The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1021: If You Are in Pain, You Are Not Alone!

Millions of Americans suffer chronic pain. Are you one of them? Find out how others cope with this overwhelming health concern.
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If You Are in Pain, You Are Not Alone!

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Chronic pain is often invisible, but it undermines the quality of life of a hundred million Americans. Many of these people face a terrible dilemma: without medication, they suffer dreadfully. But if they use narcotics to control chronic pain, they may be treated with suspicion or disdain. Measures designed to reduce drug abuse put many restrictions on people who are just trying to maintain their ability to function.

Can Chronic Pain Be Managed Better?

What solutions are there for controlling chronic pain? And how can we come to understand the people who need a narcotic medication just to complete their daily tasks, not because they are trying to get high?

Note: For a physician’s point of view, you may wish to read this “Perspective” piece from the New England Journal of Medicine (Jan. 28, 2016).

This Week’s Guest:

Judy Foreman is a nationally syndicated health columnist who has won more than 50 journalism awards and whose columns have appeared regularly in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News and other national and international outlets. She is a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis.

Her book is A Nation in Pain: Healing Our Biggest Health Problem. Her website is

The photograph of Judy Foreman was taken by Andy Dolph.

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The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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My pain is so bad it cause seizures and it’s just started three years ago. I do not have pain medicine and I think because I am on medicaid Doctor’s in North Carolina seem not to want to help. I am 48 years old I sleep 2 day out of a week. I feel death is next due to my pain. Help! Help! Help! Thank you.

I am a certified/licensed occupational therapy assistant and work in a nursing home/rehab facility. I became interested in pain management because of severe pain in my hips, shoulders, and wrists for many years. With all the drugs, steroids, injections, antidepressants, etc. prescribed by doctors for pain relief, I find it incredible that they are so uneducated about and unaware of the fact that the primary causes of most common aches and pains (about 75%) are trigger points which are small contraction knots in the muscles of the body. These have been documented in medical journals for over 70 years.

A 2-volume medical text Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual by Janet Travell, MD and David Simons, MD documents in scientific terms much of what is known about trigger points. Based on the work of Travell and Simons, The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, (the third and most recent edition) by Clair Davies, NCTMB and Amber Davies, CMTPT, LMT is an instruction manual written for self treatment.

Using the step-by-step instructions in this book, written in easy to understand language, I learned to relieve my own chronic pain first, then the pain of family, friends, coworkers, and finally that of many of the patients whom I’ve treated over the years at the nursing home. I found the book quite by accident with the phrase YOUR SELF-TREATMENT GUIDE FOR PAIN RELIEF catching my attention. I highly recommend that people who have severe pain buy this book for the wealth of information it contains and to learn to do the simple massage techniques it teaches. If not, then they should find someone who knows how to do SPECIFIC MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT MASSAGE. A regular massage therapist will not do, as trigger point massage is not stressed during training. It’s just one of the various techniques they learn. I’ve also seen that they are not trained in the proper way to do it or how well it works to relieve pain when carried out properly. Even people with fibromyalgia, arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, jaw and neck pain, severe headaches, low back pain, shoulder pain, hip, knee, and foot pain can often have relief because no matter what the cause, there is always also a component of muscle pain.

I have successfully treated people with trigger point therapy who were not able to get adequate pain relief from narcotics, steroid shots, or muscle relaxants. Manual trigger point therapy is a proven method that works exceptionally well for relieving many, many kinds of pain but, unfortunately, less profitable than drugs, medical procedures and devices. The medical establishment needs a wake-up call.

I’m sorry. I meant to say please DO NOT encourage smoking anything.

Please do not encourage smoking marijuana. We have worked for years to reduce exposure to tobacco smoke – first, second, and third hand. Anything smoked, vapped, or inhaled is damaging and effects others. In Washington State children and neighbors are being made ill by legal pot smoking – whether medical or recreational.

Opioids, drugs based upon opium, are widely prescribed for pain management. But a better choice may be a pain management drug based upon marijuana called CBD. CBD is a cannabinoid, one of about 80 different ones that occur in cannabis (marijuana) other than THC, the one that causes the “high”. Is CBD safer and more effective that opioids?

In my investigation CBD was just too expensive to acquire so I never got to find out if it would help with the pain of a worn-out hip joint. Instead I am looking in the direction of stem cell therapy in lieu of joint replacement. Both of these topics can be researched a little on the internet but it is sometimes difficult to get beyond the advertising and the hype.

Could People’s Pharmacy bring on people who know more about these topics? I would like to know the downside of using CBD, as well as potential reasons to avoid stem cell therapy, please?

Cancer in my lower tailbone left me with chronic pain in my lower left leg, destroyed all motor nerves and 70% of feeling in same foot. Pain level without meds was 9-10 and went through all the codons, oxycontons …….and any thing else that was under the table.

After two years of this I connected with a Dr. at the Veterans Pain Clinic in CT. He put me on Methadone (one of the first drugs developed for pain) and Neurontin. The Methadone had little or no side effects… Neurontin did. A new pain center years later helped me go from 100mg. of Methadone to .5 mg and switched the Neurontin to Lyrica. Had to teach the brain to accept a 3-4 pain level.

After getting off of the Neurontin my blood pressure went from 150 back to 117. YES!! Methadone is very good… Neurontin… you can accept the many side effects and High blood pressure if you like. Not me… things are as good as it gets now. YES!!

Not everyone can use canibus.I can’t. Its disorientation is not helpful. Opiates act only on the pain for me. If it helps you great. One size or medication does not fit all.

The number one cause of chronic pain is the side effects from medications. Pain may be a subjective experience but if you are suffering from neuropatic pain that pain can be caused from memory alone. This happened to me post op heart surgery due to a broken sternum wire for six months my Doctor told me I was psychosomatic and wanted to put me on antidepressants finally they did a CAT scan and found the broken wire. The problem is in times of stress my chest still reflects pain but there is no reason for it, that is until I chatted with a surgeon in Thailand who explained that pain can be brought back to life from memory alone

For arhritis pain try glucosamine chondroitine with MSM that can take a few weeks to notice a real change. It helps rebuild the cartilage and helps all over your body. My pain was so bad at best I shuffled also by. It went away slowly but after about 6 months I noticed I was doing steps and ladders without thinking about it and you can up you dosage without danger of adversely effecting you health

For back pain and sciatica (pain is n your legs) try vigorous sex for 1-2 hours 3-4 times a week. It strengthens your back and core muscles that holds your back stable and most people enjoy it. I had pain down to my toes and this fixed it and my boyfriend was willing to help with the exercise routine

Best of all -no drugs in involved

I am 84 years old and basically what I need is a new skeleton! I have severe osteoarthritis in both hips, plus severe spinal stenosis, have had one knee replacement and arthritis in the other also have arthritis of my feet, ankles and shoulders.

At present I am in a pain management program using opioid pain medications and epidural steroid injections . The epidural injections only minimally relieve the chronic pain for 7-10 days so I need to take Percocet 10 mg every 6 hours for real pain relief. I have tried alternative treatments (acupuncture, biofeedback, physical therapy, NSAIDs which gave me a GI bleed). The Percocet is the only thing that really relieves the pain and as I have tried to explain to doubters, it does not give me a high!

I truly wish the medical profession could come up with a better solution for chronic pain; this is not the way I envisioned my “golden years”. I am a retired RN and I wish I had had the insights when I was practicing that I do now; there are many current nurses who are still skeptical about the chronic pain problem.

so it’s not free cause we probably have to pay for podcast? AT LEAST NOW I HAVE THE RADIO STATION but have to get up at the crack of dawn!

Jean, I understand about “memory pain.” I have RSD, which is real pain from a real injury. But, it has lasted after the injury has healed. There are 2 stages of RSD. Stage 1 and stage II. I have stage I I because there was definitely damage to nerve during a back surgery. But they should have healed in the 4 yrs I’ve lived this nightmare! It was explained to me by my Dr that, your brain is like a computer and when you have pain, it is registered in your brain and sent back to the point of injury telling you it hurts. But as the point of injury heals, the pain subsides and goes away. With RSD, your computer (brain) malfunctions and keeps looping the pain…….your brain(computer) gets stuck and keeps telling your body it is in pain. Now saying all that, it is real pain! It’s not “made up” pain. The pain is very real, it’s just the receptors in your brain, when you have RSD, get stuck and keep sending the pain signals. Hope this is as clear as mud….lol! RSD stands for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, now known as CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Renamed because it is so COMPLEX, it’s not completely understood yet!

Jean, we’ve got good news! Our podcast is free! We make all of our shows available for free for 4 weeks following the original broadcast date of our radio show. The podcast is not available until the Monday following the radio broadcast, however. You can find our podcast on iTunes here: and more information about our podcast in general here:

I’m a internist in the Ohio Valley who does some pain management and there was one factual error I heard today. Physicians now, with special software that requires duel authentication (just like Google sign on has), can e-prescribe all scripts including controlled substances directly to any pharmacy that also has the software. That is about 90% of the pharmacies in my area. I’m told it is available in all 50 states.

Dear Joe & Terry
I’ve been practicing pain medicine for nearly twenty years. I hold both M.D. and Pharm.D. degrees and am board certified in both anesthesia and pain medicine.

The biggest peeve I have is referrals by primary care physicians who get a patient with back pain that is relatively acute. It may involve pain in the legs (radiculopathy) or it may not. Sometimes they will prescribe NSAID’s, ice, range of motion or PT and two week follow-up. Grade: A+.

On the other end of the scale, some prescribe the only muscle relaxant they know: cyclobenzaprine (OK, unless it makes the patient too drunk to function) or worse, diazepam (purportedly for muscle spasm) so now they’re taking a pretty strong tranquilizer that interferes with REM sleep and has three active metabolites. Next they prescribe hydrocodone, 5 mg (no high doses, now) 1-2 (because that low dose may not be enough) every four hours, number twenty tablets (three day supply) and finally an expensive MRI (of doubtful utility with leg pain and of no utility without back pain) because the surgeon they’re going to send this patient to with acute back pain won’t see them without one.

Some send the patient to the neurologist who can get their own MRI (because they read it and get paid for it) who will tell the patient they have a bulging disc and they might have to see a surgeon if it doesn’t get better.

By now, the patient has been back to the primary MD for a refill on the hydrocodone; maybe at a higher dose or for a larger supply. Maybe the surgeon has seen them and told them they don’t need surgery; not at least until they try some conservative measures first. Eventually they get to my office; after a few refills of their hydrocodone.
Now they know that narcotics help acute pain. They may listen to what I have to say, they may consent to the treatments I suggest (non-narcotic medications, PT, injections) just as long as they can have a refill of that hydrocodone. And, “Just to be honest, ‘Doc’, if you could give me just a few more of just the next higher strength, I think that might be enough to ‘get rid’ of my pain.”

Of course, the narcotic relieves their pain and they like that but now they have been convinced (conditioned) that narcotics are the ONLY thing that will relieve their pain. Don’t bother going back to the doctor that started the narcotics, “You’re in PAIN MANAGEMENT now! We don’t prescribe narcotics in this practice!”

Don’t mention the six or eight mg. of Xanax you’ve been prescribed there for years (70 and 80 year-old ladies). “It’s too dangerous for you to try to stop taking that.”, even though you’ve asked them to do that. You should do a show about the abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines in this country sometime.

Epidural steroids are controversial and, like lots of medical treatments, don’t help everyone. When used appropriately and in judicious doses, I see lots of successes. I haven’t mentioned the two oral dose packs and the IM injections of steroid the primary MD gave the patient then sent them to me for epidural steroids. Now I’m supposed to make the poor patient Cushingoid?

What about neuropathic pain medications like anticonvulsants, antidepressants and gaba-mimetics like baclofen? They help lots of people who have no other alternatives but patients are skeptical about not taking those narcotics, “Dr. Primary gave me.”

I’m not suggesting withholding narcotics from those who really need them but many patients could do just fine without being convinced that narcotics are their only answer.

We can help lots of people but the job is made a lot more difficult if the patient is treated inappropriately or inefficiently long before they get to me. Many referring MD’s assume a lot about what I can and what I’m comfortable and willing to do. They make promises to their patients that I can’t always keep and it often sets me up for failure before I even get the chance to get started.
Sorry for the diatribe.

I have severe intractable PAIN from RSD/CPRS along with degenerate disc , alksosinspondolisis spinal stenosis, severe neuropathy in my lower body ( navel to feet A+ P .along with other problems. I have been on high dose opiates. Please leave people like me alone ! I have never had any problems with anyone. Taken as directed for over 20+ years . I will be dead with out. As will others like me. We don’t get high. I will not smoke pot. If it helps some one else in pain I all for it! Pain is very real. Please don’t judge people with diseases you don’t have. Thanks! To Doctors and others who stand with us. I never imagined pain this off the charts. I use the Magill pain scale it starts at 22 & ends @57.

I was loosing hope in the medical profession until I read your diatribe good work!

What a good nuanced show on a difficult and important problem for patients and docs. I am drinking Thyme in coffee, took Vit C, after exposure to a resp. virus (thx Dr. LowDog), a difficult palm lesion was just healed in 24 hours by sugar/oil dressing (thx Dr. Knutson) and I am going to retreat my fingertips with Vick’s so the painful cracking doesn’t recur(thx Joe and Terry).

The show today was also valuable as my neck has been hurting more after 2 falls on ice carrying food and water to my livestock – reminding me to restart isometric muscle strengthening – as I had a disc and arthritis problem 8 years ago similar to and worse than Ms. Foreman’s with intolerable pain largely helped by a selective nerve root injection by a skilled physician.

One problem I saw many times in rural Missouri was our Medicaid program was lame when patients needed surgical intervention and the subspecialists and large hospitals would not do their job in a timely manner which ended up with poor results and many addicted patients. I don’t want somebody on chronic narcotics or tranquilizers working on me or my machines – I have a failed oil change and one engine down recently but worse had a brake job not finished and was driving on the Highway when my left front brake fell off. Salut.

This podcast did a great job on faulting medical professionals. It was very broad and offered little solutions. Take the topic of nsaids, she mentioned studies that discuss cardio toxic affect of nsaids but fails to mention nephrotoxic effects.

Inpatient, iv tylenol is a fab drug for Sooo many reasons but providers a discouraged from prescribing the d/t costs. Let’s not forget families who will prompt pts to give higher and higher pain rates even though pts will state they are comfortable and even take their medications or bring outside pain meds. Pain for sure is an issue, but often people want instant gratification and don’t want to take the more “alternative” approaches. The is a team effort and the pt is part of the team.

Let’s not forget that folks are sicker than ever with several co- morbidities treating one disease heavily can and will impact another.

We are sorry you think we were blaming health professionals. That was not the intent of the show.

The first time I went to the ER with a kidney stone stuck in the ureter, the dr asked me to describe the pain on a scale of 1-10. I said I’d never had a compound fracture or had been shot or had 3rd degree burn, figured those would be 7-10 range, so said this was probably a 6.

When they finally got around to doing an IVP and saw the stone, they decided I wasn’t lying about the Demerol drip being ineffective and switched me to morphine.

When discharged, the dr apologized for my enduring the pain for as long as I did and said he didn’t think it was a stone because most guys put that pain at 9-10. He also said that if I ever wanted to apply to the CIA and needed it, he’d be happy to write a rec and testify my tolerance to torture.

I have had chronic pain for more then ten years. Initially the pain was from a injury to the piriformis muscle which it attached to the sciatic nerve. The pain was intense and it felt like I was sitting on a softball, I’m assuming because the muscle was in spasm and squeezing my sciatic nerve.

I had doctors say in jest “I don’t know what we are going to do about that pain, why don’t we just cut your leg off.” Even though I know that she said that out of frustration, it was devastating thinking that I would probably have to spend the rest of my life in such pain.

I finally found a neurosurgeon that attempted to do the piriformis release surgery. After that surgery the pain down my leg stopped but I still had pain in the left buttocks. The surgeon told me that I would just have to live with the pain because sometimes that surgery just didn’t work.

Finally about 10 years later and ton of pain medication, injections, MRI’s etc… I was desperate to have someone help me stop the pain, I found a neurosurgeon at UCLA who said he would try to help me, I had told him that if I didn’t get help soon I would be tempted to get a gun and shoot myself in the pain area just hoping that they would be forced to repair the area which might help the pain go away.

It was so frustrating having a HMO and dealing with UCLA schedulers forgetting to call me back, office workers putting my requests for authorizations aside that It took almost two years just to get the surgery done. The first surgery at UCLA was listed as “Exploratory decompression of the sciatic nerve.”

The cut was so deep and my whole left buttocks was cut filet style. The pain from that surgery was so intense that I was begging the staff to put me in a coma. I had a pain team assigned to me and one of the doctors was literally in tears watching me suffer. They were afraid I would not wake up as I was on the highest dose of pain medication I could take.

I was told my pain receptors did not respond to the pain medicine because of my previous use of pain medications. The doctor found tissue wrapped around my sciatic nerve and found that the first surgeon had failed to cut the piriformis muscle all the way off the nerve like it should have been. But when the UCLA Doctor cut the muscle all the way off the nerve I immediately felt the difference the first time I walked after surgery.

For the first time in 10 years I was able to bring my left leg inward and noticed that my walking stride felt looser. I don’t know how to explain it other then my leg movement had been freed up. However the surgery went wrong and I developed seromas in the area of the surgery. My left buttocks looked like a watermelon from all the fluid build up. I went back to UCLA and they made holes in my skin, attached tubes and a drain bag.

After doing this three times, the doctor had to do the surgery all over again. He had to cut deep and even longer then before. The only way to explain this is that my pain receptors did not function and the pain was so intense I once again begged them to please put me in a coma. I was screaming and begging and had to suffer through it. Prior to the second surgery the doctor just said “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to open you up and clean that area out.” “It should only take about an hour and I’m not going to use a catheter.” The surgery actually took 4 Hours and the doctor found seromas that were incapsilized. He explained that they had a glaze over them and he had to pull the glaze off of the seromas, more something like that…

Now almost two years after surgery I have had severe bladder infections about every six weeks. When I have an infection my pain intensifies immensely in all my joints and knees. Pain medication 60mg of oxy doesn’t touch that pain. The only way to explain it is that it puts a damper on the pain and stops the intense burning. I’ve also developed some rhumetology disorder where I have flair ups of severe pain. My face turns red, which one doctor called the inflammation flush. My knees feel like someone poured acid on my knee caps. I get injections of Toradol which calms it down.

Three weeks ago I was in the ER when I had a flair up and the doctor gave me a steroid injection, I can’t remember the exact name, but it is supposed to last up to 14 days. Thank God I have not had a flair up since then. I still have pain in my joints, the bottom of my feet burn at night and I sometimes have severe pain where my last surgery was. My hips will starting hurting in the middle of the night and wake me up. I don’t understand why oxy does NOT touch inflammation pain.

I was taking torodol in pill form but my kidneys started bleeding and I was peeing blood clots. So currently all I have is Oxy. I’ve had problems with my esophagus going into spasm with different kinds of nerve medications.

My concern now is, I have to have a plastic surgeon, at UCLA, repair the area of the last surgery because my skin healed over the seromas and I have excess skin, about the size of a softball, hanging off my hip area. It’s embarrassing and obviously deformed looking. I’m afraid that my pain receptors will not absorb the pain of another surgery. It has to be done but the plastic surgeon will not do anything until my body is free of infection and when my vitamin “D” level is back to normal.

I need to know if I should stop the Oxy prior to the next surgery, which will cause major withdrawals, or take higher doses. I don’t like being on pain meds but I’m afraid my pain would be to severe without it. Also I just got a new insurance company and they only use a certain type of generic Oxy. There is only one pharmacy I can get it from in my town. And I swear these generic Oxy do not work nearly as well!! I can tell the difference.

I do not want to up my medicine but I’m lost at what I can do to control my inflammation and regular pain. Plus I’m not sure how I should prepare myself, medicine wise, for this up coming surgery. I can’t get a straight answer from any of my doctors, because, I’m assuming, it’s such an unusual case. I have a feeling I will never be pain free and I don’t want to be so drugged up that I can’t function daily. The pain and the problems stemming from the surgeries and dealing with unskilled office staff have destroyed me.

I don’t know how anyone in their right mind would want to use pain medication for recreational purposes or for whatever they use it for. They have made it harder for us with real pain just to obtain our medication, it’s bad enough just going through the process of getting help and being inconstant pain which controls your whole existence. I don’t even pay my bills on time because I relate sitting in a chair writing out bills to pain. I can’t even watch an old history documentary without wondering “What the people back in the old days do for pain” I hate having to live like this!

One morning I awoke with a sudden onset of significant pain. After a couple of hours, I finally took some ibuprofen. After visits to doctors and x-rays, I have been diagnosed with arthritis and have had physical therapy. I am trying to manage without meds, but usually I take Celebrex for a few weeks and then switch to Tylenol for a few weeks. At age 69, I figure my pain is most likely to get worse rather than better. I look forward to hearing the podcast for new ideas.

I had lumbar surgery May 2012. none of the OTC pain meds helps with the pain I still have, especially when the pain radiates down my left leg.

Norco has helped to the point the pain is tolerable. But I seldom take up to 3 a day as I’m allowed, if that is the word to use for dosage. But when the rule was passed that no longer can there be refills, and the script must be given, not faxed to a pharmacy, it put a strain on many of use users.

I lost a newly written script as Express Scripts claimed it didn’t receive it it time to fill it. So I had to ask my doctor for another script, and took it to a local pharmacy, where I had a copay.

Why FDA and/or Congress, or whomever put the new rule in place, lumped all of us legitimate users with the illegal users so we end up being punished, in a sense. I’m fortunate; I can still get around, but there are many that can’t therefore trying to obtain a simple refill script or prescription can be very frustrating.

Pain meds are the only relief for me I have had countless procedures. I have RSD, spinal stenosis degenerative disc disease alklosising spondolisis along with nerve inpingment of all 5 branches of the Asiatic nerve. I have been treated with high dose opiates taken as directed. It is the only relief I have had. Please leave people with pain on the Mc gill pain scale alone. I belong to support groups. Stop harassing our doctors. My medical records reflect documentation of intractable pain. Thanks to all doctors and practioners who continue to fight for us when we are to I’ll. God Bless you . CF.

I want to say that I think some people should never be prescribed opioids. It flips some out into bipolar mania no doubt because they are bipolar but nevertheless managing better without opioids. Then the pills don’t work well after a while, they take more and who knows what the consequences are for that. I know because I’ve seen the results. There’s got to be a better way to deal with pain. Everything has good and bad.

There’s a doctor who published a study on pubmed about just this because he prescribed opioids to his bipolar patients and documented the aftereffects.

I have been taking Hydrocodon with Acetaminophen Es for years. I have Rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative disc desease and cannot function unless I take it. Sometimes even with it I have a hard time just getting around. I take it 3 times a day and It does not make me high. I don’t know how much one would have to take to get high but it has never had that effect on me. I am 76 years old. Recently it has become harder and harder for me to get the script. I have to get to the Drs office every month just to pick up the script. I now send my son because I cannot walk unaided into the Drs office to get it. I don’t understand why we can’t use the Drs discretion when it comes to older people who need this drug. My Dr knows I don’t abuse it. The pharmacy will only fill the script once a month. Isn’t this enough? Sometimes I feel that I am being discriminated against for needing this drug. I would say to people “Walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me”.

Where is the play the pod cast button ?

I agree 100%. Almost 60 & still in pain after 15 yrs for back & 8 yrs for Osteo & now my knees are giving me 100% pain. No Dr will help me. Went to pain mgmt for 1st time ever in Jan 2016 & she said to do therapy & in mean time to suffer some more. Hope later in life she has the same & then she will understand.

Every medical person I see thinks I’m there for Drugs. Tired of it, had enough & would love to sue the D E A for making millions of people to suffer when it could have been prevented. Anyone know how I get started on changing these laws that help no-one except the 17% of lifes they say they have saved from overdose???

The broadcast of this show does not happen until January 23rd. Your can check our radio station listing to see when your local station will air it:
The podcast of this show will be available on the Monday following the broadcast, so please check back on Jan. 25th. If you subscribe to our podcast on your computer or smart device, the show will be downloaded automatically for your convenience.

Thank you for your article. This subject does involve me and needs more attention. I’m a recovering alcoholic and have been in excruciating pain the whole time I’ve been in recovery. I do take narcotic medication because without this help my life wouldn’t have the meaning that it does today. The key is in your recovery and to maintain use. I’m not in recovery to get high. It has been 18 years now since I’ve been on this medication. People should never assume or judge others without first walking in their shoes. Again, I thank you.

My Mom is 95 years old and has knee replacements to both knees at different times. One knee is perfect, the other knee hurts constantly. One doctor was giving her shots, said it was bursitis. Gets no relief from natcotics, or over the counter meds, or prescribed ointments. What else can I do, other than her knee, she has a good quality of life. Doctors don’t seem interested in her problem , and it hurts me to see her in pain.

As a 54 year old woman who has recently experienced the need for daily pain meds because of jaw nerve pain, I can say there is a valid reason for these used daily. I get no ‘high’ just pain relief. I’m trying to find a fix, may or may not, and I’ll take the meds as long as I need so I can live my life.

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