Live On. Give On | 2015 Bakken Invitation Honoree | Pre-Review

Week of January 11, 2016 (never shared)

As I get ready to fly to Kona, Hawaii for the Medtronic Bakken Awards, I’m trying to help myself overcome challenges related to traveling, weight bearing, pulmonary and sleep disorder issues. My breathing has been unstable this week, my head, neck, arms, and even female troubles have poked me in the side.

I had my appointment with my PMD yesterday to ask for considerations that might help me through as it’s becoming harder and harder to stay up on my own and maintain pain levels. I already put in for ADA assistance during the travel and at the hotel. Yet, I won’t allow myself to be confined to a wheelchair while there, so I’m carefully pacing myself so that my legs carry me. My Medtronic Spinal Cord Stimulator has been my pill for 10 years. I’ll be able to adjust for optimum relief, but to do so also means that I have to either not be on my legs/feet at that time or not raising my settings for added comfort. I learned a long time ago how to get the best out of it for me. I’ve also learned that there are times I have to trade relief for walking and I can’t always have both at the same time. I can set my stim to numb me, but because I am one of the lucky ones whose stimulation does reach the toes, increasing this setting can knock me off my legs. I reserve this for non weight bearing pain relief. This is not an adverse effect, but a plus and benefit that has to be noted and chosen to best fit my time and place.

My Auto Servo Ventilator is too big and quite heavy to carry, so I may have to go without it. Still working on that. Otherwise I’d be traveling with 2 medical devices and have little room for anything else.

At this time next week, we’ll have already landed and be apart of the meet and greet with each honoree, Medtronic and so many others. I’m looking forward to representing Power of Pain Foundation as the new International Pain Foundation, myself as honoree, each honoree for what they have also accomplished and given, advocacy, volunteering, my family, my closest friends, and Dr. Earl Bakken and Medtronic Philanthropy.

There are a few wonderful people and establishments I want to say thank you to for being apart of this with me.

The International Pain Foundation (IPF) #iPain – Previously known as the Power of Pain Foundation. http://powerofpain.org/

Sacramento Pain Clinic – Dr. Michael Levin – Since 2004. Not just a Pain Management Doctor, but a patient advocate going above and beyond his own job for his patients.)

http://www.sacpainclinic.com/sacpain.php

Jacob Chopourian, Therapy Representative, Pain Therapist, Medtronic Inc Neuromodulation, Sacramento, California. www.medtronic.com

(Jacob has been part of my surgical team. He’s also adjusted me as needed. When I had my 9 year battery replaced I donated back to Medtronic my carrying bag, handheld stim (my stim) case, charger, hip straps, antenna, and manuals so that someone who needed these items in whole or in part could have them. Jacob came to my home to pick it up. Amazing man.)

Katie Tamez, Clinical Specialist, Pain Therapy, Medtronic Inc
Neuromodulation. Sacramento, California. www.medtronic.com

(Katie has worked to fine tune me, too.) I’ve no longer needed the 3 programs I started with many years ago, sitting, walking, sleeping. I use a single program with pulse. Wonderful lady.)

Compass Center for Functional Restoration – (Dr. Michael Levin MD)  Rick Wurster MSG, MPT, BCIAC  http://www.sacpainclinic.com/compass.php

(The center that taught me all there is about pain, physically, emotionally and psychologically. How to live with it using the mind, spirit and body to overcome flareups and maintain a modicum of sanity. Because of them I’ve been able to teach others what they taught me and find some joy and laughter in pain.)

Western Dental – Elk Grove Florin Road, Elk Grove, California

Dr. Tooloei, Staff.

You did great. Thank you for trying before I left for Hawaii. Trying meant enough to me.

Trudy Thomas, Featured BlogTalkRadio Host of the Living with HOPE Radio show on the Body, Mind and Spirit Network.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thebodymindandspiritnetwork
So proud of you and all you’ve given, selflessly. Happy that we have each other and our friendship survives the things we can’t do anymore.
Honored to have been both your co-host and guest speaker and warmed that you will always be family. Thank you for being all that I can count on as honorific leader/admin of my group. I love you!

Roy, MD Junction – http://www.MDJunction.com (Honored to have lead your Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Support Group for years.

http://www.mdjunction.com/reflex-sympathetic-dystrophy

Glad to have lead the ADHD support group on behalf of the children and parents who needed someone to oversee it. Pleased to still be a Senior Member and
MDJ Advocate. Love you all!)

Barby Ingle, www.BarbyIngle.com
(Together we can! Together we will! And together we are! Through MDJ and Trudy we found each other. I’ll forever remember the ones who cherished me for cherishing them. All 3 of you! Onward I go with #iPain. I love you!)

My Mom and Dad(s) (I know my dad is watching over. Gone since I was 22. My mom and dad was married 25 years when I closed his eyes. My mom and dad have been married 20 years and dated prior to that. So Mr. Don Tresca has been my father just as long as my birth dad was. I pray I’ve honored them all evenly and fairly as their daughter. I love you!)

Erik, Kharisma, Rikki, Kurtis and De’Mantai (my 5 lights). (Awards and recognition is great but not if they are seemingly meaningless to those that it should have mattered most, too.
There’s so much I’ve advocated for on your behalf’s that you’ve never even seen. I know that it all gets stale at some point but if you only knew it was never more for someone else than it was for you. Seek and you shall find.  love you! Ohana.)

I’m so glad Daddy saw, felt, and knows now. Sometimes it takes a miracle and that miracle came. It’s all good. Ask him ~winks

Annie-Marie Garcia (30 years! Time in between where we had gaps because life does that with work and loss. We don’t want to add burden to those we love or stomp on someone else’s, okay. That’s what we tell ourselves at least. I’m glad I got you now in the illness you should have never ended up with. I wish I was there when you were first going through it and if only I had known. Lets never let anything separate us again. For you and I, we have something special, we can see each other every day, or have weeks, months or years go by, but we always know that when it comes down to it, we are the ride or die. I love you!)

Maryann Kupidlowski Stafford (My sister since our babies were babies. Young teen daughters. If we weren’t there together we would have never met. Your curiosity, my extended learning, teaching. We both did, and we both gave, mine was just for extending natural order A decade? 12, 13. Time flies. Here we are moving forward in light, love and tomorrow. I love you!)

PK Saint-Amour (Bruja, pain, strength and the sight. Light and the “F’off. I so love you for being courageous in all of it. I’m so glad that you’re my sister in knowledge and fight. I love you!) https://www.facebook.com/groups/InvisibleWarriors/

Eileen McCready (A long time now too, background, foreground, compassion and understanding beyond pain. Sister of mine, always. I love you!)

Saskia Hubelmeijer (My international sister who does all she can in the Netherlands despite pain and hardship, and for America, too. Who’s assisted in leading my group since 2011, as formal admin and informal I love you!)

Billy Rose (Thank you brother for leading light and love above pain and hurt for all people. You demonstrate what the world needs more of and you are providing the change needed to overcome it all again) I love you!

The Council (We are who we are and one day when the earth is over, or death takes us, we’ll still be us, together, teaching, giving, inspiring, awakening those asleep all in their own time) I love you all. http://www.councilofenlightened.org/

The Sacramento News & Review (For featuring my voice and passion over 20 years ago) November 17, 1994, Speaking Out Edition) https://rsdadvisory.com/2015/07/24/sacramento-news-review-november-17-1994-speaking-out/

https://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/home

ECV Chapter 3 (Clampers/widders) E. Clampus Vitus was established in 1849.

http://ecv3.net/    http://www.ecvgazette.com/

(In memory of IRJR http://www.irjr.com/, a great man, friend, Clamper, who many years ago when founded Widders Web honored me with his chat program instead of the one I was using for us, I used his to then honor what he started years previous to that. http://www.irjr.com/widderschat/  While the pages are currently not found and the chat needs updating, I wanted to thank him again. Mr. IRJR is no longer with us.

SPPAN (State Pain Policy Advocacy Network) (I hope we continue on)

RSD(S)-CRPS Advisories

(Founded by me, for you)

—————

Refer to December 27, 2015

https://rsdadvisory.com/2015/12/23/twinkle-vanfleet-2015-honoree/

To be continued!…

The best is yet to come.

Dr.Bakken and Twinkle VanFleet2

Twinkle VanFleet, 2015 Bakken Invitaton Honoree, Sacramento CA, #iPain, with Dr. Earl Bakken Medtronic Co-Founder, Kona Hawaii. Awards reception. January 16, 2016.

 

http://bakkeninvitation.medtronic.com/honorees-winners/

http://bakkeninvitation.medtronic.com/honorees-winners/2015/twinkle-van-fleet/index.htm

http://newsroom.medtronic.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251324&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1822170

http://newsroom.medtronic.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251324&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2122319

http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/the-medtronic-bakken-invitation-award-honors-12-patients-from-around-the-world-for-giving-back-20151214-00566.

http://www.otcmarkets.com/stock/MDT/news

 

 

 

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Chronic pain, opioids, addiction and controversy

Whale Watching Cruise - Beautiful

I’m not sure how I should present this. Do you want it kind, sincere, and respectful, or do you need it blunt, open and firm? Do you want it me for you, or you against me, us? Do you want it white or black? Love, care and light or a little profanity to remind you that the world isn’t one way or the other?

You can judge me, you already have. Maybe you need something to judge me for. I refuse to allow you to add me to any negative category. I’m not a little kid anymore and I won’t be silenced because you think your ideals are above someone else’s. I’m heading on 50.

I’ve been on and off opioids since I was 22. Just because my life sucks and I’ve dealt with surgery after surgery, procedure after procedure, diagnosis after diagnosis, and I’ve been intractable for 15 years doesn’t mean I chase the pain to get the medication. I haven’t. There has not been a single time that I went seeking medication I shouldn’t have. My random pee tests are clean and prior to ever being injured my work took my hair, follicles that went back a year for drug testing. And while it’s none of your business in situations like this, where the anti opioid groups are stead fast against that kind of pain relief, I’m compelled to tell my business to justify my reason for taking it and the reason the physician prescribed it.

My pill is my SCS Spinal Cord Stimulator. It has been since 2006. I use a single low dose partial agonist and partial antagonist pain medication. There is no high. I take nothing for break through. I take Zonegran 100, 2x and Cymbalta 30, 1x. Nuvigil (Sleep disorders- Central Sleep Apnea with Cheyne Stokes, + Obstructive. Mixed/Complex/Auto Servo Ventilator (ASV) and maintenance for high blood pressure, Lisinopril, Hydralazine and Lipitor. There you go, now you know it!

If you’re a physician you have to know that blood pressure can be compromised by pain levels. Well.. at least that is what I am always told by physicians unrelated to one another, my blood pressure is too high because of physical pain.

Interesting right? Maybe not.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny replied to my post on Twitter, stating, paraphrasing, not a direct quote, education and personal responsibility doesn’t make opioids more effective or deter abuse.

Really? Then why is there a CDC work group to attempt just that? I’m not going to go into specifics because you can all find it for yourself, and I’m not going to give the run down of the call because it’s public record.  I was on that call. See the Federal Register.

One physician shared that she prescribed not knowing? For real? You didn’t know with your education and training that prescribing opioids were… .um opioids? (Where was your education and common sense on that one and if you weren’t educated as you claimed, why didn’t you seek it for the benefit and well being of YOU and YOUR patients) Okay, so… that was your attempt to show the call how horrible the opioid is and minimize PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Backfire!

Education is crucial. Point made.

Hate me yet?

Dr. Kolodny states that personal responsibility doesn’t matter. Really Doctor? That’s a lie! Because when someone falters you, yours or someone you’re advocating for it absolutely matters.

My nature is to say I’m sorry, I’m sorry for all of you who’ve lost. Lost to addiction, and death. But I cannot be sorry that I’m fair, even, and compassionate for the suffering AND regardless of what they are suffering with or for.  hm, well I don’t want to call persons weak, just unable to hold back heading for another, whether it be a chemical hook or simply choice.

Is it bad word time? For fuck sake be responsible for you and yours! If your child was a minor at the time of receiving medications that turned out to be harmful, you were responsible. You, the parent, or guardian! If the child was an adult of legal age in their jurisdiction, they are then responsible. And.. parents know better than anyone, more than a physician, more than a pharmacist, that something is up or wrong with their offspring. Minor or adult, we know, and if we claim we never did we’re not only lying to others but we’re deceiving ourselves. If you never saw the signs? Ouch, you just didn’t care to look for it. And if you couldn’t see it? Have a little compassion, how could you ever expect the doctor to see it? Because he is a doctor? Not true, we’re parents. 15-30 minutes a doctor visit at best compared to our lifetime with our kids. Minutes upon minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years.

Hate me yet?

If my child went to the doctor, claimed pain, and I don’t even care at this point in writing this if the kid was in pain or wasn’t, but took the Rx, filled it, took the medication as prescribed, misused it,…and then decided to throw back (you know, toss some alcohol)

My child is to blame. Not the physician! We seek care from doctors, they do not seek us out. We tell them what we tell them and they base the prescription of the truth or shit we give them. We do not have to take that Rx to the pharmacy, we do not have to fill it and we certainly don’t have to put it in our body. It’s not fair to call them pushers. How can they push, when a person went to them? A pusher is someone who seeks another out to push a drug on them.

Does it even matter after all this if the medication was taken as prescribed? Nope! Because the only way to overdose is to misuse. If the doctor prescribed a medication adverse to another medication the patient is already taking I would be advocating for you and the error. Dang, I feel bad for back hands I’m going to get for this, but doesn’t anyone get it?

Maybe no mix, maybe no alcohol, great! Good job! Still the only way to overdose is to misuse unless another adverse complication was present.

I’m disgusted by a world that rather blame someone else than accept the consequences of their own actions. Oh and yes I’ve been hurt. Damaged in fact from other’s irresponsibility and I do advocate for that change but I don’t harm others on behalf of myself.

According to Dr. Kolodny, personal responsibility doesn’t matter. Does this apply then to vehicles, officers, surgeons, pilots? I think I know his answer, of course, but he’s already let them off the hook. And hey that’s okay! After all, why should anyone be responsible for anything they do. Blame it on the traffic, the felon, the patient, or the passengers.

Contrary to what it may seem, I do respect the Doctor. I’m not inclined to agree with his adamant perception of placing all people who use opioid relief as addicts, or heading for addiction. Sorry, don’t care what a few images of the brain or a poll might indicate. There’s billions of people in the world, millions on medications, and a fraction to insinuate possibility or potential from dependency to addiction.

Pain in general causes advocacy. Loss instigates the passion to make a wrong right. So while chronic pain patients are being punished, ridiculed, humiliated, stigmatized, belittled, what about your pain? Your mental pain urged the controversy against opioid managed pain care versus loss of livelihood.. Ours is physical, yours is mental and emotional.

I have a hard time understanding why any of you care what we take when you won’t be there if we overdose or commit suicide. You’re not there to tell someone striving to make it, good job, proud of you. I have a hard time being used to make your point and profits.

I have a hard time with you looking down at us, when you don’t even know us. You don’t even want to walk in our shoes to feel us. But you want us to walk in yours and feel you.

Maybe, instead of saying “people” which implies all (It is the plural form) how about some, many or most (in your opinion) otherwise you are separating us from you. You make it as if everyone is horrible, addicted, heading for addiction, stronger meds, etc. Everyone but you and yours (your groups).

Then we speak out and you become holier than thou against us whiny, complaining, lazy, drug seeking, pain complaining “people”.

Guilt is the hardest human emotion to overcome.

All we had to do was work together, all we had to do was listen to one another. We could have cared for each other. And in the long run, the children might have truly been educated to know better.

When we get a physician as Dr. Kolodny implied stating education is meaningless? I have to disagree. Education educates, I’m trying not to roll my eyes because he kinda dummied himself down on that. No disrespect intended.

You may dislike me, think I’m a b*tch, judgmental, or talking too much (not true, you’ve already judged me/us…  and quite vocally I might add, news, columns, etc )  and I’ve only just begun, but…

I still love all of you and would fight for YOU if no one else did.

That’s the difference between you and I.

 

I wish you all well,

And enough.

~Twinkle V.

 

 

 

Thar Pharmaceuticals drug to undergo phase 3 trial | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – #CRPS

January 21, 2016

By Kris B. Mamula / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thar Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received Food and Drug Administration approval for phase 3 clinical trials of its core product, dubbed T-121. Marketing of the oral drug, which will be used to treat severe, persistent pain, is expected by 2019, according to President and CEO Raymond Houck.“Getting to phase 3 is a big deal,” said Mr. Houck, 58.Phase 3 trials last up to four years. The test is intended to gauge a drug compound’s effectiveness, according to the FDA. Only 25 percent to 30 percent of drugs reach phase 3.Thar, which was founded in 2008 and employs seven people, is targeting complex regional pain syndrome, a condition that usually follows a bone fracture, serious burn or other trauma. About 70,000 people nationwide experience such pain, which can abate over time or become a disabling condition.There are no Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for the pain. Thar developed the drug through the FDA’s orphan disease program, which allows for expedited review, tax credits and other competitive advantages for medications that help fewer than 200,000 people. Historically, big drug companies have shunned diseases that affect few people, focusing instead on making the next blockbuster statin, a medication taken by millions of people for high cholesterol.But Big Pharma has been increasingly paying attention to orphan disease treatments because of the potentially big paybacks for new prescription medications. Thar is not yet profitable and funding for operations has come from private investors.Thar’s focus is converting intravenously administered medications into ones that can be taken orally, preferred by health insurers because oral drugs are less costly to administer. Patients also tend to prefer oral drugs because administration is noninvasive.Thar’s T-121 is an oral version of Novartis’ intravenous-only zoledronic acid, which is sold under the Zometra brand name and prescribed to prevent or treat weakened bones and other conditions. Zometra’s safety record is expected to further speed FDA review of Thar’s oral version, Mr. Houck said.

Read the full article for more information:

Source: Thar Pharmaceuticals drug to undergo phase 3 trial | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ohana (For Dr. Earl Bakken)

by Twinkle VanFleet

Twinkle VanFleet 2015 Bakken Invitation Award Honoree_1

Front and back

He validated the spirit
And it’s heart
And restored the breath
Of a nearing depart

Acknowledging the path
And it’s hope
Diversity rising
It’s a slippery slope

Catching the reason
Determination and light
In giving to others
The fire and flight

for…

Life, love, and empathy
We have to discuss
Drowning
Counting
On all of us

7, 8, 9
Losing time
Sharing
Your paradigm

Break down,
Nothing on me
Fight and fall,
Nope pain can’t stop she

Crazy, maybe, perception
Not really though
Trinity, affinity
Visions and missions to lead for

She’s rising,
They know she(‘s) flying
As above, so below
The gift of devising

Got you
Got us
Got me
superfluous

Honi; spirit and power
The honoring art
Ha; the breath of life
A spiritual kiss of the hearts

Who could have known
It wasn’t alone
Ohana means family
Family is home.

For Dr. Earl Bakken, Medtronic Philanthropy, #LiveOnGiveOn

With love and admiration on behalf of myself and #iPain  www.powerofpain.org

Mahalo

©2016 Twinkle VanFleet/Golden Rainbow Poetry/All rights reserved. Copyright Laws and Regulations of the United States http://www.copyright.gov/title17/  May be shared. Permission required for any other use.

Ohana means family. Family means no one left behind… or forgotten.