No longer a mere statistic

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(Seashell)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 606
   Posted 7/17/2017 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I have followed the rising statistics of pain patients who have chosen suicide owing to intractable pain when they no longer had access to prescription optiates through their medical provider/physician.

I read the news reports of suicide with a saddened heart and a felling of kindred spirit - even though I do not know the people identified. I "feel" the pain of others likely afflicted with severe, ongoing pain.

The suicide statistics of pain patients has become real and personal to me.

Last month, a close friend of my family made an irreversible act to jump off of a 4th floor balcony - sustaining life threatening injuries that she succumbed to last week. She left a explanatory note to her family, citing that she could no longer tolerate living in pain. She had been on prescription opiates for rheumatoid arthritis and had been subjected to unilateral dose reductions by her provider given the increasingly restrictive environment.

Her name was Jenny. Jenny was 56 years of age. A wife, a mother, and a new grand-mother. A former dental hygentist. A gardening enthusiast. A lover of dogs. A woman with a gentle soul and a kind heart. Jenny represents a light extinguished too early.

I knew Jenny from grade school. She was a year ahead of me.

Jenny's family is awash with overwhelming grief.

I feel hollow inside thinking about Jenny. I can understand what drove her to to suicide. Unrelenting pain that consumes the totality of ones' being.

Jenny's story and suicide places a name and face to those with pain who are being denied pain relieving opiares as an over-reaction to the widely publicized opiate epidemic.

The world has lost a bright light in losing Jenny. I want Jenny to be more than a statistic and that is why I am writing this post.

While my pain is fairly well controlled with my current opiate cocktail, I have given thought to suicide when my pain experience has been severe for days-on-end. I can identify with my friend Jenny and what lead her to suicide.

Jenny, your family and friends will always carry you in their hearts.

It is a difficult time to be a person with pervasive pain. My friend, Jenny, paid the ultimate price and her family will forever grieve her loss.

God's speed,
Karen
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Addison's disease
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)

pitmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 1996
   Posted 7/17/2017 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Karen, I am so sorry for your loss.

Yeah, when 'statistics' are someone you actually know, it's mind blowing.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

(Seashell)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 606
   Posted 7/17/2017 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Pit Mom, Thank You for your reply.

Jenny was a lovely and gracious person. Quiet and reserved. With a gentleness of presence. I would not have thought that she was contemplating suicide as a means to end her ongoing and long-standing pain due to auto-immune based rheumatoid arthritis.

She was obviously suffering more than anyone realized.

I know, for myself, that pain does not become easier to cope with with time. Time does not make me stronger in the face of ongoing pain. In fact, my ability to cope and adapt diminishes with time where pain has no end date.

The world lost a lovely person with Jenny's tragic suicide. I want this post to stand as an acknowledgement of Jenny and to those who suffer with chronic pain and to acknowledge their needs for access to medication/opiates to ease personal suffering.

In memory of Jenny,
Karen
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Addison's disease
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)

pitmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 1996
   Posted 7/17/2017 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I wish I could forward your post to the Governor of my State.

Any government official involved in the opiate issue should read it!

At this point, I am blessed with a pain management doctor who seems to understand the plight of many of us.

He also 'gets' my precarious position of being a recovered alcoholic in chronic pain. In comparison to many, I'm in 'good shape' as far as management is concerned. I cannot imagine what you and your dear friend have had to endure.

How in the world did it come to this! I am sooooo angry! I am, admittedly, scared.

Be gentle with yourself dear Karen. Your sharing has had incredible impact on my life, not just from the information you share, but your compassion and understanding is boundless.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 14510
   Posted 7/17/2017 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Karen, what a terrible tragedy & that you lost a friend. Something that should have not happened. If I remember correctly this is 2 friends that you have lost this year. There really are not any words that I can say that will help at this point. Jenny, was one of those people that suffered in silence the best she could, but a person can only take so much.

In the meantime, remember Jenny as the person you knew her to be, a wonderful lady & friend. Until you read something like this, the average chronic pain patient has no idea how the world of treatment has changed & will continue to change.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Mercy&Grace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1650
   Posted 7/18/2017 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
(Seashell), my sympathy on the loss of your friend. Friends we have had since childhood have a special place in our lives and our hearts as we get older.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid the powers that be will view these deaths as another reason to not prescribe opiates instead of a reason to prescribe opiates and not reduce or stop them.
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