Tag Archives: poem

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

Waiting for Death

My best friend’s husband passed away a few years ago after a long battle with cancer. One day he decided to stop fighting, and less than a month later he was gone.

During that dying month, I spent hours with both of them and found myself transported into a lingering twilight, awaiting the inevitable darkness.

And that’s what I’m feeling now, the inevitable arrival of darkness as the drug war descends on pain patients, eclipsing the relief and hope we’ve maintained while waiting for rescue, with opioids holding off pain’s vicious attacks.

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Configurations of Mourning

As the noose of opioid restrictions tightens around our necks, I fear that even the limited pursuit of accomplishments my pain still allows may come to an end.

I have been depending on opioids (and thus my doctor, my medical system, and even my government) to keep my pain (and resulting depression) manageable, and now I fear losing access to them.

No matter where I turn, chronic pain throws obstacles across my path.

I’m trapped in my pain.


Configurations of Mourning

I mourn
Passion confined,
Freedom now curtailed,
Crammed into an angry knot.
No regrets for having lived to excess.
Desire’s wide and glorious arc,
Stunted and diminished,
Trapped inside
My pain.   Continue reading

Configurations of Mourning

Configurations of Mourning

Just like the phrases of this poem, no matter which way I turn or how I rearrange the pieces of my life, I can’t escape the restrictions and losses imposed by my chronic pain.

I mourn
Passion confined,
Freedom now curtailed,
Crammed into an angry knot.
No regrets for having lived to excess.
Desire’s wide and glorious arc,
Stunted and diminished,
Trapped inside
My pain.   Continue reading

Pain Pills (Not My Choice)

This poem expresses my outrage at all the people who insist our pain isn’t “really that bad” or that it’s “all in your head” or that “you just want opioids”. These folks always sound so sure of themselves, yet they are so very wrong.

Pain Pills (Not My Choice)

Just an addict, so you say?
No better way to devastate,
with smug and scornful disbelief,
a person’s claim of pain.

I didn’t choose this situation
medicated and dependent,
didn’t choose to live with pain,
but this is where I am.

You don’t know a thing about me,
not my hopes, and not my fears,
where I’ve been, and what I’ve done,
and what’s been done to me.

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Why

Why

People sometimes ask:
Do I ever wonder why?

When I was still invincible,
my shining star still on the rise,
my future still unscathed and bright,
anything seemed possible.

Anything but this.
A cosmic roll of the genetic dice
comes into play and shows its face:
I’ll be living in pain the rest of my days.  Continue reading

Chronic Pain: End Stage

Is it frustration,
the thwarted desire
to do what I can do no longer,
or the loss of desire
to do it at all,
that torments me most?

Chronic Pain: End Stage

Past the stage of struggle,
of trying to do what I like,
past the stage of grief,
over not being able to do it,
I’m finally at rest, and free
of desire to do anything at all.

A curious emptiness surrounds me, vague,
insubstantial as I myself have become,
thwarted by constraints wherever I turn,
I’ve been imprisoned by pain and stripped
of my previous ease and abilities,
so naively claimed as my birthright.

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