Here’s a link to Pat Anson’s recent article regarding the sentencing of former CEO & President of The U.S. Pain Foundation, Paul Gileno!
What do you think? Has justice been served?
Here’s a link to Pat Anson’s recent article regarding the sentencing of former CEO & President of The U.S. Pain Foundation, Paul Gileno!
What do you think? Has justice been served?
Many people go through life and are never held up at gunpoint, robbed or in situations of extreme fear with shooters on a rampage.
I’ve now gone through this twice in my lifetime, thus far. We recently visited Waco, Texas to see our daughter, son in law and two youngest grandchildren (ages 10 months and 3 years). My daughter works at Baylor University and had decided to take us all to the dining commons for dinner on our 2nd night in Texas, (10-2019). We arrived, when suddenly, an alert was texted to her husband’s and her phones. The alert told us to “take shelter immediately & await further instructions”. My daughter started to panic as any mother of two babies would! I was frightened but tried to stay calm for her and the babies. We had to be separated from our husbands. They were sent to the men’s restroom & my daughter, the 2 babies & I were sent to the women’s restroom.
We awaited instructions but we were huddled into the corner of a handicapped stall. Finally, an employee came & told us we were on “lockdown” and we were all moved into the basement of the dining commons. There was stagnant air & it was difficult to breathe. I was very frightened but just continued to keep my daughter & grand babies calm. An employee, the cashier who I’d met as I entered the building; came around looking for me! She said that she was “drawn to me” & felt the need to come and check on me. She was so kind & she brought water downstairs for everyone. The water helped a lot and my granddaughter calmed down. Once we were all together as a family; in the basement, my husband was so good with the kids. We all tried to help them to be unafraid as we waited for the “all clear” alert. After about 55 minutes, we were given that alert and we were free to eat our dinner and go back to their home. We found out that about a half block away from campus, someone was shot. There were 3 people with automatic rifles on the run. The University took great care to see that we were kept safe during this ordeal. The staff was outstanding and very courageous.
It all brought me back to the time when I was 11 years old, in 1973, February. My parents, older brother & I went out after dinner to get my brother some Confirmation shoes. I was over looking at girls shoes, when suddenly I heard my father’s voice. He told me to come over to him. But a man had a gun pointed at my dads head! I didn’t know if I should try to run out of the store to get help? Or if it was not real? I remember saying aloud,”his “Candid Camera”? If I don’t cry, I get a prize?” My dad told me “Suzanne if you ever listen to me, do as I say right this moment! Come here right now!”
So I meandered back to the store room of the shoe store; where my family was held captive; along with another family of 4, a sales clerk and a manager. I saw my mother crying as one of the two men had their guns pointed at her face. The other man had his gun pointed at my dads head. I started to cry when they told my dad to empty his pockets and they proceeded to take my mothers wedding rings.(she’d gotten that engagement ring at age 14).
My dad grabbed the mans arm & said “Don’t you take those rings”! My mom yelled at him to get down and just do whatever he was told. I was crying so hard because the man said to my dad ,”shut up or I’ll put a bullet through your head”! I was really scared and my 13 year old brother stared emotionless as he was gathering every detail.
My mom passed out and the men grabbed my arm as if to take me with them. My mother laid on top of me as I was vomiting by this time! They kept telling my parents to “shut her up – or they would!” Finally, they ripped the phones off of the wall and made us lay down face to the ground. They said that we should wait 20 minutes before getting up. The manager somehow called the police. After they arrived, we told them as many details as we could remember. My brother stayed calm and gave them lots of Information.
After that, my mother was so scared & she didn’t want to go home right away. My Uncle, her brother, lived nearby. We went to his families home so my mom could calm down and feel better. Finally, we went home but I’ve never forgotten that day in my life. I had nightmares for a very long time and never was given a chance to discuss my feelings or fears. Lastly, I was blamed for the robbers taking my mothers wedding rings. My mother told everyone that as she was covering my mouth (because I was afraid, crying & even vomited as they robbers were saying “shut her up, or we will!!”), the robbers saw her rings sparkling and so they stole her precious wedding rings. Even though the robbers took all of the people’s wallets & jewelry etc., somehow it was my fault that those rings were taken off of her finger.
I guess I just wanted to share this with you all because the ordeal in Texas brought back some of those memories. After the robbery when I was only 11 years old, there were many more traumatic events that I experienced. If you know me or if you’ve had the chance to read the early posts &/or password protected posts in this blog; you’d realize how true this is. I was later diagnosed with PTSD, in or around my late 30’s. I finally received the help that was much needed. The Domestic Violence shelter and therapy has helped me over the years, to get past some of my fears. I still suffer today, but not nearly as much as I had in the past. Thank you for letting me share my experiences here with you today.
Here’s the link to Pat Anson’s Pain News Network article week of 5-12-19:Misappropriation of funds by the US Pain Foundation
I’ve had some things weighing on my mind lately. I had thought about keeping them to myself because I’m not a person who likes to be in the midst of turmoil. I try to live as drama-free as I possibly can. But a few months ago, I was contacted by Pat Anson, from the “Pain News Network”. I declined to speak about the events hovering around the US Pain Foundation & decided to take the high road and not allow my feelings and emotions take flight. It’s been an entire year & I let “the dust settle”. I waited an entire year to post my story about this. I didn’t want this post to be written with anger or any feelings of revenge. But there are a few issues that have been tugging at my heart and bothering my mind. These continue to nag me in my thoughts.
Since Pat Anson’s articles have surfaced; I’ve read several pieces of information that are now public knowledge. I’ve decided that there are some things I’d like to share because I do have a story to tell. I will only share with you my personal observations, opinions and experiences.
First, I must share that when I was added to the Board of Directors of the US Pain Foundation,(officially on January 31, 2018), I was excited. Around that time, I decided to call one of the persons whose photo I’d seen on the USPF website listed as a Board Member. She was also director of their Medical Cannabis program. I’d been told she was a veteran Board member. I called to ask her a few questions, such as: “What was it like, being on the Board? What do we do as Board Members etc?” She laughed & told me that “there was no real Board of Directors”. She added that they’d never even had a board meeting! I was a bit disappointed at hearing this news. But it was soon confirmed. The Board of Directors of the USPain Foundation, were actually just photographs on the USPF website, prior to January, 2018. There was no true Board of Directors. There had been no board meetings or elections. So….I’m guessing there was there no secretary or treasurer? I’m guessing this means that nobody had to get permission to write checks? Didn’t they have to answer to anyone about how or where to spend donation monies? How does the President, Vice President & Executive Director & other upper management, not know what & where money is coming in and/or going out?
(*I’d been a “volunteer ambassador”since November 2015. I did Awareness events and fundraisers. All the while I thought I was doing something good. I wanted to be a good advocate and help people living with pain, like myself.)
In looking back, in my opinion, It seems to me that when upper management realized that things had somehow gotten out of hand and that the USPF might be slipping away, they decided to get lawyers and accountants involved in an attempt to “fix” a situation that they’d created. It seemed to have finally become something larger that they could no longer handle alone. Again, this is just me looking back, trying to make sense of the entire debacle.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The first meeting was in California, in January 2018. But I was too ill to travel that far and watched it as a Zoom meeting. Nothing of super importance was discussed, from my recollection. After being recruited to the Board, I still had no knowledge of any significance until much later in the year. Also, in January of 2018, they wouldn’t allow me to make it public, that I’d been appointed to their Board of Directors. My volunteer position as Board Member was not added to their website until March that year. Over the following months, I found out what a mess things were and I immediately wanted to resign. I was advised by one of the attorneys, that “it wouldn’t look good” for USPF, if anyone on the Board resigned during that time. (*Even though Dr Abaci immediately resigned from the board when he found out about the misuse of funds in the past).
I was told that we should all stay and help to reorganize & rebuild USPF. The attorneys explained that it wouldn’t really look good for any of the Board Members to resign in the midst of this reorganization. Therefore I stayed for as long as I felt that I was doing something good. Even prior to becoming a Board member, I was given “busy work” & then asked to do research & write two articles for the “Learn About Your Pain” portion of their website. I was asked to research, write and include links with graphics about S.I.B.O and Dysautonomia. I turned in several pages of completed research. Almost a year later, I inquired about when everything that I had done was going to be posted to the “Learn About Your Pain” website? I received angry emails from several members telling me that with everything that USPF was going through, how could I even think about myself? (In Spring of 2018, I was also asked to make a video about RSD/CRPS, that I in fact made and it also was never used). I was asked (3) three times, to be a part of the USPF “INvisible Project”. A 4th time, I was told that I could tell my husband that he was going to be a part of the “Caregiver” edition of the INvisible project. Each time I was invited to be a part of that, I signed video/photo releases and I answered 10-12 questions in complete sentences. I gathered photos etc., and turned them into the USPF’s person in charge of that project with the interim CEO. Each time,within days of handing back my completed tasks (*just remember that I am also a chronic pain patient and was an unpaid volunteer), I received an email from the person helping the interim CEO with that project. She just told me things like “Ooops, My Bad?? I guess the interim CEO has something bigger in store for you later”! This went on for over a year.
In getting back to the true issues at hand, in Or around early Spring 2018, we asked the former CEO to resign. The Board meetings were only and always about the situation that USPF found themselves in, regarding the former CEO. Then in July, 2018; my Pain Management doctor told me that he was going to immediately remove me from my long acting/extended release pain medications (after almost 14 years of doing well on them). He said it was because of the CDC Guidelines.
I left the appointment that day in tears. I feared for my life and what the future was going to feel like. I arrived at home to an email from the US Pain Foundation. It was a survey asking people to tell what they know about Bupenorphrine. Being a board meeting member, I immediately called the interim CEO. I shared with her my shock & dismay about this email that went out to the pain community; the very people who I try to advocate for and protect. I asked her, what prompted this survey? I found out that the foundation had received a donation from the company that makes Suboxone/Bupenorphrine ( Here’s a list of the medications that RBI makes). My exact words to her were “How could you allow USPF get in bed with Andrew Kolodny?” She tried to assure me that Suboxone wasn’t anything like Bupenorphrine (*see photos that are included with this article). I was told I didn’t know what I was talking about and I was mistaken. She went on to explain that one condition of the donation was to get the public to have more knowledge, or to see what the pain community actually knew about Bupenorphrine. Next, I asked the interim CEO if she knew that the drug Bupenorphrine was not FDA approved for pain (at that time), in the USA? I told her it was an addiction medication and that people are labeled an addict once they’re put on Suboxone/Bupenorphrine; even if it’s for chronic pain! She told me that members of the pain community should have access to all different kinds of medications and therapies. I was very upset and I decided to do more research.Bupenorphrine is a weak analgesic that may slightly help those who have chronic pain AND addiction
Along with many among the chronic pain community, I had already been personally feeling that USPF has not been supportive of opioids, for chronic pain. I have written two articles about these medications: About Suboxone/Buprenorphine-and-naloxone and More About Bupenorphrine/Suboxone. I wrote these articles because I felt that the pleas of the chronically ill, the disabled and those of us living with daily ongoing high pain illnesses/issues; were not being listened to. We were not being heard by our Drs, the government or our own US Pain Foundation.
As soon as that conversation with the interim CEO ended; I knew that my time volunteering with USPF was coming to an end. I had been already feeling that they “push” complimentary therapies and medical cannabis without any support for a portion of the pain community who relies on opioids for pain control. They portray complimentary therapies as though they can actually end chronic pain without any help from medications. They publicly & actively support their medical marijuana program. If they can support a Federally illegal substance; (which I’m personally not against when & where it is legal; and only for medicinal purposes), and if they support all methods to alleviate pain, then where’s their opioid program? I feel that people should be able to use Marijuana, Kratom, acupuncture or opioids to alleviate their daily chronic pain. But opioids have been taboo within the USPF. Possibly for some political reason, in my opinion.
Another occurrence that helped me decide to resign after only 8 months of being on the Board of Directors, was when I found out about the movie/documentary that the interim CEO was making with Actress, Karen Duffy. It just feels to me, like she & other upper management persons within the US Pain Foundation are more interested in publishing books and being in movies, than actually helping the pain community. My sadness grew deeper when I watched the movie trailer: Balancing The Pain Scale, a documentary with actress Karen Duffy & interim CEO of USPF . Some of words taken directly from the trailer are “getting beyond the pill bottle”. Once again, USPF was demonizing opioids. I’m not the only one who saw this either. Here is an article that I found from A prominent advocate for the pain community : A Blog Post from Steve Ariens, “Pharmacist Steve”.
The very last straw for me was when the Interim CEO & the rest of the Board, contemplated not telling the USPF “In-person” support group leaders that they were no longer covered by insurance. I was the only Board member who said that I’d have no part of that! If you’d like to read my resignation letter (redacted items are the attorneys names and anything that was not my information to share), it is here: Why I Resigned From The US Pain Foundation
I still find it difficult to believe that nobody else who’d been in upper management of the foundation for several years, knew anything regarding the going out and coming in of money/funds?
After my resignation, I started hearing stories from ex-Ambassadors that involved a couple of upper management persons being involved in some behavior that in my opinion, was inappropriate. Some of this allegedly took place during a few USPF sponsored events. In 2016, July; at the University of New England, “Pain Summit”, my husband and I stayed overnight at a nearby hotel instead of staying at the dorms. It appears that we missed seeing anything first-hand; but according to at least 2 eyewitnesses (one that actually called & showed me some videos), there were high ranking members involved in behaviors that I would consider inappropriate for anyone, let alone, upper management of a non-profit. Especially not during an event sponsored and run by that same Non-Profit.
All of this has been on my mind. I didn’t want to lose my integrity by talking to someone else about all of this. I decided that this is my blog & my own story to tell. I’ve given you my observations, opinions & truth to the best of my knowledge.
**BELOW IS A 1 MINUTE VIDEO SHARING MY CREDENTIALS. THIS VIDEO SHARES ALSO THE VIEWS OF US PAIN ABOUT ME & MY VOLUNTEER WORK WITH THEIR ORGANIZATION FOR ALMOST 4 YEARS:
Gosh, to think of all the positive blog stories that I’ve posted. That’s how I met most of you. Through my perseverance and positivity. But lately, I’ve had lots of “downers” & I apologize. I do apologize …but not before another “not so upbeat” post. So remember how I was trying to be there for my dad? He recently was inpatient at hospital & he had to have the “Rapid response” revive him twice at age 88. I went even though I was told by him & my brothers, not to come. Well then, I was given times that I was supposed to go because that would help everyone else. Because I’m a high impact pain patient, I’m up at night. That doesn’t mean I’m out at night doing stuff. That means, I’m at home in my PJ’s unable to sleep due to pain issues. But the entire 12 days before my major surgery, I spent with my dad and going when I was told to go and even when I wasn’t.
When he got put on dialysis, Craig & I showed up. I was told by my brother that it would be “all day or at minimum 4 hours so we couldn’t see him” (& supposedly they couldn’t see him either). So I called their bluff & said “well we will just wait. We can wait 4 hours here with you!” Ahhh but then he says 5 minutes later “we can go in after the dialysis nurse gets things started actually in about 1/2 hour”. Hmmmmmm??? A far cry from 4 hours or more. We stayed & said nothing. I even went to see my dad the night prior to the day before my surgery.
I was texted the day before my major surgery, by my brother who asked if I was coming up in the evening (to relieve him, I’m sure bcz he was leaving)… or “when was I coming?” That day I said I couldn’t come because I had to do some stuff for myself before the surgery. I’ve not heard from anyone since then.
I’ve texted my dad daily. But not once has it been about me. Never has been…never will be. But my brother called Craig once & said he was on his way to see my dad… told Craig about my dad & asked about my surgery for a moment in the end.
(Side story:**My dad told me that my middle brother (who I don’t see, for many good reasons & haven’t for almost 17 years)told him that he “doesn’t & hasn’t prayed for me for all of these years but he will pray for my surgery “for my dads sake”… WTH?? He pretends to be a priest! He buys all of the stuff online & even bought a certificate that says he’s a “bishop”… he has a fake chapel that when you go to Google Earth, it sends you to his house!! If you go to his website you see that people send him money as “donating to his church”! There aren’t even any real services held. One lady online wrote on his website, “me thinks he’s a fake”! Well me thinks so too! I stay far away from him and I have always and since I took several PPO’s out against him. (The Domestic Violence Shelter helped me!)
My dad is at cardiac rehab now & he’s actually getting better. But it really hurts that my family has not cared about me & they continue to say “we’re always here for you!” My dad continues this fairy tale “that if ever I needed any of them, they’d be there for me “even with our differences”!
Well, I’ll tell you…. they’ve not been there & haven’t been since I was a child. Once when I called my big brother, after I was in a catastrophic car accident. I suffered a TBI & his phone number was the only one in my head. I even hit myself in the face by accident with the telephone, in trying to call him because I felt in pain & afraid. He answered the phone with “Oh…you need someone ?…”. CLICK & the phone went dead! He hung up on me! I suffered 3 years of brain injury rehab. I’ve gone through 10 surgeries now! They tried to turn my daughters against me when they were teenagers also! They were not ever, nor have they been there for me at all! They’ve only tried to hurt me more & “kick me when I was down”. Luckily, the love, protection and bond that my daughters, my husband and I had/have, pulled us through! We are as close or closer than ever! They are older now, with families of their own. They look back & now understand & see what truly happened. Having children of their own, they can’t fathom what happened to me! They don’t really see or talk to any of my biological family. But when my dad was dying, I got them to come & to make a FaceTime call.
Now that my Dads in cardiac rehab, he /they are back to their same horrible treatment of me. They’d still throw me face down in a mud puddle, in the middle of a busy street during rush hour; if it would give them my daughters and grandchildren.
Another thing that I can’t fathom is the way my dad & brothers have treated my dads girlfriend/live in partner of 12 years. She treated me absolutely abhorrently when I introduced myself to her the first time, years ago. Again, another “victim” who only knew one side of their story.
But guess who was nice to her? Guess who was concerned about her feelings when my dad & brothers refused her entrance to see my dad while he was inpatient & dying. She texted me until the wee hours of the mornings. I was kind to her & told her she should go visit him anyways. She is my dads “creature” too, unfortunately. She stayed away & barely got any information from my brother. She asked me to help her to get a pill reminder because my dad did all of that for her. He infantilized her as he’s tried to do to me. I cared about her & promised her that no matter what happened; Craig & I would visit her & try to be there for her as much as possible. Guess who I never heard from before or after my recent major surgery?? I’ve not heard from any of them! I’ve sent texts for 3 days in a row & never have received a response from my dad. Yet my daughter texted him while she was visiting us with our granddaughters yesterday. He texted her back right away & asked if he could call her? She said she was at my house & he could call anytime.
I had to fight in order to be included as one of my fathers 3 adult children. They said I was “too frail & too weak to come visit because I might cry & hence, make my dad cry”! Oh My Gosh! I’m stronger than any of them put together! I’ve been through a hundred times more pain and abuse than any of them! I told them they were not going to shut me out again, like they did when my mom died. I am strong! I told my dad that he has 3 children, not 2! My oldest brother pretty much gave up a life of his own in order to be “the honored one”. He does everything for my dad and we’ve been shut out for years.
Only when my dad thought he was dying did he say nice things to me. He told me (after I put my foot down & insisted that I was visiting him in the hospital) that “it was a treasure to have me there every day”! He said I was a “dear, dear, sweet person & he loved me”! I cried & couldn’t believe those words were said to me.
I’m 10 days post-op and I’ve barely been out of our home. I cannot visit him right now. But as I’ve said, I texted 3 days in a row with zero response. The 1st day I did get a quick response when I tried to tell my dad (who was discharged & on his way to cardiac rehab) that my surgery was over & it hurts quite a lot. I sent a couple of pictures. But the response I got was unfathomable. He told me “it looked like a nice, neat job” (*pictures above & below)! Even though I actually looked like I’d gotten beat up or walked through a war zone! He then told me about his bathroom issue of the day.
None of them called or have cared about me at all! My older brother called Craig once after surgery & that was because my dad wanted to know if I made it or not, I guess? Then he told Craig about my dad (as I was being put into the recovery room).
I’ve had 2 pacemakers placed and 8 other surgeries in the past 17 years. I live with systemic RSD/CRPS. They don’t even know what that is & never have cared to ask or see any of my special needs. But my dad got a pacemaker 6-7 months ago at age 88. They made such a huge deal about it! I tried to explain that I’m on my 2nd one and got my 1st at age 40! I told them that “it’s not so bad”! They were indignant & furious that I didn’t see that him getting a pacemaker was the end of the world as we know it!! I never got one ounce of empathy, love or even a phone call after any of my surgeries nor either of my pacemaker surgery’s.
It’s a horrible rollercoaster. I stop seeing & talking to them for months at a time. Then I get phone calls asking me why I’m not calling my father? I’m so tired of being treated like the scum under the sink! My dads managed to turn all but 1 or 2 of my cousins against me & all of my aunts & Uncles. The one Aunt who never judged me and somehow saw through the charade, died a year or so ago. I have a couple of cousins who know, saw & understand the truth. One of the 3, passed away last week.
I had a favorite aunt once, she used to put food into my pockets when I’d leave after visiting her house as a kid. She has stuck by my dad & his stories. I asked my dad earlier this year if he’d told that particular Aunt, that we we’d been meeting for dinner the past few years and had been chatting etc? He told me “she doesn’t care about you she has no use for you“!
I dared to speak the “family secrets”. I dared to get help and be a real & separate person. To make a healthier & better life for my husband, my daughters & myself. It’s been hell and I’ve tried to keep kindness, hope & empathy in my heart; & God in my soul.
So all in all, I almost lost my dad this month. Regardless of how I’ve been treated, he’s still my dad & we only have one dad. I also underwent a major & very painful surgery 10 days ago. A tumor was removed from my middle ear. The surgeon drilled into my skull and mastoid bone. Ten days later, I’m still suffering with a lot of pain & fatigue. Once again, I feel totally ostracized & uncared about by my biological family. There’s only one person whose been by my side for the past 23 years & that person is my husband & soul-mate, Craig. We’ve been by each other’s side through so much and I thank God for him every day.
This PDF was sent to me by my friend & fellow advocate, David Cole. I wanted to find a good way to share it with everyone. Please let me know if you have any problems at all with sharing it.
Thank you and I wish each of you peace, Hope, love & Light. Let’s hope that the people in Washington state will help to share their awareness with the other 49 states. I truly pray that someone who is capable and willing to help the chronic intractable & high impact pain community reads this File. I hope that someone will help us. Please start to once again take care of the sick, disabled and those living with horrible daily pain.
Please read this file about the tide starting to turn in the state of Washington for the pain community. Our voices are finally being heard. Share this everywhere far and wide with News Media & On Social Media! We deserve to live some semblance of a life; same as everyone else. We are not “less than” other people who haven’t gone through tragedy or illness. We are worth it!
Sorry I’ve been quiet for a little while. I recently went to get new hearing aids. I was so excited to get new ones after 10 + years with my old Rextons. I was awaiting new insurance after my husband retired.
I went to see the audiologist & afterwards she asked if I’d be willing to see the nurse practitioner. I agreed, & afterwards they told me that I needed a CT scan because my hearing had declined so much more on the right side. They set up an appointment with their ENT Dr., the day after we returned from visiting our daughter, son in law & grand babies. I was a bit curious as to WHY they were telling me to come the day after I got home? I would be in pain and exhausted. But it never entered my mind what I would find out next!
So, when we were in Texas, I got an email message telling me that my CT results were available in the hospital’s portal. I know there’s a disclaimer stating that “you can find out things about the gender of your baby, HIV or other illnesses, even cancer”. In other words, do not look if you don’t want to know until you’re sitting with a Doctor.
But I’ve been through a car accident, deafness, multiple chronic pain illnesses & approximately 9 surgeries just since that accident. I can handle it, right? It can’t be bad if they already put it in the portal…can it?
It’s not bad…. it’s worse than that. I’ve never been so terrified in my entire life! I don’t even know how to verbalize my fear this time. There’s no way around it. I can’t go over or under it. I am being forced to go through it. I’ve been diagnosed with a Cholesteatoma. If you see the #cholestatoma or #cholesteatomasucks on Instagram, it looks like a horror movie. I’m not kidding! It’s really terrifying and people get these horrible skull base surgeries. Facial nerves, worsening deafness and brains are involved.
I found out that I have to have my hair shaved on the right side above my ear. My mastoid bone is affected; as are the 3 bones needed for any hearing. My skull will be drilled and after a 3-4+ hour surgery and more pain on top of my full body RSD/CRPS & other high pain illnesses; it has a 50% chance of coming back!
Anyways, I’ll write another post after I process what will happen tomorrow morning 6-10-19. I’m seeing a skull base/neuro/ear surgeon at 8:30 am tomorrow/Monday morning. I’ll get my questions answered, I hope? Will he be kind and compassionate? Will he help my post-op pain?
I saw my pain Dr. this past Thursday. I also saw my GP this week. The GP was so kind and first time ever, she gave me a hug. My pain Dr has turned from Dr Jekyll to Mr. Hyde over the past year. I’ve never failed a drug test or run out of meds early! I’ve never done anything wrong, yet he’s treated me less than human now for months! Before he’d even accept me as a new patient; he ordered me to stop taking my “quick acting” pain medication. It was something I’d been taking for 13 years (*my former Dr. of 12 years had prescribed it, but then one day he just vanished. That’s when I was forced to find a new Dr.).
In July 2018; he told me he was stopping my long acting pain medication… “that day”! No tapering just stopping it! I did not cry or get upset but I asked “why”? He told me “it’s illegal now and if I help you, I won’t be able to help all of those other people “!
I got him to listen a tiny bit because I reminded him of my stroke and heart attack in the past. He decided to give me one more month. He then said in a nasty tone that he was doing that “to get me psychologically ready”! Really?? It has zero to do with my psychological status and everything to do with high impact chronic pain. Of course he “covered himself” by offering me a different, long acting medication that I cannot take because of issues with Gastroparesis & not being able to metabolize a long acting oral medication. My GI Dr wrote him a letter & told him just that! The pain doctor just said, “This is bullshit! His medical license isn’t any better than mine! If he wants you to have that pain medication, let him prescribe it”! Well, of course He’s a GI doctor and he can’t!
I had my other physicians telling me that “it was unethical for my pain Dr to taper me so quickly!” They said it should have been 10% lowered at a time! But nobody was there to save me and I had to accept it and try my best to move on & keep going. I did it myself when I was told to get off of the quick acting medication. My body physically did not feel well for awhile but I never once craved it or wanted it in my mind- not ever! Then I got off of that long acting medication and once again, I did it myself! You’d think my pain Dr would respect me just a little. But instead, he’s treated me in a demeaning, disrespectful manner ever since last year in March of 2018.
I told my pain doctor that I’m going to have to have this really scary skull surgery soon. That I’m seeing a neuro/skull base/ear surgeon. He was so cold, uncaring & horrible that I truly cannot believe he’s a physician! He told me that I shouldn’t behave like I’m “too afraid” or the surgeon may refuse to take my case! That’s insane if you ask me! What high impact chronic pain patient, headed for hair shaving, painful head surgery wouldn’t be afraid? I’m literally frozen with fear inside! But I’m strong, resilient and I’ve been a survivor through childhood abuse, horrible teen years with my kids, abusive marriages and a catastrophic car accident. Since the car accident, there have been 9 surgeries, 2 pacemakers and several metal screws and implants embedded into my body.
I can do this! Right? Can I do this? Do I have a choice? What did I do that’s so terrible in my life? I have tried my best to be a good person & to help others. I’ve been a Chemo-angel since 2005. I’ve written countless letters, made numerous videos and I’ve met with & spoken to legislators regarding this fake opioid crisis! This horrible and torturous pain crisis that’s killing innocent people everywhere.
Now comes the big question, what happens with my post-op pain care? My pain Dr told me if he was my anesthesiologist, he wouldn’t give after care post-op meds because of “risk for complications”! Gosh… I’ll bet if it was his skull being drilled, he’d be asking for some pain relief medication? He acted like I was getting a hangnail removed! Anyone else who I’ve told, says “oh my goodness, that sounds scary!”
So, my friends, here we are on the eve prior to the appointment when I’ll get all of my questions answered, I hope! What do I ask? How do I ask it? Will I be judged? Will I be too complicated and will he “run”? Will he really not help me just because I’m afraid? I’m not acting out hysterically. I’m not crying in front of the Drs. But I’m deeply scared and I’m having horror flick, bloody, stabbing nightmares! I don’t even know the surgery date as if this post. But I’m pretty sure I’ll know by the time most of you read this.
I promise to let you know when it will happen. If anything happens to me, please don’t forget me, OK? I love so many of you. I’ve seen so many of my friends in pain pass away over the past few years…it’s sad and I miss them a lot (Connie, Cyndi “Maw”, Theresa, Gwen Barbara, and Dawn Anderson most recently).
I’m not being morbid, I promise I’m just afraid. I feel less strong as I get older now. I’m 57 years old and was just looking forward to enjoying retirement with my soul-mate; my husband. He retired last June and we’ve had one thing after another come up. I’d really like to take a breath and enjoy some period of time in my life, for a change. We have 4 darling grandchildren. I just want to hug them, love them and enjoy them as much as possible. Will I ever get to do that now?
Oh…. & last but not least, I told my father about this upcoming surgery. I told him that “I wanted my mom more than ever right now” (she died in 2002). He told me that through her cancer etc., there were many times she “needed things“(he was telling me that I wasn’t there for her)! Well, I’ll just share with you all that I tried prior to my catastrophic car accident, to be there for her. I showed up at the hospital even after being told “she didn’t want me there”. I got there and I was told to leave. I was the only person allowed by the nurses, to sit with her in PRE-Op for 2 hours. We had 2 hours of alone time and it was once in my life that we got along & she wanted me around, it seemed? It was very nice, actually. But then the entire duration of the surgery, I was bullied, mocked, disrespected and literally treated like scum under a sink, by my Aunt, my 2 brothers and my dad.
Please pray for me so that I can be strong like I used to be and like I usually am. I need strength and . I’m terribly frightened tonight as my fate lies in the hands of a stranger that I will meet in 7 hours or so. I have heard & seen many horror stories of pain patients like me, being denied proper post-Op pain management. That fear is probably my biggest fear of all, or in the top 3!
Oh yes, I almost forgot to tell you what my Pain Doc said before I left his office on Thursday. He told me he was “OK with me getting the 3 days of post operative pain control from the surgeon”. He told me to “not accept the post-op meds if they just give me Tylenol with codeine, because that would be like a baby aspirin for me”!
In 2013, I had a full pectoral rebuild and new pacemaker. My cardiologist was wonderful to me! Things are so different now! Im feeling like the powers that be, the government just want persons like me to be gone and out of the way. But I’m still a human being. I want to live. I want to travel even a little. I want to be a grandmother.
I promise to write a quick post as soon as I process and know what’s happening & when the surgery will be.
Thank you in advance, for any and all prayers, positive thoughts & energy sent my way.
As I await my upcoming appointment I would love to be able to sleep. But when I’m really afraid, my GI tract takes over. It’s as though I’m on “auto pilot”. I get overwhelming stomach nausea and flu-like symptoms. THATS how fearful I am feeling. I’ve tried to control it but it’s a combination of PTSD, Dysautonomia & a highly over active “fight or flight response’.
In conclusion, I have a final request: Now is NOT the time to tell me a horror stories regarding any of your past head, skull or brain surgeries. When I recover, I promise…..then I will be glad to listen, help and share etc. Also, it’s such a shame in these days of crazy & draconian policies, that we all have fear instead of trust in the entire “system”.
Sending you love and light!
I have copied and posted below, this 2nd & 3rd letters that I’ve now sent to our President and several other politicians/legislators. If you have someone else that you’d like to send this to, please feel free to copy & paste my letter and send it to any legislators.
Here’s a list of recipients so far:
**my US state of Michigan representative Hailey Stephens:
**my US State of Michigan representative District #20:
Dear Mr. President,
I represent only one out of 100 million people in the chronic pain community. Out of that number, there are an estimated 26 million of us who urgently need your help. Many people in the United States of America are dealing with horrific pain on a daily basis. I stand along with them & implore you to help put an end to the violation of human rights that is taking place.
The CDC, DEA and “Big Brother” Pharma companies are “hurting” the American chronic pain Community. We are losing access to medically necessary medications that enable us to live some semblance of a life.
We are and have been losing access to our pain relieving medications since the implementation of 2016 CDC Guidelines. Those guidelines were written by addiction experts and there was not one Pain management Dr. present. They were also written in secret, behind closed doors by a group of people who know nothing about high impact, ongoing, chronic, painful illnesses.
A Dr. should not be afraid to prescribe Opioid pain medications to their patients because of repercussions from the CDC or DEA. But our pain Physicians are leaving in droves because of them & the 2016 CDC Guidelines.
The “Opioid epidemic” is about illegal/illicit fentanyl brought here from Mexico & China. It’s not about us, the 100 million chronic pain patients in the USA. Only 1% of legitimate chronic pain patients who are legitimately prescribed opioids, for high amounts of pain, ever become addicted. It’s as though our country is now torturing and punishing people for being ill.
Mr. President, we are not addicts and we are not “addicted”. A person can be “dependent” on a medication and not be addicted! They are two very different situations. We are not addicted to our medications and we do not get cravings nor do we get “high” from them. An addict seeks out their “drug of choice” at any cost. They look forward to taking them because of the “high” they get. A legitimate chronic pain patient who’s done well for years on a stable dose of opioid pain medication, doesn’t get any sort of “high”. We also take our medications responsibly. We get some relief and reprieve from the daily chronic pain that we live with.
Please help us get back the physician / patient relationship, without interference from Pharmacy’s, insurers, the government and politics. Please help us to keep our Drs in charge. It should be the decision between patient/physician to choose what is necessary and best for our pain control. They went to medical school and the government did not.
Many pain management Dr’s are leaving the practices they’ve built and the profession they’ve worked hard at, to achieve. They’re afraid because they are being wrongly targeted by the DEA . They aren’t free to prescribe medications that help to relieve pain anymore.
People in the USA in 2019 are being tortured and hurt by this on a daily basis. Just yesterday, I read the story of a 94-year-old woman who shattered her kneecap and was taken to the hospital emergency room. They immobilized her knee and sent her home without any pain control at all. Can you even imagine shattering your kneecap and not getting any thing to help with a torturous pain like that?
Mr. President, please help us? I understand there are people who die from overdoses. But they are a totally separate group of people who need a different kind of help. It shouldn’t be at the expense of an entire separate community of citizens. People In pain are being taken off of their Opioid pain medication during one visit to the Dr’s office. Often it’s a Dr. that they’ve gone to for years and they’d been living some semblance of a life while on a regimen of medication for pain control. But because of “fear”, Dr’s are taking away the little bit of life that some of us have left.
I also don’t believe that anyone should be FORCED to have an invasive surgery in their spine or anywhere for that matter; when an inexpensive & safe pill, with little side effects can help so much.
I implore you to help the estimated 26 million chronic pain patients in the USA, who are “dependent” on opioids for pain control & who are diligent and take these medications responsibly. Help us to get back the freedom of choice. Get us back to the pain management medication regimens that are life sustaining for us with more tolerable pain levels.
Please read my letter and talk to me if you’d like. We need you to understand that we are “chronic pain patients” and not “addicts”! We are just real people living with unfortunate circumstances & high pain illnesses. Please help us to receive the medications that give us some semblance of a life for ourselves & our families.
A not-so-crazy couple with 15 cats
a voice for many
A Charitable Trust trying to raise awareness in India about various chronic pain conditions and chronic illness which are usually invisible to naked eyes.