Important Disclaimers: I am not a clinically trained medical or mental health professional but a human who does blog to do constructive activism about life and death circumstances as well as as I have an obligation to do NO harm of anything I put out in the internet.
This is more though of a personal blog that hopefully in addition to helping me vent, it will help others who while feeling horrible about the suffering COVID-19 is causing so many, whether it be patients, physicians and health care professionals, first responders and like all human beings, who had some form of suffering medically and/or circumstances prior to the pandemic, that they aren’t alone and while right now physicians and other healthcare providers have to be focused on fighting the pandemic while trying to NOT die from it, the only thing we may have in the meantime, for those who are sensitive to not cause either physical or emotional harm to any human, is to vent now and try to do some form of activism or peer support, in the future.
In my case though, for how poorly I’ve felt before the pandemic, that I have symptoms all the time of the flu or COVID-19 and couldn’t be sure that I don’t have it, I do have Cellulitis (not confirmed, just every symptom I had on the opposite side of my face when I had it confirmed and was admitted for IV antibiotics 3 months ago), which I’ve written blogs about that and other health issues I’ve had both recently and for a long time now.
As well as in increase in intractable severe lower back and sciatica pain in the last 6 weeks.
This blog will be wordy,ranty and profanity laced, if that’s an issue, I’d advise you to stop reading now, although valid points I’m ranting about could help others.
The activist edition of this in non profanity and in less ranty form, will be forthcoming when physically and mentally try to make peace of all of this, not just my own suffering, but so many others and for so many reasons.
I really wanted to title this “my severe chronic pain and other health issues doesnt give a fuck about the COVID-19 crisis, unfortunately”…
Or title this like how I feel about above meme at the top “physician bullshit prejudices regarding opiates for severe chronic pain management will fucking kill patients”.
I am by full admission a total pain in the ass, as a patient to treat from a medical management point of view.
I have a super high tolerance to opiates, which I have gotten for pain control, after trying non opiate/conrolled substances and non pharmaceutical options in the past as well as metabolization issues or horrible side effects from medications in all therapy classes and in all delivery forms.
And bizarrely I had this problem prior to my gastric bypass and reversal in the last 18 years, finding this out in labor 27 1/2 years ago with my son and 4 epidurals didn’t work at all and other labor medication made me really sick.
The problem with being poor and on medicare, is that a lot of things suggested when advising patients, if not demanding them to non pharmaceuticals when it comes to pain management aren’t covered, other than chiro which I did try 10 years ago and was agonizing and had no therapeutic so after 12 treatments in a 3 week period, I stopped.
I tried pain management in 2003 and epidural injections didn’t work.
(I also tried in 2016 which I ended up blogging about).
Even in 2004 when discovering a love of intense exercise (enough to go to school to be a fucking certified personal trainer) I’d workout intensely with pain, but needed by then to be put on a lower dose of opiates to control lower back pain to be able to workout.
The last thing I want to do is offend or trigger people when I say a few things as far as chemical dependency is concerned but am going to say it, anyways.
I’d rather die or be dead than live life and or die from drug addiction and I realize the mix blessing that opiates and other medications don’t stay in my system long enough to develop a physical dependence.
And as much empathy as I have for people with drug addiction issues, my last residence in an apartment building that was riddled with crime as a result of drug addiction, in poor people who felt and behaved like that they had nothing to lose, nearly psychologically broke me and I was in a state of severe anxiety, unrelenting due the safety risks they posted and on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
I’ve addressed to help though trying to remove stigma in those with CD issues whether they be civilians, first responders and in physicians themselves, as well advocating physician support and first responders from civilians/non clinical peers in trying to help prevent suicide.
My long term physician warned from the start, that being on opiates, the longer on them, I could wind up developing such a high tolerance that no amount worked.
In my case a high amount does work, giving me a 2 hour being in less pain (I’m never pain free and I can’t take opiates for headaches, abdominal pain or dental/facial cellulitis pain).
I have to take in addition to 2 prescription headache meds, a ton of acetaminophen to control severe daily headaches and proceed with opiates cautiously as I can get bounce back migraines from them, but that usually happens from IV opiates which I break out in hives and haven’t been on since I had my gastric bypass reversed.
To get rid of pain with NSAIDs it takes me 4 or 5 times the recommended maximum dose of ibus to lessen my back pain.
I’ve had a GI bleed history without NSAIDs and when I’ve had to resort to taking them post reversal (it’s almost always for certain a horrible option in bariatric patients but that has to come from their particular treating physicians, if they ever should be used whether in pain management or cardiac issues) as well as patients listed in above NIH study.
This is how I feel right now, as my meds are being pulled due to inability to be compliant on current strength.
I knew that for the last year or 2, that I was reaching less efficacy in already bizarre effectiveness measure in me, on my current strength but there was a refusal to raise it.
So when I became more afraid of the pain being unbearable, as it became with my back in the last 6 weeks, I did increase my strength in my dose and electronically notified my physician.
When it became an issue of that if it couldn’t be raised and it had to be pulled, where I am getting pulled of them, due to my physician’s grace and trying to do the right thing of giving me time to titrate down to go off them.
I’m NOT addicted to any of my prescription medications and I don’t need that time, if I can’t be on an amount which this is all about that I get a therapeutic benefit, there’s no need to be on them at all.
But there is in me a dire need to get a regular pain break and where it could be argued that I do show some non compliance with an opiate in what I did with increasing strength, it also could be said in my defense with the wacky metabolization issues I have in most therapy classes, that I’m going to need more medications than most people, sometimes a lot more and I think that it’s putting me in a dangerous situation, where lots of physicians now don’t want to prescribe long term opiates or even short term even in patients who are still inpatient from surgery.
When I’ve asked my doctor and other doctors when they look at me like I’m insane for saying that I do take quite a bit more than the recommended dose of OTCs like I do , their recommendation is “take the recommended dosage”.
The recommended dosage does not work, twice, thrice and four times the recommended dosage for Ibuprofen doesn’t work in me.
What does that mean, in my case or those similar to me, I get NOTHING for severe intractable localized and widespread pain that only works really on one area and I’m on my own if my body has an inability get a therapeutic benefit from antibiotics and other therapy classes at the recommended maximum dose?
What happens and I worry as an activist for those who are in chronic pain and because they can’t get pain medications so they find a dealer and accidentally overdose?
That won’t happen to me and I’m not trying to be an asshole nor do I think it’s a mental health issue saying I’d rather be dead or die than try a life of illegal ways for pain control.
I know in my case my physician who’s super smart and empathetic did try in the last 16 years to help with pain, not liking my being on any controlled substances.
At the same time, it’s hard to ask why now? I have a bacterial infection in my face and digestive systerm (as I still have c-diff despite a rigorous course of antibiotics that I got from the treatment of the Cellulitis and that I’ve also had now for over 3 months).
I mean honestly I’m fucking a 1000 times more likely to die from bacterial infections and should I get COVID-19, that’s assuming I don’t have it already, as while I was homebound prior to the pandemic even starting, I still distance from who I live with who does have health risks and is also essential personnel and is working right now in a position that doesn’t allow him to social distance.
But the Cellulitis and Clostridium Difficile are potentially life threatening without COVID-19.
This fucking sucks, is all I want to say is it just fucking does and if someone is going through something similar that you aren’t alone and hopefully I can go back to be an activist for others in helps to support during the epidemic, critically ill patients like Cancer patients to have better treatment options and other serious health issues, as well as the other activism I do all year around.
Important Note: If you don’t have anything to say that’s constructive, please don’t say anything at all. Thanks!!!