Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Got pain?

Call your State of Ohio elected official - they know everything.

Well, the morons in Columbus have managed to do it again.  Just when I was willing to believe that they couldn't do anything dumber, they proved that I had no idea what I was talking about.  Now they're trying to regulate the drugs an emergency room can prescribe for pain, and the urgent care facilities are enthusiastically doing their very best to hitch their own float to this parade.

That is, if you believe commercial media.

Some years ago I had a nasty bout with kidney stones.  Anyone who's ever been through this knows, with a dead certainty, that no amount of opium will provide anything close to complete relief.  What will happen is that the kidney stone will either be expelled or removed and you'll sleep for a week.  My own experience (my first experience) was sitting at the dinner table and suddenly realizing something was wrong.  Thirty minutes later I was sitting in the ER, getting my third pain shot and wondering why the sweet glorious hell the medication wasn't working.  Eventually I got rid of the fiendish stone, and three days later landed right back in the same ER with the same condition (another stone).  But now I knew what was wrong and what to expect, and I knew that I could get some small measure of relief by way of one or more pain shots.  And, I thought, since I'd been here just a few days ago the ER would have my medical records available which would expedite treatment.  Nice, huh?  Except, you see, for one thing.

The ER refused to treat me.

I was in absolute agony and the utterly worthless, ignorant sons of two dollar whores at the University of Toledo Medical Center (formerly Medical College of Ohio - MCO) told me I had to wait for an indeterminate time before I could be treated.  Fine.  Give me an elephant sized pain shot and I'll wait.  So then they mumbled, then they shuffled their feet, then they said that treatment couldn't be prescribed until a doctor examined me, and they didn't have a doctor.

Fuck 'em.  I left and want to Flower Hospital where I was immediately treated and eventually released back into the wild to fend for myself.  While I was at Flower I learned something.  I learned that the reason the callous, obdurate staff at MCO refused to treat me was that they thought I was a drug addict looking for a fix.  I was, at that time, in my early 30s, well dressed and in fair physical shape.  I was accompanied by Main Lady, who is a licensed clinical psychologist.  What the fuck?  Do I look like a drug addict?  According to a sympathetic cop working night security at Flower, it's how things work.

All this happened over twenty years back.  Today I see that the geniuses in the State capital are trying to craft and pass a law that prohibits a drug addict - forget it.  What these fools are doing is getting their fat asses between the medical doctor and the doctor's patient.  This is from the Toledo Blade

Ohio ER policy aims to fight drug abuse
Ohio has gotten emergency rooms to join the fight against the over-prescription of addictive painkillers.
Gov. John Kasich said Monday the next step, getting similar involvement from physicians across Ohio, will be tougher.
"They had a lot of problems out in the state of Washington on this, because there's a reluctance to let legislators or bureaucrats, cabinet officials or not, tell the doctor how to practice medicine," the governor said after speaking at the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities' Opiate Summit.
He hopes to take statewide a fight that so far has largely focused on so-called "pill mills" in southern Ohio.
Read the entire article for yourself, but I strongly suspect some form of coercion here.  Most doctors are self-confident; a few to the point of arrogance.  I haven't met one single doctor who calls his elected moron for medical advice or consultation.  In fact, most don't call anyone; they do the job they're getting paid to do.  Ergo, I don't think this kind of thing would succeed without some sort of coercion. 

From the same article:

"Handling this challenge with statewide agreement allows hospitals to present a united front, encouraging those in chronic pain to work closely with their primary care physicians while discouraging dangerous, drug-seeking behavior that is part of the addiction epidemic Ohio is working to break," said Mike Abrams, president and CEO of the Ohio Hospital Association.
Which means that the poor sap who is recovering from surgery or who has an injury that requires pain medication will very likely have a lot of trouble getting any pills to ease his suffering, and if he loses his pills he's going to be out of luck.  Just imagine where this 'united front' is headed, then imagine trying to control your temper when faced with a mindless bureaucrat who refuses to dispense pain medication to you or your spouse or child because 'we don't do that here'.  That's all the answer you'll get, by the way.  'That's against our policy' is supposed to be answer enough for everyone.

Of course if you're an elected official, you won't have any trouble.  Likewise if you're an EMT, LEO or FF you'll just be given whatever it is you need, and that consideration will extend to family members as well.  It's the rest of us that will suffer through this one.

And the worst of this is that there isn't one damned thing the great suffering unwashed can do about it.

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