NPR on Prince, The Replacements, Minneapolis Music Scene & 1990’s sax rock band Morphine R.I.P.

princetwoNPR had a whole feature on Prince and Minneapolis today that made me cry when I heard another Minneapolis band, The Replacments. They also played Rrrriott GiRrrl Band “Babes in Toyland.” Were they from Minnesota as well?

I don’t care how Prince died. Everyone has a bottom line. His? To continue performing a bit and KILL THE PAIN. I’m in the same boat.

Only I went cold turkey three or four weeks ago. I slept thru most of it. I went down for a week.

After 16 years of safe use that restored function and allowed me to lift gentle weights, ride the life cycle and swim, The side effects  got to the me. The medicine, even at 1/3 the dose I’d taken in previous years, ( according to experts, EVERYONE goes up in dosage and tolerance) my body shut down. I quit.

If I’m such a ‘junkie’ as the former BFF said, why are there still 100 of The MS is still here? Answer: I never took the full dose prescribed because I lived in fear of terrible, disabling flareups from the “Interventional Pain Therapy” spinal injecttions,  all ten of them 200.00 each and a failure. I also did piltes and paid for four expensive and pointless rounds of PT, stuff I could do at home and electrostim making me worse.

I’m sorry Prince and the 20% of pain patients who become problem abusers   turning to  the streets for a cheaper fix and a cheaper high have to die. I pay for the high they’re chasing. This kills me.

There are measures like Suboxone that are way safer tho you have to be rediagnosed and the idea is to wean ya down. What about the pain? I’ve tried everything, holistic, medical, athletic, hydration, cutting back to gentle exercise but at least “The Box” won’t kill you and buys time while you look for something safer. The truth is, Opiates are a naturally occurring substance, much more  natural than the primitive nerve burning  Coolief, which would work for me but Medicare doesn’t cover it.

The doctor wouldn’t  give me any estimate of my of pocket responsibility or help me set up a payment plan.

So the one ‘respectable’ thing that I would have paid thousands for to get a year of comfort is out of my financial reach and  I have money, too.. It’s called “Coolief,”they have no 800 number and Medicare should be prior authorizing and covering.

It’s three years old. They haven’t caught up.

But back to Prince.

I was listening to Sirius 27, “Deep Tracks” and they had an interview with a local yokel music critic speaking about Prince’s role in Minneapolis, currently a music scene in the grieving process. Then they played a band that should have been a big hit but just …sort of slipped between the cracks. They were on a major record label, critically acclaimed, alt guitar pop with a grunge overtone in the 90’s all of the right ingredients. I know from beign married to a Record Guy (Geffen Records…Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Beck, XTC, Aerosmith in the late 90’s, Jackal, That Dog, Nirvana, Courtney Love, Elastica, Garbage…a boutique, eclectic artist roster from way back) but back to yesterday’s NPR Broadcast

“The Replacements,” Minneapolis other “Favorite Sons”  (‘Merry Go Round; ‘I will Dare’  were songs) were often compared to a British outfit called “Big Star.” Neither of them made it. Just like Prince.


Silent, Saddled w/Sadness, Shame.. Noncancerous Chronic Pain compounded w/Tardive Dyskinesia


If Dr Deb Houry at CDC has her way, being able to sit through a movie in semi comfort and sharing smiles with my friend will be history. Many people will and have already judged me. I’m not happy there’s going to be even more trouble getting pain medication for noncancerous pain.  I have low back pain and over the years have been subjected to thousands of dollars of physical therapy, expensive shots, injections that did not work, judgement, stigma, fear, shame and yes, the pain because unlike most, I do grind through days off. They are called “Holidays.”

When I’m on a Med holiday to keep my tolerance low, my pain is so bad I wish I HAD CANCER. ITS THAT BAD. A relative died recently and I felt envy. It’s that bad. It’s not my mood. My life is good, steady. I have a great publisher. Terrific. Sometimes my personal problem with pain bleeds into my writing and I always have to watch that.

But now, I’m alarmed. As if the horrible side effects I suffer from pain killers and the pain in between doses wasn’t bad enough,

The CDC has issued a blanket, though nonbinding, statement about not prescribing opiates  for any other pain than terminal cancer.  The people with Cancer are the lucky one. They know it’s gonna end and can make their peace with God. I’d do it if I could. But I have to live in a body that is older than my brain, all used up from exercise bulimia and professional beach volleyball.

The ONE SIZE FITS ALL PRESCRIPTION OF THE CDC IS  we’re all children, all going to abuse our meds, get psychologically hooked and die of overdoses in search of a rush.

So not so. Statistically. I never abuse my meds in all 12 years. I need them to work when I need them…they are not a toy. There are many others like me. People with fibromyalgia, lyme disease, arthritis, low back pain, neck pain, migraines…and they are helped. GO RESTRICT ALCOHOL OR CIGARRETTES WHY DONTCHA…

ALCOHOL kills more adult people. And you can’t regulate that.

So they target, judge, forbid and further restrict something they CAN CONTROL with a database and scrupulous doctors, patients and pharmacies.

NEWSFLASH: Not all opiates are intoxicating and unsafe.


The whole point of long acting, abuse deterrent meds like Oxycontin and MS contin was there is no ‘high’ or euphoric kick. When I’m not in pain I forget to take it and feel relief that I won’t have side effects. I’ve managed to reduce dosage by 2/3 and frequency by half. I hate the side effects. The pain from professional sports and exercise bulimia to my low back is clearly visible on MRI, 3 herniated, one bulging, and annular tear and disc degeneration throughout.

I should not have to pay the price for people who take more than they should, mix it with other drugs or drinking, sell it, or crush the tablets so they’ll get that rush. I stopped that kind of behavior in 89, right after my bipolar disorder diagnosis, to protect myself. I have too much to lose to give it all away.

If Dr. Houry at the CDD Has her way, I won’t. Have Much. To Lose.

The bipolar disorder community has enough advocates. If they want my two cents now and then, fine. But I want to advocate for an issue that’s really harming my life and those of other people I know, some of whom are in AA. People you would suspect are addicts, but are not. They have chronic pain and are ashamed like me.