A smart, serious essay on the continuing “opioid crisis” and its terrible effects on long-term pain patients, starting with how it affects the writer. But Charis doesn’t leave us without solutions. She’s spelled a heaping handful of them, all of which require simple, level-headed, and compassionate action from the medical and insurance industries, and common-sense action from our government. Well worth a read–and a share with others, if you can.
I am a 30 year old who inherited a lifelong inflammatory disease called ankylosing spondylitis (AS). AS can cause the spine to fuse together from bone spurs and can affect organs and other joints. AS causes significant pain, to put it lightly.
I am also a former college athlete and marathoner. I know what it means to push through pain as an athlete. But I cannot push through the pain caused by my disease. Pushing through it causes the disease to progress and the pain to increase.
My main treatment is a drug made from living cells (the same class of drugs that treats many cancers); it helps slow the progression of my disease. Because this treatment is [finally!] working, it also reduces some of the worst symptoms. But AS is a severe disease with no cure, so even with this specialty drug I still have plenty…
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