Princes Purple Pain: The Controversy of Drugs and Chronic Pain

Princes Purple Pain: The Controversy of Drugs and Chronic Pain

The Side Effects Of Invisible Chronic Pain Illness

What comes first, the  chicken or the egg? While the world mourns the passing of the great singer and songwriter Prince, many have tried to use his name as the face of chronic pain by declaring that it was chronic pain that killed him. Technically, is was drug overdose that killed Prince. Thus, herein lies the controversy. He had chronic pain and, for whatever reason, he didn’t get proper medical care. Prince, like countless others, managed his chronic pain by himself.
When it comes to managing chronic pain, countless people go without proper medical care and medicate themselves.  This creates a public health crisis and puts peoples lives in jeopardy. Since chronic pain is one of those invisible illnesses, it often get’s overlooked by the medical establishment and the public. For that reason, many people aware of the problems of chronic pain are trying to use Prince’s sad death to draw the public eye on a very serious problem, chronic pain.
There are many people who shrug off the death of Prince as a typical drug related celebrity death. In this case, they are wrong. Prince did have chronic pain. It is said by those who knew Prince that he had hip pain that warranted surgery, the surgery was unsuccessful and made his pain worse. I don’t know why he was self medicating and so I won’t judge his use of narcotics to manage his pain.
I have chronic pain in the name of fibromyalgia and arthritis both. Narcotics are a part of my medical treatment plan under a competent medical doctor. I know that narcotics help manage pain. One of my biggest pain points are both hips. I can relate to the pain felt by Prince.
Robin Williams
When the world lost Robin Williams to suicide, countless millions were exposed to the sad reality of mental health issues. While his passing was tragic for the world, we all learned more about the reality of mental health issues. That alone was a tribute to Robin Williams.
Prince
As the world mourns the loss of a great talent like Prince, let us use this time to learn much more about the sad reality of chronic pain as our tribute to him. If some good can come from his passing, let it be in the form of increased awareness and understanding of chronic pain.
princes_purple_rain
If people understand the reality of chronic pain and its legitimacy as a medical issue they may be more willing to support those with chronic pain and take the cloak of invisibility away from this medical issue.
Some of the many behaviors that could end the life of chronic pain patients are suicide and self medication. Self medication will almost certainly lead to addiction and associated with addiction is criminal behavior and the very real possibility of overdosing.
Because so many in society, including many medical doctors don’t understand chronic pain and how to manage it they won’t treat it. Ignoring it leads desperate people to self medicate. When people turn to illegal drugs and alcohol it becomes society’s problem with impaired driving and an increase in the crime rate.
Chronic pain is invisible like the wind. You can’t see the wind, but you can feel it. Most people don’t care about the wind until they see or experience the devastation that can come from the wind. In this case, we see the devastation of chronic pain through the death of Prince.
Robin Williams hid his mental health issues behind a big smile. Prince hid his chronic pain behind his active lifestyle that was made possible by the use of narcotics. If he had his medicine managed by a competent and intelligent medical doctor, he may still be with us with more music to write.
So let us become more aware of chronic pain as a society. Let’s insist that our medical community takes invisible chronic pain more serious. Insist that medical schools educate our health care professionals better, push to find better treatments for the many chronic pain conditions.  Let’s tell the government to leave health care management to the doctors and not tie their hands with worthless and needless regulations.
While Prince’s death is tragic for the world, let us honor him, like the world honored Robin Williams. When Robin William’s passed away we learned more about the devastating effects of mental health. With Prince’s passing, let’s honor his memory by learning more about the seriousness and danger of chronic pain. Perhaps, by doing so, we can prevent needless overdoses and suicides. Hopefully, if we look past Princes overdose, we can look to what motivated Prince to over medicate and understand the devastating effects of chronic pain that affect millions of people, we can avoid other suicides of people that no one knows about but are no less important.
Troy Wagstaff
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