When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened up a public comment period on its controversial Opioid Guidelines, urged our readers to comment and even gave some suggestions about HOW to comment.
We also asked that you share your comments and that we might publish some of them.
35-year-old Christiane Parsons of Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania is one of those and her comments are worthy of sharing.
“I can barely stand to have my children touch my left hand, arm, shoulder, and neck. I am a wife who cannot deal with the pain from my husband’s touch. You see I was diagnosed with CRPS/RSD in March of 2015, but I have been dealing with the enormous amount of pain, swelling so bad my skin wants to break open, and that feeling of bones being so cold that it burns from the inside out for much longer.
My primary care doctor didn’t even know what CRPS/RSD was. Do you want to know what I am addicted to? I am addicted to the sound of my children laughing. I am addicted to doing whatever I can to make my life normal as it can be. I am addicted to making sure my husband and kids know that regardless of how much pain I am constantly in, that I love them with everything in me.
Yes, I am on pain killers but I am not addicted to them. In fact, the pain killers I am on barely work to help my pain. My pain keeps me up at night long after everyone else has gone to sleep if I sleep at all at least until exhaustion kicks in. People with CRPS / RSD experience more pain than anyone else according to the McGill Pain Scale. People with the same condition that I have commit suicide because at some point pain killers do little to help.
Yes, people that are addicted to pain killers need help, but they are NOT the majority of people who use pain medication. They are an important group of people without a doubt but they are no more important than those of us suffering from very serious medical conditions that cause enormous amount of pain. People who are addicted should not dictate my use of pain medication.
What amazes me is that people who haven’t the slightest idea about the kind of pain people suffer from have automatically determined that we are all abusing the pain killers. I and most others like me are not addicted to or are abusing the pain killers. We deserve to have our voices heard loud and clear by those pretending to care about us and our conditions.
What I am addicted to is something that not even the full strength of the US government can stop. And that is the love of my husband and children. It is their laughter that keeps me getting out of bed to fight another day. It is their refusal to let me lie down and die that keeps me getting up each morning and going on with life.
I have been an EMT for 15 years. I have treated drug addicts as my patients. Even most drug addicts don’t want to be addicts. They want to get and stay clean. They want for these medications to not take their lives over. Drug addicts as well deserve to be treated as humans who need help but taking medications off the market that have been proven effective will not solve the problem. True addicts will just find a replacement and that replacement could be even deadlier.
Editor’s Note: CDC recently opened its Draft Guidelines for a second public comment after mounting criticism by advocacy groups, as we reported. If you wish to comment, and we hope you do, you must submit your comments no later than January 13, 2016. Here’s a link to the comment section.