Patients with Chronic Pain Syndromes are Not Idiots!

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Guest Blogger, Dr. Marylee M. James shares her views on various issues regarding patients in need of pain management, and the “war on clinicians” in their best effort to care for patients while attempting to stay afloat in terms of safety, ethics, and the law.

The War on Drugs has become the War on Physicians and Patients

From the early days of human habitation on this earth, societies have revered (and also feared) their healers.  Even now, from Africa to South America, and wherever modern medicine is difficult to find, the skills and knowledge of healing have been passed from generation to generation of traditional healers.  In rural areas of our own nation, many communities still seek medical assistance from ‘grannies” who rely on local herbs and traditional lore to help their neighbors.

So how has it happened that in the 21st century, one of the most technologically advanced nations on earth appears to be conducting  a campaign against modern, trained and licensed physicians that echoes some ancient, primitive fear of the healer?  We live in the age of Reason.  We understand science, including anatomy and physiology, and understand that healers do not possess magic powers that might either hurt or heal us.

Despite this advanced understanding, we have allowed lawmakers and insurance companies to turn our healers into objects to be bullied, threatened, arrested and tried under charges of murder, with prosecutors demanding a death penalty when they have no evidence whatsoever that such a crime took place.[i]

After years of study and practice, sacrifice and struggle, 21st century physicians enter their professional world with dreams and aspirations already shattered.  Many have student loans that limit their disposable income for many years into the future.  Many more will find that the option of setting up a practice on their own is an unattainable dream – that they will be working for larger organizations and answering to employers who lack both medical degrees and understanding, where the bottom line is profit driven.  All will have to deal with insurance companies that limit what they are able to do for their patients, no matter how much the patient might need the medication or procedure.  Those companies have even at times contacted their patients, without the knowledge of the physician, and suggest other treatments or tell the patients to ask their doctors for a different treatment[ii].  Somebody tell me – have the laws against practicing medicine without a license been repealed?

And that is not the worst of it.  Today, a physician who tries to treat patients according to the knowledge and skills that they worked so diligently to earn is now at risk of losing everything—their licenses, their homes and families, and even their own lives.  ALL THIS, NOT BECAUSE THEY HAVE DONE ANYTHING WRONG!!!  On the other hand, they can’t seem to do anything right.  If law enforcement doesn’t destroy them, they are in danger of being robbed or even killed by drug-seeking patients. [iii]

I could easily believe that it is the failed war on drugs that has created the need for law enforcement to redirect our attention by turning the war against physicians – and their patients, who will suffer without medical care.  Sociologists like myself frequently inquire “Who Benefits?” when deciphering seemingly irrational social behaviors.  In this case, the lawmakers and enforcers themselves would look like people who would benefit from a better public image by this redirection of the public’s attention.

They say it is because the physicians prescribe too many “pills”, and turn their patients into addicts.  Not true.  Only a small percentage of patients who follow the orders given by the physician become addicted – addiction is a disease that occurs most often when drugs are abused, against medical advice.  Most abused drugs do not come from physician’s prescriptions, but from families, friends, unsecured home supplies, or drug dealers.[iv] Dependency may occur, on the other hand, because people must depend on the medications that help them.  Physical dependency is not unique to opioids alone, and can be resolved by tapering when the need for the medication is over.  A similar approach is needed with several medication classes such as antidepressants to avoid serotonin withdrawal or beta blockers to avoid hypertensive crisis.  Because lawmakers and others often incorrectly blend the lines,  differences between physical dependence and withdrawal, we allow people and organizations with vested interests to feed our fears and turn us against the only people qualified to help us.

It is no wonder that over 80% of practicing physicians are reported to have stated that they do NOT want their children to become physicians.  It is no wonder that more than 400 physicians are reported to commit suicide, annually.[v]

Why are they targeted, when they are not the problem? Let’s look at the real problem here: Addiction is real.  Drug-related crime is real.  Drug cartels that launder their profits and use some of the “cleaned” money to lobby politicians are real.  Even MD degreed providers who misuse the privilege and set up “pill mills” are real (I refuse to call them physicians).  There are solutions to all of these problems, and none of them include punishing physicians and other licensed clinicians with the goal of securing political points.  We must stop making the problem worse, and focus on the real lawbreakers.  We do know who they are!!

I write this letter, ironically, perhaps, because I am not able to take pain medicationsor many other drugs that could mitigate against the chronic pain that I have lived with for more than 45 years.  Like many older people (who, by the way, may be less likely to become addicted to drugs because of the changes age brings to our physiology[vi]), chronic pain (from degenerative disc disease) has exacerbated other illnesses and ultimately severely limited my life.  I have written this letter in gratitude for the four physicians who compassionately and patiently took the time to untangle and address the mingled symptoms that I presented with a few months ago, and who have given my life back to me despite my limited ability to process medications.  (And yes – one of those four physicians is a board-certified pain management physician.  There are other ways to manage pain when patients cannot take drugs.) With some understanding of what it must take to hold on to that compassion and professionalism in an irrational and vengeful world, I declare that these physicians, and physicians like them, are the true heroes of our day.  We need to let them know.[vii]

Marylee M. James, PhD
Professor of Sociology, Retired

Marylee M. James holds a doctorate in Sociology, Political Science and African Studies from BostonMarylee pic University.  Her first “real” job, however, was in the office of her family physician at the age of 17, and for the next 25 years medicine was both her love and her occupation.  In her late 20’s she was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis of the spine and osteoporosis.  As a result, the physical demands of working as a nurse became too great, and she decided in her mid-40s to return to college to study for a liberal arts degree and finally her doctorate.  She did the research for her doctoral thesis in South Africa, returning there to work for a total of seven years.  Back in the United States she accepted a teaching position at Alice Lloyd College in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, later becoming VPAA/Academic Dean there for seven years.  Deteriorating health caused her to leave that position and return to teaching, retiring in 2013 at the age of 72.  She now lives in Jeffersonville, Indiana.


Endnotes

[i]Trial Verdict:  Dr. Baldi Not Guilty on All Charges http://whotv.com/2014/05/01/baldi-trial-not-guilty-on-all-charges/

What are Patients to do when Law Enforcement Closes Clinics?  http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/ravalli-county-health-officer-says-patients-of-raided-florence-clinic/article_cf2e1690-bac0-11e3-848e-001a4bcf887a.html

Ex-doctor faces families in murder preliminary hearing  http://www.news9.com/story/25395877/ex-doctor-faces-victims-families-in-murder-preliminary-hearing

[ii]Here I cite my own experience with the insurance company that covered my last place of employment.  Over a period of several years, my colleagues and I received messages from the insurance company about changing our medications – such as when I was on a prescription medication for GERD, the company insisted that I must discontinue it and take an OTC medication because unless I did, they would discontinue payment on the prescriptions.  We were also advised in frequent mailings to discuss alternative treatments with our physicians.

[iii]The damage done by the war on opioids: the pendulum has swung too far http://www.dovepress.com/articles.php?article_id=16781 …

Killing Pain in Perry county http://www.kentucky.com/2009/12/12/1056711/killing-pain-in-perry-co.html

[iv] “For this crisis physicians take the brunt of the pundits’ blame, despite the fact that more than two-thirds of the diverted medications are acquired from family, friends, and acquaintances – not from a prescription by their doctor.  http://jamespmurphymd.com/2014/04/25/the-dream-of-pain-care-enough-to-cope-the-seventeenth-r-dietz-wolfe-memorial-lecture/

[v]Pain Physicians Have High Rates of Burnout   http://goo.gl/P3z1cY 

Dr. Gary Shearer: Suspended Northern Kentucky pain doctor dies of ‘suspected suicide’       http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/boone-county/florence/dr-gary-shearer-suspended-northern-kentucky-pain-doctor-dies-of-suspected-suicide

Physician Suicide http://t.co/4vhF63eD6N

References from this article:

  1. Adams D. Physician suicide: searching for answers. American Medical News [serial online]. April 25, 2005;Available at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/04/25/prsa0425.htm.
  2. Center C, Davis M, Detre T, et al. Confronting depression and suicide in physicians: a consensus statement. JAMA. Jun 18 2003;289(23):3161-6. [Medline].
  3. Hawton K, Malmberg A, Simkin S. Suicide in doctors. A psychological autopsy study. J Psychosom Res. Jul 2004;57(1):1-4. [Medline].
  4. Holmes VF, Rich CL. Suicide Among Physicians. In: Blumenthal SJ, Kupfer DJ, eds. Suicide Over the Life Cycle. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press; 2004:599-618.
  5. Middleton JL. Today I’m grieving a physician suicide. Ann Fam Med. May-Jun 2008;6(3):267-9. [Medline].
  6. Noonan D. Doctors who kill themselves. Newsweek. Apr 28 2008;151(17):16. [Medline].
  7. Petersen MR, Burnett CA. The suicide mortality of working physicians and dentists. Occup Med (Lond). Jan 2008;58(1):25-9. [Medline]. [Full Text].
  8. Worley LL. Our fallen peers: a mandate for change. Acad Psychiatry. Jan-Feb 2008;32(1):8-12. [Medline].
  9. Balch CM, Oreskovich MR, Dyrbye LN, et al. Personal consequences of malpractice lawsuits on American surgeons. J Am Coll Surg. Nov 2011;213(5):657-67. [Medline].
  10. Hendin H, Maltsberger JT, Haas AP. A physician’s suicide. Am J Psychiatry. Dec 2003;160(12):2094-7. [Medline].
  11. Shaw DL, Wedding D, Zeldow PB. Suicide among medical students and physicians, special problems of medical students. In: Wedding D, ed. Behavior and Medicine. 3rd ed. Hogrefe and Huber: 2001:78-9 (chap 6).

[vi] “indeed, bad choices, bad behavior, and drug misuse lead to crime, accidents, social instability, and addiction. The developing adolescent brain is particularly susceptible to addiction, while the elderly brain is practically immune.”  http://jamespmurphymd.com/2014/04/25/the-dream-of-pain-care-enough-to-cope-the-seventeenth-r-dietz-wolfe-memorial-lecture/

[vii]“Unless patients wake up and fight for the providers of care, we are headed for the sickest system in the world.” http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2014/03/dissatisfied-doctors-provide-good-patient-care.html …

 

33 thoughts on “Patients with Chronic Pain Syndromes are Not Idiots!

  1. I am honored and humbled by the privilege to participate in the lives of so many brave, resilient fellow souls.

    The stunningly honest testimonials blossom my gratitude.

    Fortify my resolve.

    Stay strong warriors. This battle is far from over…

    – Dr. Murphy

    1. Dear madam/Sir,
      I am a 25 year CP sufferer. I have 2 failed lumbar spinal fusion’s with instrumentation. I also suffer from complex migraine/severe tension headaches, in which the pain has become almost suicidal, as of a recent change in my internist practice. I have been a patient and totally trusted patient (still continued) with no history of addiction of any sort. My doctor has complete trust in me, however he works for the Christ hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio a nd was told all doc’s had to do a total “cleaning” of every single patient on pain meds, benzo, etc.

      He cut all opioid pain meds in half, eliminated what they now call a banned med, fiorinal with codeine – my rescue med for the headaches, which he had me on for 12 yrs, no problems, no increase. I did manage to secure a temp Rx of #60 pills then done.

      I would love more than anything to not take any of this but not possible at this point. I tell this brief history in the hope that someone can help me find a compassionate doc, near the Ohio/KY/IN border ( all with in 30 miles) I have complete doctor and pharmacy records, showing my complaint 12 yr history. My doctor would be very open to confirm.

      Please help if you can. I am scared on a level that I’ve never experienced.

      God bless.
      Jack Wehr (Florence, KY)
      Phone: 859-412-5309
      P.S. I am a devote Christian, who would never take one of the Lord’s creations

  2. I too am a sufferer of back pain. Certainly not to the extent of some here, but I have found what seems like a miracle to me. I don’t know if you are familiar with CBD, but it is now legal in all 50 states, from the hemp plant. I started using the hemp vap about 1 month ago and haven’t had any back pain since the 3rd day of use! I never want to be without it. Do your research and let me know if you’re interested in learning more about these awesome products.

  3. Im not a pain patient but I know people who are. More to the point here is that I have known people who sold opiates illegally and this article really got my attention cause I remember a conversation I had with a friend who sold them a few years ago. I was busting his chaps over it cause I felt he was taking an existing drug problem and just cashing in on it at the expense of others lives. He pointed out a few things that I never really considered. The majority of the people who he sold to he knew well and knew them for the health issues thy faced. That why were no addicts looking for a fix. That in the years he had been selling he could tell an addict from a pain sufferer with a first glance and that these were people just getting by. Their allowed scripts had been cut back due to new laws and the physicians had even suggested (informally) the option of supplementing the gaps. He made his point well when he reached into my purse and took my keys. Said ok so say there is a new law. You can only return home via your own vehicle. You are a law abiding citizen so you will follow the law. But I took your keys and Im not giving em back. What are you gonna do? According to the law you cant go home. The alternative would be live at this table and sleep here, have no showers and HOPE that I bring the keys back, or you break the rules and get home on your own cause you have to live despite a law that serves no good. Do you just stop living? No. It also made me realize something even bigger. That by doing this the DEA has in fact forced these otherwise honest law abiding people into a situation where they have no other choice. In doing so rather than hurting the illegal market they are in fact boosting it. Those rules are not stopping anyone. He was one of the most clever guys I ever met. They always find the loopholes and exploit them. So what good is really being done here? Its as if they are trying to create a perfect world but there can be no such thing. Without the bad there can be no contrast for good to exist.

    1. The fact that many chronic pain patients are turning to street drugs not only for their pain, but also in fear of withdrawal when they suddenly can’t get their meds, is well documented. I have no trouble believing that drug dealers are laughing all the way to the bank — or would be, if they used banks. I would respond to your last sentence with a worn but profoundly true statement: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good {people} to do nothing.”

      1. You are right about that Marylee. Einstein was the one who said The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. wasn’t it? I think its insane how we treat animals better than our fellow humans. A suffering dog who cannot be healed is put down as not to suffer needlessly but a human is denied this option for themselves. They are forced to endure to the moment their body gives out on its own without any kind of intervention. Just blows my mind and sickens the heart. I could never go into the medical field cause I wouldn’t be able to stand by and watch unable to act. Its too much. How do you fight this though?

        1. Mist, sorry I missed this reply of yours. You are very articulate, and I also can relate to your feelings about being in medicine. My conclusions on that subject come from my own nurse’s training, back when medical schools and nursing schools were deeply invested in training clinicians to be totally objective about patients — to guard themselves from becoming emotionally entangled with the misery we dealt with every day. Back then, I think they went too far in/this kind of objectivity, so that patients sometimes became objects. Patients were referred to by diagnosis,- i.e. “the pancreatic cancer in room 318”. Some medical professionals were quite comfortable with this distance from the patient as person, others rebelled as I did, and as you would. The subject was confronted, discussed, and now many medical schools include seminars and courses on relating to patients as people. There is a need for objectivity in order to treat illness and injury day after day, and to treat patients with chronic pain whose ongoing needs for pain medication must be balanced with the need to prescribe and treat responsibly in order to help the patient help themselves to live as close to a normal life as possible. But we have finally learned that the objectivity of science does not preclude the need for compassion, and that intelligent compassion can be an effective component of treatment.. All this has taken a while to achieve, but the conversation is not over, by any means. Even if we don’t see the immediate effects of openly expressing our concerns, the conversation itself will eventually become part of the consciousness of people who make changes happen – and by expressing your concerns and thoughts, you will have been part of that change.
          Thanks so much for your response.

  4. I to am being looked at. I have psoriatic arthritis and my Dr. Said the shot I take should be working to reduce the pain. He had no problem giving me as many tramadole . When I told him it was effecting my urinating he said I doubt it but did give me the weakest does of Vicadine and I am allowed 2 a day. This helps very little and boy if I. Need a refill even after 30 days it is like I am a drug addict. I live in pain everyday and it effects my life bad. Can’t hardly take a. Nice stroll through the woods or ride my motorcycle. I go to work everyday and at 58 and the hands shakes because of pain and I work in the HVAC field I believe the employer will try to get rid of me.

  5. P.s. Here in Oregon the plight of chronic pain patients is especially ironic, as we have euthanasia, i.e. physician-assisted suicide; a doctor can legally dispense a dose of medication that will cease the patient’s suffering and end in death, but (often) can not dispense a dose that will cease/reduce the patient’s suffering and end in…continued life! Does this make any sense?

  6. My experiences echo many of those above. I was put on very low doses of opioids over 2 decades ago, at the insistence of my specialist because my disability made it too painful for me to eat otherwise. Back then my illness was a problem my physician, my pharmacist and even my insurance co worked together to treat as best possible. I was a respected, ivy-league-educated public school teacher.
    Today I am treated as a second class citizen at best, a potential criminal at worst. Under pressure from the DEA the FDA-instituted REMS program made it impossible for my physician to safely (for him) rx the only pain medication I’d been able to tolerate well–his judgment is irrelevent. Most pharmacies won’t even carry the medication I struggle with but rely on now, and it is not covered by insurance at all. The message feels clearer every year: it would be a relief to all parties if I would just die…and they may get their wish sooner than I ever would have expected, because the “environment” is so hostile to opioid-reliant patients, my life literally depends on my current pain physician remaining in practice. But said environment is so hostile to opioid-prescribing physicians that he is studying to change his area of specialty, and that will be the end of me.

    Someone above wrote that many suicides are coming: they are here, and many more will follow. I have lost friends and fellow pain patients in the past year both to suicide and to horribly managed “rehab”, a rapidly growing slice of the economy. My healthy friends are appalled that I so routinely have my urine tested and sign waivers allowing all my records to be opened by anyone at all; they are shocked at how many hours a month it takes my caretakers and me to attend the necessary appointments, pick up the necessary rxs, leave them at the pharmacy, (when my pharmacist retires I am in major trouble, the alternative large-chain pharmacies don’t have to order/carry/fill my medication), return to pick up, signing, etc…I tell them I am lucky just to be alive right now.

    1. Danya, your story brought tears to my eyes. I have read and heard so many stories like this, yet each one tells of such a uniquely personal, devastating situation. Please know that every day there are more and more people joining the fight to right this immoral wrong that is being done to patients and their physicians. We won’t give up, so please help us all by sharing your story wherever you can. Meanwhile, my prayers are with you. I know you must feel very alone, but you are not.

  7. It’s horrible that our physicians are being attacked by injustice to them just for treating suffering innocent legitimate chronic pain patients. I own a home in the rural part of north east Alabama on Lookout mountain. There are doctors here but I don’t know of any that are willing to treat chronic pain with anything more than a 5 mg Loratab. I am positive that many pain patients surely will need a stronger ER medicine and higher dosing if their pain continues, such as the pain I have, all because the government wants to play doctor and feel they know more than a certified pain specialist, it’s causing everyone with pain to be controlled, stressed out and not able to have any freedom to live life where they choose, especially those like me who planned to retire in a beautiful place as where my mountain home is. I really hope that our government gains some common sense really soon and starts to allow our doctors to practice medicine the best way they know who without interference. The doctor’s here are not treating pain correctly and forcing procedures on folks that many have already had no luck with. If I were to cross state lines, that wouldn’t be acceptable either because right there… is more control over patients! Thank you Marylee for bring all this into the spot light!

  8. AMEN. The new laws for narcotics/opiates are stupid. The requirement of no more than 1 month worth of pills, plus a visit each month to get the next month ; and urine tests every 3 months to make sure YOU are taking the meds and not giving them away (like yea, let me be in pain); are just raising the medical costs for the patients and insurance companies. The majority of chronic pain patients do not become addic ted–we take them for a reason. I no longer use opiates for my pain–they don’t work (including synthetic morphine patches) but It was really expensive when I did use them. And the drs were over hyper about them.

    1. Lauren, you are lucky that you only have to get a UA every three months. I have to get one every month before the doctor will even think about giving me my prescription. I also have to try alternative pain therapies, or be willing to at least. I am on Botox treatments for my migraines, and physical therapy for my muscle tension. The last PT I was at, I ended up in more pain because of faulty equipment, and am now in a flare. But, I am expected to go back twice a week for the same procedure for the next 4 months. I am just wondering where the federal government got their degree to practice medicine. I am also wondering where my drug insurance carrier got theirs, when they recommend a different medicine just because it is cheaper, even though it doesn’t work for me.

      I’m getting tired of being treated like a second-class person, and my doctor being treated like a drug pusher.

  9. I have had fibromyalgia for over 15 years. I also have chronic back pain among other physical problems that cause me pain 24/7.
    The law in Kentucky changed over a year ago regarding prescription pain medications or any medication considered to be a narcotic. It was the “war on drugs” excuse. So in order to get prn medication for pain relief or anxiety, I would have to pay $250.00 a month for a brief office visit to obtain a prescription for a $10.00 bottle of pills.
    In the mean time the drug dealers and drug addicts in Kentucky have switched to Heroin, or they can “Doctor hop” across the state line and get what ever they want.
    I am in terrible pain and the war on drugs is useless except for the ones who need them.

    1. We’ve reached record participation. Now what? Means nothing. Lets all face facts, we are considered the bottom of our great nation. Expendable! What’s the next issue to reply about.

      1. Michele,
        PLEASE, I’m trying to help by bringing these stories personally to people that can make a difference. I’m sure you’re frustrated, but try to keep your chin up and support positive thinking. Until and unless patients in pain are collectively heard as a strong force, you are correct, nothing will change unless it results in votes and salable stories.

          1. But it happens Steve. I recently read an article regarding this and the replies by pharmacists to stand their ground and NOT fill prescriptions was overwhelming. Wish I had saved the link. I was significantly offended.

      2. I have had fibromyalgia for over ten years and that’s how I feel, expendable. I feel like no one really cares if I die a slow death in PAIN. It’s seems like no one is able to prescribe the opioid medication that I need to function and now I know why — the good, compassionate doctors are afraid to do so. What are we going to do?

        1. Odalis and Michele, I have experienced that same feeling on many occasions. When pain is the central issue of your life it is a very dark place. Don’t misread this article to believe that I no longer have pain myself – my pain has just become manageable enough for me to cope, and to be able to see beyond the pain a bit. Dr. Fudin and others are trying to help us, to reach the people who can change things for us. People make the laws, and people can change them. Don’t give up – you and I are not expendable. I refuse to quit.

  10. I’ve been very fortunate to have had good Pain Specialist take care of my severe chronic pain due to a degenerative disc disease in my cervical spine over the last 20 years. There is no guarantee’s in life for those that suffer from chronic pain that things will continue to go as is and pain sufferers will receive the relief they need and deserve so badly. I keep getting cut back on the one medication that works best for me. I refuse to do the pain pump when all is well as is. It makes no therapeutic or financial sense to change what’s working just fine. I wish everyone the best possible pain treatment program that works best for you. I don’t know what my future holds but being pressured in to the pain pump is scary , my gut feeling is saying don’t do it.

    1. Are you ready for surgery for every lead that breaks lose or every battery change which COULD be right away up to every 8 years. I’ve heard horror stories and one man told me (a family member) that his friends get way too much medication and cannot function with the pump. You could have a malfunction and OD! I’m so glad I said NO! Stick to your guns!

  11. I am dying. I have had unremitting back pain since medical school in the late 1960’s. I now have multilevel cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spondylosis with severe lumbar spinal stenosis. I have had mixed connective tissue disease for years, and in December fractured my hip – underlying avascular necrosis from years of prednisone. I was initially denied surgery because I was an “addict” i.e., I had required extended-release morphine for pain. 4 months later, my end-stage hip was replaced, after reassurance from psychiatry and pain management that I was not a junkie. Severe untreated pain off opioids was extraordinary, and my mixed connective tissue disease progressed to a new and rare malignant phase, more like scleroderma – with autoimmune gut destruction, recurring bowel obstruction, abdominal pain, surgery, tubes, and malnutrition with a 40 pound weight loss. My hip was removed, surgical recovery has been smooth, but I have been hospitalized 4 of the last 5 months. I can no longer take opiates – which seem to intensify the gut dysfunction. Perhaps timely surgery and aggressive pain management would have left my autoimmunity in check, I can only guess. Any link between severe untreated pain and flare of scleroderma is unclear, and by now it may be too late. I can no longer tolerate appropriate doses of opioids and gut destruction continues as there is only symptomatic treatment for scleroderma.

    I am curious about any relationship between physician failure to treat underlying pain and the progression of other debilitating autoimmune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

    All are pleased now that I am no longer an “addict.” Fortunately, death is the ultimate cure for addiction to opiates, i.e., the use of opiates for chronic pain. Perhaps my wife can harvest and resell the new hip prosthesis to cover our many unpaid medical bills…..

    1. David, I can’t even imagine what you have been through – and to be labeled an addict and denied care because of it is just unconscionable. Your courage to survive, and to speak out about what you are suffering, has touched me deeply. I wish I had answers to your questions, and I hope some one with the necessary knowledge will reply to them. Thanks so much for telling your story.’Marylee..

  12. I have to agree with the author, there’s not much happiness in the world if you’re thinking of becoming a doctor, especially a pain specialist, 400 suicides a annually by physicians absolutely blows my mind. I have seen my own doctor of over 10 years look dejected and almost ashamed when the facility he worked at chose to no longer give narcotics to their patients. This may have bothered him even more because we worked together for many years and he not only knew I was truly suffering, but he also knew I was not a drug addict, just a victim of laws neither of us could control.
    Now I see a wonderful Pain Specialist who loves his job and is saddened by the state of things in the pain management world. I am extremely fortunate to have found this caring man and hope he is always able to keep smiling and doing hid thing.See the link for “Opposition to Kentucky HB 1-Reform HB 217 aka “Pill Mill Bill”
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Opposition-to-Kentucky-HB-1-Reform-HB-217-aka-Pill-Mill-Bill/595049517218134

    1. Kim Miller,

      Dr, Murphy is a true asset to the page and group. I am happy that he is also your doctor. I know that he is very frank with you, with all of us and that truly is a blessing. If there were only more Dr. Fudin’s and Dr. Murphy’s out there !! I am fortunate to have a wonderful caring Doctor as you know. Now if we could just get more on board !!

      Thanks Dr. Fudin for all you do, to help each and every pain patient whether they know you or not if they come my way the find out who you are.

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