2017 in review … what killed us

Today is 08/21/2018.. who will not be here tomorrow

2016 in review … what killed us

6775 Americans will die EVERY DAY – from various reasons


140 will be SUCCESSFUL – including 20 veterans

270 will die from hospital acquired antibiotic resistant “bug” because staff won’t properly wash hands and/or proper infection control.

350 will die from their use/abuse of the drug ALCOHOL

1200 will die from their use/abuse of the drug NICOTINE

1400 will contract C-DIF from Hospital or Nursing home because staff doesn’t properly wash their hands are adhere to infection control  

80 WILL DIE mostly elderly.

850 will die from OBESITY

700 will die from medical errors

150 will die from Flu/Pneumonia

80 will die from Homicide

80 will die in car accidents




Here is the list from the end of 2016 if interested in comparing
United States of America
from Jan 1, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017 (11:36:39 AM)

Abortion*: 1090465
Heart Disease: 613479
Cancer: 590862
Tobacco: 349505
Obesity: 306566
Medical Errors: 251098
Stroke: 132915
Lower Respiratory Disease: 142741
Accident (unintentional): 135861
Hospital Associated Infection: 98860
Alcohol: 99859
Diabetes: 76380
Alzheimer’s Disease: 93409
Influenza/Pneumonia: 55149
Kidney Failure: 42702
Blood Infection: 33417
Suicide: 42713
Drunk Driving: 33760
Unintentional Poisoning: 31713
All Drug Abuse: 24970
Homicide: 16775
Prescription Drug Overdose: 14979
Murder by gun: 11477
Texting while Driving: 5981
Pedestrian: 4993
Drowning: 3909
Fire Related: 3495
Malnutrition: 2768
Domestic Violence: 1458
Smoking in Bed: 779
Falling out of Bed: 598
Killed by Falling Tree: 149
Lawnmower: 68
Spontaneous Combustion: 0

Totals of all categories are based upon past trends documented below.



I am being completely weaned off my meds, & suspect I will kill myself with the amount of pain I am in, & will be by the time this is over (the wean that is). Already can’t function.

My husband committed suicide after being abandoned by his pain dr.

Please pray for me as I am on the brink of suicide! I don’t want to die but can’t handle the pain anymore! The doctor that I am currently seeing will not give me enough pills to last all month every month… I have to wait until Oct to get in with a pain management doctor whom I already know by others that I know sees this doctor that he will help me, need prayer to hold on until oct… I keep thinking of my family who needs me hear.

“We just lost another intractable member of our support group two nights ago. She committed suicide because her medications were taken away for interstitial cystitis (a horribly painful bladder condition) and pudendal neuralgia, both of which she had battled for years

D D., journalist and prescribed fentanyl patient for a dozen years joined me on air last weekend with her husband and spoke of her suicide plan should the only relief from constant agony be heavily reduced or taken away.

I was told last Friday that my Dr. will be tapering my meds again . When I told him I didn’t think my body could take another lowering he stated ” it wasn’t my
License on the line”, I stated ” no , but it’s my life on the line”!!!!! I can not continue to live this way . I can not continue to suffer in agony when my medications and dose where working just fine before and I was a productive member of society . I can no longer take this. I have a plan in place to end my life myself When I am forced to reduce my Medications again . I just can’t do it anymore .

On Friday at around 9 p.m. U.S. Navy veteran Kevin Keller parked his red pickup truck in the parking lot at the Wytheville Rite-Aid, walked across the grass and stood in front of the U.S. Veterans Community Based Outpatient Clinic next door.

Sick and tired of being in pain, he pulled out a gun, shot a hole in the office door, aimed the gun barrel at his head and ended his hurt once and for all.

As a longterm pain patient with a current unsupportive pain dr, I just thought I’d share the reality of the position I’m in right now…

I’m in very bad pain all the time for very legit and well documented reasons. My pain dr however never gives me enough meds to help me. He just keeps reducing them, which is causing me to be in even more pain and suffer so much more. My quality of life also continues to go downhill at the same time. I was just given a letter by him recently too about some study indicating an increase in deaths if you take opioids and benzos. It stated he’s no longer going to give pain meds to anyone who is taking a benzo. I take one, because I have to, for a seizure disorder, not because I want to. He told me to pick one or the other though, plus went ahead and reduced my pain meds some more. He doesn’t seem to care the least bit. I’ve looked hard and so far I can’t find another one to get in to see near me at this time, but I’m desperately still trying. Unfortunately, they’re few and far between here, in addition to the wait for an appointment being long. I’ve even called hospice for help. So far, they haven’t been of much help either, because I don’t have a dr who will say I have six months or less to live. I told them either choice my pain dr is giving me is very inhumane, so I’d rather just quit eating and drinking, to the point where I pass away from that, while I get some kind of comfort care from them. I don’t really want to though, although I do have a long list of some very bad health problems, including a high probability that I have cancer and it’s spread. Am I suicidal? No. Will I be if my pain and seizure meds are taken away. Highly likely. I never ever saw this coming either. I don’t have a clue what to do and the clock is ticking, but I’m still fighting for an answer. So far, I can’t find not even one dr to help me though. Not one. I know my life depends on it, but at what point will these drs let my suffering become so inhumane that I just can’t take it anymore. I just don’t know right now. It’s a very scary place to be in for sure. That I do know.

The patient was being denied the medicine that had been alleviating his pain and committed suicide because, “he couldn’t live with the pain anymore. He could not see a future. He had no hope. He had no life.”

I am a chronic pain patient who has been on fairly high doses of opiates for about nine years now. My dose has been forcibly reduced since the cdc guidelines. I moved to Oregon from Alaska and can’t find a doctor to prescribe my medication. I pray I have the strength not to take my own life!

Zach Williams of Minnesota  committed suicide at age 35. He was a veteran of Iraq and had experienced back pain and a brain injury from his time in service. He had treated his pain with narcotics until the VA began reducing prescriptions.

Ryan Trunzo committed suicide at the age of 26. He was an army veteran of Iraq. He had experienced fractures in his back for which he tried to get effective painkillers, but failed due to VA policy. His mother stated “I feel like the VA took my son’s life.”

Kevin Keller, a Navy veteran, committed suicide at age 52. He shot v after breaking into the house of his friend, Marty Austin, to take his gun. Austin found a letter left by Keller saying “Marty sorry I broke into your house and took your gun to end the pain!” Keller had experienced a stroke 11 years earlier, and he had worsening pain in the last two years of his life because VA doctors would not give him pain medicine. On the subject of pain medication, Austin said that Keller “was not addicted. He needed it.”

Bob Mason, aged 67, of Montana committed suicide after not having access to drugs to treat his chronic pain for just one week. One doctor who had treated Mason was Mark Ibsen, who shut down his office after the Montana Board of Medical Examiners investigated him for excessive prescription of opioids. According to Mason’s daughter, Mason “didn’t like the drugs, but there were no other options.”

Donald Alan Beyer, living in Idaho, had experienced back pain for years. He suffered from  degenerative disc disease, as well as a job-related injury resulting in a broken back. After his doctor retired, Beyer struggled without pain medicine for months. He shot himself on his 47th birthday. His son, Garrett, said “I guess he felt suicide was his only chance for relief.”

Denny Peck of Washington state was 58 when he ended his life. In 1990, he experienced a severe injury to his vertebrae during a fishing accident. His mother, Lorraine Peck, said “[h]e has been in severe pain ever since,” and his daughter, Amanda Peck, “said she didn’t remember a time when her dad didn’t hurt.” During the last few years of his life, Peck had received opiates for his pain from a Seattle Pain Center, until these clinics closed. After suffering and being unable to find doctors who would help with his pain, Peck called 911. Two days later, Peck was found dead in his home with bullet wounds in his head. A note found near Peck read: “Can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t do anything. And all the whitecoats don’t care at all.”

Doug Hale of Vermont killed himself at the age of 53. He had experienced pain from interstitial cystitis, and decided to end his life six weeks after his doctor suddenly cut off his opiate painkillers. He left a note reading “Can’t take the chronic pain anymore” before he shot himself in the head. His doctor said he “was no longer willing to risk my license by writing you another script for opioids”  (see attachment A for details of the problem as relyed by his wife Tammi who is now 10 months without a husband as a direct result of the CDC guidelines to prevent deaths)Bruce Graham committed suicide after living with severe pain for two years. At age 62, Graham fell from a ladder, suffering several severe injuries. He had surgery and fell into a coma. After surgery, he suffered from painful adhesions which could not be removed. He relied on opioid painkillers to tolerate his pain, but doctors eventually stopped prescribing the medicine he needed. Two years after his fall, Graham shot himself in the heart to end the pain.

Travis Patterson, a young combat veteran, died two days after a suicide attempt at the age of 26. After the attempt to take his own life, Patterson was brought to the VA emergency room. Doctors offered therapy as a solution, but did not offer any relief for his pain. Patterson died two days after his attempted suicide.

54-year-old Bryan Spece of Montana  killed himself about two weeks after he experienced a major reduction in his pain medication. The CDC recommends a slow reduction in pain medicine, such as a 10% decrease per week. Based on information from Spece’s relative, Spece’s dose could have been reduced by around 70% in the weeks before he died.

In Oregon, Sonja Mae Jonsson ended her life when her doctor stopped giving her pain medicine as a result of the CDC guidelines.

United States veterans have been committing suicide after being unable to receive medicine for pain. These veterans include Peter Kaisen,Daniel Somers, Kevin Keller, Ryan Trunzo, Zach Williams, and Travis Patterson

A 40-year-old woman with fibromyalgia, lupus, and back issues appeared to have committed suicide after not being prescribed enough pain medicine. She had talked about her suicidal thoughts with her friends several times before, saying “there is no quality of life in pain.” She had no husband or children to care for, so she ended her life.

Sherri Little was 53 when she committed suicide. She suffered pain from occipital neuralgia, IBS, and fibromyalgia. A friend described Little as having a “shining soul of activism” as she spent time advocating for other chronic pain sufferers. However, Little had other struggles in her life, such as her feeling that her pain kept her from forming meaningful relationships. In her final days, Little was unable to keep down solid food, and she tried to get medical help from a hospital. When she was unable to receive relief, Little ended her life.

Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle of North Carolina shot himself at age 71. He suffered from long-term pain under his left breast. Although he went through several medical tests to determine the cause of his pain, the results could not provide relief. After Trickle’s suicide, his brother stated that Dick “must have just decided the pain was too high, because he would have never done it for any other reason.”

39-year-old Julia Kelly committed suicide after suffering ongoing pain resulting from two car accidents. Kelly’s pain caused her to quit her job and move in with her parents, unable to start a family of her own. Her family is certain that the physical and emotional effects of her pain are what drove her to end her life. Kelly had founded a charity to help other chronic pain sufferers, an organization now run by her father in order to help others avoid Julia’s fate.

Sarah Kershaw ended her life at age 49. She was a New York Times Reporter who suffered from occipital neuralgia.

Lynn Gates Jackson, speaking for her friend E.C. who committed suicide after her long term opiates were suddenly reduced by 50% against her will, for no reason.  Lynn reports she felt like the doctors were not treating her like a human being (Ed:  a common complaint) and she made the conscious decision to end her life.

E.C. committed suicide quietly one day in Visalia California.  She was 40.  Her friend reported her death.  “She did not leave a note but I know what she did”.  The doctor would only write a prescription for 10 vicodin and she was in so much pain she could not get to the clinic every few days.   We had talked many times about quitting life. Then she left.  She just left.

Jessica, a patient with RSD/CRPS committed suicide when the pain from her disease became too much for her to bear. A friend asserted that Jessica’s death was not the result of an overdose, and that “living with RSD isn’t living.”



















Aliff, Charles

Beyer, Donald Alan

Brunner, Robert “Bruin”

Graham, Bruce

Hale, Doug

Hartsgrove, Daniel P

Ingram III, Charles Richard

Kaisen, Peter

Keller, Kevin

Kershaw, Sarah

Kimberly, Allison

Little, Sherri

Mason, Bob

Miles, Richard

Murphy, Thomas

Paddock, Karon

Patterson, Travis “Patt”

Peck, Denny

Peterson, Michael Jay

Reid, Marsha

Somers, Daniel

Son, Randall Lee

Spece, Brian

Tombs, John

Trickle, Richard “Dick”

Trunzo, Ryan

Williams, Zack

Karon Shettler Paddock  committed suicide on August 7, 2013  http://www.kpaddock.org/


Jessica Simpson took her life July 2017

Mercedes McGuire took her life on Friday, August 4th. She leaves behind her 4 yr old son. She could no longer endure the physical & emotional pain from Trigeminal Neuralgia.


Another Veteran Suicide In Front Of VA Emergency Department

 Depression and Pain makes me want to kill self. Too much physical and emotional pain to continue on. I seek the bliss fullness of Death. Peace. Live together die alone.

 Dr. Mansureh Irvani  suspected overdose victim  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/08/18/suspended-oral-surgeon-dies-suspected-overdose.html

Katherine Goddard’s Suicide note: Due to the pain we are both in and can’t get help, this is the only way we can see getting out of it. Goodbye to everybody,”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-man-arrested-after-girlfriend-dies-during-alleged-suicide-pact/  

Steven Lichtenberg: the 32-year-old Dublin man shot himself   http://www.dispatch.com/news/20160904/chronic-pains-emotional-toll-can-lead-to-suicide  

Fred Sinclair  he was hurting very much and was, in effect, saying goodbye to the family.  http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=21743

Robert Markel, 56 – June 2016 – Denied Pain Meds/Heroin OD  http://www.pennlive.com/opioid-crisis/2017/08/heroin_overdose_deaths.html

 Lisa June 2016  https://youtu.be/rBlrSyi_-rQ

Jay Lawrence  March 2017  https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/9/4/how-chronic-pain-killed-my-husband

Celisa Henning: killed herself and her twin daughters...http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Mom-in-Apparent-Joliet-Murder-Suicide-said-Body-Felt-Like-It-was-On-Fire-Grandma-Says-442353713.html?fb_action_ids=10213560297382698&fb_action_types=og.comments

Karen Boje-58  CPP-Deming, NM

Katherine Goddard, 52 –  June 30, 2017 – Palm Coast, FL -Suicide/Denied Opioids  http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20170816/palm-coast-man-charged-with-assisting-self-murder

https://medium.com/@ThomasKlineMD/suicides-associated-with-non-consented-opioid-pain-medication-reductions-356b4ef7e02aPartial List of Suicides, as of 9–10-17

Suicides: Associated with non-consented Opioid Pain Medication Reductions

Lacy Stewart 59, http://healthylivings247.com/daughter-says-untreated-pain-led-to-mothers-suicide/#

Ryan Trunzo of Massachusetts committed suicide at the age of 26  http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/18881/?fullname=trunzo,-ryan-j  

Mercedes McGuire of Indiana ended her life August 4th, 2017 after struggling with agony originally suppressed with opioid pain medicine but reappearing after her pain medicine was cut back in a fashion after the CDC regulations. She was in such discomfort she went to the ER because she could not stand the intractable pain by “learning to live with it” as suggested by CDC consultants. The ER gave her a small prescription. She went to the pharmacy where they refused to fill it “because she had a pain contract”. She went home and killed herself. She was a young mother with a 4 year old son, Bentley. Bentley, will never get over the loss of his mom.

Suicides: Associated with non-consented Opioid Pain Medication Reductions

“Goodbye” Scott Smith: Vet w/PTSD committed murder/suicide. Killed his wife then himself today 11/27/2017


Pamela Clute had been suffering from agonizing back problems and medical treatment had failed to relieve pain that shot down her legs While California’s assisted suicide law went into effect a couple months before Clute’s death, the law only applies to terminally ill patients who are prescribed life-ending drugs by a physician. Clute wasn’t terminally ill

Kellie Bernsen 12/10/2017 Colorado suicide

Scott Smith: Vet w/PTSD committed murder/suicide. Killed his wife then himself today 11/27/2017

  Michelle Bloem committed suicide due to uncontrolled pain

John Lester shot himself on Jan. 8, 2014.

 Anne Örtegren took her life on Jan. 5  

 Debra Bales, 52 – Civilian – January 10, 2018 – Petaluma, CA – Denied Pain Meds/Suicide

 Aliff, Charles – Could not locate info!
He may be able to help! Charles Aliff – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009343944744…

Brunner, Robert – Could not locate info!

Cagle, Melvin – http://www.objectivezero.org/…/The-Veteran-Spring-Why-a…


Harold Hamilton – http://www.dispatch.com/…/chronic-pains-emotional-toll…

Hartgrove, Daniel – http://www.legacy.com/…/name/daniel-hartsgrove-obituary…

Ingram III, Charles – http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/…/article_b7a4a712…

Jarvis, Michael http://www.chicagotribune.com/…/ct-indiana-doctor…


Kevin Keller, 52 – US Navy – July 30, 2014 – Wytheville, VA

Kershaw, Sarah – https://mobile.nytimes.com/…/sarah-kershaw-former-times…

Kimberly, Allison http://feldmanmortuary.com/…/Allison…/obituary.html…

Lane, Keith – Timothy Shields
August 8, 2017 · Colon, MI I would like you too include Kieth Lane . US Army , Vietnam in country , combat wounded . He died recovering from ulcers surgery of a stroke and heart attack in Battle Creek VA medical center in Michigan .

Lichtenberg, Steven – http://www.dispatch.com/…/chronic-pains-emotional-toll…

Markel, Robert – http://www.pennlive.com/…/08/heroin_overdose_deaths.html

Miles, Richard – Could not locate info!

Murphy, Thomas – http://www.objectivezero.org/…/The-Veteran-Spring-Why-a…

Paddock, Karon http://www.kpaddock.com/

Denny Peck, 58 – Civilian – September 17,2016 – Seattle, Wa https://l.facebook.com/l.php…


Peterson, Michael – https://l.facebook.com/l.php…

Reid, Marsha – https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/…/daughter-blames…

Simpson, Jessica – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1616190951785852&set=a.395920107146282.94047.100001848876646&type=3&hc_location=ufi

Daniel Somers, 30 – US Army – June 10, 2013 – Denied Pain Meds/Suicide http://gawker.com/i-am-sorry-that-it-has-come-to-this-a…

Son, Randall – http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/…/woman-says-marion-va…/…

Bryan Spece, 54 – USMC – May 3, 2017 – Great Falls, Montana – Denied Meds/Suicide https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/…/patient-suicide…

Tombs, John – http://www.objectivezero.org/…/The-Veteran-Spring-Why-a…

 Jennifer E. Adams age 41 of Helena  December 20, 1976April 25, 2018


Jay Lawrence  March 1, 2017  on the same bench in the Hendersonville, Tennessee, park where the Lawrences had recently renewed their wedding vows, the 58-year-old man gripped his wife’s hand and killed himself with a gun.

suicide due to pain video  https://youtu.be/CSkxF1DMQws

I reserve the right of editorial censorship

It looks like the political “mud slinging” has already started – IMO – worse than the national election two years ago… I am taking a stand – in particular – against “slanderous name calling”  directed toward specific politicians, particular political parties and/or specific people.  I don’t mind political debate – based on FACTS… when the debate drifts off the road based on FACTOIDS, FAKE NEWS, opinions stated as FACTS.. is where I am going to draw the “line in the sand” and delete comments that go down that path.

While personally, I am not a big fan our our political/bureaucratic system.. IMO.. it is too self serving… Admittedly, politically I tend to lean to the POLITICAL RIGHT but that is because the Libertarian party is seemingly always kept in their place by our dominating “two party system”.

I have belonged to a national pharmacy association for 35 yrs… that promotes the saying “get into politics … or get out of pharmacy ..” If you don’t attempt to influence politicians… someone else will…. and IMO this saying applies to those in the chronic pain community and/or pts who are dealing with subjective diseases.  Legislatures, bureaucrats are doing things that are adversely effecting the quality of life of those pts.  As long as those being affected continue to lack unity and/or a large segment chooses to stand on the sidelines, whoever is successfully “bending the ear” of these politicians … they will continue to do so because they have  little/no concern about the consequences and/or collateral damage that they cause to those suffering and dealing with subjective diseases.

I am sure that the vast majority of my readers will understand and cooperate…those who try to challenge this policy…  It is THREE STRIKES and you are out/banned… and WORDPRESS gives me your IP ADDRESS attached to your comment(s)… Once banned, just posting under a different name – WILL NOT WORK !  Everyone needs to “play nice “

Image result for Play Nice in the Sand Box


Cases Total 7,000+ in Fayetteville VA Misdiagnosis Investigation


FAYETTEVILLE, Akr. (KNWA) — The Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks announced that 7,482 cases have been reviewed for misdiagnosis in the wake of the public learning that an impaired VA doctor treated patients.

The organization made the announcement at a public town hall meeting at the VA hospital Monday afternoon.

Of the cases reviewed, 2,925 were reviewed by VA pathologists. The rest were reviewed by non-VA pathologists.

Some patients say that Dr. Robert Levy was the pathologist found to be impaired.

On March 1 of this year, a man named Robert Levy was arrested in Fayetteville for driving under the influence. 

The report states Levy was stumbling and slurring his words. 

Police say he was quote: “intoxicated with depressants.”

The VA hospital first found the pathologist to be impaired in March of 2016.

More than a year later the doctor was found impaired again in October of 2017; that’s when the hospital fired the employee. 

The public was made aware of the issue on June 18, 2018, where letters were sent from the VA to any patient who may have been misdiagnosed. 

Around one month later, the VA held its first town hall meeting. 

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We have had to cancel our vacations due to a pharmacist refusing to fill meds on 30th day.

WOW!  Great information Steve and thank you so much for putting it out there. We just didn’t know who or what to do until we read your article. My wife has AIP which is acute intermittent Porphyria. 15 years ago she was perscribed Oxycoton, which she had to be talked into. Long story short it works and she has a life BUT every month it is a fight to get her prescription filled. In fact I am the one who has to take it in because she has been treated like a common street drug addict.

We have had to cancel our vacations due to getting her meds filled on the 30th day.

They will not fill ONE day early. We know the bad stories of this medicine and everything and how addictive it is but the addiction is nothing compared to the the pain of Porphyria. I have had a pharmacist tell me I need to get my wife off this med as no decease is worth the addiction. I could go on and on but I won’t take up anymore of your time. 

We are in our 60’s and we want to enjoy our retirement.

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the information we have been looking for for so many years. 

Here is a link to find a independent pharmacy by zip code  http://www.ncpanet.org/home/find-your-local-pharmacy

Health officials recommend getting a flu shot by the end of October

Some pharmacies and clinics are offering flu shots in August. But should you get one that early?


The sunny days of summer are not yet over, but flu season has already weaseled its way into drug and grocery stores, where pharmacies and clinics are administering vaccines to ward off influenza.

Stores such as Safeway and CVS Health started offering flu shots to customers this month after they received shipments of the vaccine.

“Because of the nice weather and all of that, it seems like ‘it’s already here?’ ” said Nikki Price, director of pharmacy operations at Safeway grocery stores. “The CDC recommends to get a flu shot whenever the vaccine is available.”

But with flu season still little more than a month away, some doctors say patients should wait until September to get their vaccines.

“I don’t know if I would go and get it at this point in time,” said Dr. Greg Ambuske, an internal medicine physician at UCHealth Primary Care Clinic-Broomfield.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness, including death. Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, body aches, fatigue, sore throat and headaches, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year, especially those who are at risk for developing flu-related complications, such as children younger than 5 and people with heart disease.

The reason some doctors are saying to wait a few more weeks before getting a flu shot is that patients want to make sure they are protected during the season’s peak.

If a person gets a vaccine too early, their ability to fight the flu could wane during the peak period, said Dr. Mark Montano, medical director for CareNow Urgent Care, which is affiliated with HealthOne.

“It doesn’t mean I’m not protected,” he said.

But, Montano said, “I won’t have the same number of antibodies fighting the infection I’m exposed to.”

The timing and length of flu season varies each year, which can make the right time to get a flu shot a bit of a guessing game.

Flu season, which often gains traction in October, tends to peak between December and February, but it can last until May, according to Kristen Nordlund, a spokesperson with the CDC, in an email.

The CDC plans to release this year’s flu guidelines this week, and they will have more information on timing of vaccines, Nordlund said.

Montano said he thinks pharmacies and clinics are starting to offer flu shots in August so that they don’t “miss the opportunity to vaccinate somebody.”

“The CDC recommends that people get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available, and it is typically in pharmacies in August each year,” Amy Lanctot, a spokesperson for CVS, said in an email when asked about the effectiveness of getting flu shots in August.

“It takes two weeks for the body to build up immunity following vaccinations, so people are encouraged to get the vaccine as soon as they can, preferably by the end of October,” she said.

Walgreens Co., which is advertising flu shots at its stores in the Denver area, said it was unable to make someone available to comment for this story.

Health officials recommend getting a flu shot by the end of October. And they say that if a person misses the October time frame, it’s still beneficial to get a vaccine later in the season.

“Getting it too late is a greater risk than getting it too early, but vaccine anytime during the flu season is better than no vaccine at all,” Shannon Barbare, spokesperson for the disease control and environmental epidemiology division with the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment, said in an email.

Updated Aug. 20, 2018 at 11:25 a.m. Because of a reporting error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly quoted a phrase by Dr. Greg Ambuske. The story has been updated to reflect the true phrase.

Today as I walked toward a local chain grocery stores- with a pharmacy inside – they had a fairly larger banner about GETTING YOUR FLU SHOT…  and I thought to myself… that like most chains – they are trying to get “everyone vaccinated”… this particular store was even offering a $25 gift card if you got you flu shot NOW…  and in the “fine print” … details inside… which means anyone having Medicare, Medicaid or any federal insurance… IT DOES NOT APPLY.

The earlier you get your flu shot the more you risk that your blood titers will have fallen so that you may not have peak titers when the flu peaks. It takes 2 weeks for the shot to protect you and flu usually starts showing up in Oct and peaking late Dec and later…

We don’t get our flu shots between the last two weeks in Sept and the first two weeks in Oct and even that is no guarantee that you won’t catch the flu because the last few years the vaccine manufacturers and/or CDC have made “bad guesses” as to which one of the flu bugs will be prevalent this year


Pain Warriors ~ the Movie


Inclusion Statement

Our story brings to light a deadly suppression of facts & figures. Chronic Pain does not discriminate against age, sex, or race; suicides in all groups due to under managed pain are on the rise. We are, all of us, only one car accident or one surgery away – from a life of chronic pain.

About The Project

PAIN WARRIORS ~ sets out to examine the invisible crisis of Chronic Pain in North America, and its devastating toll on society. Without proper and timely education of the masses this growing concern can and will reach a tipping point, beyond which there is no return.

​Society’s lack of public information regarding Chronic Pain, has sadly forced this disease and its sufferers underground.
Not only are many denied adequate treatment , they are often looked upon by society as a whole as outcasts. We are , all of us, only one cancer or one car accident away from a life of chronic pain. As we age the numbers of chronic pain patients will only grow exponentially.

We intend to bring to light a deadly suppression of facts and figures. Without education and awareness, there can be no reform.

Compelling interviews showcase a broad cross section of pain patients, their loved ones and the doctors that treat them across North America. We share intimate, courageous and heart breaking 1st hand stories from pain patients in the trenches- the ongoing political and social issues they face and how they struggle to cope , just to get through another day.

In recent months, several American pain specialists have been targeted by the DEA and currently face loss of license and potential incarceration, for attempting to uphold their Hipprocratic Oath and serve the U.S. pain population. The lines between “pill mills” and  legitimate doctors have become blurred and in many cases, unrecognizable to the general public and society at large.

In recent decades groups including breast cancer and aids patients have banded together formally with runs marches, rallies –  telling their stories in the press.

Doing so has garnered more ambitious and imaginative solutions to treatment and health care reform. The best hope for pain patients,  is to become more vocal and active in their own pain management.

The needed response to pain, it would appear, is to encourage patients to stand up and speak up.

PAIN WARRIORS  plans to do just that – give voice to the voiceless.  #givepainavoice  #painwarriors

Another chronic pain pt in MT… meds cut off and toss under the bus

Chronic Pain Patients Says They’re ‘Treated Like Criminals’

Chronic Pain Patients Says They’re ‘Treated Like Criminals’


FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) — When the former nonprofit director_a woman with a master’s degree in social work_moved from North Carolina to Spotsylvania County last fall, she brought detailed medical records about her chronic pain and the opioids she takes to treat them.

As she searched for a pain management doctor in the Fredericksburg area, she called at least eight different offices. Before she could even describe her situation, the receptionist would cut her off, saying: “We don’t prescribe opiates.”

The woman, whose first name is Becky, was shocked, then scared. She eventually found a doctor to treat her, and she signed a contract spelling out her expected behavior. It specified monthly urine tests, even though her insurance requires only four a year, and regular pill counts to be sure she didn’t exceed daily dosage. She could use only one pharmacy, even if that facility was temporarily out of stock, and she agreed to pay fines — or be dismissed as a patient — if she violated any terms.

“I think we (chronic) pain patients get it; we understand why this is happening and all of us are willing to do whatever we need to do to show that we’re working with the program,” she said. “But at the same time, we’re being treated like criminals before we even have done the first thing.”

Doctors are looking at opioid prescriptions through a microscopic lens because since 2013, more people in Virginia have died from drug overdoses than vehicle accidents or guns, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Drugs caused 10,379 fatalities in the commonwealth between 2007 and 2017 — and more than 72,000 deaths in the United States in 2017 alone, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a result, the health care industry has reduced the number of opioid prescriptions, hoping to curtail “drug seekers” who may start with pain pills, which become a gateway drug to more illicit substances.

But the cutback also is affecting those with legitimate pain problems.

“People who use drugs responsibly, just like a diabetic uses insulin, face greater scrutiny simply because they are managing their pain to lead as functional lives as possible,” said Sally Balsamo, co-founder of the Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain. “This is yet another byproduct of the other side of the opioid epidemic.”

Becky, the Spotsylvania patient who moved from North Carolina, didn’t want to use her last name for fear someone would look up her address and rob her medicine cabinet. She agreed to be photographed because she said few people in the area know her.

The 44-year-old doesn’t get out much because of chronic bladder problems and severe nerve pain in the pelvic region. For the last two decades, she’s tried other measures, from lesser drugs to repeated nerve blocks to reduce the pain.

She was coping — and working full-time — despite pain caused by the pudendal nerve, which is in the tailbone and affects bladder and anal continence and sexual function. A 2014 procedure meant to block the pain hit the nerve instead and “kind of took me back a decade in terms of progress,” she said.

“At that point, an opioid was pretty much necessary,” said Becky, who had to quit her job. “I was miserably in pain.”

A recent report from the Virginia Department of Health says prescription opioids have been the leading category of drugs causing or contributing to deaths since 2007. The report also points out that those who die from drug overdoses tend to mix prescribed painkillers with illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin or fentanyl, a synthetic drug up to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Deaths from all drugs more than doubled in Virginia from 721 in 2007 to 1,538 in 2017, according to the VDH.

But deaths from prescription opioids alone remained constant in the same period, according to the report. In 2007, 401 people died from overdoses of prescription drugs. The number of deaths stayed in the 400-range for the next seven years — even dropping to 398 in 2015 — before hitting 507 in 2017.

That leads patient advocates such as Balsamo to conclude that the opioid epidemic doesn’t extend to those who take only the medicine prescribed to them.

Less than 1 percent of patients with chronic pain problems actually abuse opioids, but they’re all being treated like “drug addicts or junkies,” she added.

Distinguishing those who are in legitimate pain can be tricky.

“It’s not like a broken bone or a kidney stone, which I can objectively diagnose. Basically, I’m just taking the patient’s word for it,” said Dr. Robert Fines, an emergency physician with Mary Washington Healthcare who quickly added he doesn’t typically prescribe opioids for pain that he can’t measure.

Patients checking into emergency rooms know they’ll be asked their level of pain, from zero to 10, the worst imaginable. Many list a 10 because they know a high rating means they’ll be seen sooner, said Dr. Jayson Tappan, medical director of the emergency department at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

When Patrick Neustatter practiced family medicine in Stafford County, he saw patients who deserved an Academy Award for their depiction of agony. He also met people with lower back problems or fibromyalgia, a condition that can cause widespread muscle pain, who had trouble functioning.

“You’re always trying to decide if they’re taking you for a ride or if they have legitimate issues,” Neustatter said. “Doctors don’t like the idea of someone pulling one over on them.”

Getting pain under control has become such a high priority that government agencies who regulate the health care industry — and oversee its funding — have made it a fifth vital sign. It’s as important a measurement as temperature, pulse rate, breathing rate and blood pressure, Tappan said.

The government also decided to equate a hospital’s reimbursement with patients’ satisfaction ratings of how they were treated, including how their pain was managed.

“Over time, that led things to get a little out of control and those well intentions probably created the opioid epidemic that we have,” Tappan said.

At the same time, pharmaceutical companies offered stronger, safer opioids that promised less dependency. Trusting these statements initially led doctors to prescribing more opioids, said Dr. Jason Sneed, who practices osteopathic medicine, a “whole person” approach rather than treating specific symptoms.

“Unfortunately, what a patient wants and what is best for them are often not the same thing,” Sneed said.

Fines has seen that as well. Perhaps medical advances have led some to believe they should never be in pain, no matter the situation.

“I have noticed a kind of general trend in society where people feel it’s their human right not to feel discomfort,” Fines said.

He’s not referring to people with cancer or broken bones or victims of horrible vehicle accidents. He’s talking about patients with sprained ankles and toothaches who demand narcotics.

Mark Snyder has a medical record “as fat as a phone book,” but said he hasn’t been able to find a clinic to manage his chronic pain since he moved from New York to the Northern Neck in May.

Snyder has more than 20 health issues, including heart problems and degenerative discs, kidney cancer, arthritis and diverticulitis. He’s been on pain medicine since 1986 for nerve damage after a severe car accident in which he was hospitalized for nine months and almost lost his arm and leg.

Since moving to Virginia, he’s found doctors to address all his other health problems and has had all his prescriptions filled except for the opioids. As a result, he’s faced withdrawal symptoms that he says compound the pain by 10 times.

“I’m 68, I’m not a 20-year-old looking to get high,” he said. “A cancer patient can’t even get medicine? There’s something wrong with the system.”

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Us Get The Word Out!!!
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