My blood is boiling this afternoon listening to Joe Duffy and Liveline on RTE Radio 1. It was all about the plight of poor people in chronic pain who can now longer get the Versatis patches from the HSE.
Jono is one of those people, at 24, he’s probably one of the youngest ones that was on the patches. They have been withdrawn by the HSE unless a patient has shingles. Instead of the patches, which were an enormous help to Jono, he was given Solpadol (2 500 mg tablets 4 times a day. Why? Why give him something that is as addictive as morphine that could potentially damage his liver and kidneys? Why not leave him on the patches which wouldn’t have any side effects apart from a skin rash which he never had?
Although Jono is now getting pain management injections which give him relief to his upper spine he is now in pain in his lower back. The patches used to take the edge of the pain and enable him to at least go for a walk. Now he can’t even do that. I have traveled to Dublin to seek assistance and advice but to no avail.
I was horrified to hear the doctor who was speaking to Joe Duffy suggesting that the patches are only a placebo. He doesn’t have to live with someone in chronic pain. He doesn’t have to see them at their lowest wondering how they can carry on with the pain they are in. He doesn’t have to help his son stand up from a chair. How dare he. I would love to see him walk a mile in Jono’s shoes.
Not only do we have to try our best for our son but now we have this constant battle with the HSE. Is it any wonder that I have anxiety and depression? My stress levels at the moment are through the roof but are still nothing compared to Jono’s suffering. He is 24 years old, he should be out living life to the fullest not laid up in bed. I am so angry and I’m even angrier after reading The Sunday Business Post about the amount of people addicted to prescription drugs – why am I not surprised?
I tried to get through to Jo and spoke to a lady who took my details but I didn’t get a call back. I will continue fighting for Jono until someone listens to me. I feel so sorry for the others in pain who have no one to fight for them. Only two weeks ago I was speaking to a nurse who said there are boxes of Versatis patches in nursing homes unopened. They were dished out to people who didn’t used them. Why can’t these be redistributed?
No one thinks about patients or their families when they just decide cuts to the HSE need to be made and withdraw much-needed medication. Jono is also waiting 10 months for a follow up appointment in Dublin to see if he needs another surgery, we’ve been told not to hold our breath.