I am very sorry to read that you too, are a chronic pain battler. Sadly, our ranks swell every year, as our population ages, yet chronic non cancer pain is given very little attention - unless it is to strip a patient of the only medication that works for them. As a doctor, you must witness the suffering of our ilk on a daily basis; I can't imagine how awful that must be. I would be highly frustrated if I was a GP, being constantly monitored for, 'inappropriate perscribing behaviours', and under pressure to deny low dose opioids for chronic non cancer treatment, (as an ajunct) on a daily basis.
I have to say though, that without the help and support from the members of Chronic Pain Australia, I'm not entirely sure that I'd be sitting here, writing a reply to you, today. They have been instrumental in helping me cope in times of high anxiety and depression.
I don't feel that I'm being patronised by anyone here. I can assure you that if I ever did, the fur would fly. I take holier than thou attitudes, academic snobbery, condescending platitudes and sexism as a bull to a waving flag - and the resultant mess isn't pretty!
I completely agree with you that women's health has received less attention and that we still have a very long way to go before health care is truly universal and unbiased. Unfortunately, with the vast amounts of money to be made within the medical industry, at the end of the day, it will always share holders' portfolios that are worried about, rather than the health of the nation - one only has to compare the disgusting disparity between the healthcare standards for Indigenous communities and that of the rest of the country, to see where the politicians and pharma bosses are happily raking in money, hand over fist.
To be honest, I don't think the medical profession are the culprits for this useless, 'war on opioids'. I believe for that, we have to thank right wing, conservative, pro pain lunatics who call themselves politicians and caring health board members. They know that they continually drag us down the same path as the US and let's be frank here, Australia's reputation as a caring and loving country isn't that great, so having a heap of poor people dying from deliberate opioid abuse isn't going to look good at the next World Health Organisation meeting. What makes me laugh is that the drugs they perscribe instead of low dose opioids, are often perscribed off - label, and often have far worse side effects than the opioids they are replacing. I have had personal experience of this and I will never allow myself to be forced by any doctor again, to take Lyrica, Paroxetine or Palexor again. They nearly killed me, but nobody cared because, 'at least it wasn't oxycontin'.
I agree that, 'pain is pain', and I'm sure that everyone here will agree with you on that. It doesns't matter whether chronic disabling pain is caused by injury, illness or is psychosomatic. It still has to be treated medically with kindness, a good understanding of the mechanics of pain and a suitable multi disciplinary pain management regime.
Ignorant people are worried that we're turning into a nation of addicts but that isn't true. We are a nation of alcoholics and binge drinkers, but nothing is ever said about that, despite alcohol being the number one cause of death and hospital admissions within the, 'drug circle'. So in my opinion, those who are standing on their soap boxes deploring low dose opioids while deliberatly ignoring the harmful effects of legal drugs, need to shut the hell up and come back when they know what they're talking about.
I hope that you have found a way to manage your pain to the degree that you can enjoy a good quality of life. For many, this is unattainable and this is the biggest problem of all. No amount of whistling past the grave yard,or turning that frown upside down is going to be enough to replace medication and a management regime and those medicos who believe this, need to go back to school and re -learn the subject of pain.
Wishing you all the very best ,