Recently, I’ve been having a difficult time with various illnesses so I am a little behind on posting. I have found multiple articles that may be helpful to those of you with chronic pain.
First let’s discuss slow breathing might help pain. I first learned about this practice in prenatal classes prior to the birth of my first-born. Imagine the scene on of Alien when Sigourney Weaver’s guts were being ripped apart by the alien. Slow breathing did little to help 13 hours of Pitocin induced hard labor.
Fortunately, I have found tha slow breathing can be affective for chronic pain as well as anxiety attacks related to my FTD. The author also mentions mindfulness exercises which I do incorporate with slow breathing.
Try to sit in a relaxed position. Breathe slowly and concentrate on each breath and how it feels as it goes in and out .
Regarding mindfulness exercises, the mind is a wild horse and it takes awhile to “break it in.” If you continue practicing mindfulness exercises which can be something as simple as repeating one syllable phrases over and over again, the results you will gain in helping to control your pain will be well worth the time.
The next article is Tattletale Pills Remind You to Take Your Medication. Two topics are discussed.
Companies are using wireless technology to develop devices that monitor whether you take your pills. One way people may be doing this in the future is swallowing a microchip about as thin as a few human hairs.
Over a two-year period, it became increasingly difficult for me to remember to take my medicines and take the correct dosage. Fortunately, Selch has worked out a system that makes it easier to make sure I receive correct dosages at the correct times. He bought a large square pillbox that has little boxes for each day of the week and boxes for morning, lunch, afternoon and bedtime.
He or my aide have to pour my meds which also include pouring liquid pain medicine into small plastic bottles for each time I need to take a dose. Even though we have an organized system, someone still has to remind me to take my meds.
The author of the article writes about a pill that, once ingested, wirelessly transmits information about side effects and how well it’s working.
Information is sent it back in a readable form to a cell phone or e-mail account.
I wonder if it also tracks any information about side effects that may occur? The author writes it might be available as soon as the end of 2011 but I imagine that it will be first for the kind of medication that gets the most attention and research funding such as cardiac meds. Still, if it works, it may be able to benefit those of us who take medication for chronic pain and FTD within the next five years.
The other invention discussed in the article is the GlowCap that helps people remember to take their medication.
If I was still taking my meds from a bottle, I don’t think I would see the glowing orange light. Also what “melody” are they talking about? Have you ever seen the movei, “Little Shop Around the Corner?” Jimmy Stewart plays the head clerk. The manager bought a large amount of cigar or cigarette boxes that play a melody when the person opens the box. No one wants to buy them and Margaret Sullivan ends up getting a job as a clerk in the store because she convinces a woman to buy the box by telling her that it is a candy box. When you open the box to take a piece of candy, the melody plays so it reminds you not to eat too much chocolate.
The next article is New Extended Hydromorphone approved. Hydromorphone is also known is Dilaudid which is one of the medications I take in liquid form for breakthrough pain.
Dilaudid, in past research, is known to be a short acting medication so an extended release version I think is definitely a plus for chronic pain sufferers because Dilaudid can be very affective in helping pain. It works by making the person feel like the pain is not as bad as it is.
As Karen says, Exaglo is being released under the REMS program which we in the chronic pain have been welcoming like the plague.
The company that developed Exaglo is CombinatoRx, Incorporated (CRXX) which develops novel drug candidates with a focus on the treatment of pain and inflammation.
An article in Bioworld says Exalgo’s REMS includes “safe-use tools” for prescribers, patients and pharmacists to ensure the “right patients” get the drug and at the appropriate dosages, he said.
Neuman noted that Exalgo’s REMS is less restrictive than the one Covidien initially had recommended to the FDA, which currently is working on developing a classwide opioid REMS.
As I have explained in previous articles, REMS for other specific long acting narcotics as they stand now are very restrictive and will certainly cause many physicians to stop prescribing these narcotics and many pharmacies to stop dispensing these narcotics.
In Pain Topics.org, they outline the REM requirements for Exalgo. They sound much like the REM plans for other narcotics. I am concerned that even if a doctor agrees to enroll in the Alliance program and patients agree to enroll in the program that pharmacists will not enroll in the program.
Let me give you a personal example.
We have recently moved and Sech went to the local CVS to get my pain meds. filled. We had no problem in obtaining the medication at the pharmacy in the previous state where we lived . All CVS stores order from the same distributors. Selch spent three weeks getting the run around from our new local CVS pharmacist before he finally agreed to order my medication. When Selch brought the meds home, he opened the sack up to discover that the pharmacist had given me the Mylan Fentanyl patches although Selch had specifically ordered the Sandoz patches. Mylan do not work as well for me. I am not putting them down, to each his/her own and I bless what ever works for you.
The pharmacists said that Sandoz patches were not available. CVS stores nationwide order from same distributor. This does not compute. If this is the attitude of pharmacists now will they be willing to enroll in this Alliance Program?
Notice in the Pain Topics commentary that” FDA Briefing Material for the meeting provides no data indicating exceptional abuse liability for hydromorphone and a clinical study conducted in only 9 subjects that found hydromorphone was no different in abuse potential than hydrocodone or oxycodone.”
Also, “hydromorphone products accounted for less than 1% of nonmedical use of all pharmaceuticals, less than 3% of such cases involving opioid agents, and it was implicated in less than 1% of all drug-related suicide attempts.”
I agree that data does not call for such a restrictive program for this new drug. Lack of data has never stopped the feds from involving themselves in the practice of medicine and trying to persuade physicians not to prescribe narcotics. Remember the DEA practice ofraiding of doctor’s offices a few years ago?
The author of Pain Topics asks, “Will there eventually be separate REMS programs for every opioid analgesic, each with its own registration requirements and prescribing procedures?”
Unfortunately, I say yes there will be if they have their way about things. I don’t know what drives the DEA and the FDA to practices that are and will keep more and more chronic pain patients from receiving their pain medications.
They consider those of us who need narcotics to have any quality of life an acceptable sacrifice for their stated agenda which is to keep people from abusing prescribed pain medication. Even their own studies and data do not show that there is significant abuse in people who take prescribed pain medication.
Taking pain medication away from people who need in it in hopes that it will keep people from abusing drugs(who are taking their relative’s and friend’s pain meds) is not realistic. When you cut off one source, people who abuse narcotics will just find another source for their habit. Despite the “War on Drugs,” narcotics are plentiful. So what have they accomplished?
Are these agencies that naive or is this a power agenda?
I have no idea, but we as chronic pain patients need to tell everyone we know what is going onand we or our loved ones who understand what is going on need to write our congressmen. I understand that we are all victims. We are victims of our illness and victims of the medical and governmental system. But, the only way I see that we can make a difference is if we ban together and tell anyone who might be able to help us in our cause for the right to have adequate pain relief.
There are some rays of hope in this darkness of denial such as the MayDay Pain Project. John Stossel recently did a program about the plight of chronic pain patients, War on Pain. It was on the Fox Business Channel so most of us were unable to see it. To watch the program go here.
One of the physicians in the practice where I go for pain management is involved in the MayDay project.
Let’s all pray that someday soon this world will WAKE UP. Until then, remember we are all brothers and sisters united by our souls. Whether you believe it or not the thoughts that we think may affect our reality so try to think positive thoughts. I’ll be thinking positive thoughts for all of you and know that you are always in my prayers.
Tags: Alliance Program, chronic illness, Chronic Pain, CVS, DEA, doctors, Exaglo, FDA, FDA REMS, FTD, governmental regulations, heath care consumer movement, Joh Stossel, MayDay Project, microchip, mindfulness practice, narcotics, prayer, War on Drugs