Monthly Archives: May 2016


Opioid Medication and the Right To Life


Something to think about–it’s not about what you believe Prince did or didn’t do, what he had or didn’t have–it is an opportunity to open a dialogue about chronic disease pain treatment vs. addiction. Just think about it with an open mind.

There is no cure for many chronic painful diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Quality of life will dramatically change without access to pain meds–we will begin seeing a lot more suffering, wheelchairs, and desperation. A frightening, painful future is ahead for people who have grieved significant physical losses already.

On a personal note–having mostly active RA for 40+ years, sustaining damage (stage 4-meaning bone on bone) in multiple joints, significant limited range of motion (joint movement), joint replacement, permanent dislocation of toes and fingers, fusion of joints, popping cracking joints, swollen hot painful joints causing more damage–once the joint is gone the surrounding bone is next.

There are good days and bad days and there are “I wish I were home with the Creator” days. But what I do know without a doubt–take my pain meds away and there will be only bad days, hard days, questioning life’s existence days. In other words, a life imprisoned in pain unable to walk, dress myself, get to the bathroom, get out of bed, take a shower, even lift a spoon to my mouth.

Believe me, when I was 19, I experienced the acute pain of RA and I prayed to die. This was a time without effective treatment. Meds have come a long way and for the newly diagnosed I remain hopeful BUT for those of us with years of long term damage, slowly taking away pain meds–when there is no cure for a destructive ongoing disease–is not the answer. Please keep an open mind; there is a difference!


Prince did not die from pain pills — he died from chronic pain


Finding Hope for Physical and Mental Pain

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As you know, pain, at times significant and relentless, has been a part of my life due to a degenerative chronic disease since the age of 16.

There is no known cure and for many years, treatment was ineffective resulting in visible disfigurement (what the medical community likes to call deformities), weak and unstable joints, and often the most challenging; hidden impairments, i.e., pain, fatigue, and organ damage.

Being young and having rheumatoid arthritis — that old person’s disease and in the beginning having little “visible proof” of it, people felt compelled to offer their thoughts.

But the bottom line was often I felt judged.  I wasn’t trying hard enough. I didn’t pray enough. I wasn’t worthy which always led to — I wasn’t good enough.

Over the past few days, I have been learning about my aunt’s grandson and his struggle since age 3 with mental anguish due to childhood abuse and later addiction. Nothing visible I would have seen passing him on the street but substantial mental (hidden) pain over the years – definitely, a kindred spirit.

We who are living life as survivors have practiced our surface behaviors — a way to cover life’s hurts, disappointments and insecurities. Some days we cover better than others, some days we are of good cheer and help others with their struggles. Then there are some days when pain is so great, we count the seconds as they go by; we must seek the light and look to our dearest for love and belonging, support and love.

I am finding renewed strength in my cousin’s caring written word. A new perspective on pain; perhaps you might want to look it over: