NEJM and censorship

Before you click  to post a comment on a website like the New England Journal of Medicine, I suggest that you copy, paste, and save it in a draft email. Because there’s a good possibility that your comment will never show up.

I posted the comment below on Tuesday of this week, which is still awaiting a moderator’s approval. What do you think, is there something offensive in my comment? Something to fear? How many other pain patients are silenced in the comment sections?

I think it’s tragic that more doctors won’t stand up for pain patients — and for medical science, which not only says that 16,000 overdoses out of tens of millions of opioid users is not an epidemic, but also that opioids are only dangerous to an extremely small patient population. In fact, chemotherapy drugs (and many others) are dangerous to a larger percentage of patients than pain medications.

As a 30-year intractable pain survivor, I thank my lucky stars, every single day, that I was able to overcome my addiction to the medical industry. (Not that I had much of a choice.) Having to depend on doctors to help me manage the constant pain was a waste of both time and money. What do doctors really know about pain, unless they’ve experienced it themselves? And even then, with the opioid war, what treatments can they offer? Pain patients have had their fill of antidepressants and other off-label medications.

I think the medical industry should thank PFROP for helping to destroy its reputation and causing patients to distrust doctors, and vice versa. And I want to thank Mother Nature for providing an alternative to being treated like a drug addict and criminal.


WASHINGTON — The cold, stony visage of Dick Cheney will now forever greet visitors to the U.S. Capitol… Cheney left office in 2009 with a 13 percent approval rating. According to Roll Call, the bust will cost approximately $50,000…

Under comments:

Phil Mcginn
they better incase it in glass so it’s easier to clean after people spit on it.

Alice Schmid
How much do you want to bet they will have to have armed guards to keep the grafiti artists away!!!!

Juliet Richardson
i hope someone knocks into it by accident or permenantly defaces it.

i love how we are now enshrining war criminals.

I don’t use Facebook very often, but I’m guessing it doesn’t have a spell check option? (That’s right, I took the time to highlight the misspelled words. You know why? Because if I’m not sure about the spelling of a word, I freaking look it up. If I have to do that, then everyone else should have to do that, too.)

If you work at Urban Dictionary, please change the definition of “creepy” to a photo of Dick Cheney’s bust. 🙂

PFROP hard at work in Washington state

In a commentary that accompanied the study in PAIN, Jane C. Ballantyne, MD, professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle…

“The risk indicators developed for the study could be very important for clinicians. We have scoring systems and risk stratification scores for other disorders. Clinicians may use these risk indicators to identify patients at risk. Then the question becomes what to do. The best course may be not to start those patients on opioids therapy or to take them off therapy. Most pain management experts agree that there are better options for many patients with chronic pain,” Ballantyne said…

Three out of four pain management experts advise using massage for their patients who suffer from constant pain? Expensive injections? Surgery? Tylenol or antidepressants? Please, someone list these “better options” to treat chronic pain.  (Free the weed.)

Based on the recommendations of this and other studies, Washington State’s Interagency Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Pain was recently revised to caution doctors about prescribing opioids at any dose. The new guidelines extend to the treatment of acute pain, not just chronic pain. Physicians are also advised not to continue prescribing opioids to a patient if they don’t show “clinically meaningful improvement” in physical function, in addition to pain relief…

Perhaps the state with the the most comprehensive guidelines is Washington, which was the first state to focus on physician behavior as a strategy to reduce opioid prescriptions. The initial guidelines were published in 2007 and included a “yellow flag” dose of a 120 mg daily morphine equivalent. The most recent update was released earlier this year and advises clinicians that the risk of overdose doubles at doses as low 20 mgs and increases nine-fold at 100 mgs or more.

David Tauben, chief of the University of Washington Division of Pain Medicine, says the guidelines have helped convince many physicians that chronic pain can be managed without opioids. But it didn’t come easy, he says. Physicians and patient advocates fought the changes, warning that chronic pain patients would suffer as physicians opted to stop prescribing opioids rather than adhere to the new rules. That never happened, Tauben says…

That never happened? Seriously? Okay, if that didn’t happen, what did happen? Can we hear from the patients?

OLYMPIA – Three people take their own lives in Washington each day on average, and suicide remains among the top causes of death in our state. Rates of suicides and suicide attempts went up slightly in Washington from 2006 to 2012…

This is some scary stuff

BOSTON — Eleven county prosecutors who deal with the fallout of the opioid-addiction epidemic on a daily basis threw their support behind Gov. Charlie Baker’s substance-abuse prevention legislation this week…

The district attorneys said Baker’s bill hits a balance “based in the daily reality of addiction and recovery,” particularly through proposals to restrict the number of opioids doctors can prescribe, to require physicians to check the prescription monitoring program database before prescribing opioids, and to allow doctors to hold substance-abuse patients involuntary for up to three days for treatment…

Once chronic pain patients are labeled as having abused their medications, they have even less rights.

Dear Walmart: You Suck

From: Walmart Customer Care <>
Sent: Mon, Nov 23, 2015 1:54 pm
Subject: A response to your inquiry [Annual limit on decongestants]

Hi ,

I apologize for the inconvenience that you are experiencing with your Walmart store. You have been escalated to Tier 2 Escalations for This is not a question that we are able to answer. Anything that takes place in the store from purchases to experiences needs to be taken up with that store or store manager. Thank you.

If you have additional questions, please reply to this email and we’ll be happy to assist.


Jordan B. Customer Care

Thu, Dec 3, 2015 1:50 pm
Re: A response to your inquiry [Annual limit on decongestants]

Dear Jordan B:

Do you really think this is an issue for the local store manager? Are Walmart managers experts in state and federal law for decongestants?

Since no one has been able to give me an answer on why Walmart refused to sell me a box of Claritin-D a few weeks ago, when I was at Walgreens today, I stopped to talk to the pharmacy staff. They were also unaware of an annual limit on decongestants. The very nice pharmacy assistant suggested that she try to ring up a box of Claritin-D to see if the receipt would have a number on it for me to call.

To be honest, I was afraid of getting in trouble with the DEA if I tried to buy a box of Claritin-D. Would my name and driver’s license number be reported to the police?

But guess what? Today I was able to purchase a box of Claritin-D at Walgreens. Right this very moment, for the first time in weeks, I’m enjoying my medicated ability to breathe without a struggle.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to sue Walmart for the suffering it has caused me. However, I can’t promise that anyone else affected by this issue will be as nice as me.

Johnna Stahl
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(Also posted at


Eric Randolph @EricWRandolph
In terms of deaths by gunmen, the US has the equivalent of a Paris attack once every four days.
1:40 PM – 2 Dec 2015
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Patton Oswalt ✔ @pattonoswalt
“Please stop asking us to help. We clearly can’t do shit.”


Thoughts and Prayers
1:42 PM – 2 Dec 2015
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