The word “safe” has been poisoned for me forever. I feel actively hostile these days to people who use the expression “stay safe “

18 thoughts on “Safe

  1. Seems Oxy has reached Israeli teens, even though one cannot compare it with the scope and the severity of USA situation, fortunately:

    // It’s like heroine’: Opioids are latest craze among Israeli teens

    In what appears to be a pandemic within a pandemic, record number of youths have reported becoming addicted to painkillers since onset of COVID; some cite depression and anxiety, while others sheer boredom, which exasperated during multiple lockdowns


      1. // I support a total ban on manufacturing in the pill format and administering only in the hospital setting.

        Surely, a cancer patient shouldn’t be dragged to hospital every day?

        As for teens, we already have laws in Israel protecting them from the drug:

        “The Health Ministry has very clear regulations, stipulating that opiate painkillers should only be given to youngsters in especially acute circumstances, such as following an operation or suffering from extreme pain and even then, they should be prescribed for a limited time period and under close medical supervision.”

        However, those regulations aren’t always followed. Partly since family doctors need to be taught to be extra-careful and partly since “Following conversations with friends for whom it’s worked, teenagers arrive at their doctor’s appointment very well prepared. So, although there’s no real medical justification, they get the opioids without any great effort.”

        In addition, the article mentions opioids have become “very easy to obtain through the Telegram app.”

        Do you think ceasing manufacturing in the pill format would stop those drugs from being sold on Telegram?

        You have mentioned how Telemedicine protects abortion rights. Doesn’t it (and Internet in general) also guarantee an easy access to all kinds of drugs?


        1. My best friend with cancer overdosed on morphine and died. I wish her doctors had given her other options instead of drugging her into a stupor. She spent the last years of her life in utter misery. And on morphine. So it didn’t help. It just killed her earlier than needed.

          On the subject of terminal cancer patients, my uncle has already outlived his terminal cancer diagnosis by several months. The magic pill: a deeply hated relative moved in, and the uncle found a new purpose in life.

          Unfortunately, the hated relative moved out yesterday, so I’m back to worrying.


          1. Also, I want to say that it wasn’t the cancer that killed my friend. And the morphine was only a method she chose. She died of sadness. And there was nobody and nothing in the healthcare system even to remotely fathom the possibility that a patient’s state of mind might matter. It’s all drug, operate, medicate into oblivion.

            She effectively died on the day she received the diagnosis because the medical establishment is oriented towards making sick people more convenient and not towards helping them choose life.


            1. // nobody and nothing in the healthcare system even to remotely fathom the possibility that a patient’s state of mind might matter.

              Do you mean patients should receive mental help? Be offered to have a psychologist working with them? Because a usual doctor specializing in a particular kind of diseases cannot do everything, treating both body and mind. There is not enough time for every patient and not every doctor would be good at mental aspects, even with training.

              // the medical establishment is oriented towards making sick people more convenient

              Imo, the main reason is cutting costs.
              When a doctor has to finish after 5 – 15 minutes , can something truly helpful mentally be done?
              There must be support groups for patients, private or partially subsidized psychologists and so on.


              1. What I noticed is that with terminal patients, the healthcare system will try every single utterly unnecessary surgery and procedure instead of concentrating on the psychological state. Three months before her death, my friend was coaxed into an insanely painful back surgery that was completely unrelated to her tumors. The tumors were inoperable, so the doctors decided to cut somewhere else. It wasn’t the cancer pain she was numbing with opioids. It was the surgery pain.

                In the last months of her life, the doctors rendered a pain-free, ambulatory patient into a bedridden invalid in extreme pain.

                With no diagnosis and no treatment she would have been better off! I just can’t get over it.


              2. “patients should receive mental help? Be offered to have a psychologist working with them?”

                Absolutely. I don’t expect the physical doctors to do more than not cause mental harm (far too high a bar I guess…) but therapists working to maintain the mental health of patients would pay for itself.
                Studies done long ago showed that mental suffering is just as damaging to physical health as are physical diseases.
                But until insurance companies figure out how to turn it into a money laundering scheme…. probably not much chance of it happening….

                Liked by 1 person

        2. Obviously, if a person is determined to get high, they will. But these pills trap into addiction people who never wanted or sought a high. It’s impossible to stop addicts but it is possible to avoid addicting innocent and confused people.


      2. The problem, of course, is even with the “pill format” what a lot of people are actually doing with it, is grinding up the pills and cooking it into something injectable.


  2. “every single utterly unnecessary surgery and procedure instead of concentrating on the psychological state”

    Some years ago a friend was doing research on quality of life of patients with chronic conditions (manageable but requiring regular hospital visits). There was a combination of apathy and outright hostility from doctors. One said quality of life is not a medical concept, either the patient lives or dies and that’s all that matters…. later the was some recognition that this was important…

    And as for what happened to your friend… that makes me furious! Absolutely malpractice and those responsible should be put in prison….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And this was all after they failed to diagnose her for years until the cancer metastasized into the collarbone, which made it inoperable.

      And it’s similar to what’s happening with my uncle. He has terminal pancreatic cancer, which develops very fast. What’s the point of giving him a 2-month survival prognosis and squeezing 5 chemotherapies into those two months? He was fading fast until the hated relative appeared and gave him a new interest in life.


      1. The problem is on both sides. If they refused the chemo and said, “You are dying, we will just manage the pain”, a family member could sue the insurance or the hospital for not giving him the chemo.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “If they refused the chemo”

          I don’t think anyone is suggesting that, but the choice should be the patients. Two different relatives of mine were diagnosed with cancer (a few years apart)

          One decided to meet it head on and fight it and lasted about 11 months, much of it filled with debilitating painful treatments and trips to the emergency room…

          Another (watching the first) decided to forgo treatment and lasted just about the same amount of time but functional and mostly pain free until the last week or so…


    2. My grandmother died of rheumatoid arthritis. She’d had it for over fifty years. At that stage, it is no longer content to attack joints– it goes for the skin, eyes, and internal organs, hardening them. Officially she died of a heart attack– but of course that happened after her heart became too inflexible to pump blood.

      On the one hand. I get the whole “people need painkillers” thing. On the other hand, she tried them once or twice, didn’t like how woozy they made her, and refused them thereafter. And she was in relentless excruciating pain for decades. After a stint in a wheelchair, she realized that immobility simply breeds more immobility, and she forced herself onto her feet again. Would the newer opiates have helped her? Maybe. Would she have taken them? Probably not. I have never known anyone with more sheer force of will than she had. She was amazingly productive for someone who basically walked on knives and had crab-claws for hands: she visited the shut-ins for her church, taught art classes, looked after grandkids during the summer, kept a spotless house, maintained an extensive written correspondence, and was a wizard with anything involving thread and fabric. Nobody would voluntarily choose the furnace that will was forged in, but… I can’t imagine her otherwise. She’d have been a completely different person without it– and I’m not convinced that person would have been better. She was a helluva woman, and we adored her.

      Obviously, I don’t think people should be forced into that, when there are other options. But I also wonder… how much of the rx addiction side of things would be different if more people rose to the challenge. I take a somewhat religious view of the problem (having been through a lot of chronic pain myself)– pain is the gift of a kiln and crucible in which to melt ourselves and be recast, the opportunity for transformation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m 100% with you. I have no words to express how much I agree. Pain, loss, fear, sadness – these are parts of the human experience. We aren’t robots, existing in a state of uninterrupted numbness. That’s no life at all.


        1. Yeah. After my sister died, everybody in the family was offered a no-questions-asked RX for antidepressants to “get through the hard part”. I know our GP meant well, but I was… shocked, and a bit offended. She was my sister. It was right for us to feel what we felt. Not that we should wallow in it, but… some kinds of pain shouldn’t be avoided. It hurt because we loved her. Why would I want to numb that?

          Liked by 1 person

  3. “Stay safe now.”
    …then, on the way home you get in an accident and wind up injured.
    Then that other person ends their friendship with you because they figure you got yourself hurt just to defy and spite them.


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