Posted 5/15/2008 11:37 AM (GMT -7)
I'm hoping this post is okay to write, as it is sort of political in nature.
After reading day in day out about the struggles that chronic pain patients go through to receive any form of relief, I have decided to write my state senator's and congressmen. I am also going to ask my parents and family to each send the exact same letter to their state representatives.
What I am looking for is cold hard facts, with the web address/book/show/etc of where that information came from. Things such as how many people in the US suffer chronic pain. How many go untreated. How many go untreated because they were refused help. How many people in the US are under treated. Information on how many of the legitimate chronic pain patients abuse their medications. How many people fake chronic pain and abuse the medications. Basically any and all information on how legitimate chronic pain patients are treated and/or mistreated.
I'm also looking for personal stories - with your state - with a brief description of how you have been treated. How many doctors did you have to go through to get legitimate help? What did that doctor need to prove you were in pain? How did the race to get medications with your first doctor differ from your current? How did your life change when you received help for your pain, when help was taken away, or how do you think if you were able to get legitimate help it would change. How has your pain affected your family? Have you ever gone to an ER and been denied treatment because you were taking medication for chronic pain? What was the problem you were denied about? What is a really bad flare up of pain, or something all together different?
Whatever information you would share would be great. I have been blessed immensely in that I haven't had to run several marathons, and preform in every competition at the Olympics in order to get treatment. I will admit though that I intentionally suffer when everyone around me is telling me to head to the ER because I'm afraid of being labeled. The fear of the label has also made me afraid to tell a doctor that their treatment isn't helping. At one point upon telling a doctor that I was concerned about how the pain medication was affecting me mentally and physically, I was dropped as his pain patient, and transferred to another doctor to be put on Suboxone therapy. This is AFTER I had taken myself off of 3/4 of the pain medication because I couldn't think more than two words at a time.
The hard facts right now are the most important, but personal stories are also going to help. Just please know that I may or may not be using any information you give me in the letter that I write, and I will be sending the letter via email to quite a few people asking their help in getting it sent in all over the US, and here in Arizona where I live. I'm not sure if there is a way to send a private message on this site, if there is and someone would like to tell me how to do it, that would also be a way to get the information if you don't want to post it.
Thanks ahead of time for the help.
Also, Gramps - I wanted to say that looking back through some of your posts I'm already seeing that so much of what you post will be helpful. You are an incredible knowledge base.