Published by Pain News Network

I take opioid pain medication and I am not ashamed of it. I refuse to feel guilty for needing medication.

I am not an addict. I do not deserve to be treated like a criminal – and for that matter, neither do addicts. I should not have to jump through hoops, be subjected to intense scrutiny, and constantly be forced to prove how much pain I’m in to receive my medication. It shouldn’t be a battle to receive treatment.
I live with Ehlers Danlos syndrome, a chronic incurable condition that causes daily unceasing pain. The pain wears at me, saps my energy, and severely restricts my functionality.

I also battle many other symptoms — chronic fatigue, nausea, dysfunction of my autonomic nervous system, and failure of my digestive tract that requires me to be fed by a surgically implanted feeding tube (which is also very painful, and has altered my core muscles and posture). I sometimes need a wheelchair to get around and often cannot leave the house for days.

I spend most of my time dealing with my medical conditions. My pain medication gives me some relief and improves my functionality without negative side effects. I also use many other techniques to deal with my pain, including several forms of therapy, and I’ve had two surgeries to treat severe endometriosis.

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