Painkillers, iPhones and Police (A Day in the Life)

pills-311608__340

I don’t like to go out much during the winter. I hate snow, I hate cold, and as my family and friends all know, I’m not particularly fond of wearing clothes. People will call before they come over to give me a head’s up.  Or, if they do pop in, they know to yell “are you decent?” as they enter. My ex-wife and I once visited a nude resort, but that’s a story for another time. Further ratcheting up my disdain for outside ventures, was that my trusty Toyota had recently died, and I was using a Volkswagen Bug that my parents had loaned me. It took my father days to install the hand controls. It was difficult, and possibly dangerous, for me to attempt getting in and out of this car. The wheelchair-to-car (and car-to-wheelchair) transfer was not easy.  Any snow or ice makes it far worse, as the chair can slide away. Brakes don’t work on ice.  It had snowed the day before so I knew it would be some work just to get TO the car.  Then more shoveling and work to get the car cleared off; and then the dangerous transfer into the car.

Painkillers

Despite all of this  I needed to get my pain prescription refilled.  When you are dependent upon an opiate, you watch carefully as the pills dwindle.  Since these pain medications (drugs) are so heavily regulated and monitored, there is an elaborate process just to get a prescription filled.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) had provided some helpful infographics to make the point. poppingpills-nida_01Addicts have “doctor shopped” until they find someone willing to write a script.  Doctors are less willing to write these scripts, so addicts will visit emergency rooms trying to get doctors to write a script.  Doctors are now trained to recognize “drug seeking behaviors” and the scenarios that addicts devise to get a script written.  Hospitals have developed protocols to make sure that not just patients, but increasingly doctors and nurses, aren’t able to obtain and abuse these drugs.  There are horror stories of abuse, overdose and death.  Nurses were discovered eating Fentanyl patches rather than discarding them, after they had been affixed to a patient’s body for 3 days.  Now you must have two nurses present just to discard the patches.  There’s more information on the National Institute for Health’s NIDA link here.  Unfortunately, the addicts that are driving the need for the increase in regulation effect patients that are not addicted, but dependent upon the same medications.   That is an important distinction for people with chronic pain issues, that appropriately take medication under their doctor’s supervision.  What this means for me?  I have to jump through all the hoops put in place to prevent addicts from abusing the system.

poppingpills-nida_03My doctor’s office requests that you call 5 business days in advance, so that they can make sure they have time to check against the state database to see if they are cleared to write a script for me.  The state database ensures that I haven’t been out visiting a bunch of other doctors, and getting prescriptions filled at different pharmacies.  If it’s been enough days since they’ve issued a prescription,  the office will print the script for the doc to sign.  My physician works in one of the myriad offices across New York State that have either not yet spent the thousands of dollars to upgrade their computer system, or are awaiting the installation and connection to the system.  The offices that have completed the process are able to fax or email the scripts for controlled substances to the pharmacies already on the network.  Until connected, I can either go in and pick up the script; or I can have it mailed to my pharmacy.  I’ve had some delays with the mail in the past, so I’m no longer willing to risk relying on the US Postal Service.  I say “risk” for a reason.  If I don’t have access to this medication I will experience withdrawal symptoms.  These are bad for anyone, but very bad for me, as I’ve described in a earlier post.  Yes, I can die.  That’s why I put I “needed” to get my pain prescription refilled. Continue reading “Painkillers, iPhones and Police (A Day in the Life)”

Advertisements

You Are What You Eat

banana-shrub-301663_1280In 2015 I made changes.  I read some books that scared the shit out of me and woke me up.  I read Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, and my eyes opened to just how bad my diet was.  That book also showed just how little we as individuals should rely upon and trust the information put out by the government.


Note: Over the past five years or so I have gradually extricated myself from involvement in politics.  When I was laying in the ICU watching Meet the Press I set off my monitors.  The doctor came in and ordered the TV shut off.  I almost shouted at the doctor, and might have started lecturing about how important it was to be informed about politics, when I was struck with the absurdity of telling the person charged with keeping me alive what was important.  I had also seen people on Facebook lose there minds in the shouting and echo-chamber madness that seems to become a person’s whole life, or how they become defined.  I’ll glance at a blog now and again, but I monitor myself very carefully to ensure I don’t get engaged or go down a rabbit hole that in the end is only frustrating.  I’m sure that  I’ll address this at another time.


Having given that caveat I’m still compelled to say how disturbed I am with the misinformation that our government puts out, the lack of controls on what reaches our shelves as consumers, and the horrific influence that corporations have upon both of those areas.  Buyer BEWARE is a vast understatement when it comes to the food and medicines you put in your body.

When I lose weight it’s in all the areas where I can’t afford a decrease (my gaunt face, or my needed ass padding) while I have a belly that I can’t exercise away.  I started looking at books (The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life and The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich), websites and listening to podcasts on a wide variety of topics.  I’ve changed to a gluten free diet and begun paying a great deal of attention to food sensitivities.  That diet is my own form of a modified Atkin’s diet  and a ketogenic diet.  I have butter in my coffee every morning.  How_To_Make_Bulletproof_Coffee_3b4288cd-a4ff-43f2-bff7-3a34ba242d4c_grandeI do a four and a half day fast every other month.   I’ll be talking about many of these topics in detail in upcoming posts.  Leave me a comment if any of these areas have you curious and I will prioritize accordingly.  The bottom line for me was that by the end of 2015 I had lost much (unofficially 40 pounds or more) of my belly, had more energy and felt better than I had in years.

My learning about all of this is still in the infant stage.  I listen to podcasts and read blogs that you can see off to the right in my links/blogroll list.  There is an unbelievable amount of information out there, and if you have a specific condition or syndrome I encourage you to investigate how modifying your diet might help you decrease or cope with symptoms.  I’m going to illustrate this by adding a TEDx talk you should see in its entirety.  I’ll have much more to say after you watch:

You may or may not have been as disturbed as I was by the annoying red box that kept popping up while I was watching the story.  I’ve heard Dr. Whals on Dave Asprey’s podcast and loved the information that was presented.  I looked on the YouTube site and read some of the comments.  Did TedX sell out?  Dr Wahls feels strongly about that question and answers it here.  I encourage you to read the response and decide for yourself.  I have extreme respect for the TED series, but if they are going to allow sponsors like Monsanto or Big Pharma influence and sensor their content they become another useless mouthpiece for the propaganda machines that value the dollar and are invested in keeping people sick.

Perhaps you’re thinking that I’m exaggerating.  If you’ve made it this far then please click and read the following link and then feel free to comment on how I’ve lost it.

Source: Top Foods to Avoid Until 2018 (And Maybe Forever)

Pain Part Three (recent pain profile)

Recent Pain Profile (Submitted to Official Electronic Medical Record)

In May 2014, I conferred with doctor Stevens regarding my chronic side pain and my prescriptions due to a change in what I’ll call my “pain profile.”

For a couple years now my pain profile has been that I have a chronic pain in my left side that is always present and when controlled with medications is a tolerable 4-5 / 10 on a pain scale. Additionally there are periods of intense pain that I refer to as 200 on a scale of 1-10. Continue reading “Pain Part Three (recent pain profile)”

Pain Part Two (and history of Narcotics)

Pain & Narcotics History

I post this because it’s my life.  As stated before my world had shrunken down to a few rooms and pain.  Then the task of distracting myself from this pain and still finding joy in life.  I’m on narcotics because I can’t not be (sort through that double negative English police peeps).  This comes at a time when half the world is addicted to the same pills I’m on.  I take them legally to escape physical pain.  I do often get lumped in and looked at as one of the people who obtain them any way they can to escape their psychic or real pain of their own.  I’m stuck in a system that is cracking down on the abuse of these medicines and I’m at risk of being mistaken as one of the abusers.  We all have our pain and deal with it well and badly at times.

The following is a document I submitted to my doctor to be included in my electronic medical record: Continue reading “Pain Part Two (and history of Narcotics)”

Pain, Part One

Growing up I had a very high pain tolerance.  I could just ignore most pain if it was intense as long as I knew it would be short lived.  Chronic pain is another story.  Knee surgery and a broken collarbone were not fun for me by any stretch of the imagination.  Being an idiot I used knowledge of this fact to “impress” people.  If there was a fight brewing someplace it was not a big deal for me to smash my fist into a brick wall to let everyone know what kind of fun was about to ensue.  In my head this was also a way (along with head butting stop signs) to impress the girls.  Maybe smashing my head against stop signs helped lead to the foolish notion that any of this would impress a girl.  Headbutting stop signs  could explain more and more of my thoughts and behaviors now that I ponder it, but I digress. I became familiar with true pain after I broke my neck. Continue reading “Pain, Part One”