I am in physical pain every single day of my life and I have been for the entirety of the twenty first century thus far. Pain keeps me from falling asleep when it is time for bed, wakes me up during the night, and it is what wakes me up completely every single morning. I am ruining my insides, probably, from all of the over the counter stuff I take which does little to help.
There was a time when I took prescription pain medication (opiods) and I was able to be much more productive because intense physical pain also saps a person’s mental and physical energy, and when I hurt less I can do more, but I stopped taking those medications when it became too much of a hassle to get them, what with the “pain contracts” and the drug testing, and the stigma and all. Getting off pain meds was very unpleasant, but so was the sneering contempt I was subjected to whenever I had to mention that I was taking prescription medication to treat chronic pain or try to find a new doctor who would prescribe them or even just the way I was looked down on at the pharmacy when it was time to get those scripts filled.
It seems these days that medical professionals will subject their patients to just about anything in order to avoid providing actual pain relieving medication to people who are suffering from physical pain – from anti-seizure medication to people who do not have seizures, to anti-depressants to people who are not suffering from depression, to botox (botulism!) injections, to steroid pills and injections and whatever else they can think of (other than pain medication – duh) regardless of the potentially devastating side effects (side effects that can be far worse than those of prescription narcotic pain killers or the slim possibility that a person may misuse said pain medication), all because of the so-called “opiod crisis” that primarily involves heroin addicts and others who are getting and abusing drugs obtained more often on the street than from medical providers; and the government’s hair on fire response to the “crisis” is to extend the “war on drugs” to become a war on nice normal people who happen to have medical need for effective pain medication.
What happens when people who are in far more pain than what I have to live with are denied the relief they used to be able to obtain? Well, they could look elsewhere and get themselves some street drugs, despite the risks of getting bad medicine or getting caught, or they could suffer and lose quality of life (as I have opted to), or they can take the ultimate (and very sad) action to end their never ending pain by taking their own lives.
Doctors are afraid to prescribe pain killers to people who are legitimately in horrible pain, people who obtain relief from prescription pain medication are living in fear of losing the only thing that helps them live anything close to a normal life, and people who cannot obtain relief are suffering needlessly because of a rabid prohibitionist hysteria of “we know what’s good for you so we will hurt you for your own good”ism.
The thing I miss most about pain killers is that they worked for me and allowed me to do more with my days and my life, but I do not miss all the aggravation involved with legally obtaining them or the stigma surrounding their use. I hurt more than I need to just so some nanny staters, hand wringers, control freaks and bureaucrats can feel good about themselves for “doing something”. So I guess my suffering isn’t completely for nothing, right?
MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals.