There will be an Opioid Symposium on Monday night hosted by my Congressman. I just found out about it, and I’m scrambling to get facts and figures together so I have proof of the information I will be sharing with them if given the opportunity.
To begin to prepare, I called Congressman Rouzer’s office to find out how the chronic pain community will be represented in this setting and what they hope to accomplish.
I spoke with someone that explained that the symposium would have four panels as it relates to opioid stigma, treatment and resources, prevention and law enforcement. Each group represented will have 2-panel experts that will talk for 30 minutes each.
She said one panelist would be a doctor from our hospital, and he “knows chronic pain.”
I respectfully disagreed with her. Unless the doctor is a chronic pain warrior, he can shed no light on the physical and emotional life transitions that being in pain 24/7 brings.
Knowledge of the disease does not portray us. Having pain now and then does not describe us. He cannot begin to understand the suffering of chronic pain with chronic illnesses unless he has lived with it. He cannot represent us on this subject.
She explained to me that it is a complicated discussion and “unfortunately, everything could not be heard in the 2 hours allotted to the discussion,” and that is why no one that has pain is sharing our chronic pain perspective for us. That is unacceptable that we are not part of the equation of the future of opioids, and I intend to change that in the future symposiums.
She became silent when I asked her if Congressman’s Rouzer knew that people are losing the will to live and some lose the chronic pain battle to suicide because the suffering is too high because of the recent changes with opioids.
Her ultimate response was that I needed to have a meeting with his office. They want to hear my perspective which is a beginning.
What are your thoughts as a person of pain about the lack of representation at this event for people with chronic pain?
If you have been negatively affected by this lack of proper treatment or you know of someone that committed suicide because of the untreated physical pain they are in, please send me the information by my Contact Form so I can share with the people that will be shaping the chronic pain communities’ future. Alternatively, email to firstname.lastname@example.org
It does not matter if you live in my district or even in the United States. I want to hear your stories so that I can take this information as far as possible. I will keep it anonymous if requested.
Much Love and Many Prayers
If you are struggling with living each day with chronic pain, if you wake up and you think to yourself, you cannot do it again…You can. Just keep going.