What exactly is Hyperalgesia you’re asking? Well, if you ask C. Scott McMillin, and what his credentials to be hypothesizing on chronic pain treatment are, I do not know, he would tell you that Hyperalgesia is when Opioid pain medication makes a patient’s pain worse despite having been on a stable dose.
The problem with that statement is that it’s just plain horse pucky. Ask any chronic pain patient, any doctor that has been treating them. Ask me. As far as I know C. Scott McMillin didn’t ask any of us. I am part of a huge chronic pain community on Twitter and none of us have ever experienced an occasion where our opioid pain medication randomly, or in any other way, caused our pain to increase. If there was an increase in pain it was, in every case, (that I know of) a new or worsening symptom or advancement of our illness or disease. Every. Time.
Now to discuss the second half of that outrageously incorrect statement. “But patients see no alternative.” I honestly don’t know how to tackle this one. In a way he is correct. Most of us have tried almost every other alternative treatment. Whether it’s Kratom, Medical Marijuana, diet, vitamins, exercise (good luck with that when many are bed bound), kale (hah.), acupuncture, the list goes on. And some of these, in conjunction with our pain medication do help to some extent.
But do they eliminate our need for pain medication completely? In one word? NO. So no, we don’t see an alternative. But to paint it in a negative light as C. Scott McMillin is doing is doing us a disservice. We need our pain medication much the same way a diabetic needs their insulin.
Maybe you think I’m being dramatic. I am not. Without treatment, pain causes high blood pressure, heart problems, it causes the patient to be bedridden and all the problems that come with that. Now include anxiety, depression and isolation. Oftentimes neglect from family members and/or friends. Should I continue?
What’s the moral of my little story? Here it is in a nutshell. Hyperalgesia, is, in my opinion a made-up term meant to demonize chronic pain and chronic illness patients. It is one more way to push us to the side, to ignore us, to allow us to suffer while patting themselves on the back for saving one more person from becoming addicted. All the while we scream and howl and waste away, much like Trini Yeager and thousands upon thousand of others. And more to come.