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I did it! I e-mailed Oprah

stockbrokersstockbroker Posts: 464
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Chronic Pain
I don't know if any of you saw Oprah last week (or maybe it was the week before). Dr. Oz was on blasting the evils of narcotic pain medicine. Apparently, there was a mother and son who were abusing the stuff. You all know the story. Towards the end of the segment, Dr. Oz had visual aids: livers damaged by narcotic drug use. I happened to be seeing my PM doc that week and, concerned, asked her if I was ruining my liver. Anyway, we all talk about it. We are all sick of hearing the one-sided negative rants; the legislators wanting to ban these drugs blah blah blah. We all say "somebody should write". Well, I did. I wrote the email on my laptop so I could print it and tell you exactly what I said. I started the email asking, "Did you ever need a root canal? Do you remember what that pain felt like? Can you imagine if you had that pain in your legs or arms or back or neck every second of every minute of every hour of every day of your life? That is the story of 2% to 4% of the world's population. That is my story. Thanks to my spinal cord stimulator and those evil, evil drugs, I am able to earn a decent income in a professional job, be a loving wife and mother to two "fur-kids" and do what most people can do. (I'd like to think I actually do more than most people but that's another show). Dr. Oz' story has been told so many times, we have it memorized. Why not tell the other side--do a different angle. I suggested they go to Spine health and read the pain forums. I said some other things but kept it short. I wanted to be short but powerful. I'm excited. Maybe she'll do the show. Hey, I could be on TV! (I don't think my company would let me.) Susan


  • Good for you. None would ever understand the need for pain meds unless they've been through it themselves. I love Dr. Oz and his new show. Maybe we could write to him too. It would be great to have more celebrities to to support and donate to spine issues. It's great for what science is bringing us so far and meds is one way of dealing with the pain. It would be good to have more research done on spine issues. It would be nice to have relief without having to deal without the side effects of narcotics and we would love to be off the medications but help us deal with our pain issues. I hope she has a show on spine issues. I hope to be on the show too! Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • i think we could have a good representation of the different spineys and conditions and what we go through to be on TV. we could present a true side of life on medication and what we are able to do.. i do hope this is going to be a go!!! how exciting!! Jenny
  • forward said email to other shows as well? such as the veiw, today, good morning america, 60 minutes, any and all that have done stories on narcotics pain control being bad/evil. the more places you send to, the more chances of getting the word out there!

    I would also like to bring out the fact that due to the abuses of others, those of us who honestly need these meds, must now go through amazing hoops to find reputable doctors to prescribe them for us. and in all reallity/comparison, when you take your pet to the vet, they get better pain control then we do! it is inhumane the way some of us are treated due to the abuses of others.
  • I had actually meant to type that since I typed this on my laptop I was unable to print it. I tried to correct my mistake but had no edit key available. So, Minnesota, I couldn't literally send the same message but that shouldn't effect the point of your post. I believe Meredith Viera is married to a man who has MS so she knows about chronic pain. Oprah might send this on to Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil since they both, in essence, work for her. I think I'll wait a month or two and if nothing comes of it, I may send a few more messages, as you suggested. Things are pretty easy with the advent of the internet, no? Susan.
  • I am right there with you. If they contact you I think that you will have tons of support!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Good for you! I hope she runs your story.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • :? Hi,

    I have something to add to the subject of narcotic use turning us into addicts. I have been in a long-term relationship with someone who is a recovering addict. This persons friends from the "rooms" think I am compromising their recovery by havin my meds in the house. We live together of course. I am in chronic pain from a spinal-fusion in '05, the lower level needs to be done next. Also Spinal Stenosis. Not to mention fibromyalgia, and arthritis.

    I am on Fetanyl Patch, Hydrocodone, Valium 5's, and Duladin for breakthrough pain. Without these meds I cannot function at all. Even with them I have a hard time. I keep them under lock and key in a safe box with combination only I know. I also have teenage kids and their friends in and out every day. I am super careful about keeping my meds out of anyones reach. Hell, even a repairman can go through your medecine cabinet.

  • Dr. Phil AND Dr. Oz both ran shows the last two weeks proclaiming the evils of prescription drugs. So, I emailed both of them. I will continue to do so on an irregular basis. I don't think the world even knows we exist!!! Here was Dr. Phil asking this teenage drug abuser how many pills would the doctor prescribe at a time. 120. One hundred and twenty pills, Dr. Phil said slowly, enunciating each number while looking straight into the camera. Well, yeah, if you take 4 a day and you get a 30 day prescription, that would be 120. I don't know though if our lives are going to be as titilating as those of a drug addict. I'll stay on it and let you know. Susan.
  • I saw the episode last Tuesday where this idiot was abusing Oxycontin and was buying it from a 70 year old lady. I said to myself, this is why we pee in cups and are hauled in for pill counts. Bastard! They put him on Suboxone but he admits to smoking pot on top of that. Go figure. He allegedly has back pain ( I watched him and not once did he fidget in his seat the whole hour- I can't sit for 10 minutes straight without having to move, get up, rub my legs, etc) and I guess he originally got his pain meds from a doctor. I'm so mad this is the only side the media focuses on and says nothing about those who need it for legitimate problems who couldn't function without it.

    Susan, I sure hope you get someone's attention. It's so sad that there has to be a scandal before someone would even raise an eyebrow. I applaud and support your efforts and wish you success in bringing awareness to our chronic pain plight.
  • My doctor can prescribe only 60 tramadol per visit.
    I take 4-5 a day, so it means I have to visit him every second week.
    With Panadeine Forte, which has a good level of codeine and is addictive, i can get only 20 per visit.
    That's enough for me at the moment.
    There is a big focus on avoiding over prescription of pain killers in Australia.
    But at least I have no trouble getting them from my regular doctor.
    As regards going to the media with anything, there's a 50:50 chance that it will not turn out well for your cause.
    Big interests and big business are involved in the medical field, as in most things.
    I wish you luck but be prepared for disappointment.
  • Not to pick a fight here, but not everyone fidgets with back problems. I happen to be one of those. If you saw me, I doubt you would ever know I have any problems. Please do not judge a book by its cover. Let the Doctors and their diagnostic tests be the judge.

  • First of all, Meydey: I didn't notice that he didn't fidget but I did notice that he didn't blink or change his facial expression at all. that was kind of weird. That Suboxone must be some kind of drug!

    Donna: I have a friend who has horrible spinal problems, way worse than mine. He had a partner who somehow thought it was cool that G didn't have to go to work (he's on SSDI) and that he had all these cool drugs. So when G was asleep, he would steal his medicine. G started locking it up but his partner would somehow get at it anyway, one time leaving G short his pain meds for several days, maybe a week. I know he suffered terrible withdrawal. Now, i would say to G, I don't think anyone who loves you would put you in that position---to leave you without meds, to be in pain and have to go through withdrawal. My husband had a friend who was a drug abuser who found out I took Dilaudid and kept asking my husband to give him some of my meds. My husband dropped him immediately. Besides the illegality of it, he figured no true friend would put his friend's wife in a position where she would have to suffer just for his own kicks. Susan.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    When I first had to take narcotics. I picked up my script. from a local drug store where the pharmacist new me. I told her I was very worried about getting addicted. At the time it was supposed to be short term. Until I could get approved for my surgery and for 4 or 5 weeks after. (I thought) And I told her the total time would be probably 4 to 6 mo. She said that if a person is really in pain. Most of the drug goes to treat the pain where as a recreational user, all of the drug goes to a pleasurable high. And there is a huge difference in how quickly the recreational user gets addicted. Compared with the person who is in real pain and is only taking it for that purpose. Now I wonder if she was trying to make me feel better. or was that true or maybe partially true. And if it's true then maybe the drugs aren't causing the same amount of damage either.
    Since the drugs are hitting different receptors in the person in pain than the person seeking a high. Is the damage any different? Can the person who is in pain quit the drug easier? Is the withdrawal the same? and my mind wonders if maybe even other things may be different.
    Why has there never been a comparison study done?
    I'm no fool, Ive been taking narcotics for years and I know I'm addicted and I know damage has been done.
    But I would like to see a comparison study done!
    I would also like for them to have MY PAIN for just 1 hour with no drugs! And keep in mind, that Ive had years to acclimate to the pain!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I think I can tell by now based on what I've been through who's real and who is F.O.S. This guy claimed he wasn't high when Dr.Phil asked him if he was on something at the moment. Either he lied or that Suboxone is really that good so that he can sit through a whole hour of the interview. I've been on several strong medications and none has ever made me as comfortable as he appeared to be on stage. When I feel stressed, like I'm sure he did, my pain level rises. You can tell by looking into the eyes if someone is in pain. People like us have that "thousand yard stare" from being in chronic pain and it can't be disguised no matter how hard you try. I didn't notice this guy shift in his seat, wince occasionally, etc. That's just my take.
  • We are definitely getting off-topic here but its my thread and I don't care. Its just like a conversation. The subject shifts and changes, ebbs and flows. I am no expert (well I am in other things but not in addiction) but I don't think you are addicted. I think you are physically dependent. From what I understand, addiction is a disease that certain people have that compels them to abuse (to take way too much of) narcotics or alcohol or tranquilizers. Anyone, who has taken narcotic pain medication for a year or more will become physically dependent, so that if they were to stop their meds abruptly, they would experience withdrawal syndrome. An addict, will crave the drug. If he/she doesn't get their fix, they will think of that drug and nothing else. They are obsessed with the drug, with the "high" they experience when they take it. When I take my meds, I don't feel any high at all. I only feel my pain subside. I couldn't imagine taking these drugs if I didn't need them for pain. I am not addicted. But if I stopped them suddenly, I might feel withdrawal symtoms. This is what needs to be explained to Dr. Phil.et. al. Gosh, as I'm about to make a point, I feel like a member of the NRA ("guns don't kill, people do"). Drugs don't create addicts. Addicts are there and they will figure out a way to get drugs. Some have suggested that these drugs be made "legal" so that addicts don't have to mess up our pain clinics. They can go to their own government-based "drug addict clinic" and get their fix and not push the stuff onto kids or make our good doctors want to get into a different line of work. Anyway, I'll get off my high horse now and save it for Oprah or Dr. Phil or whoever may call. Susan
  • Susan. I do agree with you.
  • Hi

    Very interesting conversation so far.

    Yes you will go through withdrawal even if you take for pain. Always see your doc for help to do it, and do it slowly not abruptly.

    Why not make up a standard form email or letter explaining your (our) point of view and email it regularly to them. They all have their own web sites so you can easily email them all a copy each. If it were to be done each week by any number of people from here (and elsewhere?, friends etc in same situation) it shouldnt take too long for at least one of them to realize that they need to stand up and take notice of the other side of the story. After all, there are two sides to each story!

    I am from Australia and like all you I suffer in pain from my spinal problems, so take pain medication, oxycontin etc for it. I imagine there are many from around the world that could contribute to this by sending their email or letter also.

    Just think about it - a person (in this case Oprah, Dr Oz or Dr Phil) will only take so much of the same thing, receiving the letter/email, before they realize they need to at least investigate it. By frequently sending these and by frequently I mean each week, it shouldnt be too long before one or more says "please stop sending me the emails and letters, It is choking up our system. Yes we will talk to you" Well at least that is how it will go in my mind.

    Look forward to seeing your thoughts on this.

    regards from someone from the Real OZ - Mick
  • What a good idea. Our politicians will do that. i.e. create a form letter or a form email that one can simply sign and send. I wouldn't know how to do that. We could probably get someone here at S-H to set something up (if someone would volunteer.) I think that should be the person who made the suggestion just like in school.(My way of saying "Welcome" Mick). Of course, we would also need the blessings of the mods and the owners.
  • Hi again

    My thoughts originally were that one standard letter was drafted saying everything that exactly needs to be said. That letter is then put up on here or just emailed around to each other. We all then ammend the email with our own name on it - read one name being your own - but that is negotiable of course - and send it. Its simple then to each week to pick up the letter from our own sent emails list and re-email it to them all until they give a suitable reply. It would really only work if it is sent on in volume, that is by large numbers. One each per week by how many on here (and elsewhere?)

    After reading your reply I am now thinking your interpretation of my comments was that one email was done, it was forwarded onto each other and names added to the bottom. That could be done, but when do you decide enough is enough and send it off to them? Or do you just send it each week, and whoever has it on a 'friday' each week sends it? Sounds a bit messy this way.

    If you want to send/email me your original email I am happy to look at it and see what can be done. Maybe then it gets put up on here as a poll or something asking if anyone has anything they want to contribute. Or it just goes as is. I say the shorter the better so it is easily read - maximum 1 page type thing.

    cheers Mick
  • Well said, Susan (and well done, for making the effort to contact these people). Every time people see an interview like the one you mentioned with Dr. Oz or with Dr. Phil, the idea that opioids are inherently bad becomes more entrenched in their minds. People need to be made aware of the vast difference between addiction and dependence, and the differing reasons for taking this class of drug. The drugs themselves are neutral and can be used for good or for ill, in my opinion.

    As for that guy and his Suboxone - well, I'm prescribed buprenorphine for pain (Temgesic, not Suboxone), and while it helps relieve my pain, it doesn't eliminate it any more than any other strong opioid would. People can usually see I'm in pain if they look long enough, regardless of whether I've taken my medication or not. I don't think any of us are so lucky that we are granted full relief from pain, whatever we're taking (although that would be nice!).
  • My understanding was just how you described it. First of all, we would have to get the okay from the Mods and the owners to do this. Secondly, Oprah, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz have their own website with its own format. This is not to say i could not rewrite an email in my own format and provide all of the information they ask on their forms and then note their email addresses. I will wait to here from the Mods and if given the nod will PM said email to you. Does that sound like a plan? Susan
  • When you get to a page that will not let you paste in the box. Try Control and the V key. Usually circumvents their block on pasting :D
  • Now, lest you think I do nothing but watch TV all day, I truly think SOMETHING is causing me to be home to catch these episodes that make stupid comments to American audiences about pain and pain medications. I work full-time. I can (and do when my pain is bad) work from home. Yesterday, Good Ol' Dr. Phil had a pretty 21 year old woman who has a lot of problems on the show. Among the problems (but certainly not the biggest of them) is a car accident she was in where she "broke her back". This problem was not described in any more detailed but that she "broke her back" for which she was prescribed narcotic pain meds. She's had a lot of sexual partners, has two children by two different men. Her last two boyfriends are uneducated and have criminal records but Dr. Phil kept focusing on her drug use, telling her that if pain meds were found in her system by the courts, she likely would lose custody of her children. Would the other side of the story truly be so out of favor right now as to lose sponsorship? Wouldn't it be titilating enought to know that 2 to 4% of the world lives in chronic pain? I would have found that fascinating.(Before the pain. Now, of course, I find it fascinating.) Do folks thinks that by acknowledging a legitimate use for narcotic pain meds that they would be condoning more sinister usage? This is three times in three weeks. Give me a break. Susan
  • with you completely. Have you thought about emailing Dr. Phil about that episode?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    I think its good for individuals to email various groups to express your opinion.
    But I cant seeing this come from Spine-Health. What I could envision is if a group of different members want to join Susan with emails that might be ok, but Not
    under the name of Spine-Health.

    I can not see a letter writing campaign coming under the title of Spine-Health.

    The situation on pain medications is so widespread. It goes beyond what patients dealing with their problems. There are many other medical problems that might need more medication that most of us know about.

    But I will bring this proposal forward to the owners
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • We definitely would NOT want this to come out under the Spine Health name. Doing it that way would diminish the strength of our numbers. We must look not like several letters from Spine Health but hundreds of letters from individuals. New Disc-Man had an idea of how that could be accomplished (after I volunteered him) but it would be counter-productive to slap Spine Helath's name on this project. So please be sure to approach the owners that we would just like to use Spine Health as a conduit, anonymously. Susan
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    They think there could be some merit in doing this.
    The important thing is that Spine-Health is not associate in any way regarding these email petitions.
    If all of you want to continue with this, I will have to ask you to do it via Private messages and not via the forums. I dont want other members to feel that they need to participate.
    I wish this plan a lot of success
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • i hope i have not offended anyone by this post
  • i myself recently signed a petition whith the american pain foundation-- for those of us who need med's to deal with chronic pain. the ones who abuse-make all of us suffer... if anyone is interested in signing this and giving reasons why pain med's are needed to just function in everyday situations. the web site is www.noway.com i signed it with a bunch of others like myself living with chronic pain... hopefully it will do some good

    Post edited to remove URL, solicitation of any kind is not permitted on Spine-Health

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator 10/30/09
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