Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Having a Voice, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, Partnerships, Personal Conviction

Pain and Income…Are they related?

I heard about a study that discussed the amount of pain people experience and believe it or not it’s correlated to income.  I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise since pain management is often related to having good medical coverage, but does that make sense to you?

The study stated that people who make $30,000 per year were in three times greater pain than those earning $100,000 a year.  The degree of pain is directly proportional to income.  I can’t believe that the medical community would allow this to happen.  Having worked in a community health center for years I know there are funds available if someone can’t afford medication and aren’t covered by Medicaid or other insurance.  Clinics have funds for uninsured patients and often have funds to pay for medication with pharmacies in their neighborhood.

Pain is one of the key factors that make facing a life-altering diagnosis so difficult.  It effects every aspect of our daily lives and not having it under control is often debilitating.  This is why we need to look for ways to increase health insurance coverage in the country.

I know that some providers may say that they are afraid of prescribing pain medications because too often patients at all income levels are drug seeking.  Unfortunately, with wealthier patients the pain is taken more seriously.  We all have to break the stereotypes we have about how income level, race, education level have on our perceptions of people when they tell us they’re in pain.  It’s no laughing matter.

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