Dear Mr. Surgeon General,
Every day in America, people are waking up to pain, severely debilitating, lifelong, excruciating pain. The medication upon which they have relied for years to ease the pain to a point where it is tolerable enough for these people to go about their day has been taken. There is no hope for the future because our government has turned its back on them. In some misguided attempt at ending a heroin epidemic, something that just not that long ago was even known to have existed by the chronic pain patient, has turned their lives from “not that great” to a living hell where they have lost functioning, social interaction, and now alone and considering suicide as a means to end their pain.
Before the CDC and its “pals” carefully orchestrated a tsunami of pain and grief upon these innocent Americans, the chronic pain patient was able to live a semi-normal semblance of “life”. The chronic pain patient learned a long time ago that their quality of life just isn’t, and will never be, what it was before. Mourning for that person that you once were, you take it for face value. You have an injury or disease for which there is no cure. And you know, at least not in this lifetime, will there never be complete relief and an altered self image has now been burned into your soul that you won’t get to play ball with your younger grandchildren as you did your first ones not too many years ago, you won’t go to the movie theater with friends due to pain, shopping is out, as well as any other activity for which you used to enjoy, but took for granted. There are no operations or other procedures that can improve your condition. With the use of appropriate pain medication, you are able to get through your day, albiet in the now normal state of “getting through the day” rather than “enjoying the day”. But it’s okay, because it’s just the way things are. You weren’t as fortunate as the others.
After the CDC guidelines and deliberate social and media-driven attacks on chronic pain patients and the public outcries that “prescription opioids are killing the nation”, somewhere along the line, you lost your right to the very medication that made life worth living. Your doctor told you that he is no longer writing prescriptions for “opioids”, because they “weren’t good for you”. Are you kidding me doc? Pain isn’t good for me. Being unable to crawl out of bed without tears in the morning isn’t good. Missing meals because I’m unable to prepare them isn’t good. Hanging at the house with severe muscle spasms and a stabbing pain, similar to someone slamming a hatchet into your spine right around the upper shoulder level isn’t good. The stenosis in the lower back causing neuropathy into both legs and feet isn’t good. And you have medicine that will allow me to curb some of the pain to a point where I can at least function, yet you are withholding it from me because of some “state average” figure that helps me HOW???
Many Americans believe that since they enjoy good health, this doesn’t affect them. Here’s a head’s up … it could be you tomorrow. Not that I would wish it on anyone, but a simple twisting of the ankle accompanied by a good fall could land you into the same situation. A failed fusion causing RSD and/or CRPS. See how easily that happens? Now the person i described above is you. So, I guess, reality check … this affects everyone.