New York State finally got on board with offering another alternative to the chronic pain dilemma. Chronic pain is now a qualifying condition for the New York State medical cannabis program. New York’s program1 began in 2016 and has been grossly underutilized largely due to the glaring omission of one of the most prevalent conditions, chronic pain.
When the program was first announced, optimism loomed large as initial estimates for the number of people who would benefit from the program were somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000. To date only 15,000 patients and 911 registered practitioners are part of the program in New York State. This is due, in part, to Gov. Cuomo’s efforts to severely curtail access to medical cannabis based on qualifying conditions. Now that chronic pain is a qualifying condition, perhaps there will be a shift in usage of New York’s program.
“There seems to be an ‘Oh she’s so neurotic’ attitude towards female chronic pain patients,” is how one woman described her experience with the healthcare system.
“I have seen many doctors...for my back pain and migraines and find that many of those doctors treat women as simple or stupid and direct questions or directions to male partners or friends,” wrote another woman. These are responses from an online survey
conducted by National Pain Report and For Grace, a non-profit foundation.
According to their survey, over 90% of women with chronic pain feel the healthcare system discriminates against female patients. The survey found that 84% feel they have been treated differently by doctors because of their sex and 65% feel doctors take them less seriously because they are females.
Chronic pain conditions in women, more often than not, are multifactorial in expression.
The National Pain Report adds comments like these from the sur...
My office is rife this month with patients exhibiting anticipation anxieties about what college accepted them or rejected them (their hopes are dashed forever!), what classes they failed, how well they performed, and how are they positioned for success in the future?
The sea of despair, the self-accusations, the diminution of inherent self-worth hangs in the balance of the student’s final report card. It appears that the cultivation of innate self-worth through other means has not been deemed worthy in our culture. The price tag on education is a functional reality and a concomitant pathology.
The range of symptoms that accompany the self-worth crisis are as diverse as the person. There are those whose emotions are felt in the stomach who exhibit IBS, cyclic vomiting syndrome and recurrent stomach “viruses”. Tension headaches and musculoskeletal complaints are manifested in those who stiffen up in the face of the perceived stress. Performance anxiety, ailmen...
Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.
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PHOTO: FRANKIELEON VIA FLICKR
Too many physicians are prescribing opioid medications for hospitalized older adults who may not need them. A new study found that one-third of 10,000 older patients were prescribed opioid pain medications, including Percocet and OxyContin, while hospitalized for non-surgical conditions.
These patients had a longer length of stay (six days vs. four) and were more often readmitted within 30 days. They were also more likely to be restrained or have bladder catheters while hospitalized, according to the retrospective analysis.