Monthly Archives: May 2008

May Pain-Blog Carnival

From our friends at


May Pain-Blog Carnival

May 28th, 2008 · No Comments

I’ll be off on vacation for the next few weeks, so I’m inviting you to relax and enjoy these May Pain-Blog Carnival articles while I’m gone.

Rest Ministries offers…
8 Signs You May Not Need a Support Group For Your Illness
10 Tips to Be Sure Your Illness Support Group Isn’t Depressing

Andrea’s Buzzing About offers… In Which I Am Stiff, which wonders when we’re comparing ourselves to “normal,” it might be better to use a “personal-normal.”

Fighting Fatigue offers…
2 Athletes with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Dream of Gold
Blood Pressure Cuff Pain & Fibromyalgia

The Migraine Girl offers…
Tired of Being Tired. “Lately I’ve felt inexplicably sleepy all my waking hours. What could be going on?”
URGENT: A Petition. A proposed law which would require the use of fluorescent lights – one of the most common triggers for migraines – instead of (non-pain-inducing) incandescent bulbs is discussed.

Working with Chronic Illness offers…
Should You Disclose Your Chronic Illness at Work? 3 Things to Consider
Questions With No Answers, which looks at the challenges of having both a chronic illness and a career.

A Chronic Dose offers…
Chronic Pain: Class and Cost Distinctions, which looks at pain and class.
Education, Disrupted, a look at the challenges of chronic illness in the college setting.

CRPS- RSD A Better Life offers…
Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Pain
Reduce Pain through Mindful Meditation

And finally, Psychology of Pain offers… The Pain Gap, a look at the Princeton study which showed those with lower income and less education fair worse with pain.

Thanks to everyone for their submissions!
June’s Pain-Blog Carnival will be Wednesday, June 25

Deadline for submissions: Friday, June 20. Theme: Summer/Vacation
Send in your submissions

Thanks to Mode for the photo.

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DEA Raids Aurora Medical Marijuana User

DEA Raids Aurora Medical Marijuana User

by Ari Armstrong

See Medical Marijuana in Colorado for links to more articles about this issue.

On the afternoon of May 27, around 20 armed agents from the DEA, the Aurora PD, and possibly other agencies stormed the home of a licensed medical marijuana user and provider and confiscated small amounts of marijuana and around $3,000 worth of gardening equipment, according to the license holder and his lawyer.

Dana (he preferred I not use his last name), the Aurora man whose home was searched based on a state-issued warrant, said he is licensed through the state of Colorado to grow marijuana for medical purposes for himself and one other person. According to the Colorado Constitution, each license permits six marijuana plants and two ounces of marijuana, or an amount that is medically necessary. Dana said he had 12 growing plants and less than an ounce of dry marijuana and thus was within the state’s numerical guidelines.

Dana said the DEA is counting 19 plants. Dana’s lawyer, Robert Corry, confirmed this afternoon that official documents list 19 plants seized, but Corry said seven of the plants were dead, non-producing, and intended to be thrown away, as Dana said previously.

If Dana is charged at the state level, he will be able to raise as an affirmative defense his medical use of marijuana, according to Colorado law. If he is charged federally, however, federal law admits no such defense.

Dana said he kept his caregiver card posted on his basement wall and the license for his own use in his wallet. “Two days before this [raid] happened, somebody broke into my car and stole my wallet,” Dana said, though the state registry can verify the license. The agents who searched his house “took the one that was on the wall.” Dana said that he told the DEA agents on the scene that he was licensed to grow marijuana for medical purposes. He said the response he got was something like, “It doesn’t matter to us, because we’re federal, we’re DEA.”

Dana said that, when the agents came to his home, they wore bullet-proof vests and “they all had their guns drawn.” His wife was at work and he was about to go pick up his three children at school. “At least they were nice enough to let me call my wife, so she could get the kids,” Dana said.

Dana said that, at first, he saw a single car from the Aurora PD coming down the street. “After that, there were just a ton of cars.” He said the agents’ guns were “kind of pointed upward at shoulder height,” and they did not point the guns at him. “It was something else; I’ll never forget it,” Dana said.

At this point, Dana said, “I want my equipment back. I’d like to get my stuff back in working order.”

Dana suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Dana said this disease of the central nervous system affects different people differently — mostly it affects his feet. “It burns like you just can’t believe… It feels like my feet are inside a deep fryer… My feet will swell, they’ll turn white or blue. It’s always there. Sometimes it gets worse, sometimes it’s not as bad. A lot of times I’ve passed out from the pain, or thrown up,” Dana said.

“I know when it’s going to start coming on,” Dana added: “Stress is the big one.”

He described his experience in the past: “Once the pain gets away from me, I can’t get it back without some kinds of intervention, medically.” However, “I haven’t done that since I started with the marijuana.”

Dana said of marijuana, “It’s twice as effective as morphine is for me. I’ve got a prescription for morphine right now. It’s not anywhere near as effective as marijuana is. Not even in the same ballpark.” He said he “could just take handfuls and handfuls” of his prescribed pain killers, but over time they became increasingly less effective. “I was in the emergency room so many times before I started taking marijuana. I hated that part of my life, and it scares me to think I might have to return to that… Why me? Why would they mess with me? I don’t understand it. I just don’t understand it,” Dana said. The doctor who signed off on Dana’s license application declined to comment.

Referring to a case in Steamboat Springs, in which federal agents seized a cancer patient’s medical marijuana and refused to give it back, Dana said, “It drives me nuts, how they have access to all these medical marijuana cases.”

Corry wondered how in-home gardening qualifies for federal investigation. He believes the commerce clause has been interpreted too broadly. “It’s going to take many years to recover the commerce clause, though I think things are going in the right direction,” he said.

Dana said he has no idea how he became the target of an investigation: “How did I get on the radar screen to begin with? I’d sure like to have an answer to it, because it’s just driving me nuts.”

Dana said that, five or six months ago, his home was broken into and a few of the supplies in his basement were stolen. However, according to Corry, the DEA has denied a paid or unpaid informant was used for the case. Dana also said he’s discussed his medical case “one on one” with a number of people, he has purchased gardening supplies, and he’s conducted a lot of research over the internet.

Corry also wondered why his client became the target of a federal investigation: “It’s not like we don’t have enough crime already. This guy’s not hurting anybody. He’s suffering now, and he’ll continue to suffer while law enforcement wrings their hands.” Today Corry added, “My client is getting progressively worse” as he relies more on “heavy prescription drugs.”

* * *

Representatives from law enforcement and prosecution either refused to provide me with much additional information or they didn’t know it. While on the phone with Daniel Reuter, the Public Information Officer for the local DEA, he responded with skepticism after he asked me where I got my information, and I said Dana and his attorney. But when I pointed out the precise purpose of my call to Reuter was to verify the information I’d been told and acquire additional facts, Reuter said, “My understanding is that’s probably an ongoing case, and we don’t talk about ongoing cases.” (Reuter was willing to discuss a number of other matters, though.)

On July 8, just before noon, I called Jeff Dorschner, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office. He said of Dana’s case, “The matter’s still under investigation.” Which agencies were involved? “I think it was one of these drug task forces… I think it was the South Metro Drug Task Force, but I’m not certain.” However, the next day, a woman from Aurora’s Vice and Narcotics division said that task force doesn’t handle that area, so which agencies were involved in the raid remains unclear.

Which agency initiated the investigation, and why, is also unclear. I’d been told the warrant was signed by a state-level judge, and a DEA agent referred the case to a state-level prosecutor. Today, Corry confirmed that, according to official documents he’s received, Arapahoe County Judge Ethan D. Feldman signed the warrant, and DEA Special Agent Brian Villella initiated a search warrant and filed an affidavit. Corry said he has not received all the information pertaining to the warrant.

Dorschner said, “Based on limited information we have, I don’t think we’re pursuing any court action” at the federal level. However, Reuter left a voice message during the evening of July 9, and he said, “My understanding is that it’s in the federal courts now.”

On July 8, around 4:50 pm, I spoke with Eva Wilson, Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney whose office handles Arapahoe County (and who is also a candidate for District Attorney). She said, “No decision has been made, but it has been submitted for filing of charges.” She said she thought the DEA referred the case, but she wasn’t sure. A representative from the Aurora PD said a DEA agent referred to case to Wilson’s office.

Both Wilson and Reuter suggested I can obtain copies of the affidavit used in connection with the search warrant, along with a list of items seized. However, I called the courts, and representatives told me they have no such information for this case. Today Corry said he does have the list of items seized, along with part of the information pertaining to the search warrant, which he described as “not very helpful.”

I called the Aurora PD to discover more information about the action of May 27. An agent there referred my name to a DEA agent, who in turn referred my name back to Reuter. In his voice message, Reuter said, “It’s in a judicial phase… under Department of Justice guidelines, we need to defer all our questions to [Jeff Dorschner] about the specifics of the case… He can answer all your questions about whether it was filed locally, and then went federal, or vice versa.”

I left a message with Dorschner this morning in another attempt to verify the details of the case. My call had not been returned as of the release of this story. Previously, though, Dorschner did not provide information about which agency initiated the investigation or which agencies were involved in the raid. He said his office learned of the case two weeks after it happened. “I can’t provide details, because it reveals means and methods of criminal investigative techniques.”

Dorschner emphasized the DEA is not intentionally seeking out licensed medical marijuana users: “During the normal course of the investigation, using traditional investigative techniques, they came across a location that was suspected of growing marijuana. They used other investigative techniques to obtain probable cause. They used probable cause to approach a state judge to obtain a state search warrant. Upon executing that search warrant, they came across a marijuana grow… I continue to reinforce to you that the U.S. Attorney’s office is not targeting medical marijuana users in compliance of state law… We target large-scale traffickers.” He said the DEA’s role also is to investigate large-scale traffickers, though the agency is obligated under federal law to seize even small amounts of marijuana it finds.

When I suggested to Dorscher that local agents sometimes seem to bring in the DEA in order to skirt state law, Dorschner said, “I vehemently disagree with your premise… That is just outright wrong.” Instead, he said the DEA cooperates with local agencies, and sometimes deputizes local agents, to “promote interagency cooperation… without having to worry about” regional boundaries. He added, “The DEA would naturally be a part of any such [drug] task force… These task forces exist because the DEA has facilitated them… It’s important for you to understand that we’re not walking down a list of medical marijuana users…” However, he granted, sometimes an investigation will lead to an action against someone like Dana

Click Here For The Original Article Online.


The agonising illness that ended Laura’s model career

The agonising illness that ended Laura’s model career

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rare crippling condition knocks beauty off her feet and puts paid to any catwalk ambitions

This is the stunning Ulster woman who was forced to give up modelling when she contracted a rare illness which left her crippled with pain.

Laura Toner, from Newry in Co Down, was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) two years ago which left her in agony and unable to walk short distances.

The condition, which is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, happens when part of the nervous system becomes overactive.

It’s estimated that out of the 65 million people living in the UK and Ireland, around 11,500 people suffer from the condition and half of those will recover within a few months.

For Laura (23), RSD meant she couldn’t drive and resulted in her giving up full time work.

When the pain was at its worst she was desperate for her foot to be amputated.

Laura’s nightmare started in April 2006 when she suffered what felt like a collapsed arch in her left foot.

“I went to a chiropodist and she thought it was inflammation of the arch,” Laura recalled

“I could barely take my socks and shoes off or let anybody touch it.”

Laura was on crutches and was sent for an X-ray but doctors were baffled.

“I was in bed a lot because I couldn’t walk from my bedroom down the stairs,” she said.

“It was really excruciating. It’s very hard to describe the pain because it was so severe.

“I was in tears screeching with the pain. I was ready for a knife to cut it.”

Laura said even the feel of air against her skin was too much to bear.

The intensity of the pain meant she couldn’t take off her socks and shoes and she even wore shoes to bed.

“My feet were swollen and discoloured and would have been either really, really hot or freezing cold.”

Laura visited a podiatrist and got an emergency appointment with a consultant.

After following X-rays, blood tests and a bone scan, Laura was diagnosed in October of that year.

Laura’s career in modelling and beauty therapy were also affected.

“I used to do promotional modelling and I had to give it up.

“The agency I was with would have given me the Lidl advert but I had to turn it down because at the time I thought it was a breakage and I was on crutches.

“They said they would hold off but they couldn’t wait for me.”

She also gave up her job working as a beauty therapist in Debenham’s and instead opened her own salon in Newry.

But it was a struggle.

“I came to work every day just to keep myself positive.

“I couldn’t even walk from reception to the treatment rooms and I had to get the lift up every day.”

Laura could only wear flat shoes and in December she sold her car because she couldn’t drive with the pain.

As well as physical pain, Laura also battled depression and feared the condition would spread throughout her body.

She said: “I got it in my right foot as well.

“I was worrying I would get it in my hands as well because they say it can jump to other parts of the body.

“You have to try and think positive but it’s very hard when you think you’re never going to get rid of it and the doctors say there’s no cure.”

Laura began a range of therapies to get the condition under control.

As well as massages, she had physiotherapy twice a week with a family friend.

She also had reiki and reflexology to help desensitise her skin.

“It helps to expose the skin to different textures so I was having foot spas every single day.”

“There could be a chance I could get it in my hands so I get reflexology in my hands,” she added.

“I remember reading about a girl who had it all over her body and she couldn’t even wear clothes it was that bad,” she said.

Laura, who had to pay for the treatments to help her skin, wants to increase public awareness about the condition.

“I would like to see the NHS doing a bit more to get people alternative treatments,” Laura said.

“Even to see a physiotherapist can take ages and they don’t realise how severe the pain is. You just want help straight away.”

Because of her determination to ease the condition, Laura is starting to feel better.

She is still in pain but she’s now driving an automatic car and she’s hopeful that one day she will be able to wear high heels again.

“I wake up in the morning and I know I’m going to be in pain that day but I try to pretend that it’s not normal and I’m going to get rid of it.

“I was always in my shoes glammed up and when I was put in my trainers I felt horrible and really small.

“I would like to wear heels on my wedding day.

“When it comes to the day that I do wear my heels I will feel like the prettiest person in the world.”

l Laura is keen to hear from other sufferers of RSD and she can be contacted on

Click Here For The Original Article Online.


The Carrie Deussing RSD Benefit Dinner

The Carrie Deussing RSD Benefit Dinner is

Sunday June 8th @ 4pm- 8pm

Lenola Memorial Hall, 229 N. Lenola Rd , Moorestown , NJ 80057

Ticket Price $35

Hors d’Oeuvres, Buffet Dinner, Dessert, Beer & Refreshments

For your Entertainment and Fundraising Enjoyment there will be –

Live Band 50 / 50 Door Prizes

Guest Speakers Live Auction & Much More…

All are Welcome, it’s a Family Affair!!!

Tickets will be available for sale on the Website starting 5/16/08 or you can reserve them by emailing

There are 300 Seats Please Retain Yours Early !

Carrie Deussing

The Carrie Deussing RSD Foundation

484-681-4209 phone

484-681-4213 fax


Tax Deductible Monetary donations can be sent to:

Commerce Bank

601 College Drive

Blackwood, NJ 08012

Tax ID # 26-1197962

NJ State Corporation ID # 0400199612

The Carrie Deussing RSD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Non-Profit Organization


Advocacy Alert:

Advocacy Alert: The RSDS Education/Awareness Bill in Illinois is in need of additional sponsors in the Illinois Senate. Individuals from IL should contact their State Senator and ask them to cosponsor SB 1861.

Contact: Bea Danko, 815.672.1182

95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY State of Illinois 2007 and 2008

Introduced 9/18/2007, by Sen. Gary G. Dahl SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:

New Act
Creates the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Education Act. Provides that the Department of Public Health, subject to appropriation, shall establish the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Education Program to promote public awareness of the syndrome and the importance of early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Provides that the Department shall work with health care providers, local public health agencies, and other appropriate agencies to coordinate and promote professional education programs. Provides that the Department may accept gifts, grants, and donations from any source for the purposes of carrying out its duties under the Act.

LRB095 13379 KBJ 39048 b



LRB095 13379 KBJ 39048 b

AN ACT concerning health.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Reflex
Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Education Act.
Section 5. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Education
(a) In this Act, “syndrome” means Reflex Sympathetic
Dystrophy Syndrome, a chronic neurologic syndrome of unknown
etiology characterized by severe burning pain, pathological
changes in bone and skin, tissue swelling, and extreme
sensitivity to touch that, if untreated, results in permanent
deformity and chronic pain.
(b) The Department of Public Health, subject to
appropriation, shall establish the Reflex Sympathetic
Dystrophy Syndrome Education Program to promote public
awareness of the syndrome and the importance of early
detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
(c) The program shall promote public awareness of the
syndrome through written materials and other forms of
communication designed to provide education about the
syndrome. The program shall distribute information that

SB1861 – 2 – LRB095 13379 KBJ 39048 b

(1) the nature and possible causes of the syndrome;
(2) risk factors that may contribute to the
manifestation of the syndrome;
(3) available treatment options, including the risks
and benefits of treatment; and
(4) the availability of diagnostic, treatment, and
support services in this State.
(d) The Department shall work with health care providers,
local public health agencies, and other appropriate agencies to
coordinate and promote professional education programs that
will educate health care professionals about:
(1) current research about the syndrome;
(2) the nature of the syndrome;
(3) diagnostic procedures;
(4) medical and surgical treatment options; and
(5) the availability of diagnostic, treatment, and
support services in Illinois communities.
(e) The Department may accept gifts, grants, and donations
from any source for the purposes of carrying out its duties
under this Act.

Please see the RSDSA Site for more information on this bill and what you can do to help.


Characteristic trends of lower-extremity complex regional pain syndrome

The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Volume 43, Issue 5, September-October 2004, Pages 296-301

Copyright © 2004 American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Published by Elsevier Ltd. on behalf of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

Original research

Characteristic trends of lower-extremity complex regional pain syndrome

John Harris DPMa, 1, Lawrence Fallat DPMa, 2, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, FACFAS and Steven Schwartz PhDa, 3

aDepartment of Podiatric Surgery, Oakwood Healthcare System, Dearborn, MI, USA.

Available online 8 October 2004.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a multifaceted, progressive, and potentially devastating disorder generally affecting the extremities. In addition, scant information is available regarding the types of patients who develop lower-extremity CRPS. This is a retrospective chart review study of 64 patients who presented to a pain clinic with CRPS of the lower extremity. The study examined 23 variables broadly classified under demographic characteristics, CRPS characteristics, and healthcare utilization. The sample was found to consist of predominantly white, middle-aged women with CRPS I. Subjective complaints consisted of burning, sharp, throbbing, or aching pain with shooting symptoms. Initial presenting clinical findings included allodynia, edema, erythema, and hyperesthesia. The most common precipitating injuries were blunt trauma of the foot with or without fracture or ankle sprain. The most common inciting surgical events were bunionectomy, tarsal tunnel release, and heel-spur surgery. Referral to the pain clinic was delayed more commonly in trauma patients than in postsurgical patients, with a corresponding increase in pain clinic visits for treatment. This study may act as a guide for physicians treating the lower extremity to aid in the recognition of lower extremity complex regional pain syndrome and its characteristics.

Key words: complex regional pain syndrome; reflex sympathetic dystrophy; lower extremity

Click Here For The Original Article Online.


Power of Pain Foundation is hosting the second annual charity benefit

On July 18, 2008, the Power of Pain Foundation is hosting the second annual charity benefit at Wiseacres Comedy Club in Tyson’s Corner from 6-10pm. Tickets are on sale now. The event is “Comic Pain Relief 08 – Virginia” and proceeds from the event go to help raise awareness, patient supports and educate patients, caretakers, healthcare professionals and the public about RSD and other chronic pain conditions. The comedians include Big Al (Allan Goodwin), Jasper Reed from comedy central and Virginia native Marby Ingle. Marby also serves as a board member for the foundation. The ticket price includes dinner, silent auction and the show. Tickets are $75 ($25 is tax deductable).

In conjunction with the comedy show, there will be a free public awareness event for patients and caretakers earlier in the day (10am to noon).

For show tickets and more information on the events, the foundation or RSD go to . Donations are is 100 % tax deductible. They are also looking for donations for the silent auction and event sponsors for Comic Pain Relief.

Contact Information:

Ken Taylor, Treasurer

Power of Pain Foundation, 480-502-5818.

38556 N. Dave Street, Queen Creek, AZ 85240,, FIN# 65-1298571


  1. Comic Pain Relief 08- Arizona is going to be held on December 4th, 2008 in Tempe AZ.
  2. Faces of Motivation~ is looking to add pictures for the 2008 video pre-event presentations.
  3. McDowell Pain Advocacy Award~ We will be presenting this to a chronic pain advocate at Comic Pain Relief 08. We are now taking nominations. For more details go to