Letters to the Editor

Opioids needed for chronic pain

My chronic pain began when I was 19. My first back surgery occurred in 2009. This was the first time I was given opioids for pain. I would not have survived without them. My second surgery in 2011 would fuse the first. This one required an elaborate back brace. The healing process required weeks of pain meds. My third surgery was much less invasive, but required opioids. My fourth surgery was the installation of a spinal stimulator. I was told there was nothing else to be done with my lower back.

Pain continues to this day. I go to a pain group, a pain psychologist, a therapist and a physiatrist. I have regular visits with my family internist. I have tried alternative treatments. The best treatment for me to be able to live and enjoy my life is a low dose of an opioid. Without it, the pain is almost unbearable. I’ve played by the rules. Taken the monthly urine tests, signed the pain contracts and kept my scripts at the same pharmacist. Since having my pain meds taken away, my quality of life has slid down a slippery slope. I can understand why pain patients seek illegal means to relieve their pain.

What will it take for politics and big money to realize they’ll be creating more problems by not looking at the big picture? Drug abusers get better treatment and help than chronic pain patients. Please give back my pain meds. I deserve some quality of life.

Renee Hoffman

Cedar Rapids

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