CHRONIC PAIN

Tyler_Sash

IN MEMORY OF THE LATE TYLER SASH.

(Dead at the age of 27)

Dear Politician,

I am a disabled vet. While I agree many people are easily addicted to pain medications, You CANNOT throw the baby out with the bath water.

Chronic Pain for inoperable conditions are the price middle class Baby Boomers are paying for building America.

TOS XRAY

X-Ray of rare rib invading nerve bundle

What used to take four 200 pound men to lift can now be done with robotics.  But from 1946 to the 21st century it wasn’t always like that.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that “Physiatry” became a respected semi-invasive discipline.

Because heavy lifting was required to build the infrastructure of our great State and Nation, a physiological price was paid. Spinal injury among others became as common as carpal tunnel syndrome.  Manual laborers were not required to wear back braces until the late 1980s.

TOS

Rare extra Rib on R-side of picture

BACK SURGERY
Remedies for back injuries are a crap shoot at best.  It wasn’t until the 1990s that “Physiatry” became a respected semi-invasive discipline. Pain management is an answer but not a good one. Physiatry is the field of “curing successful neurosurgical” operations. Disc fusions and laminectomies often leave the patient in more pain from scar tissue than the original disc pathology.

Physiatry is the field of “curing successful neurosurgical” operations

Patients over dosing
Chronic pain treatment should only be made available after a psychiatric workup has been done on the patient. Pain pills are like bullets and pain treatment is very similar to the 2nd amendment. Patients taking narcotics need to be responsible. Pain pills don’t kill, irresponsible patients abusing them kill. For that matter; there are plenty of over the counter drugs that can kill legally if abused.

Legislation
I’ve been suffering from an injury in 1996.  I responsibly went through pernicious radiological exams and MRIs that left me with few options.  The last thing a true  disabled chronic pain patient needs is more legislation that makes it difficult to attain something they don’t really want to take. After years of narcotic pain treatment (as well as multiple steroid injections)the pain management patient no longer experiences euphoria or a “high” from the medication. It only “Takes the edge off the sharp pain”.

After years of narcotic pain treatment

the pain management patient no longer experiences euphoria

The Answer
The answer is not passing legislation that handcuffs doctors that sincerely provide legitimate treatment. The think tanks must know that Chronic pain is a real problem that was a result of hard working Americans who built this country. (Not to mention soldiers told to follow orders) It needs to be understood that many Chronic pain patients retire in remote states because the cost of living is more affordable. (Than California or New York). Until a non-narcotic pill becomes available, there will be no pragmatic answer. I might add that it’s not the pills that kill as much as it is the pain. I can only imagine that those who overdose, do so because they cannot tolerate the pain. They don’t want to overdose, yet the pain is an ugly game changer.  I’m sure there are those that think pain pills are party favors like other recreational illegal drugs.  To the patient that needs a reliable form of pain relief; narcotics are currently the only proven form of practical relief. Again, it’s not a good option, but it’s the best. Sort of like our government.

Get the economy and GDP up and healthy people won’t have time to abuse drugs. As our economy declined, vices and crime have increased. If I were not disabled, I would be out camping on weekends or working on my car. Sadly, without pain management, the best I can do is lay flat on my back and try not to move.  Even with pain management, I’m restricted to what I can and can’t do.  I used to be able to coach baseball. I taught pitchers how to throw sliders. Today I can’t even play catch with my son.

Please don’t pass any laws that make it harder for patients in pain to get access to the medications that keep them somewhat mobile until science comes out with a pain reliever that is safe.

Albert Schweitzer wrote:

“We must all die. But that I can save him from days of torture, that is what I feel as my great and ever new privilege. Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death itself”.

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