I am quite outspoken. I have no problem voicing my opinion or needs — or so I thought. An exchange this morning left me speechless. While my head was swimming with semi-intelligible responses, I was rendered mute.
Let me just say that I have been on pain medication for a long while. I receive my medications from the same pharmacy and my prescriptions from the same physician. I have never missed or failed a drug test. I also take a multidisciplinary approach to coping with pain. I meditate, pray, stretch, seek counseling when necessary, do physical therapy, and spend time volunteering.
Hence, when static arose around the subject of my medication, I was surprised. The pharmacy told me the only people who should take this quantity were those who have cancer or are in palliative care. I should not need those medications. My mouth opened but no sound emerged. My emotions were on tilt. I was angry.
How could anyone dare suggest my pain was less than someone else’s? Pain does not discriminate. Must I have cancer to justify pain relief? I was sad. How could they take away something that allowed me to live? I was scared. “There goes life as I know it,” I thought. “I am going to suffer.”
I am going to suffer.
Why? Because I do not have cancer nor am I in palliative care, and therefore, my pain is insignificant. While I understand and agree with the use of parameters, this is absurd. How can an arbitrary entity suggest that my pain is not worthy of medication? A one-size-fits-all solution is unrealistic and cruel.
People with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis have pain. Furthermore, my pain began before my MS diagnosis. Spasticity, myofascial pain syndrome, and trigeminal neuralgia are not quantifiable. I do not fit the little box; therefore, I am left to suffer. I cannot think of greater injustice.
Essentially, I am being told that if I were dying, my quality of life would be taken into account. However, if I want to live and thrive, I am on my own. Why? Because I do not have cancer.
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