Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What you, the Chronic Pain sufferer can do.

If you are suffering from Chronic Pain like I am PLEASE don't just sit there doing nothing. As for as I am concerned a medical doctor that lets a patient walk out of their office, knowing that individual is suffering at a level of pain they can not endure is violating the very oath they took to become a Doctor in the first place. The statistics are out there. You are paying that person to help you, not just to take your money. As for as I am concerned, the millions of people in this country alone that have to suffer from Chronic Pain are having their "Human Rights" violated every day, by the medical profession that refuses to treat them, by the news media that stigmatizes us and by the politicans who are more interested in catering to the lobbyists than protecting us and making laws to make sure we get the proper treatment.

Even Veterans from Viet Nam all the way through the Veterans of Iraq and other recent conflicts are having the same problems finding treatment and that is a damn shame. That is why it is so important for everyone to get involved in some type of
advocacy group. Look on the left side of my blog at my "favorite sites", pick one and join. Do like I am doing. Take advantage of all of the tools the internet has to offer to have your voice heard. That is the only we will ever get our voice heard.
Call your Congressman and Senators, engage in letter writing to them. I can promise you that the politicans are afraid of the "Blogs", because that is one of the best tools we have to get our voices heard.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This research may hold promise for Chronic Pain

I wanted to share this article with all of the Chronic Pain sufferers. I have grown very skeptical over the years, which is not my nature. I am just tired of hurting.
Even though this kind of research probably want help me, it may hold promise for others who are younger than me. So I wanted to share it with you.

"Whether they're fighting postoperative soreness or relieving chronic discomfort from conditions such as cancer, morphine and other opioids are powerful weapons against pain. Now, in research published online in Nature Neuroscience, Brown University scientists give one reason why these painkillers work so well.

The secret: They act on a special form of N-type calcium channel, the cellular gatekeepers that help control pain messages passed between nerve cells. By blocking these channels, pain signals are inhibited. These findings not only shed important light on how the body controls pain, they could be a boon to drug development.

"We've known that drugs such as morphine are highly effective at blocking calcium channels, but we've never known precisely why - until now," said Brown neuroscientist Diane Lipscombe, who led the research. "With this new understanding of how opioids work on calcium channels, drug companies could develop effective new painkillers."

Lipscombe, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience, is an expert in N-type calcium channels, critical players in the pain pathway. At the synapse - the point of connection between nerve cells - N-type channels control the release of neurotransmitters. These chemicals carry messages between nerve cells - messages that include sensations of pain. So if you block N-type channels, you can block pain.

But all of these channels shouldn't be closed, Lipscombe explained. That's because some pain signals - "That stove is hot!" - are needed to survive. "You don't want to shut off all pain signals," she said. "You just want to dampen some of them down."

In 2004, Lipscombe and her colleagues discovered a unique form of the N-type channel in nociceptors, neurons that carry pain signals to the spinal cord. These are the channels that opioids act on. But what makes the channels in nociceptors so special?

In their new work, Lipscombe and her team uncover the answer. All N-type channels are made up of a string of about 2,400 amino acids. In nociceptor N-type channels, that string differs by a mere 14 amino acids, Lipscombe and her team learned. This small difference in molecular make-up makes these channels much more sensitive to the pain-blocking action of opioids.

"In nociceptor N-type channels, you get double-barreled inhibitory action," she explained."


Jesica Raingo, a Brown postdoctoral research fellow, is lead author of the Nature Neuroscience article. Andrew Castiglioni, a former Brown graduate student, participated in the research.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the work.

Contact: Wendy Lawton
Brown University

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The main problem with getting proper treatment for Chronic pain is here.

How many times have we heard politicians on the campaign trail making all of their false promises to get elected. Try to get one to talk to you after they get elected and see what happens. Even though my core values are conservative and I have voted Republican all of my life, I will never do it again. I am about as sick of one side as I am the other. As soon as they get elected they immediately start running for re-election. Then they are interested primarily in the big money guys. The big lobbyists. Of course the Medical Industry is supported by the Republicans and the Trial Lawyers by the Democrats.

Then people like you and me can stand in line. I have personally contacted both of my U.S. Senators, my Representatives both State and Federal trying to arrange a meeting on the current undertreatment of Chronic Pain in this country. Usually all I get is an autoresponder generated generic letter, or a news letter. What have they done since the new Congress? Nothing except argue and bicker about Attorneys Generals. To his credit Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan and the late Charlie Norwood has had a bill in the house, H.R. 1020 since 2003, called the National Pain Care Policy and so far it hasn't gotten out of committee. Why? They don't give a damn. I have vowed that I will never stop my fight for better treatment of the 70 million people suffering from pain if I have to go and sit on the Capitol steps.

We have thousands of brave men and women who have been mangeled by an unnecessary war and even they aren't getting the proper treatment and that is a shame. If you don't believe me just go to The american Pain Foundation and see for yourself. And if that is not enough, we have a generation of people (the Baby Boomers) turning 60 years old at the rate of almost 8,000 per day. What is congress doing about it? Nothing but making deals and making sure they get their Pork Projects.

President Bush decides we need to have a war on drugs, but despite their best efforts the DEA hasn't been able to steem the flow of illegal drugs or narcotics so when the DEA, which was run by Asa Hutchinson gets called on the carpet by some congressional committee, poseing for a C-span Camera what happens? The DEA starts going after the few Physicians who are trying to help people like me make it through the day.

If a person has the diagnosis to back it up and a Doctor writes a prescription for the medication it is not a Narcotic. It is a Schedule II controlled substance approved by the FDA for the treatment of Chronic pain. So what in the hell is the DEA doing in the Medical business. You would think they would have their hands full going after the drug smugglers who are still bringing record amounts of illegal drugs into this country for our Children to get their hands on. I have never taken an illegal drug in my life nor do I believe that people who are truly in Chronic Pain do either.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The "News Media" plays a large role in the undertreatment of Chronic Pain

Whether it is bias or just chasing and over sensationalizing a story, the "news media" plays a very large role in the undertreatment and stigmatizing of chronic pain. Whether it is some celebrity, someone in sports, etc. that is all you see and hear. For example All we have heard for weeks is Anna Nichole Smith and Methadone, Britney Spears, or some other "quote" famous person going into rehab. for some type of drug abuse treatment. You can almost change channels on the big three news networks and never skip a word. If the DEA has a drug bust, you hear that over and over.

I have personally sent e-mails to John Gibson and Bill O'Rielly of Fox news and ask them to do a piece on the undertreatment of chronic pain in America. I didn't even get an answer to my e-mail. I guess it isn't sensational enough.

Again I am not advocating using powerful pain medication except when an individual has exausted surgery and ever other means and still is in unrelenting pain. Of course in my case, the failed surgeries are the reason for my battle for chronic pain.

I also realize that there is a drug problem in many of our high schools. I am a grand father of three children and I watch them like a hawk for any indications of drug use.

My own primary care Dr. told me a few months ago that I would not believe the people that came to his office argueing with the office personal about pain medication. He never did clarify if those people were in pain or were truly drug addicts. I said to him, what does that have to do with me? I am not the type of person that would ever do anything like that, nor would any true chronic pain sufferer. Basicly his practice is based on the fact that because of a few bad patients all pain patients should be treated the same way.

Again you never hear the media talk about both sides of the story. Its just the sensational stories, narcotics, addiction!! So with the exception of people like myself, who are continually researching chronic pain, the majority of the public believes the news media, because thats all they hear. What happens? Nothing. The "silent epidemic" goes on and it takes its toll on people. Many give in and take their lives. Some, like me, go on day after day fighting the establishment and all the time asking God why?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Is the undertreatment of Chronic Pain solely the fault of the medical Proffesion? Absolutely Not!!

Yesterday I had to take my little dog Aaron to his Vet. for a problem. It is amazing to watch other people, just like me, there with their beloved pets. In my case, I love mine so much, I will spare no expense when it comes to his treatment. His Dr. the Veterinarian is great and I love the amount of time she spends with him, and of course, all the while making sure that I understood everything.

While I was waiting for his appointment, I got into a conversation with a lady in the waiting room, who was also waiting with her "little dog". We talked about pets for awhile, then the conversation turned to "Chronic pain". I was in a lot of pain and even though I never mentioned it, I guess she must have noticed it. We talked about it briefly and then she replied, "my sister has lived in chronic pain for 25 years but now the "Doctors have gotten her addicted to Methadone".

I immediately ran that statement through my mind for a few seconds before I said anything. I then turned to her and said Doctors don't "get anyone addicted". Addiction is a choice, its a behavorial problem and as a matter of fact, it can even be inherited. I also told her that her sister needed to be treated by an "Addiction Medicine Specialist. As the conversation progressed, she finally admitted that her sister had been a drug addict for years, that the family couldn't do anything with her and she was now living on the streets. Then the clincher, she said actually I don't think she was ever in chronic pain, she just wanted the pills. Then she looked at me, almost as if she was reading my mind and said, I guess people like her really hurt people like you who truely need pain medication. I replied, yes they sure do.

So, my point is, this is another part of the problem: Many families will have a member, who they know is a drug addict and most often they have never been in pain a day in their lives. Yet , if they go out in the street, obtain something like oxycontin or whatever, instead of blaming themselves for not getting help for the family member, they choose to ignore it until it is to late. Then they want to go sue someone, whether it be the drug manufacter or a Doctor. Scenarios like this do one thing.
They make it virtually impossible for people who are truely suffering to get help from anyone. I would be remise if I didn't say, this presents a problem for the Doctor who truely wants to help and an even bigger one for the true Chronic pain sufferer.