Category Archives: Businesses/Products

Thanksgiving Is the Perfect Time To Think About Our Words and Language Part 2


Yesterday in church it came to me what I can do when people use the Lord’s name as an exclamation or curse. 

I can say, “I’m so glad you brought Him up!  He really loves you!” 

🙂

(We’ll change this culture yet – one word at a time.  I printed my little poem from my last post, framed it, and put it by my desk at work with a bowl of sugar.  It has already gotten a couple of my co-workers to think about their words and use this one.)

 

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Opioids – Where is the Voice of Reason?


Opioids – the name throws fear into the hearts of many!  Why?  Because most do not have much experience with it; therefore they do not understand it.  And, as with most things that we do not really know but hear a few tales about, they immediately jump to fear and apprehension, condemning that which they ought not.

For a people who go to great lengths to admonish against stereotyping, judging, prejudice, and bigotry, it is shocking to see how normal they feel stereotyping and judging people with chronic pain.  From their own bigoted and prejudiced, “holier than thou” stance they have turned on all those who struggle with debilitating medical conditions, condemning them as drug addicts who simply need to be detoxified in order for their lives to improve.

One such woman, manager at a pain clinic who ought to have known better, said, “Our goal is to get people off of opioids, and improve the quality of their lives.”  When asked, “What if it doesn’t improve the quality of their lives?”, she quickly responded, “Then, we failed.”  No remorse for those people, no concern for their well-being, nothing to offer them except, “Our goal is to get people off of opioids, and improve the quality of their lives.”

While that might be an admirable goal for some, there are those who will never be able to live pain-free, and for whom opioids are what improves the quality of their lives.  Indeed, opioids are enabling them to be alive; to continue to function; to keep from becoming totally disabled and bed-ridden, barely able to move, and weeping from the pain; even keeping their bodies from shutting down and requiring exorbitantamounts of time, effort, money, equipment, and resources (i.e. dialysis, care givers, etc.) to stay alive.

Of course, if we allow society to continue down this path that the media is laying out, without standing up to them, people will be coerced into living lives filled with pain, and forced to make unpleasant, downright dangerous choices to find relief.  They may well turn to such “therapeutic” choices as drinking, illicit drugs, dangerous levels of over-the-counter drugs, or even suicide to escape the incredible, never-ending, unfathomable pain.

And that puts us right back where we started, only worse, because now it is no longer by accident.

Where is the voice of reason?

Pain Team To The Rescue


A few years ago I talked with someone who worked as a pain specialist at a hospital.  She was part of a team that was there to help patients manage their pain.

I found that extremely interesting, and talked with her about their views of pain.

She pointed out that pain can be detrimental to a patient’s well-being.  It causes physical and physiological issues.  It can slow down healing, cause the patient to move around less which can cause muscle degeneration and greater chance of blood clots, increased sleeplessness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, stress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

These are some pretty serious issues.

She explained that they had discovered that if you work with the patient, explain the pain cycle, discuss expectations, alternatives, consequences, and choices, the patient knows what is happening, what to expect, and what the possibilities are for dealing with the pain that is there as well as in case of increased pain.

They have found that it is MUCH easier to stay on top of, and handle, a smaller amount of pain than it is to let the pain increase and get out of hand and THEN try to decrease it.  It then takes much longer to bring the pain back down, and it takes exponentially more effort and/or medication to get the pain under control.

Her team was there as a resource so the nurses could call on them anytime when a patient was having trouble getting pain controlled.  They could use their expertise and work with the patient to review possible ways to bring pain relief.

What a novel and refreshing thought process.  The Pain Team didn’t run away from pain, they dealt with it.  And the patients were able to recover faster, enjoy life more, and relax rather than feeling tense, worried, and stressed.

Brilliant!

Thoughts On Pain


A few years ago there was a frank, open, and honest discussion about pain among patients, staff, family and community members that was quite enlightening.  Several important and interesting things were brought up that today’s “Opiate Abuse” culture could learn from:

  • Patients need to be included in discussions about their pain, and pain management plans.
  • People have differing pain tolerances – some can stand only a little pain while others feel they can handle a great deal of pain.
  • People have differing pain expectations.  They may not understand the full implications of what will happen and/or what options may be available to help them.
  • Clinicians sometimes expect that patients must be feeling pain (or shouldn’t be feeling pain) when that may not necessarily be the case.
  • Clinicians (i.e. physicians and nurses) should always discuss the following types of things with the patient:
    • How much pain can usually be expected in this type of situation?  How long could it last?
    • Perhaps some pain will have to be present, it is not always possible (or wise) to completely get rid of all the pain.
    • What is the patient’s expectation around pain relief?
    • Does the patient want pain medications?
    • Does the patient desire no pain medications?
    • Has the patient had reactions to pain, or other, medications?
    • What is the patient’s pain goal? (it may not always be zero)
    • What is the patient’s normal pain level? (esp. for chronic pain patients)

The important thing to remember is that every person is an individual.  The more open and frank the discussion between patients and clinicians is, the better the outcomes will be for all concerned.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to pain and pain management.  Person-centered care is the answer.  The more that society, government officials, the health care industry, and the media start working to that end, the better off individuals, their families, and the country will be.

Opioid Paranoia Consequences


Health care in the US was making such great strides just a few years ago with their “Person-Centered Care” philosophy.  They realized that the best outcomes happen when you treat each patient as not only a human being, but you include them in the “Care Team” and in fact, make them the focal point of that team.

Then along comes Opioid Paranoia, and suddenly the “baby is thrown out with the bath water”.

Rather than pulling together an interdisciplinary team (including the patient) and keeping the patient as the focal point, Opioids become the focal point and are deemed so dangerous that they become outlawed – by the government, medical society, and even the public at large – and NO ONE may use them.

But what about those who need opioids to control the pain they are experiencing that nothing else can solve, or even provide relief for?  Are they simply left with only such destructive, and in some cases illegal, options such as drinking, illicit drugs, catatonic drugs, or worse?

Please let’s re-evaluate the situation and realize this is NOT a “one-size-fits-all” situation.  Let’s go back to true “Person-Centered Care” and allow these folks the options that will enable them to at least function in their lives.

Have You Voted Yet?


Beloved hubby and I voted yesterday for this year’s general election!  How I love early voting!

We’re done.  We have done our duty, taken advantage of the great freedoms we enjoy in this country, and honored the sacrifice of the tens of millions of military forces who paid the price, over 4 million of whom gave their lives, so we could have the privilege of voting for our elected officials, and in total secrecy to boot!

Of course we’re all inundated with hundreds of calls throughout any election year, all wanting to know who you are planning to vote for, and does knowing x, y, and/or z about some candidate change the way you feel about that candidate?  I have learned that much of this is fabricated and designed to make you feel a certain way about that candidate.  So I don’t fall for those lines.

And of course the ads, and the blustering of the candidates, always get ridiculously out of hand and uglier and more vile the closer Election Day comes.  It happens every time.  Those who are elected always have a division to try to bridge and heal.  It is the same old story played out with a different cast of characters every time.

So we get involved, check what the actual facts are, pray for Heavenly Father’s help for the candidates and guidance for us in choosing the best candidates, and make the best decision that we can.  And we vote.

And I have to chuckle.  As I hear about the polls and media trying to find out who people voted for, I remember what my mother said she tells them when they ask her, “That is private!  I don’t even let my husband know who I voted for!”

Voting is a privilege.  Make sure you take advantage of it.  🙂