given the current atmosphere.
I’m tired of hiding pain so now I’m telling people my groin hurts. I’m telling people my legs hurt. I’m not going to just pretend. I can be me both.

Jeannette mastenbrook

Just a shame this is what health care has come to. I also had bowel obstruction. I was treated like a pill seeker and told ” we just dont give out pain medication”. I was sent home and told to buy an enema . Sorry to be blunt but thats what they told me to do. So i did. Turns out it could have killed me putting more pressure on a very bad blockeage in my colon. I spent 10 days in hospital with tubes in my stomach and surgery to remove 17 inches of colon. This E.R. sent me home like that thinking i was just after pain meds!!! Sorry for ya all..
Prayers for pain community.

Jennifer S

It’s not the addicts, or the pharma companies or the (very real) opioid crisis. It’s not even the inability of medical schools to teach pain management. It is the GOD COMPLEX that almost every physician has had since LONG before there was an opioid crisis. If you have ever been to an ER, the doctors AND nurses were talking about you. Depending on your circumstances, they may have truly felt sorry for you. They may have wondered if you were a child abuser, a drug abuser, or a victim of domestic violence. They may have just rolled their eyes and wondered why you were bothering them for [fill in the blank with your malady]. But they dished on you at some point during or immediately after your stay. If your story is particularly juicy, they are still talking about you, no matter how long it has been.

Ellen Lenox Smith

I am with you wanting to avoid ER visits – I have been humiliated, my son was told once I was gone as I lay in their bed alive given no help with extremely low BP and no fluids given or oxygen, and even had my hip dislocated being transferred to their stretcher from the ambulance chair…….i wish . their help was a reality but for me, it brings on more complications and heartbreak instead!

Deborah Baron

I avoid the ER, Urgent Care and hospital!


I recently passed a kidney stone, my third over the years. My wife wanted me to go to the hospital ER. When I asked her why she was dumb founded. I told her it will either pass or not. If not, then I’d end up in the hospital. I was on the end of my opoids taper at this time. I agonized over the pain I. My lower back, side ans lower abdomen. I told her no one was going to give me anything for pain. I can take Tylenol and ibuprofen at home. Push the fluids and pray I get to pee. (Urinate). Three days later I passed the stone. I took it with me to my next PCP visit. He agreed with my treatment during this episode. Saying the ER doctors were reluctant to prescribe any pain medication. (Opoids). My previous treatment for pain due to Kidney stones consisted of morphine injections, dilauded and hydrocodone. While during the episode of pain the drugs barely took the edge off or it. As I started passing the some nothing helped. Til it stopped moving, then it’s drugs brought great relief. I refuse to go to the doctor or the ER unless I absolutely have too. I’ve have been treated like a criminal in the ER. Just showimg up in pain. Even if I don’t ask for anything for pain. I just want to find out what’s wrong with me so I can adjust my life to living with additional pain or God forbid I need surgery of any kind. Had reconstructive knee surgery on 1983 and the doctor had to be callwd at home to get the pain meds he ordered every 4 hours. That waa over 30 years ago. I live in WV, the supposed capital of the opoids epidemic. (Another lie)!!!

The U.S. Pain Foundation is asking for people to do videos to bring awareness to this pain problem. Please do


Nana, I totally agree!! Many of us in our ‘silver years’ were raised with parents who said things like, “If you dont stop crying, I will GIVE you something to cry about”… and they meant it. As a result, we got goood, really gooood at hiding our pain and discomfort.

I once had a person very bery close to me telll me to “man up”. Get moving, do stuff. It is just pain…. Because God is God, some years later this person had a surgery and ended up with chronic intractible pain…almost like mine. Thenperson apologized profusely.. said they had NO IDEA how bad it was…. NO IDEA.

And that is the crux of the problem with “invisible” disabilities. We can appear normal when in fact we are DYING inside…literallly dying.

I have seen people try to give others a glimpse of the reality of this pain, but it is tooo horrible to look upon. People turn away…make negative comments. They just cant take looking at it….but fail to understand how much worse it must be to LIVE with it!!


So well said…


ER’s are the absolute worst when you have a chronic illness, and a history of pain meds to try to deal with it.

I only went once, and only because my husband COULD NOT bear to see me iin soooo much pain. Horriffic, demeaning, degrading 6.5hr “experience”. Net/net: 0 help. Lots of mean remarks. I left worse than when i went in, and other thann big doses of humiliation, i only received a “stern talking to” and a script for a med that I am allergic to! Had the “Doc” spoken to me like a human being, even for 2 minites, at least 6 of the hours and the wasted script that I kept as a reminder, but never fillled…could have been avoided. Dehumanizing experiwnce. Degrading experience. And when alll was said and done, my vitals, chest pains and pervasive pain were WORSE when i gave up and left the hospital.

The last time I had to go to urgent care, for my freshly broken ankle, i did not even bring up pain meds..nor did they. They did not even offer me a tylenol. On to the ortho for the cast…and again, I did not even bring pain meds up…but they did, and made it clear that 0 would be forthcoming. My pain specialist gave me some antionflammatories for 7 days..but that was it.

Try living at a steady “8” on the pain scale, even while all of your meds are on board and you have meditated, used your tens, etc., etc., and add an oblique fibular fracture (long, angular, clean break) to the mix… It is non-weigjt-bearing, so your RSD-infested other limbs have to carry you around, hopping on crutches… You have to have a STRONG aversion to “ER medicine” to never ask for any pain relief!!


Sorry for what you went through but yes it is all too common. I am 62 years old with a genetic problem that causes severe intractable pain. I too am so tired not only from the illness but the treatment I have received because I too was functioning on a high dosage. BUT IT WORKED and I had been on the same sose for over 10 years. I know how hard it is for pain patients to get to the pain rallies in every state but if we do not get a very large following of people there it is only remembered for a day or 2. Except for us and our families and caretakers and friends who see what is happening. Its coming up on an election year and we need to be heard before that starts. There is a Rally I believe in September. Everyone who can should look it up in your state and try to go even if you need someone to take a day off of work to help you. Its the masses whose voices are heard. All our letters to government never make it past the front desk person cranking out lre pinted answers. Then our letteres hit the shredders. We need to been SEEN and heard.

Lynn Marie

Am so sorry. I don’t care what medical people or anyone else thinks of me.
I’ve cried in pain. Most of time they believe me but I know what you mean about the blank faces without compassion.
Having pride upsets me more.
I tell them what I think of them and medical field.

Jean Polak

Thanks for this group and allowing me to share. I am very excited. Having lived with chronic pain for 29 yrs , i can identify with the issues expressed.!! Looking forward to learning and sharing….


I too am there, avoiding seeking ‘help’, and making this journey through HELL look like a stroll through the park to anyone on the outside looking in.

Recently, I decided to leave this fight.
Pretty sure for good as I’ve been treated in the same belittling way that MDs have treated me for decades now, but the abuse is now often being levied by other chronic pain/illness patients far too often.

I’ve recently been accused of ‘not really being in that much pain’ since I refuse to endure the constant humiliation, accept the blatant abuse and contempt that comes my way, or jump through EVERY flaming hoop they throw up while being forced to perform like some trained seal in a zoo, just to get the medicines I need to have some quality of life.

All this needless suffering because I am a Myalgic Encephalomyelitis medical unicorn who doesn’t really exist, as well as a patient in constant unrelenting pain due a C-spine injury; pain that makes my M.E. pain and other symptoms exponentially worse.

A person who must just want ‘THOSE drugs’.

I do want THOSE drugs.
The MEDICINES that have worked over the last 30+ years when ALL ELSE FAILS.

We’ve gone far beyond enough is enough. This insanity only gets worse with each passing day. Maybe it’s not getting better because most people are far too willing to accept the humiliation, the abuse, and jump through any and every hoop they put in front of us.

I’ve said this a million times. When we give an inch, they’ve proven they’re willing and able to take our very lives.

If you’re still thinking you will be because you still have access to opioids and ‘aren’t doing anything wrong’, I’ve got some beach front property in Death Valley you might be interested in for a great price.

Diane Levi

You stated my feelings exactly. I WILL NOT go to an ER regardless of reason bc I feel it would be a set up for humiliation. If the health care world (and I worked as an RN for over 30 years). Hears “pain patient” they automatically assume one is there solely for drugs and I have been treated horribly in the past while trying to obtain treatment for something entirely unrelated. I am not willing to put myself in situations which greatly produce additional (emotional) pain!!!
I have never abused any medication or “drug” and I unfortunately must use opioid pain meds in order to survive. And I hate it!!!

James McCay

Very well said Denise. Once again, this is THE ONLY PLACE I can come where people truly understand what I’ve gone through. You all give me strength that I never had before. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

I’ve given up on ER’s and so far all of the crazy new symptoms I’ve had in the last 10-years were ALL attributed to my Myasthenia Gravis (MG). As widely as I taught myself about my diseases, I’m still not a doctor. But I REFUSE to be reminded of that anymore; by an RN who “THINKS” she knows what MG is; but in fact has no clue, same goes for most doctors including Neurologists (which is inexcusable). Because I KNOW that I am aware of the multitude of MG symptoms, it’s progression, and the finality of it.

I’ve had swollen blood vessels in my mouth between my jaw and cheek (absolutely not gingivitis), it’s not red at all, it doesn’t itch and there’s no pain unless I bang the area with my hand from the outside. This started on my 3rd day of using 1000mg CBD Oil under my tongue (which stopped working 100% after day #2).

That is due to my Hyperthymusism (far rarer than MG, and NO ONE knows what it is unless I explain to a doctor; like I’m telling a layman).
I have an XL Thymus Gland which helps develop your immune system, and most people’s bodies absorb this little (yet complex) gland during puberty. It’s under the sternum in the chest, so it basically takes open heart surgery to get it out. General anesthesia is NEVER allowed for MG patients because it stops our breathing! SO I’M STUCK WITH THIS [BIG] LITTLE BASTARD & NOW THE SWELLING IN MY MOUTH!

Hyperthymusism is the worst of all of my diseases because it blocks ALL medications my body is not familiar with the instant it hits my bloodstream since 2009 (IV vs pills = no difference). Before that it blocked MOST medications from working going back to 2001, when I 1st got bad pain. The one upside is I haven’t had a cold or the flu in 12-years. We have to notice the good things too. lol

Rosalind Rivera

My children say that I’m just lazy or that they saw me doing this last week so why can’t I do it today??? I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! I know, just another cliche! If it’s Blu they felt for just 5 minutes how I feel 24 hours a day, every day!! The Powers That Be?, they know, they just don’t care!!

Brett H

Angela Darlene I was in the Hospital going through Withdrawal, My doc was out of town and I had recently switched to Methadone on my own through my doc of course. He had 2 of his interns with them and I am sure he said to them watch this. He came over to me and asked me snidely how I thought this day would go. I want you to write me for Methadone enough to get me through the doc was out of town and I forgot my appointment card. The guy in the ER was telling me he could not write me for Methadone he would lose his license blah blah blah. He said he would give me a handful of Norco and let me go smiling snidely. I knew he was wrong but had no way to prove it. I just picked up my jacket and walked past him. I was right too, he was wrong, any doctor with a Pad to write RX scripts can write for Methadone for pain. Now if I was an addict it would be a different story, the doctor has to take the clas

T. Negrete

Yes! I haven’t seen a Doctor in quite awhile and at this point would rather die than risk seeing another horrible one. They call me about tests that I need done and my response is, ” When I can get my pain under control enough to get out of the house, then I’ll do that.” I have a mental illness diagnosis that makes the humiliation so much worse. A little over 30 years ago I witnessed my father kill my mother and had a mental break down. There have been some issues since, mostly depression. Since then though, depending on the doctor, I’m dismissed. Not believed! I am NO longer willing to go in for a physical illness! I have, in the past, went to the emergency room for a physical issue and the Doctor has decided I’m having a Psychotic break. I get panicked and then I get locked up in the Psychiatric Hospital. They DO NOT help you in most of these places and it’s TORTURE there! I have had 2 PCP’s, in the 30 years I’ve been a Kaiser Permanente member that were the best! Well, when this fake Opioid Crisis hit, my wonderful Doctor started getting investigated. She specialized in Geriatric Medicine, so of course she prescribed more Opioids. We all know how this has hit us elderly! I noticed, at one particular appointment with her, that she just didn’t seem herself. She seem more stressed than I had ever seen. I asked if she was okay. Of course at that point she said she was okay. Some time went on and the LYING, FAKE Opioid Crisis hit. I asked her if she was being investigated, she said, YES! My heart just broke for her! I received a letter in the mail that she no longer worked there. She was a Caring Compassionate Doctor, they fired her! I did find out that she went into private practice. How I pray that she is doing well! I hit the Jack Pot and the next PCP I chose was excellent! What I loved about these two Doctors is that they knew my mental health issues and still listened to my physical issues. The next one, hmmm! (insert big sigh) NO MORE HUMILIATION!


One “culprit” that we rarely notice or blame is our fast-paced society. We are ALL moving too fast to really connect as human beings. Medical staff are being pressured to shove us through the line like grommets or something…there’s no time for them to stop and really empathize, and no time for us to let our humanity show… this hurts ALL of us, and at some point, society needs to realize that this is a root cause of a lot of our problems! JMO. (I’ve had some of the same treatment at urgent care; I work hard not to take it personally.)

jeffrey ulrich

Stand up be heard. Tired of being bullied by CDC? I am and I’m pissed and going to do something about it. I have set up an attorney in Cleveland that is exploring a Class Action
against the Gestapo CDC.
Send me your story…it’s needed to trigger the lawsuit. You can remain anonymous.
Be heard stand up to hypocritical politicians and bureaucrats.


I am a chronic pain patient on opioid therapy. Just had my 4th major operation in 5 years. It’s like pulling teeth to get properly medicated given that I am tolerant, and always with the rolled eyes & lectures from the techs to the hospitalist docs. Such a nightmare. Also recall an ER trip for post op pain last year that my Surgeon ordered. He wanted a CT scan. Because I was screaming, they injected me with some pain med to try to help move me. When the CT scan was negative, the doc turned very snarky, & now I realize she thought I was drug seeking. So humiliating. I was 68 at the time.

Gail Honadle

Urgent Care can’t treat because they can’t diagnosis SIBO, same goes for ER’s. Getting in to see the Gastro is at least 2-3 weeks off. And The LABOR like pain is unbearable. The Antibiotic for it is Very Expensive and Tricare said to get it at the Navy Base. It is a GI Antibiotic Rifaximin not a simple Amoxocillian any doctor can prescribe. The test for it is 4 hrs. Not a simple CT.

Angela Darlene

This is 100% true. I went to urgent care to get my shoulder x-rayed. I feared that when I fell at home I may have done something to it. Unfortunately, my pain meds came up in my history. The doctor come in and said, “you might as well leave, I’m not giving you any meds”. I said, “what are you talking about, I’m here for an x-ray. I have my own pain meds, I don’t want yours”. It was completely inappropriate and embarrassing and judgemental. I never asked them for meds EVER. I’m under a pain contractor and couldn’t even fill them if they gave them anyway. In the end, I had a rotator cuff torn and, ultimately, had to have surgery to have it repaired. But, I never once even hinted for pain meds and for medical professionals to treat me like a drug addict because I simply walked in the door and requested medical attention unrelated to my chronic ailment is embarrassing and wrong. It is clear prejudice among doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc., and it is wrong. I had to stand there and endure the whispers because they had looked at my prescription history. It has to stop.


My precious 80 year Mom should have gone to the ER when her back pain was killing her. But, she had been to her pain management the day before and had a steroid injection in her hip. The next day she was still in horrid pain. I begged her to go to the ER but she didn’t want to be treated as a pill seeker. My Mom died the following day. She had pneumonia and a collapsed lung. This with her Afib caused her to have a cardiac arrest. I live in chronic pain caused by several failed spinal fusions, DDD….etc. I learned a big lesson. Get to the hospital when you know things aren’t normal. Sure my Mom had several bulging discs that caused horrible daily pain but it was the pneumonia that was causing the horrendous back pain that day. This happened two weeks ago. I am in deep grief for my Mom. She was the only one who understood my pain.


Denise, I think you have brought up a valid point of our hiding our pain. My husband did. Even his kids had no idea,what he lived with. His daughter used to tell him “Just because you dont feel good, that’s no reason to be so crabby!” Shattered spine, he lost 7″ in height, ongoing daily agony, stenosis and the rest of discs just disintegrating. But “No reason to be crabby”. He was SO good at hiding that pain.
Now that I am part of the pain community, I see the same problem. I grew up with the fight thru it mentality. I hate to call it quits. Which means I am also presenting a false impression of only minor pain, because who would work with pain at 9 on the frigging scale?
I dont know what the solution is given the current attitudes of medical professions. When I was with pain management, said pain was non stop at 8, the NURSES were sympathetic, the DOCTORS did not care. When i tried to end it all the doctor said “oh , never had that reaction before” and walked out.
I am trying to be more open with my family. To say out loud when it is beyond bearing. I have said I am terrified by the fact it will only get worse physically and when the meds i have stockpiled from better days is gone, I may well again try to end the pain. THEY respond with ” You need to take it easy”. They truly do not understand that the pain is constant never ending. It is what it is if I sit all day or lie down or if I do stuff. And I truly believe that being active to whatever degree each day allows, helps mentally if not physically.
If you have understanding families or friends, who truly get it, that you dont have to fake the I FEEL GOOD, you are Blessed.


I avoid, as long as I can, any confrontations.This so-called opioid epidemic has caused me to consider any visit, phonecall, even letters from medical people and things “the Big C.”I think of this confrontation more so than cancer.I have been refused medication (When I did Not ask for Any medication) during a visit which I was referred to because of an ER trip where my bp was 227/127, where I had raised cardiac enzymes, projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea..I was new. We had just moved 2500 miles and we had not unpacked.She was a special Internist asked to determine why. Instead, without an exam from her she crossed her arms and told me she wasn’t going to refill my clonidine to bring bp down really fast,cut my from ,5 xanax 3 x daily to ,25 1 x daily for 2 weeks then no more ?tapering? I took 1 at bedtime (my Husband has Alz/dem & I am his caregiver 10= years) I cannot shut it off and sleep, not anything for cough (every other word I and I coughed- (later before my surgery a month later my surgeon determined my stomach was in my chest upside down) and then she told me to go right downstairs to her psycho doc. – I refused. Had to get home to my Husband) I guess she preferred I go to the ER twice daily to bring my bp out of stroke range.In my chart, this first visit , 10 minutes where she lectured me, arms folded over her chest, not even a stethoscope on me..she had charted “recurring major depression, 25 mg amitriptyline stress .5 3x daily, she added I asked pt to consider tapering, Lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide.”, My doctor and pharmacist would argue In had NOT been prescribed Amitriptyline..And just how in 10 minutes did she dx recurring major depression? Even if she was extremely gifted doesn’t recurring mean more than once? 10 minutes she figured that out? Can you even dx major depression in 10 minutes?No. I hate the thought of another confrontation. Thanks Cox Health for your excellent doctors.Oh, then she altered my charts to add amitrip…

Kate Bergman

Every. Single. Word. Thank you.

Lucius-Len Nathaniel Elmore III


Debbie Nickels Heck, MD

I’m sick of Drs not believing what pts tell them. It’s been worsened by TV shows where Drs say all pts lie. Well they don’t. When I was in practice, I DEMANDED my pts be honest with me as a condition of being in my practice. It was the ONLY reason I’d fire them and they knew it. I couldn’t treat them if they didn’t tell me, honestly, what was wrong. Unfortunately, when they saw another Dr, they were treated differently and felt frustrated at being disbelieved. WHY are Drs taught that pts lie? I don’t understand it. Most people don’t want to go to Drs in the 1st place. When they finally do, why would they lie about why they’re there and have a contentious relationship? I didn’t experience this with my patients because I didn’t expect it. If they DID lie, they had one chance to explain why. Embarrassment about their condition was often the case. I then convinced them I didn’t care about their past and we went forward to a good relationship. Yes, I had some who were good liars and they were kicked out but they were the rarity. I never began a relationship by presuming pts lied. I began by asking them to just tell me the truth so I could treat them well.