Category Archives: Writing

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

Opioids Blamed for Consequences of Chronic Pain

This is an essay I wrote out of sheer frustration

I’ve noticed a consistent error in the latest research on opioid therapy: All negative outcomes of opioid/pain research are attributed to the opioid medications instead of the underlying pain.

Researchers willfully ignore that opioids were originally prescribed for unbearable pain and proceeded as though the motivation for these medications were insignificant or irrelevant to their studies.

The many detrimental outcomes these studies find are exactly what you’d expect from a person suffering long-term chronic pain. But researchers place the blame for any negative outcomes on the opioid medications taken to relieve pain, not on the pre-existing pain itself.  Continue reading

Stop the War against Patients with Intractable Pain

I’m excited that has published another one of my essays!

Stop the war against patients with intractable pain

This is an emotional appeal for doctors to push back against the intrusion of politicians, bureaucrats, and administrators into our pain care.

I’ve written it as an open letter to the courageously ethical and compassionate doctors still prescribing opioid medication when necessary.

A Misery Too Great to Bear

I’m dismayed, but not surprised. to hear about pain patients whose lives became unbearable after their opioid medication was dramatically decreased or even stopped.

These patients had spent years trying all kinds of other methods to control their pain but lived with the curse that only opioids eased their pain. Once denied their only option for effective pain relief, these patients had no choice left but to escape their incessantly tortured bodies entirely.

If you let someone die by denying them their only source of drinking water, they call it manslaughter. But if you deny them their only effective source of relief from constant, grinding, miserable pain until they literally end their own lives to escape it, they call it “healthcare”. What a travesty!

A Misery too Great to Bear   Continue reading

Compelling Comments on Opioid Restrictions

Though not particularly long, this comment took me several days to compose and edit (and edit again). I have only one chance to influence all these various agencies trying to restrict our opioid use, so I want to make my comment compelling enough to make someone think twice.

I intend to point out various issues the reader may have overlooked, the unfairness of the restrictions, the personal harm I will suffer, and end it with a strong question or statement that might resonate with the reader.

==== COMMENT ====

I’m writing to urge you to not let the government set standard medication dosages for individual patients, which will happen if this agency adopts policies based on the scientifically flawed CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines.   Continue reading