This is what’s being called a “successful” pain clinic

http://www.painmedicinenews.com/ViewArticle.aspx?a_id=32302&d=PRN&d_id=86&i=May%202015&i_id=1180&tab=RSS

“We can accommodate up to 40 patients a day,” said James Choo, MD, the center’s director. The surgery center offers a “fast track” program that provides procedures quickly for selected patients who may need lumbar/cervical/thoracic epidural steroid injections, lumbar or cervical medial branch injections, sacroiliac injections, selective nerve root injections, stellate ganglion injections, lumbar sympathetic injections, and trigger point injections in the knee, shoulder or hip…

Currently, the surgery center performs more than 4,000 minimally invasive procedures annually. Minimally invasive procedures can run the gamut from lumbar sympathetic and stellate ganglion blocks to caudal epidural steroid and facet joint injections, medial branch blocks, spinal cord stimulator trials and more…

The clinic provides behavioral medicine services through a unique collaboration with the Behavioral Medicine Institute, a private practice group of psychologists and licensed clinical social workers who specialize in helping chronic pain patients, also in Knoxville…

A key function of PCET’s psychologists is to provide narcotic pain medication risk assessments on all patients who come to the clinic…

Drs. Browder, Choo and Jones have appeared before the state legislature and the Tennessee Medical Association on recently passed legislation that regulates how narcotic medications can be prescribed and establishes a controlled-substance monitoring database. Drs. Choo and Jones were also part of the governor’s task force that developed new guidelines for writing prescriptions for controlled substances.

“The guidelines essentially establish a definition of who a specialist in pain medicine is, and only those specialists can write higher doses on narcotic medications,” Dr. Browder said…

“You just can’t give services away,” Dr. Browder said. “You have to make sure they are appropriate and reimbursable, that you watch over the business side of things and keep expenses down.” …

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/interventional-pain-physicians/

Except the definition of “successful” has to do with running a profitable business, not helping pain patients.  I wonder if this group keeps track of how many patients are harmed by all these injections?  Or when a pain patient gets worse, do they just abandon them?

Could the new medical marijuana law in Texas really send doctors to jail?

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2015/06/could-the-new-medicial-marijuana-law-in-texas-really-send-doctors-to-jail.html

He was careful to emphasize that patients would not be able to get high from the oil, because THC content would be limited to 5 percent.  Marijuana advocates and potential patients criticized the law, saying it failed to account for the benefits of whole-plant marijuana therapy and interfered with patients’ and doctors’ ability to seek out the best treatment available for epilepsy or other conditions…

Still, Eltife’s bill snaked its way successfully through the Legislature, despite the objections and language that requires doctors to “prescribe” the oil to their patients. Unfortunately a doctor cannot prescribe what the federal government considers a Schedule I substance without a DEA license, and CBD is a Schedule I substance. In other states, the “prescription” is referred to as a “recommendation” so that doctors can legally suggest that patients use it…

Have you ever found mold on food from the grocery store?

I have, in a package of shredded cheese.  After I bought it, of course.  And no, the “use by” date had not expired.  Sure, I complained, but driving back to the grocery store to get a refund is not cost efficient, even with the lower price of gas.  Is this a problem with refrigeration or because the products have to travel such a long way before they end up on the grocery store shelves?

How long does it take for mold to grow on packaged donuts?  How old are these (pretend) donuts before they’re ever put on the shelves?

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/recalls/walgreens-recalls-nice-powdered-sugar-mini-donuts-061115.html

Walgreens of Deerfield, Ill., is recalling Nice! Powdered Sugar Mini Donuts. Mold was observed on some products…

House votes to repeal country of origin labeling

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/house-votes-to-repeal-country-of-origin-labeling-061215.html

It’s now up to the United States Senate and President Obama to determine whether the U.S. repeals its country of origin labeling law, known as COOL. As of now, it doesn’t like either will ride to the rescue of the consumer-friendly law…

The law was part of the 2002 Farm Bill and was expanded to include some non-meat food products in 2008. It requires labels to tell consumers where beef, pork, fish, lamb and chicken came from…

Pretty soon, no one will know where their food comes from.  I don’t even like it when labels only say, “Product of U.S.A.”  Really?  Which state?  How long did this food travel before it ended up in my hands?  Was it made from Chinese and/or U.S. products?  Because there’s a big difference. Why keep this information secret?  What are the manufacturers hiding?  How are we supposed to trust the food on our grocery store shelves?

White House Weighs Responses as Scope of Federal Hack Widens

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-11/white-house-weighs-responses-as-scope-of-federal-hack-widens

Already considered one of the largest thefts of U.S. government personnel data in history, investigators now estimate that it may include data on as many as 14 million people, more than triple the 4 million current and former government employees…

The hackers “are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees,” including pay history, health insurance and military records, J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, wrote in a letter sent Thursday to the Office of Personnel Management…

Does this include DEA agents?  The DEA (NSA, FBI, etc.) has access to all kinds of personal information on us, and now hackers have all of their information. Think the hackers will use this information against the DEA, like the PDMP databases are used against pain patients?  Hey, DEA, how does karma feel?

Can you compare solitary confinement to living with chronic pain?

https://www.vice.com/read/how-solitary-confinement-can-drive-inmates-to-suicidal-thoughts-610

When there is little or no light at the end of the tunnel, all hope can be lost…

Has the drug war had this effect on chronic pain patients?

“I was only in solitary confinement for a matter of days, but I fervently wanted to die,” K.L. Blakinger, who served time in a women’s prison in New York, tells VICE. “Had I been in there longer, I surely would have figured out a way. I had a previous suicide attempt in 2007, before my incarceration. I jumped off a bridge. Anyone with that sort of mental health history probably should not be placed in solitary confinement. I spent time contemplating whether I could stand on the sink and fall onto the desk at such an angle that I would crack my head open and die.”

The total and complete feeling of powerlessness can overwhelm an individual in solitary. Being locked down 24/7 in a ten-by-six cell with a slot in the door to receive your food and no access to the outside world or even other people can be devastating…

“I think it is difficult to truly understand the mental stresses of solitary until you’ve actually been there. Some people think that solitary confinement is basically just spending some alone time. It’s not. It’s like being buried alive.” …

Time stops…

Researchers have found that the conditions of extreme social and environmental deprivation in solitary confinement units cause a variety of negative physiological and psychological reactions, such as hallucinations, sleeplessness, severe and chronic depression, self-mutilation, rage, anxiety, paranoia, and lower levels of brain function, including a decline in EEG activity after only seven days—even in individuals who formerly had no mental illness.” …

Many of these descriptions of solitary confinement can also be used to describe a chronic pain condition. Chronic pain can be a prison for your body, and also for your mind. Treatments like art therapy and even blogging can help keep your mind out of prison, but it’s usually drugs which can help to relieve your body from the prison of constant pain.

“The federal courts have found that placing individuals with serious mental illnesses in solitary confinement violates the Eight Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment…

Isn’t it cruel and unusual punishment to make a chronic pain patient suffer from the confinement of having no access to drugs that can relieve the pain?