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Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Now they tell me

I have a chronic pain problem from a bad back. I've been taking Vioxx for four or five years now. The Air Force pharmacy at Peterson AFB, in Colorado Springs, no longer carries Vioxx, and I was recently switched to another drug. When I first heard about it, I was rather upset - Vioxx worked, at least for me. Now they tell me WHY they pulled it - it doubles my risk of heart problems. This isn't very comforting when I have a problem with an irregular heartbeat that stems from my back injuries.

I have to applaud Merck's reaction - to pull the drug, rather than to try to continue to market it with a bunch of warnings few people would have taken the time to read. Unfortunately, the drug I take to replace it has only been on the market about a year. Will tests after three or four years indicate it's a problem, too?

Doctors are just beginning to treat pain as a major health problem. A major hit against one of the most potent treatments for chronic pain can have some serious long-term problems for chronic pain sufferers. I hope the drug companies and the FDA continue to stay abreast of chronic pain treatments, and keep those of us whose well-being is dependent upon them informed of any potential problems.


6 Comments:

Blogger Jensdad said...

OP,
I've never understood Doctors who allow their patients to suffer great pain because of the fear that their patients would become addicted to pain medication. Before my parents died, I had to practically threaten their doctors to get them to relieve the pain. When you have only hours or days of life left, what difference can it possibly make if you are addicted to anything?

The best of luck to you in dealing with your back pain. I've been there and can empathize.

I enjoy your reading your take on things and I also appreciate your support of Jen's blog. BTW, this year is number 38 for my wife and I too.

11:59 PM  
Blogger ~Jen~ said...

Scott was freaking out about taking vioxx too. He broke his ankle at work a couple years ago and was taking it to help with residual arthritic pain.

His family has a history of heart problems, so I watch him like a hawk. Luckily he doesn't take it any more. Dodged a bullet.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Old Patriot said...

JensDad,
That attitude is slowly changing among all doctors, and almost nonexistent with doctors whose specialty is treating pain. Unfortunately, I'm one of those people that don't do well with the more potent synthetic narcotics. Luckily, there are a wide variety of different ways of treating pain today - much more than there were even ten years ago. Using a combination of different treatment options usually controls pain for most people, including me - up until the last couple of weeks. Now it's back to experimenting to find out what works this time. It's a painful process, but usually leads to success.

As I told Jen, my brother lives in Spring, and we all should get together for a visit the next time I'm down to see him. I always like to meet people in person that I've met over the Internet - they're usually just as entertaining and enjoyable to be around as they are online.

2:16 PM  
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