Rebecca Hagelin

Chronic, severe pain: For those who have never had to live with it, there is no understanding of how brutal it is to the body, mind and spirit. There's a reason why torture is scorned by every civil society – to inflict pain on another human being is the cruelest of acts, and entirely inhumane. Yet, every day there are thousands of Americans right here at home – in our extremely civil society – who suffer needlessly.

Some of our loved ones suffer out of ignorance of what is available to relieve their pain. Others suffer because not all doctors take the time to study the latest methods in pain-control. Thankfully, God in his mercy had provided me, through my friend Rita Marker, a book titled, "Power Over Pain: How to Get the Pain Control You Need" that showed me Mom could receive complete relief.

Too many people don't know there is help. And for those such as Rush, whose source of pain isn't terminal, the choices are much fewer. Rush's apparent drug of choice was OxyContin – a powerful, but highly addictive "blessing" to those who suffer from pain. My mother was on this very painkiller her last months of life. For those whose fate is certain – those like mom who have lost the battle with cancer – the drug is a Godsend. For the dying, "addiction" or "dependence" doesn't matter. It's a small price to pay to be free from the brutality of constant, severe pain. For those like Rush, whose pain can be just as cruel – but whose ailment holds no power to hasten death – the challenge is harder.

Undoubtedly, in his quest to find relief from his severe back and neck pain – for which he had already gone through surgery, but to no avail – Rush made mistakes along the way. Rush is but one of thousands of Americans who will become addicted to the powerful medications that relieve their pain. For some, to become a slave of tiny pills is almost inconsequential compared to the suffering caused by the sinister weapon of pain that seems to come from Satan himself.

As I roll over and think of Mom's face, I say a prayer of thanks that she is in a place free from pain and drugs. I also whisper a prayer for Rush and the millions of others around the world who are slaves of pain or pills or both. My hope is that as Rush struggles to overcome his dreadful addiction, the doctors will provide him with relief that won't have another form of suffering as the price, and that he will emerge as a crusader for those helplessly afflicted by pain and addiction. I also take time to remember, "But that for the grace of God, there go I."

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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