Helpless Rage

I’m growing more and more furious that the same old erroneous, disproven, and terribly stigmatizing beliefs about opioids/opiates are still being propagated in the media. Instead of being countered by intelligent people who know better, these falsehoods are only growing in influence. Even highly educated people, including medical personnel, are spouting these same damaging notions as facts, just because they have become culturally trendy.

Everyone is jumping on the opio-phobic bandwagon, competing to be the hardest on anyone using opioids for any reason. It’s a disgusting situation, creating an invincibly powerful societal meme of the “innocent pain medication user who is sucked into addiction” against their will by taking just a few prescribed pills to relieve overwhelming pain.

Thanks to the factually corrupt and omnipresent media feeding frenzy, patients are afraid to ask for pain relief and doctors are afraid to provide it. The situation is impervious to facts or reason and has evolved into a witch hunt destined to ferret out all pain patients and take away our medication.

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Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?

Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood? – The New York Times

The digestive tube of a monkey, like that of all vertebrates, contains vast quantities of what biologists call gut microbiota. The genetic material of these trillions of microbes, as well as others living elsewhere in and on the body, is collectively known as the microbiome. Taken together, these bacteria can weigh as much as six pounds, and they make up a sort of organ whose functions have only begun to reveal themselves to science

Lyte has spent his career trying to prove that gut microbes communicate with the nervous system using some of the same neurochemicals that relay messages in the brain.

Lyte, 60, spoke fast and emphatically. ‘‘You wouldn’t believe what we’re extracting out of poop,’’ he told me. ‘‘We found that the guys here in the gut make neurochemicals. We didn’t know that. Now, if they make this stuff here, does it have an influence there? Guess what? We make the same stuff. Maybe all this communication has an influence on our behavior.’’   Continue reading

Disastrous Post-Op

I had my post-op appointment yesterday after my collarbone surgery on the 18th, and it was disastrous.

The bone itself is healing fine because the parts are screwed to a metal plate, but instead of the broken part being pulled back down to join the little piece that was still properly seated in the shoulder joint, my loose EDS tissues allowed the little intact piece to be pulled way upward out of the joint completely.

Now the whole bone with the plate is sticking way up like the broken piece was before. Apparently I’ve dislocated the joint completely and no one knows why. Of course, the doctor had “never seen anything like this”.   Continue reading

The chasm between doctors and patients? Money.

Why the chasm between doctors and patients?  It’s all about money. |    KevinMD 

Two posts on Shirie’s blog,  Medicine for Real, received much attention:

The subject matter has hit a nerve.  The first post was about how we use and misuse numbers in medicine, (Just Numbers), and the second made the case that patients are not customers in the retail sense, (Would You Like Fries With That?).

Why are issues of buying, selling, ratings and statistics in health care so polarizing?

There are plenty of people who think health care should be cast into the competitive marketplace and allowed to sink or swim based on quality indicators and pricing.

A health care consumer can theoretically pick a doctor based on a star rating and haggle him or her down on the price of a knee replacement or echocardiogram.  But is that what we want?  To approach our health needs like buying a car or shopping for appliances?   Continue reading

Surgery went well, but…

Thank you all so much for your queries and support. I feel terrible that I was unable to respond sooner, but here’s my long and convoluted explanation and I hope you’ll understand.

Apparently my head injury was/is much more serious than what happened to my bones. Since surgery fixed the most pressing problem of the broken collarbone, I’ve been having episodes of depression and rage so extreme that I almost can’t stand being conscious.

My husband has been telling me over and over about my crash and answering all my questions, but I keep forgetting not only his answers, but that I even asked the questions. Today, I asked again and heard again that I was not only out cold after my crash, but going in and out of consciousness even after we had come home afterward.

He had repeatedly tried to take me to Urgent Care, but I kept resisting, saying “they are only going to hurt me even more” and “I just need to rest”. I refused to be seen for 3 days until Monday, when I finally realized my shoulder was not going to magically go back into alignment by itself. I and everyone else was completely focused on that part because of the obvious trauma.   Continue reading

Media Hype About Opioids

To The Media:

Ever since you started writing about the “Opioid Crisis in America”, you have ignored the millions of us that suffer with serious and incurable, but treatable, pain. You have ignored scientific facts and stubbornly continue to confuse chronic pain treatment with addiction.

You present the horrors of addiction and overdose as inevitable consequence of any opioid use, and fail to distinguish between supervised medical use and recreational use.

You rely on the opinions of self-declared experts as truth, brushing aside inconvenient facts:

  1. Less than 5% of legitimate pain patients become addicted**.
  2. Most opioid overdoses are not from an opioid alone, but from a combination of drugs that enhance the effects of the opioid, like alcohol or tranquilizers.
  3. The vast majority who use illegal drugs and get addicted eventually stop without any help or drama.

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Concussion Depression?

cropped xray

Dear blog-readers and friends,

Thank you all so very much for your kind comments. Every little bit of positivity helps slow my slide into despair.

Tomorrow I’ll finally have surgery for my ripped apart shoulder, almost a week after my bike crash. The waiting was first painful and troubling, but now has become agonizing, and my mood has taken a dive into a major depression.

Every day, the pain is worse as the splintered bone ends continue tearing things up inside.

I have no illusions that surgery will “fix” my ripped apart shoulder, especially not after letting the damage continue for almost a week; I expect it will never be quite right or truly pain-free again.

That may sound pessimistic, but from all my research, optimism would be unfounded. Anyone who expects a “cure” of their pain from surgery is left severely disappointed, so I’m merely being realistic.

In addition, I still don’t feel “normal” after hitting my head and being unconscious for a several minutes. I can’t remember things, I have a constant feeling of “unreality” and I have slid into a terrible depression.

I’m clinging to the hope that my feelings of hopelessness and certain disaster could be a side effect of concussion.

Link Between Brain and Immune System Discovered

Researchers Find Textbook-Altering Link Between Brain, Immune System | UVA Today | June 1 2015

In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.

The brain is connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels

I hope his doesn’t mean that everyone who gets sick will now also be accused of being mentally weak. Pain patients have always been considered weaklings who merely need more mental toughness, but now that could be said about anyone who gets sick. Continue reading

My Status – Worse than Expected

First of all, I want to thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. Your comments truly lift my spirits!

But I learned that my shoulder is much worse than I thought: my collarbone is splintered and I have 3 broken ribs. There’s nothing they can do about the ribs, but I will need surgery to have a metal plate put in to stabilize the collarbone.

The surgeon wants to wait a few days to allow the large abrasion on my shoulder to heal, because it is right where he needs to cut.  He’s afraid it could cause an infection with the hardware he is putting in, but he also says that if he waits longer, the bone will work its way through the skin.

So I have to wait two more days at home, with a broken bone that’s poking up under the skin. Now that I’ve seen X-rays of the mess in my shoulder, I can no longer pretend to myself that it’s “no big deal”, and of course that makes the pain feel worse too. I’m looking forward to the surgery so I can start healing properly.



Why Women Have More Migraines – The Role of Hormones

Why Women Have More Migraines – The Role of Hormones

Twenty-eight million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. There is no cure for migraines.

Who gets migraines?

Boys experience more migraines than girls prior to puberty, however, after age 11 girls begin to experience the majority of migraine headaches.

The increase in the incidence of migraine in girls over boys continues to rise until adulthood when women experience migraine headaches 3 to 1 over men.   Continue reading