Chronic pain kills. It killed Prince. It is time to talk about it.
It appears that the media cannot report its stories about Prince. As the news feed overflows with stories with the word “Prince” and “addiction” in them, very few of them feature the word “chronic pain.” Numerous reports talk about that Prince had suffered from years with pain in his hips due to injuries racked up during his performances. His body was in severe torture with pain, Prince depended on opiate pain medications to provide him some liberation. And up till now, even today, the stately New York Times featured a long article about Prince seeking “help” with an “addiction.”
Prince was not at all obsessed to pain medication. Prince was ill, He had medical illness— chronic pain — which is fatal if not treated. It is also a medical problem that is more likely to be reacted to with shame and arrogance, even point a finger on patient’s moral character, or, if male, maleness. Pain is still the situation that we treat by telling its victims to just “bear it up,” or “seal your mouth,” or to stop behaving like a weak person. And yet, when someone dies from complications of the disease — for that is what chronic pain is — we react with distress and disappointment and annoyance that the person died from a drug overdose. Some outlets make markdown our uncertainty about overdose and medications and our attraction of drugs.
As early as 2009, reports stated that Prince was in chronic, unbearable pain. His friend said that he was taking pain medication to try to control the steady, unbearable pain from injured hips. The hypothetical disagreement between Prince’ conversion to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and his capability to agree to a blood transfusion — should the need come up during hip replacement surgery — was uninformed about by the vultures who masquerade as rumor reporters. The thought that Prince would give up surgery in order to serve up his belief contributed to the suggestion that Prince was “strange.” On the other hand, at least some news outlets report that Prince did have the double hip replacement surgery in 2010.
But it is not just the mistake of media that they had no idea about how much the chronic pain hurts. They are also looking down upon the realities of the influence of race upon the practice of medicine.
The element of race must be added in the mixture. Prince was a black man. Strong racial inequality was seen, how the doctors and other medical staff and other medical staff react to pain in the emergency room has been acknowledged. For example, a recent study was printed in one of the most esteemed pediatrics journals studied the treatment of appendicitis, a condition that is frequently assumed after a “chandelier test.” In medical colloquial speech, if a doctor places her hand on the pain point in the lower abdomen affected by the pain of a swollen appendix, the patient will try to jump up into the metaphoric chandelier on the roof above their head.
And yet, even here, black kids are treated so cruel.
“Our findings propose that there are racial disparities in opioid administration to children with appendicitis,” wrote one of the lead researchers, Dr. Monika Goyal.
“Our findings put forward that even though clinicians may identify pain equally across racial groups, they are treating pain differently by treating black patients with nonopioid analgesia, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and for the same treat white patients with analgesics containing opium.
Related studies have acknowledged that African Americans’ chest pain is less likely to be diagnosed correctly as a heart attack. Other studies have tried to calculate whether African Americans have a “lower pain threshold.” Research have also carried out whether why women pain is not taken into notice seriously.
Surgeries can fail to mend the problems that cause extreme pain. And they fail frequently. Pain has been long-standing in medical diseases; scientific proof reported that the brain’s pain receptors “short out.” And even after the painful part is removed as in amputations, the brain’s pain receptors continue to process signals that the body is in danger. Phantom limbs can cause severe pain. It does not make false pain. Brain feels pain. And the brain will continue to feel pain even after surgery.
And until now, regardless of the proof that Prince was being given Percocet for accepted pain, the media storyline has shifted to a story in which Prince died due to over dosage. An overdose is a self-inflicted wound. It is a ethical decision. That is how we respond to it. “He was such a capable actor. Why overdose?” Or,
“She had such a influential voice. But she was a evil spirit for drugs.” That story allows us to detach ourselves, to see it as the responsibility of a weak character, an “addictive” celebrity. It is part of the mythos we produce around gifted individuals. The idea that the truly exceptional are also the ones in the worse psychological pain, and their psychological “weaknesses” make them seasoned for drug addiction.
Prince is being forced in the direction of that rock face over which we have pushed Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Jackson and every other performer who has died from drugs in the past century — particularly those who failed to resist heroin. But heroin and pain medication are different things. Unquestionably, some will achieve distinction for their negotiations of the “ill-treatment” of pain medication.
Chronic pain management often needs to take powerful and frequently opiate based medications .Whoever patient will take these drugs on a routine basis will become “physically dependent” in a short while. Depending on a drug physically is not addiction. Diabetics are physically dependent on insulin, without it they will surely die. Still we do not call insulin an addictive drug. Stopping pain medication that has been used for chronic pain can kill you if it is done suddenly. Under a doctor’s care, a change in pain medication is handled on a severe timetable in which the body is weaned off one drug in order to either start a new medication, or to determine whether the body is reacting in a different way to the condition causing the pain.
I am not Prince. And nevertheless, I know chronic pain from the inside. And I know how it is treated by mocking doctors who suppose that everyone is just trying to achieve.
I have experienced in hospital emergency rooms have involved being ready to go through several other treatment options before being given the IV opiate medication that I need when I have a cluster headache. Cluster headaches are nicknamed “suicide headaches” by doctors, for good reason. The pain of cluster headaches has caused me to have delusions, to have trouble breathing, and, of course, to wish for death. And yet, in the middle of a cluster headache, or its cousin, migraine, I have been investigated by emergency room physicians who want to get me to admit that I am faking my symptoms while on a “drug-seeking” task.
Former to moving to the state of Florida in January, I was living in New York, for 23 years. I have suffered with migraines and cluster, for the past 9 years. During that time, I have been hospitalized for more than 24-hours seven times separately. I have my every clinical lab test that might show why my head hurts so much. I have tried nearly every prophylactic treatment available. I have changed my diet. I avoid “triggers” that may cause a headache. I exercise, try to eat right, and wear prescription eyeglasses to make certain that it is not the eyestrain that make my migraines worse. It feels as if someone has incorporated a bottle opener under my orbital bone and is trying to meddle it out.
In New York, I was prescribed opiates, after the failure of all treatments. However, when I moved to Florida—which in a ethically fright about its repute as a state where it was easy to attain drugs—has passed laws that make it difficult for a doctor to prescribe strong pain medications. As a substitute, I had to wait nearly two months to get in to see a specialist—in my case, a neurologist, who prescribes what I need. Trip tans, the most common and efficient way to treat migraine pain, are also luxurious. My insurance company limits my trip tans so that I can only use one of my pills for every three headaches I encounter. Opiates are inexpensive. Guess which one my insurance company prefers to pay for?
Previously the media story line of the tormented mastermind who maltreated drugs takes over the story, there needs to be a re position. Chronic pain patients should walk to the fore and speak of their own experiences of living with the condition, and the continuous obstacles that are being thrown up to treatment. The most recent fascination with white kids using heroin is stigmatizing those with chronic pain.