Sunday, September 16, 2012

Anatomy of an Epidemic: The Opioid Movie - Pain Management Center -

 the point of the video was to explain that there were patients who could take opioids and not turn into "classic drug addicts."
"I would not be able to do the work I love here if I did not take the medicine," she said. "I would be lying on the bed with a heating pad."

Susan had tried for years to manage her pain. Some doctors thought she was an addict seeking pain pills, she said. The pain was so bad that she discussed suicide with her husband. Before finding Spanos and OxyContin, she was required to pick up one day's worth of medicine at a pharmacy each morning.

In the video, Susan said finding the right medicine made her life "wonderful again."

"I have found life again and it is worth living now. And I'm so grateful," she said.

"If Susan didn't have the painkillers, she couldn't function at all," Kevin said.

The three patients in the video who say OxyContin has helped them are worried that additional restrictions on prescribing narcotics might prevent people like them from getting the pain relief they need.

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Yes, there are people with addictive personalities who should not get these drugs, but they can generally be weeded out in advance.

I spent SEVEN YEARS begging for pain pills, until I finally got a prescription for something so mild it's sold over the counter in Canada.  That took the edge off enough so I could sleep a little.  Think about that, folks, seven years of constant pain, sleeping only 2 hours a night when the exhaustion finally overwhelmed the pain, and the doctors did nothing but tell me I was imagining things, assuring me that I was sleeping more than I thought ... even on nights when I had knit a scarf or read a book to prove that I was NOT asleep.

Then I got Vicodin after oral surgery and was able to sleep 5-6 hours in one chunk.  Sleep is the great healer; after 5 years of sleeping decently, I feel almost human again, but the physical damage from years without sleep is likely permanent.  I'll never be the athlete I once was, because doctors refused to take my pain seriously.  They were more concerned that treating the pain would make me an addict than they were about getting me well enough to return to work.  And, although that medical group HAS a pain management specialist, who says "pain is what the patient says it is", you cannot go to him without a referral from another doctor in the medical group, and the only referral any of them were willing to give me was to a psychiatrist.  When I came back with a clean bill of mental health, it didn't faze them, they wanted me to keep seeing shrinks until I found one who said what they wanted to hear.


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