The Opioid Mess: Who’s to Blame for the Pain?

Yeah, I know. It’s been four months since American Waypoints got off the chair to write a post. Did you think it was because my candidate won the Presidency, so I just didn’t care anymore? Heck no. Here’s the thing: my alter-ego has been busy writing and publishing a second book. In my other life I’m a physical therapist for animals. But before that, I was a physical therapist for people, times 30 years. I know a little something about it. And I have something to say about the huge opioid mess we are in as a country.

Way back in the 1960s, 70s and 1980s, we in the medical profession did not focus on our patient’s pain. In the war years of the 1920-1950 era, pain meds were used with heavy doses for injured military. It was a necessity. But, back to the 1960-mid 1980s, less focus was put on pain and use of chemical treatment for pain symptoms. There were exceptions such as immediate post-op pain, intractable pain, incurable pain, terminal illness management, etc. Otherwise, prescribing Morphine, Codeine, Percoset, Vicodin was discouraged and ‘pain management’ consisted of healthy things like Physical Therapy modalities (TENS), Exercise therapy, Deep breathing, Acupuncture, Biofeedback, nerve blocks, etc.

Why? Because pain is subjective, you cannot easily quantify it. And because prescription  pain meds were known to be highly addictive. A slippery slope on both ends. That doesn’t mean a medical professional disbelieves a patient complaining of pain. But it does mean that the professional cannot afford to take only the patient’s word regarding the amount of pain and simply prescribe meds to solve a problem which cannot be verified as to degree of severity. This was how we protected patients. We believed them but offered many solutions other than, or in addition to modest dosages of pain meds. But this meant patients had to work through their pain and learn alternative ways of pain management. It also took more time. It also took dollars away from medication-prescribing doctors and toward allied health professionals such as physical therapists, acupuncturists, biofeedback technicians, etc. It also took money away from the pharmaceutical industry.

By the 1990s, someone found a way to shift dollars back to the prescribing doctors and the drug companies. That someone WAS the doctors and the drug companies.  A particular drug/PHARMA company found a way to formulate opium in a ‘synthetic’ way which was heralded as safe, having no serious side effects, yet a strong pain medication> Oxycontin. Wonderful. In 1996, a letter was circulated and published, giving doctors the all-clear to prescribe this drug. Did any of the doctors know the ‘if it is a snake before it bites you it’s still a snake’ story? Sure they did, but if PHARMA says it’s okay–I guess ‘we’re off the hook’. Money starts flowing into the drug company.

Now the doctors want some of the action. Many doctors sit on hospital boards and accreditation commissions and somehow, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, hospitals start having a change in thought on pain. Addressing a patient’s pain has now become a priority. Almost like a vital sign–though one which cannot be measured objectively. Other vital signs, like respiratory rate and pulse, are easily quantified. But pain is measured on a pain scale, rated by the patient. Wow, that was easy. You need surgery, go to the pre-admission testing center, and there is a nurse assuring you that your LEVEL OF PAIN will be a high concern to all of the staff. Yes, you will be asked to RATE YOUR PAIN at multiple intervals throughout your stay. So comforting!

A few years later, a new specialty of medicine appears: Algiatry. WHHAAATTT? Oh, that means Pain Management Specialist. But that doesn’t mean you will be taught alternative ways to deal with pain–well you might, but it will be less emphasized than using drugs.

Combine this with the “Mindfulness” movement and “be in the NOW’ idiocy of the last few years. Let’s all never get over ourselves, and focus on how we feel and how much we hurt. Hey it’s all about me, and I’m in a hurry. And I deserve to feel good all of the time in the easiest way possible.

By 2012, PHARMA makes prescribing new generation pain meds even more appealing by changing the formula of Oxycontin to contain ‘abuse deterrents’. Seriously, how has that worked out? Oxycontin is still opium. Heroin is opium. Opium is a seriously addictive and harmful substance. Our country now has a huge crisis on our hands and people are dying.

Who is to blame? Why try and find someone or something to blame? Because I believe it is part of the process of fixing it. Are the drug dealers to blame?

No. They are opportunity-seeking bottom feeders but I don’t issue blame to them.

Are the patients to blame? Yes- a bit. People are responsible for knowing about drugs they are prescribed and not simply leaving their common sense at the door to the doctor’s office. And sadly, many folks simply prefer taking the easier path to easing their pain. Pain should not be crippling, but we need to learn to adjust our threshold and take the time to work through it responsibly.

Are doctors and drug companies to blame. You’re darn tootin they are. Easy path to more revenue.  I’m praying that the paradigm shifts back to the days of working through pain by minimal use of chemistry and maximum use of physics.

Public Temper Tantrums and Bible-Quoting Senators

Are you watching the Senate Confirmation hearings? Yesterday Dr. Tom Price, Trump’s pick to head up HHS, was treated to one of the Dem Senator’s quoting scripture, intended to admonish him. What a charade. SO, this fine Senator chose a passage from Matthew 25: of the Parable regarding the sheep and the goats. I guess the Senator thinks Dr. Price is a goat.

Clearly Jesus wants us to feed, provide drink and clothing to the poor. What we do for the least, we do for him. Dr. Price knows this too. But he thinks, as American Waypoints does, that these are individual mandates, not necessarily guidelines for government.  We need to get as much as we can out of federal government control and shift to local and individual responsibility. That is what the Bible is telling us. Trump is proposing block grants to the states for Medicaid, not stopping Medicaid. The federal government cannot and should not do it all. The many liberals screaming in the streets, wearing their genitalia on their heads, can donate to food banks, volunteer at nursing homes, makes clothes for the needy, give money to organizations which help people in legitimate need pay their bills. Churches do it all the time: many have food banks, Deacon Funds, etc. If those same Senators and crazy folks wearing their labia majora and minora on their heads want to have abortion clinics funded, they can put their money where their heart is: donate to Planned Parenthood if you love it so much. The US government doesn’t have to. And, stop using scripture to justify your false ‘nanny-government’ doctrines.

The bible is there to guide our lives individually, in the hopes that we will move closer to God and live by his commands as a people. Now here is scripture from the Old Testament that sure applies to what’s happening right now: Proverbs 29: v11 “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” How about those apples, marching women and anti-Trump zealots? Don’t you think I wanted to charter a plane, fly to the BVIs yesterday, hire a taxi  to take me to where Obama and wife are vacationing and ask him for a 220 million dollar refund to the American taxpayer for the sneaky little donation he made during the last hours of his Presidency to Palestine?  I would have gladly wrung his neck in the process, but I, unlike you, can control my rage.

So, here is one more scripture, in parting, that applies to another individual: our new POTUS: Proverbs 29, v12 “If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked”. Trump, tho not a ruler but President of a democracy, refuses to listen to the lies of the media. This is why Sean Spicer comes out swinging every day. Trump will not allow lies and filth to infiltrate his office. Hurray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopelessness and Negativity, The Liberal Aim

The current First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, stated 2 days ago that “America is entering a period of hopelessness”. What a wonderful statement by a First Lady who rendered Frito-loving, soda drinking school children hopeless during lunch period.

This is the way liberals act when they lose: sore and without hope. This is the way liberals act when they win: negative and throwing shade at anyone who dares to disagree. Ungracious, demoralizing, bullying types these liberals are.

Liberals fail to see that America remains right of center, despite what they want you to believe. They got me. I was convinced that America had shifted left, way to the left. The cable news media, newspapers, celebrity posts and rants (i.e. Beyonce, Jon Stewart, Springsteen and so many others) , nearly fooled me into believing America had lost its core beliefs. Then I stopped listening to it. I started praying and believing that God would help America if we were willing to help ourselves and elect a new President who could turn our country back on course. I started paying attention to the tens of thousands who turned up for #MakeAmericaGreatAgain rallies, consistently, day after day, all over the USA. People like me got on their knees and asked God to help, campaigned, want to the voting booth, and elected Donald J. Trump.

So, Mrs. Obama, you are just wrong. America is entering a period of extraordinary hope and pride.

Speaking of pride, here’s where the negativity comes in. When liberals win on areas such as Same Sex Marriage, Gay Pride and similar issues, they start by openly criticizing those who disagree. In particular, they love to throw shade at Evangelical Christians. It’s not enough to celebrate their win, it has to be “how about those hateful——–(you fill in the blanks, with any person or organization who disagrees with them). If such an Evangelical Christian attempts to enter the conversation civilly, it doesn’t work out very well. Liberals have exactly zero tolerance for those who do not see the world their way. They try to bully you out of a conversation. The tolerance crowd is intolerant.

I’ve ‘lost’ in the POTUS elections the prior 4 cycles, not having voted for GWB nor Barry O. Now I’ve spouted off a bit about Barry, but in general, have sucked it up for 16 years and tolerated my liberal friends and other pals and family members loyal to all-things- Bush, with patience and politeness.

I’d like the losers to suck it up, be civil, and stick it out. I’d like liberals to show tolerance to those with conservative values. After all, there are more of us, and we’re nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exposing Lies and Explaining Business Principles 101

American Waypoints has been a bit sidelined this summer. Fall is in the air and the time to return to blogging is here.

Well, looking a Facebook posts about last night’s Presidential Debate has me perplexed. I’m probably above average in intelligence, but ………………after seeing the utter stupidity in people’s comments and questions about Donald Trump’s business practices, I’m starting to think maybe I’m a certified genius.

Let’s take a look and figure some things out, shall we?

1.”Donald Trump admits he is under-leveraged!”.  In business, being under-leveraged is a good thing. It does not mean that he goes out of the house without wearing his underpants.

2. “Isn’t it terrible that he has filed multiple times for bankruptcy? How can he run our country?”  Filing for bankruptcy is not a crime. Here is a crime: lying to the FBI under oath. Here is another: destroying evidence in an investigation. Here’s a fact: our country is essentially bankrupt now. A shrewd and smart businessperson with an incredible team of advisors will have the skills needed to improve our financial position and reduce our national debt.

3. “Donald Trump pays no federal taxes!” Really? Of course he pays taxes. He employs many  people and his company must match social security for starters. Does anyone with a brain really think Trump has never paid any federal tax? In business, especially as a corporation, one tries to avoid being doubly taxed and uses every legal deduction to reduce tax liability and spend as little as possible. In light of the tremendous amount of wasteful government spending and over-entitlements, who can blame him? I did the same thing when I owned a corporate business.

4. “Wasn’t it lovely how Mrs. Clinton reassured our allies last night? Trump does not have the temperament to do that”.  Well, good. Anyone seen the movie or read the screenplay for “A Bronx Tale” by Chazz Palminteri? The best line in there is when Calogero asks Sonny :’It is better to be loved or feared? Sonny replies that it’s better to be both but if he had a choice he’s rather be feared”. Most of our allies, except Israel, have taken advantage of us and think we’re saps. I hope Trumps makes them respect and fear us ( a healthy fear).

5. “Trump is a racist”. Hillary Clinton is the one who called young black males ‘super predators’.

If you can’t figure any of this out and remain massively stupid, please do us all a favor and just stay home on polling day.

 

 

Jive (or is it’Jibe”) Talkin, He’s Telling you Lies

The Brothers Gibb, commonly known as the Bee Gees, released a record called “Jive Talkin” in 1975. Years later, on July 22, 2016, President Obama produced something similar. You know the talking point, remember? It went like this:” Donald J Trump’s vision for America doesn’t jive with reality”.

Without having to wait 41 years for more jive talkin’, mere minutes after the words left Obama’s lips, news of a terrorist gunman killing innocent people in Munich broke. Within days, before and after the Obama jive talk there were police killings in many cities.

So here are the facts of America’s reality: our country isn’t safe, our borders are dangerously unprotected, our military has been drained, jobs have left the US, our schools in the public sector push dangerous liberal agendas, our police are being targeted and killed, our economy has a miserable 1% job growth rate, Christian persecution in other countries is ignored, on and on and on.

In truth, Donald Trump’s assessment of the current state of America, as well as knowing the vision of a globalist weak America held by our current President and the Democratic candidate HRC, is spot on.

Now, here’s what cracks me up. Try doing a search on Obama’s ‘jive’ talking points of 7/22/16 and you’ll get some stories that say ‘jive’ and others that say ‘jibe’. Get it? Did you watch Obama’s lips move and hear him closely? He did not say ‘jibe’, he clearly said ‘jive’. So, why do some news organizations conveniently change it to ‘jibe’? I guess because they think ’jive’ sounds too black or ghetto or something skewed.  What a joke. Last time I saw a photo of the Gibb boys, they sure looked Caucasian to me.

But, the word ‘jibe’ does describe Obama a bit. Being a sailor, jibe is a maneuver used to turn the boat’s direction with the wind behind the helm. Sort of like changing things up with the wind at your back. Sounds like Obama to me. At least when he jibes, the wind will deliver the bad smell of his dealings right back at him!

The truth is: Trump jives and Obama jibes! Wake up Clinton supporters, she is more of the same.

Signs and Wonders, and Two Founding Fathers

If you happen to be of the Christian Protestant persuasion, particularly Baptist or non-denominational, you’ve been presented with 2 theological stances: continuist vs cessasionist belief. It all has to do with miracles, signs and wonders, charismatic practices, etc. I don’t know which is right. The church I belong to is of the cessasionist camp: that all signs and wonders ceased when Christ was sanctified and that they no longer exist. These signs and wonders took place during the time of Adam and Eve, with Noah, Moses, David, all through the New Testament and including the ascension of Jesus Christ. I’m sure my description  is over-simplified,  but those are the nuts and bolts. I believe this too, well, for the most part. When special things happen, good and bad, friends will say ‘there are no co-incidences’. I don’t buy into that. I’m not one that thinks God is up in the sky pulling switches and levers.  All that magic and miraculous stuff is done, but once in a great while, I do believe things occur that are just too extraordinary to explain. Maybe God slips on in every few hundred years or so…..?

 

Where am I going with this? Well, do you believe that the United States of America is a nation favored by God? I know it sounds arrogant. It’s hard for me to believe that the current state of affairs in our country brings God much pleasure. But an amazing sign and wonder occurred on July 4, 1826 that has always made me believe  God showed us his approval of the way in which our country was formed as One Nation under God.

 

You know that date in history, not just the Fourth of July, the birthday of our nation’s independence, but a particular Fourth of July in 1826, when our two remaining founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within 5 hours of each other. Not just dying on the same day, but on the Fourth of July, which was also the 50th anniversary of our Independence. Coincidence? No way. That was from God. Can I get an ‘Amen’?

We’ve Been Obam-admonished Again!

Oh dear, did you see it on the press conference the other day? The one about the Orlando shootings? Our dad is really mad this time.

 

Dad/Mr. President was wearing that look on his face: the thin lips pressed together and spread out in a straight line, the furrowed brows, and fury in his eyes and…my personal favorite…..the blinking. A hard stare with those hard lips and silence while blinking, blinking, blinking, blinking away. Tick tock tick tock, winkin, blinkin and …bomb! The silence stops and the speaking begins and,oh, no,  we’ve been Obam-admonished once again!

 

Why, you ask? Because it’s our fault the folks in Orlando were shot. We are the mean American people who allowed this to happen. We’ve been really bad peeps this time. Right?

WRONG!!!!!!!

We are not to blame. If we need to attach blame, let’s pin it on: Satan, the shooter, maybe his wife, maybe his dad, ISIS, fundamental Islamic belief that homosexuality should be punished, our current administration’s inept job of fighting ISIS, ISIL, radical Islamic terrorism, etc. And while we’re at it, I do think it is important to correctly name and identify what type of group of terrorists we are facing, to correctly and precisely solve the problem.

 

Are guns the problem?  No way. Don’t even get me started.

Here are the takeaways, from my perspective:

 

  1. Live in a state of grace. Have a relationship with god and accept Jesus as your lord and savior. Whatever happens, you will be saved from your sin through Jesus’ sacrifice. OK, if you’re Buddhist, Muslim, or of another faith I have to ask: did your Buddha, Mohamed or whomever the central figurehead is, give up his or her life for your sins?
  2. Avoid risky places and activity. Yes, I think being in a nightclub at 2:00am does nothing good for the body, mind and soul. I don’t care what type of nightclub it is. It happened to be a gay club. I’m not going to  make judgements on being gay. That is an individual thing between a person and God. If you like to attend clubs, movie theaters, public events, make sure there are good safety screeners and detectors.
  3. Acknowledge that the world is a dangerous place. We are ultimately responsible for our own safety and protection. We cannot rely on the government, the military and the police to come to our immediate aide at any given moment.
  4. Exercise your Second Amendment rights. Apply for a firearm permit if you are lawfully permitted to have one. Get one and learn to use if safely and responsibly. Keep it in your home or on your person according to the laws. Be armed and ready to protect yourself and your loved ones.
  5. Do not accept the President’s scorn, petulance and admonishment.
  6.  Pray.

God Bless the USA.