Standing In The Gap
With all the stories of “super-heroes” in today’s culture, we in the pain patient community now have one of our own. Her name is “BROKEN WARRIOR.” Her outside armor shows many of the symptoms that hit her body on the inside continually from the chronic &/or intractable pain conditions many of us share. For instance, the flames and icy skin represent the two types of nerve burning felt with Central Pain Syndrome and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 1 & 2 (aka “CRiPS”). The webbing on the lower back shows the mutant nerve growth of spinal cord damage, each new line creating a separate pain all its own.
The wall and archways she stands in front of are inspired by the very real entrance to Auschwitz –Birkenau and the official killing of those with disabilities during WWII (nearly 275,000 by the end of the war... ) Now the "Opioid Crisis" stands to kill many if the ridiculous CDC 90mme guidelines (for ACUTE pain only) continue to be followed.
WHY SHE STANDS THERE:
The BROKEN WARRIOR figure stands in the gap representing all those who are being ostracized for needing unpopular treatments to live a quality of life. For instance: so often, chronic and intractable pain patients just need to use pain medicine… actually AS medicine for pain, not as a tool for addiction. To fight the Opioid Crisis by forced tapering &/or cessation of pain medication for people who NEED to be using it (NOT abusing it) means great suffering and death for MANY who once relied on opioid pain medication (the artist herself had a heart attack after forced tapering mid 2018).
So what is needed to help those hurting AND those who are addicted AND those who are overdosing?
EDUCATION – NOT PROHIBITION
Finally, the circles on the bottom. These are caps from vials of anesthesias, steroids and opioid pain relievers. All have hurt and all have helped. It is education and new research that makes all the difference.