Does pain kill?

When I look back over an almost 30-year career managing constant pain, I wonder where the time has gone.

In the beginning, I did an enormous amount of research into medical conditions and treatments, looking for a solution to the constant pain. After I filed for disability — and was, shortly thereafter, evicted from my apartment — I finally got rid of at least 15 boxes of research.

What did I learn? That doctors really dislike patients who know more than they do.

Did all this information help me in my quest? Hard to say. Perhaps it assisted me in making decisions about treatments that would cause more harm than good, but my desperation often bulldozed right over the knowledge retained in my brain.

And yet, knowledge is the only power that patients have. So, I’d like to use my knowledge to answer a simple question: Does pain kill?

My first response is, no, of course not. Sure, intense pain can make you pass out. And pain increases your blood pressure and can give you a heart attack.  But doctors would blame that result on your heart, not the pain.

However, intense pain can make you wish you were dead. And you might find yourself carrying out those wishes in your day-to-day life, whether you realize it or not. Living a life in the shadows of debilitating pain… But isn’t a slow death still a death?

I read over and over that non-malignant chronic pain cannot kill you. And yet, I feel like I’ve died a little bit every day for the last 30 years…

I wonder what kind of life I would have had if not for intractable pain. I wonder if I would be a nicer person; if I would have more friends; if I would have a successful career. I wonder if I would have fallen in love, had a big family, like I always wanted to…

I’ve had the handle “painkills2” for a long time, and I believe it wholeheartedly. But I guess, as a long-term pain patient, I’m not very good evidence of this belief. Here I’ve been in constant pain for almost 30 years, and I’m still breathing…

Does pain kill? It can kill your relationships. It can kill your employability and status as a working adult. It can kill your ability to feel pride in yourself and your accomplishments.

Pain can kill your concept of stability, and your ability to provide for yourself, now and in the future. It can kill your hopes and your dreams. And it’s awfully hard to pursue happiness when you’re in constant pain.

Pain causes stress and anxiety, and that can kill you.  It can cause anger, sadness, and depression, which could lead to destructive behavior, including drug abuse and suicide.

And whether pain patients and doctors want to believe it or not, constant pain can rob you of your sanity.  (Still holding on to mine, just barely.)

Does pain kill? It probably won’t say that on my death certificate, but that will be the truth.  It might even be true to say that the DEA is killing me, slowly but surely, by denying me access to the treatments that work.  But in reality, it will probably be a combination of both the pain and the resulting poverty that actually kills me.

Does pain kill?  Damn straight it does.

Hilarious new email scam


Good Day To You,

My Name is Miss Lisa Thomos; I am a banker by profession. I am from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa. My reason for contacting you is to transfer an abandoned fund$10.6M US Dollars to your account if you agree with me. 

The owner of this fund died since 2004 with his Next Of Kin. I want to present you to the bank as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of this fund.

Further details of the transaction shall be forward to you as soon as I receive your response indicating your interest in handling this transaction.

Have a great day,
Miss Lisa Thomos

Hi, I’m an American, and I’m stupid. 😀

(Gmail, home of the feds and international scammers…)

1/23/2015, Legalized marijuana might be the best thing to ever happen to heroin addicts

Since Massachusetts has not yet opened its medical marijuana dispensaries, it is too early to see if medical marijuana legislation will help reduce opiate addiction in the Commonwealth. Using recent research findings, Massachusetts policymakers have a unique opportunity to implement medical marijuana policies that address its contemporary opiate overdose. Medical marijuana could be part of drug treatment for heroin and opiates.

For homeless people [and many, many others], however, getting a marijuana card is expensive and buying medical marijuana from a dispensary is beyond their economic means. Street drugs are more prevalent in their social setting, easier to obtain, and can be much cheaper. From a policy perspective, addressing the alarming rates of overdose deaths among the homeless in Boston could mean distributing medical marijuana cards to homeless addicts for free and providing reduced cost medical marijuana…

Previously Prominent Pain Doctor Stoops To Hawking Book

(Yet Mum On Conflicts Of Interest)

Opioids for Chronic Pain – An Interview with Dr. Webster, Pain Guru

There is debate about whether all extended-release formulations should have abuse-deterrent properties. I personally believe that the FDA should set a deadline for when all ER formulations must meet a minimum standard of abuse-deterrent properties to remain on the market. If this were to occur, the cost of ER formulations would likely increase, but this may be a reasonable trade-off for potentially safer products…

Sure, the cost of drugs have already increased, why not make them even more expensive? This would guarantee a decrease in patients asking for extended release pain medications; Express Scripts would move these drugs up to an unaffordable tier so coverage would be almost non-existent; and then pain patients would be asking for Dr. Webster’s new drug…

Webster: The future of opioid research is exciting. In the not-too-distant future we should be able to replace the current mu agonists with opioids that are not nearly as addictive or associated with the same magnitude of adverse effects. This is a field that is only beginning to produce candidates for further development, but there is real optimism and hope that we will one day have a class of opioid drugs that is closer to the Holy Grail of powerful analgesics without addictive properties than anyone could have dreamed possible…

The future of opioid research is only exciting to those with a financial and vested interest in the outcomes of current research, including Dr. Webster.  I have no problem with research on the “Holy Grail” of powerful analgesics, but if he thinks his product (CR845 — see my post “FDA Zeros In on Abuse-Deterrent Opioids”) fits this description, then he’s either being overly enthusiastic or just plain wrong.

Under comments:

Peter Western • 10 hours ago
There are pain relief alternatives to drugs. I have used wheat cushions…

Here, have a heating pad for your chronic pain… Do they have full-body heating pads?  And how would I move around while using a heating pad (let alone a full-body one)?

Edibles fire sale: Why pot-infused treats are so cheap

The reason behind the lower potency: Dixie is playing it safe, making sure the now-individually wrapped edibles wouldn’t surpass 10 milligrams apiece — hoping to cash in on the state’s new incentives, including less stringent testing, for low-dose products. The new mints as a package also are less likely to top the state’s 100-milligram limit. If a recreational edible tests for more than 100 milligrams of activated THC, its maker risks being forced to destroy the entire batch…

Other companies are phasing out infused edibles that couldn’t work under the new recreational regulations. Dixie’s high-dosage recreational 100-milligram Colorado Bar will become extinct as of Feb. 1 — and that leaves Dixie needing to unload some of its soon-to-be-noncompliant inventory…

It’s funny how you see Wall Street continually complaining about how expensive regulations are, and yet I rarely see the same behavior from the marijuana industry.

It will be interesting to see if, after this round of regulations, the prices of Colorado’s edibles increase or remain the same.

1/28/2015, California health officials launch campaign against ‘vaping’

“I started doing a little research when (vaporizers) started popping up because I knew I couldn’t quit cigarettes cold turkey,” said Rachel Chong, 27. “I wouldn’t say I think vaporizers are more healthy, I would say they’re a healthier alternative.”

1/28/2015, Report rips California’s oversight of mental health initiative

Ten years after California voters passed Proposition 63’s tax on millionaires to fund programs for the mentally ill, the state cannot document whether billions of dollars in funding have improved residents’ lives, according to a new report by the Little Hoover Commission…

11/14/2014, State’s gaming revenue hit $1.2 billion, latest data says

Non-Indian gaming revenue in New Mexico fell by $6 million in 2012, to $341 million, according to the latest edition (2014-2015) of Casino City’s North American Gaming Almanac. Adding in Native gaming, though, put the state’s gaming industry in positive growth territory for the year. Racetrack casino revenue fell to $242 million in 2012 from $249 million, while lottery revenue rose, from $62 million to $63 million, according to the almanac. Pari-mutuel betting was flat, at $37 million…

3/26/2014, Indian casino revenue up 7 percent in New Mexico

4/28/2014, New Mexico tribes see slight drop in slot machine revenues

1/29/2015, Is Atlantic City Headed for Bankruptcy?

Casinos make up three quarters of the city’s tax base, but casino revenues have declined 47 percent since 2006…