Dear George Clooney

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/george-clooney-asks-trump-the-one-thing-on-everyones-mind_us_5874fd57e4b02b5f858b21f2

My comment:

Johnna Stahl · Albuquerque, New Mexico
Dear George Clooney: You’ve been described as a compassionate humanitarian with a heart of gold, but it’s also been reported that you suffer from intractable pain. Surely you must know about the opioid war and the millions of pain patients who are being criminalized because of it. Won’t you please do something to help? Be like Meryl Streep. Use your celebrity status to stand up for those who are unable, and too afraid, to stand up for themselves.

“When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

Wed, Jan 11, 2017 8:48 am
To: george@georgeclooney.com, slashever@caa.com, blourd@caa.com
From: painkills2@aol.com
Re: Dear George Clooney

You’ve been described as a compassionate humanitarian with a heart of gold, but it’s also been reported that you suffer from intractable pain. Surely you must know about the opioid war and the millions of pain patients who are being criminalized because of it. Won’t you please do something to help? Be like Meryl Streep. Use your celebrity status to stand up for those who are unable, and too afraid, to stand up for themselves.

“When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

Johnna Stahl
Albuquerque, New Mexico
http://www.painkills2.wordpress.com

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For most of us, it’s about survival

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-06/the-highest-paid-u-s-executives-supervise-doctors-not-bankers

Among the 200 top-paid U.S. executives at public companies, those in health care and pharmaceutical businesses were awarded average pay packages of $37 million in their most recent fiscal year, the most of any sector, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index, which ranks executives based on awarded compensation. Information-technology managers were No. 2 at $35.3 million…

http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/1/7/will-an-asteroid-hit-the-us-healthcare-system

Without federal guidelines, states will push poor people out of programs, eliminate important benefits, and cut already-low payment rates to providers to save money. I remember a time in Arizona when poor men and women qualified for state assistance for health and food. Now, you must have children to qualify for many of our assistance programs…

My comment:

I was totally unprepared for the asteroid that hit me when my pain doctor dumped me. That was about 5 years ago. One of the things I’m most thankful for is that I’m no longer addicted to doctors. They no longer have any control over me. I no longer have to depend on a doctor for my pain management, and in that, there is quite a bit of freedom. Being chained to pain for so long, it’s nice to feel just a little bit of freedom.

Of course, there may be consequences for someone who is disabled by pain to remove themselves from medical treatment. It appears that one must be paying a doctor to manage a chronic illness or one isn’t considered disabled. I’ve written to Social Security Disability explaining my situation almost 2 years ago, but I’ve received no response. One day, an overworked employee will get to my file, and I don’t know what the result of that scrutiny will be. If I lose my benefits, like these poor people, I will be homeless.

http://www.yahoo.com/news/tangled-fraud-probe-100s-face-145617092.html

I don’t consider myself stronger than anyone else, so I know that others can recover from their addiction to doctors. I chose cannabis, while other pain patients are choosing kratom. But even with those treatments, there are still an enormous amount of obstacles. Tragically, some pain patients will give up and choose suicide. I don’t blame them.

I suppose it all comes down to how much risk we are willing to take. Money is the primary concern, because a person’s financial condition determines which treatment options are available. For me, the next most important concern is my pain. It’s my pain that determines how much risk I’m willing to take. It’s even my pain that decides how much money I’m willing to spend for treatment. My checkbook is the boss; however, my pain can overrule the boss, but only to a certain point — zero money.

So, here I am, wondering when my disability checks will be cut off. Wondering how Trump is going to affect my disability benefits and access to cannabis. Wondering when I’ll have to start living in my car. I don’t suppose I’ll be prepared for that asteroid, either. But at least I don’t have to wonder if my doctor will support me through all this mess.

In the meantime, all I can do is survive the best way I know how. Because, when you come right down to it, this is about survival. Good luck to us all.

Pain patients have no support from media

http://abcnews.go.com/US/fentanyl-deaths-spiked-us-sign-slowing/story?id=44554601

My comment:

I find it odd that the media doesn’t connect the dramatic increase in fentanyl deaths to the federal government’s opioid war. It’s not surprising that deaths in Florida are up 70%, as the DEA began its increased crackdown on pill mills in that state. As the DEA took its opioid war from state to state, those who suffer from drug addiction have had even fewer safe choices. It’s almost like, because prohibition was so long ago, the government has forgotten the lessons learned from that huge mistake.

When the CDC passed new opioid guidelines this year, the agency knew that one of the effects would be an increase in drug overdoses and suicides. Andrew Kolodny from PFROP (the addiction industry group that worked with the CDC on the guidelines) admitted as much. They believe that it’s more important to save people from a potential future addiction than it is to save the people who are now dying. Since the guidelines only went into effect this year, overdose deaths will keep increasing.

Those who suffer from addiction are not the only people who have been and will be adversely affected by the government’s opioid war. If you suffer from any kind of pain, you will also be affected — if not now, then sometime in the future.

A recent poll showed that over 60% of doctors don’t believe that painkillers work for chronic pain. Many doctors have stopped prescribing painkillers altogether. You may think this is a great idea — until your doctor refuses to treat your pain. And you may be surprised to learn that, just because you have a serious medical condition like cancer, that doesn’t mean you’ll have access to painkillers. Also be ready for a lecture from your doctor about the horrors of addiction whenever a painkiller is prescribed, regardless of whether you’re part of the 10% of people who may suffer from addiction.

Everyone agrees that the drug war has been a huge and expensive failure (except the DEA). Isn’t it time we had a war against pain instead of the drugs that can treat it?

For every story about someone who suffers from addiction, if the media wanted to, it could find 20 stories of people suffering from chronic pain. I wonder if someone could tell me why the media refuses to report on the millions of chronic pain patients who are the latest victims in the drug war.

Maybe I should become a conspiracy theorist

For every story about someone who suffers from addiction, if the media wanted to, it could find 20 stories of people suffering from chronic pain. It’s inequities like this that make one start to believe in conspiracy theories. I’ve seen addiction articles recently in the Los Angeles Times and now the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/no-longer-mayberry-a-small-ohio-city-fights-an-epidemic-of-self-destruction/2016/12/29/a95076f2-9a01-11e6-b3c9-f662adaa0048_story.html?utm_term=.826e5a2ffb86

As I predicted, pretty soon, there will be an addiction clinic next to every place that does surgery. Because I’m not aware of any kind of surgery that would not include the use of some kind of painkiller.

She told him the truth: More than a year earlier, she had hurt her back lifting a patient at work, where she was a nursing assistant. A doctor gave her a prescription for 120 Percocets with two automatic refills. That was 360 pills. After those ran out, he gave her a scrip for 60 more and warned her about addiction. Too late. She had no problem finding pills on the street.

I don’t know what to think about this story. What kind of doctor would prescribe Percocet right off the bat for a hurt back? I would think that most doctors would at least start with codeine.

This happened fairly recently, so what kind of doctor would give an automatic refill for a painkiller (without worrying about the DEA)? And then within a span of months, this patient went from taking Percocet for her back to finding pills on the street? Is her story supposed to be representative of… something?

Am I supposed to believe this:

“Now you can get heroin quicker in these communities than you can get a pizza,” said Teri Minney, head of the Ross County Heroin Partnership Project.

I don’t know what to believe anymore, but I do know that only one side of this war is being told. And I don’t understand why.

Are you lonely?

Sure, I get lonely. Doesn’t everybody? But it’s not something that bothers me too much. It appears that my intractable pain eclipses many things that might otherwise bother me.

It’s normal and natural to get lonely. Human beings are social animals. Why do you think Facebook has 1.79 billion monthly active users?

http://www.zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/

Talk about a crowd. How do users hear anything in all that noise? Anyway, if you’re feeling lonely, here are some links:

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/10-ways-cure-loneliness/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/66458-cure-loneliness/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-success/201010/the-cure-loneliness

Even better, here are some things to laugh at:

You gotta love American humor. 🙂

Learn To Walk Away

There are many different types of pain. Really, the things that can cause pain to the human body and mind are endless.

But be warned: Don’t give your heart away. My heart is my own and belongs to no one but me. Because there’s nothing like the pain of a broken heart. Believing it’s your fault. That there’s something wrong with you. Believing you aren’t good enough. Not worthy of love.

I see this beautiful woman singing, with so much pain on her face and in her voice. I think almost everyone knows that kind of pain. I hate seeing people in pain, but this is a beautiful song and video.

However, begging a man to stay in your bed only hurts you, and it gives the man an awful lot of power over you. I admit, I’ve done it. I begged a man not to leave me. Thing is, he was never really with me, so of course my efforts failed, making me feel a lot worse than if I had just walked away.

Most pain has a purpose. Ignore it at your own peril. And learn how to walk away from anything or anyone that causes you pain.