Friday, November 9, 2007

How can you write a blog about Chronic Pain when you are in so much pain?

I was recently asked this question by my Psychiatrist. "How can you write about chronic pain when you are in so much pain yourself". Honestly, it is getting harder to keep this blog updated. In the beginning it was my hope of getting the attention of the medical profession and the politicians. The most rewarding thing is to get comments and I also receive a lot of e-mail from people in pain. I am an advocate for chronic pain through such wonderful organizations as The American Pain Foundation. Chronic pain is one of the most stigmatized diseases in the world, just like Mental Illness used to be and still is to a degree, but not as bad as in the past.

It is only in the past decade that mental illness and psychiatrists have been getting the credit they deserve. In the past people suffering from any form of mental illness were characterized as "being crazy", "retarded", "messed up in the head, sickos". In 2006 an independent study showed that 11% of women and 5% of men take antidepressants. This situation is far from perfect but thanks to scientists and research, we are finally starting to understand the complexities of the human brain and the central nervous system.

Depression and anxiety problems or panic attacks which is a form of mental illness is a problem that Chronic Pain sufferers have to deal with also, especially if you have lived with chronic pain like me, for years. The Psychiatrist I mentioned above, I believe "with all my heart", was placed in my life by GOD. I have been seeing him for 16 years. I have been in Chronic Pain for 25 years. He has treated me for depression and panic attacks for 16 years. He has watched me go from a person with constant pain levels of 3-4 to constant 10 pain levels. He has also watched me battle with back surgeries that only made the pain worse. He has watched me battle the so-called pain management specialists who only want to do their spinal injections at $2500.00 per shot then send you back to your primary care Dr. for pain medication.

Out of anger at what I have been through and compassion for the way I was having to live he made this statement to me. He said, I really have no desire to get into pain management, but I am going to start treating you for your pain. He knows that the medication he prescribes is not sufficient for my pain level but it helps. That was 5 years ago and he still prescribes all of my medication. Not only is he a good psychiatrist but he is a very knowledgeable Medical Doctor. I have nothing but gratification for him and in my life he is one of about three in the medical profession I can say that about.

Chronic Pain is a disease and finally research is starting to reveal the complexities of it. It will not be in my life time that the "he is only wanting drugs because he is an addict" stigma will be lifted. In the meantime myself and about 60-70 million others will continue to "suffer in silence".


Anonymous said...

Hi Jerry!
I came over from to say hi & read your blog. Hey, this is Great! ahh, the ? of how can one blog or be prolific (like me/haha)when in excrutiating 24/7 Intractable Pain/cp? It keeps my mind off my feet which both have serious neuropathy! Plus I have cmpd/fms/ddd/EDS/spinal stenosis/etc.
Nice articles!
(the Relentless)!!
ps-if you would like a little volunteer help w/emails or something I volunteer. I'm serious.

Jerry said...

Hi Lori,
Thank you for your nice comments. To be honest with you, there are times that I want to give the blog up. It is hard to write about pain when you are in so much pain. Then I will receive a nice comment like yours and it helps me. Besides I don't know how to give up. You have got to be in some serious pain. I know the feeling. Thanks again for your visit.

ObtuselyOblique1 said...

A quick hello & self-intro. Thanks Jerry for adding me to your blogcatalog neighborhood. I look forward to reading your entire blog and especially checking out the bloglinks you have which seem very helpful. I've not long been blogging all that long and have not yet gone out to explore other blogs &sites much(other than to the CP forum of, which is well-moderated and full of compassionate & informed people). The need for community for those of us in CP cannot be overstated. Anyway, once I've read more I look forward to learning and maybe adding my 2cents.
(my aka is 'Obtusely Oblique' "OO" for short. :}