Dowell, Illinois, US
July 15
born in Illinois. 5 year Navy veteran. Married for 26 years (not counting the first five when we just cohabited. 4 kids, 6 grandkids, 3 brothers 2 living, 2 sisters 1 living, a mother living, a father not living. 1 dog a labradoodle, and a current cat population of 2/6 (If you count feral kittens ) I've done a lot of jobs in my life, from shill at a carnival burlesque show to making medium caliber ammunition. I built inkjet printers, embedded computer boards, restored and repaired both cars, motorcycles and electronics. I read, write, and do arithmetic (albeit poorly) My wife claims that I have more useless knowledge than anyone on earth and resultingly no one will play trivial pursuit with me anymore. I do play pinohcle but due to my inability to cheat I don't win very often. Recently disabled I turned to Open Salon to re-engage my writing bug. Update add one cocker spaniel to the list and maybe just shoot me.


Bobbot's Links
MAY 23, 2012 1:52PM

I Used to Worry

Rate: 19 Flag

I once was a regular hophead, (you youngsters can Google that) I grew up though and decided that it just wasn't worth the potential trouble so I gave it all up.  I did my job and I helped raise my family.  Now I know that I don't need praise for that.  They were my responsibilities and I did what I thought was right.  Life goes on though, and nothing changes or stays the same.  I'm a bit older now and for the most part the kids are too.  They have kids of their own and everything. 

 I'm a big guy too, not like some bodybuilder but, I'm over six feet and two hundred pounds so I've also done a lot of heavy work.  Heavy work is'nt to bad when you are in your twenties or thirties and even up to a point in your forties.  I've lifted, stacked, carried, built, and loaded some fairly impressive loads too.  See, no one ever gives the "big guy" the light job.  Hell, even when they do, he always ends up by helping out co-workers who can't quite reach, lift, or carry something.  No complaints there either, see, I think that we are all here to help each other, be it comfort or physical or emotional, we have a duty to help each other get through life.

Well, the truth is that while I was busy earning all of that money for my boss, no one bothered to tell me that I might be able to push things to the point where I couldn't do it any more without pain.  Pain, is the biggest four letter word in the dictionary.  People who don't have chronic pain in their lives are generally two things, first, they have no way to register what the stress level is for those who suffer from it so they can't accept it and two, by and large they do not believe that it is as bad as the sufferer says it is.  Not to blame anyone.  I wasn't much different myself until I learned the truth the hard way.

Pain, except for the occasional grimace or groan, is invisible.  We don't have trouble seeing that the person who is missing a limb may be suffering, when people are coughing and sneezing and throwing up we know that they are suffering and our empathy helps us help them if we can.

Many of us who are the victims of chronic pain however, do not "look" sick.  Myself for example, I am still a big guy and I am still tall and at least dressed I still look healthy and strong.  I'm not, I have cripplng levels of arthritis, a dying heart and lungs, and a crumbling spine.  I can't lift and carry and my knees and hips scream if I walk them to far or to fast.  So, I go slow.

We are also hammered with images and words every day about people who are lazy, that are just milking the system to get free money or health care when they "could find a job if they wanted one".  It's an election year so you may have noticed there is a very vocal lobby that insists the people who need help or medicine are not deserving of it.  Of course their opinions often do a rapid about face when their own bodies begin to fail them. 

One thing first, Social Security and for that matter Veterans benefits are NOT entitlements.    Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) isn't a handout or a gift from taxpayers to lazy, worthless bums.  It is an insurance policy that we all must pay for all of our working lives.  We pay the premium out of every pay check we earn.  Until we hit the "cap", that's right, if you manage to earn more than $106,000.00 in a year you will not pay any more than than $6,621.60 in social security tax.  Make six billion? that's your number too.  So the people who can best afford to pay in are not taxed at all on income over that one hundred six thousand dollars.  So, they may, if circumstance allows, recieve the same benefits as the man who had to work two hard labor jobs to be able to eat until the day that he was unable to work any longer.

Who can say why that is the case but the next time you hear some millionaire complaining about taxes remind yourself that he/she is not paying any more for your Social Security than you have.

 So, you ask, "What's the point here?" Well I'll tell you Bunkie.  People in pain need medicine if that medicine is a bit intoxicating or euphoria producing that's just the way the cookie crumbles.  See, I used to worry about addiction and appearances and now?  Well now I don't.  I worked and payed for the benefits I will recieve.  I served my country and was promised in my contract the health care I get from the V.A. 

I'm not a faker or a lazy bum and I don't have to suffer just to meet someone elses standards of deserving.  Anybody else out there that fights to keep going in the face of chronic pain should tell themselves this every day.  It is not my fault, there is nothing wrong with pain relief, no one has the right to make me feel bad for doing these things to give me some kind of life. 


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Something that intrigues me about pain meds is that sometimes people are RELUCTANT to take them, afraid of addiction of whatever. As you so expertly pointed out, that's what they are for. They reduce pain and in many cases inflammation. Thanks for opening our minds to the invisible disabilities some people have.
I know of what you speak. Like you, I may appear stronger than I am--more like I used to be--able to run forever on a few hours sleep while taking care of kids, house, and work. My kids forget that, while I love having them come for a visit and I love cooking their favorite things and getting the house ready and the cleaned up afterwards, I pay for it because my body cannot take so many hours on my feet and working anymore. I try to avoid pain meds during the day and save them for a good night's sleep, but with a house full of expectations, their visits mean more pills so I can keep going and not become a bitch in pain. I am lucky that I have options, but convincing a new doctor that I am not lazy despite being overweight and going through another round of "managing your pain without drugs" is painful in itself.
You have such a great attitude.. I wont go to doctors or take medicine because of my health history. I am the last one standing in my family and when I go I go.
Hear! Hear! I could list mine, but I'll spare you. Just know that I know, Bob. - Brother in Pain
My Dad is where you are. It took me a while to get him to quit crawling under my house.
Yeah, being there, doing deserve what youve worked and sacrificed your whole life for, Bob.
With best wishes, Bobbot.
I know several people who seem to pride themselves in refusing to take any kind of medicine for pain. It's like some kind of twisted badge of honor. If your pain is so intractable that you must take pain meds for the rest of your life, so be it.


P.S. Why is that baby up there flipping me the bird?
Up in my neck of the woods they are trying to take my pain meds away from me. They say it is for my own good because people are ODing on them and they are only looking out for me. It doesn't matter that I have been taking the Opioids for over 12 years now and that they are the ONLY thing that puts a dent in my pain.. they say they are doing it for my own good and if I don't want to give them up then I MUST take a drug test every month, to make sure I am being compliant and not taking any drugs that they don't approve, (DEA.)

Ain't America grand?
My mom forgot her pain meds today and paid dearly for it. At 93 she is coping very well with chronic back pain. It is not easy and as retired Navy from WWII she gets good care. Everyone deserves such care.
Well said bobbot. While I'm sure that I can't fully understand how you and others like scanner get through day after day, it's salutary to read reminders like yours.
I cannot take pain meds beyong Tylenol. I'd sleep through the day on anything stronger

I appreciste this piece a great deal.

I know well of long term chronic pain Bob, and what it is like to look healthy.
I can't thank you enough for voicing something so important to me.

Being in pain all the time sucks.

Because pain is not visible to others.

Speaking out about it raises awareness.
So I had to look up hophead. Which stated a person who enjoys "hoppy" beer. That doesn't sound so bad. I was imagining far worse.

I also didn't know about the SS cap. I'm so sick of the rich crying poor and it is heart breaking the hear the cry of the poor, who apparently are so wealthy with all these benefits we get.

I'm sorry you are in pain bobbot. I feel you have a right to your medication and for those of us lucky enough not to suffer daily like you do, we can pay equal taxes and SS. From what I have read, you don't sound like a lazy person to me, but just like all of us, trying to make it and get by. Please keep writing and educating others. You taught me two things today and now I will share that and bring more awarness about the unfairness of billionairs paying only $6,621.60 per year into SS and of course hopheads.
I understand this too well as without my morning pills I could not work, so then I wonder how much more damage I am doing to myself because of the pills I can still push through a day, but without them I would not be able to work like I do. It is an endless circle that you keep waiting for the next Dr to pull out from under you. Am I addicted, no, do I take more than I should, no, do I need them to work, yes....sigh....
I knew hopheads, a lot of them. And I remember the dentist asking, in front of my mom when I was a kid, do you really need Novocaine or can you be a big girl and tough it out? That's where this comes from. Not taking pain medication because you want to prove to somebody you don't need it - how dumb is that. Tell them all to go fly a kite.
This weekend's holiday couldn't be a more fitting time for you to educate us so well on so many personal and public levels. I am very sorry for your pain, especially because of your dedication and hard work serving our country. There aren't enough words to adequately thank you. It's an honor to read your work, to share this space with you and to call you Friend.
my state went Republican in 2010-- now we have a big fire

our Rep. Gov is quick to run to the GOVERNMENT for help--
also a lot of the most conservative states get farm aid