Pain is Real Blog
Perspectives on life-altering pain. Current issues, purposes and consequences of pain relief policies, guidelines, and laws affecting the accessibility of safe, effective, and affordable health care.

"Aha" Moment on CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

An unexpected and major "aha" moment had my attention.  Something strange happened after I read the introductory paragraphs of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, United States, 2016. My body immediately and strongly reacted before I could logically consider the guidelines and their implications.  I could hardly breathe.  Hot tears dripped onto my cheeks, and my stomach felt like someone had grabbed it and twisted hard.  The unfamiliar and strong gutteral reaction lasted for hours.

Was it despair or fear or deep concern for the people with chronic pain who would be negatively affected?  I knew how and why the guidelines were created.  What was this new and uncomfortable sensation that rendered me inarticulate and with no appetite for the rest of the day?  Was it foresight that in the future people would look back at the guidelines and wonder why it was acceptable for our government to stigmatize, denigrate, and torture people with chronic pain?


I've stopped to honor my "aha" moment of gutteral reaction to the CDC Guideline.  Unlike other political events, I was not conditioned, nor prepared, to manage or shut out my feelings about the guidelines.  My work requires a steady hand, an open heart, and a practical approach.  As I intuitively examine my raw, unfiltered, instinctive reaction, several new reads and universal ideas are influencing me as we anticipate responsive steps that the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association will take.  One strong impression was to quickly connect hundreds of thousands of people who would support a strong demand for decency, integrity, and equality.  A new Facebook group, Pain is Real was launched two days ago to coalesce the support of 100,000 people for a White House petition to

  • support the National Pain Strategy;
  • fund new pain research in the Federal Research Strategy;
  • mandate insurance coverage for pain treatments
  • measure the impact of opioid policies on people with chronic pain; and to
  • call for a National Institute on Pain at the National Institutes of Health.

Perhaps other petitions or calls to actions will occur along the way.  Please, join us there and share your thoughts about the overall situation for American citizens with chronic pain.



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