There’s More Concern About Animals Suffering Than People

By Debbie Westerman, Guest Columnist

I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, as well four herniated discs in my lower back. Because of the “opioid crisis,” I was taken off the only medication that ever helped: fentanyl.

I see a reputable doctor and he is very sympathetic. But as he put it, doctors are no longer just being sued, they are being threatened with jail time.

In addition to my pain and fear, I felt so sorry for him. We’ve tried everything: nerve blocks, injections and I have two spinal cord stimulators.

I was weaned off the fentanyl and only have hydrocodone that I take for breakthrough pain. 

I’ve done everything I’m supposed to. I have an appointment with my doctor every 28 days, along with random drug tests to make sure I’m only taking what he’s prescribing.

My insurance doesn’t pay for the random drug tests. I have to pay $150 each time. I don’t abuse my meds. All of my doctors know what I’m taking. I don’t get any type of pain meds from anyone except my pain management doctor.



I have to go to work every day. I’m single and have to take care of myself. I use a walker to get around. It’s been months since I have slept more than 2 to 4 hours a night. I’m constantly turning over, putting the pillow under my legs or between my legs, and the rest of the night I’m in and out of bed trying to walk because the pain is so bad.

What really gets me is that if I were an animal and suffering this bad with this much pain, I would be humanely put down. As a society we’ve become more concerned about our animals than we are about people who are suffering unspeakable, unexplainable amounts of pain.

I’ve never wished my pain on anyone. But I really wish that there was some way that these people who think they know what’s best for me could spend 6 hours in my shoes. I guarantee they would be screaming a different tune.


Debbie Westerman lives in Texas.

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The information in this column 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.