“Always cry for love, never cry for pain.”
My daughter and I were driving to work last week and I kept hearing famous Prince songs: Purple Rain, Party Like it’s 1999 and so forth. I discovered later that day that this legend in the world of music and life had sadly passed. An announcer on the radio said that Prince would not want any of us to be crying over his death but to be celebrating life, love and music. I was born in 1981 and graduated college in 1999. Our class: the graduating class of ’99 seemed to always be singing: “Tonight we are gonna party like it’s 1999.” The song Purple Rain has been one of my all time favorite songs since I was young and I can remember being at karaoke bars in college and someone was always singing the beautiful song: “Purple Rain.” Being Jessica, I definitely shed a few tears when I heard of his passing. I do not know if the legend Prince and I had much in common except for a love of music and life. However, I recently discovered he too suffered with chronic pain.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (our newspaper here in South Jersey) wrote a column entitled: “In Prince’s Battle With Opioids, a Familiar Narrative That Begins With Pain.” Ten years ago Prince had surgery on his hip and was put on opioids after the surgery, as any of us would most likely be put on. Hip surgery is no joke and the pain following the procedure is astronomical. I had brain surgery, to think of the neurologists not putting me on opioids seems insane, which it would have been. Jan Hoffman writes: “At first glance, Prince did not appear to have the risk factors that addiction specialists have identified in many patients susceptible to opioid dependence which can include abuse of alcohol or other drugs, mental health challenges or a family history of substance abuse. Indeed, much has been made of Prince’s abstinence from drugs and alcohol. But some experts say the potency of the painkillers, and the very real effect of pain on a patient’s life, can send someone with no history of substance issues down a path toward addiction.” As Elvis Presley said once (another sufferer of chronic pain) “Everyone is addicted to something that takes the pain away.”
Most, if not all of my readers have chronic pain. It was a living HELL for me for over ten years. I almost took my own life because of chronic pain and when doctor’s prescribed me opioids, such as Percocet I thought a miracle had happened. It was a little white pill that took my pain away! That miracle did not last long. I then needed two of those pills to get relief: then three, then four and so on. Hence why I no longer take pain medication or see any doctors for pain management. Imagine being in pain twenty four hours a day, seven days a week? That is what chronic pain is: it is like having the worst flu you have ever faced non-stop and nothing helps but a certain medication. Would you not take that particular medicine? Before you judge someone who has chronic pain whether or not the pain is visible, think about being sick non stop and then a doctor gives you a medication that takes all the pain and ailments away. Sadly, most people with chronic pain wish their pain was visible so they do no feel the need to prove their pain. I do not take medication for pain nor do I self medicate as I once did over a decade ago but I will never judge anyone who is on medication or is ‘addicted’ to something that takes their personal physical pain away. You truly never know how a person feels on the inside when they look so healthy and happy on the outside. Would you even have thought that the infamous Prince had chronic pain???? Chronic pain does not discriminate.
This post is dedicated to the talented, heart felt musician who is now probably sitting on a cloud playing music: PRINCE.