Stupid Ducks

It was supposed to rain yesterday, but the weather forecaster was wrong. (And my car was really looking forward to a bath.) After hours of looking at apartments, on my way home…

I see ducks.



Their honks reminded me of Donald Drumpf. This one’s sidestepping litter.

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A duck’s neck is very flexible, making me wonder what kind of cartilage they have.

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I like ducks, but if they have cartilage in their necks that can replace the cartilage in my jaw joints, then they should be recruited to help.

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Since the ducks were between me and the road, I thought I’d be able to force them to a point where I could take a close-up photo. I mean, where they gonna run, into the road?

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But they managed to elude me, running back and forth, parallel to the road. They didn’t seem to be afraid of the cars at all… stupid ducks.


At least these ducks are smarter than the animals that roam free in England where Sir Derrick lives — they never stuck a webbed foot onto the road.


I think these two are trying to race the race car.


This one’s like, I ain’t playing. I’m just gonna stand here and blend into the background.

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Obviously, a few non-conformists in the bunch.

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And here’s Aunt Rosa, having to watch over Baby Duck while all the other ducks get to play. Watch out for the litter, Baby Duck!

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Obviously well-fed, although eating next to a busy road doesn’t seem very appetizing.

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What are they looking for?

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Ah, it looks like ducks require relaxation, too.

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(Photos taken yesterday.)

I’m Tired

“Several documents found inside the location underscored her pain, suffering and suicidal ideations,” reads the coroner’s report. “A check of the decedent’s laptop also contained a pictured document written by the decedent titled ‘Why I Killed Myself’ by Sherri Little.”

The former New York journalist who was found dead in her home in the Dominican Republic told friends that she planned to end her life, according to reports. Sarah Kershaw, 49, was found with a plastic bag tied over her head and pill bottles beside her…  The writer had been suffering from chronic pain due to occipital neuralgia…

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I can feel it

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flying away


my will to live

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my will to stay

Sugar therapy

I need me some sugar therapy, but I don’t know what to make. Something soft and easy to chew. Easy to make, too, as I don’t have a lot of kitchen tools (like a mixer) and baking supplies (like cream cheese).

I love my cinnamon bread:

But I was thinking about brownies:

It’s definitely time for some chocolate. Let’s see, I have a little bit of baking chocolate…

Should I bake a cake? With caramel icing? Wait a minute…

Why do I need the cake? 🙂



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The Blame Game

How did I get here? Shall we play the blame game?

I guess I would start with blaming 5 years of competitive gymnastics — a sport that taught me a lot, while punishing my body.

I blame the medical industry and insurance companies for their ignorance about conditions like TMJ and chronic pain.

I blame 401(k)s, which take more money than they give. And I blame Unum, a corporation that terminated my long term disability benefits just because it can.

I blame politicians for their inability to understand every side of each issue, pleasing some people, while torturing others. I blame them for making laws that favor the rich, while punishing the poor (a shout out to ERISA).

I blame the State of Texas for only offering me prescription medications to treat pain, while outlawing cannabis. (I think the state should have paid for my move to New Mexico.)

I blame those who see disabilities as a quirk of nature, easily conquered by those who are suffering, instead of medical conditions that require treatment.

But most of all, I blame the drug war, because without it, I’m sure that a lot of these problems would not have brought me here — where I am today, in February of 2016.

Last week, the FBI and DEA released “Chasing the Dragon,” a documentary that paints an honest, unforgiving picture of opiate addiction’s devastating, often deadly consequences…

Johnna Stahl · Albuquerque, New Mexico
I don’t understand how anyone can comprehend the wonders found in the cannabis plant, while looking down at the wonders found in the poppy plant. Yes, cannabis can’t kill you, but pain can, don’t ever doubt it. When you discriminate against one drug, you discriminate against all of them.

Study: Access to Medical Marijuana Associated With Decline in Obesity

Study: Access To Medical Marijuana Associated With Decline In Obesity

For those age 35 or older, authors determined that the passage of medical cannabis laws is “associated with an increase in physical wellness and frequent exercise consistent with the hypothesis of some medicinal use of marijuana.” For younger adults, researchers theorized that obesity declines were the result of less alcohol use…

Sometimes, bud causes the munchies. And sometimes, it can help you diet and forget about food. That’s my Bud:  good for just about anything. 🙂

Anger Hangover

Everybody’s pain is unique. Most of my pain comes from my jaw joints, and throughout the years, it has exploded to encompass my whole head and upper body. The average head weighs about 10 pounds, yet mine feels like it weighs 100. (I might be exaggerating here.) But one of the hardest things to manage is controlling my emotions — from smiling and laughing, to anger and pain. All of these emotions are transferred to the muscles and nerves in my face, and for me, these are the areas that cause the most pain.

An anger hangover is similar to a smile hangover — it’s a work-out for the painful muscles in my face. And the recent tussles with my apartment manager have given me quite an anger hangover. I really hate it when I’m pushed past my emotional limits, at least with the anger side of the equation. I usually don’t regret my smile hangovers. 🙂

But as many times as I tell myself that there is nothing worth getting angry over and suffering this additional pain, my emotions are in control, the roller coaster ride begins, and I am left with a hangover. I’ve had my share of alcohol and drug hangovers, and as much as I like to use comparisons, I’m not sure I have one that better illustrates anger and smile hangovers. I think this information helps:

There are 43 muscles in the face, most of which are controlled by the seventh cranial nerve (also known as the facial nerve). This nerve exits the cerebral cortex and emerges from your skull just in front of your ears. It then splits into five primary branches: temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular and cervical. These branches reach different areas of the face and enervate muscles that allow the face to twist and contort into a variety of expressions…

One of the comments on the CDC’s website was from a TMJ patient, someone whose desperation appears to have forced her into extreme treatments. I say extreme because I was lucky enough to escape from the medical industry with just one surgery, while others have stories like these:

Comment from Theresa Schramm

After 32 years of dealing with temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction, I had both of my jaw joints replaced and all of my remaining natural teeth pulled earlier this year. The TMJ dysfunction has improved, and is still improving as I slowly get used to dentures, but the headaches and myofascial pain have not. The surgeon was very clear in warning me up front that the pain might not improve with this surgery, and he was right. It seems that the 32 years I spent trying to find ways to treat this has left me with incurable scar tissue all around my jaw joints on both sides. This scar tissue affects every move I make with my face, from simple carrying on a conversation all the way up to eating. My mouth will never open as wide as it should, nor will it move from side to side. I experience pain on a daily basis, sometimes in my jaw joint areas and more often all over my head. It hurts to talk on the phone for more than 15 minutes. Singing causes such pain I have almost completely given it up…

I suppose all of this is to warn ya’ll that I’ll need some major art therapy before I begin my chicken soup journey, so there will be lots of posts today. My prescription for this pain storm includes no talking, no smiling, and efforts to remain calm, quiet, and peaceful. May these kinds of journeys be easier for you than they are for me. 🙂

Chronic pain on YouTube

What does YouTube have to say about chronic pain? My search uncovered the following videos:

I found an interesting and informative talk by a Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan to actual pain patients (2013):

I think this doctor is trying to change the wording of how we talk about subjective pain, referring to conditions like fibromyalgia as “brain pain,” as opposed to peripheral pain. He’s saying that, yes, the pain is all in your head, but there’s a reason for that, and it’s not because you’re imagining it.

As a pain patient, that’s the message I got; but if you work for an insurance company, the only message you’d hear is that fibromyalgia pain isn’t really real. The pain is an amplification of reality — it’s only your perception of the pain that makes it severe, and your perception has now been deemed overactive. And even though your DNA is partly to blame, your sensitivity to pain is nothing that can really harm you or your body, so your treatment options are restricted and limited.

This doctor says opioids don’t work for brain pain problems, and that they won’t help any patient who’s suffering from a central pain “syndrome” (which he goes on to describe). As far as I can tell, anyone with the label of “chronic pain” is suffering from a central pain syndrome, even though he mostly uses fibromyalgia as an example (along with IBS and TMJ).

And if I’m not mistaken, this doctor believes that fibromyalgia is a case of hyperalgesia, just not always caused by opioids. But he also says that opioids are making chronic pain patients worse, actually causing fibromyalgia and central pain syndromes.

I’ll tell you what, this doctor is very convincing. If not for my own experiences, I might have believed him. But the real proof of whether hyperalgesia exists is in the discontinuance of the opioid therapy.

Now that I’m off all the pills, how come I’m not one of these alleged patients who got better? How many patients really do get better when opioids are terminated? If opioids are causing hyperalgesia in some patients, what about the other patients who don’t have that problem? From the stories I’ve read from pain patients, the only thing that happens when opioid treatment is withdrawn is more pain, so I’m not the only one.

While I found this talk interesting, my take away from the video was that anyone who suffers from chronic pain also suffers from a central pain syndrome — and that means pain medications are not for you.

How will your doctor tell you that he’s refusing to prescribe any more opioids? For this biased re-enactment, we’ll need an example of a pain patient who’s abusing his medications (the patient portrayed in the video has been monitored by the PDMP, which shows he’s received multiple prescriptions for Lortab from different doctors):

In real life, this patient would be behind bars after this visit, especially since he refused the doctor’s suggested treatment (Suboxone or bupe). And just to show you how inaccurate the portrayal of the pain patient is, this guy keeps asking for stronger pain medication — I don’t know any pain patient who would do that, knowing they would be risking whatever limited access they still have.

And I’ll just add that most of the stories I’ve read about patients forced to discontinue opioids involve doctors notifying patients by letter, or just abandoning them altogether by refusing to see or talk to them.

Here’s a sarcastic take on a patient’s first visit with pain management:

Under comments:

petmom ful 10 months ago
I signed the contract and did everything right. They still treated me like a criminal. I hated the whole thing. It was a terrible experience. The drugs made me sick, yet they pushed more and more on me. They would not listen to anything I said. The dr. told me I was a fail and had shut myself off from further treatment. I could not bear any more injections. PT made me so bad that I could not even get on the table after 7 weeks. I told him that would happen but he did not listen. He treated me like a degenerate and yelled at me. They would not even take the time to look at the PT report that had been faxed to them. I made my husband go into the room with me, so maybe they would treat me with a little more respect. I sat across the room so they could not grab my head and jack it right and left to check my range of motion. The drugs made me sick, angry, and upset, then they labeled me a nut. Every appt. I made was screwed up! They give you just enough meds to last to your next appt, then they screw up your appt. and you reschedule. Now you don’t have enough meds to last! Too bad! If you decide you can’t take it, and change doctors, you are now a dr. shopper. It is hopeless. No more pain management for me! I realize not everyone can do without it, but I am managing and I don’t plan on going back.

Finally, here’s our own Payne Hertz’s take on a pain patient’s ER adventure:

In The Background

“In the animal kingdom, one of the keys to survival is to outwit your enemies. And when you’re surrounded by carnivores, one of the best strategies is to fade into the background and disappear.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

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“The Romans thought of themselves as the chosen people, yet they built the greatest army on Earth by recruiting warriors from any background.” Amy Chua


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“I want to state upfront, unequivocally and without doubt: I do not believe that any racial, ethnic or gender group has an advantage in sound judging. I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge, regardless of their background or life experiences.” Sonia Sotomayor

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“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic background, is that we all believe we are above-average drivers.” Dave Barry


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I know that’s a lot of photos… but I need a lot of art therapy today (because smile hangover). As always, thanks for viewing. 🙂

(Photos taken on New Year’s Eve.)

Buying Claritin-D in a snowstorm

New Mexico is under a winter storm warning, beginning at noon today. While there was some blue in the sky this morning, it’s given way to one huge white cloud, blanketing everything, including my mountain. (I feel like I’m in a real-life version of The Truman Show, under a dome of fake clouds.)

Thankfully, it was time to purchase my next box of Claritin-D today, because I would’ve hated to travel during tomorrow’s bad weather.

While I was at the Walgreens pharmacy counter, I overheard the pharmacist talking to a customer on the phone about a prescription for clonazepam (Klonopin). She was telling the customer that it was too early to fill the prescription, which wasn’t due until January 11th. Then the pharmacist said that clonazepam doesn’t help with pain…  I looked at the cashier and I’m like, yeah, it does, but that’s just my opinion.

Anxiety can cause physical pain, like headaches, and everyone knows how anxiety-filled the holidays can be. And anti-anxiety medications also work as a mild muscle relaxer. So, if a pharmacist tries to tell you that anti-anxiety meds don’t help with pain, then that pharmacist obviously has very limited knowledge about the treatment of pain.

When I googled clonazepam, I got this:


It can treat seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety.

Controlled substance
Can cause paranoid or suicidal ideation and impair memory, judgment, and coordination. Combining with other substances, particularly alcohol, can slow breathing and possibly lead to death.

Most commonly used for:

Trigeminal neuralgia
A chronic pain condition affecting the trigeminal nerve in the face.

Involuntary muscle contractions that cause repetitive or twisting movements.

Hey, CDC, can you hear us now?

At this point, there are 486 comments on the CDC’s new opioid guidelines. And while I didn’t read every single one, I think it’s extremely important for the voices of pain patients to be heard — which is why I copied and pasted some of the comments (mostly excerpts) here on my blog. Now these comments can be found by a simple Google search, instead of being buried on the CDC website (for however long).

I think it’s also important for patients to know which doctors agree with the CDC (you know, so you can avoid them). (See comments under “Doctor” heading.)

Just like I want my story to be read, other pain patients want the same thing, so please take a little time to read a few of these comments. You can find my story here:

In my overall review of the comments, I’d say that 95% of them are from patients and are against the CDC.  I also noticed that there were a significant number of comments from patients with CPRS, EDS, Arachnoiditis, Interstitial Cystitis, and Fibromyalgia.

I’d also like to mention the defensiveness and fear within all the comments from patients. Many comments include lengthy descriptions of medical conditions, along with adamant protestations of innocence for abusing medications, such as:

“I take my medication exactly as my dr has prescribed it.”


I hate to break it to pain patients, but I don’t think that matters to the CDC. See, in this agency’s view, almost EVERY non-cancer pain patient on opioids is taking too high of a dosage. In fact, the CDC believes chronic pain patients shouldn’t be taking opioids at all, so it doesn’t matter if you’re taking your medications as prescribed.

I also noticed that too many commenters posted under “Anonymous,” obviously afraid to use their real names.

Lastly, I noticed that many pain patients are rooting for doctors, saying these decisions are between doctors and patients. Until your doctor abandons you, I suppose you might still have faith in him or her… Yeah, good luck with that.

Because if you believe that the medical industry is on the side of pain patients, I’m afraid you’re in for a rude awakening. If you believe your current doctor will never abandon you, I don’t see how you’ll be prepared for the eventuality. And as a pain patient, if you have to find another doctor for any reason, you’ll be up shit creek (right next to suicide alley).

In fact, many doctors are taking advantage of the opioid war by taking advantage of pain patients — overcharging and other abuses (including sexual abuse) against patients are not reported, but believe me, the medical industry is rife with abuse against patients. Ya’ll be careful out there…


Comment from Anonymous

It is very frustrating to have my orthopedic Dr. be with a group that has passed a policy to not give out pain meds after a certain number of months post surgery, then sends me to a pain clinic who won’t prescribe narcotics either…

Comment from Emily Valtreaux

Why are your “professional panels” made up of people that will greatly benefit by throwing us all in detox I wonder? Why do you cry “hyperalgesia” (apparently the new fear mongerer word favorite) even when an individual is still in pain, just to the point that is tolerable? …

Comment from S S

Announcing this with no notice and over the holiday season keeps the PATIENTS (the citizens who need these medicines) from having any input on the topic…

Comment from Jaymie Reed

One of the biggest problems we face is that the very people who are suffering are the ones that need to speak out but won’t because of fear of reprisal from the DEA. They won’t sign petitions or comment on public forums such as this, because they are afraid that they won’t even be able to fight to get the pain medication they need that it will simply be taken from them completely… The number of heroin deaths are increasing and it isn’t because the chronic pain patient who is being treated for their pain. It is because of the chronic pain patient that is no longer receiving treatment for their pain. They turn to the streets and buy a drug they have no idea how to use and end up overdosing…

Comment from Rebecca

In Colorado they had me try medical marijuana and that also helped but I had to move back to West Virginia and the medical marijuana is not legal here so I haven’t had any real relief in over a year. I need help…

Comment from John Bocchicchio

A colleague of mine who had a similar condition and had been battling out the pain management paradox, I.e. You are treated like a drug seaker until further proven. He dealt with the suspicions, urine tests, and intense scrutiny as he was fighting for his life with the pain that sought to kill him. Unfortunately, the pain won. Faced with disability battles, and struggles obtaining relief from chronic pain that is constantly screaming at you to give up, he took his own life in 2009 rather face another day of pain and frustration. I don’t want to end up being like my colleague…

Comment from Shelley Anderson

Do you know what it’s like to feel split open from the waist down, have red ants dumped on you, and be eaten alive from the inside out…. YEAH… THAT’S HOW I FEEL EVERY SINGLE DAY… and yet – the answer I get from our local clinic is…just go to the ER to get some pain relief. REALLY? For Gods sake – I DESERVE TO LIVE A SOMEWHAT NORMAL LIFE…I feel like a begging junkie every single month when I have to pick up my “piece of paper”….how gross to live like this. It’s just so damn frustrating. Today…I’d be better off dead. What a sad and pathetic way to try and get my point across. So so so sad. No one should have to live like this. No one.

Comment from Kevin Howerton

I have a degree in neuroscience… Likewise “they aren’t terminal” seems like a very poor argument for denying someone treatment that has the potential to drastically improve their quality of life. I’d rather a short and painful life to a long and painful one.

Some of the more “serious” arguments seem to revolve around the idea that opiate use increases exponentially. “Opiates require an infinite increase to quench an ever increasing tolerance”. You’d be surprised but this idea is preposterous. You have a finite number of receptor sites in your brain; your head occupies a finite amount of space … how could you expect an infinite amount of tolerance. Tolerance does increase with chronic opiate use though it is far from infinite. Having to titrate up a patient to a useful therapeutic dose as their treatment and disease progresses is not something physicians have to uniquely do with opiates … rather this is the nature of all drugs…

Comment from Dana Spencer

I will never get better. I will only get worse.

Comment from Anonymous


Comment from Anonymous

I just notice the comment I submitted 12/20 was not listed. In fact, comments between 12/19-20 were missing. [This was not the only mention of disappearing comments.]

Comment from Lori Mahloch

I am appalled that the CDC thinks that the only people who deserve to be treated humanely are people with Cancer. I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, This rates the HIGHEST on the McGill pain scale for pain. Yet I am unable to get treatment by physicians because of CDC guidelines. Walking into a doctors office for a first visit and the first words out of a doctors mouth should NOT be we don’t give pills here. Because of the audacity of the CDC many doctors will not see, nor treat anyone who has a chronic pain disease. I have not been able to see a doctor for a year because of these guidelines. I have lost friends to suicide , due to not being able to get pain meds for their pain…

Comment from Rebecca Scarbrough

Do you think regulations that label sick people as drug addicts or dealers helps with the personal anxiety and depression that almost always accompanies chronic pain? Why add to this? I wonder how many lives were lost when a pharmacist stare and judgement was the final straw. Have you ever thought of that? …

Comment from George Gregorich

I no longer respect or trust doctors…

Comment from Rhonda Barth

You all should be ashamed! My husband is 100% service connected disabled Veterans who is being made to suffer in agony now because you have made it to where the VA is taking away his pain medication. He is now bedridden and has no quality of life, he does not want to be here anymore…

Comment from Theresa Schramm

After 32 years of dealing with temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction, I had both of my jaw joints replaced and all of my remaining natural teeth pulled earlier this year. The TMJ dysfunction has improved, and is still improving as I slowly get used to dentures, but the headaches and myofascial pain have not. The surgeon was very clear in warning me up front that the pain might not improve with this surgery, and he was right. It seems that the 32 years I spent trying to find ways to treat this has left me with incurable scar tissue all around my jaw joints on both sides. This scar tissue affects every move I make with my face, from simple carrying on a conversation all the way up to eating. My mouth will never open as wide as it should, nor will it move from side to side. I experience pain on a daily basis, sometimes in my jaw joint areas and more often all over my head. It hurts to talk on the phone for more than 15 minutes. Singing causes such pain I have almost completely given it up…

Comment from George Gregorich

I can’t wait for the day when I watch the news and see you people being arrested for crimes against humanity. You are just as bad as chronic pain , you don’t know when to quit…

Comment from Richard Osband

Opiates (of one form or another) have been the sovereign analgesics for centuries. The CDC’s efforts to essentially criminalize them when no other really effective alternative to their use exists is simply sadistic. While there are many ways to treat addiction there are no other ways to treat intractable pain. The proposed guidelines seem to make pain management a matter of morality rather than of proper clinical practice…

Comment from Anonymous

I have lived with Severe pain since I was 14 years old. There is no doubt what the cause is behind the pain. I have had 13 brain surgeries since then and 4 spine surgeries. If I did not have access to my daily dose of Morphine, and Hydrocodone I would not be able to get out of bed because of Hydrocephalus, and a spine disorder called Arachnoiditis. Please stop the madness surrounding to restrict access to much needed life-improving medications. Doctors have all said to me, I may not have cancer but its clear from my vital signs, my labwork and scan results I am living in constant severe pain, and need to be treated adequately before it kills me. It’s proven that chronic pain can put a strain on your heart and other vital signs if not treated appropriately patients can die prematurely.I am fearful that the government wants to do is kill off all chronic pain patients rather than helping us have a better quality of life. The pain we are in isn’t psychological.

Comment from Paul Clay

I work in emergency medicine and critical care. Here’s what happened to opiod abusers. They couldn’t get prescription pills easily enough so the abuser went to heroin,which resulted in more overdose deaths in a few months more than i had seen in my 20 yrs. . If your goal was to kill off the abuser and make it more difficult for true needs patients then congratulations you have succeeded…

Comment from barbara williams

I was nave in thinking that when people are in pain that going to a pain clinic would fix everything. Going to the pain clinic did nothing. Tramadol took a bit of the edge off, but ganglion blocks, injections, trial l with spinal chord stimulator did nothing. We then tried alternative methods of chiropractor care acupuncture, calmare scrambler, ozone injections, dry needling and biofeedback to the tune of $10,000…

Comment from Arianne Grand-Gassaway

Relief from pain should not be a crime…

Comment from Angela Farthing

I am a victim of the 2012 Fungal Meningitis outbreak. I was injected with a contaminated vial of methylprednisone acetate to treat sciatic pain. Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with fungal meningitis, suffered a stroke, a brain aneurysm, an intradural abscess, and ultimately adhesive arachnoidits. The arachnoiditis left me in horrific pain, pain that literally made me wish I never survived the meningitis (which I almost didn’t). When I initially told my doctors about the pain that left me crying on the floor, my plea for pain relief began…  I now take Low Dose Naltrexone and am completely opioid and synthetic opioid free…


Comment from Stephen Pew, Ph.D.

My own Mother ended her own life by starving herself because her chronic pain was mismanaged and the doctor would not allow her IV morphine to be administered even in the hospital because “she might get addicted”… I myself ended up in the emergency room with a kidney stone. I was shuffled around for over two hours in terrible pain because the ER was hesitant to administer care for pain. After an hour I was finally given an IV for pain and it was explained to me by the doctor that new regulations limited their ability to treat efficiently. No follow up opioid medication for pain was allowed…

Comment from Elayne Baumgart, Ph.D.

It would be one thing to remove opiates if you had something with which to replace them. Something that would effectively manage pain. But, you don’t…

Comment from Kathryn Rosenberg

I am a Family Physician with 33 years experience in the field. I began to see a pain specialist for back pain about 3 years ago mainly to prevent any questions about my use of opiates. Since then I have started Lyrica and ymbalta for pain control. I have found Tylenol to be of little use… I simply do not see how I could go on living if opiates were not available to me.

Comment from Paul McCurry

As an anesthesiologist, pain physician and addictionologist [made-up term], I applaud the CDC’s efforts to assist in curbing the current opioid addiction epidemic our country is experiencing… All of these adverse consequences are due to continued prescribing of drugs that have NO LONG TERM PROVEN EFFICACY…

Comment from Nathan Hitzeman

These recommendations look reasonable… As a primary care doc losing the war on chronic pain, I applaud the CDC for coming up with these guidelines!

Comment from Blaise Vitale

I am a family physician who regularly sees that chronic narcotics are simply ineffective for chronic pain. I know there are a lot of people who are addicted who think their lives will be ruined by stopping narcotics, but they simply can’t see how the narcotics are harming them. These guidelines may not go far enough to discourage opioids for chronic non-cancer pain. In particular, any patient who has any history of addiction to substances like tobacco or alcohol should never be prescribed these medications chronically. [This is what discrimination looks like.]

Comment from Adrian Bartoli

As a physician specializing in chronic pain management for the past 20 years, double board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Management, involved in clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry, I strongly and unequivocally SUPPORT the CDC recommended guidelines for restrictions on opioid prescriptions…

Comment from Dr. Edwin Cabassa, DNP, FNP, BC

Unfortunately, there is a significant abuse for opiods in all socio-economic communities. Doctors and Nurse practioners are a major source for those seeking illegal use of such asnd ssimilar substances. My experience is such I will not prescribe opioids unless there is a definitive diagnosis indicating its use. From my panel of patients, I’ve been able to isolate my patients to just 3 who require opiods…

Comment from Maryn Sloane

As an MD board certified in addiction medicine with a sub specialty in the hopefully growing field of effectively treating opiate dependent chronic pain pts… [Someone is seeing lots of dollar signs…]

2. ANYONE on an opiate >30 days will develop opioid induced hyperalgesia… [Liar, liar, pants on fire.]

Opiates ARE NOT INDICATED EVER for neuropathic pain. They WORSEN IT. [Maybe in some patients, but not all.]

Man up docs! – JUST SAY NO!

it takes the simple writing of a prescription to create a substance dependent patient… [Speak for yourself, not everyone else.]

Chronic opiate users should be registered

detoxes should be offered for any pt on opiates for >1y


Comment from Richard Webb, MD, Addiction Psychiatry

The use of opiates should be used with extreme caution in anyone with a personal or family history of addiction. [How many Americans don’t have a personal or family history of addiction?]

Comment from Maxwell Stepanuk

I am an orthopedic surgeon and the abuse of opioids is appalling… The problem, as I see it, is with the GPs. [Doctors turning against each other?]

Comment from Barry Saver

As a family physician who has spent my career working in the health care… I would say I have seen some patients genuinely helped by chronic opioid therapy for pain – but far more harm, including addiction, overdose, and diversion… Based on conversations with colleagues, at least 99% would happily accept a time limitation for how long they could prescribe opioids to an individual patient (with exceptions for oncology and palliative care)…

Too bad there aren’t many doctors who commented that still believe in medical science. (Still think doctors are on your side?)

Maybe you’re wondering if I made a comment? No, and I’m not sure I will. However, considering I am currently without bud and in a really bad mood, I might just change my mind. And since I don’t see a rule about how many comments one person can make, I’m sure I could wrangle some fun out of the experience. 🙂

Note:  Comments are due by January 13, 2016.

Thinking of you, Jane Disbrey

THE former headteacher of Havelock School was suffering from chronic pain in her face when she jumped off the Humber Bridge…

Mrs Disbrey’s husband Stephen told an inquest into her death she had suffered severe facial pain since August, last year. He said: “She suffered long periods of pain, sometimes up to 14 hours at a time.

“All she wanted was someone to give her a tablet to make the pain go away.”

Mrs Disbrey had been diagnosed with atypical facial pain, for which she had been prescribed gabapentin and carbamazepine.”  Jane always wanted an instant solution to the pain that she was in, but it was explained to her that it was a very difficult illness to treat,” said Mr Disbrey.”

She had told herself she would never get better.” …

Mr Disbrey said his wife had stopped taking the medication, which she was intolerant to, and had been about to try another type of drug to combat her pain.

Mrs Disbrey’s GP, Dr Richard Taylor, based at Willerby Surgery, said in a statement she attended with severe pain on the left side of her face. She told him the pain had coincided with dental treatment…

During another appointment on June 29, Mrs Disbrey was “tearful and upset” and said gabapentin had left her feeling “foggy” and experiencing severe nightmares.

Victoria Bell, a specialist liaison practitioner, told how Mrs Disbrey “became tearful and distressed” as she disclosed the impact of the death of a student, who had taken their own life.

Ms Disbrey’s pain was so severe she spent a week in to Hull Royal Infirmary in July.

Professor Paul Marks, senior coroner for Hull and the EastRiding, recorded a narrative conclusion, saying: “Jane Disbrey developed atypical facial pain in 2014, which was compounded by high levels of anxiety. Her pain was refractory to pharmacological treatment.

“She did not express any suicidal ideation on the last day of her life, but was seen to jump from the Humber Bridge on the 4th of August, 2015 after 6pm, and died instantaneously from multiple injuries sustained as a result of the fall.”