On average, a patient with chronic pain will last about 2 weeks without proper pain management before taking their life

Suicide Due To Pain: A Letter From a Desperate Patient


In 2016, while I was fighting for those suffering from chronic and debilitating pain to keep their Opiate pain management, I received this plea from one of my friends, Michelle Bloem, begging for the government not to cut her life-saving pain management.


Like me, Michelle lived with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Every day was agony for her and the only thing that was keeping her alive and functioning with some hope was her opiate pain management.

In fear of losing her pain management, Michelle wrote this letter and sent it to whoever would listen.

To whom it may concern,

    I have CRPS/RSD and am currently seeing a doctor that monitors my progress and medications. I was diagnosed in June of 2010. After trying every treatment modality including physical therapy, anti-seizure medications, biofeedback, etc. I was put on OxyContin. After having 8 brachial plexus nerve blocks and 5 lumbar nerve blocks, my neurologist/ pain management doctor kept upping the dosage of it because I was getting no relief and we could not figure out why. He ended up upping the dosage so much I was only experiencing side effects, no pain relief. I decided to leave my pain management doctor at UCLA and seek out another doctor that could find out why I wasn’t getting any pain relief. I finally found a doctor that did many tests on me including: Neuroinflammation blood tests, Genetic malabsorption blood work-up. My doctor was able to figure out that I cannot absorb oral opioids due to a genetic malabsorption defect. He put me on a trial of subcutaneous Dilaudid. I had experienced instant pain relief and received my quality of life back. I have been on this medication for two years with no side effects. This medication has to be compounded, which my new insurance will not pay for. Dr. Tennant has saved my life and given me my life back. You must understand that we chronic pain patients cannot be punished for the people that use opioids illegally. None of us “want” to be on these medications, but have no choice. After trying everything, we just want quality of life. The restrictions that are already put in place are making it harder and harder for the legitimate chronic pain patients to get their medications that give them quality of life. Please consider that we are carefully monitored by our doctors and take our medications as prescribed only. We should not be punished for the street abusers that only want a “high”. I have never experienced a “high” from my pain medicine. There are studies in the process that have to do with different medications to help us, but it takes an extremely long time to get the FDA approved. In closing, I hope you will kindly consider our circumstances, that we have families, and only want to be able to participate in daily activities without suffering inhumanly. 

Thank you,

Michelle Bloem

No one cared enough to listen to her plea.

Not long after writing this letter, Michelle’s worst fears came true. She was forcibly tapered from her opiate medications for no reason other than an arbitrary policy set in motion by the January 2016 CDC Guidelines for Opiate Prescribing. 

On January 29th, 2017–1 year and 2 weeks after the CDC Guidelines for Opiate Prescribing were released–Michelle took her own life to end the pain.

Michelle and her daughter, Ireland
Michelle and her daughter, Ireland


Michelle was a proud mother to her beautiful, beloved daughter, Ireland. Wife to her loving husband. An activist. Advocate. She was an example to me and many others on how to survive this condition with grace, self-respect, and dignity. She was always willing to help her fellow Chronic Pain Warriors, be an ear to listen, and a shoulder to cry on. Losing Michelle was a blow to the whole community. The United States lost someone truly special and inspirational when we lost her. 


Because of the way our government is responding to the ‘Opiate Epidemic’–which is actually a heroin and illicit Fentanyl problem–patients with treatable conditions are dying. All Michelle needed to continue living was the medication our government just forcibly took away from her. Taking away life-saving pain management without taking away the pain only drives patients to the bottle, the street, or suicide as means of pain management–if they don’t die from a stroke or heart attack first. On average, a patient with chronic pain will last about 2 weeks without proper pain management before taking their life. The lack of hope that the pain will ever go away is a death sentence. It was for Michelle and for so many others. 

We need to stop slaughtering patients with chronic and debilitating pain.

We need to stop criminalizing addiction, which is a medical condition.

We need to stop incarcerating doctors who do their jobs and treat pain.

We need protections for patients.

We deserve better.

To see a partial list of those we’ve lost to suicide since the CDC Guidelines, click here.


8 Responses

  1. Please help us all. Who have some sort of chronic pain syndrome or just anybody with pain pain levels are some people could never imagine how bad it actually can be there’s a difference but between being an attic for medication and taking medication to function properly to have a better life.. if difference I have lost years of my life and I’m on medication that is no better but doesn’t take away my pain at all barely. I’ve been abused in at pharmacies . ER facilities doctors offices dentist offices and the list goes on and on I am exhausted because of this horrible thing that they decided to do.. go see and does like what they are doing .. please help us the most vulnerable.

  2. as always, Steve, your posts touch the hear and provide critical info about so many issues in the chronic pain community. Thank You for all you do.

  3. So sorry, something can be done, iv tried to post several times. Many can prove severe fraud, larceny, rape, abuse to these patients. The story is verifiable and I have no doubt these Medicare contractors and non employees are using and blackmailing city officials, law enforcement, citizens, illegals to carry these illegal activities concerning chronic pain sufferers, elderly and abused. Participating in these ruses, by lying and manipulating people into doing these things, then blackmailing later. I CAN PROVE IT. the mfg of new Medtronic devices has Medicare contracts. It can be verified. Like the 20/20 show. Fake credentials etc. The story is incredible. They (companies providing these services). Too long to explain. They need and will be held responsible. And have the Federal Government backing US up. I can show you detail by detail. Email me please. If you don’t hear from me. Mistmmm123@gmail.com. Keep emailing. If not. I will be attempting to put all details needed on a larger format.a simple WordPress or go daddy site. Been difficult, but it can be done. Laying this all out for a hungry law firm is the next step..but I need stories..I have many of my own and others.. Immediate action is required. Do not fear this, it’s for all Americans, we are dealing with criminals, I can show this. Look for mistysmedicarestory.. my Facebook has been hacked many times. I have dark hair. I’ll try to put a kitty or animal on the front page. Don’t reply until we talk or you hear a darn good email. And I’ll make sure you know it’s me.
    Will not be easy but sooooo worth it. Watch out for trolls, fakers etc. that’s the key to their success. Keep trying!

    • You want to fight ALL the corruption in health care! …I like that 😉
      If these mentioned first are not actually getting a cut of pharm suit money TO HELP them keep winning cases THEN they are blackmailed into compliance maybe, like many doctors, if they wanted to keep their licenses and many hospitals, like when they had to say that “opiates cause pain” and pharmacists in the chains when THEY HAD TO SAY “I am uncomfortable filing this”. It would be for nice for me to get opiates back. But ‘devices’ and Pt. abuse and the misery given birth to by the PDMP are all sad and deadly for helpless citizens I most certainly agree. Just 250 – 400K medical error deaths, two of which were my family members is motive enough to respond.

  4. It’s so sad to read so many stories that end in such a tragic loss. A loss that could have been easily prevented if only our government could open their eyes and see the harm being caused by not doing their research and only relying on information that is fed to them by the CDC and DEA.

    Newsweek Magazine had an article in early March stating less than 1% that suffers in pain get addicted on pain medicine. You don’t punish over 50 million Vets, Elderly and Disabled because of 1%. These studies have been out over a year but our politicians and government have chose to look the other way.

    Living in chronic come with so much more that the pain. It comes with everyone from the health community and anyone else that knows you take pain medicine. They all look at you like you are a druggie seeking drugs.

    When you are in so much pain most take desperate actions.
    I’ve see so many that have chosen this path of taking their own life. What a horrible position to put someone in. Unless you live in pain, feel that pain every day of your life and knowing it will never go away, in fact knowing it only will only get worse.

    I’ve seen friends suffer death by heart attacks and strokes 30 days after being cut off their pain medicine. Another tragedy easily preventable.

    I pray to God that anyone involved not helping Chronic Pain Patients get the medically needed pain medicine that God would open their eyes and show them first hand what pain is. Chronic Pain patients have been abused, discriminated against and inhumanely treated far to long and it is time to stop this torture being afflicted upon them. It’s time for our government to step up to the plate and fix this problem….

  5. my sympathies for her family, especially tht little child that has to grow up without her mother. The CDC, the FDA and the Government have
    Absolutely no idea what they are doing under this administration, they are too busy kissing his butt and telling him what a great drop he is
    Doing. They should all be put out of office. The CDC is now responsible for the deaths of thousands of chronic pain patients that
    We’re being treated as addicts because of their falsified reports.

    Where are all the lawyers when you actually need them?

  6. My emotions were all over the place after reading this..I was praying the end of this text didnt end that way, Im so sorry for your loss.At first I screamed n cursed,an then i cried. I want to no why no one is being held accountable for these deaths Nothing will change until one of these spineless doctors are charged with murder.Because thats what it is
    Im so sorry again for your loss My condolences to Michelle’s family

  7. It has been almost instantly recognized the the first sets of figures offered, and greedily rebroadcast by the media, regarding Covid-19 actual infection and mortality rates are reflecting gross inaccuracies making mass ‘shutdowns’ nation wide a ‘cure that may prove likely to much worse than the disease’.

    But the same recognition, that the CDC statistics were highly flawed and remain highly flawed, had maintained for years what we already know are the needlessly damaging and even fatal outworkings of policies created with that erroneous, and even apologized for, data. But we get no hearing, not for years, not today, not once, not when we shout it in their faces.

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