Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I need my Dr not the DEA

Sometimes the kids will pick at me and call me the selfie queen. I don't take them quite as often as I wish I could because the hard, cold truth is, I only take them on the days I feel "good". When I look back at my Google Drive timeline I see the days, even weeks there's no photos of myself and I am saddened. You see, everyday of my life for over 15 years I have relied on narcotic pain medications to be able to have some resemblance of a normal life.
   17+ years ago my life was forever changed when a guy under the influence decided he had sat at a red light long enough, floored it and crashed right into the drivers side of my car. I had already been through 2 surgeries to try to help a birth defect in my spine and keep me from needing more complex, life altering surgeries, but he ruined that. The only saving grace was our youngest, Colbie was in an excellent carseat and properly restrained. His carseat was made of this high-tech foam used in the walls of Nascar tracks and inside the wall of airplanes. His carseat had a 1-2 inch impact indention and the worst of his injuries were from his sippy cup popping him in the face and then flying out of the busted back windshield. It was found over 100 yards from the scene.... I however wasn't so lucky, my spine and neck took the brunt of it and so my fusion surgeries began... So did the constant, unrelenting, disabling pain.
    I realize the stigma related to pain clinics and I've watched personally as a very caring and what started out as a very careful and responsible pain managment Dr. that gave me my life back, was recently demonized and crucified for his prescribing practices. I know the heart of this man and his belief that no one with legitimate pain should suffer. For the past 3 years he had to start backing patients off of certain medications and sending them to other specialists for some medications, cutting back on many others, and changing medications altogether. He was making every attempt to statisfy the agencies that were pressuring him, but nothing seemed to really help. He eventually retired his practice and had a deal with another group to come in and take over his practice but the new group backed out days after he retired, leaving many patients with no alternatives but to seek methadone clinics (which are truly meant for drug addicts NOT pain patients, and in my honest opinion are far more dangerous and have more abuse issues than legitimate pain clinics)
  After watching the news media, and even some people that call themselves my "friends" put ALL people using narcotics on a daily basis as addicts or worse I became defensive and FAST... WE ARE NOT our conditions, nor the medications we responsibly take, WE ARE HUMAN, just like everyone else. After all of the media and the lawmakers and DEA, CDC, even the Surgeon General himself, decided they know more about ME and every other pain patient than our physicians, I decided to make some changes.
I am slowly quitting smoking, which I know contributes to inflammation. I am voluntarily reducing and even weaning off the medications that are being targeted by the DEA, CDC, and lawmakers, mostly out of fear that I am eventually not going to have adequate access to these therapies.
  I am excited and so proud of myself for it, but it is coming at a cost.... More days not able to pick up my precious grandbabies, more pushing through the pain and trying to become more active, but there are just no ways around the increase in days I'm just not up to doing all I want to do. I've struggled greatly with increased anxiety, frustration, anger, depression, and sadness. I'm just not able to do the things I could on those medications. I have been able to be an active parent to my kids, chaperoning games, trips, and volunteering at their schools when they were younger. I even took on part time work to try to help supplement income because let me tell you, disability payments in most cases, won't cover much of anything. Then add the expense of supplemental insurances, deductibles, copays for Drs, surgeries, medications, etc. many people are left with nothing.
  Now giving up/reducing these medications has lead to the need to add more than 8 new medications to help combat the pain and symptoms. Now how does that sound reasonable?           My hope is that this is just temporary as my body adjusts and hopefully gets stronger.
   I've also learned the medications have been managing/masking some pretty severe pain or warning signs that another back surgery is in my very near future....
   I can't help but feel for those whose care has been mismanaged by Drs and pharmaceutical companies who prey on those during their weakest moments and abandon them leaving them to turn to street drugs and the like. When I hear Macklamore's song "Drug Dealer" it hits my heart hard. I've lost too many people to abuse and overdose.
   My own sister lost her life because she was so ashamed of her past she wouldn't or couldn't seek life saving treatment of something as simple as seeing the right Dr's and feeling able to discuss her past openly and honestly without fear of judgement and mistreatment.... That simple. I fully believe she would be here today if she had access to appropriate treatment. But you see, she felt like she didn't deserve help.
   The pain management system is flawed. When a patient is left unable to fill VALID prescriptions because a pharmacy is scared to take the risk of fines, others just can't meet the demand because of limits on the amount of narcotic drugs they can order per month.... That's a problem.
  The technology exists to monitor every single patient, every single prescription, and monitor for those abusing the system, those "Dr. Shopping" for multiple meds. It just takes using the technology and expanding the capabilities to a nationwide database. Add to that routine drug screens, mental health evaluations, and abuse risk screening, (most ALL reputable and responsible clinics already do this)
  Have Drs who manage pain patients take continuous training so they have every new treatment, technique, technology, and medication examined and are properly informed, instead of some drug rep bringing "gifts", rewards, and incentives for Drs writing their newest drugs. (not ALL do this and Yes it is no longer allowed, but it does still happen quietly) Yes, I also feel the legalization of medical marijuana, even just the oils, could help the "opioid abuse epidemic".
   It ALL angers me and frustrates me. No other specialists have the worry or pressure to answer to all these entities just to treat their patients, nor do their patients have difficulty getting access to their medications. Why should legitimate pain patients be treated any different...

Thursday, November 3, 2016

College Football - Week 10

New rankings starting this week as the CFP rankings were released.

SEC 4-2↑(57-18) and 3-2↔. Top 25 7-9↑ (78-42) and 10-6↔

Picks for the week (T25 will be using the CFP system and all SEC ranked schools will be in that list)

SEC (non-ranked)

Seems the site I was looking at to get the spreads only had some games and not all games; I've already missed 2 Top 25 games and at least 1 SEC game; was in a hurry and didn't double check ><  so the results will be a little off ;)

Tennessee hosts Tennessee Tech (noline)
South Carolina  hosts Missouri(-7)
Georgia  at Kentucky(-2.5)

Top 25:

#1   Alabama at #13 LSU: ↑LSU(+8.5)
#2   Clemson hosts Syracuse: ↑Clemson(+26)
#3   Michigan hosts Maryland: ↑Michigan(-31)
#4   Texas A&M at Mississippi State: ↑A&M(-13.5)
#5   Washington at California: ↑Washington(+17)
#6   Ohio State hosts #10 Nebraska: ↑OSU(+17)
#8   Wisconsin at Northwestern: ↑Wisconsin(-7)
#9   Auburn hosts Vanderbilt: ↑Auburn(+25.5)
#11 Florida at Arkansas: ↑Ark(+3.5)
#12 Penn State hosts Iowa: ↑PSU(+7.5)
#17 Baylor hosts TCU: ↑Baylor(+7.5)
#18 Oklahoma St at Kansas State: ↑KSU(+3)
#19 Virginia Tech at Duke: ↑VT(-11)
#20 West Virginia hosts Kansas: ↑WV(-34.5)
#21 North Carolina hosts Georgia Tech: ↑NC(-10.5)
#22 Florida State at NC State: ↑FSU(-5.5)
#23 Western Michigan won on Tuesday night (argh)
#24 Boise State hosts San Jose State: ↑Boise(-29)
#25 Washington State hosts Arizona: ↑WSU(+17)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

College Football - Week 9

My ATS scores are awful, but I have not actually been picking ATS. What I have been doing is picking a score and then later putting the spread on it and basing my ATS on the score I selected.

Starting this week (and I missed the VT game natch) I will be picking winner straight up (↑)and ATS (↔) and not picking a score.

While I'll be tracking my overall numbers on w-l I will be starting the ↔ numbers over. The favorite is in bold (so as to see which one I picked ↔)

 Last week a perfect week in the SEC 7-0(53-16) as the picks were easy (not ↔ though) and Top 25 11-6(71-33)

SEC:

#18 Tennessee at South Carolina: ↑ UT  ↔ (-13.5)
Kentucky at Missouri: ↑ KY ↔ (+4.5)
#14 Florida at Georgia: ↑ UGA ↔ (+7.5)
Samford at Mississippi State: ↑ MSU ↔ MSU (push)
#15 Auburn at Ole Miss: ↑ Auburn ↔ (-4.5)
New Mexico State at #9 Texas A&M: ↑ A&M ↔ (+43,5)

Top 25:

#22 Navy at South Florida: ↑ Navy ↔ (+7.5)
#10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State: ↑ WV ↔ (-3.5)
#2   Michigan at Michigan State: ↑ Mich ↔ (+23.5)
#24 Penn State at Purdue: ↑ Penn State ↔ (-11.5)
#5   Louisville at Virginia: ↑ Cardinals ↔ (+31.5)
#6   Ohio State hosts Northwestern: ↑ OSU ↔ (+27)
#4   Washington at #17 Utah: ↑ Utah ↔ (+10)
#8   Baylor at Texas: ↑ Baylor ↔ (-3.5)
#13 Boise State at Wyoming: ↑ BSU ↔ (-13.5)
#16 Oklahoma hosts Kansas: ↑ OK ↔ (+40)
#7   Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin: ↑ Nebraska ↔ (+7.5)
#3   Clemson at #12 Florida State: ↑ FSU ↔ (+4.5)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

College Football - Week 8

Hard week of picks (and very hard UT game to watch natch)... 4-2(3-3 ATS) in the SEC for a 46-16(15-17 / year doesn't match because no ATS picks 1st 2 weeks) season record and 10-7(10-7 ATS) in the Top 25 for a season total of 60-27(43-41-3).

Decent week for picks this week and Tennessee is off so hopefully we can get healthy for the finish run.

SEC:

#1 Alabama hosts #6 Texas A&M(+18.5): Questions all week on whether the Aggies can run on Bama. I think the most important thing will be whether Knight can throw and not have turnovers. It's at Bama and I don't think A&M is quite ready for the big time. Ala 34-20

#17 Arkansas(+10) travels to #21 Auburn: Auburn has found a team, Arkansas is playing very well. This should be a great game, home field should make the difference in this one. AU 24-21

#23 Mississippi at #25 LSU(-6.5): No Fournette seems to be no problem for this offense now. They have (somewhat) of a passing game and the o-line is killing it blocking for whomever is running the ball. Ole Miss can't seem to stop people but their offense is on fire also. LSU's defense will make the difference. Tigers 20-13

UMass(+20.5) at South Carolina: Tune-up game before SC plays Tennessee: SC 34-21

Middle Tennessee(+7) at Missouri: Missouri in a normal year would win this going away; they won't this year though. Middle by 10 at 24-14

Tennessee State(+24.5) at Vanderbilt: Vandy wins another; 44-20

Mississippi State at Kentucky(+3): Kent needs this to get closer to a bowl, MSU needs this to stop the season from spiraling out of control. Wildcats get it done at home: 24-22

Top 25:

#2   Ohio State(-19.5) at Penn State: Buckeyes 34-14
#3   Michigan(-39) hosts Illinois: Wolverines by 40  (49-9)
#5   Washington(-36.5) hosts Oregon State: Huskies 48-10
#7   Louisville hosts NC State(+19): State should have beaten Clemson; 'Ville 24-21
#8   Nebraska hosts Purdue(+24): Huskers 32-20
#10 Wisconsin at Iowa(+3.5): Hawkeyes upset 21-20
#11 Houston at SMU(+21): Houston rolls 44-35
#12 West Virginia hosts TCU(+6.5): I still have no faith in WV .. TCU 28-20
#14 Boise State(-7.5) hosts BYU: BYU had problems with Miss State; Boise 35-21
#16 Oklahoma at Texas Tech(+13.5): Tech Air-raid against Stoops D; TTU upset 38-35
#19 Utah(-7) at UCLA: No Rosen, no chance; Utes 28-10
#20 Western Michigan(-23.5) hosts Eastern Michigan: Directional U! West 48-20
#22 North Carolina at Virginia(+9.5): NC big (unless there's another hurricane) 38-31
#24 Navy hosts Memphis(-2.5): Magical run ends for Navy: Memphis 40-20

Thursday, October 13, 2016

College Football - Week 7

Decent picks last week; thought I would do much worse so a pleasant surprise. The one I wanted I missed though (double ot sucks).

4-1(3-2 ATS) (with LSU-Florida cancelled) in the SEC for 42-14(12-14) on the year. 9-5(6-8 ATS) top 25 (argh) for a 50-20(33-34-3) season so far.

SEC:

#1 Alabama travels to #9 UT: Tennessee's habit of slow starting and turnovers finally caught up to them, they played a hell of a game considering. With 7 turnovers, they were still able to get to OT against a good A&M squad.  Alabama cruised like every week (except Ole Miss) so far. UT will be able to move the ball on Bama, but I'm not sure they've fixed the fumble problems and they still have 7 people injured. Bama 34-31 in a very close game (as they all seem to be)

Mississippi State travels to BYU: Friday night game for the bulldogs as they look to get back on track toward a bowl game. BYU is playing inspired ball at the moment and is at home. BYU 27-19

Vanderbilt at Georgia: Vandy needs this win to get closer to a bowl; UGA needs this to stay in the hunt for a good bowl. Georgia at home will win even with Vandy's defense harassing the dogs all night. UGA 21-14

Missouri at #18 Florida: Gators have major problems on offense and Mizzou 'was' one of the best offenses in the SEC. LSU exposed them and Florida will finish them. UF 35-13

#12 Ole Miss at #22 Arkansas: Razorbacks smarting after getting beat up by Bama; they had a great offensive game if they didn't turn it over, but they did. Ole Miss looks to keep rolling after getting back in the rankings. A shootout; Miss handles the ending 44-41

Southern Mississippi at LSU: Southern upset Vandy to start the season, enough said. LSU (refound offense) 35-20

Top 25:

#2   Ohio State at #8 Wisconsin: UW should have beat Michigan; buckeyes are rolling over everyone. Badgers get it done on defense. Wisc 17-14
#3   Clemson hosts NC State; Wolfpack coming off the big win over Notre Dame, Clemson rolling toward the playoffs. Clemson big 44-30
#7   Louisville hosts Duke: don't sleep on the blue devils, they seem to play up or down to the competition. They will play great this week, but too much Lamar, UL 38-35
#10 Nebraska travels to Indiana; Nebraska is almost relevant again; they'll get over this hump and remain undefeated: Huskers 21-20
#11 Baylor hosts Kansas; Sleeper city, Baylor 50-28
#13 Houston hosts Tulsa: Houston's path to the playoff is dead and quite possibly their path to a NY6 bowl. Tulsa can run up and down, shootout but Houston rights the ship at home: UH 44-39
#14 Florida State hosts Wake Forest: Seminoles got a big win against Miami last week, keep it rolling this week: FSU 35-20
#15 Boise State hosts Colorado State: Chance for a NY6 bowl in Boise can win out. Don't overlook CSU for an upset: Boise close 28-27
#16 Miami hosts North Carolina: Miami lost a heartbreaker and NC got crushed in the rain (they pass well, not run).  One of them has to win; the U holds NC to under 400 passing; UM 31-28
#17 Virginia Tech at Syracuse: Syracuse plays no defense, VTech has looked awesome since losing the Battle of Bristol to UT; VT 38-10
#19 Oklahoma hosts Kansas State: Everyone is saying that no one wants to play Oklahoma right now, I think State would relish it: KState in the upset 24-22
#20 West Virginia at Texas Tech: WVU is undefeated and plays some defense; Tech plays no defense but is lights out on offense; I think turnovers will be the difference as the Big 12 loses another playoff contender. TT 52-44
#21 Utah at Oregon State: Should be a good game, but Utah's defense looks to be back on track. Utes 20-13
#24 Western Michigan at Akron; WMU hoping for that NY6 bowl by being the highest ranked 'Group of 5' team in the final rankings. Akron is playing inspired and this is a conference game. Zips in the upset; Akron 28-21
#25 Navy game was postponed