I’ve been rewriting this blog over and over again, and to be blunt there is no other way to write it, but to get straight to the point – so here I go.
Living with intense and constant chronic pain and illnesses are challenging, to say the least but it’s a way of life every day for myself and millions of people all around the world. Being ill in this way is living with the unknown. Every day is different, and it’s really hard to plan when you have no idea how you will feel when you wake up or actually not knowing whether you will feel ok to live the life that you dream about and love and so it is so very hard not to feel anxious, depressed or even completely lost living with one huge question mark hanging over your life’s existence.There are a million and more constant questions and often no answers.
So to be clear nobody really knows how to deal with chronic pain and illness, and that includes us as the people who have them, the loved ones that surround us and even the doctors trying to treat us. There is no guidebook for chronically lifelong illnesses and no way to answer all the questions that I have previously mentioned before, because every journey is so personal and there are so many illnesses categorised and labeled this way. So you see, when you have these types of illnesses your body is literally fighting against itself. The physical side of it is all throughout your body – you are living in daily pain, fatigue, with aches, food intolerances, medications along with hospital trips, surgeries, treatments, etc. It is, at times, too much to bear leaving us physically, mentally and emotionally devastated.
So medication is being trialled all the time and this is where the journey of living with chronic pain and illness becomes scary as much of this medication is pain relief based consisting of opioid ingredients.
More and more there are scary headlines crossing all forms of media globally with such things as; “THE WORLD IS ADDICTED TO OPIOIDS” or perhaps “THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IS HERE”. The media is obsessed with the idea of the “opioid epidemic” taking over the world and affecting millions of people and ruining life as we know it. We regularly see on TV telling viewers about how pain killers are the worst things ever invented, and only people with cancer should be allowed to have them. So where does this leave the invisible chronically ill and in pain patients?? Because of these scare tactics, even some doctors can be found ducking and weaving, telling their patients that they now have to get over their pain alone. Some doctors are still sympathetic, but they are also being harassed by their own medical boards so they really have no choice to lessen use of prescription pain killers. This is all because the media says there is an opioid epidemic. The world talks about a supposed epidemic however there are millions of people living with chronic pain and illness globally.
In my opinion, yes there are too many painkillers being prescribed but has anyone stopped to ask why this is? I believe its because millions of people are in constant and chronic pain with more modern day illnesses caused by the stress and pressure on life in general and also that the medical alternatives which are great treatments to pain killers like for example, massage,physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture and the list goes on, are way to expensive and pricey and financially out of reach for the average pain ridden patient.
Understand this that, we the patients so riddled with chronic pain and illness daily are very likely unable to work. If we cannot work, finances are lessened and alternative treatments out of reach at present. If the natural alternatives to pain killers were able to be bulk billed or at least have their payments part covered by the Government in some way, then people ill and in pain could have some other avenues to treatment besides painkiller medication or perhaps building a balance between their painkillers and the alternatives. Yes, there are overdose deaths related to pain killers, but there are also deaths related to chronic pain and illness and these may appear to be linked together. There isn’t always a way to tell whether someone died of an accidental overdose or if someone committed suicide by overdose because they were too overwhelmed by their illness and pain. I believe, there is a notion that we are more concerned about the overdose deaths caused from painkillers than the millions of people who are living in chronic pain and illness that maybe at risk of suicide. It seems that we are far more concerned for people after they are dead than when they are alive. If people are alive and in chronic pain and illness, it appears it’s not the medico’s problems until they die and then it looks bad.
Globally there is a chronic pain and illness problem, not an opioid problem. So let’s talk about how to deal with chronic pain and illness instead of just taking away medication that makes us look bad.
So let me get to the actual addiction problem, and how we are handling it? We’re handling it by taking away pain killers from those that need them without considering that people might then turn to harder and illegal drugs to ease their pain or their addiction. Taking away pain pills from patients isn’t going to help anyone. The honest pain patients will live in agony and lose their quality of life, and the addicts will turn to the back street accessible harder ones. Let’s treat the actual problem because It’s not the people in chronic daily pain and long term health complexities who are the problem here.
I don’t pretend that my little blog post can fully summarise the global problem of chronic pain, illness and the supposed “opioid epidemic” however it does draw out a simple understanding and this is why I am left feeling that only chronic pain patients like myself seem to understand the real scope of this problem and this is the reason for my blog topic. You see, I had to complete a survey for an upcoming pain management consult. The survey did nothing to really assist in building better and alternative bridges to overcome my chronic health and pain levels, instead just labelled me as a patient with a opioid addiction. Yes, I take numerous prescription and pharmacy bought painkiller medication but it’s because I have no other alternative. I have tried to live painkiller free, only to end in hospital frequently, being given hospital strength painkillers which contain opioids on a higher level.
The fact is that if there was more research, awareness and assistance for chronic pain and health patients we would not be alone in our fight for pain and illness management. I ask the politicians to stand up and help us the people in pain, I ask the doctors to please support and assist the rights of us as patients and I ask the media in all categories to please help and not scare the world in regards to this extremely important topic for the millions living with chronic pain and illness because at the moment we are a world that should be ashamed.
I hope that you are still reading my post at this point and hope that you may help me get my message out to the greater world by sharing this blog with your friends and family because it’s so much better to walk together than to tear each other down.