Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Untreated Pain is NOT Acceptable!

Everyone's experienced pain, right?  Sure.  A stubbed toe.  A paper cut.  A broken bone.  Childbirth.  Kidney stones.  Varying types and degrees of pain, which are no respecters of race, gender, or social status.  Pain is one thing that is common to everyone.

Now, I want you to imagine the worst pain you've ever felt.  Got that visualized?  Good.  Now, imagine that pain lasting for YEARS.  And then multiply it by at least 10.  Appalling?  Yeah.  Now, imagine that you've finally gotten some relief from that unending, grinding, nightmare of pain.  You're able to function somewhat.  You can occasionally go to the store, or to a family event, or on short vacations.  Possibly, you can even work.  And then, one day, something happens.  You get sick.  You have one doctor, who isn't normally part of your team of physicians, tell your pain management doctor that your pain medications may interfere with one aspect of your health--say, your breathing.  This new doctor's recommendation is that your narcotic pain medications be removed.  So they are, slowly, of course, so that you don't suffer too badly from withdrawal, but another effect is that you have longer to visualize your life without relief.  But your pain hasn't gone away in all this time.  Oh, no, it's still there.  Waiting.  And so you ask your pain specialist, "What are we going to use to manage my pain?"  And you get no answer.  And the pain is coming back, and you're willing to do anything to make it STOP.

Okay, if that's not bad enough, how about this? 

Imagine someone you love is in pain like that.  Imagine that all you can do is watch him or her hurt.  And cry.  And pray for relief, whether through medication, a new procedure, or even death.  Just so the pain is gone.  Imagine crying yourself to sleep while you pray for healing for your loved one, while at the same time, in the back of your head, thinking, "I don't want him/her dead, but at least the pain will stop."  And you make phone calls, and go to doctor's appointments, and you try to make sure that people know that your loved one doesn't want the drugs, he/she wants the pain to STOP.  To go far enough away that life can be lived again.  Stupid things like going to the park.  Playing with the children.  Walking the dog.  Cooking dinner.  Even taking a shower.  All of these are things made more difficult without adequate pain management.

And I have to say that yes, it is absolutely a nightmare to have to live in pain and not have adequate care, and to have people who don't know you think of you as a junkie who just needs a fix of narcotics.  But you know, it's not easy for those of us who love people suffering from pain, either.  All we can do is watch and shed some tears.

One of the things going on right now is that pain clinics, as well as pharmacies which fill prescriptions for narcotic pain medications, are under close scrutiny from the federal government.  Because of this, these people, who I believe truly want to help the patients in their care, are afraid of doing the least little thing wrong.  And so, these patients often suffer, simply because the doctors know that if they lose their right to practice, so many more people will be left without care.  THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!  No one should have to be afraid of having their government prevent their care!!

All I'm asking is that if you know of someone suffering from pain, no matter what kind, who is not receiving adequate care, who has a doctor refuse to see them, who has a pharmacy refuse to fill their prescription--STAND UP WITH THEM.  Add your voice to theirs, so that it can be heard.  Write letters.  Make phone calls.  Something.  Anything.  Because sometimes it's too hard to go on fighting if you're alone.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What's that? Dead, you say?

No, no, I promise I'm not dead.  Unless I really am, and am just a zombie, but don't know it.  Though I'm pretty sure zombies don't write blog posts.

Well, a quick catch-up is in order, I think.  I managed 3 A's, an A-, and a B last semester, and while I'm a bit disappointed to break my straight-A run, I'm very pleased that that B wasn't a C, which was what I was actually expecting for that class (that was my Literary Criticism class--very heavy stuff).  Summer has passed much too quickly, as usual, and to top it off, Heather turned 14 two weeks ago!  What the heck?!  And the silly child had the nerve to start high school last week.  Makin' me feel old, I tell ya.

In a few days, I head back to school myself, and this time around, I'm a member both of Sigma Tau Delta (English honor society) as its vice-president and the college's Honors club.  I'm also still going to be editing The Rook (college literary journal), and if I ever get the application filled out, hopefully I'll be editing for The Retort (college newspaper).  As far as classes, I'm only taking four this semester: American Lit I, Studies in American Lit, Young Adult Lit, and Shakespeare.  I also have to do some serious studying so that I can challenge (test out of) second year French, which they don't offer.  The only language they do offer two years of is Spanish, which I don't want to take, so my other options are to either take a year of German or Arabic, or test out of French.  Also, I'm going to be working with the Honors club advisor to see about turning some of my classes into honors-level ones, which means, most likely, extra readings and/or papers, stuff like that.  My mind just boggles at the fact that I'll be graduating in just a few months!  Kaila will be, as well, so she's pretty excited about that!

Also, in July, we got a temporary cat....but then we decided to keep  Her name's Kira, and she's enormous!  For the last month or so, she was pretty sick, but with some special food from the vet and subcutaneous fluids (administered by yours truly), she's doing much better!

Nothing else much going on.  I'll try to do better at keeping up with this (I know, I know, I keep saying that...), and hopefully I'll even start having something important to say!  (What an idea, right?)

Later, folks.  :-)

Saturday, March 31, 2012


So, yeah, it's the end of March and I haven't posted since New Year's Eve. *sigh* I apparently still fail at blogging.

But I really have been pretty busy. I'm taking FOUR Lit classes and a French class this semester, and OMG there's a lot of reading!!  It's hard to keep up with all of it. And I seem to be a glutton for punishment, because I'm taking four Lit classes AGAIN next fall.  On the plus side, I think they'll be fun classes--I'm taking Young Adult Lit, Studies in American Lit, American Lit I, and Shakespeare.  The professor who'll be teaching Young Adult Lit told me I could get a reading list from him so that I can get a head start on the class over the summer, and I think I can do the same thing for at least a couple of my other classes.

I've also been working on The Rook, which is the college's literary journal, as copy editor.  It's a lot more time-consuming than I thought it would be, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and can't wait to see the finished product.  Dave's poem, "Ticket to Ride..." is in it!  :-)  I've apparently impressed the Editor-in-Chief enough that he's recommended me to several people for work, among them The Retort (the college's newspaper) and (a local nightlife blog).

On top of that, I had a couple of my professors approach me about an internship doing some writing and/or editing for the League of Conservation Voters--apparently I'm their FIRST choice for this internship!  I've never really thought of myself as a good writer, but evidently someone thinks I am! lol  AND, yesterday, I also got an email saying that one or more of my professors had nominated me for the Ivy Guard, which is a group of 50-70 women undergraduates who have a 3.25+ cumulative GPA and have contributed to college life, who line the aisle during the graduation ceremony.  I'm quite honored that my profs think I've made sufficient contributions to merit being part of the ceremony.

I suppose I should get back to my homework, so I'll leave you with a silly poem I wrote and a promise to write again soon, with pictures!

"Write a poem," they told her.
She didn't quite know how.
Something about meters and feet,
And don't forget the rhyme.

But wait!  Not all poems rhyme,
Nor use iambs all alike.
"What shall I write?" she asked,
Strangely lost for words.

"Write what you know," they said.
So she looked, and wrote
Of work, and kids, and school,
And roads not yet taken.

Finally she was done,
And held the story of a life
With its irregular forms
And said that it was good.