Part of Two Worlds


Hello Luvs,

Many of my “regular” readers may remember that I am “Hard of hearing”. Hearing people usually use the term “hearing impaired”. We prefer to be called “Hard of hearing”. Mostly because we don’t feel that we are broken or “impaired”. Technically it means that Im not totally deaf. I can hear various pitches, frequencies and sounds. With my hearing aids in, I can hear a bit more of the letters and words in normal conversation. But add in background noise and people who mumble or talk very fast. Next, add the situation of trying to “listen” to several people at once, in a crowded room or restaurant? Lastly, there are those with facial hair all around their mouth and lips. They are the group for me, who have the most frustrating lips to read! Then again, it’s not really like “reading”. Because it’s more like piecing together bits and pieces then trying to “fill in the missing pieces”.

In case you’re not familiar with my hearing loss journey; I’ll recap just a little bit for you. When I was a child, I had recurring ear infections. During those times, I could often be found literally rocking my body back & forth, while curled up in the fetal position. My memories start as young as age 4 or 5. It was always pure hell while I was living with horrible ear infections. When I complained to my parents about the excruciating 😖 throbbing Pain in my ear (or ears), my mother would always say same thing. She’d tell me “Once your eardrum ruptures, the pressure will go away and you will feel better!” Well, I did feel better, but each time that happened it caused scar tissue to form in my ear drums. It also caused mild hearing loss as I was growing up. I remember asking the teachers if I could sit closer to the board to try and hear them better. Therefore my audiologist (in 2002) & ENT Dr. felt that I’ve had mild hearing loss since I was a child. I had tubes put in my ears when I was about 9 years old. They were surgically placed multiple times and for several years.

Later in 2002, I was a passenger in a car driven by my husband. We were just driving along through a green light when we were hit by a car running through a red light. It was considered a “catastrophic accident”. I acquired a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and had multiple injuries and 9 surgeries. I went to brain injury rehab for 3 years & had 9 years of PT/OT, balance therapy and speech therapy. I acquired a pacemaker, glasses with prisms (for lowered vision), 2 screws in my left shoulder and 2 hearing aids. I also got a wheelchair, a seated wheeled walker, a motorized scooter, loft strand crutches, a cane and several other helping aides for activities of daily living.

I won’t bore you with all of the chronic pain illnesses that came out of that accident. That’s not what this post is all about. But I also acquired a bi-lateral sensory neural moderate/severe hearing loss in both of my ears L>R. Along with the many medical issues, I also acquired lower vision. I saw a Neuro-Othamoligist, who put prisms in my glasses to try and correct some of it. The prisms really bothered me. Today I just have a very strong prescription for eye glasses. Everything has a bit of a halo effect.

It’s ironic and very awesome that prior to that MVA (motor vehicle accident), I had been an ASL Interpreter. I worked at a Deaf preschool and then I interpreted for a school district. In the end, I was a medical Interpreter at a University hospital. I even did volunteer work doing medical interpreting for Deaf/Blind at free medical screening events. I had gone through a 4 year SLS/Interpreting program and finished with a 3.8 gpa.

Back in the 1980’s when I went to college, I practically lived at the dorms with my 16 Deaf friends. We watched CC “General Hospital” daily at 3:00 pm. We even tried to schedule our classes around it! It was a social hour. I’d been learning ASL since age 11 & even “tested out” of the first fingerspelling class.

The Deaf community accepted me and they were kind to me. At that time I went to Deaf bowling every Thursday with DAD club. I had a Deaf boyfriend whose sister was a cheerleader at MSD & we went to all of the football games and even the homecoming dance! Me and my group of college friends, who happened to be Deaf, used to go out dancing on Friday nights. One time my friends & I were on our way to a dance club and we got pulled over for a slight bit of speeding. We were all packed in the back of a mini van signing with each other. One of my friends told me to “talk to the officer”. I was terrified and I told him “No way! I’m afraid! Since I’m with you guys, I don’t want to talk to him either!” We all laughed as the officer just let us go with a handwritten warning on a piece of paper. That was a fun and I felt included.

Just to back track a little, I started learning ASL at age 11. My best friend & I babysat for a Deaf family who lived next door to her. The parents and 6 children were Deaf. The children went to the Lutheran School for Deaf at that time! They included me in many Deaf social activities and I learned the language & received my sign name from them. First we played games and I learned colors, numbers, family signs, days of week and more!

I’ve always felt accepted by the Deaf community. I always respected the language, ASL. How ironic then, that I lost a moderate-severe percentage of my hearing & was already prepared with the tools I needed!

I’ve lost touch with some of my old friends from DAD (Deaf Association of Detroit). But I still have a some close friends from the past, who are Deaf. I still feel a part of the community. I’d like to become even more involved again! But living with several high pain chronic illnesses makes it difficult to get out due to persistent pain.

I’ve found my own ways to reconnect and to feel not so “in-between” two worlds. I get to teach ASL vocabulary with the Deaf Socials on their Instagram and Facebook pages. I love & look forward to each new vocabulary list they give to me for teaching! I truly enjoy doing that and doing song covers to ASL on my Youtube channel: My YouTube channel at: ASLSuzyQ . I also post to my Instagram A link to my ASL Instagram and Twitter A link to my ASL Twitter with the same name. I do this for fun and as a volunteer and advocate for Deaf Awareness.

Lastly, I used to love being a part of two ASL performance groups during the 80’s, when I lived in Arizona & worked at a Deaf preschool. One group was called “Silent Impressions productions”. We performed in choreography and ASL to broadway show tunes and in costumes! We put in shows at ASU and it was so much fun! The other group to which I belonged, was called “Silent Praise”. We performed Christian songs while others did lyrical dances. We did that at the ASU Neumann center. It was such a fun time in my life. My friends and I also interpreted for our church community at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Scottsdale, AZ.

After reminiscing in this post, I feel so grateful that I had already been involved with the Deaf community & had many years of experience with ASL, before I became Hard of Hearing. As ironic as it seems, it’s not all that crazy. I had a mild hearing loss and then it worsened due to the TBI.

I mostly seem to write about chronic pain illnesses. I’ve been writing about the rights of chronic pain patients to have access to much needed opioid pain medications. We need these medications because without them, people like me wouldn’t even be able to do the small amount of activities that we try to do. I was forcibly tapered from my long acting pain meds after doing pretty well on them for almost 14 years! Now I sit in my recliner for approximately16 hours daily. I try to get up, put I make up and do some online activities every few days. But my life is not the same with so much less help for the pain.

Although I still want to continue advocating in that area, I’m doing more & more advocating for Deaf awareness, inclusion and preservation of ASL. I thought I’d put my hearing loss story and ASL history here in my blog too. I’ve written a few posts about Deafness and trying to live in “two worlds”. But I’ve never explained the details of how I became who I am today. I’m a survivor of long time childhood abuse, domestic violence and then a catastrophic car accident. I’m not a “victim” but I am a “fighter and a survivor”! Don’t ever give up!!

I have a Facebook page at: Link to my ASLSUZYQ Facebook page

I have a Facebook group called “ASLExpress” at:Link to join Facebook group ASL Express

Lastly, I have an ASL group for allowing people to post ASL covers in a safe place, called “ASL Song” at: Link to ASL Song Facebook group

“Silent Impressions Productions” & I’m 2nd left
Me Interpreting at church before MVA
Me Interpreting a Song in “Silent Praise@ group

Me working at Deaf preschool
I was in newspaper when I taught elementary kids

My hearing aids

Don’t be afraid of opioids


There is a gene called “addiction” that some people are born with and others are not. This gene can cause a human being to become an opioid addict. It is not the medication that causes addiction. The medication is just a tool, that if used improperly can become deadly. But again, the medication is an inanimate object or a tool! Similarly a gun is an inaminate object; but when people use it in the wrong way, it can kill!!  Therefore, people should not be afraid of Opioids any more than they should fear Insulin if they are Diabetic. When used responsibly and properly, as the high majority of chronic pain patients do; opioids can give back lives and save families. Just the same way as a gun can save lives and families, when used properly and for specific reasons. The idea that those opposed to opioids for chronic pain need to understand is that

  1. No one will force them to take opioids, so they should stop trying to force a ban on opioids for chronic pain patients.
  2. Opioids don’t “kill people”. They are only a cause of death if they are taken incorrectly (as with most medications) or if they are used inappropriately.
  3. Chronic pain patients are not addicted to their opioid pain medications. They may be dependent or tolerant but again, there is no “high” involved. There is no scrambling for a “fix”

I found more interesting information about the confusion surrounding opioids and addiction. If you try to GOOGLE “how many people have died from PRESCRIPTION drug overdose in 2018 or 2017?”, it doesn’t give you a straight answer! But if you go to this article written by Josh Bloom Who Is Telling The Truth About Prescription Opioid Deaths? DEA? CDC? Neither?  It becomes much more clear what is happening, sort of?

Let me explain in a bit more detail. You see, Andrew Kolodny, the “king of detox houses”  has become very rich.  He appears to be greedy for more. This man just cannot tell you enough about how chronic pain patients and drug addics are in the same category. Yes, it’s true and he says those words directly on this video at time spot:  1:37 to 1:54 Washington Post Video: “Dr Andrew Kolodny; opioid crisis “not and abuse crisis, it’s an addiction epidemic” ….therefore, I have surmised (along with many other advocates, that this man is just trying to prey on those who are lost to addiction and those who have lost someone to addiction overdose. But do you realize (I’m guessing he does not or he’s covering it up?) that the opioid deaths are not from prescription opioids! They are from illicit Fentanyl/Carafentanyl from Mexico and China mostly. These are deaths that are from mixing illicit drugs possibly with some opioids and the PROP and CDC etc. are then calling them all “opioid deaths”.

In Josh Bloom’s article above he shows the lies, the outright blatent lies that people are being told by the DEA and others. Read this quote from his article above, dated 11-5-18, “Controlled Prescription Drugs (CPDs)…are still responsible for the most drug-involved overdose deaths and are the second most commonly abused substance in the United States.”  (from the  2018 National Drug Threat Assessment,Drug Enforcement Administration, October 2018) ….but it’s not true…it’s deceiving. Josh Bloom adds that “there was a newly released 164-page report by the DEA manintaing that controlled prescription drugs are killing more Americans than any other drug”.   He concludes that this is either deceiving or just confusing.

You see, other drugs are included in these “death tolls” from Opioids. It’s not just prescription opioids but there are depressants,  stimulants and other drugs responsible as well. They are all being “lumped together”. There is even a CDC chart in his article that shows how they seemingly intentionally misled all of the readers. The chart shows “drug poisoning deaths” and in very very small print it states “The CDC drug poisoning death category medications” was formerly “prescription drugs” but was changed for two reasons: 1) the category includes Over the Counter Drugs…..” So now OTC drugs are added too this mess as well. He also included that “annual deaths from NSAIDS vary widely they are significant:  3,000-16,000 deaths per year.”

Medications for chronic pain illnesses are not “bad” and should not be causing so much turmoil in peoples lives. The PROP and people like Kolodny and his minions, have decided that they are “evil” and so now they are spreading it like wildfire. There are his drug treatment centers and the creators of Suboxone/(Buprenorphrine-Reckitt Benckiser and others who want to “get rich” by hurting the innocent people who are chronically ill. The RBI corp. even went to far as to pull off a shocking scheme to profit off of heroin addicts in 2016. You can read about that in my other article called “About Suboxone, Buprenorphrine and Naloxone” . Andrew Kolodny even made a statement to the effect of how this generation of chronically ill/disabled persons living with chronic pain need to die off, so that the next generation won’t be addicted to opioids for chronic pain. Can you even believe that train of thought? The next generation won’t even have the option to have opioids for chronic pain (*or experience pain relief). This in an attempt to stop addiction and overdoses from occurring. In other words,  let’s just knock off  the elderly, the disabled and the chronically ill; so they won’t be a burden to anyone, is that it? Get rid of all of us so that we won’t suck the system? So our kids won’t know anything about pain control? They will be brainwashed into thinking that mindfulness, acupuncture and grounding can “cure” chronic pain illnesses? Do people really believe that? I do believe that some of the complimentary therapies may alleviate a minimal amount of pain for the short term. But they’re not a long term answer for chronic pain.  I know of one U.S.A. Pain organization that really “pushes” the complimentary therapies. Consequently they have actually abandoned a large number of the pain community who rely (*or did rely) on opioid medication therapy for pain control. Where are the human rights groups and other organizations who have the power to affect a positive change for the pain community? Why hasn’t anyone physically helped to change the misdirected concocted fear of opioids?  I’d truly like to have an answer for these questions? It’s hard to believe that those who blindly play “Follow the Leader” to the likes of Andrew Kolodny, just want chronic pain patients to “go away”? But as I write this article, there are more states petitioning to become “right to die” or assisted suicide states.  It is already legal in:  Washington DC, California, Oregon, Colorado, Vermont, Hawaii & Washington (still being disputed in Montana). Are we really 100% useless and disposable, like garbage to be thrown away?

Thats a scary thought to ponder! There are people such as Andrew Kolodny and Organizations such as the CDC, DEA and PROP, who would rather that I die than stay here with my husband, children and grandchildren for as long as humanly possible? All I need to be able to do is to take a pill a few times a day or wear a patch and I can live some semblance of a life outside of my bed or the recliner that I now live in for the best part of most days now. The Opioids do not make us “high”. I’ve never been “high” and all they did was take the edge off of a whole lot of pain; due to a long list of high pain chronic illnesses. Most of us, who are living with chronic pain, just want to live some kind of life. Don’t we have that right, just as others without pain do? Many of us were victims of accidents or crimes or just plain unlucky. Why do they want to make our life unbearable? Or even worse yet, why do they want us dead? Is this Eugenics coming back from the early 1900’s?

 

So You Think I Can Hear?


 

This is a quote from a dear friend of mine who is profoundly Deaf and he is a Professor of ASL at a University in Utah….with that being said….

This is a great blog post by someone on Tumblr, to whom I Subscribe. This is about what it’s like to live with hearing loss (*like I do and many others)..but still try to be functioning in both the Deaf/Hard of Hearing & Hearing worlds. Please feel free to visit & Subscribe to me on: Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter & most of all YouTube At: ASLSuzyQ (the SC that I use most is: jewelrymkr)

that-kinda-deaf-girl.tumblr.com/post/152136758229/so-you-think-i-can-hear

I am also on Tiktok at: ASLSuzyQ

International Stakeholder Community of Pain Experts and Leaders Call for an Urgent Action on Forced Opioid Tapering | Pain Medicine |Oxford Academic


The aforementioned article proves that hopefully, there of the chronic pain community.

In 2016, Andrew Kolodny, (who is co-Director of Opioids policy Research at Brandeis University), along with a group of Addiction specialists & others, went behind closed doors to “invent” & then Implement the 2016 CDC Guidelines regarding the use of Opioids. These were Supposed to be just guidelines for primary care doctors. But they rapidly became “the law” in the eyes of the CDC, DEA, National News Media outlets, Pharmacies & our government officials. Today we even have legitimate, licensed pain management Physicians, heading for the hills! They’re Not following the Hippocratic oath. These physicians are abandoning patients & putting many at high risk, myself included. The way that the chronic pain community has been treated, has been outrageous.

Please feel free to share this article on social media. Print it out and take it with you to your Dr. appointments. Let’s also share it far & wide through the news media channels as well. They’ve been getting it wrong & now need to help change the hysteria & damage that’s been created.

“We, the under signed, stand as a unified community of stakeholders and key opinion leaders deeply concerned about forced opioid tapering in patients receiving lolong-term prescription opioid therapy for chronic pain. This is a large-scale humanitarian issue. Our specific concerns involve:
— Read on academic.oup.com/painmedicine/advance-article/doi/10.1093/pm/pny228/5218985

The Opioid Hysteria Hits Home


Hello Luvs,

I wanted to write to you today to share with you something that I know many of us are dealing with these days. It’s about what happened at my pain management Dr. appointment on 11-8-18. First of all, every 30 days, I have to go and endure this treatment and I live with PTSD. It always rears its ugly head the day prior to my appointment with this Dr. or any new Dr. appointments. I’ll just refer you to my other article “Down the Rabbit Hole” if you need a reminder as to what has occurred up until now.

I arrived at the appointment which was in the late morning this time. I usually go in the afternoon because mornings are difficult for me, with my pain issues. But the past 6 months or so, I’ve had horrible anxiety when I know this appointment is drawing nearer. The closer it gets, the worse I start to feel psychologically and physically with the above symptoms on top of the pain. I decided to make this appointment in the morning because I thought it would not ruin our day so much. Just “get it over with” and be done; get on with our day. But it once again, did ruin my/our day.

I’ve had this pain management Dr. since July 2015, after my other Dr. of 15 years left suddenly. At that time I had been on the fentanyl patch and the lollipops for 10 years. This Dr. told me he would only accept me if I took myself off of the lollipops and I did it. I had to suffer through physical dependence withdrawals. I did it at home with my soulmate, my husband.

I’ve never rescheduled an appointment with him, nor have I ever been late. I’ve never run out of meds or asked for them early.  He knows of every medication that I take or have taken and honestly, I don’t feel like its up to me to have to “remind” him that I sometimes take Fiorcet for Chiari Migraines. He and I had a mutual respect sort of Dr./patient relationship up until April of this year 2018.  But that day everything changed and it turned out to be nothing that I did wrong. He had forgotten that I take Fiorcet and it doesn’t always show up on MAPS (Michigan Automated Prescription Service – *explanation found here*: https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-72600_72603_55478—,00.html) because its such a low risk medication and not a high class either.  But whether it shows up on the MAPS is not up to me. Nor is it my fault in any way if it shows up or not, as long as he’s known from the beginning that I’ve been on it for more than 7 years.  This one particular day in April, he started being rude to me for no reason whatsoever. I went to my appointments in May, June and July.  But I was horribly anxious and very “ill” prior to each appointment, due to anxiety and PTSD symptoms.

This last visit was another horrible appointment and was possibly the final one for me. I am done being treated like a criminal or an addict! I’m tired of feeling “put down”! I’ve never smoked or drank; nor have I ever taken any drugs. I received one more short acting script and now I will be tapering myself slowly off of the short acting medication as well. It will be horrible because it’s already horrible. It will be difficult and it’s already difficult.  He lied to me in July, telling me that “in Michigan, Fentanyl patch is illegal for him to prescribe (he is a pain management Dr. and Anesthesiologist MD), unless someone has malignant cancer”. I know this is not true and he told me that “I am smart and should be able to verify this online”.  I checked Michigan law and the fentanyl patch warning on the box. It says only that it is “for chronic long term moderate to severe pain that will not be going away.” If anyone has any idea where I can find this in writing; I welcome that information.

I got a letter from my GI Dr. (*see letter below) because he felt it was dangerous to take me off of the Fentanyl patch. With Gastroparesis, SIBO and Chronic Erosive Gastritis; along with EDS type 4/vascular and more, I am not able to metabolize the long acting oral meds. Believe, me, I’ve tried many things and either was allergic, got very ill, it did not help at all or it had large valleys and spikes. The patch just worked for my pain and it was the best match for me and my multiple co-morbidities.

Yesterday’s appointment he told me that “Chronic pain does not kill anyone”. I told him that I was in my recliner now 16+ hours per day due to the pain. He responded by telling me that my cardiologist should not have put me on Clonidine. I’ve been on it since 2015, but went off of it for awhile in between. He knew this also but apparently it slipped his mind because that must be what’s making me “tired.” But in reality, it’s the pain that’s keeping me down. Also, I only get about 4 hours of sleep on a good night.

My cardiologist told me to take 1/2 of only 1mg at night. He prescribed it for me and said it would help with the physical pain & dependence withdrawals. Thank goodness someone cared enough to help me a bit!

I tried to explain that I had resigned from many activities that I was able to do with the medications. He told me that none of this has to do with the medication for pain being taken away after 14 years. He went on to say that “Susan (you’d think after 3.5 years he’d get that my name is “SUZANNE” not “Susan), you and other chronic pain patients are hostages to the pain medications”. These are the same medications that he was fine with for the 3.5 years I’ve been going to him! He also knew that my history was even longer. I’ve been taking opioids since 2005, in order to have some semblance of a life. But just for the record, I’ll let you know that I tried everything else possible fir 3 years, before resorting to the opioids.

This pain management Dr. has told me all along that he cannot make my pain go away. But he can help lessen the pain by prescribing opioids. When he made the “hostage” comment, I responded with; well “instead , now I’m a hostage to the pain”. Yesterday he told us (my husband & me), that all of his patients still tell him they have pain “with or without the pain meds”. I responded by telling him “Yes, that is true, but I had a life with the meds and I have no quality of life now. The pain medication dulled the pain without ever giving me any kind of “high”. Now the pain is much more sharp, pronounced and at the front of my thoughts. I’m not able to concentrate much or put the pain in another place at the back of my brain.”

I started to explain to him that I have several “Physicians, pain physicians and nurses that are my friends online”.  I added that this past week I was diagnosed after an echocardiogram, with “left atrium enlargement”. I’ve had a heart attack, a CVA and a TIA twice. I have Atrial fibrillation, Sick Sinus Syndrome and a pacemaker since 2003. I’ve never had CHF but that’s what this means. I told him that “chronic pain can kill and under treated chronic pain can make blood sugar and blood pressure rise”, which has been happening to me.  He became very upset with me and started to pontificate about how “each symptom needs to be treated by a Dr. who takes care of that problem.  If my blood sugar is high, I need to go to a diabetes Dr. and if my blood pressure is too high, then I need that addressed by a physician who takes care of that issue. He went on to say that “chronic long term pain does not and cannot kill you.  Only acute pain can possibly make BP and HR etc. rise.” But from Dr. Tennant’s own account in his article (Practical Pain Mgmt. By Dr Forrest Tennant MD , from another article, by Pharmacist Steve Ariens, ( Harmful Effects of Untreated Pain )  and this article that I had written last year (that was also published in Ntl. Pain Report), “Chronic pain can kill” (Untreated Chronic Pain Can Lead to Sudden Cardiac Death ), he is the one who is lying.

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Kratom, Great Help For Most but Deadly for Some


Hello Luvs,

There was a bit of a debate in one of my groups, regarding Kratom. I know it’s so helpful for many people. I do not think the government should step in and ban this too!! It’s relatively safe but I was discussing that it can and may help loads of chronic pain patients, but not everyone!

Like anything else, you need to discuss it with your Dr ahead of time and please get an EKG first. I have several complicated heart arrhythmias. One is pretty uncommon but most people don’t even know that they have it until they die from “sudden cardiac death” (which is its only symptom). It’s called “Long QT syndrome”. There are many thousands of medications on the “DO NOT TAKE” list with long QT syndrome. The list updates daily and herbs such as Kratom, Turmeric & Ginseng are among the things that people with LQTS cannot take. Please just be safe and I hope you continue to have or get access to whatever kind of pain relief works for you!

But please check out this article I’ve posted below:

Just a little was info about Kratom before you take it