“I didn’t know that there was untreatable pain.”
Yes, there is such a thing as living in untreatable, intractable pain for decades. I've done it, and I am not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people across the nation live with continual unrelieved pain, and many of us understand the opioid crisis because opioids used to be the gold standard when all else failed.
That quote is from Tucker Carlson this week after an emergency back surgery. Tucker is the most watched news show in America and isn't prone to drugs and alcohol, according to this article.
What Carlson, who said he will never take opioids again if he can help it, found most interesting was what the drugs did to his spirit.
“I had this spirit of fear within me, which I don’t have,” he said. “I’m not bragging, I don’t have it. And I think you can feel it. I don’t have it, I think that’s why I’m successful, cause I’m just not afraid. I felt afraid just of like life or something. It’s interesting.
“It was super deep. And I just haven’t had those feelings since I was in a plane crash 20 years ago this month. I’ve never had those feelings. I’m always like ‘Yeah I’m gonna die, I don’t care.’ And I mean it. But last night I was like, ‘Oh shit.’ Fear—just like anxiety. People who have anxiety, that’s what I felt. And it was from those drugs. And they extinguish the spirit within you. And they make you feel like you’re running away. You’re hiding. It’s so fucking deep. I’m lying in bed filthy with dog toys on my pillow, and it doesn’t bother me. And I’m not that way. Like I am a fucking—in real life, I wash the sheets every day. I’m that guy. I shower every day.”
I've had doctors so inexperienced with real pain that they couldn't understand why I was still complaining with them tossing top of the line addictions at me like dealers, and I found no relief until I scraped together everything I had learned and rebuilt my healthcare team with my own set of goals and standards. I am now off all those meds, thanks to both a psychologist and a very excellent physical therapy team focused on psychoneuroimmunology
. I have regained quite a lot of function and my pain levels are lower now without meds than they have been most of my adult life. Other crucial changes were finally getting a primary care doctor who didn't hesitate to fix previous doctor failures to diagnose diabetes and send me to specialists like an endocrinologist for my thyroid. If a doctor is stringing you along on medications and you feel like you are getting nowhere, step back and assess your situation and make some changes. Even in our worst situations, it is up to us to fight for our own health care priorities against Big Pharma dictating what doctors do to us. There are good doctors out there, sometimes you have to grind through humiliating visits as a new patient until you find one.
"They extinguish the spirit within you." Yes, that is exactly what Big Pharma and the international drug running cartels are all about. Break free, but be smart about it. Do your research, don't quit anything cold turkey, learn to titrate slowly off meds, make sure you do have a doctor in the loop so that it's documented in case of a med crisis or medical emergency, and be very patient with yourself. It took me years to get off the handfuls of meds a couple of doctors had me on. I was dumb and quit librax cold turkey and wound up in severe withdrawal and needed a med rescue. I was on opioids for so many years that I get the shakes when I get even a baby dose of morphine in an emergency room. I was on so many meds for so long that I'm high risk to stop breathing for a long time in my sleep even on a very low dose of one med at a time now. So go slow, learn what you are doing, take your time and do it right. Medicare and many insurance plans will pay for physical therapies and mental health visits, take advantage of that.
We are so used to celebrities and sports stars who wind up addicted to something, it's really rare to hear about a healthy person not having a clue what the drug crisis really is like and giving honest feedback about how horrifyingly spirit draining being medicated is. I appreciate Tucker Carlson sharing his experience.