OVERLOOKING THE 98% SUFFERING AND USING MED APPROPRIATELY!
The National Pain Report did a story on the June, 2015 TIME magazine’s cover story on pain killers, Time Magazine Releases Cover Story on Pain Killers.
As reported by National Pain Report, this TIME magazine "article doesn’t speak much to the issue of chronic pain, for which many prescriptions are written, other than to say 100-million people suffer from it and a quarter of them says it is severe enough to limit their quality of life, according to the Institutes of Medicine."
Over the past 5 years, I have been learning to live with moderate to severe, 24/7 chronic pain caused by multiple cervical and lumbar spine diseases, leading to multiple spine surgeries, resulting in spinal nerve damage and a neurological disease called Central Pain Syndrome.
We all need to be aware that among this epidemic of opioid abuse is a pandemic of those suffering with chronic pain that appears to be largely overlooked by the media. To get an idea of the vast amount of people affected by chronic pain in the United States we need to look at the statistics in the report released February, 2015 by the National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain. This is the link, http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2089371.
Among the many subjects covered in this report, it states that there are 100 million chronic pain sufferers in America. Of those, 25 million suffer with moderate to severe chronic pain. It also states that 2% of those that are prescribed opioids, abuse them. We cannot overlook that at all, that seriously needs to be dealt with.
There are 98% of chronic pain sufferers that are using their prescribed medications APPROPRIATELY! Medications, which by the way, that are legally prescribed by physicians for diseases that cause chronic pain and are required to enable sufferers to endure living with this horrific disease, giving them a means to attempt to live somewhat of a functional life…a life shredded to pieces by all the losses chronic pain brings!
This life leaves so many grieving so many losses! Much more than you would even know unless you suffer from debilitating chronic pain or have a loved one that does. It is a hard thing to comprehend living in unending, all encompassing, overwhelming, gripping, deep, crushing, burning, shooting pain at magnitudes of your worse tooth ache. It can be hard enough for those living with this 24/7, moderate to severe chronic pain to even comprehend the enormity of such a reality to be endured for the rest of their life. A life many choose not to continue with.
What would you do if you went to a dentist for an abscessed tooth and was told, “I am sorry, there is nothing I can do about it. You will have to learn to live with it. Then be accused of faking it, and seeking drugs? Imagine the disbelief! Imagine having to seek for someone to help you!
Who will be the voices for the 98% of chronic pain sufferers being treated as drug seekers, degraded and demeaned by health care workers, as well as family and friends, because of the 2% that are abusing? Not only is it the healthcare workers, family and friends, there are other people as well that don't even know us sufferers, but just have an "opinion!" All the narcotic users are generalized into one big group of "pill poppers," "druggies," "drug seekers," "using the system," "lazy," "faking," plus a lot more. It is endless.
It is so extremely demeaning to have one’s life boiled down to such clichés by people that have no idea whatsoever to live in 24/7 horrific pain! No one has the right to have an opinion on something so intensely personal and heartbreaking happening in someone else’s life!
You know, I said that wrong! It is not for the 98%, but for 100%! No matter if we are abusing or not, we ALL deserve, as human beings, to be treated respectfully and appropriately! We do not deserve the verbal abuse, as well as the physical abuse due to being denied help for a medical condition that takes over one’s body and leaves us having to go and ask for help to live our lives! Of which for many, leads to pleading for help and being denied!
As a health care worker going through this process the past 5+ years I was appalled at how I was treated, how I was spoken to, yelled at and demeaned! Having treatments held back when I was reporting episodes where I was curled up in a ball, could barely breathe, shaking and ended up vomiting from the pain! And this is after it was documented by my surgeon that, "this patient will never be without pain!” As well as objective data that shows up on MRI's, and a CT Myelogram. It took me 15 months and having to push for a second referral and go to four different specialists before someone finally said, "Hey, let's see what we can do about this pain!"
TIME Magazine please be fair with your reporting! You are overlooking literally millions (25 millions suffering moderate to severe pain per the NIH report mentioned above)! With such a large part of our population suffering one would think you would report fully and accurately to cover this pandemic of horror in your reporting. Please be a voice for those of us suffering with chronic pain!
This report stated, "Yet, evidence also indicates that 40% to 70% of persons with chronic pain do not receive proper medical treatment, with concerns for both over-treatment and under-treatment. Together, the prevalence of chronic pain and the increasing use of opioids have created a “silent epidemic” of distress, disability, and danger to a large percentage of Americans. The overriding question is: Are we, as a nation, approaching management of chronic pain in the best possible manner that maximizes effectiveness and minimizes harm?"
Why in this day and age are these numbers so high?
Why does the media fail to notice the statistics of the NIH report?
Why do we not hear of these 100 million human beings that are suffering? Of those, 25 million living in the anguish of moderate to severe pain!
What are their stories?
Why are these people suffering from chronic pain not receiving appropriated care? We hear about those abusing their medications all the time. Why do we not hear about the lack of care, verbal and physical abuse of those seeking treatment?
Why doesn’t the media investigate the chronic pain sufferers within that 98%? Some of which are going from doctor to doctor pleading for help and compassion, only to be treated as drug seekers and abusers, degraded and demeaned, as well as ignored and verbally abused by many health care workers because of prejudices due to the 2% that are abusing their narcotics!