Friday, December 11, 2015

Be Aware of the Statistics of the NIH Report

Be Aware of the Statistics of the NIH Report 

We all need to be aware of the statistics in this 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,  The statistics given regarding the amount of chronic pain sufferers in the USA have been overlooked by not just the media and the general public, but also by many attempting to make regulations without seeming to comprehend what this study affirms. Regulations that already affect many of us, and will affect the majority of US citizens due to the fact that 1 in 4 will be affected by chronic pain at some point in their life. 
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Among the many other subjects covered, this report states that there are 100 million chronic pain sufferers in America. Of those, 25 million suffer with moderate to severe chronic pain. 
This report by the National Institute of Health also states that 2% abuse their prescribed narcotics! We cannot overlook that at all, but, what about the 98%? 

There are 98% of these sufferers that are using their prescribed medications APPROPRIATELY! Medications, that by the way, are needed to try and live somewhat of a functional life…a life shredded to pieces by chronic pain! A life some may describe as a "life of hell!" Many cannot comprehend such a life! It can be hard enough for those living with unending, all encompassing,  overwhelming moderate to severe chronic pain to even comprehend the magnitude of such a reality!

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 are these people not receiving appropriated care? We hear about those abusing their medications all the time. Why does the media fail to notice the information 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? How are they being treated? 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!
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Sadly, many are even accused by some family and friends as abusers. And then there are other people as well that don't even know us, 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," "taking the system for all you can!” etc.

There are many faces of chronic pain, from very young, teens, twenties on up to the elderly. It has no respect for age, race, education or social status! I once heard an elderly woman in her 80’s tell me her daughter told her not to take the medication her physician prescribed her for pain from a fractured vertebrae, “because she would get addicted!” So the poor dear suffers every single day, all day long, hardly able to get out of her chair to get up and walk around due to this pain. Not only that, but she is
even unable to sleep well! And this was based on the fact that 2% abuse their medications? Yes, this information is far reaching; it affects even the elderly, isolated in their homes!

There needs to be an awareness of the appropriate use of a medication that helps people get up and be as functional as possible, not to be stuck in their recliner all day, unable to get up and walk around leading to increased weakness, decreased circulation, as well as many other side effects of being immobile.


Chronic pain leaves so many grieving so many losses! Much more than you would even know unless you suffer from such a debilitating disease, or have a loved one that does. This is an article related to losses by those that live with moderate to severe chronic pain, Look at Our Losses .

As a health care worker going through the process of finding appropriate care for chronic pain 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 having episodes of 8-10/10 pain, where I was curled up in a ball, could barely breathe, shaking and ended up vomiting from the pain on multiple occasions! 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 to be heard! I had to go to four different specialists before someone finally said, "Hey, let's see what we can do about this pain!" What is up with that! Especially when I had objective data of the damage nerves along my spine, as well as documentation by a surgeon! WHY is this happening to so many people!

Whether we are part of the 98% or the 2% we all deserve to be treated with compassion and appropriate treatment with out being verbally and physically abused!
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This blog is for all of us with chronic pain! Do you have a favorite topic on chronic pain, documentary, book, video or even a blog to share you'd like me to cover in this blog? I'd love to hear about it! Share in the comments below.

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  1. How do I subscribe? I won't go into it again, as I am drained, but I have CRPS, Ehlers Danlos hyper mobility type, narcolepsy with cateplexy, Interstitial cystitis, and fibromyalgia. I developed the CRPS after two foot surgeries, the first botched and the second for reconstruction and bone grafting. I haven't been able to walk for 5 months, and was medically terminated in December. I was,am, an RN whose passion was in helping others get the treatment they so deserved. Im now lost and depressed, I haven't moved all day, no lights, no TV. If I turn on the lights Ican see all the things I need to do that I can't do anymore. I would love to subscribe

    1. Mary, you can subscribe on the right and left side of the page in the area that says "subscribe here" or you can sign up on the left side of the page where it says to enter your email. I do want you to know I did see your comment on the Trial by Fire article as well and replied there. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you find the articles helpful on your journey. Do you have a support group you belong too? It helps to have others that deal with this same horrid experiences. let me know if you need help finding one dear suffering friend.

  2. I'm so happy I found this site today. I look forward to reading all of the topics listed. Particularly grateful to know that I'm not alone in my pain. Although it feels so incredibly lonely everyday. I like the cooking ideas and current information about legislation regarding pain medication. Although. I to find this incredibly disheartening. Thank you, Sharon

    1. Sharon, thank you for letting me know you found this blog helpful! Let me know if you have not been able to find a support group that is fitting for you. Belonging to a support group is very helpful so you don't feel so alone in your pain. It is a very isolating disease. Thank you for reading the many articles I have written and telling me about it! It gives me encouragement to continue! Email me if you need help locating a support group!


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