Written by TPC Community Member

It is now nearing 30 years since this pain journey started for me. Seems as though that was a lifetime ago.

My pain started out to be manageable and daily life went on. As time marched on, it became a little harder to manage. With the support of my wonderful husband, we worked together, for the sake of our children who needed their Mom. Smiles all around were front and center until after the youngsters were sleeping peacefully in their beds. Then, sheer agony crept in on me during the dark hours of the night until the sun rose again. The next morning–it was smiles and sunshine again as the children arose from their enviable slumber. This continued as they grew into adults and moved away to start their own families.

Now, there are grandchildren and this familiar dance resumed. No matter how bad the pain is, the smiles are always there when in the presence of those very special little people. There can be no tears or agony—no there can be none of that because these little people need a grandparent who is present. A grandparent who is at school plays, a grandparent who is present for breakfast at school, band concerts and more. A grandparent who makes sleep-overs fun and lets them stay up late and eat junk food. A grandparent who is always ready to play the newest make-believe game they thought up.

Over these years, my pain has become increasingly more difficult to manage. I was not prepared for where I am today. Even though I know that the ongoing damage to my body cannot be repaired or replaced, it becomes more evident as each day passes that it is much harder for me to put one foot in front of the other.

THERE is another factor which makes a big difference in my life and pain care. Now, thanks to the “opioid epidemic” it is nearly impossible to find a healthcare provider willing to help me just survive day to day while living with 24/7 pain. NOW, there are insurance companies refusing to pay for FDA-approved pain medications. NOW, there are pain management clinics that “WON’T” prescribe pain medications. NOW, there are politicians in Washington, D.C., trying to get the FDA-approved pain medications limited only to hospice.

So, I have a question:  Since when did politicians become experts on what life with chronic pain and illness is like? What the hell made them experts in medical care all of sudden? Since when do they know what medications should be prescribed and not prescribed? I have this to say to all of the politicians—local, state and federal– who are trying to win the next election at the cost of my healthcare and my ability to function day to day while living with pain: “get the hell out of my doctors exam room!”

Please allow me to educate “YOU”… the insurance companies, Senators, members of Congress, State Governors, State policymakers, local mayors and city council members. You don’t know anything about the opioid epidemic except what you are told by people that gave themselves the title of pain expert and the media who gets it wrong more than 90% of the time.

Here’s an idea! Why don’t you stop spreading bogus studies, untrue and made up statistics, and try talking to someone who has lived with pain for years. Talk to someone who has had doctors who helped them to have quality of life, who helped them live life the best way they could. Talk with those with pain, who were able to work, to play, to travel, to take care of simple basic needs before it all went to hell and you lumped legitimate patients in with those who suffer from substance abuse and addiction.

There are innocent patients who have real physical pain and have taken FDA approved medications for years and years. They are NOT addicted; they are NOT selling their prescriptions; they are NOT giving them away to others; they are NOT letting people steal them.

You know why?

Legitimate pain patients know that their medications are one of the few things that allows them to have some sense of normalcy in their lives. They KNOW that their medication allows them to get up each morning and go to a job to make a living. They KNOW that their medication allows them to play with children and grandchildren. They KNOW that their medication keeps them from losing their minds due to unrelenting pain. They KNOW that their medication isn’t being abused or misused. They KNOW that their medication is locked up in a safe, away from little hands or those who do choose to abuse and misuse.

For the sake of all that is right, STOP and listen. STOP and become educated about chronic pain and illness. Talk to the real experts—the people who live with pain and the doctors who still treat pain.

Just STOP and hear the millions of stories of legitimate patients who live with pain…it is time that you show the country that the lives of those who are fighting chronic pain and chronic illness are as important as those who are fighting the disease of addiction!

STOP the madness now before more lives are lost to suicide because the FDA approved medications are stripped away from legitimate pain patients overnight.

STOP and realize that by restricting the FDA prescription pain medications, “YOU, the insurance companies, Senators, members of Congress, State Governors, State policymakers, local mayors and city council members, are forcing legitimate pain patients to seek treatments by whatever means they can.

You in fact are part of the problem by forcing people to look at illicit street drugs as their safety net. STOP and realize that “YOU” are making the opioid epidemic worse with your worthless policies, bills and laws!

I am tired, so very tired of fighting to be allowed to have my pain treated so I can live my life the best I can.

I am tired of the lies, the bogus studies, the so-called experts who don’t know anything about pain management.


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