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What is Success?

(cw: opioid forced taper, chronic pain)

I'm a writer/poet and I mentioned to my therapist (for medical PTSD) that I wanted to practice doing spoken word poetry but was having a hard time coming up with a topic. She recommended I write what's been bothering me the most in healthcare right now. The following snarkiness is what flowed out. I don't intend to ever use this for anything other than practice but, being the perfectionist that I am, I thought I'd share it here to get some feedback. Anything else I should add? TIA


Dear doctors,

I must refuse your
(rather smugly satisfied)
congratulations for
"getting off opiates"
since this decision
was made without me.

Rather, this course of (non)treatment
was built upon
political maneuvers
pain patients
in 10-second sound bites
on the evening news
(because adding "illicit-" to "opioid epidemic" is just too long).

Guidelines misapplied
and revoked
still have life
when bolstered by
and misapplied science
(and a few outright lies);
then fulfilled by
frightened doctors
trying to help patients
without blowing up
their healthcare careers
in a political minefield.

What success is it that you see?

Stealing my pain relief
was successful
in a noticable increase
in number of days spent
unable to get out of bed
and number of nights spent
staring at the ceiling
hoping I'll die before I awaken
to another day

It's been successful
in making my loved ones
victims of angry outbursts
and cancelled plans.

It's excelled
in rapidly increasing
• sleepless nights (check)
• brain fog (check)
• memory loss (check)

It has successfully
morphed my life
from sort of OK
to more difficult than liveable
with frequent moments of impossible.

And it has had
wildly successful gains
(if you're talking about weight).

If the true measure of achievement
is counted in teardrops
then I really am
the pinnacle of success.


#MightyPoets #PTSD #MedicalPtsd #Opiods #OpioidStigma #Opiodsforchronicpain #Dontpunishpain

1 reaction 14 comments

I take from 1-3 50mg of tramadol every day. I can go days without taking any and if I take too much I hate how it makes me feel. Am I an addict or wil



Going through withdrawal. #

I'm currently getting off of opiods and in acute withdrawal. Anyone have any tips or tricks to make this easier? I am so happy to be off of them I just need to get through this! ❤ #withdrawal #Withdrawing #Opiods #Opiodsforchronicpain #Narcotics #fentanyl #embeda #morphine #Fibromyalgia #Pain

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Chronic Pain and Health Affliction Understanding #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #BreastCancer #nervepain #postmastectomypainsyndrome #Nervedamage #BrachialPlexusInjuries #Intercoastalnervedamage #Mastectomysurgerydamage #Surgeonlies ##Mastectomypain #Painadvocate #Incurablepain #Opiodsforchronicpain #Dontshamechronicpain

Chronic pain is a hideous affliction. Your health jeopardized by a disease and living with chronic pain most do not understand or care to understand. Instead so many times chronic pain patients are ridiculed and shamed . Family and friends claiming that this illness and pain can’t be that bad! I am grateful & thank my family & friends for their support and making me laugh when I needed it the most. I have no expectations when a friend reaches out. I’m just happy to hear from you; especially if we haven’t talked in a long while. I realize that my illness and chronic pain has certainly effected contacts from friends and family. I recognize that everyone is busy with life and that many can’t find the time. Maybe you don’t know what to say or this illness of mine has become a barrier for many who haven’t made contact with me. My own anxieties not reaching out to the many friends I used to have. I don’t want to bother anyone as I know how busy life is for everyone. When you deal with severe Chronic pain not to mention other ailments, I don’t expect anyone to understand. The denial of chronic pain that it can’t possibly be this bad vastly underestimated. 400,000 patients are hurt every day by medical mistakes. If you had many surgeries , consider yourself extremely fortunate that you are not suffering in chronic pain every day! The lack of understanding is an understatement. Chronic pain patients being ridiculed by doctors, family and friends who think that their condition can’t be as bad as they portray it to be. Instead they say “you did good yesterday & today you are miserable”. Why? That’s the million dollar question. If we could fix what’s wrong , we certainly would. There is no schedule when it comes to a severe chronic pain conditions.
If you are able to go to work every day, count your blessings. If you are retired and enjoying life without chronic pain count your blessings. I am counting my blessings every day and many times I have to look harder; especially when the pain I’m in is exhausting. The many times I forced myself to going out with friends and pretend that all is wonderful. The courage it took to get cleaned up and dressed to see you! Happy to be able to partake and have fun. The strength it took to get ready and give you a one armed hug. Unaware that the pain follows me everywhere and every day. I’m certainly not asking for pity. My message is clear and simple. Do not underestimate people suffering with chronic pain. Do not shame them! We are ashamed every day for being in this condition that has no cure. We are ashamed that we have become a burden for our own family. We are ashamed that we can’t do the things we once could. We are ashamed with it all and certainly do the best we can every day. We lie so much about our chronic affliction. We tell you that everything is fine. We lie because we don’t want to ruin your happy day. Be Nice and Help out the many who need you! #GettingHelp #Helpthesick #Dontshameillness #Helpthepained