By Sarah Irvine, Guest Columnist
I'm 42 years old and have been suffering from chronic pain for the past several years. I was injured at work almost 8 years ago and, like many others, I have been affected by the CDC opioid guidelines.
I have herniated and bulging discs in my lower back, scoliosis and I ambulate with a cane. I have Protein C deficiency, a blood clotting disorder, and I am not a surgical candidate.
I live with excruciating pain and my pain medication, morphine sulfate, has been decreased from 150 mg daily to 45 mg daily. I also was recently prescribed Lyrica and baclofen, a muscle relaxer.
This does nothing to alleviate my pain. I'm becoming shorter, my spine is shaped like a serpent and my muscles are becoming more atrophied. Workers compensation refuses to pay for any more physical therapy and Medicare won't cover it either.
I'm certainly not able to pay out of pocket and at this point I'm in too much pain to function. Due to the Protein C deficiency, I should not take NSAIDs or steroids because they increase my risk of bleeding. I am also on a high dose of Coumadin for my blood disorder.
Things have gotten so bad because of the guidelines that my doctors are now telling me to take NSAIDs and are prescribing steroids; whereas before I was warned to avoid those medications and doctors refused to prescribe them for me.
I have never abused, misused, shared or sold my medications! It truly seems as though the CDC and DEA want to decrease the population of those who suffer from chronic pain by refusing patients adequate medical treatment and appropriate pain management.
I also believe that they hope those of us who are suffering will take our own lives, rather than try to endure the horrific chronic pain.
I'm on disability and no longer able to work because of my injury and the pain I endure. My quality of life has deteriorated to nothing. Some days all I can do is lay in bed. I can't even enjoy reading a book or watching a TV program without my pain interfering.
I do not understand why I and thousands of others in the same situation are being forced to suffer unnecessarily! We aren't criminals, drug dealers or addicts! We are victims of our pain!
Every aspect of my life is affected by my pain on a daily basis. I know I'm not alone. I only want to enjoy whatever is left of my life.
There are medications that would allow me and others to do so. Why are they being withheld from us? If we were animals, we would be treated more humanely than this.
I just want to know what I can do, who I can call, email or write to in order to get these abusive, inhumane laws changed. Also, is it possible to file a class action lawsuit against the DEA, CDC or both? Is there a class action lawsuit in place right now? If so, what can I do to get involved?
It's not about financial gain. This is about quality of life! What is happening right now is downright cruel, inhumane and criminal. I would be very appreciative if someone could lead me in the right direction so that I can do whatever is within my power, to get my life back and help others, before it's too late. I'm tired of being abused and victimized. I want my life back.
Sarah Irvine is from New York state.
Pain News Network invites other readers to share their stories with us. Send them to: editor@PainNewsNetwork.org.
The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.