Wednesday, April 4, 2012


When the inevitable happened, I didn't quite realize right away. I got pissy. I stopped sleeping as well. Then I shrugged heavily. No more pain medicine. It was terrible. It is terrible. I want to frame it in an positive light using some borrowed optimism from before. I want to make this entry about something other than this.

I cooked a meal, black beans and cornbread, something I would have eaten while I was in grad school. Cheap, not too difficult, filling. But I was squirming the whole time. My hips didn't want to weight bear: the left having been recently operated upon and the right with bursitis again. My strange gait upset my left knee which subluxed and then refused to track properly.

It was so exhausting I just went to bed and took a nap. Meanwhile, the 'to do' list my more capable self had compiled stared at me. Unable to get an appointment till May, I cried to my mother, unable to hold it in any longer. I was miserable with pain: old and new.

I didn't know how to salve my discontent, so I read on PubMed how Black people are the minority least likely to receive opiates, whether they are cancer patients, children, post-surgery, or injury victims. The studies went on and on. This I believe. Ever since I had a laparascopy and the surgeon removed a ton of endometriosis from my abdominal cavity, then tossed me some ibuprofen for my post-surgery pain, there's nothing I can't believe.

I thought about writing an editorial to my paper, which is always talking about opiates and pill mills and addiction and loose laws. You'd think they sold OxyContin at WalMart. I'd like to tell them that before they tell everyone to re-elect these guys, that any legislation enacted is going to apply to all people equally. But doctors don't treat all patients equally. They have unconscious racial biases against Black people in pain. A bias that's probably worse because they refuse to believe it could exist.

It's like: you might like science, you might espouse science, but you yourself are not science. You are a person. You have biases. You need to examine them, air them out and evaluate your behavior. Then nobody would be writing pissed off letters: to migraine doctors, to newspaper editors and to you, my poor readers.


BubbleGirl said...

Doctors, unfortunately, prescribe fewer pain relief drugs, or less powerful ones, to black people, females, and those with invisible disabilities. Unfortunately, you fall into all of those categories.

I hope you find some relief soon.


Yvette said...

I missed this comment!

Yes, unfortunately, you're right. I really hit the jackpot. I'm not giving up though.