Reply To: VA taking away opiates from veterans

Home Page Forums Military/Veterans VA taking away opiates from veterans Reply To: VA taking away opiates from veterans


All of the posts under the “pain management” topic are old… are any of you posting authors still tracking?

I had to taper under the VA as well. I am extremely fortunate that my body is able to handle withdrawal without EXTREME discomfort (everybody is different), but the pain is so much worse than I imagined it would be after years of reasonable relief with the morphine. My VA prescription was at an incredible level at 460mg of MS Contin (morphine) daily towards the end of my VA prescription. I had been using morphine since 1985 (still on active duty until 1992 – then dropped after 18.5 yrs because of my lower back disability). Dealing with this pain without the buffer of a painkiller is the hardest part as my pain is with me ALWAYS. I cannot sleep in a conventional manner and can only sort of nap when my body is comfortable enough to do so at any time of the day or night.

I submitted a post earlier under the “pain” topic which describes my situation in a little more detail if any are interested.

Has anybody found any satisfaction or significant, real pain relief? I need to know ASAP as I am going through another breakthrough pain week and can no longer receive pain meds (oxycodone) from my civilian pain clinic. I read that there are a few of you who have had intrathecal pumps implanted into your abdomens, but the comments I have read here and on other sites indicate that the pumps are marginally useful, and only for moderate- to medium-level pain. It might just be another money-maker for the medical money machine – hospitals & facilities, pump surgeons and the RNs who perform the refills. My pump hasn’t provided any sort of relief from my pain – not one tiny bit. I tried fentanyl first, then morphine – no relief!!

According to my observations from frequent monitoring of the VA, I find that they have improved immensely under the scrutiny of one of our country’s former leaders, but this no-pain control mindset is KILLING veterans! Unchecked pain is just as dangerous as pain controlled by meds, so why doesn’t the VA err to the benefit of the veterans who served their country with the all-too-real possibility of coming back home hurt, disabled, or in a casket. Pain, however mild or strong, is a form of perpetual physical trauma.

I have looked for and tried everything that I thought might help to take my pain level down to a more tolerable level. DRs and RNs are liars when they say that it’s OK, all sufferers eventually grow accustomed to the pain. My pain clinic DR and RN just told me that today – so I and the Sierra Vista and Tucson, AZ Desert Sky Pain and Sports Medicine clinics are done as of today. I am moving on to my next potential solution.

When the VA took my pain relief away, I drank alcohol for relief. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but, despite what my DRs and RNs have said about alcohol, it actually helped me to a degree. Then I found out about Kratom. I tried it and it helped some as well – not a huge amount, but enough to ease things a little. The combination (Kratom/alcohol) was helpful to me, but turned out to be potentially dangerous to my health. I learned later that Kratom is as dangerous for the liver as alcohol if not more.

There are 4 factors that had a hand in causing issues with my liver, but the VA refuses to recognize or refer to anything but the alcohol use. The poison in the water at Camp Lejeune that I drank for 6 months every day (20yo in 1975) must have hurt my body/liver some. I was an athlete at the time and rehydrated daily after physical activities with several quarts of poison water to replenish the large amounts of water that I lost to perspiration. Rehydrating with poison in the water is like drinking a concentrated form of the chemicals in the water.

I took large, oral doses of MS Contin and other opioids for 35 yrs (since 1985) – couldn’t have helped my liver either. Kratom and alcohol (2016 through 2021) were what I was using before I learned that I was harming my major body organs. But, the VA only hears what they want and there is no official mention of possible damage caused by high doses of MS Contin, definitely nothing about the poison in the water at Camp Lejeune. And they don’t acknowledge that Kratom use can hurt the liver. They like to say that it is because of alcohol ONLY. It benefits the VA to classify me in that manner because it gives them the power to deny certain medications and medical services without detailed justification.

Also, it seems like the VA employees enjoy making entries in my health records that make me look a drug seeker. I heard about a treatment that was being performed in California which involves an infusion of Ketamine. I did not know what Ketamine was when my sister in CA told me about it. But when I asked a VA RN about it, she made a log entry stating that “patient is asking for illegal drugs.” I just don’t see compassion in many VA employees or at my former pain clinic nor do they try to understand what a patient is really saying rather than half-listening and assuming that they understand the whole story.

I am fighting all of this and will take it to the end. Although many of the remarks on this website are old, I’m hoping some of you are still monitoring this website. If anyone is interested in my progress – especially if I find some workable solution to my extreme pain – just reply and I will ensure that I keep interested pain-sufferers apprised of my progress.