When pain patients attack each other

After filing for disability, I was evicted from my apartment.  I thought I was lucky to find another pain patient to live with, because I had nowhere else to go.  I only stayed with her for less than 6 months, but I remember this one occasion…

She had talked me into seeing yet another doctor, this one a rheumatologist.  I knew I was going to have to pee in a cup, which I was nervous about.  The reason was that I had previously seen a urologist, but when it came time to do the stream test, I was too nervous.  It took lots and lots of water, time, and embarrassment for me to finally complete the test.  (Which, by the way, showed nothing, probably because it was a stupid test.)

Well, I wasn’t going to go through that again, so before our appointment, I drank a lot of water. Turns out, I drank way too much.  While we were waiting to see the doctor, I kept having to excuse myself to go to the bathroom.  The second time I returned, she said, “Why did you drink so much water?  What are you trying to hide?”

No, I didn’t tell her my story of the urologist appointment.  What would have been the point? Her tone was so accusatory, as if I had been shooting up heroin or something, that I didn’t even bother.

I’m telling this story because I just want pain patients to stop accusing others, like those addicted to drugs, for the DEA’s war against pain patients and their doctors.  Every patient who is caught up in this war is not to blame.  We are all suffering.  Before you go accusing others, try a little understanding and compassion first.

As always, thanks for reading.

How kicking a trash can became criminal for a 6th grader


Diagnosed as autistic, the sixth-grader was being scolded for misbehavior one day and kicked a trash can at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A police officer assigned to the school witnessed the tantrum, and filed a disorderly conduct charge against the sixth grader in juvenile court.

Just weeks later, in November, Kayleb, who is African-American, disobeyed a new rule — this one just for him — that he wait while other kids left class. The principal sent the same school officer to get him.

“He grabbed me and tried to take me to the office,” said Kayleb, a small, bespectacled boy who enjoys science. “I started pushing him away. He slammed me down, and then he handcuffed me.” …

Stacey Doss, Kayleb’s mother and the daughter of a police officer herself, was outraged. Educators stood by, she said, while the cop took her son in handcuffs to juvenile court. The officer filed a second misdemeanor disorderly conduct complaint. And he also submitted another charge, a very grown-up charge for a very small boy: felony assault on a police officer. That charge was filed, Doss said the officer told her, because Kayleb “fought back.”

“I thought in my mind — Kayleb is 11,” Doss said. “He is autistic. He doesn’t fully understand how to differentiate the roles of certain people.”

To Doss’ shock, a Lynchburg juvenile court judge found Kayleb guilty of all those charges in early April, which could prove life-altering…

Doss said the judge had a deputy show him a cell, and told him if he gets into trouble again he could go straight to youth detention.

“He said that Kayleb had been handled with kid gloves. And that he understood that Kayleb had special needs, but that he needed to ‘man up,’ that he needed to behave better,” Doss said. “And that he needed to start controlling himself or that eventually they would start controlling him.”

But certain schools continue to allow police who patrol their hallways to serve as de facto disciplinarians, with arrest powers, for all manner of indiscretions that a generation ago would almost certainly have been handled by teachers or principals…

More than half the students sent to court were black, even though black students are only 26 percent of enrollment.  And almost half of the students issued criminal complaints were children 14 or younger…  Chesterfield mother Lelia Grant argues that schools and police are prematurely treating kids like criminals.

When I went to school, I don’t ever remember seeing a police officer on the grounds.  It’s no wonder that kids today are suffering from more mental illnesses — traumas like this are creating a whole generation of kids that suffer from PTSD, depression, and addiction.  Why are parents putting up with this?  For safety reasons?  Don’t they realize the long-term harm it’s doing?

U.S. Department of Education data shows that in most states black, Latino and special-needs (disabled) students get referred to police and courts disproportionately. The volume of referrals from schools is fueling arguments that zero tolerance policies and school policing are creating a “school-to-prison pipeline” by criminalizing behavior better dealt with outside courts. The Center for Public Integrity ranked states by their rate of referral for every 1,000 students.

The drug war has now permeated our schools.  We know that the drug war is mostly about race, and that even though whites use drugs more than people of color, our prisons are full of blacks and Latinos.  These statistics show that this war also includes the disabled.  And New Mexico is #11 on this list, another mark against this state.

Retired Cops Call For Drug Policy Changes


They suggest that while the eyes of the world have been largely averted, America’s ‘war on drugs’ has moved to a new phase of cynicism and amorality, in which the loss of human life has lost all importance — especially if the victims are Hispanic.” …

The current approach, which aims to reduce drug consumption by interdiction makes the DEA the most ubiquitous U.S. law enforcement agency abroad. Over 800 DEA agents are stationed around the world, with many of those agents in Latin American countries. There’s evidence that they are disliked by both local law enforcement and citizens, especially in Latin America. Colombian police were responsible for reporting the prostitution scandal, as well as allegations that various agent were receiving bribes from drug cartel leaders: watches, guns, and cash.

Bolivian banned the DEA from it’s borders, partly because of it’s generally bad relationship but also due to riots by local coca farmers. Venezuela kicked out the DEA for it’s spying (along with general anti-American sentiment)…

Soon To Bloom

“How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold.”  William Wordsworth

“Change is a continuous process. You cannot assess it with the static yardstick of a limited time frame. When a seed is sown into the ground, you cannot immediately see the plant. You have to be patient. With time, it grows into a large tree. And then the flowers bloom, and only then can the fruits be plucked.”  Mamata Banerjee

“I like the immediacy of blogs and the democratizing effects of letting millions of voices bloom on the Web.”  Jill Abramson

“There are souls which fall from heaven like flowers, but ere they bloom are crushed under the foul tread of some brutal hoof.”  Jean Paul

Denied Medication by NYPD, Epileptic Man Has Two Seizures in Custody


New York Police Department officers repeatedly denied an epileptic man his medication while detaining him in a holding cell, resulting in two seizures and hospitalizations before he could be taken to Brooklyn central booking more than a day later, a new federal lawsuit alleges. The man was never charged with a crime.

The 26-hour ordeal began shortly after Ronaile Elianor was discharged from the hospital for an epileptic seizure, he claims. At about 1 p.m. on March 18, while traveling in a friend’s car to pick up his prescribed anticonvulsant medication, an unmarked NYPD sedan pulled over their vehicle. Two officers said they saw smoke coming out of the car windows, and asked the men to get out of the car…

“They see the pills and they started making jokes and stuff,” Elianor tells Newsweek. “They say, ‘Oh, he’s a barber. Are you sure these are not drugs and you use these scissors to cut them up?’ And I’m like, ‘No.’” …

11-year-old removed from home for speaking the truth about bud


Shona Banda is a medical marijuana activist living in Garden City, Kansas. She suffered Crohn’s Disease for years before discovering cannabis oil helped to control her symptoms. She was so impressed with marijuana’s ability to control her symptoms that she became an activist to help others.

Her 11-year-old son was at school listening to a talk by a D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) police officer when he chimed with some counter information about medical marijuana and things have gotten out of hand from there:

As Shona’s son listened to the misinformation given by authorities to his class during the drug education presentation, he courageously spoke up and informed them that the information they were relating was incorrect in regards to cannabis. He was pulled from class and sent to the office for questioning by authorities without his mother present.When he failed to return home from school, Banda contacted the school only to be told that her son had be detained by authorities. She went to the station, where she was informed that she was not being detained, but that they were obtaining a search warrant on her home and that she would not be permitted to enter the residence until the search was executed.

Once inside the home, police did find approximately 2 ounces of marijuana and cannabis oil, which apparently was enough for a judge to order her son to be removed from her home. She has a hearing on April 20th (ironic!) about the custody of her son and and some are holding a rally at the courthouse to support her.

For what it’s worth, Garden City, Kansas is a mere 70 miles away from Colorado. It is an embarrassment for the state of Kansas to rip apart a family over a plant that has proven medical benefits, is legal just a few towns away and has nationwide majority support for legalization…

I hope her son is mature enough to understand exactly what happened here, and that he doesn’t suffer from PTSD as a result of this tragic interference by law enforcement of a woman’s medical choices.

If you live in Kansas, I sure hope you can help support Shona and her son at the courthouse. C’mon, bud lovers, get out there and support those who are in pain and choose cannabis, the healthy alternative to Big Pharma.  Don’t let law enforcement split up another family.

Cholesterol drug stimulates the same receptors as marijuana


My comment:

Considering the side effects of Tricor, I find it hard to believe that it “stimulates the same receptors as cannabis.” Cannabis would never cause a side effect like more pain or liver damage. However, chocolate also “stimulates” the endocannabinoid system, so maybe it’s true. But I’d rather “take” chocolate than this drug.

Big Pharma can try to replace or replicate this plant, the THC and all of the CBDs (some of which haven’t even been identified yet), but it will never be able to replace or replicate its entourage effects.


Ask A Patient:  Tricor

I began to lose weight after taking this drug. After about four months my urine began to darken. At six months my urine turned orange and I did not have solid bowel movements. It turns out that my liver quit processing proteins. I turned jaundice in the sixth month and as soon as I went off the medication had no problems.

Did fine for 1 month. In week 5 started with abdominal and back pain that awoke me nightly, and congestion that was severe. Symptoms stopped (except the back pain) within a week of stopping. Am now looking into alternatives…

After being on the medication for a little over 2 months, I began to develop a rash on the back of my neck and around my ears. It progressively became more itchy. I thought it was a rash from some fungus I may have picked up at the gym. I tried Hydrocortisone for a week with no relief. The rash began to spread to my forearms and top of my hand. The itch was become unbearable, so I made an appointment with my doctor who told me stop taking the medicine. The rash began to dissipate as long as I was out of the sun. A week later and I still have some sensitivity to sun light. Also, my triglycerides decreased by 20 mg. Not much..

I gladly quit this medication. I consider it to be a poison. Take at your own risk.

My dr prescribed me of this med because he said that I have high risk of heart problem because my father died of it. After taking this med for just 2 days I had already experience dull back pain and arm pain. I thought it was just because of my recent workout in the gym but seem odd because I never felt that way before. After 4th day it worsen and I started checking if this med is causing it. To my surprise, I was really risking everything just to lower my tri. I immediately stopped taking the med and after just 40 hours all pain went away…

Before Tricor I ran 6 marathons. Since starting on it I have run 0. It zapped my energy and has ruined my legs. I have constant trouble with my Achilles tendons. Dizziness and anxiety are also a normal part of my day. My numbers have dropped but it just doesn’t seem worth it.

My triglicerides were 681 and my overall cholesterol was 305 when I went for routine blood work about 3 1/2 weeks ago, which is incredibly high and alarming since I’m only 26 yrs old and in good shape and work out and watch my diet, especially when it comes to fatty foods. Both of my parents are on statin drugs because they have high cholesterol, my mother’s on lipitor and my father’s on crestor, and the doctor said my high cholosterol is more genetic than anything. And btw, I also was misinformed and thought Tricor was a statin drug, the doctor also told me that it isn’t in that class. It is in a class of drugs known as phenofibrates (not sure if i spelled it correctly) which also lower your cholesterol, but not a statin drug like crestor or lipitor…

I originally posted on here several years ago regarding my terrible experience with this drug. Since then, the medical community has started to realize how devastating statin drugs can be to some people. In my case, this drug permanently disabled my ability to walk any appreciable distance and it did this in a very short time period. Unfortunately, by the time my physician made the connection, the damage had been done. My Achilles tendons became so degenerated that I had to have both of them resected and grafts put in. For those of you experiencing severe muscle aches and pain in your extremities, I urge you to stop the medication IMMEDIATELY and see your physician and demand that he pay attention to your concerns. Mine did not until it was too late…


What is considered a high count? The words ‘ high cholesterol’ inspire a feeling of dread in all of us as something akin to a death sentence. The (largely unsubstantiated) view is that high LDL cholesterol may be the best predictor of heart disease…

Is the test accurate? Not particularly. A vast array of conditions can result in an inaccurate test. One problem is the inherent inaccuracy of the test itself. According to one study, 70 per cent of the samples analysed showed evidence of bias in computing the results (Arch Pathol Lab Med, 1993; 117: 393-400)…

Is high cholesterol an indication of anything? At best, it’s a crude marker than something is awry. However, half of all patients who suffer heart attack have normal cholesterol levels, while many populations with very-high-fat diets have normal cholesterol… 

Has general cholesterol screening ever saved lives? No. General cholesterol screening has not been shown to be beneficial, particularly in those over 60 (Arch Intern Med, 1995; 155: 2146-7).


Many Americans are led to believe that high blood cholesterol as a result of heavy saturated fat intake causes cardiovascular disease. As such, Statin drugs are often prescribed to curb CVD risk by lowering cholesterol. This conventional knowledge is boldly challenged, however, by a new paper…


2/20/2015, Cholesterol — the controversy continues

What’s changed? Some experts are saying that dietary cholesterol was mistakenly connected to heart disease. There was a rise in coronary artery disease leading up to the 1977 recommendation to reduce cholesterol intake. However, a closer look at the science reveals that there is more evidence to suggest that dietary cholesterol may not play a significant role for most healthy Americans and their risk of heart disease…

More shaming of pain patients and their doctors



On January 13, 2015, in an unparalleled broadcast effort, Arizona’s 33 TV stations and over 93 radio stations across the state simulcast an Arizona State University produced documentary on the steadily increasing rates of opioid and heroin use. The investigative report followed the journey of several young adults as they struggled with addiction to heroin and other prescription opioids.

Many of the roads to addiction depicted in the documentary began innocently, with a doctor’s prescription or a family medicine cabinet. One subject, a 21-year-old man described his devastating path to heroin, when after a football injury in high school he was prescribed Percocet, which he continued to obtain after his prescriptions ran out through illegal avenues. When the student’s money ran short, his dealer recommended a cheaper option, heroin. Unfortunately, this sequence seems to be a common path to heroin abuse. In fact, studies have found that three out of four new heroin users previously abused prescription opioids.

First of all, most chronic pain patients are not in their 20s, yet most of these stories published in the media are about young people, who are much bigger risk-takers than older adults.  And how about a documentary on the number of pain patients who are suffering from the drug war? Why is this fight so one-sided against pain patients?

Measures in the Prescription Drug Reduction Initiative include sending report cards to physicians on their prescriptions compared to other physicians in the area and in like practices. As a result, pilot counties have seen PDMP sign up increase by over 50 percent, the number of prescribers actually using the system increase by 30 percent, and the number of controlled substances prescribed in these counties from 2012-2013 decrease by over six percent…

A decrease of six percent…  Obviously, it’s not the PDMPs that are decreasing the number of prescriptions. Doctors have decided to just stop prescribing these life-saving treatments.


PHOENIX – Arizona has had one of the nation’s highest rates of suicide in recent years, and while that rate has barely climbed for the state’s overall population one segment has seen a substantial increase: middle-aged men.

In 2002, the suicide rate for men ages 45 to 64 stood at 34.4 per 100,000. In 2012, that rate was 41.8 per 100,000, a 21.5 percent increase.

Among all Arizonans, the rate was 16.2 suicides per 100,000 in 2012, nearly the same as the 2002 rate of 15.9 per 100,000…

“The most common motive for suicide is to escape from your pain, so if you’ve got nowhere else to go to escape your pain or you think, ‘If I talk to my friend about it, he’ll see me as being unmanly, or if I ask for help it means I’m weak,’” Kilmartin said.

“The myth that men don’t get depressed is so powerful that even trained, mental health clinicians are less likely to correctly diagnose depression in men than in women,” Courtenay said. “Consequently, men are less likely to receive treatment for their depression. Left untreated, a man’s depression will often worsen and can lead to suicide.”

What happens when people in pain feel the same kind of shame and refuse to see their doctors for treatment?  Or are you trying to say that all of this pain that suicidal people are feeling is only mental?  You’ve completely taken the physical pain out of the equation.

“Honestly, they don’t want to die,” Brown said. “They’re just looking for an end to the chronic pain.”

So instead of treating people for chronic pain, the answer is to treat them for depression?


The state lies in the middle of what has become known as the Suicide Belt, a region stretching from Idaho down to Arizona and New Mexico where self-inflicted deaths are more prevalent…


Governor signs bills aiming to improve access to health care

As reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican:

House Bill 274, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Armstrong, D-Albuquerque. Armstrong said in a statement that the law will make it easy to synchronize prescription drug refills. Patients can have all of their prescriptions filled at the same time each month and, Armstrong said, “that means fewer trips to the pharmacy and fewer missed refills and missed medications, which can jeopardize patient health.” People insured in group and individual health plans, as well as medical assistance recipients, will be allowed to fill or refill a prescription for less than a 30-day supply of the prescription drug, and pay a pro-rated daily copayment or co-insurance.

Gee, I wonder if this includes pain and anti-anxiety medications… And don’t the insurance companies have to agree to this?

SB 571, sponsored by Sen. Benny Shendo, D-Jemez Pueblo, allows physical therapists to accept patients without medical diagnosis from a doctor.

SB 367, sponsored by Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, will give optometrists full prescribing privileges, allowing them to treat patients’ eyes and surrounding tissue with any medications, including some Schedule II controlled narcotics. Previously optometrists were limited to prescribing topical medications and a few oral antibiotics.

HB 53, sponsored by Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, prohibits school personnel from compelling students to use psychotropic medications. Under the new law, a parent’s refusal to consent to administration of a psychotropic medication of a child is not grounds for placing the child in protective custody.

Schools used to be able to compel kids to take psychotropic medications, or the kids go into protective custody? That’s just messed up.

SB 325, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, will limit noncompete provisions in health care practitioner contracts. The goal is to make more doctors available in underserved areas of the state.

HB 54, sponsored by Rep. Espinoza, will allow all state hospitals to hire anesthesiology assistants who will be able to work under the supervision of a board-certified anesthesiologist. Currently, anesthesiology assistants are only allowed to practice at University of New Mexico Hospital.

4/7/2015, Oklahoma governor signs prescription drug database bill


Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law last week a measure that would require doctors in the state to check a prescription drug database before prescribing certain addictive drugs. The bill, which has been a priority of Fallin’s for years, will take effect on November 1.  The database is operated by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs…