(Editor’s note: Pain News Network regularly receives emails and comments from readers in physical and emotional distress because their chronic pain is not being treated or is undertreated. Many have been abandoned by their doctors. And some are having suicidal thoughts.
The following email came from “Sharon” – who lives with chronic pain from neuropathy and a severe hip injury. Sharon gave us permission to publish her email, as long as her full name was not disclosed. Some readers may find her story disturbing, but it is representative of what’s occurring in the pain community and therefore worth sharing.)
When I first got ill, I was an avid backpacker and ran a health food store. A very healthy and health conscious 37-year old woman.
I tried every alternative treatment. The first was hypnosis. Then I tried colonics, lemon and oil heat packs, acupuncture, massage. The list goes on. NOTHING TOUCHED THE NERVE PAIN.
I had an old .357 handgun. The same type police carried at one time. I also had an old .45. I thought about it every single day.
But I didn’t want my family or friends to find me like that. A bloody picture in their heads whenever they thought of me.
Taking your own life because of the ignorance of others, just isn’t fair. To be pushed into it by others. Especially when there is medication that works.
Once I finally decided to try opiates, no doctor would listen to me.
I did everything they asked. I jumped through all the hoops. Multiple times.
I was shamed over and over again, because I was in pain. I was called a malingerer.
Never thought I would get sick at such a young age. I thought I’d be healthy and happy like the all the other healthy women in my family.
I finally did find a wonderful, caring doctor. He treated me until just last year. When he was shut down.
I’m lucky. I did find another doctor. It took about 3 weeks. It was Christmas time. Almost impossible.
I like this clinic. But I have to drive 80 miles round trip.
I’m 60. I’m not in good health. My husband passed away a few years ago.
My sweet little grandmother took her own life at 92. She was an amazing woman.
I hope I never have to do that.
But it’s in me. I could. I think of death every day.
Pain News Network invites other readers to share their stories with us. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.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.