By Deann Goudy, Guest Columnist
I'll start with all of my health issues, every one of which causes pain.
I was first diagnosed with sciatic nerve pain, followed by scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, arthritis, and bone spurs in my neck. I also have ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers in my intestines, stomach and all the way up to my throat.
The ulcers were caused by taking over-the-counter pain medication. I was in constant pain at work and took bottles and bottles of Aleve and Advil. Sometimes I'd mix ibuprofen with Tylenol, hoping it would help the inflammation and pain. Nothing helped.
I never realized anything over-the-counter could cause such damage to my stomach, until one day I fell out of my chair while at my desk, bleeding. The next day I was in emergency surgery to get the bleeding to stop. I was given orders to only take Tylenol. I knew that would not help, so I went to a pain doctor to find out why I hurt so much.
That is when they found my back and neck problems. Degenerative disc disease does not get better over time, only worse.
I went through several steroid shots, physical therapy, and was put on hydrocodone. The shots made matters worse. The pain management doctor would only give me shots in my cervical area and refused to help with my lower back. Later I found out you are only supposed to have no more than 3 of those shots a year and if they do not work you should consider other options. I was given 7 shots in one year.
The shots accelerated the degenerative disc disease in my neck. That is when the bone spurs grew and started pinching off the nerves in my neck, which were already being crushed by the spinal stenosis.
I was put on every medication they could think of, including Lyrica, gabapentin, tramadol and Suboxone. I wanted to die due to the side effects, mostly from the gabapentin and Lyrica. I passed out, saw colors, and felt dizzy and disorientated. The tramadol gave me so much anxiety I thought my heart was going to burst. I was shaking uncontrollably.
I quit taking all of them and found another pain management doctor, who told me he would do one shot in my lumbar. If that did not work, then I would have to rely on pain medication. I went through with the shot and, as hopeful as I was, it still did not take.
I was referred to an internal medicine doctor who actually listened to me. He got me on a regimen of half the medications, mostly taking only hydrocodone and oxycodone for severe pain. This finally gave me my life back. I was able to go back to work. I was no longer immobilized and struck down by pain so hard core I would lose control of my bladder.
I was not completely out of pain, but it was tolerable, and I was finally able to have some quality of life.
Then a pharmacist decided to cut my opioid medication in half without permission from me or my doctor. It took 3 months to fix this and find a pharmacy to fill my medication. I couldn’t control the pain and was recently fired for taking too many breaks while at work. All I was doing was getting up to walk and stretch to relieve some pain and pressure, and to calm the spasms down.
Now I’m being forced onto disability. It’s hard enough for a chronic pain patient to get a job without being discriminated against.
I am not addicted or feel withdrawals or cravings, I am just in intense pain. If my medications are taken away, I will not resort to the streets. I will ask everyone in my family to not be selfish and let me go. All I am doing is breathing and being a burden. I'd rather be dead and ask God to understand and forgive me.
Our government has decided to play God and take away all our rights and pick on the weak and innocent. They’ve demonized and tortured us. For the first time in my life, I'm ashamed of the country I live in. The corruption is everywhere, the money-making schemes, the fake opioid crisis, the lies and deception.
I say get the facts straight before you make life altering decisions for thousands of chronic pain patients. Do a better study of where the problems are, not fake your data to make yourself look good and cash in on our lives.
Just remember lawmakers, you are only one accident away from this happening to you too. What will you do when you’ve gotten rid of the medication that could save you? Or do the same laws even apply to you?
Deann Goudy lives in Texas.
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.