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.

Just like in those “old days”, people get praise for rooting out anyone using opioids, and are heaped with accolades for taking away our medication, supposedly saving us from the completely misunderstood specter of addiction. Legislators are falling all over themselves in the rush to proclaim and grow their anti-opioid credentials by creating ever more harsh restrictions on our pain medications. It makes me literally sick to my stomach every time I hear of yet another proposed rule.

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that I have a reasonable doctor who still prescribes me these medications, but lately, I’m plagued by a growing unease over the unfairness of it. I feel guilty for having this incredible luck when so many fellow sufferers do not.

These are literally lifesaving medications for me because there is no question in my mind that I would make a quick exit if I had to live, now and forever, with my constant pain, which is absolutely impervious to any other control. I would not expect anyone else to live like that either.

I have fantasies of stepping onto the floor of a legislative session where they are debating such insane rules, screaming my outrage, throwing a wad of factual documentation at them, and commencing a hunger strike right there and then.

But I realize this is just a childish impulse born of powerlessness, a feeling most of us are very uncomfortable with and one that can result in the most savage societal harms. Yes, I do want to punish those that are taking these actions against us, and I feel my anger growing as it is fed one sad story after another.

What can I do to tame my increasing rage? How can I calm this beast within me, this monster becoming ever larger, ever stronger, threatening to overshout all reasonable thought?

Even though my own physical pain is relieved, I’m haunted by all those that are left in pain. I can’t freely enjoy my days when I know that thed quality of my life is only due to my entirely undeserved good fortune, which could end abruptly any day, thanks to some new senseless legislation. I’m being suffocated by this rage and I don’t know how to get out from under it.

5 thoughts on “Helpless Rage

  1. painkills2

    Don’t know what to say, Zyp. It appears to me as if pain patients have lost the battle, and things are just continuing to get worse. Still, there are an awful lot of opioids being prescribed — or so they tell us — so maybe the percentage of pain patients who go without isn’t as large as we think.

    As for your anger, you know that’s not good for you. I mean, we’re doing all that we can by putting the information out there on the internet. It’s useless to get angry about things that are out of our control. Sure, I’d like to punch a wall, but that will just increase my pain — just like anger does.

    But I appreciate your empathetic anger, at least on my behalf. :)

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  2. dave

    People in pain and people who take opioids or marijuana suffer from bad PR. They are all stigmatized as being of questionable deservingness and questionable legitimacy. When it comes to pain; as pain is not seen as a disease like cancer or arthritis, too many people in positions of power cant accept the legitimacy of chronic pain as being a real condition.And so like the use of opioids(accept for people who are dying) too many big shots see people in pain as a questionable financial burden on society.
    Unlike people with breast cancer or AIDS- people with chronic pain are not well organized and lack social and political capital… There is no social movement to improve the care or rights of people in pain. There is no social movement to establish the right to take opioids as the individual in pain sees fit. The proponents of opioids and mariuana and chronic pain care have not yet convinced the powers that be of their legitimacy and acceptability. That is why yours truly created the American Pain Rights Act in 2010- for i believed and still believe that people in pain need to focus on a rights based approach to solve their problems. Without good organization, without a social movement, without good PR to counter the those in society who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of chronic pain and opioids and marijuana- the problem will continue to vex society and add to the suffering of people in pain.

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  3. Colleen Pisaneschi

    You are absolutely right! Thanks for chiming in and know that we are with you as you tackle this healing time. I’m glad you’ve got that good doctor who will help you. My PC told me that the pendulum swings back and forth on these issues, not to worry (easy for him to say) so I hope he’s right. We are inundated with media now and it’s easier to get frightened that it was 10 years ago. Lately, there have been signs of stronger and stronger resistance, better information and less patience from the pain community. We will win. It will take time, but we will get there.
    Take good care of yourself, thinking of you

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  4. Jan Groh

    Have you read Validate Your Pain by Davis & Chino yet? Very… (you’ll forgive me)… uhm validating, I must say! And I’m lucky enough to get to see Dr. Chino as my pain psychologist here in Portland. Let me just say he makes up for oodles of invalidating prior practitioners in my life. And no, he doesn’t just agree with everything I say. But… he listens, incredibly well in a discerning and supportive fashion. So grateful. In the book they point out how you literally cannot become addicted to pain meds *if you’re in legitimate pain*. They call what everyone is freaking out about now “pseudo-addiction”. I.e, we’re drug-seeking yes, but it’s legitimate – we need them!

    I personally blame Rush Limbaugh et al for creating the media frenzy and hyper around the other. He gives opiate use a bad name. The rest of us just get to suffer, sigh.

    Anyway, hang in there. You’re fighting the good fight and empowering others to do the same. Rest well.

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  5. Pingback: Pain Patients Should Come First, Not Addiction | EDS Info (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)

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