the appointment

i hear his footsteps approach the exam room, my breath catches as thoughts race. my pulse quickens, i feel slightly sick…

memories flood past…playing with my children, grandchildren, babies chortling, making music with friends, farming…further birth, weddings, falling in love, childhood..

all accomplished with some level of pain, the last twenty years with proper treatment. happy and still productive, at sixty now i am in school, volunteering, advocating, caregiving, loving…or was. the change in my life has been head spinning these past few months.

he interrupts my thoughts as he enters. without making eye contact, he announces my medication will again be cut in half. i protest. i can’t spend more time in bed. i like to walk with my cane. to move. moving is important to be healthy.

i remind him i am a caregiver. my son cannot speak or move. who will care for him? for me? what have i done wrong? 

he won’t risk his license for a patients function, he says. nothing personal. he shows me a printout. says i’m over a limit that never existed before. that someone, somewhere, says now they know the risk of addiction. after over twenty years of none. liars.

he never took his hand off the door handle. bastard. he grins. buffoon. it will be a transition, he says. fool. death is a transition, i reply, that doesn’t make it a desirable outcome. he quickly disappears, leaving a nurse to pick up the pieces, and hand me my sentence. coward.

as i leave, a protesting patient is escorted out by security. an old man asks what ‘non-opioid treatment’ means for his cancer pain. my chest feels tight.

outside, the addicted continue to die in record numbers. their pain is not physical. the escape they seek is not with any medication i am prescribed, yet this is somehow laid at my feet. the world has lost its collective mind.


12 thoughts on “the appointment

  1. I feel your pain…literally. One of the opioids I have used for 10 years is no longer being supported by my insurance and will soon be discontinued all together. This is one that has allowed me to live. My doctor changed up my other opioid to somewhat make up for it, but he constantly tells me I need to start the process of getting off of it. He’s retiring and it’s unlikely anyone else will continue my prescription. He said, “Maybe your pain will be better in a year and you can taper off”. WTF? I’ve been on this for 10 years. Something’s going to change in a year? I barely get by now.
    I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t understand how they can be so inhumane. And why?
    I know…you understand. I’m just preaching to the choir here. But I thought I should leave a comment. You are not alone.


  2. This hit me so hard. The way it’s written is so real. So much the way I’ve felt the last few appts. The lack of caring that our lives are falling apart. This Is so sad but so try and beautifully written!


  3. So upset upsettingly true for so many. I accompanied the adult for whom I am a caretaker to his pain doctor today and the stress of not feeling heard or understood is overwhelmingly stressful to all concerned. A person in severe chronic pain is not able to comply to many demands made on them when getting no relief. The reduction in their medications keeps them isolated and unable to function in any normal sense of the word.


  4. God Bless you!!! I feel your pain! …literally!!! I am so very sorry that you are going through this nightmare, too!! This insanity has to stop!!! 🙏🏻❤️


  5. I know this pain too! I can hardly walk anymore, the Dr says I need to be active, ugh I was active until all this crap! Now, they have to get caregivers, nurses, and hopefully a new Dr to come to me as I cannot get around on my own anymore, pathetic how we are treated!! I am almost in tears whith even the thought of going to the Dr anymore (at least when I could)! Nervous with caregivers coming out, tonight is the 1st night…


    1. hi shrley…you’ll do fine! we have had caregivers, nurses, in our home caring for my son for 12 years now. it does take some getting used to, and occasionally some adjustment in staff because people are all different, and it’s important to feel confident. i too, am truly upset by these recent changes. (((hugs)))


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