Docket Management
Docket: 01N-0256 - Use of Opiate Analgesics in Various Patient Populations, Including Pediatric Patients
Comment Number: EC -222

Accepted - Volume 4

Comment Record
Commentor Ms. Sheryl Robinson Date/Time 2002-01-18 22:29:47
Organization Ms. Sheryl Robinson
Category Individual

Comments for FDA General
Questions
1. General Comments I am 40 years old and the mother of 2 children, ages 11 & 8. I had surgery in 1975 for scoliosis; the surgery placed Harrington Rods against my spine to help straighten it. In the years since then the National Institute for Health has done numerous studies on the Harrington Rods and they have found many problems. In the 1980s this procedure was stopped but, unfortunately, that did not help me. Around 1996 I began having low back pain and that pain has gotten progressively worse each year. In 7/2000 I had another spinal fusion to stabilize my spine, (it was sliding forward due to spondylolisthesis), but that did not help with my pain. There is nothing else that can be done, I must now learn to manage my pain. Since my surgery in 2000, I have begun using Oxycontin for long-term pain relief. It has allowed me to continue working, (though I have reduced to 20 hours/week), and I am able to have some quality time with my children. I do not get any high from this medication nor does it cause me to be confused,tired or unable to function...it is what allows me to function. The only problems that I currently have with this medication is the feeling I get when I have to go to the pharmacy to pick it up. Most of the personnel at the store I go to are fine, (they know me now), but whenever there is a new person working I have to go through what I like to call the addict check. I hear the comments that some of the pharmacits make, I have to wait for him or her to call the doctor and confirm the prescription and I better be sure that it is the exact day my old prescription has run out...usually it can not be filled a day earlier, (pray that there are no emergencies during that time). If the pharmacist believes that the prescription can be filled then I am able to leave with my meds, (usually 30-50 minutes later). With all the hype that the media has created about this medication I don't like to admit to anyone that I have to take it...they usually become concerned for my safety or think that I have turned into an addict. I don't feel the need to have to justify or explain my situation to everyone. Unfortunately, peoples opinions are the least of my worries concerning this medication...I now fear that it may become even more difficult to get. I cannot explain what chronic pain is like, but it takes over your life. I do not have one minute that is pain free. It makes falling asleep difficult and wakes me after a few hours if I do. I struggle with depression, fear and anger on a daily basis and I have to work hard not to take out my problems on my children and/or husband. I have to plan everything I do around my pain and I am limited in so many things that I had previously planned on doing with my children, (dancing, bike riding, hiking, going to Disney World, etc.). I spend a lot of my time reading or talking with my kids while I am lying on a bed with an ice pack. Oxycontin allows me to do some of the things that I always planned and it allows me to have some good times with my family. If I did not have the ability to use narcotics to help with my pain relief, I don't know what I would do. The idea of nothing to help with my pain overwhelms me...I don't know how I would be able to handle it. I try very hard to stay positive and be a good mom. I continue working even though I would love to be able to concentrate on my self because I think that it is important. I don't know how I would be able to do any of these things without the relief that my medication provides. Before any rules or laws are passed that will make it more difficult for me to get my medication, I would like everyone to think of the last time you had a toothache, headache or some other pain. Now imagine that you have that deep aching pain every minute of every day. Now imagine that you can not have any Tylenol or aspirin to relieve the pain because some people have been stealing it and some have OD'd on it. Please try and think of that before you make this medication any more difficult for people who need it to get. Thank you for your consideration.




EC -222