Ontario Pain Patients Cost Health Care – A Rant on Disappearing Pain Medication

Well, it's about 2 months after I submitted my application to Ontario Disability. I don't expect an answer for at least another month. I'm still kicking myself for not applying sooner. I guess I had this fantasy that I'd miraculously start feeling better and be able to go back to work. Nuh uh. Not. Going. To. Happen. We've made as many financial changes as possible to cut down on costs, and there's been some significant changes indeed.

We sold the second car for a few hundred bucks last fall. We moved to a smaller, cheaper, more urban (aka ghetto :P) apartment/area. We are nearly down to eating bread and cheese (the cats eat better than we do). Heh, my mom always called bread the "Poor Man's Diet". She was right. It's cheap and you can eat a lot of cheese with it. Ha! That and Krappy Dinner. Anyone else dirt poor and eat a lot of cheese?

My medications are one thing I can't really cut back on. And why the hell should I? I DESERVE pain relief, don't I? Give me a "HELL YES!" My doctor may be copping out, giving up and packing it in. Leaving me with walk-in clinics and many, many trips to emergency. I'm terrified of that happening. Scared shitless I'll have no other options than that. But until she does I'm sticking with the Cymbalta, Lyrica and Nucynta. This cocktail of drugs works for me. Mostly. Ok not really that well lately, but I do get enough pain relief to sleep. Most of the time. Just not 8 hours straight (ever wake up in agony because the pain meds ran out? It's NOT fun. At all). Though the sleep thing is nothing new to me. I've had issues with sleep for 15 years and more.

My doctor and I discussed moving from Lyrica to Gabapentin (has been associated with an increased risk of suicidal acts or violent deaths). But she says she doesn't think it'll work for me. Never elaborated, I took her word on it. It is cheaper, but if Lyrica is working for me now, why change to something that may not? Worse, I'd have to taper off all the meds and suffer significantly MORE pain until we got me onto the new stuff – which may not work anyway. Cymbalta doesn't really seem to have a replacement. It's expensive but it is probably covered by government agencies (so the pharmacist tells me). As for Nucynta, the only option is Morphine (not gonna happen, my body hates the stuff) or equivalent, or OxyNu. Which again, may not work for me and gave me incredibly bad side effects such as nausea and constipation. Why take a medication which requires more medication to counter the side effects? Crazy bat shit bonkers people who blithely believe everything their doctor tells them is true – without doing their own research and arming themselves with facts and truth. Besides, why change to something else that may not be supported by insurance companies or Ontario disability?

The Reality of Fibromyalgia

So I've had to cut BACK on how much Nucynta I take. We upped my Lyrica by 75.mg a day. I'm now on 400mg (down from 500) of Nucynta and 300mg of Lyrica. I desperately take Tylenol 1s three at a time for breakthrough pain. And then I hope it is enough while I try to distract myself with books, online browsing, online games or tv. If I'm distracted enough, I can while away several hours at a time where the pain meds are not working but somehow I manage to ignore the pain. There's plenty of painsomnia to while time away with, let me tell you. Think again if you assume it's all fun times because I am not working (can't) and get to play games all day (can't because most of the time I staring at walls coz I can't focus long enough to comprehend wth I'm doing). I'd gladly loan out my pain for even 15 minutes and see you buckle under in agony and shock. Yeah. I so wish those assholes Mr. Politician and The Powers That Be could really FEEL what I feel, pain wise, and then see how "informed" they really think they are about chronic pain. If only…

Here's a lightning bolt of reality. Your doctor may NOT have your best interests at heart. Yup, even that wonderful family doctor you've been seeing for 10-20 years (7 years for me and my doc). With the new narcotics "rules" and changes in Ontario health care (and soon your Province too!), it's becoming harder and harder to prescribe pain medication. Meanwhile, people just like me, who actually need pain relief and are NOT out for a "high" or whatever, are screaming in agony while doctors choose to drop or avoid "critical care" patients. Is my doctor going to drop me because she is bowing under the pressure? Am I going to be shuffled with the other chronic pain MASSES to walk-in clinics and then emergency because we are refused pain relief medication? What a joke if the ONLY way to get decent health care (as a chronic pain patient) is to claim I'm suicidal and get admitted to a shrink ward? Or worse, after having no way to get pain relief, I really DO become suicidal and end up there anyway? I'm so sick of being kicked around and tossed to the side by our so-called Health Care right after waking up like I've been beaten with a baseball bat after being thrown down several flights of stairs. 

For my American friends and readers: Yes, every Canadian gets BASIC health care. That means we don't pay the doctor outright for a visit. The government does. We don't pay for x-rays, MRIs, CAT scans or mammograms and many, many other tests or lab work. Yet if you become a chronic pain patient that all can change very quickly! Doctors don't want the responsibility. They won't take on chronic patients because it's too much work, too much papers to fill and file. Too much hassle to prescribe narcotics.

One wonders WHY there is such a shortage of doctors in Canada? They either don't want to do their jobs or want to cozy up with the easy stuff and the big bucks until retirement. Or they are dinosaurs who refuse to step into this century of medicine full numerous studies of already documented truths. Is Canadian Health Care going the way of America? Non-existant unless you have Big Money to spend?

The bottom line here is that my pain relief needs are not being met. They are not going to be met any time soon. Even if disability miraculously admits me after application (they notoriously deny apps until multiple appeals) my pain needs won't be met sufficiently. I'll be forced onto OxyNu, Gabapentin and who knows what for depression and anxiety? All because us drug addicts hooked on narcotics don't deserve real pain relief on the government's dime. No one cares that we really are hurting, suffering with pain 7-9/10 on the pain scale daily (like me). I don't really matter because I'm a drug abuser according to Most People (who don't even know their asses from page 5 when it comes to chronic pain). So those assholes The Powers That Be convince themselves it's ok to cut us off and leave us out in the cold.

The irony is that The Powers That Be think to get rid of the drug abusers. To kick us off The Habit, For Good. To get us off the government's dole because we really don't need pain relief. No, we don't even deserve it! Yet what really is going to happen is thousands of chronic pain patients are going to be cluttering up emergency beds and hospital beds to get the pain relief we deserve. Oh no, we won't be going away any time soon asshole Mr. Politician. We're just going to be madder, crazier, more vocal, and IN YOUR FACE until we get our voices heard.

Do I get a "HELL Yeah?!"

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  1. I have had fibro for going on 5 years now. It's a miserable , lonely illness. Hugs! 

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