Today’s episode is on chronic pain with guests Alecia Deon and Sarah Blahovec. I interviewed Alecia previously for episode 14 on emergency preparedness and the conversation continued about her experiences getting prescription medications and accessing healthcare as a person with sickle cell anemia. You’re going to hear about about that in this episode. In the second half, Sarah shares some of the major misconceptions about living with pain and recent efforts by pharmacies and the government to limit prescription painkillers. Both Alecia and Sarah describe the stigma and shame that pain patients face and the numerous hurdles they encounter when seeking pain treatment.
Blahovec, Sarah. (October 13, 2017). CVS’s New Opioid Policy Does Nothing to Solve Addiction While Negatively Impacting Pain Patients. Rooted in Rights.
#CripTheVote Twitter Chat on Opioids and Chronic Pain. (January 21, 2018).
Holpuch, Amanda. (August 10, 2016). Black patients half as likely to receive pain medication as white patients, study finds. The Guardian.
Fidelman, Charlie. (May 30, 2018). Backlash over opioid crisis hurting chronic pain patients: Quebec study. Montreal Gazette.
Moffett-Bateau, Alexandra. (March 4, 2014). Chronic Pain, and the Denial of Care for Black Women. Rewire News.
Nicholson, Kate. (October 17, 2017). What We Lose When We Undertreat Pain. TEDxBoulder.
Samarrai, Farriss. (April 4, 2016). Study Links Disparities in Pain Management to Racial Bias. UVA Today.
Schultz, Eliza. (June 14, 2018). Responses to the Opioid Crisis Must Account for People Who Experience Chronic Pain. Center for American Progress.
Zhang, Sarah. (February 28, 2017). The Long History of Discrimination in Pain Medicine. The Atlantic.
Alecia Deon holds a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida. Her passion for this field began sophomore year of high school, where the absence of Black history propelled her into a journey of self-exploration, spirituality, and a life of leadership and activism.
As a Caribbean immigrant, living in the United States, surviving Sickle Cell Anemia and pursuing her passion for social justice, Alecia has a unique perspective and a powerful voice. The underlying impetus driving her commitment is feeling duty bound to serve her community(ies).
She is an intellectual–a spiritual activist finding freedom for the intersectionally marginalized–utilizing tools of resistance (self love, writing as activism, and artistic expression) to foster self-development, growth, and healing.
Busy melding disparate scholarly frameworks, cultural expressions, and spiritual doctrines submerged in an unmistakable Blackness, Alecia hopes to construct a means for us to heal, reclaim our truest selves, and edify our souls.
Sarah Blahovec is the Disability Vote Organizer for the National Council on Independent Living and a disability rights advocate. At NCIL, she advocates for the voting rights of people with disabilities throughout the voting process, including registration, education, and election day. Sarah advocates for accessibility improvements in election infrastructure and encourages greater civic engagement of people with disabilities through voting and running for office. Sarah is also a freelance writer and transcriber focused on disability-related content. Outside of these roles, Sarah’s personal advocacy focuses on fostering greater inclusion for people with chronic illnesses or chronic pain within the disability advocacy community and addressing policy issues impacting the chronic illness and pain communities.
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Geraldine Ah-Sue, Audio Producer
Alice Wong, Writer, Producer, Interviewer
Cheryl Green, Text Transcript
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Song: “Dance Off”
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
“Electric Car” by Podington Bear (Electric Car by Podington Bearis licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License)
“Skeptic” by Podington Bear (Skeptic by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License)
“In my Head” by Podington Bear (In My Head by Podington Bearis licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License)