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Nov 19, 2017 · Chronic pain - Let's talk in Chronic Pain

Hello Frankjr,

I am so sorry for getting back to you so late! Please forgive me! Since you sent me a reply over a week ago, I have been suffering from terrible migraines. They have been so bad that I can’t turn a light on in the apartment. What’s even worse, I can’t even watch TV or have any noise in the apartment. I felt so isolated, and my Dr is so afraid of his reputation that asking him for any additional meds right now will only bring another excuse or refusal! I am so tired of him. Ever since the opiates have been under investigation, he has become so afraid to prescribe anything for my chronic back and neck pain that he just won’t help me in any way. I am trying my best to find another Dr in the area, but so far as soon as they learn that I have been taking methadone for pain and oxycodone as my ‘break through’ medication, they refuse to see me. Although I have never been a heroin addict and have been taking the methadone and oxy’s for over fourteen years, they still think I am an addict. It’s awful to try to find some help and have the door closed immediately. I don’t really know what to do at this point.

I have previously applied for the Medical Marijuana card in Arizona and received one for this year, and I have been extremely selective about what I buy. So far only the eatables are tolerable. I too can’t stand the way inhaling mmj affects my mind. I tried it about 3 years ago when mmj was first approved in Arizona (I think it was about 3 years ago) and I can’t stand the effect that it has on my mind. Of course, I will not drive even when I use the eatables, but really being confined in the apartment is not healthy for me. I am so sorry to hear about your comment about the firearm licensing and the medical marijuana card. Truly I am sorry!

What I wanted to send you is the information regarding the acupuncture clinics that I have found in Tucson. I sincerely hope one or both of them can help you. I have been going to the Tucson Acupuncture Co-op for over a year now and am getting some relief from the chronic pain. The acupuncture treatments gives me about 10 hours of relief and have helped me to cut down on the methadone tablets that I take every day. I have hope that eventually, I can stop the methadone and oxycodone but that is still in the future. So far, I have been able to reduce the methadone from 120 mg/day to 30 mg/day and the oxycodone from 80 mg/day to 10 mg/day. It is hopeful that, if I can continue to afford the acupuncture that I can stop the pain meds totally. I survive from my SSDI income but by the time I pay for rent, utilities, groceries, and insulin, not much is left over for anything.

Both of the clinics that follow have a sliding scale. There is no proof of income required, they both trust in the integrity of their patients. The Tucson Acupuncture Co-op has a sliding scale of $15 to $30 per treatment. There is a one time paperwork fee of $10 for the first treatment. After that, for example, I only pay $15 per treatment. The treatments are the same for the patient who pays $15 or $30 for a treatment. I have listed the url for you so you can check them out. The Tucson Acupuncture Co-op is part of the Backyard Healthcare Project: Either url should get you to their website. You can also find them on the Groupon Website. In the search area just type acupuncture treatments and I believe you will find them. Usually, I see Josh or Brent for my treatments, however, Ellen and Whitney are both competent as well.

Tucson Acupuncture Co-op
204 E Fort Lowell Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705

Additionally there is another Acupuncture clinic that is nearby that I am going to check out. Sometimes I think it is good to have a different approach to acupuncture so in a few days, I am going to try the Gathering Point Acupuncture Treatment clinic. Instead of using recliners for the acupuncture treatments, they use a massage table. My hope is that Michelle might be able to use a couple of different acupuncture points to help the chronic pain I suffer from. Also on some days, the Gathering Point Acupuncture clinic has hours that better fit into my schedule. I can let you know how things work out there, after the Thanksgiving Holiday. I believe that through the month of November, Tucson Acupuncture Co-op is offering a special for Veterans.

The Gathering Point Acupuncture
1927 E Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85719

I pray that one or both of these clinics can give you some relief. If you need any further information about these two sites, please contact me and I will do my best to help you out. I do know that most of the other acupuncture clinics in Tucson and Oro Valley have insane prices. For example two of the clinics I called wanted $180 for the first visit, and then $90 for each additional visit. I usually try to get in for four treatments a week. If I had enough energy and could fight off the pain, I would try to go five or six times a week, but it’s too hard for me to attempt so many treatments.

I wish you all the Best in your efforts!


Bob Henshaw

Nov 19, 2017 · Chronic pain - Let's talk in Chronic Pain

Hello Jim,
Thanks for your reply. I just wanted to let you know that I never list the medical mm on my list of medications when I speak to my doctor or when I try to set up an appointment with any other doctor. As soon as I mention the methadone or the oxycodone, either the front office hangs up on me or I am accused of being a heroin addict. Even the big named pharmacies all accuse me of trying to get a fix. For all the retired and disabled people in Tucson, I am amazed at the response from the medical community. I look like an ape when I walk and my walking ‘gate’ is only about 6 inches. My head hangs off to the side because of the arthritic spurs at C-3 so I am a little disgusted with the reaction from the Doctors and the Pharmacists here. I have tried a couple of Pain clinics before, but they haven’t been able to help me at all. Most only recommend physical therapy at $40 or $60 a visit. That’s my co-pay, and if I could afford them I would go, but SSDI doesn’t pay me enough to be able to afford that therapy. Several times this year I have had to choose between medicines and food. In the beginning, I chose the medicines but after 4 days of eating a loaf of bread or corn bread to fill my aching stomach, I found I my glucose levels ranged between 350 and 450 mg/dl. It was a bad choice. Now I try to balance the meds with groceries. It doesn’t work very well. I do feel hopeless about the situation, and so far I haven’t been able to find any supplemental insurance plans or Advantage plans that can help. Even Medicare refuses to help me with the prescriptions. Please, I am not looking for pity, but I just wanted to be honest with you.

Thanks again for your concern,

Nov 14, 2017 · Chronic pain - Let's talk in Chronic Pain

Hello Jimhd,
Just a short note: I have had chronic pain in my spine for the last 59 years. It is terrible, but what I wanted to mention is that if you are close to Portland, I know there is an acupuncture clinic in Portland that is part of the POCA community. I can’t remember what POCA stands for right now, but I know they have a sliding scale. I live in Tucson, and found an Acupuncture clinic that is part of POCA and I only play $20 a visit. Now I am on SSDI right now because of my back, and I do get some relief from Acupuncture treatments. It only lasts for about 10 hours — sometimes much less when I experience a flare up, but for the most part, I have been able to cut back on the narcotics during those 10 hours. Unfortunately, the pain comes back with a vengeance but the acupuncture seems to help a bit. I have to sleep a great deal after the treatments, so if that happens to you, I am told its normal.

If I can find the actual name of the clinic I will forward it to you in a few days. I return on Thursday for my next treatment and I know the clinic I go to is part of the POCA community. I Wish you all the Best,


Apr 20, 2016 · Chronic pain - Let's talk in Chronic Pain

Hello Sharonmay7,

Thanks for your reply! I apologize for getting back to you so late — its
9:28 PM and my day (night) is just starting. I’ve been asleep almost all
day since 6:30 AM when I tried to start today. Yes the pain is really bad
today. I’ve had to resort to taking the prescribed narcotics to try to
ease the pain, and one of their several side effects is that I sleep all
the time.

Although I have a B.S. in telecommunications, I can’t find a job because I
always have to take a nap during the normal workday. Additionally, no
company wants to take a chance on me because I am too much of a liability.
If I fall on the job, they all think I will sue the company. Even though I
have offered to sign a waiver stating I would never sue any company that
interviewed me, I have still been rejected. Yes it’s really tough trying
to live on a fixed income. Sometimes I get so mad at the politicians who
always seem to find a “loop hole” so there is rarely a real COLA on my SSDI
check, but really that doesn’t help. I have finally realized that a bad
attitude doesn’t help the pain at all.

I have tried just about every “latest cure” for the arthritis, but nothing
has truly worked. My last attempt was to buy Dr. Ho’s pain therapy system
— but it barely helps. It’s a TENS unit that is pretty strong and has 7
modes or treatment options. The real problem though is that for it to
really work, I need to attach 16 TENS pads to my whole body, and then run
it all day long. Additionally, it does nothing for the constant migraines
I suffer from.

I too joined this site in hope that I might be able to find something that
will help me. So it was really nice to hear from you. I have tried and
tried to help my family (brother and sister-in-law and their grown
children) to understand why I rarely make any of the family get togethers,
but honestly, they have no clue. Although I wouldn’t wish this on my worst
enemy, it wasn’t until my brother hurt his knee and couldn’t walk without
limping, that he finally caught an idea of what it’s like to have constant
pain all the time. Fortunately, a shot of cortisone eliminated his knee
pain so of course, he told me to make sure I should see his doctor so I
could get cortisone shot in every area that causes the pain. I kept his
request to myself because I would need at least 30 or more shots of
cortisone if it were to help, and there is no guarantee that it would
help. Oh well…

Thanks so much for listening Sharonmay7! I really appreciate being able to
talk or chat with someone about this hell I live in. I think the hardest
point for me is that I watch my body falling apart while my mind is still
active. Unfortunately another side effect of the narcotics is that I can’t
seem to remember much of anything. My short term and long term memory is
fading, and if I don’t write most everything down and make notes for
myself, I forget what I am doing.

I hope you don’t mind, but I added your name to my prayer list, and truly,
I pray that things will improve for you. If you don’t mind, and please
know I am not a ‘stalker,’ what state are you located in? Thanks, I live
in Arizona — actually I live in Tucson, Arizona. Thank you again for
the good thoughts and your wish for better nights for me. I do hope to
hear back from you as well.

Best Wishes,


Apr 18, 2016 · Chronic pain - Let's talk in Chronic Pain

Hello Excentrk, I am so sorry to say this, but I know exactly what you are feeling! I am a 63 yo disabled guy who has suffered from a systemic arthritis since I was 5 years old. I had my first explosion of arthritis at 5, my second at 28, and the last one at 48. The last one left me crippled so badly I had to use an electronic wheel-chair to try to get around, I was diagnosed as having an “Unspecified form of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and finally type two diabetes when I was 48. I have seen over 100 doctors to try to get some help to control the pain and it wasn’t until I moved to Tucson, that I actually found a doctor who believed that soft tissue problems could cause pain. I have so many spurs in my spine that the doctors and the specialists ruled out any operation because it was “too risky.”

Believe me I know how chronic pain can drain one of any energy. The only thing the doctor’s can do is prescribe more and more narcotic pain killers for me, but I hate to take them as they really mess up my head as well as my insides. I am so tired of fighting this pain everyday and since I am on disability it is so hard to make ends meet. I sleep close to 20 hours a day now and everytime I see the doc, he tells me how I have to start exercising — but provides no answer on how to deal with the pain or the fatigue. My pain number is always a 10 or a 15 on a 1 to 10 scale. I just don’t know what to do any more. I’ve tried everything on market to help ease the pain, and have spent all my savings on every new “miracle”: cure, but here I am still crippled up.

Thanks for listening everyone. Please forgive me for ‘crying’ on your shoulders I know a real man is supposed to be able to handle all of this without whining! I just wish I could help others get through this horrible time in our lives….;Best Wishes to everyone, and I will continue to pray for everyone!

Excentrk I am so happy that you can walk those 2 blocks. I hurt so much my walking gait is only 4 to 6 inches. I look like an Ape when I walk because i am so bent over. That’s one of my most frustrating points: my doctor thinks I should be able to use a treadmill or even lift weights, but by the time I park and walk to the gym, I am so tired I almost would fall over. Imagine if you can trying to walk 100 feet only taking a 6 inch step each time. I don’t know why these Doctors can’t or won’t understand what it is like to take a 6 inch step, -all the time. Anyway You are doing Great! I pray you can keep it up.

Best Wishes,