Third leading cause of adult death physician error



A topic gets sensationalized, everyone jumps on it and we forget all else. Like my wisecrack about the airlines being like the drug companies. Right now, a hot topic is demonizing the use of opiates. Yet the third leading cause of death is doctor error …sometimes writing the wrong medication.

They are changing the name of my antidepressant, Brintellix to Trintellix because docs and pharmacists were getting Brintellix confused with something else….

Gosh, I had just gotten my pharmacist and my doctor accustomed to the original spelling. As if life wasn’t confusing enough. Instead of further restricting people’s access to pain medicine they should make those doctors slow down and take remedial medical courses after an incident of physician error, as I’ve suffered a few of those and walked away from a lucrative lawsuit. (See: Tardive Dyskinesia, Failed Foot Surgery)Photo of a photo

Today’s drama: If Prince had Buprenorphine…sooner he’d still b alive



Prince may not have died in vain. From reading articles I found he and I had a lot in common. Chronic pain from too much over exertion. Mine is in my back. I am a responsible, steady, minimalist user and have reduced my dose by 2/3 as well as frequency. But the side effects are terrible and have finally caught up to me. How does this relate to Prince? Well, there is a guy who has stuck his neck out on the line, a maverick in the treatment of chronic pain using Suboxone and or Buprenorphine. Less side effects, no intoxication like the quick acting Vicodin, Tylenol 3 and 4, and Percocet and those lovable blues, the oxys. Those get ya high. Hook you in. I know first hand because I got off of them. Prince’s people had contacted Howard Feldman, whose treatment center is outpatient “Recovery Without Walls”  For anyone who has been in 12 step groups, the ‘abstinence only’ idea is great in theory but what do you do for the pain once you get off the pills? According to the literature and the studies and conclusions of his, there have been outside pressures restricting the use of this drug. A doc has to be licensed and can only prescribe it for 100 people. I found out yesterday that my hoity toity upscale pain clinic doesn’t have a license for it and my questions about a healthier non opiate alternative were met with skeptical frowns. Dr. Kornfeld’s son, Andrew, flew out to Paisley Park with an initial dose of Buprenorphine in his pocket to show Prince that he wouldn’t be dealing with terrible pain but Prince had one last go before the life saving mission was able to save him from himself. Basically guys, Buprenorphine is Methadone light, saves lives…by 75%, reduces disease transmission and if it had been more widely available instead of an insider’s secret he might still be alive today.

What do I do? In my next post, I’m going to show you the letter I am writing to the good doctor to try to find someone here in South Florida. It’s intimate and has awful details but maybe someone will relate to it.


The Opiate discussion resumes…


In order to swim without pain I wear this blue aqua jogger backwards as a back brace. When I turn my head to breathe, it holds my back still. About now all I can do is swim.

article in New York Times today about how in 2012, the AMA (American Medical Association) shut down a movement to make pain management training mandatory for doctors who write scrips for opiates. Why would they do that? To distance themselves from the problem and thus not be part of the solution?

I have a bad back. Once I had a failed foot surgery due to physician error. My feet had been broken and reset. I was able to work (and walk) for the three years we looked around to try to find out why my bones wouldn’t knit so they could remove the pins. How did I do it? Tylenol #4. Lots of it. When I finally healed, I got right off it. Hate the side effects.

These days, I’ve got a lot of low back herniations, annular tears and disc degeneration from professional sports and exercise bulimia. I’m in excruciating pain. I’ve had ten different types of ‘interventional’ injections to isolate the nerves that hurt and burn them up so they don’t feel until they grow back, which takes a year. Then you have to have your nerves burned all over again. We’ve never been able to have a ‘positive’ result. But we got close. I’d burn my nerves in a heartbeat not to take these meds and deal with the side effects. I use, not abuse. I take vacations to work down my tolerance. I told my doc I only take half of what he gives me and he said, ‘we’ll just keep things the way they are, the more changes, the more scrutiny.’ I was honest, that’s the main thing. And I’m waiting for the day Medicare covers the Coolief Procedure which now costs tens of thousands of dollars. It would help me. For a year. Then I’d have to do it again. I’m waiting. And waiting. And hoping CDC’s Dr Deb Houry, who thinks if we don’t have cancer that we should not have pain relief. In  Massachussets, you can only get a 7 day supply of pain meds. I hope I’m gone before these restrictions appear here in South Florida.