I still get a couple emails like this each week in response to the painkiller series I wrote for Huffington Post back in March.
My husband died 4 years ago from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He had multiple health problems but the worst one was a severely degenerative disc disease. Because he was on Plavix he was not a candidate for surgery. He took 80 Oxycontin daily for 3 years and 9 months prior to his death. But then the doctor at the pain management clinic he went to regularly informed him that the clinic was quitting prescribing oxycontin. In those last three months of his life he was . . . in agony. All he wanted to do was be able to walk across the living room to get to his potty chair without pain. He wanted to sleep but couldn’t because of the pain. He was incapacitated by the pain, and not because of drug abuse, but because the doctors at the clinic were afraid of losing their licenses. If I had known he was going to die, I would have found some way to get the Oxycontin for him. He was never high or stoned. He just wanted to be free of pain. As much as I miss Roger, I am glad he is now pain free.
But remember, this federal campaign against opiods is not a war on pain patients.
I know because the drug czar himself has assured me that patients like Roger have never had any problem getting the medication they need.