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The Other Side Of The 'Opioid Crisis'

Tuesday 24 September 2019


From US newspaper The Courier-Tribune:


Winona Stalvey
Winona Stalvey

The other side of the ‘opioid crisis’

By Winona Stalvey
September 22, 2019
© Copyright 2006-2019 GateHouse Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

She has lived with chronic pain for over 26 years. It started with Systemic Lupus. Then came the fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, Sjögren’s, Raynaud’s, diabetes, heart disease, non-alcoholic liver disease, stroke ... the list continues on with many more chronic illnesses not listed, almost all of which cause horrendous pains.

Quite a few doctors have called her a “living miracle” because many of any number of her medical problems should have already taken her life. She has had test results come back where doctors have said they have “never seen bloodwork like this in a living person.”

She has had people rudely tell her that “if you really had all those medical problems you would be dead,” accusing her of lying.

Her only saving grace is to at least lower the pain levels she lives with daily so that she can do whatever is left for her. She will never be without pain. The medicines just get the pain down to a level she can usually tolerate, although there are times when the pains are so bad that death almost seems like a blessing. But she fights to live every day possible.

So, when she called to make her next appointment with her Pain Management Doctor and the answering machine said the office had closed, she was in shock! Pain medications are the main way she is able to live a halfway normal life. She immediately got on the internet and phone, looking for a replacement pain management doctor. Almost all of the phone numbers she had gotten on the internet had been disconnected.

This is when she saw part of the “other side of the opioid crisis.” You see, especially in North Carolina and a few other states, many pain management clinics have closed. Between the insurance rates skyrocketing, the states suing pharmaceutical companies, new extremely stringent rules for doctors, etc., being a pain management doctor has become so scary that most have gone into other types of specialties, leaving chronic pain patients scrambling for help.


Full article…


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