I live in severe chronic pain, and approximately 3 years ago, I started a web site called legitimatepainpatients.org. I would like to express myself as a patient with the following. In almost every article, television report and other publications, the words “Pain Killers” is used and I must say from my own experiences, there is NO SUCH THING as this unless a person is under one of two states; They are under general anesthesia or they are dead!
Pain medication never takes the pain completely away, it only gives a patient an opportunity to live a better quality of life. I am not only talking about the chronic pain patient but also a person that is prescribed an opioid for a short time period which could be an outpatient procedure, dental surgery or a surgery in a hospital. This type of pain is referred to as acute pain. The medication will take the edge off the pain but will not get rid of it and especially with a chronic pain patient gives them the opportunity to have a better life. I try not to use the word pain and say such a word like discomfort instead since I firmly feel anytime a person hears the word pain, the mind will immediately put the individual into a state of possible panic or fear. This can happen if someone is going for a blood test and the Phlebotomist says this “may hurt or be uncomfortable for a moment”.
I completely agree there is a problem with people using pain medication for no medical need or reason other than getting a quick “good feel moment”. Doctors do need to be careful in how they prescribe pain medication but should have the right to prescribe medications when it is warranted. If a chronic pain patient does, in fact require the use of medication for pain the patient must get totally involved with their own care. This may require the patient to attend physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological therapy, or a host of other modalities.
I recently read an article in a paper from Patterson, NJ wherein a specific hospital, doctors are not using opioids in the Emergency Department. I later learned they are using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for pain management.
While writing this piece an email came across stating The American Pain Society, American Society of Anesthesiologists along with the ASRA Pain Medicine released a statement stating “The intent of the guideline (they have written) is to provide evidence-based recommendations for better management of postoperative pain”.
This nation has gone from one side of the pendulum to the other when it comes to a patient’s pain care. Very recently the CDC came out with a report stating too many drugs are being given out by doctors. As a result of this, we now have another major problem with the upswing in the use of heroin and a large number of people are dying.
But there is a large number of people who are killing themselves and others with the legal drug called alcohol. Perhaps we need to look at the value of each one of these and make changes different than what recently was reported.
Fred Brown Founder