Catastrophes, fantastic friends from out of the blue, plus chocolate.

“You can easily recognize the good parts of your life because they are starkly outlined in crap.” -John DeChancie, from Starrigger.

feet

This was before the yard got really deep; the really neato part was that the flooding was coming out of the storm drain, rather than the drain actually…draining.  Veneta must be Backwards-ville.

This has been one of my favorite quotes for years.

Been a Hell month around here –with some amazingly good stuff snuck in here & there. My much beloved support dog, Kenta the American Eskimo,

regal

was diagnosed with SLO. It’s a very rare auto-immune disorder wherein the immune system attacks the nail beds, causing the claws to die back at the quick, fall off, and,  if they grow back, they’re usually very deformed. Their claws/toes are easily bruised & it’s very painful when they’re having a flare-up. So I’ve been horribly worried about the poor baby and I cannot stand to see him in  pain.

We did find a vet who knows about as much as there is to know about it, he’s on a special diet, meds, & supplements, and mostly is doing well….except when he bruises a toe, then he gets just pitiful.

Last week my yard & house flooded very badly; the insulation under the house was saturated, as were the floor joists, & the water came within about an inch of coming in the heating ducts. Turned out the city of Veneta never bothered to design a stormwater system that can actually deal with water….this is in Oregon, remember. Land of temperate rainforests. The City Manager basically said, “Tough luck, lady.” He also suggested I get a tanker truck, pump water from around my house into it using my sump pump, & dump it somewhere else (I am not making this up!! I really wish I’d taped that bit….I’d put it on YouTube).

side yard

The side yard before it got really deep.

 

So now I’m diving (so to speak) into my first foray into community activism, trying to find & organize everyone in the area with flooding problems, and there are a ton of them. I hope to lead them to the next City Council meeting, preferably carrying pitchforks and torches. I need lawyers, engineers, the Corps of Engineers, hydrologists, and God knows what else…money, mainly. I can’t even afford to fix the insulation & whatever else is currently rotting underneath my feet.

the hatch to access under the house weighs a zillion pounds, but at least it’s wood…when the water gets high enough, it’ll just float open.

Then, the day after the Great Flood, a huge tree limb fell & crushed my car trunk. Thank God & Allstate for Comprehensive coverage (& they told me I was a fool for keeping it on such an old car!).

huey got whammed

Poor Huey…and he just got a brand new paint job a year ago. Now his spare tire gets flooded just like the house, so nobody gets jealous.

But then from outta nowhere snuck in the good stuff; I found a woman that I’d been trying to find since high school. She and I were great friends from middle school thru HS & I’ve always wondered how & where she was, because I thought she was absolutely amazing. Somehow,*poof*  up she popped the other night in a Google search I’ve done dozens of times before w/o success. We’re getting reacquainted via email.

Ditto reconnecting with two other old friends, one I’d thought had vanished into a black hole. So that’s been very cool, getting to know “lost” dear friends again. I decided to celebrate with some chocolate tonight, & found a recipe for Chocolate Chewies that remind me of some that my mom & I were addicted to in the 70s-80s, on Hilton Head. They are GF (no flour at all), DF, incredibly easy to make, & as droolicious as it gets.

aseasyasapplepie.com/flourless-chocolate-cookies

So, something yummy amid the catastrophes…and some good things –good people I mean– slid in amongst the crap. Both of my friends do terrific things; one of ’em does amazing work with raptors; writing, photographing, rehabilitating, educating about, and saving them:

kate's ctr

Kate Phillips Davis’ Raptor Center

My other friend, Felecia Walton, went to Med school at UNC-Chapel Hill & is a Laboratory Research Analyst at Duke University.

To quote Bruce Hornsby, “What the hell happened to me?”

But I’ve been lucky to have known some amazing, amazing people.

 

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List of Peer Reviewed Articles on Pain/Opioids

Outstanding list of (true!) info!

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Peer-reviewed articles (2006-2019) on Pain/Opioids by Stefan Kertesz  (Twitter: @StefanKertesz)  June 2019

This is a collection of 26 scientifically correct (not anti-opioid) information that can be used as references to rebut the anti-opioid propaganda. Dr. Kertesz has been a powerful and respected advocate for us for many years and seems to be publishing voluminously.

Many of the articles below I’ve already posted, but here they are in a unified list of publications, most with links, which challenge the anti-opioid zealotry.  

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The Complexity of Pain Care

Another outstanding post that clearly details where the true problem lies –and where the lies are about pain medications.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Does the HEAL Initiative Research Plan Misunderstand the Complexity of Pain Care? – By Richard A. Lawhern, PhD and Stephen E. Nadeau, MDMay 3, 2019

This informative article carefully, and with published scientific evidence, explains why pain care with prescribed opioids is not the cause of the “opioid crisis”:

With relatively little public fanfare, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched an integrated set of research initiatives, called Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL), one year ago to “provide scientific solutions to the opioid crisis.”

Funding for this initiative was put into place for FY2019 at $502 million, of which approximately $170 million is focused on the discovery of biological markers to characterize acute and chronic pain as well as the development of non-opioid therapies.   

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The Subtle Arrogance of Good Health

Angelika writes powerfully and well of pain and her journey with it.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

The Subtle Arrogance of Good Health- by Angelika Byczkowski (repost)

Until my physical ailments began worsening rapidly in my late 40’s, I was a high achiever, proud of my “kick ass” attitude, thinking I was so competent I could surmount any challenge life threw at me. Life appeared to be straightforward and I didn’t understand why this didn’t seem to be the case for so many other less fortunate folks.

Though I worked hard for my accomplishments and sometimes struggled, there was never a question of ability, never a doubt I’d prevail if I made enough effort. Looking back now, I can see the consistent achievements that came so easily and so early in life instilled in me a subtle subconscious arrogance.

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Death, Life, Lies, and Agony

I ran across a news story this afternoon that spoke of dying cancer patients being denied pain relief –another insane, inconceivable part of the current hysteria about pain meds. It was not news to me by any means. One woman commented on the story by saying that she simply didn’t believe it. It sounded too awful, so she had no intention of admitting it could be true. I find myself half hoping she or one of her loved ones never find out the truth the hard way, half hoping she does, and soon.

I got to watch my mother die in unrelieved, monstrous agony during the first “crisis” of pain meds, when oxycontin first came in the news as being recreationally abused. Mom had leukemia. She should have died 2 ½ years earlier, because she had a very swift & deadly form of leukemia, Acute Myoblastic Leukemia (AML). By a complete fluke, they found the leukemia within a week of her bone marrow spitting out mutated white blood cells and was immediately flung into the hospital for high-dose chemo. She went into remission for a few months. Then relapse and more high-dose chemo. Another few months of remission. This cycle went through 6 iterations; every relapse could’ve been her death sentence. After the sixth round of high-dose chemo, the doctor told her that was it; if/when she relapsed again, the chemo would kill her faster and more horribly than the leukemia would.

The next relapse happened. We gathered to wait the end, which they estimated at about a month; they were good; it was about 5 weeks, by the calendar. The excruciating bone pain of leukemia, which I’ve read feels like every inch of every bone in your body is breaking constantly, without letup, began about 4 weeks before the end. She wanted to die at home; the hospital was several hours away, and my father wanted to be with her the whole time. That’s when the hysteria took over her life, her death, and my sanity. Some addicted recreational user morons were abusing a good prescription medication to get high, so they refused to give my mother anything at all for her monstrous agony as she was dying. They did permit her some children’s liquid Tylenol. Even after she was completely unable to swallow, that was the only thing the home hospice care “doctor” would permit; children’s liquid Tylenol. She. Could. Not. Swallow. Anything.

She died in unspeakable agony. I have no idea how long that month seemed to her; to me, who merely had to watch, it seemed to last years. For her, the utter and complete Hell probably seemed eternal. I’ve tried, in the over 20 years since, to understand how subjecting my beloved mother to Hell on Earth prevented even one recreational drug user from abusing anything. Or from ODing, or anything else. Guess what: I’ve failed at the attempt, and for a very good reason. It didn’t.

Now the opioid hysteria has consumed the entire country and once again, people are dying in needless, insane agony. The hysteria is based purely upon lies, PR, and a small group of phenomenally greedy people who hijacked the CDC process to enrich themselves. People are dying in needless agony, and people living with chronic pain conditions are being forced to live in agony, except for those who are in literally unbearable agony and kill themselves. People are being forced to undergo surgeries with no pain relief afterward other than tylenol or advil, as are people who are desperately injured. These policies are not based upon facts, or science, or medicine. Politicians are screaming about an “epidemic” which does not appear anywhere in the top 12-15 (at least) causes of death nationally. Over 100 times as many people die every day from alcohol, obesity, and tobacco as from opioids (legal and illegal). More people die every day from medical errors. From the flu.

Yet the hysteria rolls on, destroying lives and forcing people into monstrous, tortured deaths. Again, for no reason. The only people who benefit are the liars who benefit from agony and politicians who benefit from claiming they’re “doing something” about a “crisis” or “epidemic” which does not exist. I used to be a decent person who didn’t actually wish pain on others. That’s changed. The horrendous death of my mother, my own experience of decades of abuse for the crime of having an incurable health problem have laid down a baseline of rage that, along with my now-uncontrolled pain, is killing me quickly –though not quickly enough, it often feels. I now wish unrelieved, permanent agony on every one of the venal evil bastards who started this hysteria, every willfully ignorant person who perpetuates it, and even upon people who choose not to believe it’s actually happening because it just seems too awful to admit it’s real. I’m not a good person any more, and I don’t actually care. Because way, way too many good people, starting with my mother, were and are tortured every day simply because they have the temerity and stupidity to be sick, injured, or dying.

I frequently run across people saying the US has the “best health care in the world.” That is also PR bullshit; we’re behind every other developed country & some third world ones in life expectancy, infant mortality, and maternal survival, and we’ve been going downhill for years. A woman has a better chance of surviving childbirth in Costa Rica than in the US. These inconvenient facts also are too icky for people to verify or believe, so they elect to believe the PR bullshit because it’s more comforting –until, of course, their child dies needlessly, or a woman dies needlessly in childbirth, or they get injured or have surgery or are dying and are put through sadistic torture.

To the people who know damned well that I’m not lying; I’m sorry you know that. To the people who choose to remain willfully ignorant…the overwhelming likelihood is, you’ll find out the hard way. Even good, moral, hard-working people get sick and injured. Your turn will probably come. And don’t you dare come crying to me, because you helped perpetuate the torture by your willful ignorance and refusal to do anything but swallow the PR lies whole. I may be dead of rage or ill health or suicide by the time your time comes to be tortured, but even if I’m still alive, I’ll be in Hell ahead of you. Because I’m there already.

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Blaming Rx Pills For Opioid Epidemic Is Fake News

I fear it’s far too late for anything like the truth to ever get in the way of the hysteria that’s been drummed up. I’ve never hoped more fervently to be wrong.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Blaming Prescription Pain Pills For The Opioid Epidemic Is Fake News
How negligent media have helped inflate a deadly moral panic over prescription opioids and ignored the real sources of addiction while hurting people who live with devastating chronic pain.By Peter Pischke– March 26, 2019

Although opioid-related deaths are driven mainly by heroin and black-market fentanyl, you would not know that from most of the press coverage, which emphasizes pain medication prescribed to patients who become addicted, overdose, and die.

This narrative is “fake news.”

This is the fairytale the media has been pushing for years and years. Just by its incessant repetition, it has ingrained itself in our culture and remains stubbornly immune to facts. 

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The Other Opiate Problem

Truth! A rare thing these days…too bad it isn’t what’s driving all these health denial bills (that is, the output from the crowd that continues to ban pain meds because they want to look like they’re
doing something….whether the “something” makes any sense or not.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

The Other Opiate Problem By Ted Noel, MD – March 2019

Dr. Noel shows us again that overprescribing isn’t the problem – it’s an “overdose crisis” from street drugs, often contaminated with deadly illicit fentanyl.

On February 24, 60 Minutes did a segment …  calling out drug companies for “corrupt,” “immoral,” and “depraved” actions in marketing opioids.

David Kessler, former Commissioner of the FDA said, “There are no studies on the safety or efficacy of opioids for long-term use.”

Case closed! We need to restrict opioids to two or three days at most. Anything longer than that is bad medicine and gets people killed. But…    

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Rx Drugs Aren’t to Blame for Rise in Addiction Deaths

Zyp has another excellent post…showing more than ever that politics & politicians and facts have not even a passing relationship. This proposal by Gillibrand is unconscionable.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Prescription Drugs Aren’t to Blame for Rise in Addiction Deaths – BloombergBy Ramesh Ponnuru – Mar2019

I’m thrilled to see the true fact about the opioid issue prominent in the headline of a mainstream media publication – especially one directed at financial professionals.

“Patients in pain have become collateral damage in the war on opioids.”

Seeing this fact, which is so often voiced by pain patients, simply stated in this article gives me hope that the public will start to realize that opioids are sometimes very needed and not some sort of “evil” substance that “causes addiction”. 

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Paraplegic Drug User Victim of Involuntary Commitment

This is utterly obscene; it is abundantly clear that pain patients & the disabled have ZERO civil rights any more, & everyone including the ACL-Useless apparently thinks that’s as it should be.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

How a Paraplegic Drug User Became a Victim of Involuntary Commitmentby Christopher Moraff – Feb 2019

New laws make it easy for anyone accused of having an addiction problem to be committed if they don’t agree to whatever treatment is recommended for them.

Involuntary commitment for people accused of having an addiction and not actively participating in treatment for it is becoming more common as more laws are being passed to make this legal.

Barely a day passes on my beat without my meeting someone with a harrowing story about the impact of zero-tolerance drug policies on their lives. But few of these stories have impacted me personally as much as that of a young man I’ll call “Jay.”

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Low rates of dependence/addiction from opioids for pain relief

I feel like a broken record, but another outstanding post from the fantastic Zyp Czyk. Very timely & needed study.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

I edited the title because it’s been pointed out that “dependence” isn’t the right word. I knew this but was paraphrasing the article title, which uses that word instead of addiction, even though they are clearly talking about opioid misuse. We can thank the DSM-5 for this confusion.

Development of dependence following treatment with opioid analgesics for pain relief: a systematic view – June 2012

Aims: To assess the incidence or prevalence of opioid dependence syndrome in adults (with and without previous history of substance abuse) following treatment with opioid analgesics for pain relief.

Spoiler alert from the happy conclusion:

The available evidence suggests that opioid analgesics for chronic pain conditions are not associated with a major risk for developing dependence.   

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Opioid Use, Misuse, and Suicidal Behaviors

If I ever try to make a list of top ten posts from this blog, my brain will surely blow out of my head like an airbag: too many outstanding choices. This is another much-needed piece of excellent evidence to (try to) counteract the fact-free hysteria currently controlling our care –or denial of care.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Opioid Use, Misuse, and Suicidal Behaviors in a Nationally Representative Sample of U.S. Adults. – PubMed – NCBI – just the abstract available – Mar 2019

This study proves that simply using opioids to treat a medical condition does not lead to increases in suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Prior research has shown associations between opioid misuse and suicidal behaviors, but the relationship between medical opioid use and suicidal behaviors is not known.

We assessed associations between opioid use and misuse to suicidal ideation, suicide plans, and suicide attempts among adults 18-64 years old (n=86,186) using nationally representative cross-sectional data from the 2015-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  

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