When doctors lie

http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/8/4/survey-opioids-stopped-or-reduced-for-most-patients

“My doctor said I cannot be cured so there is no point in treating me for pain,” wrote one patient.

Cancer can’t be cured. Schizophrenia and asthma are also incurable. Then there’s AIDS.

The treatments for these medical conditions can also cause pain, including chronic pain. Why suffer through expensive, painful treatments when there is no cure? What kind of doctor would say there’s no point in treating cancer or AIDS? (Doctors suck.)

Yes, cancer and AIDS can be fatal. (Actually, being human is a fatal condition.) But chronic pain can take a long time to kill you, so the medical industry thinks the danger isn’t imminent. And I think chronic pain isn’t really considered a medical condition, like cancer.

When patients die from suicide or an overdose, it’s the patient’s fault. When a cancer patient dies, it’s the disease’s fault (or the fault of the medical industry). Because drug war.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/06/18/the-other-side-america-war-opioids/i9YYLR0bGWFdP9z1T1pwjI/story.html

But Lussier said her doctor was concerned that opioids would actually increase her sensitivity to pain, and informed her three months ago that she would get only three more monthly prescriptions for the drug.

If you suffer from chronic pain, your body is already sensitive to pain. Duh. Can opioids increase that sensitivity?

I suppose it’s possible, although it doesn’t seem very logical. It makes more sense to say that not treating chronic pain would increase a person’s sensitivity to pain. That’s why pain progresses from acute to chronic — you can’t suffer from chronic pain unless you’ve suffered from acute pain first.

Think of a dial for volume, zero to ten. Similar to the pain scale, each number represents a different level of pain. When you stub your toe or burn your finger, you’ve felt pain at the level of a 1 or 2. Let’s say a root canal or a broken bone would be a 4. Having a baby is like a 6, while cancer is around a 6+.

The purpose of this dial is not to rate a person’s pain — it’s to mark the different levels of pain you’ve been exposed to and have experienced. If you’ve never broken a bone, then your brain doesn’t know of or understand that level of pain. But once your brain has experienced pain at the level of a 6 or 7, there’s a greater chance that you will experience that level of pain in the future. It’s easier for your brain to reach that level after you’ve already reached it once.

While I’m focusing on physical pain for my pain dial, the same applies to mental pain and anguish. Unless you’ve experienced grief or suffered from Major Depressive Disorder, your brain can’t understand that level of pain. But once you do experience different levels of mental pain, it’s not hard for your brain to feel it again.

So, maybe the risk of developing chronic pain includes experiencing high levels of acute pain. Like if you were a gymnast or a football player. It’s no wonder women are more prone to chronic pain because so many of us have experienced the pain of labor. Like the risk of suffering from drug addiction climbs after someone experiences physical or mental trauma.

Where would the experience of chronic pain fall on this pain dial? It’s one thing to experience level 6 pain during labor, but that pain goes away.

Let’s say you have a toothache that registers around a 5 on the pain dial. After treatment, most if not all of that pain goes away. (Who could function with a constant toothache?) My TMJ causes a level 5 toothache in every one of my teeth. Does that mean my pain level is a 5? No, because TMJ is not the only thing that causes me pain. And because my pain is constant.

Constant/chronic pain should have a place on the pain dial, just like a broken bone or root canal. Because no matter what level of physical (or mental) pain you’re suffering from, when that pain is constant and incurable, the volume on your pain dial increases.

Intractable pain is not a symptom of my TMJ — not like addiction can be a symptom of trauma. No, intractable pain is a condition all on its own. Maybe I could even call it a cancer of the soul.

Doctors lie all the time. Of course they do. I know it’s hard to stand up for yourself when you feel like shit, and when you need and depend on your doctor. Just be prepared for when your doctor repeats information that’s biased and untrue. Don’t let him or her get away with it.

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12 thoughts on “When doctors lie

  1. That’s an excellent explanation!

    I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around the ways I perceive pain. The longer the duration, the worse it rates subjectivity – even if it wasn’t too bad to start out with. Broken bones don’t feel all that great, but that pain eventually went away, minus bone grinding on bone when I walk and former breaks turning into my own personal barometers. I’ll take a broken bone over neuropathy any day, or neither sounds kinda nice too. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I broke my foot once, but the residual pain isn’t constant and it doesn’t really bother me that much. Sure, it aches sometimes, but the pain doesn’t hinder me in any way. Thankfully, my neuropathy isn’t that bad (yet). I think the bone pain in my head is the worst, but that’s not true 100% of the time (but almost).

      I’m thinking about all the paperwork I had to fill out every time I saw a new doctor, including circling words that described my pain and shading in the painful areas on a picture of the body. I usually ended up circling almost every descriptive word — sharp, burning, throbbing — because at some point in time, I experienced each one. And I would shade in almost my whole body, because that’s what it feels like sometimes — like my whole body hurts. Like there’s not a spot on my body that doesn’t hurt. That’s not true, but that’s what it feels like.

      p.s. Dude, please don’t use the word “grinding” again. It makes me cringe. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Those forms are annoying. Or even when they ask “Are you in any pain? Where? On a scale of 1-10, how much?” Sometimes it is everywhere, so I say everything but my hair hurts, which apparently translates to “whole body”. I’d really love to see some of the stuff I say written down verbatim. It might lighten the mood a bit. Or get me thrown in the whack-shack. Some people are sorely lacking in the sense of humor dept.

        I’m resisting the urge to tell you what it sounds like when I’m doing at home PT on that ankle. 😮

        Liked by 2 people

  2. brava! glad we have you to help expose the lies and manipulations that go on around us all the time. and of course all the explanations and excuses they put out there too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The problem is that there are two dials. There’s an Anxiety Dial…which is the Endocannabinoid System. And a Pain Dial…which is the Endorphin System.

    Opioids turn the Pain Dial.

    Cannabis (and other anti-anxiety drugs) turn the Anxiety Dial.

    Both dials affect how we respond to painful stimuli.

    That is why some folks can take an anxiolytic drug and not feel distressed. Their discomfort was more from fear of the pain getting worse, than from the pain itself. Treating the anxiety, made the pain itself seem minor.

    Other folks have the opposite problem: more pain than anxiety. They’ll look as cheerful as Kerri Walsh standing on warm sand, if they get something for pain. Get them moving and secreting endorphins again, and they won’t remember needing an opioid for pain last month.

    Many have both problems together, and it takes effort to get their dosages figured out.

    A portable instrument that did what a PET scan or Functional MRI does, could be a lifesaver, because a doctor could measure anxiety and pain separately and treat both sets of symptoms.

    The Sativex rescue inhaler made by Bayer that’s sold in the Netherlands and other countries where cannabis is legal, provides fast relief from epileptic seizures and from episodic panic attacks…if it’s not obvious how much pain and how much anxiety the patient has, an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting opioid to assist with pain, and a few puffs from the Sativex inhaler to get the anxiety under control, might prove more effective than either one alone.

    What’s very unhelpful in current US medical practice, is the attempt to stigmatize and tax opioid pain medications. With 100 million eligible voters suffering chronic pain, and at risk of needing these strong medicines, the efforts by Senator Manchin, Governor Crist, and now Hillary Clinton to tax us for needing pain relief, clearly sends the wrong message to 100 million voters.

    There are only about 100 thousand addicts in the entire US population.

    Backers of the Drug War have consistently tried to pad that number, so as to make it appear that addiction treatment is unsustainably costly and addiction prevention is necessary.

    But the reality is that addiction is quite a rare form of self-destructive behavior. Wrist-cutting and polydipsia are more common. Schizophrenia is more common. Worse yet, there is zero evidence that the Drug War prevents addiction. People at risk of addiction, develop the condition in spite of the Drug War. Those who recover, do so because they get serious about seeking help.

    Portugal and Switzerland found it was cheaper to provide legal access to heroin, for addicts who wanted treatment for withdrawal symptoms, than it was to lock the addicts in jail. Addiction rates are declining, because many addicts get tired of being on the stuff and ask for help in weaning themselves off…but there’s no profit in developing new addicts, because the addict can simply go to a clinic and get their maintenance dosage, rather than pay a dealer to supply it.

    Is the Swiss system a model for addiction treatment in the US? Probably. It works because the stigma has been lifted.

    The US system is a model of how NOT to squander a trillion dollars fighting an unwinnable Drug War.

    Liked by 2 people

    • One of the things I miss about drugs like Valium and Xanax is their ability to work as a muscle relaxer. Painkillers can also, but to a much lesser degree. My favorite muscle relaxer, of course, was Soma. Not a very safe drug, but a very effective one.

      Cannabis can work as a muscle relaxer, but not directly. Well, for me it doesn’t work as well as Soma, Valium and Xanax. But there are a lot less side effects with cannabis, so that’s a good thing.

      There might be about 100,000 addicts within the American population, but with this new push to treat addiction, I think the number of people diagnosed with addiction will skyrocket. Which means tens of thousands of people will be treated for addiction when, in fact, they don’t suffer from it. However, through treatment for addiction, they may very well begin to suffer from it.

      The drug war, creating drug addicts every single day.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Of course they lie! It’s all about the dinero! I try and avoid going to them if at all possible. Dentists also lie A LOT too. Like Anna said, they’re only humans just like us. I love how they ask us to keep going. NOT! OMG one pissed me off last year really bad. The idiot wanted to charge me $75 just to give me my results. I told her receptionist to keep her stupid results and shove them. I kind of forced them out of her anyway. They’re both kind of like mechanics. Healthcare is a scam and a joke in this country. Don’t get me started on insurance…another big scam.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is why I’m in favor of medical marijuana. No, its pain relief properties probably doesn’t work for everyone, but it is considerably less lethal than most other painkillers and considerably less addicting. Why not give everyone the choice of whether to take it if they feel it help? Let the patient control their need for pain relief? What a crazy thought!

    Liked by 3 people

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