Showing posts with label pain management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pain management. Show all posts

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Florida lawmakers for trying to cap THC levels for medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana patients lash out at Florida lawmakers for trying to cap THC levels

Orlando Weekly
Posted By Dara Kam
News Service of Florida
Apr 9, 2019
“A bill that was supposed to be about helping a community that is plagued with drug addiction and drug overdose … a bill that was supposed to be about helping a veteran community that is plagued (with) suicide is now being used as leverage by lawmakers to try and impose their will on the people."

Photo via Florida House of Representatives State Rep. Ray Rodrigues
After fiery exchanges with veterans and patient advocates who accused a legislative leader of relying on faulty research, members of a House committee on Tuesday pushed forward a proposal that would cap the level of euphoria-inducing THC in smokable medical marijuana.

The House plan would also give veterans free, state-issued medical marijuana identification cards, a sweetener that angered veterans who lashed out at the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ray Rodrigues, during an emotionally charged House Appropriations Committee meeting.
Jimmy Johnston, a veteran who is president of the North Florida chapter of Weed for Warriors Project, lashed out at the committee for linking the free ID cards for veterans, a savings of $75 per year, with the THC cap.
Rodrigues, a soft-spoken Estero Republican who serves as chairman of the House Health & Human Services Committee, was visibly shaken following a meeting that became so heated the House sergeant and his aides were summoned.

Rodrigues has shepherded House medical-marijuana legislation since the state first authorized non-euphoric cannabis for a limited number of patients in 2014.
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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Vietnam Veteran told meds may be cut off at 75?

Local veteran looking for some answers
Courier News
Sean Ingram, Section Editor
“With all of the other problems that are occurring in the world, why would the government want to cause a huge commotion amongst the veterans?”

Ira Johnson served his country in the Vietnam War. His medical list of conditions includes photosensitivity and exposure to Agent Orange. He is on 44 medications altogether.

He wants his fellow veterans to know he was told recently by his primary care physician at the VA Hospital in Fayetteville that his meds would be decreased, and when he reached age 75, they may be cut off completely.

"What purpose is this serving and what will happen to the veterans who are in need of their medications and are unable to obtain them?” Johnson said in a letter. “ ... This is a problem that needs to seriously be investigated, thoroughly reviewed and re-evaluated before any type of action occurs. Why would there be a reason for the medications to be discontinued if they are not being monitored?"
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Friday, March 2, 2018

Veterans Fight PTSD with Tai Chi

To Control Pain, Battle PTSD And Fight Other Ills, Tennessee Vets Try Tai Chi
Nashville Public Radio
Blake Farmer
March 2, 2018
The VA acknowledges that there's very little proof that tai chi — or other alternative treatments like mindfulness and acupuncture — will do any good for PTSD or addiction, though there has been research into the benefits of tai chi related to quality of life among the elderly. Still, Aaron Grobengieser, who oversees alternative medicine in Murfreesboro, says the VA will attempt to track the effectiveness by the numbers.

Zibin Guo, a medical anthropology professor UT Chattanooga, developed a seated version of tai chi and launched at UTC.
Credit Blake Farmer / WPLN
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been desperate to cut down on the use of powerful pills. So the mammoth agency has taken a sharp turn toward alternative medicine. The thinking goes that even if it doesn’t cure a mental or physical ill, it can't hurt.

In Tennessee, treatment for veterans is beginning to include the ancient martial art of tai chi. Zibin Guo leads a weekly session at the Alvin C. York VA hospital in Murfreesboro. He guides vets through slow-motion poses as a Bluetooth speaker blares a classic tai chi soundtrack.

"Cloudy hands to the right, cloudy hands to the left," he tells the veterans, seated in wheelchairs. "Now we're going to open your arms, grab the wheels and 180-degree turn."
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Someone needs to tell the VA the proof is in how they feel and if they look forward to doing it!!! They do!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Nurse charged with stealing pain medication

Nurse charged with stealing pain medication from Minn. VA hospital

Star Tribune
Andy Mannix
September 22, 2017

A nurse at Minnesota’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been charged with regularly stealing pain medications over a six-month period from the hospital last year.
Matthew Leininger, 42, who was fired from the hospital in March, stole drugs such as fentanyl, morphine and oxycodone on more than 70 occasions, according to a criminal complaint filed this week. He told investigators he needed the drugs to cope with mental health issues, according to prosecutors. He faces five counts of felony theft by swindle.
According to a criminal complaint, the medical center uses a machine called Pyxis to dispense drugs to doctors and nurses. Leininger was required to log in with his user identification and provide his fingerprint to obtain the drugs, then enter into a machine which patient will receive the drug and record the dose to be administered. Then the nurse is expected to log in how much was given to the patient or the amount that was wasted.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

You can only see cause of pain, not how it feels

Stop Feeling Pain and Start Healing
Combat Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 11, 2017

It doesn't matter if the pain you feel is physical or emotional, or both, you want to stop feeling it. Pain makes life harder than it should be.
This is me with my Semper Fidelis America Brothers. This is how I get to spend so much of my free time. You'd never know that two of us were in physical pain and others were in emotional pain. You can't see pain in any of us, or in anyone else.

This picture was taken during a fundraiser for one of our members. In other words, having fun, doing something for someone else, took that pain away for a few hours because someone else came first.

Last year I was having a lot of problems with my left leg. I am a klutz, so falling down wasn't a big deal, but it was happening way too often. I was in even more pain because of the pain, if that makes sense. 

I put off going to the doctor because some days it wasn't as bad as other days. When I finally reached the point where I just couldn't take it any longer, I went to my doctor. He got me in the day after I called. 

Then he sent me for an MRI. That took about a week. A couple more days, and I got a phone call telling me it was nerve damage and I needed to see a surgeon. 

Another couple of weeks before I could get into that office. At least I had some pain pills to help. That was vital considering I have a desk job and had to sit on my leg while feeling as if my chair turned into barbed wire.

The second doctor sent me for X-rays. A couple of more days and I went back to see him. He said I would need surgery but it could be put off. I needed to go to a pain management center. That took another couple of weeks because some of the doctors did not take my insurance.

A few more weeks later, I was told what I was actually dealing with. A vertebra moved and disc went with it, pushing my sciatic nerve, plus arthritis and fluid in my spine.

A few more weeks and I was sent for shots into my spine. Little by little the pain was being defeated, but the cause of the pain was still there. This week it came back full force. Now I wait to go to the pain center again in a couple more weeks. As for the pain right now, I am going to see my primary care doctor on Monday to see what he can do.

That's what people need to remember when talking about delays at the VA. All of us have to wait for appointments. Go through tests to find out what is causing what is wrong and then wait for more tests and appointments before we start to feel better.

They have to play around with medications to take the pain away without causing other problems from side effects. They have to make them strong enough to work, but not so strong we become numb to the rest of our lives or so out of it we can't do our jobs. (Oh, sorry, I forgot. I didn't miss a full day of work because of this.)

It all works the same way when you have emotional pain. They have to figure out the cause of it, the level of pain you are feeling and then come up with a plan to address it. With emotional pain, it means therapy and usually medication. The therapy is based on what is best for you. One-on-one or group, but you have to wait for appointments. They have to base your medication on what they think will work, but discover they have to change it because it is not working well with your chemistry. Yep, you have to wait for another appointment.

I know shots and medications will not take away the cause of my pain. I will only be made numb to the pain. The only option for me is to let them operate on the problem and hope for the best.

With emotional pain it is the same story. Medications numb the pain but the cause is still there. The only option for you is to operate on the problem and hope is the best way to do that. Yes, you read that right. It wasn't a typo for a change. Hope is the best way to operate on PTSD.

Did you know it stops getting worse as soon as you start to talk about it? Did you know that you can actually heal instead of getting numb? Well you can. Three hours ago, I was on my knees, waiting for the pill to kick in. Now I am sitting at my desk and not changing positions every couple of seconds to avoid the agony. Getting help for PTSD is a long process and takes a lot of work. It means working to change your life and thus, saving your life. Getting you off your knees so you can start to feel happy emotions and kick the hell out of you.

If you doubt what I just told you, then listen to my "brother" tell his story. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Powerful Drug Cocktails Have Deadly Results For Some Troops

For Some Troops, Powerful Drug Cocktails Have Deadly Results

Psychiatrists still do not have good medications for the social withdrawal, nightmares and irritability that often accompany post-traumatic stress, so they mix and match drugs, trying to relieve symptoms.

This article was reported by James Dao, Benedict Carey and Dan Frosch and written by Mr. Dao.

In his last months alive, Senior Airman Anthony Mena rarely left home without a backpack filled with medications.

He returned from his second deployment to Iraq complaining of back pain, insomnia, anxiety and nightmares. Doctors diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder and prescribed powerful cocktails of psychiatric drugs and narcotics.

Yet his pain only deepened, as did his depression. “I have almost given up hope,” he told a doctor in 2008, medical records show. “I should have died in Iraq.”

Airman Mena died instead in his Albuquerque apartment, on July 21, 2009, five months after leaving the Air Force on a medical discharge. A toxicologist found eight prescription medications in his blood, including three antidepressants, a sedative, a sleeping pill and two potent painkillers.

Yet his death was no suicide, the medical examiner concluded. What killed Airman Mena was not an overdose of any one drug, but the interaction of many. He was 23.

After a decade of treating thousands of wounded troops, the military’s medical system is awash in prescription drugs — and the results have sometimes been deadly.

By some estimates, well over 300,000 troops have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with P.T.S.D., depression, traumatic brain injury or some combination of those. The Pentagon has looked to pharmacology to treat those complex problems, following the lead of civilian medicine. As a result, psychiatric drugs have been used more widely across the military than in any previous war.

But those medications, along with narcotic painkillers, are being increasingly linked to a rising tide of other problems, among them drug dependency, suicide and fatal accidents — sometimes from the interaction of the drugs themselves. An Army report on suicide released last year documented the problem, saying one-third of the force was on at least one prescription medication.

“Prescription drug use is on the rise,” the report said, noting that medications were involved in one-third of the record 162 suicides by active-duty soldiers in 2009. An additional 101 soldiers died accidentally from the toxic mixing of prescription drugs from 2006 to 2009.

On Jan. 29, 2008, Corporal Endicott was found dead in his room at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he had checked himself in for anger management after another car accident. He was 26.

A toxicologist detected at least nine prescription drugs in his system, including five different benzodiazepines, drugs used to reduce anxiety or improve sleep. Small amounts of marijuana and methadone — a narcotic that is particularly dangerous when mixed with benzodiazepines — were also found in his body.

His death prompted Marine Corps officials at Bethesda and Walter Reed Army Medical Center to initiate new procedures to keep Marines from inappropriately mixing medications, including assigning case managers to oversee patients, records show.

Whether Corporal Endicott used methadone to get high or to relieve pain remains unclear. The Marine Corps concluded that his death was not due to misconduct.

“He survived over there,” his father said. “Coming home and dying in a hospital? It’s a disgrace.”
read more here
Powerful Drug Cocktails Have Deadly Results

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Military doctors wrote almost 3.8 million prescriptions for pain relief

If you just read this story and do not think deeper into it, it's troubling so many need, or feel they need pain medications. If you think deeper though, it is a testament to their devotion.

The human body is able to go just so far with being abused. They deal with heavy packs, rugged terrain, little sleep, inadequate food and under stress on a daily basis. This is not one tour for most of them but 4, 5, 6 tours into Iraq and Afghanistan. They also have to deal with the stress of being redeployed while they are finally back home with their families.

When you read about how many times some of these men and women have been sent into combat, we need to acknowledge that these are people making service to this country their careers. If we go on a job we consider too hard, we get to leave and find another job. Considering how many stay in no matter what price they have to pay physically and emotionally, reading a troubling report like this offers more evidence of just how remarkable all of them are.

Abuse of pain pills by soldiers concerns Pentagon

By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The military is trying to curb the volume of narcotics given to troops as the number of prescriptions for painkillers and instances of drug abuse continue to soar, according to Pentagon data and recent congressional testimony.

Military doctors wrote almost 3.8 million prescriptions for pain relief for servicemembers last year — more than four times the 866,773 doses handed out in 2001, according to data from the Pentagon health office.

"These are stunning statistics," says Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who intends to look into the issue next week during a Senate subcommittee hearing that he will chair. Surgeons general of the Army, Navy and Air Force will testify. "I would really like to dig down in the data here and get their thoughts about what is driving this."

Military officials and analysts say the increase in the use of narcotic pain medication reflects the continuing toll on ground troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, often through more than one combat deployment. In addition to those who are wounded, larger numbers of soldiers and Marines develop aches and strains carrying heavy packs, body armor and weapons over rugged and mountainous terrain.
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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Priest sues over care at Manatee Memorial

Priest sues over care at Manatee Memorial
He claims the hospital believed he was trying to get powerful pain medication
By Frank Gluck

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 2:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 1:25 a.m.
BRADENTON - Emergency room physicians must tread carefully when patients come in seeking pain medication. All too often, those patients are addicts simply looking for a narcotic fix.

But that caution may have led staffers at Manatee Memorial Hospital last year to miss the serious injuries of a Catholic priest who had just fallen more than eight feet from a ladder at his home.

Now that priest, the Rev. Charles Jackson, 57, is suing. He claims the hospital erroneously believed he was trying to get powerful pain medication while overlooking multiple bone fractures that ultimately left him permanently incontinent and barely able to walk.

The hospital's chief executive, who said Jackson's behavior was suspect that day, said the emergency room physician made a mistake.

Jackson's Bradenton attorney, Richard Shapiro, called the episode "a crime against humanity."

"I don't care whether he was a priest or a bum from the streets, he had a right to a decent, reasonable amount of medical care," Shapiro said. "They have ruined his life."
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