My response from Dr. Katzman

Tue, Jun 9, 2015 3:22 pm


Re: An alternative to suicide?

Dear Ms Stahl,

I am sorry to hear of your chronic pain condition. My recommendation for you at this time is to see a primary care provider as soon as you are able. If you are feeling suicidal, you need to go to the nearest emergency room so that you can get the most beneficial help in a timely manner.
Your primary care provider can refer you to our pain clinic for an evaluation if needed.
Thank you,

Joanna G Katzman

Tue, Jun 9, 2015 6:54 pm


Dear Dr. Katzman:

Thank you for your response. I know how busy you must be.

So, your advice is to find and pay a primary care provider; who will then refer me to a doctor at a pain clinic; who I will give even more money to; who will then offer all the treatments I’ve already tried, all of which have failed and caused further damage. I assume you’re not suggesting that a pain clinic will agree to prescribe pain medications, the only other treatment besides cannabis that has helped me in the past.

I was hoping that an expert such as yourself might be interested in a difficult and complex case, but I completely understand why a doctor would not be interested in working on a case that is hopeless. Why waste your precious time? Why attract the attention of the DEA? (Unless they’ve already set up a desk in your office. I mean, it’s not like the DEA would approve of your treating a case like mine.)

Your other advice is to go to the ER, I assume because the ER is so well-known for successfully treating unmanageable intractable pain. Not that ER doctors are allowed to prescribe pain medications either, but I’m sure they can find a straight jacket and rubber room to put me in, giving me even more time to contemplate the hopelessness of my case.

Do you tell your pain patients how sorry you are to hear of their chronic pain conditions, or do you try to help them? Or do you just refer them to pain clinics? And here I thought you were in charge of running a pain clinic at UNM, along with Project ECHO, but I guess I was mistaken. Maybe somebody should inform the Veteran’s Administration that Project ECHO is also unable to offer any help for veterans who suffer from chronic pain.

I want to thank you for confirming my opinion that there is no help to be found through the medical industry for intractable pain patients, and my decision not to waste time or money attempting to do so. I feel better already.

Thank you,
Johnna Stahl

(Note:  I added the paragraph about UNM’s pain clinic and veterans because I thought Dr. Katzman’s email said “a pain clinic,” not “our pain clinic.”  Not that any patient could guarantee that a primary care provider would refer to a specific pain clinic, like UNM.  Sometimes, my anger gets in the way of reading things clearly.)

Three Reasons Not to Prescribe Tramadol

There is little evidence to suggest that tramadol provides better pain relief than acetaminophen or ibuprofen…

As only a small portion of these symptoms come from the opioid receptor, traditional antagonists such as naloxone have limited efficacy when used to treat a tramadol overdose…

Rainbow At Dawn

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”  Oscar Wilde

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.”  Emily Dickinson

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” Rabindranath Tagore

“I’m so horny the crack of dawn better watch out.”  Tom Waits

(Photo taken this morning at the crack of dawn.) 😀

Unum, Republicans, and SSDI

Internal Propaganda to Unum Employees

“Unum’s senior executives had a rare face-to-face visit with U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy last month, when he was in Chattanooga campaigning for Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.  As the House majority leader, McCarthy holds the second most powerful position in the House of Representatives, behind House Speaker John Boehner.

Unum President and CEO Rick McKenney, along with Vice President of Government Affairs Marty McGuinness and members of our senior executive team, spoke to Reps. McCarthy and Fleischmann about our business and the role we play in protecting individuals and families.

“Majority Leader McCarthy’s visit represents a great opportunity for the company to have a conversation with one of the most prominent leaders in Washington about our company and our products,” Marty said. “It’s also a chance to raise our profile with House leadership and to solidify our relationship with our local congressman.”

Rick gave an overview of Unum’s business and how it grew to be a Fortune 500 company and top business in Chattanooga. He also spoke about the company’s continuing commitment to our communities in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland…

Rep. Fleischmann recognized Unum for its commitment to community giving. “This is the most philanthropic company I know in Chattanooga,” he said. “It has a deep sense of longtime civil commitment.”

Senior management also spoke with Rep. McCarthy about some of the issues facing our industry, such as high corporate tax rates and the insolvency of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)…

As for the SSDI program, Majority Leader McCarthy acknowledges the looming problems with funding disability benefits and offered some optimistic insight.

“House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has made this issue part of his two-year goal plan,” he said. “I believe that by year’s end this will become a partisan issue and we will see some positive movement in the right direction.” …

My connections in the UK indicate both countries have taken to the streets in civil disobedience to rid Unum’s influence in their welfare programs. No one wants Unum insurance or its representatives in Great Britain or Ireland…

Unum Complaints From Consumer Affairs Website

Diane of Granville, OH on May 1, 2015

Denied benefits after became disabled by Epilepsy, which was diagnosed 2 years after I began to pay into Unum. Unum said it was because I failed to disclose every symptom for any condition, for which I DID NOT seek medical treatment. This is so broad that it includes the hangnail I had 9 years ago, for which I DID NOT seek medical treatment!

(This sounds like a pre-existing condition denial. Unum once denied a claim for pre-x because the insured was found to have taken Advil for tension headaches.)

Louisiana Poised to Become One of First Southern States With Dispensaries


Some lawmakers, including Rep. Mike Huval, R-Breaux Bridge, spoke from the lectern about loved ones who could have benefitted from medical marijuana. Huval’s brother, David, died of cancer last month, he said. The lawmaker said he wished his brother had medical marijuana to help him through chemotherapy: “It kept him alive, but God he suffered.” …

“I want to remind you all what this is all about,” said Moreno during her closing statement on the bill. “This is about helping people who are literally begging us, begging us, to help them finally stop their suffering.”

Those with a prescription could obtain the drug in non-smokable form — like oils or a pill — at one of 10 dispensaries scattered across the state. The bill authorizes one cultivation site…

The bill restricts the use of medical marijuana to patients suffering from glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia and for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. However, the legislation requests that the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners submit recommendations of other qualifying conditions or diseases — like epilepsy or AIDS — that should be added to the list…

The Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners would set rules about prescriptions, Louisiana Board of Pharmacy would set rules about dispensaries; and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture would set rules for a single cultivation site…

The 10 dispensary sites located in different parts of the state would be established at existing pharmacies, where medical marijuana will be distributed to patients with a prescription from their doctor.  The bill also lets the state track sales, in a similar manner to pseudoephedrine, in order to detect “doctor shopping.” …

Well, I guess it’s better than nothing.  After all, we’re talking about Louisiana.

20 Of History’s Most Brilliant Minds And Their Drug Of Choice

14. Humphry Davy – Nitrous Oxide (aka Laughing Gas)

Davy was a surgeon and chemist perhaps best known for inventing the ‘Davy’ safety lamp used by early coal miners. Less well known was his accidental discovery of (and subsequent indulgence in) nitrous oxide.

“Nothing Exists But Thoughts!” Davy is said to have exclaimed, off his head on 57 liters of nitrous oxide.

15. Stephen King – A Little Bit Of Everything

According to The Watershed, “King’s choice was to mix a cocktail of cocaine, Xanax, Valium, NyQuil, beer, tobacco, and marijuana to get him through the day. He even admits he doesn’t remember writing some of his works.” I wish my blackouts turned me into a best-selling author.

19. Oliver Stone – Marijuana

The legendary director of such flicks as “Platoon” and “Natural Born Killers” has “smoked great marijuana all over the world, from Vietnam and Thailand to Jamaica and South Sudan. But the filmmaker says the best weed is made in the USA and that pot could be a huge growth industry for taxpayers if it were legalized,” reports the Huffington Post.

I know that taxing pot is a selling point for both Republicans and Democrats, but I’d just like to point out that I never paid one cent of tax on hydrocodone or Oxy.

Man Throws Coffee At Westboro Baptist Church Protesters Outside Beau Biden’s Funeral

But for some good news, the Westboro protesters were drowned out by a counter protest, which reportedly reached 100 people at one point. The counter protesters stood across the street, holding loving signs and American flags, and sang “Amazing Grace” to overpower the hate group, Parra reported…

The buzz on bees with dementia

The beehive population has dropped from 5 million to 2.5 million since the 1940s. That is a significant decrease and has scientists worried. Pesticides have been blamed and so have our cell phones — they are emitting radiation that could just be wiping the bee population out.

Now the fear is that bees are getting dementia. A study published on PLoS ONE, says aluminum, “one of the most significant environmental contaminants of recent times,” could be responsible for the pollinators’ decline…

Tiny it may be, but a bee’s brain is very complex and studies have found that bees have a pretty good memory. Memory is a high-level cognitive function that involves the ability to remember places, facts and events and studies have confirmed the existence of a map-like, spatial memory in the honeybee…

(Photo taken 5/22/2015.)