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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Dancing with the Mop

In a strange way, the constant pain is a gift. Without it I wouldn’t notice how wonderful some days are.

Hello dear reader.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter and that today finds you well.

I’ve had almost five good days in a row! I think we may have finally gotten the right combination of meds going. I said almost five because today would have been the fifth, but I was up most of last night in pain.

Monday I got a letter from my insurance company (Medicare/Medicaid) saying they won’t cover the long-acting medication. I called my doctor’s office yesterday and they’re doing the whole “prior authorization” thing. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s about 50/50.

That letter really upset me. They do this to me a lot and normally it’s not a huge deal. If they won’t approve it we’ll use something else. I just want something that will keep the pain down enough that I can get out of bed.

I had honestly forgotten what it was to feel good. Friday I was dancing with the mop. I haven’t done that in… I can’t even remember the last time. I felt like me, a me I thought had been destroyed by my illnesses.

Okay, so I was in the kitchen wearing jeans and a t-shirt with my back brace on, and I look about 100 years old, but this is how it felt! Now that I’ve discovered it’s not completely gone, I don’t want them to take it away.

Enough about that. I’ll keep you posted on what happens. Now let’s move on.

I really want to focus on the (almost) five days of feeling good. I made it a point to be completely present and aware. That’s the point. We (people who live with chronic pain) enjoy the good days to the max when we get them. Feeling good and having energy is something healthy people take for granted. We don’t. It’s like people who’ve never seen darkness don’t really appreciate the light. People who’ve never been lonely don’t get excited about having a friend. I try to enjoy the good days 10x more than I hate the bad ones. I hang on to them for dear life during the dark days.

In a strange way, the constant pain is a gift. Without it I wouldn’t notice how wonderful some days are. I’d just sleepwalk through them. How do I know? Because that’s how it used to be for me.

click here for a song that fits this.

What’s a good day for you? How do you celebrate them?

Until next time…