I stumbled across this old unpublished story i wanted to share. It is a very personal glimpse of life for those in chronic pain, trust me if you aren't one, you know someone whose life has been altered forever in the name of the greater good that is so far from helpful or beneficial to anyone.
So here is MY STORY AGAIN!
Over 2 decades ago, the thoughtless actions of an intoxicated, drugged idiot changed my life forever. For whatever reason, this guy thought downing a few ounces of GHB and getting behind the wheel of a car was okay. He also thought stopping at a red light was the same as a stop sign that day. That day, that day, that day....
He chose to run that red light at the exact moment my car approached the middle of the intersection, slamming into my car, T-boning the car and in what can only be explained as a miracle, my youngest son is a bright, sarcastic, boisterous adult. No thanks to this idiot that thought drugs and driving mixed. In that car that day, my son was spared but my spine, not so much. Already having previous surgery on my lower back to correct damage from my earlier years, the damage has cost me the life I once knew. The working mom, busy climbing the ladder and running tirelessly after 3 small children and helping her family be the best they could. All my dreams at stake. So after a long battle I was paid insurance policy limits to just go away. Advised by a lawyer not up for a fight to "take what you can get at this point". So we settled quietly. The rest of my life has been far from quiet.
I have now since, had 3 lower back surgeries, the final one being a spinal fusion at less than the age of 30. Now knowing I would forever need "more". I pushed through, forced myself through recovering from the toughest surgery I had ever imagined, learning balance and taking every step with caution. I slowly put one foot in front of the other just to raise my kids and stay active. I recovered, according to my surgeon, "beautifully". Yet something still just wasn't right. I had pain on a daily basis. What used to be a 7-8 daily was at least now, a bearable 4, so I managed. Until I didn't. Lost and scared, sitting in a hospital ER I met a very smart and bright anesthesiologist. He explained my body would no longer ignore the pain and push through without some medical intervention. I had already been on trials of drugs with nightmare endings, My MOST favorite was with Oxycontin, "the miracle drug" which promised slow and steady pain control without the risks of addiction... Yeah, that was laughable! Within weeks of the drug company shipping me LOADS of FREE pills to be their "test patient," I couldn't understand or tolerate the drugs side effects and FLUSHED every single pill. At the time never understanding just how fortunate I was to be rid of something so powerful and just as addictive, if not worse than what was already on the market. So, you can understand my fear and apprehension. Addiction to pills was already rearing its nasty and vile head within my family and friends, so I just picked myself up and pushed through. I say I pushed through, but I really didn't, the strain of my worst days was placed upon the kid's father and our supportive family. They stepped in when I couldn't. I missed so many important (to me) moments of my kids' lives. So when this very caring and intelligent Dr. is telling me he knows and understands all of my concerns and fears, and he would remain diligent to my concerns and treat my pain as a whole and not just toss pills my way to create new, more concerning problems in my mind, I gave in.
Mind you that was more than 15 years ago, so according to all the major headlines I should be a nonfunctioning drug addict, right? I mean the opioid crisis is ALL because of Drs with no morals only greed, and druggies looking for their next high... BUT SEE WE AREN'T! Chronic pain patients are some of the most caring, quiet people you know, but you don't know. We have been keeping silent out of fear. We have seen our Drs arrested, harassed and shut down, slandered all through the media. Only to have a few of the good ones come right back the very next day and operate their clinics and care for those of us that would be in desperate situations without them. They were able to do so because THEY WERE FOUND to be CLEAR AND OPERATING WITHIN and EXCEEDING the standards set. They have already required close monitoring, pain contracts, drug screens, pill counts, and psychological screenings for YEARS! Not because of some crisis, but because those controls were needed in some areas to monitor and prevent abuse and addictive behaviors.