Pain: A Back Story
Rachel Eve Stein
223

I am so sorry for what you have endured Rachel. I can only say you are not alone. I have lived with chronic pain for three years now after I almost died from an attack of necrotizing pancreatitis. I argue that my “resting” pain level is high enough that a “normal” person would run to the nearest ER and beg for mercy if they experienced it for only a few moments. Yet, I have learned to live with it, but I regularly experience severe pain above and beyond this baseline level. The only word I have to describe it is crippling.

The only drugs I have ever been given that even touch the pain I experience are the opiates. Like you it is simply impossible to describe the relief I have experienced the few times when doctors have taken pity on me and written me prescriptions for high doses of these miracle drugs. The one time I was prescribed 30mg OxyContin I felt like a normal member of the human race for an entire month. I was able to work, go to the store, sleep, eat, all like normal persons do. Unfortunately the government and most people look down on people like us. They say we are addicts and/or weak willed. Prescription opiate use has resulted in so many deaths and led to the spiraling heroin epidemic we see today. We we have been stigmatized as part of the problem. The doctors who dare to show mercy on us. Dare to try and help us are threatened and intimidated. Today I bounce from Doctor to Doctor pleading for help. Begging for mercy. Most doctors look at me with pity. They apologize for not being able to help. They know the drugs they could prescribe that would help me. However they are so scared of the Feds that doing so is simply not an option.

And so here I sit in agony each and every day. I know there exists a class of drugs that would help me. Yet I am not able to access them. No doctor is willing to prescribe them anymore. America’s ridiculous and failed war on drugs has claimed yet another victim.

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