So I’ve been following the National Pain Report for several months and I like what they’re reporting. They’re definitely an advocate for chronic pain patients. The national pain report published a blog post today which critiqued last nights AC360 Town Meeting by demonstrating how the show stigmatized those with chronic pain. The founder and head of the US Pain Foundation who wrote this particular blog posts correctly states that we need to advocate for better solutions that are covered under our medical care. He asked readers to write to the 2 producers of the show last and try to show how we are real people.
Which I did. Even though I didn’t see the show, I did want to say that I’m a 55 year old professional woman with a busy job and life. I’ve had RA for about 20 years and I function very well. I see a personal trainer weekly (paid out of my pocket) and I used to get massages monthly, but can’t pay both for massages and the personal trainer. But damn a massage would feel good. My hot tub is a great tool but it’s not working and we don’t want to throw another $600 to again fix the same problem on a 10 year old hot tub.
Pain meds? I told the producers that I take between 6 – 10 per month on average. That’s all. That’s all I’ve ever taken once I got rheumatoid under control. I saw a rheumatologist for years who lost his license to practice and his livelihood because he got addicted to pain meds. I need an occassional pill to take away the pain so that I can be a productive person. I’m single and responsible for myself. If I can’t work, I don’t have income. I refuse to be disabled, so there are days that I need to push on and meds are part of my war chest for those days. But I’m not going to abuse them. It’s been 18 years and I’ve not done it yet – I’m not going to do it going forward.
So enough about pain and opioids, although I’ve had my share of pain the past few weeks. I finally went and had my painful knee xrayed and there’s a lot of osteo arthritis in there. Not really much of a surprise is it? I have RA, which deteriorates joints. I’m 55. Female. Overweight. Active. Not Graceful. Or Gentle. I fall. My knees are toast. Seeing the ortho next week for some discussion. In the meantime I’m still trying to walk and icing my knee and trying to take pills only when it’s unbearable.