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.