The Crackdown

It’s literally life and death and I, for one, will not go down without a fight.

Hello dear reader.

I read an article in the New York Post written by Betsy Mccaugh called The Insane Crackdown on Pain Medication. I’ve written several posts about this issue, but I believe people like me who deal with chronic pain are the invisible casualties of this “crisis” and I’m doing all I can to be seen.

Here are some of the facts being overlooked or twisted…”Politicians parrot a false narrative that millions of people are becoming drug addicts because of prescriptions their doctor gave them for pain.” The truth is that…”Only about 1 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain become addicted — according to a systematic survey of peer-reviewed medical studies

Here’s another fact that contradicts what we’re being told by the government…”Illegal drugs cause nearly all overdose deaths, not drugs patients get from their doctor.The fact is that “Fewer than one in five overdose victims even had a prescription drug in their system, and it was virtually never the only drug.

Here’s what it boils down to, the people abusing pain medications get it illegally, and will continue to do so. That’s what needs to be stopped.

It’s very difficult to misuse pain medications you get from a pain management doctor. I go to my doctor once a month (a five hour round trip). Every visit I am required to do a UA which looks for every drug in my system, including alcohol. If anything besides my prescribed medication is found, I risk no longer being treated there. If the levels of my prescribed medication are wrong (too high or too low), I am at risk of no longer being treated there. What’s wrong with the levels being too low? That means you either took too many when you got them or are selling them. I’m sure there are ways around these safeguards, but it wouldn’t be easy and I don’t think it could be done for any length of time.

I went to my doctor last week and while I was there I asked him what to expect going forward. He told me about ‘morphine equivalency’ and that by the end of this year nobody will be able to be above a morphine equivalency of 90. I asked him what the morphine equivalency of what I take now was. He did some quick math and said approximately 170. So my pain medication is roughly going to be cut in half.

With the levels I’m on now, I’m functional approximately 60% of the time. Cut that in half and I’m looking at being in too much pain to function 70% of the time. That’s not a life. It’s torture.

There are many other people in the same situation I’m in. We need to make them see us, make them realize what they’re doing to us, and hopefully change the way this crisis is being handled. Personally, I’m scared to death. If you or someone you know lives with chronic, debilitating pain please add your voice to mine. It’s literally life and death and I, for one, will not go down without a fight.

Until next time…

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What is strength?

Strength means different things at different times and different things to different people.

Hello dear reader.

The following quote comes from an article in The Mighty written by Mary Lynn Johnson. It really spoke to me when I read it.

“Strength isn’t the opposite of weakness. It’s in a category of its own. Strength is choosing to keep pushing and reaching when everything is in the way of where you want to go. Strength is born out of the imperfect places in our lives that stretch us farther than we ever thought possible. Strength means not giving up, and that means you keep showing up.”

You can read the entire article here.

This quote challenges one of the biggest misconceptions about what it means to be strong…it “isn’t the opposite of weakness.” People tend to see a straight line with weakness on one end and strength on the other, but that’s not the way it goes. Strength and weakness can, and often do, occur at the same time. There are a lot of ways they both come into play. They can be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and more. I can be strong mentally and weak physically. I can be strong physically (it happens occasionally 😉) and weak spiritually. There are any number of ways they can happen together.

Strength and weakness are also relative. These days I feel strong physically when I can sweep my floors. Before I got so sick, sweeping the floor was nothing, just one in a miriad of chores I did daily.

Some days it takes all the strength I can muster to take a shower. Other days, that’s nothing.

Strength means “not giving up, and that means you keep showing up.” I try every day to get up, get dressed, and be part of the day. That’s not always possible. But I try again and again and again. I celebrate the days I can do it, and I accept the days I can’t. I don’t give up. I show up.

Strength means different things at different times and different things to different people.

There’s a comment box at the end of this post for comments, suggestions, and/or questions. What does strength mean to you? I’d love to know what you think.

Until next time…