Extremists on the Opiate Epidemic

 

I agree, other than the catastrophic wave of crack cocaine and all its’ collateral damage, this ‘epidemic’ is the likes of which I’ve never seen. I don’t even understand it. Last week, in the New York Times, one of the letters to the editor called for a complete 90-day suspension of ALL prescription of opiods to outpatients. This would limit pain relief to patients in the hospital.

Something this extreme would likely never happen, because the drug lobbies are too powerful. However, it’s scary anyone is even contemplating it!

I’ve had chronic low back pain since 2004. I’ve tried 3 types of physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture 2x, and 10 different ‘interventional’ pain therapy injections.

Expensive and ineffective.

The last ‘test,’ which was for Coolief, worked and gave me 40 hours of 100% pain relief, but Medicare doesn’t cover it. I’m no longer on opiates, thanks to safer alternatives with less side effects.

However, if they want to put a dent in this epidemic, Medicare and insurance need to cover the denervation procedures that work, otherwise all this talk is nothing but scare tactics and hot air.

Confessions of a Hollywood ‘Nobody-‘ #MeToo

 

When I was 11, when I first told my parents I wanted to be an actor or a disc jockey (both of which I later became), I was told the entertainment industry was ‘off limits’ and to confine my career ambitions to the scholarly, economic, medical or legal professions. I was only a kid then, so I didn’t know what antisemitism was.

I ended up at Stanford on a volleyball scholarship, and met the late Bobby Frankel, a horse trainer so connected he got me an audition for a Coca Cola Commercial, which got me that coveted Screen Actor’s Guild Card.

At 19, I dropped out to conquer Hollywood. The first #metoo was a friend of my father, a ‘has been’ producer working on the MGM lot, which was known for Lorimar Studio’s Dallas and Knott’s Landing. He asked me out to lunch, which seemed innocent enough. He told me he’d made Angie Dickenson of “Police Woman” a star by putting her up in an apartment, paying for her acting lessons, etc., and that I should do the same. I was apalled, stood up from the table and fled.

I was doing TV commercials, but wanted to break into ‘theatrical.’ To do that, I needed a SAG franchised agent, so I sent out pictures to agents. This was in the early 80’s. There were less roles for women than there are now.

I got a phone call for a general interview with Billy something or other….I’ve forgotten his name, but he told me I had a pretty, heart-shaped mouth and it would look good wrapped around one of his friend’s c#@k. He wanted to take me to a party that night that he said was well attended by producers and directors. I realized he was a pimp more than an agent and filed a complaint with SAG, who never did anything about it.

A little later, some friends of mine set me up with a superagent from Creative Artist’s Agency, the agency who represents producers, directors, screenwriters, writers and actors. CAA ‘packages’ products and can often get a young actor in a project along with their A-listers. After dinner, this guy put the moves on me. I resisted and he started yelling at me for wasting his time. He told me I was stupid and this was how things got ‘done’ in Hollywood.

This happened quite a few more times before I finally surrendered my dream and moved away. During my years in LA, I managed to land 8 TV commercials and quite a bit of union voiceover work for video games, but could never ‘crack’ TV and Film.

Now I know why. Harvey Weinstein was right.

#metoo

Making Friends with other Writers…hopefully people NOT in ‘The Program’ (No offense)

I mean to go to some of the literary events in my backyard here in South Florida. There are a ton.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve made 6 false starts on a book. I have half written books all over my desktop. I’m using them as source material and am 9 chapters and 30k words into a 28 chapter book. And I freelance!!!

This is all fine and well if you don’t mind being alone, but I’m a social animal. I truly love people.

For a long time, AA was a ready stand-in for a social life…hell, you can talk about anything with AA’ers (except bipolar or meds for same) as long as you don’t pick up that drink!

Finally, I realized I don’t belong there and left. I can count the amount of friends I have on one finger and they’re all from AA and struggling with their disease. Oddly, I don’t relate. I understand, but don’t relate because alcohol itself has never been my demon.  I’m plagued with bipolar/eating disorder/tardive dyskinesia/metabolic syndrome/ and hunger for friends who aren’t plagued with problems like these.

So, this is being addressed in DBT therapy. There are 4 modules in DBT, ‘Mindfulness,’ ‘Distress Tolerance,’ ‘Interpersonal Effectiveness’ and ‘Emotional Regulation.’

They have a shitload of teachings on ‘how to meet people and have them like you.’ Things like cutting back on TMI, an overall prohibition on apologizing for yourself, etc.,

I can clearly see how some of my behaviors from the time I was a child have put me into the isolation jackpot I’m in today.

I’m a work in progress. I always was. I always will be. The difference now is, I know it.

 

Opiod Epidemic-It’s not just about the Drugs

I have chronic pain and am no longer on opiods. (Safer, off-label, organic alternatives abound). I was on them off and on for years as a result of sports injuries from exercise bulimia. I loved high impact sports like running, tennis and professional beach volleyball.

I paid for my excesses. With interest.

In terms of the opiod epidemic, why not me? I have bipolar disorder and am the most addictive person I know. Somehow, I didn’t fall down the rabbit hole.

For me, Opiates were simply a means to a pain free life.

The side effects eventually made me uncomfortable enough to quit, which I did  alone in my home; assisted by a muscle relaxer.

Today I put up with more pain, but that’s ok with me.

I just worry about other people who are in even more pain than I am whose access will be cut due to this ‘epidemic’ fueled by criminals and addicts looking for a high.

When I say it’s not just about the drugs, I mean this: In the United States, a semi-synthetic opiate is being developed for use as an antidepressant.

What we need is a non addictive pain medicine for those of us who are legitimate pain patients. Why isn’t there one?

Confessions of a Hollywood ‘Nobody-‘ #MeToo

 

When I was 11, when I first told my parents I wanted to be an actor or a disc jockey (both of which I later became), I was told the entertainment industry was ‘off limits’ and to confine my career ambitions to the scholarly, economic, medical or legal professions. I was only a kid then, so I didn’t know what antisemitism was.

I ended up at Stanford on a volleyball scholarship, and met the late Bobby Frankel, a horse trainer so connected he got me an audition for a Coca Cola Commercial, which got me that coveted Screen Actor’s Guild Card.

At 19, I dropped out to conquer Hollywood. The first #metoo was a friend of my father, a ‘has been’ producer working on the MGM lot, which was known for Lorimar Studio’s Dallas and Knott’s Landing. He asked me out to lunch, which seemed innocent enough. He told me he’d made Angie Dickenson of “Police Woman” a star by putting her up in an apartment, paying for her acting lessons, etc., and that I should do the same. I was apalled, stood up from the table and fled.

I was doing TV commercials, but wanted to break into ‘theatrical.’ To do that, I needed a SAG franchised agent, so I sent out pictures to agents. This was in the early 80’s. There were less roles for women than there are now.

I got a phone call for a general interview with Billy something or other….I’ve forgotten his name, but he told me I had a pretty, heart-shaped mouth and it would look good wrapped around one of his friend’s c#@k. He wanted to take me to a party that night that he said was well attended by producers and directors. I realized he was a pimp more than an agent and filed a complaint with SAG, who never did anything about it.

A little later, some friends of mine set me up with a superagent from Creative Artist’s Agency, the agency who represents producers, directors, screenwriters, writers and actors. CAA ‘packages’ products and can often get a young actor in a project along with their A-listers. After dinner, this guy put the moves on me. I resisted and he started yelling at me for wasting his time. He told me I was stupid and this was how things got ‘done’ in Hollywood.

This happened quite a few more times before I finally surrendered my dream and moved away. During my years in LA, I managed to land 8 TV commercials and quite a bit of union voiceover work for video games, but could never ‘crack’ TV and Film.

Now I know why. Harvey Weinstein was right.

#metoo

Opiod Epidemic-It’s not just about the Drugs

I have chronic pain and am no longer on opiods. (Safer, off-label, organic alternatives abound). I was on them off and on for years as a result of sports injuries from exercise bulimia. I loved high impact sports like running, tennis and professional beach volleyball.

I paid for my excesses. With interest.

In terms of the opiod epidemic, why not me? I have bipolar disorder and am the most addictive person I know. Somehow, I didn’t fall down the rabbit hole.

For me, Opiates were simply a means to a pain free life.

The side effects eventually made me uncomfortable enough to quit, which I did  alone in my home; assisted by a muscle relaxer.

Today I put up with more pain, but that’s ok with me.

I just worry about other people who are in even more pain than I am whose access will be cut due to this ‘epidemic’ fueled by criminals and addicts looking for a high.

When I say it’s not just about the drugs, I mean this: In the United States, a semi-synthetic opiate is being developed for use as an antidepressant.

What we need is a non addictive pain medicine for those of us who are legitimate pain patients. Why isn’t there one?

The USA Legal Show ‘Suits’ is charging for new episodes?

Cord cutters of the world unite!

 

Even though the premise of a false Harvard Law Graduate is weak, we really like the show Suits. The above is a picture of Megan (sp) Markle, who happens to be Prince Harry’s girlfriend/fiance and is stellar in the show. Apparently the British Paparazzi, who can be really vindictive, took issue with Prince Harry having a relationship with someone who is biracial. Unbelievable.

The last time we went to Xfinity to see the most current episode of Suits, it said “purchase” for 1.90. per episode. We are wondering if this is a mistake or if Xfinity is becoming greedy and we should dump it.

Me, Speaking on Tardive in San Diego at American Psychiatric Association

Oh, my god. That’s the side of my face I can’t stand. Not only that, I was carrying 20 lb of what my friend D calls ‘seroquel spiderbelly.’ So I kept it black and basic.

Just the story. Just the facts. And you know what? I cried a little on stage….or tried NOT to cry, but someone has to have compassion for me. And for the rest of us out there. We need a Tardive Dyskinesia national advocacy group.

Guess who is thinking about starting one? I am on disability insurance, can’t earn money, and am tired of seeing my name in print.

So, this cause, as dreary as it is, deserves someone to reassure others they are not alone and they can get better, even if their doctor is telling them to  ‘learn to live with it.’

Everyone always says it would be so much better for us if we had a ‘single payer’ system. But I’m here to tell you, if you have a difficult problem…if you live in a country like England, you could never see a total of 9 neurologists over the course of 5 years. So….I’m grateful for Medicare and Disability, I guess.

I just read another study, this one in Britain, based on 900 studies. They estimate the risk rate….this is called ‘incidence rate’ at 20% in a patient’s first year, and then add 3% more for every year of antipsychotic use. And not all atypical antipsychotics are created equal, either. Some are way more causal than others.

I’m not saying these are bad drugs, but do we all need them?

I believe I could have handled my bipolar disorder without them. Just good mood stabilizers. That’s it. Next Stop?

New Orleans, and my husband is coming with me. And I’m going to speak.

Loudass Punk Rock at 8am

   

The Sex Pistols

I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I found myself as a disc jockey at radio stations that played this defiant, D.I.Y. kind of music. I ‘fell’ into this career because I sold advertising at a small radio station (a great place to get a start) and they thought I had a good voice. Talk about going in through the ‘back door.’  Like writing, this is a field full of rejection and plenty of hungry kids willing to do the same job for free. My boss got hundreds of tapes and resumees a week from wannabees. So I established myself as a music critic and learned the computer programming to be a music director. I figured I’d ‘age out’ later. I ended up aged out at 40 and on a blacklist.

I’m listening to it, and The Pixies right now. Try doing that when you’re in a tentative mood state. I think it plays real well.

Right now I’m in author neurosis. Is my title too gross? Should I call the ‘such and such for dummies’ person? How humiliating!

Last night I perused the entire “Writer’s Market” for small, academic presses. Under the categories ‘Health and Medicine,’ nowhere did I see a real opening for “Tardive Dyskinesia.” But what if it becomes a ‘thang’ (our population rose by 600k in the last six months) and I didn’t bother to write my book? Bottom line? Do what you enjoy.

But what if you enjoy torturing yourself?