Says One Chronic Pain Patient – Enough is Enough

Says One Chronic Pain Patient – Enough is Enough

By Barb Kaplitz.

Barb Kaplitz is a 58-year old grandmother who lives in Davidsville, Pennsylvania. She has suffered from chronic pain for the past 30 years, enduring Degenerative disc disease, neuropathy and osteoarthritis. Like many chronic patients, she was living a “fairly good life” when she received her pain medication.

“Like everyone I’m terrified of what is happening,” she told the National Pain Report. “If the laws change and I’m removed from these meds I don’t know what I’ll do. Two years ago my insurance stopped covering half my pain meds. I worry about losing my doctor, pharmacy refusing to fill prescriptions. Same worries as everyone else. I’ve been lucky so far, but I am enraged for my fellow chronic pain patients and the veterans.”

She wrote us recently about her frustration with all the talk around chronic pain, and those comments felt worthy of sharing to a wider audience.

And as we all wait for all the meetings and forums and task forces to get together and make some decisions about how best.to treat the chronic pain patients, people are SUFFERING AND DYING.

Patients are forced into drug treatment programs and given Suboxone when they are NOT addicts.

Or they are forced tapered off their pain meds and go thru excruciatingly painful withdrawal which can kill folks by seizures, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and/or suicides.

More psychologists are not the answer. If you have a proven injury/illness and have tried everything there is to try (and it’s an endless list) and you see a reputable doctor, pass all urine tests, take meds only as directed and opioids have given you back your quality of life then what more is there to talk about?

The CDC puts out misleading statistics on overdoses. They started this nightmare and they and our president and government need to fix this and fix it NOW. People say the president was given false info and he doesn’t know we’re suffering.

Come on!! He knows alright. He’s in no hurry to help us.

Thought Sessions was bad? He was only implementing Trump’s policy. But this new guy will be even worse. And God only knows who we’ll get after that. I think the only thing that will get Trump’s attention is all the people signing up for disability, applying for food stamps, etc. We’re going around and around in circles. How many more of us will have our lives destroyed come January 2019? How many more will be dead from suicide? I fervently pray every day for every one of us to make it through this. I ask you all to please pray for me too.

Thank you and God Bless.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Lindsay Sunde

My husband and I made the choice to not take painkillers. We take a different type of medicine not only to stay away from opioid painkillers but to help with pain. We get treated like heroin addicts, it’s gotten as bad as our insurance company now taking the tiny pharmacy we go to off the “network” in order to force us somewhere else apparently to better suit them. This was a choice we made for ourselves, NOT them; however, the continued harrassment and violation of basic human rights is completely out of control, at least in the State of Michigan. These people place everyone into a black and white category when we are all human and all have a story behind what we’ve gone through to get where we are today. We have physical pain, have been beaten down daily with slander causing PTSD and it’s been greeted with open arms by people who we look to hoping they will finally help stop this unjust and atrocious behavior. We are nothing but an annoyance to them and they couldn’t care less. Its nothing but discrimination and its disgusting behavior. I don’t blame you for being worried, you should be. I’ve seen this SO many times and I’ve experienced this myself. People with legitimate disabilities, health concerns and problems are dismissed every day because they don’t take the time to see who is really abusing drugs, abusing our rights to live and get medical treatment without being discriminated against and flat out abusing the “power” they have to continuously make life awful for others. No one is saying there isn’t an issue with some people and opiate use, but when are they going to start using care when placing such judgment on EVERYONE. I hope all goes well for you in the future.

Notasheep

Terry, I am so sorry for the death of your son. I read that and just bawled for you.

John S Suttles

This is my story
and pain is not
something that you can
turn a blind eye to
and think it will help.
Please Listen Please Help.
Life is getting harder and harder everyday. I am a 59 year old male who had a serious back injury about 12 years ago, while working, I shattered a disc
in my lower back from a fall . I walked around for months with what felt like a knife stabbing me in the back of my leg . After two years, a neurologist figured out that it was a shattered disc in my lower back. I had back surgery done and it worked great for about 2 weeks . The pain came back and worse than it was to begin with. I had a second surgery 2 weeks after the first. Since then I’ve had 7 or 8 more back surgeries, to many to remember the exact number . Now I have nerve damage . I’ve had a
neurostimulator surgically
installed in my spine and
most recently had surgery to fuse my spine . I’ve had
needles stuck in my spine
numerous times with
cortisone and that just
made things worse . The
pain just keeps increasing and now instead of having severe leg pain, I have severe leg pain and severe back pain . I’ve been living like this for about 12 years.
Over those 12 years I’ve
been given opiates ,
narcotics that HELP
IMMENSELY . I’m able to somewhat function again . I can’t work or lift anything but with the medication I can function . I can now take care of myself I can
go out to dinner with
family and friends sit and watch TV comfortably . I have to take it very easy .
I go to my pain management doctor’s and
i’m under contract , pay
to have drug test done
every few months and I
abide by all the rules and
now they’re telling me
that they’re going to take away the pain medication . The pain management
doctor have now taking
away my anxiety
medication because they
say I can’t take that
at the same time I take
pain medication.
The pain management
doctor have taken away
my sleep medication

Gretchen

Thank you for your article and prayers I know what you mean I feel tortured and scared too death about what’s too come what has happened has increased my heath problems just like many others I go too pain managment on Monday and am terrorized on a monthly bases by my pain Dr I have always passed my drug tests and still am harassed I do all the things that they are asking us too do and still need meds threatening too take away all med is not a joke I can’t swallow well without 600 milligrams of Gabapentin a day and will slowly starve too deatth without it too be harassed I feel like I might as well be on death row and if I will make it through the next month of life being terrorized too survive it is a lot of stress and causes anxiety I don’t know how long my body can take this stress knowing that at anytime my life will end because of bad polices being made by unqualified people with little or no medical knowledge My Dr threatens me not because he’s a bad person but for his own survival of hard work and the threat of being incarcerated for helping me unfortunately the more your injured the harder it is for Drs too help you because of the Guide lines that treat us like a assembly line and the idea that all pain managed have been put in a category of one size fits all is not working for most of us and not enough help in solving the problem of being thrown in the same category as the street drug user so I have been praying also for all and will continue too God Bless all you are all in my prayers

Penny

I was going through throat cancer radiation latent effects and was living in Fla, had moved from NC, so my sister could take care of me. Because I couldn’t take care of myself. I had severe burns on the inside of my throat . The ENT with his scope could see it, acknowledged it was bad, raw meat he daid and so swollen I could not eat. Had a gtube for nourishment.
The ENT gave my 3 days, yup 3 days of pain meds. That’s it.
Went to ER. No Pain meds. Cancer center wouldn’t see me without insurance. So no pain meds from Feb to Sept, when I was well enough to travel and return to NC.
My PCP started me back on my daily pain meds, and hooked me up with drug company for my Lyrica( for free)
I have DDD with Spondylosis of cervical spine. With migraines and bulging discs. Along with severe nerve pain to face, both sides.
I’m petrified that my pain meds will be taken away. Thanks to our government. Which they have NO right being in my life, forcing, yes forcing me to be in pain. It’s inhumane!!
I have tried chiropractic, physical therapy, spine injections all modalities, for no pain relief!!!
I have passed every pill count and urine test.
I don’t get a “buzz” from opiates. Just pain relief…
Like I’ve told people. I’M NOT ADDICTED TO OPIATES BUT I AM ADDICTED TO LIVING MY LIFE.
Before this past couple of years, I was a nurse, for 34 years. Grandmother for 25 years, avid camper, fly fisherwoman, very active lifestyle.
Always on the go. Actually raised 4 grandkids for many years while working full time.
So yes , I want, I need , I deserve my meds. So I can live my life.
The government needs to stay the hell outta my business, MY pain relief. They have NO right. I’m not getting my drugs from Joe Blow down the street, I’m not selling my meds, I’m doing what I’m suppose to be doing.
But they are NOT. They are making so many people lives horrible. Will they ever see or acknowledge what they are doing? I think not. So very wrong on any level

Jennifer Kassner

I couldn’t agree more with this very real fear of losing my pain meds! I have several very complex and overlapping chronic pain syndromes that are only helped by narcotics pain meds. I have been cruelly taken off of them cold turkey twice and was very suicidal…am now back on a very low dose… Only 2 mg pills per day…and am terrified that these will be taken from me again by politicians who know nothing of the real suffering, the amount of scrutiny and accountability we are held to with very strict oversight and pain contracts which I follow to the letter and always have. WE ATE NOT STREET ADDICTS NOR DO WE DESERVE TO BE TREATED AD SUCH!! WE ARE SIMPKE TRYING TO MAKE THE BEST OUT OF A BAD HAND WE HAVE BEEN DEALT MEDICALLY AND TRYING TO HAVE SOME SORT OF QUALITY OF LIFE!! and believe me it is very limited to 2 2mg piles per day…but it is better than nothing and I will gladly accept any help I can get to try and have a life. Before I got sick and was diagnosed with incurable pain syndromes I never thought I would find my life in this status at all! I was a real go getter! Just don’t ever take your health for granted because I could be you in a heartbeat. Treasure what you have! And be thankful you don’t have to live your life under a microscope just because you require responsible use of narcotics for your incurable diagnosis!! Washington needs to be more aware of us LEGITIMATE RESPONSIBLE PAIN MEDS USERS! A little empathy would go a long way! And this rollercoaster of being on effective pain meds and then having them ripped away AGAIN! EACH DETOX IS LIKE DYING…ITS SO HORRIBLE YOU CANT EVEN IMAGINE! and suicide during a detox does come into the minds of even the most sane person! It is a horrifying terrible frightening beyond belief experience that I PRAY I NEVER HAVE TO GO THROUGH AGAIN. WASHINGTON PLEASE HEAR OUR PLEA! THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF US LEGITIMATE CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERES OUT HERE WHO TAKE OUR PAIN MED CONTRATS VERY SERIOSLY AND ARE NOT STREET HEROIN US

Barb, I couldn’t agree more!!! I have RSD & have been on pain meds for 20 some yrs. I have several doctors who have agreed with my diagnoses & my pain med care so that I might have some quality of life & now the government wants to take my quality of life away by taking my pain medication away! I’m not an addict, just someone in severe pain & could die without pain medication!!! Why won’t anyone listen? My doctor is doing his best for me but soon his hands will be tied!!! What am I to do???

The Book of Matthew.
Chapter 15, verse 21.
For once, this is all I have to say.

Cakes

When they learned pain patients were killing themselves for lack of pain medication to keep their pain in check … Our government was already to late … But it is all still happening only at the speed of lightning …Damn Them

Laura

ATTEN; TERRY
That’s a great idea for Thursday’s from now on. I’m in that same boat as most. I’m a nurse in the state of PA. I’m still in the process of working but, if we keep cutting the pain meds and keep making me feel like I’m so in the wrong for even asking for pain medicine to earn a living than I will be on disability or pushing up daisy.

Stacy Cooper

Apply for disability? I applied three years ago and after exhausting all my appeals have had to reapply. It’s not as simple as applying for disability.

Geoffrey Nielson

Prayers Up for All!

PATRICIA COSTA

It is sad that we all have so much of these challenges to just obtain decent and ethical medical treatment. From gaining access to pain doctors, getting medications filled, being forced to endure undeserved biased about taking opioid medication for pain relief, and most importantly, all of us being treated as abusers. I thought in this country, you are innocent until proven guilty.
I am a nurse with 18 years of chronic pain due to degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, scoliosis and fibromyalsia. I recently moved from NJ to Ohio to be closer to family. I went through a 4 week nightmare trying to get a pain management doctor to take me on as a patient. I was told by everyone that an appointment would not be made until the DR received medical records and reviewed them, and then decided if she/he would take me as a patient.
There is nothing in my medical records that would prevent me from being seen, no abusive behavior regarding my meds, urine testing always negative, never lost my meds or asked for more. Nothing!
Yet I was turned away by 5 pain management practices, 2 in very prominent hospitals here in Cincinnati. I even wrote a letter explaining that I am a compliant patient, who remains proactive with anything I can do to help myself such as exercise and yoga. So my profile was that of a compliant patient, using discretion with medication, following all the rules………and needing treatment immediately. THIS WAS UNETHICAL AND COULD HAVE CREATED A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.
THE IMPORTANT THING FOR ALL OF US IS TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HAVE AN EQUAL VOICE AND MEDIA COVERAGE REGARDING THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OPIOID ISSUE. WHY IS THERE NOT MORE HUMAN STORIES AND SUPPORTING MEDICAL EVIDENCE PRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC. IT IS IN FACT IGNORANCE OF APPROPRIATE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC PAIN.
PLEASE POST ANYONE YOU KNOW OR ORGANIZATION THAT WILL HELP PROVIDE MEDIA COVERAGE. EDUCATION AND AWARENESS IS THE ONLY ROAD TO CHANGE.

James Hamilton MD

I was active in American Society for Action on Pain (ASAP) headed by Skip Baker in c. 2000 when I was a pain specialist, & before I could became pain-disabled myself. This matter is difficult especially with the “war” against opioid. However I believe that the key is organizing large numbers of patients who are willing to write large numbers of protests to legislators & to the media. The DEA wants to protect its Congressional subsidies & therefore has publicized the false notion that going after the legitimate medical use of opiates is the answer when they are well aware that the death rate from legitimate medical use of opiates under medical supervision very rarely kills anyone — The vast majority of drug deaths come from illegal IV self injection, especially adulterated street drugs. The notion that medicinal opiates are killing tens of thousands of patients is nonsense.

I can only hope that the media, our legislators and the general public will learn the truth and stop this irrational attack on innocent suffering patients and their doctors.

James Hamilton MD

Debra Kurtz

Hi Barb, I am a chronic pain PERSON also. I say PERSON because I am a PERSON. The problem is not democrat or republican it is ignorance and no feelings for the plight of pain patients. It is also not just President Trump. I live in Pennsylvania and we have Governor Tom Wolf who is a democrat. Governor Wolf has just won re-election to another term. Wolf has stated in his own words that he had a procedure and only “needed” pain medicine for two days. He has done great damage in his war against opioids. Wolf has targeted pain medications in his mad rush to “fix the drug problem”. Everybody has made a mad rush in all the laws and restrictions passed that has only accomplished one thing and that is to hurt the pain patient. All this has done nothing to “fix” the drug problem and overdoses. I have one question for Wolf and that question is ” Why did you need pain medicine for two days?” If he thinks we can do without pain medicine forever why could he not do without it for two days? The answer to that question is that he thinks he can decide how much pain we should have. I was talking to the Patient Relations person at UPMC in Pittsburgh about my treatment and the pain I endure and she told me they have a new pain policy there. I told her that if it is IV Tylenol that it does not work and that two of my doctors had told me they have seen horrible things in her hospital and people laying in pain. She told me that they ” the hospital” has received a lot of complaints from patients.I told her, ” Does that not tell you that your new policy is not working?” Her answer to that was a stuttering reply that she would contact the manager of my pain clinic. We as chronic pain patients need each other regardless of political affiliations. Our politicians on both sides are using the pain medications as a political ploy while people like us suffer. It makes them feel better to think that they are doing something of value.

John

I understand. I used to race motorcycles years ago and have many broken bones and injuries causing pain. I’m nearly 60 years old and had a good life and was healthy and happy until over a year ago when my Doctor began tapering me off my pain meds. Now I don’t sleep much, I wake up sick from pain, my blood pressure is high and I’m miserable. I totalled my vehicle after falling asleep at the wheel. I hurt all the time and there’s no relief to look forward to. It’s hard to believe our politicians could do this!
So my question is – what can we do?

Ronna Watson

Just FYI: I am in the process of writing CVS corporate because of their shenanigans when I went to fill my prescription after surgery. They told me they didn’t have the oxycodone and wouldn’t have it for 2-4 weeks and that I should go to Walgreens. The following week, I was written a prescription for 20 pills of hydrocodone. I was offered 12 and so I went to Walgreens. I later learned if I had taken the 12, waiting for them to get more in stock, they will not fill the remainder of the prescription for opiods.
I went to my doctors office for an appt., and when the nurse asked for the name of my drugstore I told her that I was changing to Walgreens, that CVS pissed me off. She said, “What in the world is going on with CVS? Everyone is complaining.” I told her what is going on with the opiods. I hope everyone boycotts them but not before telling them why.

Lee

Its a shame what the VA has done to veterans, i had 2 hip replacements though the VA, have severe spinal stenosis, countless disc issues. Suffered senory stroke and Dvt that almost killed me. What alot of people dont relize that your blood pressure skyrockets when you have severe pain thats not treated. I take 4 types of blood pressure pills to keep it down to 140/80. When i got my SS disability and got my medicare I seeeked pain management, the first doctor that treated me was the doctor that diagnosed my stroke. When i started seeing him his attitude and his staff made me feel like i was a addict. His rooms had hidden camera’s in them, I got out of that hell hole after 3 visits and found a compassionate pain management clinic. That treated me. But now i can start seeing the pressure there under. I truly believe there trying to kill off cronic ill people to cut medicare cost. There cold hearted [edit].

Caregiver 24/7/365

I struggle to come up with the appropriate term for pushing good people to attempt suicide when they have no escape from intractible pain? Especially older people who have tried EVERYTHING, hoping against hope to have even a fraction of the life enjoyed by those of us who are pain free. In so doing, they follow ALL the rules, see the best pain management doctors (and specialist neurologists at Mayo and elsewhere), keep their meds locked up at all times, and would NEVER even ask for stronger doses than the bare minimum required (not that it would do any good to do so). They are stressed, distressed, anxious, and depressed.

May I suggest the appropriate term for those who are on this harmful mission is: “crime against humanity”. If I were ever to be asked to comment in some kind of hearing before the perpetrators of this disgrace, i.e., by describing what my wife goes through every day, the authorities would probably have to restrain me. The animosity I try to keep bottled up inside would undoubtedly explode. I cannot allow myself to get into that scenario and be jailed, though, because I am THE caregiver for a pain sufferer every day, around the clock, sleep deprived or not.

And this catastrophe in the making a logic-defying and data-starved (so called) “mission” to save lives of those who would go to the streets for their drugs, or who steal and cheat and lie in order to abuse narcotics. THEY will not be denied, regardless. It is the suffering chronic pain patient, unmedicated, who will be denied. And they will increasingly find the relief they seek by ending their lives. This is tragic, and one day those who are responsible will come to realize it. But in the meantime, deaths will climb among those who are punished for no good reason.

Jill

Barb’s story could have been written by me. Allow me please to share my status. My long time wonderful Dr. moved out of state, went twice to new guy, seemed okay. Last month saw PA, came in the room obviously upset. Said why did I ask the nurse if I get same number of meds per month whether 30 or 31 days. Told him just curious. Didn’t ask for more pills. He went off on me screaming if I was short I must be overdosing or selling !! Told me I was 2 pills short. I said oh meant to take two from pill sorter but forgot. He SCREAMED at me about breaking the pain contract! I was frozen in awe. Thought he might be having a nervous breakdown, he was yelling at me like I was a child and he the angry daddy! I’m old. I’m sick. But I am not a child. I take crap from no one so that was it for me. Made appt. with old Dr. but insurance won’t cover. Researched mmj but don’t have the money. Now I lay in bed and on couch with my pain, trying to figure a way out of this misery. What did we all do to deserve this? So sad, so unnecessary. God help us all.

Caregiver 24/7/365

People, especially good people who are elders, will die from intractible pain, coupled with stress and suffering from losing their lifeline. These are people for whom the ONLY thing (and we have tried everything) that has alleviated the pain enough to have at best half of a normal life on those days when the pain is not spiking. These are people who are uber responsible about dosage, go only to the most responsible doctors, keep their pain meds under lock and key, wouldn’t THINK about asking for more opioids than absolutely necessary. Die from pain? Yes; it will be called suicide. This is so predictable. It will rightly go down as a “crime against humanity” when it happens.

ElizabethR

Thank you for describing a situation that could also happen to me and many others, if it hasn’t already. Existing in a state of apprehension/fear is not conducive to pain reduction or good health!

I can’t quite grasp how more psychologists, most of whom probably have never experienced serious chronic pain, would be helpful overall. They might be useful in early intervention with patients who have been injured at work or in an accident; some of these individuals might be able to avoid developing chronic pain. However, those with lifelong painful medical issues, and older adults with incurable debilitating degenerative conditions, are highly unlikely to benefit. Also, insurance coverage for psych treatment of any kind is limited (our Medicare Advantage plan pays for 10 outpatient visits per year). Many older/disabled adults are on fixed incomes and cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket.

I believe that chronic pain survivors need to find a way to attract more people to the cause and raise its “profile”. I’m generations beyond being social media savvy, but younger fellow survivors (also perhaps their families and friends) likely are totally knowledgeable. Can these potential supporters be reached and enlisted? State and federal legislators start to pay attention when thousands of related letters, messages and phone calls arrive in their offices.

We may not be able to travel to marches, rallies and Town Halls, but we can write and call our members of Congress. I have been writing since I found the NPR website several months ago. I was astonished to receive a personal phone call recently from my Representative’s office. It sounded like the staffer who called had actually READ my email. We had a reasonable discussion about responsible use of Rx medication v. substance misuse. Nothing may come of it, but I have an additional connection that I didn’t have before. I sent a thank-you email.

Holly

Thank you Barb, Well said! I also think it’s way past due for our Dr’s to start standing up for us! If they cannot see how bad we are suffering, then take the framed Hippocratic Oath down off the wall!

TucsonKittenLady

There is no god and if there was, why hasn’t he helped us? Because no god is going to help us and no amount of prayer is going to do any good.

dan

Has anyone else thought about the profits to be made from giving patients expensive ineffective ” filler” medications that don’t work as opposed to the old much cheaper narcotic standbys that do work? Do that math.

dan

By the time my identity had been stolen and insurance cancelled I had experienced way more than enough of the pain shame game. Thank goodness I found a plant based substitute that helps me function s.Couldnt stand marijuana and CBD didn’t help, me at least. This stuff works and I wish id known about it years ago It is also the only thing that has ever helped some of my odder more painful symptoms.Not perfect but much better than begging for my mobility.

Bruce Stewart

This is a nice rant. I’ve already had my meds cut back for no reason. Having panic attacks waiting for the next step of weaning. Now what? Nobody listens, nobody cares. We need to ORGANIZE. DO SOMETHING AS A GROUP. Power in numbers. It’s our only hope. So, what are we going to do?

Jessica Sampson

In 2010 We moved from my beloved home state of Oregon 43 miles to Washington State. Agh! So many taxes, higher prices, getting out of your car to pump gas!! Awful. Then last year my dr. (who had warned me–the other dr.’s in his practice were upset he was keeping me–) gave me notice he was going to have to let me go. Washington State-thank you Seattle-voting to “help” me and get involved in MY LIFE. I was so grateful we had moved due to Oregon going the Weed and Pain Acceptance route!
My doctor had kept me on even though at first I was Not a perfect patient. In 2011 I had issues with an older kid living with us stealing my pain meds-he once found where I had them stashed ( he had to have taken Hours to find them!) and wiped me out. I filed a police report as requested to have them refilled. My dr. did not even Think though to have me sign the pain med contract saying I would not dr. shop until 2015. He gave me ONE UA as a very obvious way to comply with the other doctors-I doubt he even looked at the results. Why did he keep me so long and trusted me so much? 1. We had a great dr/patient relationship and 2. My medical file for what I had tried to get better was 14″ thick. Why did he ditch me? The Government pressure. It took me 3 months of daily searching to find a new dr. and THEN I only found one who was new to our area! The stress of that was Awful! I now spend time I do not have researching and making sure I will be compliant in our state! Thank GOD we moved from Oregon! Forced taper? That would make my edited novel of a life into a tragic short story.
I know this is choppy-trying to get this typed out before I have to rest.
Also May I suggest we post what state we are from so others know where this is becoming worse?

Jul

Alan Dean Thermon, I applaud your sentiments and agree. Demeaning enough that we CPP’s must PROVE month to month we are still using our (decreased) pain ANALGESICS medication.
We need these APPROVED OPIATE ANALGESICS for a moderately functional quality of life. Having pain issues 24/7/365, moderating our pain is what we are legally allowed to have treatment. Beurocratic manuvers and BS is what we are trying to get through.
Writing my rep has done nothing but award me with a form letter. To state a protest is nearly impossible due to unrelenting pain issues that are purposely being IGNORED. So sick of this BS. Thanks for your ‘ enough is enough’. You are exactly correct.

Terry

Hello everyone again. I have commented on this forum dozens of times and now I want to try something different. I want EVERYONE this Thursday, November 15, to write their senators and congressmen, ALL OF THEM! Let them know the REAL statistics which is 98.8% of all opioid overdoses are from heroin and fentanyl and only 1.2% are from legitimate prescriptions for people with chronic pain. Also, let them know what your diagnosed condition(s) are, how it affects your every day life, if you’ve ever thought of suicide because of your pain without the medications you used to be prescribed, let them know and understand the agony which accompanies UNTREATED chronic pain. I would also include how long you had been taking legitimate meds without incident. We need to paint the gloomy picture for them so they have to at least listen to us, check out our stats, hear the true story. So tomorrow we will bombard them with thousands of emails!!! And I think we should make EVERY Thursday chronic pain email day! They can’t ignore us forever. We have the right to adequate medical care just as much as them. STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHT TO LIVE A PAIN FREE LIFE!!! Tomorrow we start to fight for ourselves, this is your CALL TO ACTION!!! I will check in with you all on Friday and read the comments that say, YES I DID!!! God bless all of my chronic pain brothers and sisters.

Karan Smith

I am right there with you. You have spoken my truth.

Terry

The government politicians created this so called opiate epidemic so they’re good standing with the public could be reestablished. By being seemingly proactive and immediately taking action to quash this nationwide drug problem. They once again were viewed positively by the American people. Unfortunately all of the regulations they put in place were for the absolute wrong opioids. 98.8% of ALL opiate overdoses were caused by either heroin or fentanyl and 1.2% were caused by legal prescriptions for pain medications like oxycontin, vicodin, percocet, dilauded and alike. The newest government regulations were created to line someone’s pocket, probably senators, congressmen and the drug companies. It’s been my experience that behind every deal, regulation, ammendment or policy change comes down to one thing, MONEY. Figure out who made out on the opioid epidemic regulations and you’ll have your answer. My 27 year old son died last year from an overdose of over-the-counter medication whose slang name is “triple C”, which is Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, which contains dextromethorphan, or DXM. Before that I spent months helping my son to beat his heroin addiction. Heroin and fentanyl are really cheap these days, it’s like $10 per hit, so for $20 a day you can stay really high. It’s not the $500 a day habit like when I was a kid, it’s very accessible to everyone. Meth is another killer that is super popular and also very accessible. Now the chronic pain community is suffering and dying for no good reason. I have been emailing my congressmen and senators on a regular basis but with little more than a “form” letter as a response. Somehow we need to find someone with a voice who will champion our cause. What is the plan to combat the real killers? Heroin, fentanyl, metamphetamin and triple C. The chronic pain community is at a breaking point and we need help now. Keep those emails going to your government officials and maybe we will find our hero. God bless you all.

Joanna Smitherman

I agree I’ve been dealing with chronic pain for 29 years and have tried it all. I also have degenerative disc ,osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and 2 curves in my spine. Have had a couple surgeries that didn’t help but most areas they won’t touch. I was doing good but had my break through pain meds took away and my midday was changed and now all I want to do is ball up on the couch or in bed or stay in a hot tub.it really sucks. I’m now missing everything. Something needs to be done because I know there are others even worse it’s crazy.

Yes ma’am Barb, enough is enough! You’ve spoken well on behalf of all of us. I wanted you to know that I will pray for you. I pray for all of my brothers and sisters in pain, some by name that I have met through the National Pain Report. Prayer along with faith is going to do more for us than anything we can and have done. Faith is the key word here. With God all things are possible! It’s in the Holy Bible. Let us all not forget that God is still definitely in the miracle business! So for those of us that have tried everything from A to Z, the only thing left to do is to pray with faith that God intervenes and if we all do I’m sure in my heart he will. Everyone please remember, he won’t put more on us than we can possibly bear, even though at times it certainly does feel like it. May God bless, guide, lead, comfort and give peace to every single one of you!

Thanks for sharing your life story and experience Barb. Everyone can identify whats wrong these days and many like you are helping fix that. Kudos!

KURT JOHNSTON

It has finally happened, first the pharmacy would not till full pres c amounts now my physician said with the new Michigan laws he has written me my last prescription. 65 hours old and I will be going through withdrawal an my pain will be off the charts. The war on opiates has won and I have lost. Don’t know what to do anymore

Jacqui

This article says exactly how I feel. I have terrible chronic pain issues and have had so many surgeries i can’t even count them. I have suffered for over 20 years. I was a hairstylist with a small business and I lost that due to my pain issues. I see a pain management doctor now and he had to cut my pain meds and I am in agony now on a daily basis.
I am praying someone will help us with this. I know that I consider suicide almost daily because I feel like I’m living in hell now.

Janet Oney

I worry that chronic pain sufferers are lumped in with users of street fentynel that kills. Street opioids have killed more people than physician prescribed pain medicine. I hate that we are all judged by the lowest denominator.
The AMA should take a stand for their patients and stop fearing this government.
Take a stand. Vote. Write your senators and congressmen.

Alan dean Thurman

The key word in your statement is the problem with the governments attempt at stopping opioids and will be tge reason it created a nation of herione users. What am I talking about? Glad you asked. Urine test!!!!! What a horrible thing to do to s person who is pain. Look, u don’t test diabetes patients for twinkies, and if they have eaten a twinkie you pull their medication and let them suffer the consequences of the side affects of no medication. People who take pain meds who are using them for other purposes will always test perfect on drug screens(they are not dumb) but, doctors assume that just because a person runs out of their medication that person is mistaking or selling that pain medication, oh that could be true. Maybe, that person might have dropped their medication on the, or it fell out of their pocket(the doctors want you to carry a bottle that can fit in your pocket at work and take tge bottle with you everywhere you go! Which brings me to the biggest problem with testing (once people find out you take pain medication u become s target of theft, the amount of money generated from a bottle of pills is ignorant, and it’s all because we are trying to control what people need and leaving humans to determine who gets it and who doesn’t! Which always comes out to really mean those who are rick get tge medication and those who are Medicaid get the shaft kick to the curb, even if that person is on Medicaid because they have pain issues. Maybe they were an innocent bystander and got shot in the head it maybe their work over the last thirty years wore his body out. It simply comes down to the fact that drug screens are the dumbest most ignorant way to determine a persons need for pain medication! Don’t believe me, ask around! Fools are creating the biggest epidemic u could imagine. If you watch cspan even the DEA says we are making things worse, but they will do as told! The idiots in congress still have weed as a schedule 2, that means it’s the same l

Sharon

How can we talk about this with each other and where can we go with our voices for help as I too Barb am like u except this horrid situation finally caught up WITH ME, after a decade of being treated by my doctor A DECADE, he discharges me saying that the fact that I travel 2 hours to see him once a month is a RED FLAG, lololol WHAT??? I found him when I lived 10 minutes from his office, I had after 4 years living near by moved 2 hours away and chose to keep him on board as my doctor as this man saved my life, LITERALLY SAVED MY LIFE and it was worth the 2 hour trip to keep seeing him as again, he saved my life, he gave me a purpose a reason to live, a reason to just get out of bed, WHY WUD I WANT TO GO ELSE WHERE??? Of course this just so happens to happen just before the month of November, mind u the month I heard the DEA was going to start cracking down on Doctors who prescribe pain medications, to take licenses and shut em down, WHY????? He is a licensed pain management doctor and pharmacist totally qualified to practice and prescribe as he does, to make a long story short he brought me from being home bound with a pick line in and a morphine drip and a pain pump attached to my spine to oral meds and from a wheelchair to a walker, now a cane, now free to go most every where, but after a DECADE of being a stellar completely compliant patient, I now am not worth the risk, a RED FLAG, per say, again, WHY?????, we’ve/he /I have done nothing wrong NOTHING, but the fear the government/DEA has put into our doctors and pharmacies has now put US ALL at risk of dying, yeah DYING, if not from not having the medications we need but by taking our own lives from the fear of the suffering we will endure without the treatment we have been getting. This terrifies me and makes me SICK, it is so not right or fair. I know many who have taken their own lives behind this bullshit and something needs to be done to stop this and NOW, before it is too late for ALL OF US !!!!!

Lina

This is beautifully said and written. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings …. and your heart and soul.

Jan Thomas

Well said Barb! The biggest stresser in my life is will my pain medication be suddenly stopped. Like you, so far, I have been fortunate. But I worry month to month if my doctor will one day say he is sorry but the rules have changed and he can not give me pain medication any longer. I have already decided I will seek other sources. I have congestive heart failure and I’m not sure I would survive withdrawal. And if I did, I don’t know how I would tolerate the pain. I am already homebound and without my pain medication I know I would be totally nonambulatory. People just do not understand. And as I read and listen, the drug of choice for drug users in my area is heroin. Last I heard, doctors don’t prescibe heroin!!!!!!!

Ron

How many realize that almost all of the illegally abused drugs were at some point created by our government as a remedy for pain in the field of battle or as trials to relieve pain and now they’re blaming us, the people for an epidemic?
Not defending drug addiction because it’s real as I teeter on the brink of needing an extra pain pill to relieve my pain each day just to be able to continue to work full time even though I’ll chance being short if I get called in for a pill count at my pain management clinic.
Think at it this way:
Dad/Mom are running late getting home from work which delays supper and lunch was before noon at school, so their child is a bit hungry as mom and dad start to prepare dinner that’ll take 30mins.
Mom sets a cookie jar out on the counter, dad walks by and grabs a cookie and leaves the lid off. The child helps himself to a cookie because he/she is hungry, but should we paddle the kid, or give him time out for some, that eats a cookie before mealtime? Pretty simple way to look at it
Just my 2 pennies and something those who don’t suffer from pain like we do to think about.

IT’S A NATIONAL HEROIN/FENTANYL EPIDEMIC, NOT PRESCRIPTION (OPIATES) DRUGS.

SAD BUT TRUE: I have lost family members and friends, and I am always reading about too many young and old who have died from misusing DRUGS. It is tragic, for sure.

HOWEVER, I feel compelled to defend these prescription PAIN killers (opiates and others in that class) that are truly MIRACLE drugs for the 99% of the people who NEED/REQUIRE them and take them AS prescribed. Some people I know have been prescribed them for up to 10 years for chronic debilitating PAIN. They cannot live a quality productive life without them. They are 100% safe when used AS PRESCRIBED.
Please STOP blaming these prescription drugs because 1% abuse them. It’s the illegal street drugs HEROIN/FENTANYL that are killing our family and friends; very, very few from illegally obtained prescription (OXYCONTIN) drugs. It’s the HEROIN/FENTANYL, NOT the synthetically manufactured OPIATES;  i.e. OXYCONTIN.  Alcohol, which has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocent people and destroyed families throughout the years in the USA alone, is a perfect example.

There are always those who will abuse whatever they have access to.  

Geoffrey Nielson

My prayers go up for all underdiagnosed, undertreated, misdiagnosed, misunderstood persons with or without pain and with political and non political agendas.
My we restart helping each other.