Watch this video, if you can.

Warning: MAJOR trigger warnings for rage, high blood pressure, and accompanying symptoms due to medical personnel assuming ER patients who ask for medication for pain are criminal drug-seekers and addicts. (In short, your average visit to a new doctor or pharmacist.)

EDITED TO ADD LINK: Some folks are reporting difficulty seeing the embedded video – if you’re having trouble, try this direct link.

A friend of mine sent it to me earlier today and asked me to watch to the end. I couldn’t do it. Fifteen seconds into the actual “song” portion of this … “parody” (PLEASE, give me a break) my heart rate skyrocketed, my chest tightened, my stomach started doing the flippy-floppy thing that always happens when I have a high blood pressure episode – I couldn’t finish watching.

If I had, I’d have seen this:

Screenshot from video showing text overlay reading "Every day 46 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers in the US"

You know what else kills over 40 people every day in the US? Car accidents (actually, on average 100 per day). I don’t see DMV officials being urged to mock driver’s license applicants and view them as criminals until proven otherwise.

Or this …

Screenshot of video with text overlay reading "The non-medical use and abuse of prescription drugs is a serious public health problem in our country"


You know what else is a serious public health problem in our country? The under- and non-treatment of chronic pain, which is only getting worse thanks to the “abuse panic” and the “war on drugs”, with over 100 million Americans coping with chronic pain every. single. day.

And then there’s this …

Screenshot from video with text overlay reading "Medical providers need to continue to address this issue while avoiding the tendency to pre-judge and react with irritation from the fear of being manipulated by drug seekers"

Finally. Something we agree on.

And then …

Screenshot from video with text overlay reading "Patient's presenting to the ED with pain-related complaints should be evaluated without bias and with consideration of the underlying cause of their pain"

[sic], but yes, YES. We agree: YOU SHOULD DO YOUR JOB WHEN YOU’RE ACTUALLY AT WORK. That’s a solid idea.

Oh but then …

Screenshot from video with text overlay reading "And we need to help our patients understand that although we may not provide them with narcotic pain medication at their visit, we will always try to help them"

“Help them”? Help them how, exactly? By creating awesome parody videos using Taylor Swift* songs to mock them mercilessly and make it super-clear to all what you REALLY think of your patients?

Get ready for the kicker, Dolls ….

Screenshot from video with text overlay reading "To learn more about prescription drug abuse, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse at www.drugabuse.gov"
That’s right. I could be wrong here, but it sure looks to me as if this video was sponsored by our government . With our tax dollars .

I am livid. I’m so livid, in fact, that the capacity for rational thought is eluding me at the moment. Except for this one thing, and this is what brought me here after months of not posting any new blog posts here:

This demands a response.

I’ll write the lyrics. But someone else is gonna have to do the heavy lifting with the video-taping and the production aspect.

Any takers? Let me know. I’m completely serious, and I’m not letting this go. And neither should you. This shit’s just gotta stop.

They may present this video as a “funny” “parody” (PLEASE!) but every single one of you out there who’s lived with chronic pain and whose treatment plan includes prescription medication – y’all KNOW this isn’t a parody at all. This is REALITY. It’s the reality we face every time we go to the doctor or the pharmacist.

And I, for one, am tired of grinning and bearing it. I’m tired of being quiet out of fear that I, too, will be branded “drug-seeking.” I’m fed up, and I am done. I AM DONE.

If you’re done, too, share this post far and wide. And if you belong to, or head up, an organization that can help make this response better, so that we can get the real story out there, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

* – just saw this in my Facebook feed. Wonder how Taylor feels about her song being used to further the agenda of people who’ve begun denying pain meds even to cancer patients given her own mother’s recent diagnosis?

7 thoughts on “I CANNOT EVEN.

  1. Sarah

    Oh please. YES. Let’s make a response to this….I can’t not make a response to this. I will help however I can….I cannot, however, stand to deal with THAT being out there and no response back.

    GOOD GOD. Shame on this country.

  2. Robin

    Speaking as one who has had neck and shoulder pain for weeks now.
    I have been aleeving my pain with heat, ice, using an inversion table and soaking in a jacquzzi.
    My theory is to fix the cause so I don’t have to take pain killers to get through the day.
    That’s just my own preference.
    I understand your point of view as well.

  3. Shannon

    Heya Annie,

    It’s been awhile since we “spoke”. I agree with you, this issue infuriates me. I myself have had pharmacies refuse to fill my prescription. Whether they didn’t actually have any meds to fill it or the pharmacist decided on his own that I was drug-seeking… I do not know. But to paint us all with a broad brush and assume we are all looking to get high is not only insulting but inhumane. There are articles about how failure to treat pain is a violation of human rights, according to Human Rights Watch and the European equivalent of that agency (I’ve linked to those stories on my blog in the recent past).

    That parody video is not only divisive and belittling of pain patients, but in my opinion goes to the extreme of bullying. There is so much anger about bullying kids in schools, but you can’t tell me that it is not bullying to put us down & imply that we are all addicts who have no legitimate cause for treatment in order to function and live our lives.

    I wish I could help you with your video, but I don’t have the skills. I have put this post on my current Tuesday-Newsday #189 and will also post to a couple of private Facebook groups. BTW here is an article I thought you would find interesting:

    Also, I can’t read the 4 comments to your blog post – they don’t show up on this page for me. Maybe it’s something to do with Chrome?

    Hope you are well. Blessings to you and your family.
    Shannon recently posted..Tuesday-Newsday #189. What a doll!

  4. Ken McKim

    Not too long ago, someone alerted me to a video making the rounds on Facebook that took aim at people who go to the ER for pain medication. The video looked very professional, and the re-worked lyrics were set to a Taylor Swift song, “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” It’s a horrible video though, in that it perpetuates the stereotype that anyone who goes to the ER for pain medication is a junkie.

    Having suffered from cluster headaches, and with my wife suffering from Crohn’s disease, I can say from first hand experience that this is simply not the case. There are millions of people who live with chronic illness, be it Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Interstitial Cystitis, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or any of a host of other so-called invisible illnesses. There are times when the ER may be the only option for any kind of pain relief, and to demonize those who suffer so much pain already is absolutely ludicrous.

    Therefore, I could not let this video go unanswered.

    What follows is something very different from what I normally do as far as educational chronic illness videos go. For better or for worse, it is me singing on the vocal track; and yes, I wrote all the new lyrics. Don’t worry, I didn’t try to sing along to a Taylor Swift song. Rather, I chose one from one of my wife’s favorite bands, the Gin Blossom’s.

    I hope that this might serve as a counterpoint to that well-produced but ill-considered video that so many people think is an accurate representation of those who present at the ER with intractable pain.

    PS. When the video loads, there’s an option to watch in HD. I’d recommend doing that, it does make a difference. 🙂




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