Not too long ago, someone alerted me to a video making the rounds on Facebook that took aim at people who go to the ER for pain medication. The video looked very professional, and the re-worked lyrics were set to a Taylor Swift song, “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” It’s a horrible video though, in that it perpetuates the stereotype that anyone who goes to the ER for pain medication is a junkie.
Having suffered from cluster headaches, and with my wife suffering from Crohn’s disease, I can say from first-hand experience that this is simply not the case. There are millions of people who live with chronic illness, be it Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Interstitial Cystitis, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or any of a host of other so-called invisible illnesses. There are times when the ER may be the only option for any kind of pain relief, and to demonize those who suffer so much pain already is absolutely ludicrous.
Therefore, I could not let this video go unanswered.
What follows is something very different from what I normally do as far as educational chronic illness videos go. For better or for worse, it is me singing on the vocal track; and yes, I wrote all the new lyrics. Don’t worry, I didn’t try to sing along to a Taylor Swift song. Rather, I chose one from one of my wife’s favorite bands, the Gin Blossoms.
I hope that this might serve as a counterpoint to that well-produced but ill-considered video that so many people think is an accurate representation of those who present at the ER with intractable pain.
Stephanie Hughes: Oh thank you for this! I have been commenting directly with the person who produced that awful video, and there is zero compassion… all he sees is the bad, so he paints all pain patients with the same wide brush. Thank you for all you do Ken… I know it’s tough, but it gives us a voice