Category Archives: Writing

California’s Death (of Sanity) Certificate Project

California’s Death (of Sanity) Certificate Project

I recently read an article, California Doctors Alarmed As State Links Their Opioid Prescriptions to Deaths, that infuriates and frightens me: I’m furious that doctors are being persecuted for opioid prescriptions written years ago, and frightened that my doctor here in California may be pressured to stop prescribing them for my painful genetic disorder (Ehlers-Danlos).

Twenty-six states have already implemented arbitrary restrictions on our appropriately prescribed opioids, but the California medical board’s project is even more of a nightmare:    Continue reading

The Subtle Arrogance of Good Health

The Subtle Arrogance of Good Health – by Angelika Byczkowski (repost)

Until my physical ailments began worsening rapidly in my late 40’s, I was a high achiever, proud of my “kick ass” attitude, thinking I was so competent I could surmount any challenge life threw at me. Life appeared to be straightforward and I didn’t understand why this didn’t seem to be the case for so many other less fortunate folks.

Though I worked hard for my accomplishments and sometimes struggled, there was never a question of ability, never a doubt I’d prevail if I made enough effort. Looking back now, I can see the consistent achievements that came so easily and so early in life instilled in me a subtle subconscious arrogance.   Continue reading

Were Consequences of CDC Guideline Unintended?

CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline: Unintended Consequences? – July 2018 – an angry essay by yours truly, Angelika Byczkowski (Zyp Czyk)

I’m sick and tired of reading over and over how all the entirely predictable consequences of the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline were “unintended” and “unforeseeable”.

The broad misinterpretation of the guideline as establishing fixed limits on opioid prescribing has stranded hundreds of thousands of pain patients in agony without the effective relief they had achieved with opioids.

Yet we are expected to believe that these consequences were “unintended” and “unforeseeable” by the guideline authors. Most pain patients realized right away that the guideline’s suggestions would become codified rules, no matter how little evidence supported them.

And we were right – more than we ever imagined…  Continue reading

Comment on Opioid Limits to HHS Task Force

This was published in the National Pain Report as What I Told the U.S. Government About Pain, but in case you didn’t see it, here it is:

I just have so much to say about this governmental intrusion into our medical care that I couldn’t figure out what to write. So, I decided to comment on just one facet of this ridiculous “war on opioids”: standardizing opioid milligrams prescribed for pain.

I believe we can leave numerous comments, starting with a fresh form each time so I may write another. Just to give you ideas, here’s the comment I left:


I’m writing to urge that you please don’t let the government set standard opioid dose limits for individual patients. Opioids are my only means of relief from a painful connective tissue disorder.   Continue reading

How the war on opioids has harmed some patients

How the war on opioids has harmed some patients – KevinMD – by Angelika – Jan 2019

Treating a patient’s distressing health symptoms with prescribed medication is an unquestioned intervention in any other area of medicine, like diabetes (goal is “control blood sugar,” accomplished by insulin) or high blood pressure (goal is “lower blood pressure,” accomplished by various antihypertensive medications).

Even erectile dysfunction is considered a “medical issue” deserving palliation with a medication (goal is to “achieve an erection,” accomplished by Viagra).

But when dealing with the medical issue of chronic pain…

I hope you’ll go visit the site where my essay was published and perhaps even leave a comment.

The Tyranny of Pain Management Contracts

The Tyranny of Pain Management Contracts   (repost from 7/17/16 related to a Opioid contracts harm the doctor-patient relationship)

– To receive opioids from a pain management clinic, you are required to sign away your personal rights and privacy in extremely restrictive and coerced contracts.

How would you feel if you entered a doctor’s office with distressing pain, only to be treated like a lying drug addict, presented with a completely one-sided legal contract, and be expected to sign away important personal rights just to get a medication you need?

Perhaps you just can’t understand just what it feels like to read such a contract when you are a person 100% dependent on opioids to live somewhat decently. It is demeaning, infuriating, and even scary to be treated like an addict without any provocation.   Continue reading

Pain Minimized or Dismissed as Catastrophizing

Our Pain is being Minimized or Dismissed as Catastrophizing

When does normal concern about relentless pain become excessive and catastrophizing?

Who has the power to make this decision?

I’m exasperated and offended by the recent over-promotion and over-simplification of the latest popular theory about chronic pain, which uses the derogatory term “catastrophizing” to describe our well-founded concerns about our pain.   Continue reading

CDC Opioid Guideline: Unintentional Consequences?

CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline: Unintended Consequences? – July 2018 – By Angelika Byczkowski

I’m sick of reading how all the horrible and entirely predictable consequences of the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline were “unintentional” and “unforeseeable”.

The broad misinterpretation of the CDC’s Opioid Prescribing Guideline as establishing fixed limits on opioid prescribing has stranded hundreds of thousands of pain patients in agony without the effective relief they had achieved with opioids.

Yet we are expected to believe that these consequences were “unintentional” and “unforeseeable” by the guideline authors. Most pain patients realized right away that these “suggestions” would become codified rules, no matter how little evidence supported them–and we were even more right than we ever imagined.  …Continue reading article on National Pain Report

 

It’s Good, Universal

With so much bad news all around, it’s hard to avoid sinking into despondency. So here’s a fresh and unconventional verse about finding some brighter spots to avoid a fall into the pit of darkness.

It’s Good, Universal By DREW5000G

Some times the life you live showers you with wondrous gifts

Sometimes your heart  just insists, and your being feels awash with bliss.

Happiness comes sparingly in these times,    Continue reading

When Doctors Say My Pain Is Impossible…

This is my story about a hair-raising experience with outpatient surgery when no one realized that the anesthetic was ineffective due to my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Impossible Pain

I had my first outpatient surgical procedure when I was still in high school and needed a plantar wart removed from the sole of my foot. As the doctor injected the area with a local anesthetic, he explained he did these procedures all the time and I wouldn’t feel a thing. After a short wait, he began to dig out the deeply embedded wart with a hooked scalpel.   Continue reading