Daniel Permenter

@daniel-permenter | contributor
I am a male, in my 30’s, and have 3 beautiful daughters. I have held a steady full time job from the age of 14 and have worked harder than I could have ever thought possible. Then I became a stay at home dad and I reevaluated the definition of hard work. I also suffer from fibromyalgia, Chronic pain disorder, depression and anxiety. I run a blog about about using stuffed animals to fight anxiety and depression. The idea has had several applications in the real world with studies done with various organizations. I found out about this method through personal experience and research. I have been published and have been asked to speak at several conventions. Check out my blog! https://mystuffedlittletherapy.com

Fighting to Get Opioid Medication for Fibromyalgia, CFS, Chronic Pain

I am so tired of fighting. I fight my body each and every day. I fight to get out of bed. I fight to take my pills. I fight to get the energy to even move off the couch. I spend so much energy on just making it through the day. Now, I have even more to fight. The opioid crisis. I have been on my medication for over three years now. I have been steadily dropping the dose in order to not raise so much attention as to how much medication I take. This helps prevent the pharmacy techs from looking at me with quite the judgmental eyes. I am on a third of what my medication should be. I do this at the cost of my own personal comfort. I trade my comfort and ability to be somewhat “normal” so I don’t have to be judged on what medication I have to take and how much. I am entered on databases. I have to sign a controlled substance sheet now to document how much I have. I have to have my driver’s license scanned and copied. I am monitored on my usage. It reached a new level today. I found out my doctor is retiring in a few weeks. It is always hard finding a good doctor. Someone who believes you and still finds ways to motivate you. Someone who cares and wants to help your well-being. This is not a great time for me. I called to get my last set of medication from my doctor. I am trying to prepare for my search for a new doctor. I call in to the pharmacy and request a refill. They deny me saying I need to call my doctor to get approval. I call my doctor and they fax everything over. Call back to the pharmacy and they say they don’t have any paperwork. I ask them to check again and give them the exact name and dosage of the medication. They then say it has been denied by my insurance. I tell my information again and that if need be, I’ll pay for the medication out of my own pocket. They then say I have been flagged for too much medication and that I need to use what I have left before getting more. I have two pills. I inform them again that my doctor is retiring, I have only two pills left of the main medication (an opioid-based med), I will pay for it if my insurance won’t, that he faxed the information yesterday at 4 p.m., and what should I do in time being without my medication. The pharmacy tech informs me that I have been denied and flagged by a government system that says I am receiving too much medication but that he will resubmit my information again to see if he can “push it through.” It goes through. My medication will be filled and waiting for me later this afternoon. My fears of what waits for me next time I need to get a refill are very real. I fight so much to just exist in a a relatively pain-reduced (I am never pain-free) world. Why must I fight bad doctors, bad pharmacies and now the government tracking me? I am so tired, and it is not the just the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I just want to get the help I need. I just want people to believe me. I am almost to the point of begging for help at times because people don’t seem to care. I wish I could explain it better. I wish I didn’t have to fight. Hell, I wish I didn’t have this chronic illness and had to take medication with the “wonderful” side effects. I already have such a love/hate relationship with having to take it, why must it be made worse with fighting to even receive it? This is my story. This is my life. This is a regular occurrence. Still fighting. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by ittipon2002

Fighting to Get Opioid Medication for Fibromyalgia, CFS, Chronic Pain

I am so tired of fighting. I fight my body each and every day. I fight to get out of bed. I fight to take my pills. I fight to get the energy to even move off the couch. I spend so much energy on just making it through the day. Now, I have even more to fight. The opioid crisis. I have been on my medication for over three years now. I have been steadily dropping the dose in order to not raise so much attention as to how much medication I take. This helps prevent the pharmacy techs from looking at me with quite the judgmental eyes. I am on a third of what my medication should be. I do this at the cost of my own personal comfort. I trade my comfort and ability to be somewhat “normal” so I don’t have to be judged on what medication I have to take and how much. I am entered on databases. I have to sign a controlled substance sheet now to document how much I have. I have to have my driver’s license scanned and copied. I am monitored on my usage. It reached a new level today. I found out my doctor is retiring in a few weeks. It is always hard finding a good doctor. Someone who believes you and still finds ways to motivate you. Someone who cares and wants to help your well-being. This is not a great time for me. I called to get my last set of medication from my doctor. I am trying to prepare for my search for a new doctor. I call in to the pharmacy and request a refill. They deny me saying I need to call my doctor to get approval. I call my doctor and they fax everything over. Call back to the pharmacy and they say they don’t have any paperwork. I ask them to check again and give them the exact name and dosage of the medication. They then say it has been denied by my insurance. I tell my information again and that if need be, I’ll pay for the medication out of my own pocket. They then say I have been flagged for too much medication and that I need to use what I have left before getting more. I have two pills. I inform them again that my doctor is retiring, I have only two pills left of the main medication (an opioid-based med), I will pay for it if my insurance won’t, that he faxed the information yesterday at 4 p.m., and what should I do in time being without my medication. The pharmacy tech informs me that I have been denied and flagged by a government system that says I am receiving too much medication but that he will resubmit my information again to see if he can “push it through.” It goes through. My medication will be filled and waiting for me later this afternoon. My fears of what waits for me next time I need to get a refill are very real. I fight so much to just exist in a a relatively pain-reduced (I am never pain-free) world. Why must I fight bad doctors, bad pharmacies and now the government tracking me? I am so tired, and it is not the just the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I just want to get the help I need. I just want people to believe me. I am almost to the point of begging for help at times because people don’t seem to care. I wish I could explain it better. I wish I didn’t have to fight. Hell, I wish I didn’t have this chronic illness and had to take medication with the “wonderful” side effects. I already have such a love/hate relationship with having to take it, why must it be made worse with fighting to even receive it? This is my story. This is my life. This is a regular occurrence. Still fighting. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by ittipon2002

Fighting to Get Opioid Medication for Fibromyalgia, CFS, Chronic Pain

I am so tired of fighting. I fight my body each and every day. I fight to get out of bed. I fight to take my pills. I fight to get the energy to even move off the couch. I spend so much energy on just making it through the day. Now, I have even more to fight. The opioid crisis. I have been on my medication for over three years now. I have been steadily dropping the dose in order to not raise so much attention as to how much medication I take. This helps prevent the pharmacy techs from looking at me with quite the judgmental eyes. I am on a third of what my medication should be. I do this at the cost of my own personal comfort. I trade my comfort and ability to be somewhat “normal” so I don’t have to be judged on what medication I have to take and how much. I am entered on databases. I have to sign a controlled substance sheet now to document how much I have. I have to have my driver’s license scanned and copied. I am monitored on my usage. It reached a new level today. I found out my doctor is retiring in a few weeks. It is always hard finding a good doctor. Someone who believes you and still finds ways to motivate you. Someone who cares and wants to help your well-being. This is not a great time for me. I called to get my last set of medication from my doctor. I am trying to prepare for my search for a new doctor. I call in to the pharmacy and request a refill. They deny me saying I need to call my doctor to get approval. I call my doctor and they fax everything over. Call back to the pharmacy and they say they don’t have any paperwork. I ask them to check again and give them the exact name and dosage of the medication. They then say it has been denied by my insurance. I tell my information again and that if need be, I’ll pay for the medication out of my own pocket. They then say I have been flagged for too much medication and that I need to use what I have left before getting more. I have two pills. I inform them again that my doctor is retiring, I have only two pills left of the main medication (an opioid-based med), I will pay for it if my insurance won’t, that he faxed the information yesterday at 4 p.m., and what should I do in time being without my medication. The pharmacy tech informs me that I have been denied and flagged by a government system that says I am receiving too much medication but that he will resubmit my information again to see if he can “push it through.” It goes through. My medication will be filled and waiting for me later this afternoon. My fears of what waits for me next time I need to get a refill are very real. I fight so much to just exist in a a relatively pain-reduced (I am never pain-free) world. Why must I fight bad doctors, bad pharmacies and now the government tracking me? I am so tired, and it is not the just the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I just want to get the help I need. I just want people to believe me. I am almost to the point of begging for help at times because people don’t seem to care. I wish I could explain it better. I wish I didn’t have to fight. Hell, I wish I didn’t have this chronic illness and had to take medication with the “wonderful” side effects. I already have such a love/hate relationship with having to take it, why must it be made worse with fighting to even receive it? This is my story. This is my life. This is a regular occurrence. Still fighting. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by ittipon2002

How the Opioid Crisis Hurts Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia Patients

I have been diagnosed fibromyalgia, panic disorder, insomnia and quite a few other conditions for five years now. I have experienced a lot and have struggled to find the help I need to make it through my day-to-day routine, much less when life throws me curveballs. I have tried and put into place all manner of methods of managing my conditions. I have changed diet, put in a modified exercise regiment and adjusted my life to fit my condition. I also take prescribed opioids. News outlets have been reporting on the “opioid crisis” that has arisen. They talk about the real effects on people’s lives. They talk about the families being torn apart with the misuse of the drug. They are representing every side of the issue. Except mine. I, like many others with chronic illness, rely on the use of these drugs to lead a somewhat regular life. Understandably, we do not represent all responsible opioid use. However, we do regularly get added to the group of people who abuse opioids. The news loves to report the numbers of total users or the max number of prescribed people in U.S. Using these numbers, all kinds of data can be thrown around as to the approximate number of abusers. I am not ignoring the rising numbers of opioid-related deaths. I fear that too many people are caught up in the panic and it is hurting the people who need the help. I have recently changed pharmacies due to the national response. CVS has come out to say they will not prescribe more than a week’s worth of an opioid to cut down on the number of pills in the public. This hurts in several ways. I now have more co-pays to look forward to paying. I now have the stress of going to the pharmacy once a week instead of once a month. I get to be faced with the pharmacy techs who judge me on my condition. They have to evaluate what I take, how many I take and how often I take it to ensure I am doing everything correctly. It can feel humiliating and debilitating. It can also lead to them to refusing to fill a medication. When I was first being diagnosed, I had a tech tell me I couldn’t have any more medication, even though I was taking them as prescribed. I have also been through the panic of not being able to see the doctor in time or canceling my appointment so I end up running out before I can get the help I need. It is so tight now. My new doctor has a new form I had to fill out saying I have to bring all my meds into the office each visit and be subjected to random pill count checks. To quote a friend, “This is victim shaming.” We are not getting the prescribed medications from a drug dealer. We are getting these medications from a licensed doctor who has examined, poked, prodded and run tests to find out what can help. We are not using these pills for recreational use. We are using them so we can get out of bed and live a somewhat normal life and have a job. This is a crisis. My crisis. My own personal war inside me. I have to fight to get help. I have to fight to get time to go to the doctor each time. Taking off work to go see a doctor takes a lot of time and most jobs are not forgiving. I have to look at what I have and ration. I have several medications that are “as needed.” Do I take them now when I am having a rough day or do I save them in case I have a worse day? Why do I have to choose? Who is speaking for me? For us? I am only one small voice on a small platform. I am speaking up. Don’t forget us in the crisis. This post originally appeared on My Stuffed Little Therapy. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock photo via Tomas Nevesely.

Why It Can Be Hard to Read About 'Easy' Self-Care

I recently came across an article that talks about self care that is “cheap and easy.” It discusses how “cleaning your room,” “going for walks” and other seemingly simple tasks can go a long way in improving your overall mood and well-being. It reads as a get in touch with yourself, ground yourself in the moment and get in line with your feelings kind of article. Look at nature and take a walk. Savor the moments. Eat a good meal. Exercise. So light and breezy, anyone can supposedly do it. I heartily disagree. The author goes on to talk about self-care and the things she picked up on during a rough patch. She talked about small mental exercises. I want to look at these points separately. For me, cleaning your house is not self-care. That is part of being an adult. I don’t believe maintaining your living space and washing your body ought to be considered self-care for a “normal” person. When you have someone who has a chronic illness, especially when you have dizzy spells or energy issues, then bathing would be a form of self-care because it would be a task that requires a lot of effort. The author feels like she is trying to convince herself, and the article seems to shift topics often. A friend of mine with Lyme disease explains what self-care is really like in the following quotes: Self-care for me is saving my money so that I can spend on one hour of Skype with a natural doctor in Canada so that I could help my body recover from Lyme disease and lupus. Self care for me is spending $100 a month to have someone come in and clean my bathrooms because I literally cannot physically clean my own bathrooms. Self-care for me is actually going out and working that part-time job in that dress boutique so that I can be happier by encouraging other women to feel good. And in turn, I make a little bit of money so that I can save up to see the doctor and to have my bathrooms cleaned. Self care for me is also the hard part of asking people to help me do things, because I can’t do them alone by myself. Or because I get overwhelmed in trying to do them by myself. I believe that when you perpetuate the notion of self-care in a flippant, valley girl almost, way of “it’s so easy!”, it hurts those who cannot do those basic things. I understand that this article is not directed to people who struggle with chronic illness or mental health issues, but it is dangerous to paint everyone with a broad brush. Making a stereotype of self-care as being “cheap and easy” results in either people who these efforts don’t work and it becomes a bigger issue, or, if you just “did these five easy steps” you would have a better life. What happens when these steps fail and the judgment comes? I fear that path. As to the second part of changing mental habits, I agree with the psychologist featured in the article I read when she says that when we don’t have good habits, they are replaced with bad ones. From my perspective, it is very easy to fall into bad habits with chronic illness. Trying to feel mentally positive when you are fighting each day to do basic things is difficult to an extreme. These changes can improve your outlook, but they can’t change the facts of what your body is going through. This can also lead to a sense of looking healthy on the outside (“You are so positive and happy on the outside, so you must be better”) but still be going through an immensely difficult time on the inside. People become less inclined to believe that you are actually sick. You are trying so hard to put on a face and not be the person that no one wants to be around due to your illness that it turns into a real issue when symptoms manifest themselves in a terrible way. This results in “I thought you were getting better?” or “You must be exaggerating/faking.” I feel the dangers are real when self-care is perpetuated in such a simple fashion. Can small changes in outlooks help relieve some stress? Yes. Can everyone do such actions? No, they cannot. It is not “cheap and easy” for everyone to do self-care. Follow this journey on My Stuffed Little Therapy.

Why It Can Be Hard to Read About 'Easy' Self-Care

I recently came across an article that talks about self care that is “cheap and easy.” It discusses how “cleaning your room,” “going for walks” and other seemingly simple tasks can go a long way in improving your overall mood and well-being. It reads as a get in touch with yourself, ground yourself in the moment and get in line with your feelings kind of article. Look at nature and take a walk. Savor the moments. Eat a good meal. Exercise. So light and breezy, anyone can supposedly do it. I heartily disagree. The author goes on to talk about self-care and the things she picked up on during a rough patch. She talked about small mental exercises. I want to look at these points separately. For me, cleaning your house is not self-care. That is part of being an adult. I don’t believe maintaining your living space and washing your body ought to be considered self-care for a “normal” person. When you have someone who has a chronic illness, especially when you have dizzy spells or energy issues, then bathing would be a form of self-care because it would be a task that requires a lot of effort. The author feels like she is trying to convince herself, and the article seems to shift topics often. A friend of mine with Lyme disease explains what self-care is really like in the following quotes: Self-care for me is saving my money so that I can spend on one hour of Skype with a natural doctor in Canada so that I could help my body recover from Lyme disease and lupus. Self care for me is spending $100 a month to have someone come in and clean my bathrooms because I literally cannot physically clean my own bathrooms. Self-care for me is actually going out and working that part-time job in that dress boutique so that I can be happier by encouraging other women to feel good. And in turn, I make a little bit of money so that I can save up to see the doctor and to have my bathrooms cleaned. Self care for me is also the hard part of asking people to help me do things, because I can’t do them alone by myself. Or because I get overwhelmed in trying to do them by myself. I believe that when you perpetuate the notion of self-care in a flippant, valley girl almost, way of “it’s so easy!”, it hurts those who cannot do those basic things. I understand that this article is not directed to people who struggle with chronic illness or mental health issues, but it is dangerous to paint everyone with a broad brush. Making a stereotype of self-care as being “cheap and easy” results in either people who these efforts don’t work and it becomes a bigger issue, or, if you just “did these five easy steps” you would have a better life. What happens when these steps fail and the judgment comes? I fear that path. As to the second part of changing mental habits, I agree with the psychologist featured in the article I read when she says that when we don’t have good habits, they are replaced with bad ones. From my perspective, it is very easy to fall into bad habits with chronic illness. Trying to feel mentally positive when you are fighting each day to do basic things is difficult to an extreme. These changes can improve your outlook, but they can’t change the facts of what your body is going through. This can also lead to a sense of looking healthy on the outside (“You are so positive and happy on the outside, so you must be better”) but still be going through an immensely difficult time on the inside. People become less inclined to believe that you are actually sick. You are trying so hard to put on a face and not be the person that no one wants to be around due to your illness that it turns into a real issue when symptoms manifest themselves in a terrible way. This results in “I thought you were getting better?” or “You must be exaggerating/faking.” I feel the dangers are real when self-care is perpetuated in such a simple fashion. Can small changes in outlooks help relieve some stress? Yes. Can everyone do such actions? No, they cannot. It is not “cheap and easy” for everyone to do self-care. Follow this journey on My Stuffed Little Therapy.

Why It Can Be Hard to Read About 'Easy' Self-Care

I recently came across an article that talks about self care that is “cheap and easy.” It discusses how “cleaning your room,” “going for walks” and other seemingly simple tasks can go a long way in improving your overall mood and well-being. It reads as a get in touch with yourself, ground yourself in the moment and get in line with your feelings kind of article. Look at nature and take a walk. Savor the moments. Eat a good meal. Exercise. So light and breezy, anyone can supposedly do it. I heartily disagree. The author goes on to talk about self-care and the things she picked up on during a rough patch. She talked about small mental exercises. I want to look at these points separately. For me, cleaning your house is not self-care. That is part of being an adult. I don’t believe maintaining your living space and washing your body ought to be considered self-care for a “normal” person. When you have someone who has a chronic illness, especially when you have dizzy spells or energy issues, then bathing would be a form of self-care because it would be a task that requires a lot of effort. The author feels like she is trying to convince herself, and the article seems to shift topics often. A friend of mine with Lyme disease explains what self-care is really like in the following quotes: Self-care for me is saving my money so that I can spend on one hour of Skype with a natural doctor in Canada so that I could help my body recover from Lyme disease and lupus. Self care for me is spending $100 a month to have someone come in and clean my bathrooms because I literally cannot physically clean my own bathrooms. Self-care for me is actually going out and working that part-time job in that dress boutique so that I can be happier by encouraging other women to feel good. And in turn, I make a little bit of money so that I can save up to see the doctor and to have my bathrooms cleaned. Self care for me is also the hard part of asking people to help me do things, because I can’t do them alone by myself. Or because I get overwhelmed in trying to do them by myself. I believe that when you perpetuate the notion of self-care in a flippant, valley girl almost, way of “it’s so easy!”, it hurts those who cannot do those basic things. I understand that this article is not directed to people who struggle with chronic illness or mental health issues, but it is dangerous to paint everyone with a broad brush. Making a stereotype of self-care as being “cheap and easy” results in either people who these efforts don’t work and it becomes a bigger issue, or, if you just “did these five easy steps” you would have a better life. What happens when these steps fail and the judgment comes? I fear that path. As to the second part of changing mental habits, I agree with the psychologist featured in the article I read when she says that when we don’t have good habits, they are replaced with bad ones. From my perspective, it is very easy to fall into bad habits with chronic illness. Trying to feel mentally positive when you are fighting each day to do basic things is difficult to an extreme. These changes can improve your outlook, but they can’t change the facts of what your body is going through. This can also lead to a sense of looking healthy on the outside (“You are so positive and happy on the outside, so you must be better”) but still be going through an immensely difficult time on the inside. People become less inclined to believe that you are actually sick. You are trying so hard to put on a face and not be the person that no one wants to be around due to your illness that it turns into a real issue when symptoms manifest themselves in a terrible way. This results in “I thought you were getting better?” or “You must be exaggerating/faking.” I feel the dangers are real when self-care is perpetuated in such a simple fashion. Can small changes in outlooks help relieve some stress? Yes. Can everyone do such actions? No, they cannot. It is not “cheap and easy” for everyone to do self-care. Follow this journey on My Stuffed Little Therapy.

How the Opioid Crisis Hurts Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia Patients

I have been diagnosed fibromyalgia, panic disorder, insomnia and quite a few other conditions for five years now. I have experienced a lot and have struggled to find the help I need to make it through my day-to-day routine, much less when life throws me curveballs. I have tried and put into place all manner of methods of managing my conditions. I have changed diet, put in a modified exercise regiment and adjusted my life to fit my condition. I also take prescribed opioids. News outlets have been reporting on the “opioid crisis” that has arisen. They talk about the real effects on people’s lives. They talk about the families being torn apart with the misuse of the drug. They are representing every side of the issue. Except mine. I, like many others with chronic illness, rely on the use of these drugs to lead a somewhat regular life. Understandably, we do not represent all responsible opioid use. However, we do regularly get added to the group of people who abuse opioids. The news loves to report the numbers of total users or the max number of prescribed people in U.S. Using these numbers, all kinds of data can be thrown around as to the approximate number of abusers. I am not ignoring the rising numbers of opioid-related deaths. I fear that too many people are caught up in the panic and it is hurting the people who need the help. I have recently changed pharmacies due to the national response. CVS has come out to say they will not prescribe more than a week’s worth of an opioid to cut down on the number of pills in the public. This hurts in several ways. I now have more co-pays to look forward to paying. I now have the stress of going to the pharmacy once a week instead of once a month. I get to be faced with the pharmacy techs who judge me on my condition. They have to evaluate what I take, how many I take and how often I take it to ensure I am doing everything correctly. It can feel humiliating and debilitating. It can also lead to them to refusing to fill a medication. When I was first being diagnosed, I had a tech tell me I couldn’t have any more medication, even though I was taking them as prescribed. I have also been through the panic of not being able to see the doctor in time or canceling my appointment so I end up running out before I can get the help I need. It is so tight now. My new doctor has a new form I had to fill out saying I have to bring all my meds into the office each visit and be subjected to random pill count checks. To quote a friend, “This is victim shaming.” We are not getting the prescribed medications from a drug dealer. We are getting these medications from a licensed doctor who has examined, poked, prodded and run tests to find out what can help. We are not using these pills for recreational use. We are using them so we can get out of bed and live a somewhat normal life and have a job. This is a crisis. My crisis. My own personal war inside me. I have to fight to get help. I have to fight to get time to go to the doctor each time. Taking off work to go see a doctor takes a lot of time and most jobs are not forgiving. I have to look at what I have and ration. I have several medications that are “as needed.” Do I take them now when I am having a rough day or do I save them in case I have a worse day? Why do I have to choose? Who is speaking for me? For us? I am only one small voice on a small platform. I am speaking up. Don’t forget us in the crisis. This post originally appeared on My Stuffed Little Therapy. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock photo via Tomas Nevesely.

How the Opioid Crisis Hurts Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia Patients

I have been diagnosed fibromyalgia, panic disorder, insomnia and quite a few other conditions for five years now. I have experienced a lot and have struggled to find the help I need to make it through my day-to-day routine, much less when life throws me curveballs. I have tried and put into place all manner of methods of managing my conditions. I have changed diet, put in a modified exercise regiment and adjusted my life to fit my condition. I also take prescribed opioids. News outlets have been reporting on the “opioid crisis” that has arisen. They talk about the real effects on people’s lives. They talk about the families being torn apart with the misuse of the drug. They are representing every side of the issue. Except mine. I, like many others with chronic illness, rely on the use of these drugs to lead a somewhat regular life. Understandably, we do not represent all responsible opioid use. However, we do regularly get added to the group of people who abuse opioids. The news loves to report the numbers of total users or the max number of prescribed people in U.S. Using these numbers, all kinds of data can be thrown around as to the approximate number of abusers. I am not ignoring the rising numbers of opioid-related deaths. I fear that too many people are caught up in the panic and it is hurting the people who need the help. I have recently changed pharmacies due to the national response. CVS has come out to say they will not prescribe more than a week’s worth of an opioid to cut down on the number of pills in the public. This hurts in several ways. I now have more co-pays to look forward to paying. I now have the stress of going to the pharmacy once a week instead of once a month. I get to be faced with the pharmacy techs who judge me on my condition. They have to evaluate what I take, how many I take and how often I take it to ensure I am doing everything correctly. It can feel humiliating and debilitating. It can also lead to them to refusing to fill a medication. When I was first being diagnosed, I had a tech tell me I couldn’t have any more medication, even though I was taking them as prescribed. I have also been through the panic of not being able to see the doctor in time or canceling my appointment so I end up running out before I can get the help I need. It is so tight now. My new doctor has a new form I had to fill out saying I have to bring all my meds into the office each visit and be subjected to random pill count checks. To quote a friend, “This is victim shaming.” We are not getting the prescribed medications from a drug dealer. We are getting these medications from a licensed doctor who has examined, poked, prodded and run tests to find out what can help. We are not using these pills for recreational use. We are using them so we can get out of bed and live a somewhat normal life and have a job. This is a crisis. My crisis. My own personal war inside me. I have to fight to get help. I have to fight to get time to go to the doctor each time. Taking off work to go see a doctor takes a lot of time and most jobs are not forgiving. I have to look at what I have and ration. I have several medications that are “as needed.” Do I take them now when I am having a rough day or do I save them in case I have a worse day? Why do I have to choose? Who is speaking for me? For us? I am only one small voice on a small platform. I am speaking up. Don’t forget us in the crisis. This post originally appeared on My Stuffed Little Therapy. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock photo via Tomas Nevesely.

How the Opioid Crisis Hurts Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia Patients

I have been diagnosed fibromyalgia, panic disorder, insomnia and quite a few other conditions for five years now. I have experienced a lot and have struggled to find the help I need to make it through my day-to-day routine, much less when life throws me curveballs. I have tried and put into place all manner of methods of managing my conditions. I have changed diet, put in a modified exercise regiment and adjusted my life to fit my condition. I also take prescribed opioids. News outlets have been reporting on the “opioid crisis” that has arisen. They talk about the real effects on people’s lives. They talk about the families being torn apart with the misuse of the drug. They are representing every side of the issue. Except mine. I, like many others with chronic illness, rely on the use of these drugs to lead a somewhat regular life. Understandably, we do not represent all responsible opioid use. However, we do regularly get added to the group of people who abuse opioids. The news loves to report the numbers of total users or the max number of prescribed people in U.S. Using these numbers, all kinds of data can be thrown around as to the approximate number of abusers. I am not ignoring the rising numbers of opioid-related deaths. I fear that too many people are caught up in the panic and it is hurting the people who need the help. I have recently changed pharmacies due to the national response. CVS has come out to say they will not prescribe more than a week’s worth of an opioid to cut down on the number of pills in the public. This hurts in several ways. I now have more co-pays to look forward to paying. I now have the stress of going to the pharmacy once a week instead of once a month. I get to be faced with the pharmacy techs who judge me on my condition. They have to evaluate what I take, how many I take and how often I take it to ensure I am doing everything correctly. It can feel humiliating and debilitating. It can also lead to them to refusing to fill a medication. When I was first being diagnosed, I had a tech tell me I couldn’t have any more medication, even though I was taking them as prescribed. I have also been through the panic of not being able to see the doctor in time or canceling my appointment so I end up running out before I can get the help I need. It is so tight now. My new doctor has a new form I had to fill out saying I have to bring all my meds into the office each visit and be subjected to random pill count checks. To quote a friend, “This is victim shaming.” We are not getting the prescribed medications from a drug dealer. We are getting these medications from a licensed doctor who has examined, poked, prodded and run tests to find out what can help. We are not using these pills for recreational use. We are using them so we can get out of bed and live a somewhat normal life and have a job. This is a crisis. My crisis. My own personal war inside me. I have to fight to get help. I have to fight to get time to go to the doctor each time. Taking off work to go see a doctor takes a lot of time and most jobs are not forgiving. I have to look at what I have and ration. I have several medications that are “as needed.” Do I take them now when I am having a rough day or do I save them in case I have a worse day? Why do I have to choose? Who is speaking for me? For us? I am only one small voice on a small platform. I am speaking up. Don’t forget us in the crisis. This post originally appeared on My Stuffed Little Therapy. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock photo via Tomas Nevesely.