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.


antioxidant drinker said...

i stumbled on your blog from, and i thought i'd make a comment.

i have an uncle who is a drug addict and i abolutely aggree that you have the choice to be able to become addicted to something.

i liked this post, keep it up.

richelle said...

thank you for the nice comment!
your blog is so interesting and I added you to my links...


duke63 said...

Thank you so much for your kind words. Sometimes I feel like I can't write about pain anymore. Comments like yours make it all worth while.


DiamondVVV1 said...

Thank you for addressing this issue and bringing it out in the open -- the medical profession has a long way to go on this issue. I look forward to reading more of your news with the "system".

Anonymous said...

Jerry, I saw your blog today and wanted to get in touch with you. I work for MedTrackAlert ( We have an RSS feed that you might be interested in. It could be customized to display information about Chronic Pain and the medications that are used to treat it on your site. Please take a look at the site and e-mail me if you're interested in adding it to your blog.

Marsha said...

I understand about chronic pain, but I do not share your views on addiction. Sometimes I get absolutely frustrated and weary from pain, so I revert to pain pills. Do I abuse them? No. They are easy to increase though because our bodies build up tolerance. It takes more and more for the pills to be effective.

We are talking about semantics here, but the media feeds off of using the wrong words. The show Intervention features people who abuse drugs. There are many levels of drug users. I'm talking about prescription drugs. Those who take them to get high on one end of the spectrum, and those who take them for pain. In the middle of that spectrum are those who get caught on the drug because it gives them relief. And it is difficult to stop without getting ill. It is difficult to taper off a drug when you are still in pain.

I agree that doctors don't force drugs on people literally. But usually when you go see a doctor, you can plan to leave with some kind of medication. Doctors are pill pushers. They have few other tricks up their sleeves. My sister takes Methadone for pain also. She was prescribed this by her doctor. She is not a drug abuser, but caught in a pain cycle. An addiction specialist told me that Methadone is one of the most difficult drugs to get off of. The doctor did not tell my sister this.

Interesting topics on your page....