Chronic Pain Harms The Brain

“Researchers found that in people with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex associated with emotion fails to deactivate when it should. It’s stuck on full throttle, wearing out neurons and altering their connections.”

Should I get my forearm stamped with a bar code?

Tackling the Opioid Epidemic & Analgesic Toxicity by Collaborating

My comment (11/25/2014):

So, along with the pain specialist, rheumatologist, neurologist, acupuncturist, cancer specialist, physical therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, nutritionist, hypnotist, biofeedback specialist, gynecologist, PCP, and therapist, a pain patient will also need to pay for a clinical pharmacist? Is this for the benefit of the DEA, insurance companies, doctors, or the ACA? (You’ll notice I didn’t include patients in that list.)

And since the under-treatment of pain is only increasing, shouldn’t one of the specialists on a pain patient’s team be an expert in suicide prevention? Sure, you could say that all this patient monitoring will allow doctors to see symptoms of suicidal ideation when it emerges, and yet one has to be looking for it to find it. And I don’t see the term “suicide” anywhere in the job description of a clinical pharmacist.

Pain patients already have to pay to be monitored for addiction, and now they are also considered to be potentially at risk for suicide — add a psychiatrist to the team. (Are all psychiatrists required to have training on suicide prevention? No, I don’t think they are.)

Will adding monetary barriers for patients make the problems any better? Yes, a pain patient deserves a group of doctors all working on the same goal, but who can afford that? And I don’t think it’s fair that only patients who can afford all this monitoring will have access to pain medications. The system has been like that for years, and it’s just plain cruel… patients on Medicaid tragically dying from being spoon-fed risky drugs like methadone for pain.

Maybe what’s needed is a whole new government agency just for pain patients, right? An agency that answers to the NSA, because this agency is an expert at monitoring people. An agency responsible for monitoring and keeping track of 28 million (or 100 million) pain patients. Should I get my forearm stamped with a bar code?

And now I’m wondering… Will clinical pharmacists have a duty to report mistakes made by pain patients to the DEA? Because all of this monitoring has consequences, and most of them criminal. In case the medical industry was unaware, drug addiction is a crime in this country. And when the medical industry is in league with the DEA (and insurance companies), how are patients supposed to trust them?

5/16/2013, Marijuana Decreases Insulin Resistance, Improves Blood Sugar Control

“Previous epidemiologic studies have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes in marijuana users,” said lead investigator Murray Mittleman, M.D., in a press release. “Ours is the first study to investigate the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance.”

10/29/2014, The Unspeakable Pain That Lies Beneath

“Brush it off” and “tough it out” – two phrases that are perpetuated within masculine culture when it comes to pain. The worst ever pain an individual can experience is often acknowledged as a woman giving birth. Where does this leave men with an excruciating painful condition with no scan that can prove it’s occurring?

It’s 1am

You know how when you’re trying to relax enough to contemplate sleep, and the fire alarm goes off (once again) in the hallway of your apartment complex?

Just wanted to send an internet shout-out to the Albuquerque Fire Department, who responded quickly and competently to the accidental fire alarm.  Good thing, as I didn’t want to have to beat that amazingly loud, buzzing alarm with the metal peace sign hanging on my wall.