opioid stigma

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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

Medication keeps me alive

I hate how I live off of my medication. Anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, depression and chronic fucking pain to name a few. I know that without any of my medication I wouldn’t be “me”. You see, without my medication I wouldn’t be alive. It’s something I’m constantly reminding myself when I feel guilty taking my pain medication, that this is giving me a quality life. It’s hard to not feel guilty taking pain medication with this whole epidemic 🙄. I am fortunate enough to have a doctor that prescribes me these meds but I wish I didn’t need any of it. If I didn’t have the pain meds my depression and anxiety would increase. If I didn’t have the anxiety/depression meds I would probably be 6 feet under. If I didn’t have my ADHD meds I wouldn’t be a productive human-moving and getting out of bed is something I know I wouldn’t be able to do. I wish I didn’t need any medication to be “normal” but some of us aren’t that lucky. Wish I didn’t feel so guilty about taking pain meds especially 🙄😥 one day I hope I won’t need these meds to function. Does anyone else feel guilty taking pain meds? Do you feel guilty being on medication in general to feel “normal?” I feel so alone 🥺☹️ #ChronicPain #ADHD #Anxiety #Depression #PTSD #MedicatedAndMighty #OpioidStigma


Which would you stop if you were coerced- medications to help with your mental health OR medications to help with debilitating chronic pain.

My pain doc has had his license threatened if he continues to treat my chronic pain issues caused initially by a broken back when I was 8 years old. I also take meds for OCD and severe anxiety and have been learning to live a meaningful life.  But now I can only take one class of medications, only those that help with pain or those that help with severe anxiety.  I have been on these meds for decades, safely.  I worked in Pharmacy.  But now I am going to have to relearn how to live with only treating one condition.

#CheckInWithMe #ChronicPain #OCD #Anxiety #Spoonie #OpioidStigma


How can I get drug abuse education at home/online? #Addiction #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #ChronicPain #OpioidStigma

Is there a way to get the kinda education on drug abuse/addiction that you’d normally get in a rehab program from home/online?

I’m a chronic pain patient and in the past I’ve misused my medication during long periods of time when I couldn’t take oral meds due to gastroparesis. When I told my doc he took me off all my pain meds and pushed for me to attend out patient rehab to get that kind of education. But off the meds I’m 98% bed ridden and unable to attend.
I’m back on the meds now so he’s even more adamant I get that education. But I can’t physically go to a regular program or off meds.


The Shaft #OpioidEpidemic #OpioidStigma

Only recently did my primary care physician (whom I’ve know for many many years) take pity on me, the chronic pain patient who had already tried EVERYTHING else after 18 years of doing my time (chronic pain time, not prison, come on guys, like we have the energy for crime).
At this point, I was losing my mind from pain due to #Fibromyalgia and #Lupus as well as the eighteen year stint with #Endometriosis . Not a day without pain, no more work, existing, not living.
So here I am, thanking God for the relief to come. My dr says to me...don’t expect a pain day to ever be better than a 6 (on that STUPID pain scale... where really, my pain goes from tolerable to intolerable. Every month is like jumping through a million hoops to get my script. My doctor messes up the script, the pharmacy needs to triple check their asses, I’m being accused of asking early when February had 28 DAYS, and for once - my math is right.
There is no situation here where I don’t look like a drug seeker when all I need is the dr to okay the pharmacy, but it’s like pulling teeth.
And my pain is never better than a six. #worthit ?


Opioid "crisis" affects chronic pain patients

#OpioidStigma My sister is a doctor down in TN. We have gotten into many arguments over whether the laws as a result if this opioid "crisis" are doing more harm than good. She believes that chronic pain patients aren't affected because they can get all the medication they need from pain clinics. I don't know if this is true or not because I was fortunate enough to find other medication that helped my pain, so I was able to get off my Norco right before all this crap would have affected me, and I have had horrible experiences with pain clinics and will never go back. I am of the belief that those given opioids for acute pain who get addicted will then turn around and get the medication off the streets and that there will be an increase in suicides in chronic pain patients because they can't get their medication. Any thoughts?