By Charles Toy
“Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever and wherever the person says it does.”
-- Margo McCaffery, RN, MS, FAAN, leader and pioneer in pain management for nursing.
Over the last 3 years I have been forced to become a student of chronic pain and a pain activist. The pain I've endured in my left shoulder has been brutal, unrelenting, and at times unbearable.
I'm finally emerging on the other side after having my shoulder replaced last May. They told me it takes about a year to completely recover and that's about what it has taken. In a month and a half it will have been a year since my surgery. I feel about 10/12ths in to my recovery.
My odyssey has been long. My story is long too. I'm going to add to it over the course of time. I've been treated like a junkie and fed falsehoods from the medical community that I knew weren't true. The medical community on the whole knows the least about this issue unless they're chronic severe pain sufferers themselves. They are being fed propaganda by the CDC which lumped street opiates in with prescribed opiates to come up with their bogus numbers. The medical community is operating out of fear and a very bad case of group think. The full truth will come out eventually. It's beginning to emerge right now.
Some of the things I've been told I know to be false because I've experienced it myself. They include:
"It's really the Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in opioid pain medication that provides relief from the pain. The opiates only provide euphoria."
This is patently false. No, it isn't the Acetaminophen that provides all the relief. Acetaminophen alone didn't even touch my pain, neither did Ibuprofen, and they were both tearing my stomach to shreds. Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen) did provide relief, and it had nothing to do with euphoria. It had to do with what works at relieving the pain and what doesn't. Opiates are by far the most effective pain reliever there is. Every one of the hundreds of accounts I've read of people suffering from chronic severe pain say the same thing.
In the course of being put through the wringer I was forced to try Lyrica, Cymbalta, Gabapentin, Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, and Tramadol. I was taken to the highest recommended doses on all of them. None of them even came remotely close to the pain relief of narcotics (opiates).
It didn't matter to the doctors I went to, two "pain doctors," one orthopedic surgeon, my primary doctor, all of them said, "I'm not giving you narcotics and that's that." I literally could not sleep at night in any position without enduring brutal pain, and I mean brutal. None of them cared. They all fear the CDC and the DEA that much. They started telling themselves lies.
As it turns out the vast majority of pain patients don't abuse their medication and they don't die from it. It's worth repeating ... the CDC lumped deaths from street opiates like heroin and illicit pills in with deaths from prescribed opiates taken by pain patients, came up with one number, and called it "The Opioid Crisis."
At one point I was desperate so I called a medical malpractice group of attorneys to get their take on all of it. I was told, "You can't do anything to a doctor unless they actually harm you. We get calls every day from people literally crying, telling us their doctor took them off their opiate medication for chronic pain after 20 years. Most of them are in unspeakable agony. Their doctors don't care."
I didn't give up. I couldn't give up. The pain wasn't something you could "live with." A Naturopathic Doctor pain managed me with opiates for a few months before and after my shoulder replacement. The point came where she felt like she had reached the limits of her expertise.
I finally went to the pain clinic at Oregon Health and Science University. I found a bastion of sanity there. They deal with many of the tough pain cases in the region. They acknowledged the craziness taking place around this issue and told me mine wasn't a difficult case compared to most they see. They listened to my history and put me on the low-dose opiate regimen I needed. That was that. I've been tapering down per my own decreased need for pain relief as I reach full recovery.
The truth is starting to come out. I just ran across the best, most comprehensive article I've seen thus far on this topic. It begins to expose what is really going on. It's from Reason Magazine, the April 2018 issue. I highly recommend it. The title of the article is, "America’s War on Pain Pills Is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony," by Jacob Sullum. Here's an excerpt:
In contrast with these harm reduction tactics, continuing attempts to discourage the use of prescription pain medication promise to cause a lot of needless suffering without making a noticeable dent in opioid-related deaths. Prescription guidelines that the CDC issued in March 2016, which minimize the benefits of opioids, exaggerate their risks, and encourage doctors to be stingy with them, exemplify this misguided strategy.
A 2016 critique published by the journal Pain Practice challenges several key aspects of the CDC document, including its recommended dose ceilings, its general declaration that nonopioid treatment is “preferred for chronic pain,” its suggestion that opioid prescriptions for acute pain last no longer than seven days, and its statement that doctors who decide to prescribe opioids should begin with immediate-release products rather than extended-release or long-acting (ER/LA) analgesics.
The criticism of that last recommendation sums up what is wrong with the guidelines in general ...
I'll end it here for today. This is only the beginning of my writing on this topic. This blog post will expand over time. I haven't even begun to tell you about the nightmare of the two "pain clinics" I went to before the university. Talk about humiliation. Again, I recommend reading the articles linked in this post. It's a lot of information to process. Those who suffer from chronic pain will feel validated after being treated like junkies and criminals by a medical community overcome by hysteria.
Pro-Born: A Former Evangelical on the Single-Issue Politics of White Christians
By Bradley Onishi
"First, you get to deny the messy stakes of loving the born and bodied—those with melanin in their skin, different kinds of hair, gender-queer expressions, immigrant parents, and non-Christian faiths. Second, you get to deny the messiness of the social contract—of the political realm and all its irreducible details and multiple voices.
You are absolved of responsibility for the brown skin of Dreamers, the unwashed hair of refugees, the cry of bullied trans teenagers, the mourning songs from families of black men and women killed by police. Myopic and unwavering focus on abortion is the way to avoid the carnality of living, breathing beings. The way to get away from bodies."
Link To Full Article
Every now and then an article comes along that speaks the truth in no uncertain terms. When we spot such an article we like to preserve it on our blog. This article doesn't candy-coat the truth.
We were saying what the author says back in 2009. It was too much for most people to process. They weren't ready to hear it. Many accused us of hyperbole.
Below are a couple of excerpts from the article and then a link to the entire piece. Please don't just read the excerpts. Read the whole article as well. It's important to understand what has happened. The author is Miguel De La Torre, professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO.
"Christianity has died in the hands of Evangelicals. Evangelicalism ceased being a religious faith tradition following Jesus’ teachings concerning justice for the betterment of humanity when it made a Faustian bargain for the sake of political influence.
The Evangelicals’ Jesus is satanic, and those who hustle this demon are “false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." (2 Cor. 11:13-15, NIV)
When he speaks of "the Faustian bargain for the sake of political influence" he is referring to the takeover of Christianity in the US by far-right extremists. They used the fake issue of abortion to hoodwink Christians into believing they had to be Republicans. Politico did a very well-researched, 4-page article meticulously documenting the history of how this was pulled off and by who. Click here to go to that article: "The Real Origins of the Religious Right"
This blog post will make the most sense if you read the whole blog and then go to the links contained within.
Here's the link to Mr. De La Torre's piece: The death of Christianity in the U.S
Trolls will descend on our Facebook page and inevitably quote this scripture and others like it:
"Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you'..." (Jeremiah 1:4-5)
As author Joyce Arthur points out:
"This passage is specific to one, very special person—Jeremiah the prophet, whom God has called to provide miraculous powers and authority to the world. Since we are not all destined to be divine prophets, this verse cannot be construed as applying to any fetus except the unborn Jeremiah."
The same is true for Psalm 139:13-16.
"All this passage states is that God is directly involved in the creation of a fetus and knows its future. This is useless for the anti-choice position, since God creates all living things, including trees and bugs. Plus, just because God is supposedly omniscient doesn't give fetuses any special status—it simply means God already knows whether they will live or die. It is dishonest to conclude from this verse that a fetus is a human being deserving of more protection than women. The passage is poetic prose that anti-choicers have twisted and trivialized by giving it a literal, objective meaning where there is none."
When they run out of arguments people usually resort to: "What about 'Thou shall not kill?'"
A fetus is not a 'baby.' A fetus becomes a person when it draws its first breath.
One last fact that most people are unaware of: Before the far right's takeover of Christianity in the US it was the clergy who advocated for universal access to safe, legal abortions.
We know most followers of the right-wing, political cult will scoff at all of this. Their brainwashing is complete. We're going to speak the truth anyway.
“Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell
We get trolled by conservative "Christians" all day, every day. Sometimes we're not quite sure if someone is a troll so we go look at their Facebook page. This is the kind of garbage we usually find. Our commentary continues after the graphic.
We pulled this graphic from the Facebook page of one gentleman who came to our page to lecture us. His personal Facebook page was full of Tucker Carlson videos, NRA videos, and Duck Dynasty videos mixed with assorted "Christian" admonishments.
After doing what we do here every day for close to ten years we can say unequivocally that the biggest purveyors of "Fake News" are conservative "Christians" who watch, read and listen to nothing else but conservative media.
We don't "hate" these people. On the contrary, we feel sorry for them. They have been brainwashed by a conservative propaganda machine. We speak against an ideology here and the opinion leaders who spew it out 24/7. Unfortunately that group now includes all the leaders, preachers and politicians who make up The "Christian" Right.
There is nothing Christian about modern right-wing ideology. It's the biggest lie foisted on our culture over the last 40 years. It is an ideology that uses the two red herring issues of abortion and gay marriage to hoodwink Christians into being Republicans. Modern right-wing ideology is more akin to Satanism than the teachings of Jesus Christ. All you have to do is look at the fruit of their policies and the impact it has on the Least of These.
Modern right-wing ideology and policy passes all of society's resources upwards and crushes the Least of These underfoot labeling them as 'lazy freeloaders.' Right now, given the majority of evangelicals subscribe to these lies it looks as though Satan has won.
We know better.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -- Jesus, John 16:33
Read more about The Least of These here.
Return To Related Facebook Post
After almost ten years of dealing with the brainwashed fanatics trolling our Facebook page every day about abortion and homosexuality we're going to throw some facts out there. We don't need to be wordy because they are simple truths.
A fetus becomes a person when it draws its first breath. The Bible backs that up. Numbers 5 condones abortion via the ordeal of bitter water.
Jesus excused 'eunuchs who were born that way' from his stated marriage laws saying, 'not everyone can follow these laws. Those who can, should.'
Biblical scholars and historians have proved that 'eunuchs who are born that way' are LGBT.
These two issues were a clever ploy from the Father of Lies to rope Christians into the Republican Party, a party whose policies are really the opposite of everything Christ taught.
It's beyond time to start talking back to these liars. They won't bother to read these articles but you should. It's time to arm ourselves with the facts.
As one of our members pointed out:
"Every single argument the US religious conservatives have about social issues has two sides, one of which could be addressed from a progressive, rational perspective. Two sides … every single issue. Their pig-headed evangelical salesmanship is a threat to Democracy."
"Homosexual eunuchs are a normal and natural part of God's wonderful creation. They are accepted and loved by God the way they are. During the time of Jesus Homosexual eunuchs were often physically intact gay men, lesbians and even transgendered people, and he knew it." Here's the article.
When the Bible Commands Abortion - Here's the article.
Meme Credit: Forward
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.