Jessica Jones

@healthteaspoonie | contributor
Jessica was born with Hirschsprungs Disease, resulting in 15 surgeries since she was 3 weeks old. She also has been diagnosed with endometriosis, PTSD, hypothyroidism, PNOP, Arthritis and Chronic pain. She is the mother of two amazing boys, Jamie and Jaxson; At 5 Jamie was late diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease resulting in 3 giant aneurysms in his heart. Jessica finds support in her wonderful husband and large extended family. She works as a healthcare professional for a large health network and understands patient care as a spoonie and from a healthcare point of view. She is a passionate chronic illness advocate that has been finding her path in many organizations to make a difference in the chronic illness community. In her free time she creates videos and writes for awareness and support for the unspoken for community of illness that she loves.
Community Voices

The stigma of chronic pain

I had spent all day in my pajamas again, it was at least day 3. I had an event for my children I had to attend that evening so my chronic pain was going to have to step aside for a few. I didn’t shower so I would not waste valuable energy I knew I would need at the ice cream social. I finally brushed my hair for the first time in days, I settled on low messy bun so I didn’t have to waste more energy on my hair then the ten minutes it took to get it all brushed out and ponytailed up. I did my makeup while lying in bed, the energy it took to make me look presentable was almost too much. I decided on the best outfit I could that helped make me look “put together”.  My thought: I can’t walk into the kids school looking as sick as I feel, so I choose to look as grand as I can.

I immediately see a friend at the event and  she politely says “Wow, you look great! Your wearing wedges!” I appreciate her kindness, but I immediately feel the underlying statement of “WOW, for as sick as you say you are- You look too good and you chose heels!” My first thoughts “Maybe I should have went no makeup on, dirty pajamas, unbrushed hair and teeth?”

There is a huge stigma on chronic illness especially those with chronic pain. It doesn’t matter that I had spent over an hour slowly getting ready while still in bed. It doesn’t matter that I had been bedridden for days prior and I would be bedridden the day after for a 15 minute ice cream social.

All because chronic illness patients are circus acts walking a tight rope- we have to find the perfect balance for the paradox of looking good on the outside and even when we’re feeling awful on the inside.

We need to find the happy medium so that we do not feel obligated in anyway to look a certain way to please others. We need to be able to only focus on our health. We can change the negative stigma of chronic pain. It begins with us and will end when we can share our hidden difficulties of basic life.

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Roughing Recovery

<p>Roughing Recovery</p>
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Being Denied Prescriptions for Chronic Pain: What It Feels Like

I stood at the pharmacy today waiting to hear once again why my prescription was not being filled. The technician had sent the pharmacist over. “We’re sorry, but it won’t allow us to fill your prescription.” This is the same prescription I had been filling every month, for the last five years, at this same pharmacy. Annoyed, but trying to not start a scene, I thanked her for time and left. This was the beginning of my experience with the new changes being made to our health care system and the control of opioid medications. I had never had an issue before. I had filled my prescription every month, on the 30th. I had always taken my pills as prescribed, and yet here I was feeling like a child being reprimanded for a sibling’s mistake. What ensued over the next few days was embarrassment, being stereotyped, and treated as a drug addict. I assume what the pharmacist didn’t realize when she denied my prescription, is she didn’t turn away a drug addict, but a chronic pain patient. After that encounter at the pharmacy, my actions actually did begin to mimic a drug addict as I desperately tried to find a way to fill my medication. My medication. Not my “fix.” Not my high. My medication. The medication that was needed to keep my pain at a level that allowed me to work, be productive at home, and have a quality of life that included playing with my children. Four days later, I found myself crying to my physician, trying to understand the situation that I was in. How? How could someone who had followed the rules, signed the demeaning contract, and taken the drug screens not covered under my insurance at $200 a screen, every three months, suddenly be denied a medication that was needed to improve quality of life? It’s the government, I’m told. “Everyone is on edge right now with the new restrictions going into place, but I will see what we can do,” my doctor informed me. Yes. Please do something! I felt like I was beginning to characteristically act like a drug seeker the moment my pain medication was denied. The fear that overcame me, the fight I had to take on to be given my medication put me exactly where they said they were trying to avoid. It didn’t make sense. I fortunately was able to obtain my prescription with my physician’s help. At the pharmacy, as I was picking up my script, I overheard “But why is it being denied? This is my pain medicine, I need it!” I watched, as the pharmacist’s face changed to judgment, witnessing the cycle begin all over again. Another “drug seeker” created from the impact of the new regulations. But this, this is what they wanted to avoid.

Being Denied Prescriptions for Chronic Pain: What It Feels Like

I stood at the pharmacy today waiting to hear once again why my prescription was not being filled. The technician had sent the pharmacist over. “We’re sorry, but it won’t allow us to fill your prescription.” This is the same prescription I had been filling every month, for the last five years, at this same pharmacy. Annoyed, but trying to not start a scene, I thanked her for time and left. This was the beginning of my experience with the new changes being made to our health care system and the control of opioid medications. I had never had an issue before. I had filled my prescription every month, on the 30th. I had always taken my pills as prescribed, and yet here I was feeling like a child being reprimanded for a sibling’s mistake. What ensued over the next few days was embarrassment, being stereotyped, and treated as a drug addict. I assume what the pharmacist didn’t realize when she denied my prescription, is she didn’t turn away a drug addict, but a chronic pain patient. After that encounter at the pharmacy, my actions actually did begin to mimic a drug addict as I desperately tried to find a way to fill my medication. My medication. Not my “fix.” Not my high. My medication. The medication that was needed to keep my pain at a level that allowed me to work, be productive at home, and have a quality of life that included playing with my children. Four days later, I found myself crying to my physician, trying to understand the situation that I was in. How? How could someone who had followed the rules, signed the demeaning contract, and taken the drug screens not covered under my insurance at $200 a screen, every three months, suddenly be denied a medication that was needed to improve quality of life? It’s the government, I’m told. “Everyone is on edge right now with the new restrictions going into place, but I will see what we can do,” my doctor informed me. Yes. Please do something! I felt like I was beginning to characteristically act like a drug seeker the moment my pain medication was denied. The fear that overcame me, the fight I had to take on to be given my medication put me exactly where they said they were trying to avoid. It didn’t make sense. I fortunately was able to obtain my prescription with my physician’s help. At the pharmacy, as I was picking up my script, I overheard “But why is it being denied? This is my pain medicine, I need it!” I watched, as the pharmacist’s face changed to judgment, witnessing the cycle begin all over again. Another “drug seeker” created from the impact of the new regulations. But this, this is what they wanted to avoid.

Being Denied Prescriptions for Chronic Pain: What It Feels Like

I stood at the pharmacy today waiting to hear once again why my prescription was not being filled. The technician had sent the pharmacist over. “We’re sorry, but it won’t allow us to fill your prescription.” This is the same prescription I had been filling every month, for the last five years, at this same pharmacy. Annoyed, but trying to not start a scene, I thanked her for time and left. This was the beginning of my experience with the new changes being made to our health care system and the control of opioid medications. I had never had an issue before. I had filled my prescription every month, on the 30th. I had always taken my pills as prescribed, and yet here I was feeling like a child being reprimanded for a sibling’s mistake. What ensued over the next few days was embarrassment, being stereotyped, and treated as a drug addict. I assume what the pharmacist didn’t realize when she denied my prescription, is she didn’t turn away a drug addict, but a chronic pain patient. After that encounter at the pharmacy, my actions actually did begin to mimic a drug addict as I desperately tried to find a way to fill my medication. My medication. Not my “fix.” Not my high. My medication. The medication that was needed to keep my pain at a level that allowed me to work, be productive at home, and have a quality of life that included playing with my children. Four days later, I found myself crying to my physician, trying to understand the situation that I was in. How? How could someone who had followed the rules, signed the demeaning contract, and taken the drug screens not covered under my insurance at $200 a screen, every three months, suddenly be denied a medication that was needed to improve quality of life? It’s the government, I’m told. “Everyone is on edge right now with the new restrictions going into place, but I will see what we can do,” my doctor informed me. Yes. Please do something! I felt like I was beginning to characteristically act like a drug seeker the moment my pain medication was denied. The fear that overcame me, the fight I had to take on to be given my medication put me exactly where they said they were trying to avoid. It didn’t make sense. I fortunately was able to obtain my prescription with my physician’s help. At the pharmacy, as I was picking up my script, I overheard “But why is it being denied? This is my pain medicine, I need it!” I watched, as the pharmacist’s face changed to judgment, witnessing the cycle begin all over again. Another “drug seeker” created from the impact of the new regulations. But this, this is what they wanted to avoid.

Being Denied Prescriptions for Chronic Pain: What It Feels Like

I stood at the pharmacy today waiting to hear once again why my prescription was not being filled. The technician had sent the pharmacist over. “We’re sorry, but it won’t allow us to fill your prescription.” This is the same prescription I had been filling every month, for the last five years, at this same pharmacy. Annoyed, but trying to not start a scene, I thanked her for time and left. This was the beginning of my experience with the new changes being made to our health care system and the control of opioid medications. I had never had an issue before. I had filled my prescription every month, on the 30th. I had always taken my pills as prescribed, and yet here I was feeling like a child being reprimanded for a sibling’s mistake. What ensued over the next few days was embarrassment, being stereotyped, and treated as a drug addict. I assume what the pharmacist didn’t realize when she denied my prescription, is she didn’t turn away a drug addict, but a chronic pain patient. After that encounter at the pharmacy, my actions actually did begin to mimic a drug addict as I desperately tried to find a way to fill my medication. My medication. Not my “fix.” Not my high. My medication. The medication that was needed to keep my pain at a level that allowed me to work, be productive at home, and have a quality of life that included playing with my children. Four days later, I found myself crying to my physician, trying to understand the situation that I was in. How? How could someone who had followed the rules, signed the demeaning contract, and taken the drug screens not covered under my insurance at $200 a screen, every three months, suddenly be denied a medication that was needed to improve quality of life? It’s the government, I’m told. “Everyone is on edge right now with the new restrictions going into place, but I will see what we can do,” my doctor informed me. Yes. Please do something! I felt like I was beginning to characteristically act like a drug seeker the moment my pain medication was denied. The fear that overcame me, the fight I had to take on to be given my medication put me exactly where they said they were trying to avoid. It didn’t make sense. I fortunately was able to obtain my prescription with my physician’s help. At the pharmacy, as I was picking up my script, I overheard “But why is it being denied? This is my pain medicine, I need it!” I watched, as the pharmacist’s face changed to judgment, witnessing the cycle begin all over again. Another “drug seeker” created from the impact of the new regulations. But this, this is what they wanted to avoid.

Community Voices

Took a break from social media yesterday #52SmallThings

I have been trying to take breaks from social media on the weekend so I can really disconnect and enjoy my time with friends and family. It helps me recharge for the upcoming week. What helps you recharge #MentalHealth

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Community Voices
Community Voices