National Pain Strategy PAINS Collaborators Meeting Recap – COMMUNITY PAIN CENTER

National Pain Strategy PAINS Collaborators Meeting Recap

By Barby Ingle, Power of Pain Foundation President

On June 29 and 30, 2015, the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS), a group of over 100 pain collaborators and stakeholders, came together in Washington DC to discuss the National Pain Strategy (NPS). The purpose was to provide attendees an opportunity to discuss the NPS and find areas of agreement on next steps, collaborations, priorities, and to hold accountable those responsible for implementation.As the president of the Power of Pain Foundation, I was invited to participate. I went into the meeting with some preconceived notions based on little happening since the Institute of Medicine’s report in 2011 and didn’t expect much to be accomplished. To my great surprise, the meeting exceeded my expectations. I left the meeting feeling that a path toward implementation of stronger access to care issues was clarified as a result of the meeting. I am excited to be one of the attendees present that will be helping move a chronic pain agenda forward, making a difference in the lives of those living with pain.The goals of the meeting were to encourage collaboration among key pain community leaders, to promote the NPS report and build enthusiasm for it, and to facilitate conversations about how to move forward to implementation of the strategy outlined in the report.For me, the meeting clarified the path ahead for the NPS in terms of priorities,implementation, next steps, funding,leadership and accountability. One of the unintended outcomes from the meeting was the consensus to support the messaging of the Chronic Pain Advocacy Task Force (CPATF). The CPATF is a group of 17 consumer advocacy groups convened by the State Pain Policy Action Network (SPPAN), which is a program of the American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM). As a founding member of the CPATF and the representative of one of the 17 groups involved, I was very proud to see that our work was recognized by this larger group of collaborators and stakeholders. As agreed upon, the core messages are: Chronic pain is a real and complex disease that may exist by itself or be linked with other medical conditions.Chronic pain is both an under-recognized and under-resourced public health crisis with devastating personal and economic impact. Effective chronic pain care requires access to a wide range of treatment options, including biomedical, behavioral health and complementary treatment. Denying appropriate care to people with chronic pain is unethical and can lead to unnecessary suffering, depression, disability, and even suicide.

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Source: National Pain Strategy PAINS Collaborators Meeting Recap – COMMUNITY PAIN CENTER

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The Body, Mind and Spirit; Humanizing the Soul

The Body, Mind, and Spirit; Humanizing the Soul
By Twinkle VanFleet
I often refer to Quality of Life (QOL) when supporting or opposing legislation and/or certain topics aimed at the chronically ill or intractable pain patient . Quality of life is important! What is it though? I knew what I meant, but did others? Did those people I spent time with exchanging bits and pieces of personal belief and philosophies understand what it really was that I was referring to, or was it simply 3 words that had been tossed around in the vast world of healthcare and patients alike that had just become a more familiar reference term over time?

Somebody understood, someone had already knew precisely what I meant and what I had attempted to relay to others for decades. I didn’t know until after I returned home from being honored with The Bakken Invitation Award which recognizes outstanding contributions of service, volunteerism, and leadership. Each year, selected Honorees earn a $20,000 grant from Medtronic Philanthropy to direct to a charity of their choice. I didn’t realize until I opened one of the books that had been gifted to me as a 2015 Bakken Invitation Honoree by the man who most likely didn’t choose me solely, but who presented it to me at one of my weakest and most vulnerable public moments ever. As I began to read through “One Man’s Full Life” by Earl E. Bakken, co founder of Medtronic, I knew.

I knew that the man who had invented the world’s first wearable battery operated external pacemaker in a garage in northeast Minneapolis while everyone else was recovering from WW2, knew also. There was 46 years between his birth and mine, but someone else understood long before I ever could.

Health Related Quality of Life is the meaningful intent and purpose of giving a part of the self to another. A warm smile, soft caress, compassion. Anyone can want, need or desire quality of life. This quality is based on what we do with our lives, where we want to take it, and if we can sustain that quality we want or crave by what we’ve utilized from all that we have and that which we don’t. It’s really dependent not on the self, but the ego. Upbringing, teachings, education, competition, and lacking commitment to anything or anyone else.

Health Related Quality of Life is what we need to survive. There is no quality of life without a health related quality of life. Health related quality of life had become technology, pills, and sending a person on their way. The real intent of health related quality of life is the human experience. Humanizing patients will help their mind and spirit overcome challenges in the body.

Shrug someone off, remove their dignity, you also remove the very reason for fighting against disease and pain that our own minds already know how to achieve. Our mind is part of our brain it isn’t the brain itself. It’s our conscious, and sometimes unconscious being, yet never the less our higher being, our spirit. Break the spirit, you will break the body. Liven the mind and the spirit, you induce a will to “be“.

All these years, all the doctors and medical professionals, some my own physicians, others colleagues, above me in degrees, educational establishments, influence, and knowledge. I knew I knew, but now it was validated by a man who’s invented, done and given more in his lifetime than anyone else I could ever come to know.

It doesn’t take a degree to “get it“. All it’s ever taken is an understanding and belief in the human spirit and what it’s truly capable of, if not thrown away. I think I’m finally proud enough to say with my head held high, instead of my eyes lowered, that I don’t have a degree, I didn’t attend any fancy universities, I’m certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am brighter than the average bear. This is all I was ever suppose to be. All I was meant to do is validate those who came before me for those who come after me.

We’ve become a world that belittles at the first opportunity and blames others for what’s in our own power to change or make better. Instead, a people who hold back because they think they lack worth. You’re worth it, I promise! Some are still trying to teach it, still trying to proffer care in kindness and mercy above and beyond themselves, opening eyes and fluttering hearts, enlightening those who haven’t quite seen the light yet.

It doesn’t take a degree to be enlightened above the self and know a little better than the one‘s who tell you, you don‘t..

All it takes is a little faith.

Honorees with Medtronic Dr. Earl Bakken

 

To be continued

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: CPRS researchers study auditory connection

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Kerry Whyman suffers from complex regional pain syndrome, which makes her highly sensitive to noise. Photo: Paul Jeffers

December 6, 2015 – 12:15 AM

For 16 years, Kerry Whyman secretly thought she had bone cancer and was dying – “secretly” because she’d stopped telling doctors how much pain she was in.”I’d wake up and my ankles were swollen and bruised, like they were sprained,” says Ms Whyman, 55. “The doctor would ask ‘what have you done?’ I’d say ‘nothing.’ He’d send me for ultrasounds and they’d come back normal … I decided to shut up because I felt I looked stupid.”If the pain wasn’t in her ankles, it was somewhere else, sometimes in her organs. It seemed to move around Whyman’s body at will. And it became more intense when she was exposed to noise. “My television is turned down to the lowest volume possible, and it’s still too loud.”She got by all those years on paracetamol, anti-inflammatories and lot of drinking. Advertisement. One day in 2008 Whyman met a woman with the same symptoms. The woman told Whyman that she was suffering Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a rare and baffling condition that was first described during the American Civil War – and until 10 years ago was routinely dismissed as a psychiatric disorder.”When I asked my GP if I had CRPS, he said he’d never heard of it. He thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome. But tests showed I didn’t.”A neurologist finally confirmed CRPS. It most likely began when Whyman fell and fractured her right wrist 23 years ago. In most cases, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is an ongoing consequence of a fractured limb – the broken bones heal, but the pain lingers, wanders randomly, and is aggravated by changes in weather, stress and noise. Since the diagnosis, Whyman has been on “a merry-go-round” of treatments, most of them not working. The only thing that has given Whyman relief has been intravenous injections of ketamine, the hallucinatory anaesthetic.Three times a year she is admitted to hospital for a week, and kept on an intravenous drip. She’s knocked around but the pain goes away. Except in September, her most recent hospitalisation – it didn’t work. She’s resisting suggestions to undergo direct stimulation of the spine.”They say I’m a perfect candidate, but surgery has to be the last resort,” she says.Depending on the research, there are between five and 25 new cases of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome per 100,000 every year. The actual prevalence is much higher because people, like Whyman, suffer for years.About one in 10 people with a fracture go on to develop some form of the pain syndrome, says Professor Peter Drummond, a psychologist at Murdoch University, one of the few people doing research into the causes.The Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists is funding a study by Professor Drummond and Adjunct Professor Philip Finch, a pain medicine specialist, to unravel some of the complexity. They have together been researching various aspects of CRPS for 25 years.A recent study found there is an increased number of alpha-1 adrenoceptors on skin cells and nerves in the damaged limb of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome patients. These receptors are involved in the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the “fight or flight” response. It may be that pain nerves are being over-stimulated. The researchers are further exploring this discovery.”We’re not sure why these receptors are over-expressed,” says Drummond. “It seems to be a product of injury to the nerve itself or the inflammatory process. We’re studying that in cell cultures, to work out what the stimulus it might be.”The new project is looking at the idea that the brain, in failing to adequately suppress pain, distorts normal sensory processing in the syndrome.In a world first, Drummond and Finch will study the interaction between the auditory and pain-processing systems in CRPS patients. They plan to measure brain stem activity as the left and right ears of patients and a healthy control group are subjected to various noises. They are guessing that noises heard on the injured side of patients – reportedly are distorted and painful – will generate wave forms in the brain different to those generated by the auditory system on the healthy side.Drummond and Finch expect they will be disentangling Complex Regional Pain Syndrome for many years to come.

Source: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: CPRS researchers study auditory connection

Commentary- Kerry Lynn is an international chronic pain advocate and published writer with a focus on CRPS.

I’m thankful for her contributions.

How should U.S. regulate powerful painkillers?

American Academy of Pain Management’s Executive Director, Bob Twillman, PhD discusses opioid prescribing and regulations on PBS’s Newshour

Forty-six people die every day in the U.S. after overdosing on prescription painkillers, causing some states to crack down. Are tighter laws creating new problems? Judy Woodruff gets views from Bob Twillman of the American Academy of Pain Management and Dr. Andrew Kolodny of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

TRANSCRIPT (Partial)

JUDY WOODRUFF: Each day, 46 people die in this country after overdosing on prescription painkillers.  In 2012 alone, the CDC says 259 million prescriptions were written for painkillers, enough to supply every American adult with a bottle of pills.

Now many states are pushing back, including New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, and Washington State.  Three of those states now require doctors to check a patient database before writing a prescription.  This year, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, and Texas are also considering tighter laws.

But some physicians and patient advocates say this crackdown is creating new problems.

We get two views now.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny is the director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.  He’s also chief medical officer for the Phoenix House Foundation.  It’s a national nonprofit addiction agency.  Bob Twillman is the executive director of the American Academy of Pain Management and also a clinical psychologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  Mr. Twillman was caught in a traffic jam tonight.  He couldn’t make it to the studio, so he joins us by telephone.

Read the rest of the transcript and listen to the podcast-

via How should U.S. regulate powerful painkillers?.