Where’s the pain patient’s bill of rights?

Take A Look At The Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill Of Rights

“I don’t think, actually, that police officers should not have these rights. I think that everyone should have a bill of rights like this.”


Falling Through the Cracks: My Struggle to Survive as a Homeless Youth


I was homeless, forgotten, abandoned, and alone. A product of the Texas foster care system, I had no one.

My life was reduced to two pairs of cloths, a well-worn backpack, and the streets. By day, I begged strangers for their change; and by night, I was turning tricks for a place to stay, a shower, a hot meal, or whatever resources I could trade my body for.

That was my reality.

The many years I had spent growing up in foster care took away any chances I had at a normal life. I lived in over 20 different homes — sometimes moving every six to eight months — never staying in one place long enough to create support systems, build community, or establish roots. Sometimes, I think that maybe this was for the better because almost all of the 20-plus homes I lived in were imbued with abuse.

By the time I was 18, I had been raped and beaten more times than I care to remember — often by the very people the state of Texas was paying to “care” for me.

On the streets, I found out very quickly that there aren’t a lot of resources for homeless youth in Houston, especially if you’re gay. I remember once being turned away from the Covenant House — a homeless shelter that caters to youth — after an intake worker determined I was gay and erroneously suggested that I “probably had AIDS” and would be a risk to other youth in the shelter…

Youth who age out of the foster care system in Texas are eligible to utilize a tuition waiver that covers the complete costs of tuition and fees at state-funded institutions of higher education within the state. It was on that fateful day in August that I found out about this waiver, and with the help of university staff I registered for classes and applied for financial aid…

Yes, at one point in my young life I was homeless, but by the grace of God I am now a strong, resilient and intelligent contributing member of my community.

I am worth something — and so is every other homeless youth.

My life is proof that we can change the future of thousands of youth forced into homelessness by simply valuing their lives, making investments into their futures, and recognizing that they are worth more than a few bucks and some leftover lunch.

I share my story to tell you that there is hope, there is life after homelessness, and our lives do matter. We are the future. Invest in us, value us, recognize our worth, and watch us sore to unimaginable heights.

VA Chief: Aging Vietnam Vets Straining System


Since his confirmation, McDonald — formerly the CEO of Procter and Gamble — has tried to turn around the agency’s image as mired in bureaucracy and more responsive to administrative edicts than veterans’ economic and healthcare needs…

It’s always a good idea to place blame on bureaucracy.  I mean, who likes bureaucracy?  And how do you fight bureaucracy?  It’s a nameless, faceless… thing.

Other factors creating strain on veterans health centers include: the number of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan; new requirements to assess and treat exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War; the lack of limits on the appeals process; and increased survival on the battlefield that leaves more veterans with severe disabilities…

Well, I would think that increased survival rates were actually a good thing, but if it’s too expensive to care for our returning veterans, maybe we should just stop sending them to war in the first place.

Lack of limits on the appeals process?  Watch out veterans, they’re coming for your rights to appeal…

At the journalists’ conference, McDonald also announced formation of a special medical advisory group consisting of physicians, other providers, and former health system executives to create a “Blueprint for Excellence” for improving VA performance. “Just like any good business, we have to reinvent ourselves,” said McDonald.

Wow, a special medical advisory group… That will really help the situation, sure.  (Or distract veterans and give them false hope for the future.)  How long has the VA been around? They now need special advisers to tell them how to do their job?

Do you play the lottery?

Americans spend $68 billion a year on the lottery (state-sponsored gambling)… If so much money is going towards education, how come our public schools are so broke?  “Money in state budgets tends to move around a lot.  Trying to add money just for one purpose is a bit like trying to piss in one corner of a swimming pool — it’s going all over the place, no matter what you claim.” John Oliver

What corporate taxes used to pay for, like school construction, gambling revenues are now paying for.  And in some states, you can play the lottery on your cell phone…  The government is fine with gambling and alcohol addiction, but when it comes to other drugs, you’re a criminal.

Here’s an M&A strategy: Buy products, hike prices, watch sales grow


More and more drugmakers are snapping up drugs or companies with products they see as undervalued–and then jacking up the prices on those meds, The Wall Street Journal notes…

It’s no surprise that R&D-averse–and M&A-happy–Valeant ($VRX) is among the strategy’s biggest enthusiasts. In February, after grabbing rights to two heart drugs, Valeant upped their list prices by 525% and 212%: Abnormal heart rhythm treatment Isuprel leapt to $1,346.62 per vial from $215.46, WSJ reports, while blood pressure therapy Nitropress vaulted to $805.61 from $257.80.

The motivation for those enormous increases? “Our duty is to our shareholders and to maximize the value” of the products that Valeant sells, company spokeswoman Laurie Little told the newspaper…

Voices of pain patients


Sande June Bashaw:  It’s extremely difficult being young and needing pain management. I was 23 when I had my first spinal fusion, it took me two years for my doctor to even believe me and order an MRI. Less than a month after I was having back surgery. Luckily my PM is a great doctor. I’ve seen so many pain specialists I have developed Arachnoiditis from having over 100 ESI’s done. I hope some day things will be different for those of us suffering. I’ve had one PM doctor tell me If I were older he would feel comfortable prescribing medicine to me…ugh excuse me, but I feel the exact pains if not worse pain than someone twice my age. I was so angry, I told him that’s fine you feel that way, but do you realize some of your patients are out in the waiting room right now talking about selling their morphine? He kicked me out of his office. I’m sorry, but it’s BS. I’m 25 years old with a screwed up spine (no pun intended), permanently disabled and can’t even get proper pain relief because of the laws. They treat the wrong people like criminals. Believe me, I wish and pray every single day of my life that this wasn’t my life…but that’s not going to change anything. It’s just not fair.

Holly Meschko:  I agree. A friend posted about her dog getting a prescription of tramadol for his back. I had such excruciating neck pain yesterday I had to go to the ER. They asked “Well what do you want us to do?” I didn’t DARE ask for anything! They gave me a shot of toradol. [Toradol is an NSAID.]  My spine is so bad they wanted to do surgery years ago. NOW doctors say “I don’t see a reason for your pain”. They pretend, that what clearly shows on the MRI scans, isn’t there. It’s unconscionable the way patients in pain are treated now!

Donna M. Harker:  Yes I know I have 3 bad chronic pain conditions and I have been doing my best to keep it bearable usings vitamins and a tens unit and I asked my doctor if there was anything else I could do and he looked at me with the straightest of faces and said “You have a chronic pain illness you are going to have pain, you better get used to it.” and then he said “they don’t want us to prescribe pain medicine so no matter what I will not do that!” I didn’t ask him to nor did I expect that he might actually behave like I don’t know maybe a doctor but that just pissed me off and I mention it everytime I see him.

Joyce Watkins:  I have contacted an attorney as I was cut off my pain Meds without warning and suffered withdrawal.

Kelli McKiernan:  You’re going to be paying thousands of dollars in attorney fees and get nowhere. My primary care doctor did the same thing to me. Who is prescribing pain meds and anti anxiety medication for over a year and a half and then January 2014 I went in for my monthly scheduled visit and he said, no more. I said you can’t just cut me off like that and he said I could do whatever I want and if you want pain pills go to the ER…Which we know that the ER is not going to give us pain meds And if they do it would maybe for a day or two. For 4 months I suffer with no medication and then I found a pain management specialist. They are the only doctors who will prescribe pain meds.

Joyce Watkins:  My dr is not the problem, he monitors me very closely and gives me what I need. The pharmacist is the one who decided on his own, without talking to me or my dr. He said he would not refill the prescriptions. Same drug store I have used for 12 years.

Debra Fisher:  I hope that there is a lawsuit. My 37 year old son had been getting his legitimate pain medication filled at Walgreens for years until they merged with Alliance Boots and started that questionnaire thing. When my son was 22, a little old lady pulled out in front of his motorcycle. He was doing the speed limit but you can’t stop a motorcycle that’s doing 50 when a car pulls out in front of you. He had horrific injuries and a metal plate put into his arm which he is allergic to but the doctors won’t remove it. 10 years later, he was diagnosed with Erythropoietic Protoporphyria and Acute Intermittent Porphyria. He has been hospitalized over his attacks which could kill him. The ONLY medication that works for the pain is oxycontin but last year, Walgreens quit filling his prescriptions. The DEA is harassing his doctor and many others in the Las Vegas area so his doctor is terrified of even prescribing pain medication.

It has been sad to see my once brilliant son now having to spend his life in incredible pain and barely be able to function. He was so anti drug in his younger years…he doesn’t smoke, never took illegal drugs (actually, I couldn’t hardly get him to take medication when he needed to), and never drank alcohol. But he is persecuted for being in pain. This has to stop.

Arianne Grand-Gassaway:  But understand, if the docs think you’re pharmacy shopping they’ll stop prescribing or just kick you out of their ‘pain program’. The whole thing is so ludicrous. I’d rather suffer with pain than suffer the indignation of being treated like that.

Robyn Nesbit:  I don’t even take a schedule 2 drug mine is a schedule 4 pain med, and I’m now feeling the wrath of this, last month they switched manufacturers, well I know it sounds odd, but I will get side affects from certain inactive ingredients in medicines, I’ve been having side affects all this month, I went in to my pharmacy to discuss this as I go to my doc on Monday and will get my new script, I asked if and when they will be getting my med from the other manufacturer that they’ve been using for the last 6 years and was told they didn’t know as they are having a hard time getting any meds, well I told him the quality of this medicine is not the same and the inactive ingredients are making me sick, his advice was, well maybe your doctor can give you something else in place of what your on, maybe an anti-depressant, well in the first place my medicine is a very low dose schedule 4 narcotic, it’s rather low on the totem pole, but it works for me, and another thing, I’m Not taking anti-depressants because I’ve never been diagnosed with depression and people that take these meds for chronic pain that were meant for other things like something a mental disorder are now having to take other meds for the side effects and they end up on dozens of meds to curb all the side effects. I’m sorry but I take 1 and only 1 medicine and 1 and only 1 OTC medicine and I’m not taking anything that wasn’t designed for my diagnosis, I’m not depressed, I don’t have ADHD, I don’t have panic attacks, I don’t have PTSD, and I da*n sure don’t have fibromyalgia,( even tho they tried to diagnose me with that years ago, giving me Lyrica, which was a new drug and it ruined my eyesight) So No I’m not taking all these experimental drugs they are now trying to use for chronic pain just because they don’t want to prescribe narcotics. But I’m not taking 20 different meds a day, and I won’t

Toddlers downing coffee in Boston (and maybe elsewhere)


Other studies have shown what you would most likely suspect when children consumed caffeine. It made them depressed and a good number came down with diabetes. Naturally they had sleep problems, and there was a high incidence of substance abuse and obesity.

What wasn’t mentioned in the study but is a problem is that when children drink coffee it affects their teeth. Coffee is acidic. Acidic drinks can cause damage in the mouth by weakening teeth; this leads to a decline in tooth enamel and an increase in cavities…

Well, it appears the real “gateway” drug is caffeine, not drugs like marijuana.  And if you believe in the gateway-drug theory, then the real “gateway” drug is Tylenol, as most people are given this drug when they’re infants and children.

Senate cafeteria worker is homeless


It followed reports in the Washington Post and CNN profiling Charles Gladden, a 63-year-old who makes about $360 a week in take-home pay doing janitorial work in the Senate cafeteria. He said he gives some of his paycheck to his kids and grandkids, suffers from diabetes and has so little left over that he has not had a fixed address for five years and sleeps outside a Metro station.

Gladden drew attention while taking part in a one-day strike last week by federal contract workers to call for higher wages from government contractors.

“No one who works in these buildings should be homeless or have to rely on public assistance or charity to feed their families,” Gladden said in a statement released along with the senators’ letter…

No one should be homeless, not just those who work for our politicians in Washington, DC.

Disturbing details emerge in arrest of Albuquerque Police officer


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New and graphic details have emerged in the excessive force claims against an the Albuquerque Police Department officer who beat up a homeless man. Officer Cedric Greer faced a judge Sunday and while his partner isn’t facing charges, he could be in trouble, too. The allegations were first reported by an APD cadet…

Although the cadet’s name isn’t mentioned, I want to say thank you so much for reporting this.

On March 20th, Greer and fellow APD Officer Jerry Rauch, along with that cadet, were called to the Best Choice Inn near Central and Louisiana to help a “down and out” subject. The highly intoxicated man was brought downstairs and police found some marijuana on him. According to the State Police report, Greer and the cadet stayed with him while Rauch ran to his car.

Investigators said when that man looked at the cadet, Greer told him not to and started hitting him in the face and ribs. During this, Greer allegedly asked “Who’s the man” repeatedly until the man told him “You’re the man.”

When Rauch returned, he said he was “going live” and then both officers turned their lapel cameras on. If that’s true, it’s a big violation of APD policy…

According to State Police interviews, the man never posed any kind of threat to the officers.

In court Sunday, Greer stood mostly silent. He’s allowed to remain out of custody on a $5,000 bond.  Greer was booked into MDC on a misdemeanor charge…

Sounds more like a felony assault to me.  If Mr. Greer wasn’t a police officer, would he still have been charged with just a misdemeanor?  Beating up a drunk, homeless man… that’s just disgusting.  And since Mr. Greer had no reservations about displaying this behavior in front of a cadet, it’s logical to think this isn’t the first time he beat up a homeless person.

The police report said the man never received any medical care for his injuries. According to the report, he had cuts on his face and x-rays eventually showed bruising near his ribs.

Dawn In The Q

It was pretty chilly this morning and we had lots of beautiful clouds all day. Then around sundown, it started to rain.  It’s almost 3am now and the rain has stopped, so let’s see what the weather forecaster has to say about the rest of the week…

From KRQE, Channel 13:

With our impressive weekend storm now working it’s way out of the state, we focus on milder and warmer weather. High-pressure will slowly be building across New Mexico over the next few days eventually boosting temperatures back into the 80s by Thursday… There is another storm on the horizon for the weekend and into next week.

What made this past storm so unique is the fact that it hit a huge area of the state with significant rain. In Gallup they picked up .71″ of rain while all the way across the state in Tucumcari they picked up 1.55″. In the Albuquerque area we got .75″ of rain. These numbers are just about perfect for a spring storm. It doesn’t stop there. The northern mountains did very well too. Angel Fire and Black Lake both picked up over a foot of snow. Hopefully, the next storm will pack the same punch.

This weather is a little weird for the end of April.  I mean, it’s supposed to be summer.  I’m afraid this wacky weather is confusing the flowers and trees, and maybe even the birds, who sound a little perturbed.

(Photo taken on Monday around 7:30am.)