A Day in the Life of Chronic Pain- a liar in your eyes
When did I become a liar in your eyes? By Chris Meisenbacher
When did I become a liar in your eyes? You were there before this all happened to me, you trusted me then, but not now, why? We pledged our Love for one another, you raised me, I raised you. You are my brother, my sister, by birth and or by choice. As my body slowly betrayed me, I have seen more than my share of Physicians. I believe most cared, as have most of you. Besides, they were the ones who diagnosed me; operated on me; medicated me, year after year.
I am writing this on behalf of, the 100 million or more (well, the truth even in that number from the CDC is changed to suit the needs of whoever) Americans who, deal with “Chronic Pain!” I want to be clear here, the only way to understand, “Persistent Pain” is to be subjected to it each day! Still, how the Pain affects us is only part of the equation. How our personal Torment affects our Family, Friends, the Medical Profession, and the Government, well that is the true Torture we go through.
Sadly, my story is too familiar, but that is what will make it relevant. I worked hard. We were raising children and I did whatever I could, to put food on the table a roof over their heads. I knew Pain early and it ran parallel to the way I worked. To keep things relevant for the overall discussion, I will not get specific. That said, after several Specialist giving a unified, “Sorry Nothing Can Be Done.” A Judge agreed, now more than 16 years later, I have been disabled.
Hearing those words were a double edge sword, one of relief that I was not crazy or lazy. The other, my heart was ripped out as if, I did not need it anymore. Most of my life was me, pushing through doing whatever I could so, I was able to respect my reflection. People look at those with, “Chronic Pain” as if we have just given up and given into the Pain. There are things that only we understand, this is a big one. When you are told what, you can or cannot do and your body mandating your attention, you must come to terms and listen to your body and Doctors. Don’t look in the mirror and start listing stipulations or excuses to yourself. But, what they see as giving up and giving into Pains demands, is really you are learning how to live all over again.
To those who didn’t know us before, Pain consumed our ability to, follow our driven hearts to work and achieve all that we did. When they judge us, well we know ignorance is bliss. Yet, when those who did know us before and certainly benefited and profited, off our actions judge us then, ignorance is just cruel and very painful. They witnessed as the disorder, failed surgery, disease, or whatever introduced Pain into our life. The ones closest to us observed, no witnessed, the slow decline of our strength and many of our abilities, until we were just a shadow of who we were. The plans, the parties, or any of the appointments we had to cancel or change, you knew or should have known that, they meant as much or more to me. Those are memories I will never cherish, yet some hold resentments against me. The business and promotions we worked so hard for, are now lost.
Yes, the shattering reality and deepest cut come from our families and our friends. However, we live in an unusual time yet, rather distinctive. We have all heard of, “the opiate epidemic.” One definition states 1: affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time. 2: affecting or tending to affect an atypically large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time. If, there is an opiate epidemic, then by the definition of an epidemic, those with Chronic Pain overshadows most others.
I love words and the ability they give us to, share thought, ideas, and facts. Thoughts and ideas are, personal and empower the individual with the capability to, teach those who desire knowledge. When it comes to views and notions, they can always be weighed, against the source. Yet, when it comes to facts based on figures, they should never be subjective. Because, numbers have the authority to, influence opinions and authenticate assessments. Remember, the double edge sword? It applies here as well, maybe even in a stronger sense. Views and thoughts can be adopted or dismissed, but numbers must add up. When they do not, the source is questioned, their agenda exposed and perchance rejected.
So, it is what we have been told. You can look for yourself at the numbers from the CDC. released a new report “Opioid Overdose Statistics: As Clear as Mud”. from https://www.painnewsnetwork.org https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/12/26/new-cdc-overdose-study-reduces-role-of-pain-meds These are just a few links from “Pain News Network.”
While the government spends $2,562 on research for every person with HIV/AIDS, it spends only $4 for every person with pain. Despite these overwhelming statistics, chronic pain remains one of the most poorly understood and underfunded services in global healthcare. If you put the first sentence in a search you will see it has come from many sources, including “Pharmacist Steve.”
“In other words, drug development is hard. And despite enthusiastic media coverage of new drugs, often labeled as promising alternatives for “deadly opioids,” we shouldn’t expect a medication with no risk of abuse or addiction to appear any time soon, assuming that is even possible. And none of this matter if you are facing a major surgery, chemotherapy, or life with a chronic medical disorder right now.
“In the past 30 years, there haven’t been more than 3 new chemical entities approved by the FDA. One reason is that we don’t understand enough about the different mechanisms generating pain,” Webster explained. “I see our current approach is similar to how cancer research was conducted 60 years ago. Back then most cancers were treated with the same monotherapies. Once research delved into the multi-mechanistic contributions to cancer, therapeutic advances were possible. We need to do the same for pain. And insurance has to pay for the innovations.”
“Pain is unfortunately penalized by society. People feel there is enough treatment available,” said Grünenthal’s Baertschi. “There are a lot of very good pain therapies out there. But there are quite a few areas, especially niche areas and specific pain types, that are not being treated adequately and that’s where we focus our research.”
Opioid medications are already here. They work. Their risks have been amply described in the media with phrases like “highly addictive opioid” or “dangerous opioid,” but never with modifiers like “life-saving” or “function-preserving.”
Few people doubt the need for careful opioid prescribing, the importance of prescription drug monitoring programs, and the value of shutting down pill mills, but too many are ignoring the medical importance of opioids
Everyone recognizes the tragedy of overdose deaths. Nothing can express the significance of the loss of a family member or friend to addiction and overdose. But let’s also not understate the importance of preserving life, of restoring function, and minimizing suffering. In other words, let’s prevent both tragedies. Let opioid medications do what they can do, and make sure they do that and nothing else.” By Roger Chriss https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/4/4/the-rest-of-the-opioid-story
I find as I continue with my words, a little trepidation. I do have “Persistent Pain,” as selfish as it sounds I would not want any things to interfere with, the help I do receive. It does sound silly but, it brings me to a very important point. In today’s climate, those dealing with the “Misery” I have been sharing about, we can become very nervous with anything that could obstruct, the help we are getting. Truth be told, every time we go for our appointments, feeling anxious sadly is quite common. And, I am one who is getting help, more than many. But, I do feel an obligation to those who are needlessly suffering. I am in “Constant Pain” so I do understand. I can also, write which I do feel I should. If, after I post this something changes well, that will tell a story as well.
Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. The chart below depicts the number of chronic pain sufferers compared to other major health conditions.
Number of Sufferers
100 million Americans
Institute of Medicine of The National Academies (2)
25.8 million Americans
(diagnosed and estimated undiagnosed)
American Diabetes Association (3)
Coronary Heart Disease
(heart attack and chest pain)
16.3 million Americans
7.0 million Americans
American Heart Association (4)
11.9 million Americans
American Cancer Society (5)
As I wrote earlier, the number of those who suffer under the demanding hand of Constant Pain, seem to vary. This one made me at least smile.
Based on data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the study estimates that within a previous three-month period, 25 million U.S. adults had daily chronic pain, and 23 million more reported severe pain. Those with serious pain need and use more health care services and suffer greater disability then persons with less severe pain. Other degenerative changes in the spine, such as osteophytes (bone spurs), spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canals) and osteoarthritis (inflammation of joints in the spine), all may produce symptoms of pain, stiffness, weakness, numbness, and tingling — especially if the nerve roots extending from the spinal cord, or the spinal cord itself, are impinged. Pain may worsen when sneezing, coughing or overexerting — and even when reclining, sitting, or standing too long.
Nearly 75 percent of all deaths in the United States are attributed to just 10 causes, with the top three of this accounting for over 50 percent of all deaths. Over the last 5 years, the main causes of death in the U.S. have remained consistent.
The top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.:
· Heart disease 614,348
· Cancer (malignant neoplasms) 591,699
· Chronic lower respiratory disease 147,101
· Accidents (unintentional injuries) 136,053
· Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases) 133,103
· Alzheimer’s disease 95,541
· Diabetes 76,488
· Influenza and pneumonia 55,227
· Suicide 42,773
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929.php#kidney_disease_causes Written by Hannah NicholsReviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PMHNP-BC, GNP-BC, CARN-AP, MCHES Last updated: Thu 23 February 2017
All these numbers give an account. The statement I am trying to expose is this, yes some have overdosed on prescription drugs. But, to find the number of, who have O.D. while under a Drs. care for over 10 years or more, I have not found yet. Still, the news speaks of the “Opiates Epidemic,” as these numbers tell a different tell. The CDC gave out 3 different numbers in 2015, why? They have changed the effectiveness, of many of our meds. I do believe many do care. At the same time, those of us who have been, “Enduring Suffering” for long enough to remember, our meds before they changed them. We had at least some part of a life that was taken away, the meds gave some of that back. Not any longer, at least to the degree we once had.
I guess the biggest reason I am writing this is, for those in Pain to show their families, friends, and so they know they are not alone. If, we follow the same train of thought what would our world look like? No sugar, salt, total and saturated fat, we all would have to exercise, no one would be allowed to become overweight. No alcohol, cigarettes, no hospitals, no cars, only healthy meals, only water to drink. The government would have to treat us like children. Prohibition killed at least 10,000 people, caused was about a billion dollars. Changed attitudes towards the law and religion. Organized crime got a secure foothold. Overburdened the court systems, our society was changed and not for the good.
Now, people are suffering, Drs. scared; getting fired, leaving a few to carry a tremendous load. As, the government is cracking down on those who, want to care and do their job. So, many things are happening, people are suffering in pain and getting the idea no one cares. We need to at least look at each case differently, not as if the same. Pain causes so many problems. We need to know people care. Many problems are being created, prohibition should have taught us more than it has if it did it is a mystery to 50 to a 100 million or more people.