The Moon, Sunshine, And Shade

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What happens when you have nowhere to turn for help?

My latest pain storm doesn’t seem to want to go away.  It’s like my pain is telling me that this is the new normal.  And I’m not sure what to do about that.

I did some reading on Trigeminal Neuralgia , since I now believe I also suffer from that condition. Reading about the symptoms of this condition in the past made me think it didn’t apply to me, but most descriptions do not include the kind of nerve and facial pain that develop after a head injury.  And I believe both my TMJ and TN were initially caused by a head injury I suffered from when I was a gymnast.  Here are some links that I found interesting:

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1033145

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/563786/

Funny how researchers and doctors describe TN as the Suicide Disease, and Wikipedia says it’s one of the most painful conditions known to humankind, yet it’s not a condition that’s covered by Social Security Disability:

http://www.tnnme.com/tn–social-security-disability-help.html

At this point, it’s not like I have a lot of options.  It would be a lot cheaper to see a doctor who takes Medicare than to attempt renewal in the Medical Cannabis Program.  But both of those options appear to be dead ends to me.

I’m not interested in surgical or invasive treatments for either condition, so prescription medications are what I can expect from a doctor.  But I’ve tried them all and the chance that a doctor would prescribe the ones that work for me are almost zero. Of course, I can also expect to be treated like a drug seeker and be forced to pee in a cup and sign a pain contract, along with being entered into a PDMP database.  And probably even more useless, painful, and expensive tests. Anyway, I prefer cannabis to prescription medications, but I can afford prescriptions, while I can’t afford the monthly cost of cannabis in this state.

The only other option I can think of is to head down to the part of town where I heard they sell drugs on the street corner, including bud.  And it’s not like this would be the riskiest thing I’ve ever done to help manage my pain, but I would really hate spending money on crappy bud or bud that’s been mixed with other chemicals.  I really thought that moving to New Mexico meant that I wouldn’t have to take any more risks, but this isn’t the first time I’ve been wrong.

I’ve thought about going down to the local Social Security office and asking them for help. But seriously, what can they do?  Give me money?  A day spent at the Social Security office sounds pretty painful to me.

So, I don’t know what to do.  I just know that these pain levels are kicking my ass.  And it appears there’s nothing I can do about it, which makes me feel both helpless and hopeless. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way, and I guess it won’t be the last.  But I’m so damn weary…

Another pain doctor bites the dust

http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=10722

Pawan Kumar Jain, 62, of Las Cruces, N.M., was arraigned this morning in Las Cruces federal court on a 114-count superseding indictment which alleges that, among other crimes, Jain’s over-prescribing of opioid pain medication resulted in the deaths of four patients…

According to the superseding indictment, Jain allegedly committed the offenses charged between April 2009 and June 2010, in Doña Ana County, N.M. During that period, Jain was a licensed physician with a neurology subspecialty who operated a pain management medical practice in Las Cruces. Jain’s medical license was suspended in June 2012 and subsequently revoked in Dec. 2012 by the New Mexico Medical Board.

Each of the 63 dispensing charges in the superseding indictment alleges that Jain unlawfully dispensed prescription painkillers, primarily Oxycodone and methadone, to patients outside the usual course of medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. The maximum statutory penalty for a conviction on each of the 63 dispensing charges is 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000.00 fine…

It’s just great that law enforcement and government agencies now decide what is a legitimate medical purpose for prescribing medications.  Everyone wants to play doctor.

The 51 healthcare fraud charges allege that Jain engaged in a scheme to defraud two health care benefit programs, Medicare and Medicaid, by causing claims to be submitted for payment for prescription medications he dispensed to patients outside the usual course of medical practice and without legitimate medical purpose. The maximum statutory penalty for a conviction on each of the health care fraud charges is ten years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine…

This case was investigated by the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Team in El Paso, Texas and the FBI’s Healthcare Fraud Unit with assistance from the New Mexico Medical Board and the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah M. Davenport and Richard C. Williams of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office…

This case is being prosecuted pursuant to the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative. The HOPE Initiative is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center that is partnering with the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative with the overriding goal of reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in the District of New Mexico… The law enforcement component of the HOPE Initiative is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners. Targeting members of major heroin and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative…

The medical industry is now forever in bed with law enforcement.  When you see a pain doctor, you’re basically talking to a DEA agent.  Think of the money involved in paying all these people to make the treatment of pain and/or addiction a criminal offense.  If there were as many “initiatives” and funding to treat chronic pain and mental illness, all the rest of this stuff wouldn’t even be needed.

The NMPHA is the New Mexico Pharmacists Association, part of the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative.  (Who can keep track of all these anti-drug agencies?) Here’s a presentation from their 2014 summit:

http://www.nmpha.org/Resources/Documents/Opioid%20Initiative%20

Presentation%20to%20NMPHA%202014.pdf

This group includes the Heroin Awareness Committee (Healing Addiction in Our Community), an advocacy group started by Jennifer Weiss, who’s son died from a heroin overdose and now runs addiction “treatment” centers.  An interesting conflict of interest, as it means more money for her business.

Part of this group’s recommendations for action:

-Support policies to expand evidence-based early childhood support programs, including home visiting focusing first on low-income families  [emphasis theirs]

-For pain control, promote evidence-based alternatives for Rx opioids [Good luck finding any.]

-Reduce supply of Rx opioid pain medication by increasing access to and usage of Prescription Monitoring Program database AND prescribing guidelines to limit over-prescription of opioids

It’s very sad that the University of New Mexico, along with Molina Health Care, are involved in the drug war.  Are there any pain patients in these agencies and anti-drug groups?  What do you think?