With all the recent media attention toward opiate overdosing and addiction I have been thinking a lot about the pain patient voice. This is my outlet for speaking out.
When you are first diagnosed with a medical condition especially one that causes pain, you dont want to believe it will affect your life. You say “that wont be me”. At least I did. And day by day, little by little you give in. You start to give in to changes in your life to try and help yourself feel better.
One day you dont even recognize your own life anymore. Sometimes part of this is using opiate pain medication. Some people do start abusing these medications. That is true. But we as a society are reactive and very negative, so we focus on those people. We fail to look at the people who do the right thing and take their medication as it is prescribed.
I have been one of those people. I go to my pain specialist. I signed a contact. I did monthly urine drug screens to prove I was taking my medication and not taking anything recreational. I am not addicted to the medication. I dont abuse any medication. Even though I really hate taking medication, I take it as prescribed.
It makes my pain just barely livable. So I can get out of bed. So I can take care of my daughter. I am not able to work right now, but I do everything to the best of my ability. I have to use a wheelchair for any long duration of walking and standing. I used to hike, dance and stand for my job as a certified nursing assistant for 8-10 hours a day.
So before you assume that a patient is an addict just because they take this medication, please stop for a moment and think about how you would feel if one day you woke up and you couldnt do your job or the things you love to do anymore. Think about how you would want to be treated. #Iamnotanaddict #Iamnotajunkie #USPainFoundation #painpatientsmatter