Saturday, July 4, 2009
WHAT ABOUT US...THOSE WITH LEGITIMATE CHRONIC PAIN???
Unless you have been living under a rock, no doubt you have heard about the death of Michael Jackson and the issue of his death being related to narcotic abuse. To top it off, there has also been a recommendation via the FDA committee to decrease the amount of acetaminophen allowed per day and further to also take combination drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet off the market.
Michael Jackson is certainly not the 1st celebrity to die as a result of narcotic abuse and he will likely not be the last. As sad and tragic as his death is, all of the controversy has only fostered a terrible fear in those that suffer with legitimate chronic pain, myself included.
Previous to my workplace injury, I did not have so much as a bottle of Tylenol or even aspirin in my home. As a teenager, I did not take drugs of any sort and did not allow myself to be influenced by peer pressure. That attitude carried on through to adulthood. Now, however, as a sufferer of chronic pain 24/7, without my medication, I can not function at all. In fact, without it, I can not get out of bed or even out of the fetal position as a result of the horrid pain. It has also lead to depression that I struggle with and has brought me to the point of feeling suicidal. Really scary stuff...
I have never been the type of person to even remotely contemplate ending my life, however, the pain is so very consuming that it drains the life right out of me. Anyone that suffers with chronic pain will understand exactly what I am saying. I do not wish to take these analgesics, and in fact wish I didn't need to, however the reality is, if I do not I have no quality of life whatsoever. Now, I as well as many others, risk losing access to the medications that allow us to somewhat function, and that my dear readers scares me to death, literally!
I have to assume that there is the potential for determining a method to ensure better safety with regard to taking narcotics. There has always been and will likely continue to be those whose only goal is to get "high" off of these drugs. Those with real pain however, their only goal is to obtain relief from the unrelenting pain that they live with daily. I have never felt the so called 'high' that others chase after. I have often said I wished I did, at least then I'd be enjoying myself amid all the suffering...Bottom line though-I simply just want relief from the pain.
I think with all of the issues surrounding these meds, it is about time that more research was done. Why not work toward finding an effective method of pain control that does not have all of the side-effects, including addiction. If there was a medication that decreased my pain and did not have the potential for addiction or any other side-effect, I would be first in line to try it.
There should also be stricter safe-guards put in place to make sure that those taking these drugs are taking them exactly as prescribed. I have never been asked to give blood or urine to assess the level of narcotics in my body. I would however, have no objection to being asked to do this. It certainly would be a great way to "weed out" those whose only goal is to get "high." It would be easy to tell if they were hiding something based upon their reaction to being asked to supply a blood or urine sample.
Clearly, I don't have all the answers and I don't know what the resolution is to this growing problem. I do believe though that if some effort was put into it, positive changes could be implemented without the risk of those suffering with chronic pain losing access to the meds that allow them quality of life. Anyone with chronic pain knows that it effects each and every facet of their lives and the meds that allow them some relief are ESSENTIAL. Without access to them, I have no doubt that the suicide rate would increase exponentially...
Be back soon. Until then take care and I wish for you-*good pain control* :>)