A Layman’s guide To Intractable Pain: Part One…
November 3, 2012, 12:49 AM
Living with severe incurable pain is a difficult thing. Not just because of the agony which we carry with us in our flesh, but also because of the attitudes we often face from others concerning our pain.
The online Dictionary defines pain as:
1.physical suffering or distress, as due to injury, illness, etc.
2.a distressing sensation in a particular part of the body: a back pain.
3.mental or emotional suffering or torment: I am sorry my news causes you such pain.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
The reality of living in constant pain is anything but simple, unfortunately.
Let me see if I can explain it to someone whom has never lived in this kind of agony. Bear with me. Most words are… inadequate… to drive home the sheer depth and desperation such a wounding causes….
First, as living beings, we all experience pain at one time or another. It is the body’s way of warning us of damage or danger. It was designed to be particularly difficult to ignore with good reason; to do so often meant permanent damage or even death. In the distant past it mean a lessening of one’s survival ability as regards running away from things wanting to eat you or other people wishing to kill you. And as such, it performed admirably. One bout/occurrence of something causing significant pain was and is normally enough to teach even the most stubborn human or animal not to do the thing that brought on said pain.
Nature’s pure aversion therapy if you will….
In today’s world, that survival imperative is no longer as necessary (no more dinosaurs), but our bodies still act as if there is a tiger or T-Rex hiding around the next bush just waiting to gobble us up! (Yes, I *know* dinosaurs weren’t supposed to be alive alongside mankind, but work with me here.. It’s only an analogy..)
Because of this, whenever damage is detected, an intense, non-negotiable, signals set is initiated and the person whose body is screaming out *must* respond in some way… if they can.. Or if the doctors believe and are willing treat them.
Often. many people, especially males, will delay even *seeking* medical care until they are simply unable to override the “danger signals” any longer. Unfortunately, our society seems to view this acceptance of and seeking for help as some form of weakness. Somehow a person in crazy-pain is *less* of a person merely because they are finally, reluctantly, forced to seek aid. Men’s minds (I do not even *pretend* to understand how women think..) internally utilize the ideals of *fictional* characters played by the likes of John Wayne, Sylvester Stallone and Arnie “The Terminator” Schwarzenegger as what should be “manly”.
Anything less than that *ideal*, is somehow “wimpy” or “weak”. (To put it nicely..)
And, when they finally *do* seek that aid, they are often forced to run a gamut of disbelieving *medical* professionals on top of the disapproving stares liberally handed out by family and friends and the shame they feel for being unable to overcome what is breaking them inside..
They are repeatedly told “It cannot be as bad” as they are perceiving it to be. That since a cause cannot be found, that they *must* somehow be mistaken, being “melodramatic” or “whining” or merely seeking attention. Urk.
So, precious time and energy is wasted by the walking wounded, as they try to find a doctor whom will not only *listen* to their pain, but also willing to *treat* them as well!! These hurting souls continue to try and support themselves and their loved ones all the while dealing with *significant* and at times *overwhelming* levels of discomfort and PAIN.
Most times, by the time society is actually willing to give them the tools they need to fight that level of pain, the (now) fully *broken* person has lost everything.. Jobs, resources, families, friends, and often even spouses… (Being ‘broken’ so drastically changes the original marriage ‘contract’ so far that many couples and families just cannot adapt to the change and split up. Others fail because as hard as it is to live in soul-searing intractable pain, it is even *harder * to sit back and watch the suffering on a minute-by-minute and week-by-week basis…)
And now, just to complicate matters further, the DEA seems hell-bent on removing *all* narcotics from the marketplace regardless of the fact that *MILLIONS* of hurting people depend on those medicines for their very *lives*. Doctors that treat Intractable Pain patients are destroyed for the mere act of actually *treating* the broken.
Look it up. *Most* of the doctors who have had their lives, businesses and *patients* destroyed *Never even faced any charges*! They just had their careers ruined through backdoor intimidation and scare tactics by the DEA.
When chain pharmacies (the *Least* likely to break any laws or knowingly hand out unneeded medications) are shut down for merely filling “too many” LEGAL prescriptions, you know the kill is on. How many is “too many”? That’s the killer.. THE DEA WON’T TELL ANYONE!!! Because of this, even distributors are now curtailing their supplies of medicines. In fact, in the state of Florida, CVS and Walgreens now refuse to stock or sell *ANY* narcotic medications. Until the DEA decides to put out some kind of directions or guidelines….. It is just *too* risky… Which is JUST what the DEA seems to want!
All over the country, pain clinics and pain doctors are closing and leaving the field of medicine in *Droves* rather than face this unholy crusade being carried out by the DEA. Those that *are* still seeing patients are cutting people off by the *hundreds*! (Oddly enough.. *most* of those dropped out in the cold seem to be Medicaid/Medicare patients.. The risk is just too great for “charity patients”. The med field *loses* money on each Gov’t funded patient they see. They can make 10 TIMES the amount of money by seeing someone with actual insurance or that is paying cash… but that is a different discussion…))
So.. All over the country.. People in agony are left out in the cold with *NO* treatment at all. Does anyone *really* think the over 800 patients dropped by *my* pain clinic somehow got “all better” suddenly?
Part Two: An average day in the life of the ‘Broken”…