Kaylee Jackson broke her back in 2000 and her neck earlier this year. She’s tried physical therapy and acupuncture.
She said the only thing that brings her relief from the pain is her prescription medication.
The Flippin, Arkansas, woman will be among those rallying Tuesday at Cox Medical Center South as part of the nationwide “Don’t Punish Pain” movement.
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There will be similar rallies in all 50 states, Jackson said. Folks will rally at the Springfield hospital from noon to 2 p.m.
The rallies are intended to highlight chronic pain patients who say they are having trouble finding physicians who will prescribe opioids or pharmacists who will fill their legal prescriptions, Jackson said.
“People are having problems when they go to the ER with acute pain,” Jackson said. “Doctors are saying they can’t write any pain medication or giving them (only) three to seven days of medicine after having a major surgery like a knee replaced or hip replaced.”
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Jackson said she’s been dependent on her medicines for many years and can not function without them.
In recent years, her doctor was shut down six times by the medical board, leaving her to be shut off of her prescriptions with no tapering several times.
“Just complete shut down. It’s nerve-racking on your body,” she said. “Your body can’t keep going up and down, up and down. The medicine specifically says, ‘Don’t stop abruptly.'”
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Jackson said she thinks the government needs to stay out of the physician’s office.
“That’s kind of like a lawyer and his client,” she said. “That’s a bond you don’t break.”
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged physicians to avoid prescribing opiates to patients with chronic pain, saying the risks of overdose and addiction far outweigh the benefits for most people.
The CDC issued guidelines for primary care providers regarding prescriptions of opioids, like OxyCotin, Hydrocodone and Vicodin. Doctors are not legally required to follow the guidelines, but the directives have had an influence.
Among the CDC’s recommendations, there are three principles:
• Non-opioid therapy is preferred for chronic pain outside of active cancer, palliative and end-of-life care. These therapies include non-opioid medications, behavioral therapy, physical treatments like exercise therapy and weight loss and steroids.
• When opioids are used, the lowest possible effective dosage should be prescribed to reduce risks of opioid use disorder and overdose.
• Physicians should exercise caution when prescribing opioids and monitor all patients closely. This includes checking the prescription drug monitoring program before starting and periodically during the continuation of opioid therapy, using urine drug testing to identify other prescriptions and illicit drugs, and arranging treatment for opioid use disorder.
Jackson said she hopes the CDC will revisit its recommendations and include chronic pain patients, along with cancer, palliative and end-of-life care patients.
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Jackson said she and others involved with the Don’t Punish Pain movement acknowledge there is an opioid problem, but they argue the problem is with illicit drugs like heroin and Fentanyl.
Those interested in attending the rally must RSVP at dontpunishpainrally.com. Click on “rallies” and then “map” to find the Springfield event.
There will also be rallies in Kansas City, St. Louis and Jefferson City.
Jackson urges anyone who is coming to the rally to leave prescriptions at home. If you must carry them, keep the prescription in your front pocket, fanny pack or in a cross-body bag.
“Do not bring a purse full of meds,” she said. “Somebody will jerk it off of you.”
Park in the visitor parking lot at 1001 E. Primrose St.