• Marilyn M. Soper aka sassysnaps the writer...

Copy of The Opioid Crisis Is Not My Fault ...

There is no secret that this country of ours is smack dab in the middle of an overwhelming drug abuse involving Opioids and Heroin. So many tragic and sad deaths that are so unnecessary. This crisis has touched everyone; no one has escaped. Whether you are a victim, a friend or a family member of someone who has succumbed to the deadly poison that has taken hold of our nation. The list of victims is endless.

However, there is another list that no one seems to think of when it comes to victims. This unknown group of victims are often left to defend themselves and are not usually given much thought or even discussed in this crisis. These victims have no recourse regarding getting much help for their problem. These victims, as well as the others, never asked to be involved in the crisis. They did not ask for the ruthlessness of the drugs or the addiction that comes with them. They are the ones who some believe that actually started this crisis, but they are no more responsible than those who fall for the insidious draw to the drug itself. These silent victims are those who actually have legitimate chronic or acute pain.

Please, there is no need to judge me or send me any hate mail or call me and hang up or even have total disgust with me. I feel so very terrible for anyone who has suffered from the disease of addiction. I am just as sad for those who have suffered and died. My heart aches for those families and loved ones left behind to pick up the pieces and try to carry on.

Yet, what about those who a go through the immense suffering that comes with chronic or acute pain? Do these victims not deserve the help that the other victims are getting, are they not entitled to the compassion that the abusers receive?

As both a retired RN and someone who has recently been through an ordeal that I needed some pain relief and was offered an amount that was not nearly what was needed, I can’t understand the rationale behind the limits. I was told that it was minor surgery and that I “should not feel that much pain.” I thought the pain was subjective and no two people experience the same pain.

I had a tumor in my thumb inside the nail bed, and the surgeon had to make incisions on each side of the thumb, and then remove the nail bed followed by cutting the tumor out. The next was to place sutures in the nail bed, putting the nail back on and suturing it back at the tip of the nail.

Now my surgeon is a wonderful individual. However, she has never had this done to her thumb, so when she tells me that she will give me five pain pills for the pain, I am a little concerned. My first thought is to ask her why such a small amount of something that will obviously cause a tremendous amount of pain. Then I had to remember that these days if you ask for more pain medication you are instantly thought of as a “Drug seeker,” and this is when you are given a label and follows you everywhere you go. Does this sound fair to someone who just doesn’t want to suffer for having the thumbnail surgically removed, and then sutured back on?

I felt like I was asking for an extra kidney or something like that. I didn’t ask for the tumor to grow in my thumb. I had pain while this tumor grew in my thumbnail and I did not ask for pain meds then. I do not drug seek, I do not abuse drugs, yet I am treated as such.

It’s as if the Opioid crisis was my fault. I didn’t ask for more because I was afraid. I was afraid of what the doctor would think of me. I am a law-abiding citizen, and I follow the rules, I don’t abuse anything, so why am I afraid to ask for pain relief? Better yet, why should I be afraid to ask for pain relief? Is a person expected to just ignore their own pain because of the current crisis?

When is this crisis going to come to an end? Is it ever going to come to an end? Whose fault it this crisis, who is to blame. Is it the Drug abuser or is it Big Pharm, who stated that the opioids are not going to be addictive and that we now know they lied to us? Addiction is a disease that some people do not believe even exist but it does, and it’s on fire, and we really don’t know much about it yet. So, we are attempting to keep the product out of the hands of the addicts, and this is what we should be doing. But, what about those who are not addicts and have legitimate pain, how do we as a society determine who that is. It has been handled all wrong, and it is leading to the miss judgment of many innocent individuals who truly are experiencing actual pain.

Whether it is chronic or acute, these people should not have to pay for the mistakes of many others. Don’t you feel like the teacher is punishing the whole class for what a one or two students did? How can we solve this problem and bring the crisis to an end?

This is something that we as a society must work on because no one deserves to be labeled a drug seeker for just wanting their pain to end. We need to help the addicts with their addiction while not hurting those who are suffering from pain.

I wish I knew how to solve this problem but I do not and I have no clue as to where to start. I do know, however, that I am not a drug seeker and I am not addict. I am just a person who had an issue with acute pain and was forced to suffer through it. There has to be a middle ground, and there has to be a balance because, like me, there are others who suffer and are not to blame for the opioid crisis.

Don’t they deserve to be heard as well, and don’t they deserve fairness and our compassion? Let’s take the cruelty out of this crisis, let’s take the stigmatism away from having an addiction, let’s put back the caring for people who suffer from both pain and addiction, and let us all stop being victims.

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© 2018 by Marilyn M. Soper.