I don’t like to complain a lot. Really. In fact I plan to spend some time thinking and talking about gratitude later this week. But today, I’m bitching and complaining.
I know I mention pain issues, probably too often, but I don’t like to focus on it. I think that there is a component of dealing with chronic pain that if you spend a lot of time complaining, you hurt more. Or maybe that’s just me.
I take vicodin, which is a controlled substance. I also take voltaren (an nsaid) and baclofen (a muscle relaxer), neurontin (an anti-seizure medication used for the treatment of nerve pain and fibromyalgia), and I’ll throw in some ibuprofen now and then for break through pain. That’s a lot of medication and yet, I am always in pain. It’s just a matter of degree. I’d love to take less medication but, to be honest, even when I lost weight I didn’t take significantly less. Still, maybe I was in less pain in general. Hard to remember.
My pain is not under good control but I really don’t want to take more or stronger medication. I can take vicodin without getting sick and it has few side effects for me. Most pain meds make me sick or turn me into a zombie (who is still in pain). Pain meds are a challenge because they do make you tired and you can’t drive if you take them during the day. I don’t feel comfortable driving even taking them past say 4 or 5 AM.
What’s my point? Well, recently the laws about prescribing pain medication for chronic pain patients has changed. This is because, of course, some people abuse medication and some doctors over prescribe. I get that. But in addressing that issue, they are punishing the rest of us.
Your local doctor can not longer prescribe pain meds for chronic pain patients. Maybe that’s not a big deal if you live in a big city with lots of doctor choices. You might just drive across town to see your new pain specialist. If you live out here in a rural area, you have to drive a long distance – every month – to get your prescription at the doctor’s office. They can’t call it in to a pharmacy or mail you the script. And that IS a big deal. I’ll be driving an hour and a half, at least, to get the script. Driving, or riding in the car, causes me a lot of pain. It hurts that day, it messes up my sleep, and then it hurts the next couple days.
I’m not sure whether it’s state legislators or federal legislators I need to complain to. It’s not like anyone will listen to me anyway. But this change in the law isn’t likely to change what medications I need or when I take them. But it is going to make it harder to cope with the pain. It’s going to interrupt my life.
Did our legislators consider this? No, of course not. They just made a quick “let’s make it harder for addicts to get these drugs” (never mind that addicts will buy them on the street now if they didn’t already). Like those cold pills you have to get from behind the counter. Do you really think that has slowed down meth production? No, me neither.