Rural America Being Hardest Hit by Decreased Chronic Pain Treatment

Rural America Being Hardest Hit by Decreased Chronic Pain Treatment

When a 35-year old woman from rural Michigan with chronic knee issues and chronic pain reached out to us to tell us of her inability to find a pain doctor, we were struck with two thoughts.

  1. Here is another victim of the opioid “crisis”
  2. She is from Rural America which has been disproportionately negatively affected by government health care policies.

We reached out to Terri Lewis, Ph.D. who conducted a survey on health care and pain treatment that attracted nearly 5000 responses.

That survey revealed what many in rural America know—things are not good.

Here are comments she had this weekend:

“People who live in the rural counties of this American landscape are disproportionately affected by the loss of both care for chronic disease, and expertise in treating pain and addition.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) recently released figures to indicate that more than 600 rural hospitals are closing or at risk for closing in rural America. When hospitals close, local expertise, and knowledge of patients and their families goes with it. This is increased by the loss of primary care physicians who admit to not wanting to continue to care for persons with chronic conditions including those that generate pain.

Unfriendly regulatory environments that don’t distinguish chronic care from the need for care from services directed into support for those who need help with use of other substances. State medical boards are not actively encouraging physician replacement into counties with lack of physician support, so many persons are forced to travel many miles to find care – if they can break through long waiting lists. This in turn trips red flags that mark and stigmatize these individuals.

On top of this, monkeying with the health insurance system and the threat of loss or changes creates a negative environment for both health providers and patients who share the risks associated with paying for care.

These are dark days. It’s a manipulated and politicized environment. Congress and state legislators are pointing fingers and dragging their feet. Nobody is taking care of business. Talk is cheap and leadership is simply not participating in this conversation.”

Here is the National Pain Report story we ran Sunday on the Michigan woman—Janell Ansell—struggle to find a doctor near her home.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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I have an excellent PM doctor in SC who performs bilateral RFA every 6 months & prescribes my Butrans patches with Hydrocodone for breakthrough back pain. My MRI’s show a plethora of lumbar spinal conditions as well as large cervical bone spurs. Along with meds, l need weekly deep tissue massage, bi-weekly chiropractic adjustments & dry needling in my neck & shoulders when my arms become numb. I’m permanently disabled, but these therapies allow me to be somewhat functional. I still have chronic pain, but it’s manageable.
I also have a great PCP who prescribes max dose Gabapentin & Cymbalta for the unbearable hot flashes that I’ve suffered from since chemotherapy put me in menopause at age 42. I will be followed by my Oncologist for the rest of life. It took me several years to find this amazing group of providers, but l want to move back North in order to be closer to my granddaughters in Columbus Ohio & brother in Ithaca NY. The long drives & flights are exacerbating my pain. I’ve done some research & the prospect of finding a new pain management program in Ohio or Pennsylvania is frightening.
How sad is it that relocating to be closer to my loved ones is being hindered because many doctors won’t accept me? I would love to hear from anyone who may have some advice or suggestions regarding doctors in Ohio or Pittsburgh.
Thank you & God Bless

Bruce Stewart

The goal is to shut down hospitals in rural areas to get people to move back into cities, leaving the land to be confiscated by the government, by bringing in a host of new regulations and taxes for anyone daring to buy the land as to make it worthless. All part of a larger plan. The withholding of pain medication is the quickest way to get rid of a weaker segment of society and speed up the process. If it sounds like they don’t care whether you die, it’s not a coincidence. There are no mistakes being made when pharmacists illegally override doctors orders or fill subscriptions. In order to avoid indemnity, they simply say they don’t have it in stock. Problem solved. The minute you go to the second pharmacy, you are tagged on the state database as a drug seeker, cutting you off completely. Problem solved. Patients commit suicide, problem solved. All aspects of this are colluding to kill you. It’s this globalist bs pushed by the UN mandates for de-population of 90% of the planet. I keep saying it, and I keep making the connections for you.

Glen

Would we not be better off if we could get a national “Gag Order” to stop all discussion about the “Opioid Crisis”? (Only the TV and Newspapers) We have been “Tried and Convicted in the Court of Public Opinion” and it won’t stop. Are we not tired of turning on the TV and hearing about it? For a pain patient it is never good news.

Cheryl Beane

Regarding the woman from Michigan , I am very sorry she is having so much trouble finding a pain management doctor . The fact is , Michigan is a non-opiod state ! The reason I know this is because a friend of mine who lived here in VA had cancer that had spread to all areas of her body . For example , she had breast cancer and had her breast removed . Then the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and those were removed . Then it had spread to a lung and that was removed .And so on and on . She had gotten down to 90 pounds ! She was is horrible chronic pain ! Her doctor had her on the fentanyl patch and hydrocodone for breakthrough pain . That helped , but she was still in pain .
Her son is an endocrinologist living in Michigan with his family .They decided it would be best if she moved there from VA . So she did and moved into an assisted living place . Eventually her pain medication needed to be refilled and she asked her son for a good pain management doctor and that she needed her scripts refilled . He knew what pain medication she was talking about and that they were both opioids . That’s when he told her the bad news ,that Michigan was a non-opiod state. She was in total shock and said to him , why didn’t he tell her this before she made the mistake of moving there . What was she to do ? She was very sick with cancer ! She also began throwing up blood for about 24 hours before going to the emergency room. After running several tests , they found out that during a previous surgery , they had left surgical dressings inside her !
So , she never was able to leave the state to find another pain management doctor so she could get the opioid medications she needed to exist .She was in such chronic pain , that no one could ever imagine , she only lived a little over a month and a half !
I hope the senators and congressmen and whom ever else who helped to pass this law realizes that opioids are helping people and need them to survive including myself !

Dee Bond

The problem in my rural Texas area is not that physicians won’t write the scripts but the large chain pharmacies are refusing to fill the scripts. So many of our patients have had to change pharmacies or medications due to the pharmacists now telling the Dr. that the medication needs to be stopped…. the pharmacists now are making the decisions and refusing to fill pain or anxiety prescriptions the Dr has determined is needed. This has to stop, when were pharmacists given this authority over medical doctors? We cannot help our patients with this going on in our area.

Stacey Childers

Living in a rural area of NC I agree with this article.
I have lupus among a host of other issues and in my area 2 clinics have closed already and the one left is so overbooked and it is so hard to see them and not feel like a druggie. They all treat you like one. I have worked very hard at keeping my pain in check as much as possible however some days nothing works but narcotics. That will keep the pain at bay some days. I have ended up at the hospital because nothing else worked.
I know things are bad and some abuse these medications but what about us that truly need them to function and have a normal life? Why must it be so difficult for us? I have never abused my meds or sold them or any of that yet I am treated like I am a druggie for needing them especially since my disease is mostly invisible accept for the cane.
There had to be a happy medium somewhere.

Had to share this just saw it on television advertisement from Tennessee Department of Health www TNfacesofopiates. Com
In Nashville they have set up July 16th in a museum of the opiate crisis awareness. And also they have people telling their stories of how they become addicted or family member has become addicted to opiates and the different names of opiates. And how to get other everyone can fight this opiate crisis . But nothing to do with people who have chronic pain or their faces that need the medication to survive not to get high off of. Folks we are SOL
Also even television series Claws now is making jokes about Physicians going to help people with chronic pain into making it now Physicians now turning everyone’s pain into addiction and making jokes about how much money they can make off addiction centers. Even TV producer see the irony about the whole situation.

Glen

The war on drugs costs taxpayers 51 billion dollars a year and it has no effect on availability of illegal drugs. Any surveys that report success are false. This so called “opioid crisis” does not exist. The Crisis is punishing the innocent and calling it success.

Glen

For change all of these “experts and civil servants would have to admit they were wrong and not just a little bit. People have died because of them! If they want to go after “Rural America” target the Grow Houses, the “meth” labs, and especially the Grandma’s that don’t lock their medicine cabinets!

Pam

I had pain management since 2003. In 2018 my Dr dropped me. I was taking 100 mg of Ms contin, 10 mg Norco and Demerol inj.for breakthroug pain. No Dr will touch me with a 10 foot pole. I’m in pain constantly with no relief.

Dr. David Nagel book Needless Suffering in that book he says other Physicians would refer to people with chronic pain as those that never get better so why waste their time. But David Nagel points out that there are people that have chronic diseases like rheumatoid, diabetes, heart disease, lupus Etc that never get better. That he points out the medications that people with these diseases take are even more toxic than opiates . So I don’t understand why the chronic pain person is being left out being cared for & receiving treatment. I believe there’s a connection between the rural hospitals being shut down which would be the area that people w/o insurance would go & people who have chronic pain are unable to work therefore these group of people are denied care in two different forms Hospital shutting down or not being allowed treatment. I think socialism has taking root. I called the doctor’s office cuz I wanted to go to the ER. I was told do not go BC many patients have been turned away that have chronic pain maybe you can try Urgent Care. I wasn’t going to go there for my chronic pain per se but a problem with my tendon that I was afraid was going to rupture. A problem caused after hip surgery . Corporations are buying out small hospitals & replacing Physicians with nurse practitioners. Much cheaper but not the same education. And have one physician on staff oversee the nurse practitioner. Even in the ER. Insurance you pay more & you get less & co-pays, deductibles & the coinsurance is out the wazoo. Greed has overtaken America. Healthcare is being trimmed to the Bone.

Kimberly

In our rural community the dr interviews and then decides whether to take you based on your conditions. I am wondering if insurance companies pay them bonus for less claims or if they are alotted only so much money per patient. Something very fishy is going on and I think someone should investigate by following the money.

Glen

Let’s do a “survey” right here. How many people think “Big Brother” moniters this site checking up on us for trouble makers?

M.knoepfler

FYI.. a failed drug test, can be just that. A failed test can be a failed test. For 1 example.. gabapentin can cause a false + on many tests, but, it’s strange that it’s never even brought up in a discussion. The labs do the drug testing are screening even for bath salts. $4,995 for 1 month drug test. A false + is very easy to be misread, and now a pain patient becomes a drug seeker in 1 blink of 1 eye. I pray we all find the help they need or they will turn to the 1 thing we’re all afraid of.. she passed from an accidental overdose trying to control her pain on her own.

The Rickster

legalize Nationwide then we won’t have physical addiction and all these horrible things that accompany opioids and their use. people need to give cannabis a real chance. it’s not addictive and it’s more effective at killing pain than opioids and there are new studies that show opioids inflame nerve endings and lower human pain threshold so you actually feel more pain. Opioids are evil but it is all our politicians are willing to give us. If our government really wanted us to live long prosperous lives they would have legalized cannabis by now and let people see the truth. so many people dying and living in extreme pain and for what reason? people are suffering needlessly and they think they need another medication to counteract their current side effects. this is a literal carousel of hell.

I too am a chronic pain sufferer and am on a long term opioid treatment plan and I worry every month wondering if my meds will be stopped. Not only do I have a pain management doctor, I also suffer from chronic debilitating migraine headaches so I have a neurologist as well. While I have separate non narcotic meds for those, when I first started seeing my pain doctor I had to sign an agreement not to get the meds from any other doctor, plus every patient there must have a urinalysis done every 3 months. Because of this so called crisis drug stores, (Walgreens) will not fill a prescription until the 30 days it’s written for is up. The problem is if another doctor wants to give a narcotic for an injury, illness etc. I can’t fill their Rex do to the agreement. I can and have run out to soon because of this rule. So far it hasn’t been too much of a problem but it’s something (and I don’t think I’m alone in this) that is stressful and irritating that those of us that are following the rules and doing everything asked of us, have to worry that because of people who don’t that we may lose the ability to get our meds, suffer in pain and not be able to function in day to day activities. Based on the fact that most overdoses and death are not from legitimate prescriptions, patients and doctors but rather illegally purchased drugs or so called pain management physicians who are nothing but basically drug pushers who can legally write a script for any reason and money. I guess it’s easier to stop our care than having to work at putting the pill mills out of business. The one thing that is scary is the fact that meds are very easy to get from the internet and I firmly believe that more people will be hurt since they could get “fake” narcotics..

MADAMELOLA

My heart breaks for those suffering. I am blesssed ? to still be treated like a criminal & addict & be under pain management.
What I have discovered is that those responsible for inflicting this government oversight upon patients & doctors are in fact owners of rehabilitation facilities. What a way to drive business & make yourself wealthy!
This is what reporters need to bring to light! Dig into the real owner of rehab clinics and you will find CDC, government officials all have big stacks in addiction.

Lynn

A tragic situation for those who are suffering. Myself included. Was on a successful pain management program for 18 yrs; by a compassionate internist. 3 months ago… I lost my housing and had nowhere to go (a common situation for low income seniors in Los Angeles). I contacted my physician to inform her of my circumstances (I thought she should know given our long relationship). The bottom line…she shared this info with her Admin Assistant, who convinced my physician that I must be abusing my medications, thus resulting in my becoming homeless. This horrible misconception stopped any further pain control by my Dr. A nightmare. There are other terrible details. But their not necessary to relate the paranoia that now exists due to the reports of opiad abuse.

The sins of many have hurt the (relatively) few needing pain treatment. The medical community is creating more dependants and costs to the government by refusing to write scripts to those with chronic pain. Insane!

Near ARIZONA ?
Contact me. My husband almost died. He was saved.

Randy

I live in a city in WV that has two pain clinics that advocate alternative modalities for treatment of pain. The next closest clinic is almost 69 miles away. They also advocate nerve blocks and alternative modalities. The next is we’ll over 100 miles away. Not even sure what there purpose is. I’ve had spinal injections, surgery, different drugs, chiropractic manulipulations and tenz finally ending up on opoids. I have survived the past 15 year on opoids and have no addiction. I was tapered off 1 year ago. I’m now eating Tylenol and ibuprofen for my pain. As long as I’m just sitting in my recliner (which I can’t lean back in. To painfully.) Or laying in bed. Constantly in pain only gets worse when standing and walking. We all need help. Talk is cheep.

John

Although this is all terrible and I hate to read more about another victim of this “crisis” it makes me feel less alone. My doctor quit on all of his pain patients and left us high and dry if you will. Upon returning to my clinic I was told my MME was to high and there was no justification for my medication. Thus they wouldn’t give me anything, they referred me to a pain specialist again. Went there and was treated like a junkie and I was told my MME was just too high… One of my medications was methadone. It jumps dramatically due to half life per 10mg pill. I told the doctor that if I dropped one pill off my regimen my name would become 90 and I felt that although it was too low, since I had nothing it would help tremendously. To which his reply was terribly rude and dismissive. I realized he didn’t want to help me, to him I was an addict who had no need for these pills I’ve been taking for 3 years. Fast forward to now and I made life choices that make me feel embarrassed because I never thought I’d be in my current predicament but the attempted suicides and no will to live due to the ongoing relentless pain, caused me to seek relief elsewhere. I stayed away from any Street illicit substances but I am now at a methadone clinic. They made me feel welcome and not embarrassed but I do feel like an addict EVERYTIME I walk through those doors everyday just to get pain medication. I was forced into this and I’m embarrassed because I feel like they got what they wanted. I’m a pain patient that got labeled permanently by the government and compassionless doctors. I just couldn’t live without pain relief and I tried everything possible it seemed. God bless you all. I hope you find relief in an easier way.

Dave

Thanks Gail, the research is in alignment and agrees with other data I’ve seen on long term pain mitigation.
Right now too many people are collateral damage in this war on opiates.
My last psychologist used to post the words, change your brain change your pain on her blog. I asked how she did with that working with people. She didn’t have much function working with people’s migraines or anything. That’s only part of why I fired her. She always said it didn’t apply to me. I experienced it somewhat different.

Hayden Hamby Jr.

My son ,my oldest son injured his knee at 27 years old. He was always active in “soccer”. The surgeon advised him as well as me, that it would take one “minor” corrective surgery and his issue would be solved. It turned into two surgeries locally when the surgeon put him on a blood thinner but, did another surgery two weeks later and did NOT take him off of the blood thinner a proper amount of time before the second surgery. He “coded”, flat lined” for “one minor knee surgery”. FOUR and one half years later, after going to Duke Hospital where the surgeon removed all the “hardware” from his knee from the first two surgeries, his knee became VERY infected.. He was abandoned by the hospital IN MY OPINION! Of course the surgeon at the hospital provided two other surgeons “capable” of performing the surgery he needed to “repair” the damaged knee.. One surgeon was in Fla, the other in Maryland. He and I live in the middle of NC! FOUR and ONE HALF YEARS later, we found a surgeon “willing” to attempt to repair damage done by the other surgeons. NO GUARANTEES! He advised he would do the best he could. My son is now 40 years old and thank GOD he is able to walk. He is a high school teacher but, his knee was destroyed for “one minor surgery”..He is in relentless, severe pain for the rest of his life! Did I “file” a complaint? Of course but, no fault was found, no “errors”, or wrong doing by ANY of the surgeons, hospitals, or staff that had an connection to my sons failed, disastrous knee surgeries. If all the “experts” in pain management had to experience this type of professional “medicine”, I bet D well they would fair no better and require opiate medication.

Judithkays

Try an actipatch . Available at Walmart.com or Amazon.com . It’s a PEMF device that it’s a PEMF device that distorts the pain so you don’t feel it

Rob

I was injured from a 40ft fall from a utility pole in 1990. I landed on concrete after hitting a stop sign. Obviously I had severe injuries. For many years my pain was controlled and I went back to work after less than a year. Suddenly “Oh no! We have people abusing opioid and dying! We have a crisis!” In doing so the drastically cut back pain meds for those that need them for a life. I’m not opposed to other options. So far they didn’t work or work comp won’t approve them, so opioids were my only option. I went from working full time and having a productive life to no longer working and sitting on the couch or laying in bed all day. The government is worried about and protecting those that are addicts, they don’t have a legitimate reason for taking opioids. But they’re addicts, you take away opioid s they’ll find something else. Those that followed rules and law are punished. We have no other option, you took our lives. Now you have made it so I will be a statistic. I’ve hoped sanity will return. But knowing how our government works I came up with a failsafe way to end it all when I can no longer bear the pain. Thanks government, I’m sure my kids will appreciate you.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

I will not be voting this time is what I meant.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

I helped elect Mr. Trump but I will be voting this time. He could do something for we, near 100 million people in chronic pain. I have tried to send him several messages but someone intercepted them I guess. I so feel for this lady and will continue to pray that she finds a doctor with a back bone who will do their job. Thank you.

Chris Conrad

I live in chronic pain. I have never misused pain medications. Many of my family members were crippled by arthritis. At least they were allowed analgesics to control their pain. I am being punished by the health care providers by withholding effective pain medications. It is a fact that the OTC non-steroidal pain medications cause an ulcer which I now have. Additional Tylenol can cause permanent liver damage.

Les Daniell

Simple solution to the “opioid crisis” Put city officials, mayors, district senators and congress persons in charge of their districts in prison for willingly and internationally handing out free heroin to junkies on the streets, opioid clinics that give out free methadone need to be shut down, these are only places heroin addicts go to get free drugs. Hydrocodone pain mefs has nothing ro do with a junky overdosing on the syreets of San Francisco, that junky got his drugs free from the state

nicholas Digennaro

I have a similar situation, I think the people responsible for the guidelines of pain management after the opioid crisis what people with chronic pain issues out in the cold. I’ve had two surgeries on my neck from nothing that had to do with any accident but has left me numb and in tremendous pain. After the surgeries the surgeon was only able to treat me with pain medication for 90 days except for prescribing something that was just like an aspirin. I think the pain management system and doctors mostly are a joke. I’ve been turned down and past month-and-a-half from five different pain management places with no explanations. I have one doctor who did call me back but after reading the reviews on him I’m hesitant to call back.I do have a history of alcoholism but never had once in my life at a problem with any kind of an opiate or any other kind of drug. I just don’t understand why hospitals don’t have their own pain management in place for people like myself. Most places don’t take any kind of insurance in those are the places where it seems that they’re just pill-pushers or some type of opiate Delivery Systems and are only in for the money. I know one friend of mine when on Suboxone and pays $250 every month just to get the prescription get no counselling and this doctor as people in and out from open to close. I believe that some people in my position would probably turn to getting the drug illegally on the street in order to get relief. Believe me I’ve thought about that but I refuse to go to that extreme. I’ve read extremely a lot about the guidelines and how the people that actually set them up or taking a look at them to update them for people with chronic pain but I know is this it’s something that’s going to be foot dragged and forgotten about. When you have legitimate pain and it’s chronic I can get no relief there’s not much you can do which is to just try to live with it.

Pauline Hawkins

God knows this has gone to far. I’m being forced to live with fibromyalgia and chronic spinal pain.
I don’t understand why they don’t go after the doctors that write scripts they can’t back up with test proving the medication is needed.
I guarantee no one with money is suffering…
There will probably be many suicides cause we can only take so much pain before we snap but they will blame it on opioid withdrawal…
When this happens I pray the family sues everyone involved in the decision making that forced patients with serious pain (backed up by test) and especially those with mental illness.
I’ve talked to and given copies of my test showing that I live in severe pain and what to do if I snap under it…
God knows our bodies can only take so much…

Desiree

I am a survivor of domestic abuse but the chronic pain lives on I have had 3 failed back surgeries…I have been diagnosed with Chronic Intractable Pain PTSD and numerous other conditions. I never gave my pain management docs any problems but that means nothing. I have been on pain management since 1995 and have gone down to 10 mgs. 4 X’s a day as needed well it’s needed and more but I stick to the contract The last few months have been opposite of heaven. The pain was under control now it’s not so surprise my PTSD is acting up flash backs of abuse he’s gone (since 1978) but the pain remains…..my life well I have no life I needed to get new pain management a few months ago liked the doc after 2 visits told he retired (found out from another patient he left) he had no problem that I was on MMP medical marijuana program now had to sign new contracts and I can’t do both great I take the Marijuana for Crohn’s disease and now seizures insomnia and PTSD now pain meds reduced down to 10 mgs and I need to choose. Sorry I guess I needed to vent Maybe one day true Chronic Intractable Pain patients won’t be punished. Good Luck to everyone out there in same boat

Sherry Allen

After my physician had his license suspended 90 days ago for accusations unrelated to his prescribing, I have lost all hope in ever having any quality of life again. At 54 years old, I feel cheated. Cheated out of quality and quantity of life. I’ve almost made it to the 5 year mark of being cancer free after having lung cancer after having my right upper lung removed.. but for what? To live with such excruciating pain from severe osteo, degenerative disc disease, collapsed disc, spinal stenosis, carpal tunnel in both hands, along with excessive build up of scar tissue from my lung surgery that makes it hard to turn due to pain, sciatica, copd, and already had 1 heart attack after having chemo that damaged some of my veins (which seeing that I was taking pain medication, the hospital here GAVE ME NARCAN while having a heart attack and insisted I had OVERDOSED after being in the emergency room for 4 hours and they nearly killed me.. which was insane considering I had taken none that horrible morning yet the emergency room gave me IV fentanyl 2 times and 4 hours later they decide to say I had OVERDOSED due to the stigma).
I sure didn’t ask for these health issues that prevent me from being able to care for myself and my 13 year old daughter, but without proper medication to function, it has become beyond depressing. Every doctor or pain management physician I have called in the past 90 days to get into see refused to see me because they would not see ANY PATIENTS who have been treated by my former doctor. I was prescribed 30mgs of methadone for pain in the past and never increased. I never failed drug screens, and never expected to be 100% pain free but I was able to function at least 80% of the time but every office I call stated I had been overly medicated and they would not see me because “We dont treat patients like you. I was forced to cold turkey withdrawal and now, after 90 days confined to the bed 3/4ths of the time- what ARE my options? To continue?

Leila Garcia

I got a duo for having my pain patch on. Due to that my pain management doctor discharged me with no weendown. I couldn’t get into another pain management doctor so I went to a methadone clinic which ironically treated me much better than the pain management doctor with no ceiling on the amount of methadone and easy dose increases.

Sandy

I have fibromyalgia and neuropathy in my leg along with IBS of course I get no pain meds but know my doctor took me off xanax which helped my leg spasms and my IBS. I was also on sleeping pills so I could try to sleep through the pain. It was all taken away suddenly the other day. I took them responsibly.
The government needs to stay out of my medical issues. I hope they suffer pain and cant get relief. I have no quality of life. Something needs to change

Judy Klingenhofet

You are stating what we already know, Washington DC doesn’t care about disabled, elderly, chronic pain, patients. Politicians are touting figures from the CDC that we, and everybody, have been told are incorrect to virgin with, the CDC had no business implementing in the first place, and won’t retract even though they know the guidelines have negatively impacted millions of people in this country. The DEA is running amok making arrests, bullying, confiscating assets our doctors. If I were a doctor I’d quit prescribing pain meds also. But…. it’s their job, whether they like it or not, they took an oath. But they are getting no help. We are getting no help. Because the people running this country have an agenda. They don’t want us to spend our money, the money we’ve been paying for a lifetime. Politicians are losing their slush fund, our money put away for our retirement years or in case of disability. They want our money. Its greed plain and simple.

Terry

I’m one of these people who the VA cut my pain meds off with no alternative be on meds for 20 years an now quality of life’s is gloom an I’m suffering for something that I did do

Glen

Ed Coghlan, I know you are working the problem and everyone is glad you are here. We have lost the fight. I read somewhere “rather than pull weeds, we should plant until we have pushed the weeds out.” Our seeds of discontent” will not get sunlight even though we plant them in manure! We need to get the national attention away from all of this. There will be a war with Iran, an asteroid will strike earth, California will have a terrible earthquake. Until then we better get some attention.

Lindsey

I read her story, her anguish. Nobody should poo-poo anyone who suffers from knee pain. In one sense, to many, when you speak of it, I’ve gotten a “oh, it’s just knee pain.”

I just wanted to emphasize or let people know, that knee pain can take you out of the game of life instantly. You go from an almost fully functioning adult, to one who needs help with the very basics of life, like getting to the bathroom, trying to figure out how to get a glass of water, or getting simply up or down.

That is how excruciating it is to have much of anything happen to your knee.

I have no question that this sweet gal is in a great deal of physical pain, and her life has been turned upside down by not having this knee pain knocked out by the pain medication meant for this very thing!

Why are doctors withholding from some types of pain, yet doling out for other types. I suspect they have that attitude that I’m talking about. Oh it’s just knee pain. Little do they realize that knee pain, relieving that pain, is critical to a patients health not going downhill real fast.

I wonder if Dr. Lewis has any information on this……..

I get this publication every month (I can’t remember where its from. Maybe DOC) that says how many physicians were charged with a crime and put out of business the previous month for dispensing too many opiate rx’s. I keep thinking, at the rate these KILLER GUIDELINES are taking out doctor’s, no wonder there is a doctor shortage. It’s only going to get worse.

Additionally, we have over 700 physician suicide deaths every single year, and it is steadily climbing! Just think of that. Over 700 men and women physicians killing themselves each year from being overworked. Putting in the most insane hours you can imagine. And they are taking care of us,!

Praying for a compassionate and permanent physician close to home for this poor woman. ✝️

Terri Ott

We need to stand up and do something for Chronic pain suffers. We need to insist on being separated from the heroin and Asian fentanyl people. Stop blaming physicians and pain patients. It certainly feels like the government is intent on killing pain suffers and discouraging physicians from becoming physicians.

Hayden Hamby Jr.

I have been awake all night finally resigning to get out of bed and start the day, July 22 2019……complete with the never ending struggle to function well enough to do the household chores. As usual I turn to NPR to get the latest on the front lines of reporting of patient neglect directly due as a result of the publishing of the 2016 CDC “guideline” for opioid prescribing physicians. The “guideline” seemingly has caused confusion concerning effective pain management of a LOT of people. 20 million, more? I don’t believe it is “confusing”….at all. It looks like a well orchestrated plan to ……save money at the pain management patients expense. It is more than at the PMP’s expense though, it has changed life itself for us. It has endangered our health with other developing physical, mental, social, simple “function” issues. The sheer stupidity that a maximum dosage of medication for one and all is not justifiable. I have been told time and again from the NC State Medical Board that “careful justification” needs to be used and if so, I can still receive adequate pain management from the spine pain management specialist I have seen for 10 years now without even ONE milligram increase in dosage after titrated to an effective dosage. It is a LIE! I spent 14 years at my first pain management specialist without a “pill count” failure or “failing” a drug screen, random drug screen. I would be contacted by ( cell phone) at my place of business and told to BE at the hospital in 15 minutes or I would be discharged form treatment. What MORE can a patient do. Evidently…..nothing.The difficulty of receiving adequate pain management for “Jane” is a typical narrative. She has documentation of a pain generating failed surgery, she has now “failed” a drug screening supposedly, and has to drive long distances to hold on to hope that some agency has the a$$ to do something about the under managed pain that we almost all face IF in excess of 90 mme daily is needed.

Claudia

RE CHRONIC knee

Claudia

Yes Michigan is getting really bad for chronic pain suffers I am so sorry to here this .Again I must blame the CARTELS .. My PM Is acting out if character but I am not giving up ..i am so sorry for this woman pain F SUX is there a Hospital near by..Can her primary help her ..i don’t know but I am like 3 hours away in Chicago . Gd. Is good prayer works can she get CBD? Actually it doesn’t help for pain basically your mind will focus other but again not for pain I tried plus as a woman w chronic pain .. I fight everyday I am in 1 pain med with 23 screws rods plates now got MRI my back again this time WORSE .my work comp pays but I can’t find any help today seeing another surgeon plus now new onset problems ARTHRITIS back from all injections ..i do hope she can fund some help again I am really sorry thank you Ed… Gd BLESS you always