Help, I’m being tortured by the U.S. Federal Government- my perspective on how the war on chronic pain patients violates the U.S. Constitution

I’m being tortured by the U.S. Federal Government. I’ve been convicted of a crime without trial and with zero evidence presented. I’m being held in isolation against my will for the rest of my natural life.

What could I’ve done that was so horrible to garner the wrath of the most powerful government on the planet? What could possibly have been my crime that caused them to torture me and condemn me to a lifetime of isolation? I must have done something horrible for them to violate the 4th, 8th, 9th and 10th amendments of the document that The United States Federal Government was founded upon. I must be one of the worst most dangerous terrorists to ever live, right?

What was my crime that I’ve been treated so criminally by the government?

My crime simply that I am in chronic pain and I’ve sought relief for it.

Yep that’s it. Because I was on chronic pain narcotics I’ve been branded as a criminal, sentenced to a lifetime of torture and isolation for the rest of my life.

For those who aren’t in chronic pain or have never experienced severe physical pain this might appear to be overly dramatic. Trust me it’s not. I’ve been ill and in chronic pain for over thirty years. I’ve taken pain medicine up until five months ago for it. Nothing has changed as far as my pain goes, only my conviction by the FDA and DEA has.

Now, no one from the Federal Government has come out directly and said that I shouldn’t have pain medicine. Bureaucracies are too clever for that. They have later after layer of people that filter down their directives so that when I’m finally face with my doctor (for about 5 minutes) and he says he doesn’t care about my pain, I have absolutely no recourse.

No one in the enormous Federal Government who make the rules ever have to deal face to face with the people whose lives they affect.

Doctors no longer work for the patient. They are effectively government employees who view insurance companies as their main customers.

In all fairness my doctor did refer me to a pain clinic. He followed the sentencing (I mean prescribing) guidelines. But that pain clinic couldn’t help me because they don’t take self pay patients or patients with GI related pain. I called nine others and only two would say they’d see me.

But they couldn’t guarantee me that they could help me even after I paid the exorbitant initial assessment fee. I don’t believe I should be coerced into this system of chronic pain contracts and mandatory drug testing and pill counting, which in reality is just a disturbing hybrid of the prison and the medical industrial complex.

I don’t need cortisol shots or more surgery. Nearly all pain clinics deal with back pain and bone related issues. My issues are caused by scar tissue and a gallstone that no surgeon wants to remove. The pain clinics aren’t set up to help someone like me.

By forcing me into a system designed to make sure parolees aren’t using illegal drugs violates, the government is violating at least four of the Constitutional amendments as well as the very fundamental principles it was based upon.

It’s ironic that I’m being treated like a criminal by those who are illegally violated the Constitution.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Eighth Amendment

I think that forcing me to pay for a service I don’t want that is based upon the prison system parolee model, clearly violates the 8th amendment of excessive fines. Even if it’s called a “fee” I’m being fined for being in chronic pain and being punished for trying to find relief from the state mandated supplier of the remedy.

I’ve been convicted of being a chronic pain patient and in order to receive the $40 pain medicine I need each month, I now have to go see a pain clinic doctor who charges $400-$600 for his initial visit, plus if he does deem me worthy of pain medicine, (which if he doesn’t I have zero recourse and I’ll be labeled as a drug seeker in the state database) then I’ll have to go back ever 28 days and pay another $125 for urine testing and blood testing. Only then can I pay for my $40 medication.

This is crony Capitalism at its worst. This is a perfect example of an industry (the pain clinic folks, addiction specialists, drug makers who are pushing their expensive alternatives to cheap and effective pain medicine along with the drug testing companies), using state power to enrich the few at the expense of the many who are suffering and without any power in Washington.

Denying me pain medicine which my doctors have done and forcing me into an arbitrary and expensive system which I don’t need is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. Since I’ve not had pain medicine I’ve been in excruciating pain. If you deny someone the ability to buy a proven and safe medicine which they’ve taken in the past, and which helps relieve or at least take the edge of their pain, it’s the same as inflicting the pain they are suffering yourself.

This is an example of why individual rights are so vital. Once economically interested parties can have regulations written that violate your rights this is what can occur. You can be stuck in horrible pain with no one to help you.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment is meant to keep the government out of your business. Just because I’m in pain and seek relief from it , I don’t forfeit my Right to Privacy.

As a Chronic Pain Patient I’m not secure in my own body because by law pain doctors are required to see me every 28 days (if I’m forced into their parolee pain clinic racket) and forced to give up my blood and urninr which they will analyze to see if I’m taking the medicine as prescribed and not taking anything else. Since the doctor is acting as an extension of government by doing this I believe that warrant should be necessary for this violation of privacy.

The information being gathered is being taken by a government licensed person acting according to law (mostly to regulations – this is a way for governments to steal your rights without anyone ever voting on them) and being recorded in a government database. A warrant should needed to do this and it should only be issued if there is probable cause.

If I don’t sign the contract I’ll be denied what I argue is life saving medication. What is the probable cause? Just because I have chronic pain I am a criminal? Am I not innocent before proven guilty? And what am I being accused of being anyway? I’ve done nothing wrong except be in excruciating pain and asking to purchase $40 worth of medicine so I don’t hurt so much. That’s it.

I’m not an addict or have I ever overdosed and I never would. There’s no reason a doctor should be piss testing me every 28 days because I’m taking a medication that is extremely safe and effective, and which I’ve been taking in one form or another for 30 years.

If I don’t sign the pain contract and submit to the monthly testing and give up my right to privacy I’ll be denied pain medicine. And if you are signing a contract under duress it’s not legally binding. A pain contract is a form of blackmail. If you don’t sign it you’ll suffer. The government is complicit along with doctors effectively torturing those who refuse to submit to their violations of the Constitution and basic human compassion.

Let’s say I do go to a pain clinic and by some miracle they do accept me as a chronic pain patient, and I submit to the monthly testing, what happens if my pain doesn’t stay on schedule? I’ll have to just suffer. That again is a form of torture. If you can cheaply and easily relieve someone’s pain and they are willing to pay for the product and you deny them, you are discriminating in the worst possibly way

It’s not the government’s fault if you suffer more pain than what they allotted to relieve. The whole system epitomizes what’s wrong with centralized bureaucracies that don’t respect individuals rights. When the government gets involved out goes compassion and common sense and they are replaced by rigid regimentation and diffused responsibility.

I’ve committed no crimes yet I’m treated like a criminal. My rights have been violated and they just don’t cause me to suffer more physical pain then I should but they also caused massive emotional pain as well. Do to my inability to get relief for my physical pain I’ve become more and more isolated – those who engineered and benefit from this criminal system have basically sentenced me to solitary confinement.

They’ve sentenced me to be alone. When you are sick and in pain you don’t want to be around other people and people don’t want to be around you. After a while people stop inviting you out for things because you cancel so much, they stop calling you because you have nothing to say, except how much you hurt and how miserable you are and then the texting stops, because they know your life has become your pain and you are effectively in solitary confinement.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Ninth Amendment

This is an amendment to be honest I had totally forgotten about. It doesn’t get brought up a lot but it does apply here. The entire spirit of the Bill of Rights is that the individual is sovereign over their own mind and body. This is demonstrated by the first and second amendment. The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech and religion – this is sovereignty over one’s mind. The second amendment guarantees the right to defend one’s person and property by guaranteeing that no laws are passed that restrict the ownership of firearms.

Just because the Constitution doesn’t say explicitly that I have the right to take what medicines I choose and to bear the responsibility for that choice doesn’t mean the government can brand me a chronic pain criminal and deny me the right to purchase a safe and effective medication. If you are sovereign over your thoughts and your body then you have the understood right to ingest what substances you choose.

The revolutionary idea that sparked the greatest increase of human flourishing that ever occurred in the history of mankind, the idea that the Constitution of The United States of America was founded upon is this:

Every individual’s rights comes from their humanity and not from the state. So it’s assumed individuals have a right to do what they want to with their body and mind without interference from the state, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the right of others to do the same.

If they real

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Tenth Amendment

The tenth amendment has also been violated by the FDA’s guidelines and the entire DEA, prescription racket system. This further erosion of my rights is symptomatic of corrupt system that artificially raises the cost of healthcare while denying individuals the right to make their own choices about what do to live a better life.

Anything not specified by the Constitution should be handled at the state level which also has to be inline with the Bill of Rights. The Federal Government has no right according to the Constitution to regulate drugs of any kind. And the states do not either if the original intent of the Constitution is respected and the ninth amendment is adhered to.

I have zero faith that anyone in power cares about the Constitution. The same type of people who allow millions of pain patients to suffer, like me, are the same ones who allow wars to be fought around the world without Congressional approval. They are the same ones who keep cannabis illegal, who want to ban Kratom and who make it almost impossible to bring back psychedelics as an adjunct to psychotherapy. The same people in the FDA are in the pockets of big pharma and the DEA is in bed the prison industrial system.

I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong except that I had an autoimmune disease when I was 12, that was so bad that it required a major surgery and that surgery didn’t go right. Since them I’ve been stuck with chronic unending pain. And now the very medical establishment who failed me in the past now doesn’t want to help me in the present with the one thing it can do to help me.

I’ve been effectively branded by the FDA and DEA as a chronic pain criminal. I have no advocate in the healthcare system, the doctors are so scared of these government agencies they’ve abandoned their oath to help the sick and suffering. The ones who might be able to help me charge an insane amount of money and require me to submit to be treated like a criminal.

I’m thankful that my jailers haven’t banned Kratom yet. I know they are working on that. If it wasn’t for Kratom I’d been forced into their pain parolee clinic system. To be honest if things don’t improve I’ll have to find a pain clinic, pay their exorbitant fines and be treated like a parolee, whose only crime is that I am in pain, and I live in a country that has lost its way and now views suffering patients as criminals, politicians and bureaucrats as doctors and doctors as law enforcement agents.

I can’t end my sentence of chronic pain. My pain will be with me until the day I die. The only question is how much unnecessary torture will I have to endure because I’ve been branded a chronic pain criminal by the suits in Washington – my only crime: Having chronic pain.

I you too have suffered because of the hysteria over the opioid crisis please leave a comment. The politicians and economically interested parties are exploited the most vulnerable members of society for money. Let’s join together and tell Washington DC we’ve had enough. Seeking to relieve your Pain isn’t a crime and just because someone is suffering doesn’t mean the Constitution no longer applies.

Brad Miller

Medicinal Freedom

I believe that every individual has he right to consume what they choose to and to also bear the consequences of those choices.

Medicinal Freedom is simply the ability to exercise this natural innate right without restriction from the government.In the near future I believe that we will have true Medicinal Freedom. This means that every individual can buy any and every type of synthetic or natural medicine they choose.

Not only will adults be able to buy any type of medicines they choose, they will also be able to grow our own. This freedom will allow individuals to treat their symptoms and to ease their suffering for a fraction of the cost they can now with even more effective options.Anyone will be able to create their own medicinal garden or backyard pharmacy.

Think of a backyard pharmacy in which you have different strains of Cannabis that have the mix of cannabinoids specific to treat your symptoms. Cannabinoids such as CBD, CBN, and of course THC have been proven to help treat the symptoms of diseases ranging from Migraines to Epilepsy and even in helping to treat cancer.

Along with Cannabis you could grow a medicinal mushroom patch which would include species that can lower cholesterol, help treat cancer, boost your immune system and help to enhance your mental wellbeing. In addition to mushrooms and cannabis many people would choose to grow poppy plants as well.

For thousands of years humans have used the milk of the poppy to ease physical suffering. With a garden full of poppy plants those with pain will no longer have to suffer and be without adequate relief. And that adequate relief will be defined bythe individual not by some suit at the DEA, CDC or FDA or by an ignorant authoritarian grandstanding politician.

In addition to being able to grow our own backyard pharmacy, in an atmosphere of Medicinal Freedom, pharmaceutical companies will no longer be able to hide behind the power of government. They will have to produce much more affordable safer and effective drugs because they will be selling directly to the consumer. Currently they enjoy a diffusion of responsibility because of the FDA, DEA, and the prescription restriction racket.In this new atmosphere of freedom and responsibility Drug companies will have to compete with safe and effective medicines that individuals can grow at home. Further competition will come from new startups that focus on harnessing the power of nature to cure, treat and prevent diseases. These new market forces will cause drug companies to change what products they produce as well as how they sell them.

I can envision a future in which Pfizer and Merk will open their own retail locations. They could even have doctors in their stores to offer free health consultations and even free blood tests. This would be an effort to keep you in their product ecosystem. Other drug companies who don’t have a direct retail presence will choose to sell their offerings at places like Walmart or even through Amazon. Drug safety in this environment would actually increase. Right now the FDA protects drug companies by allowing them to sell products that kill and maim millions of people. The corrupt prescription and patent system allow them to rake in Billions in profits which they are then able to settle the lawsuits for their dangerous products.Without the shield of the FDA drug companies will be no different than any other company in America. They will have to produce a safe product or be held responsible. Third party testing companies will emerge as well to increase safety. Drug companies or natural medicine companies could charge a premium for having their product’s purity and safety verified. Online reviews would also help people make the decision whether to buy a medicine or not. This collective type of wisdom is how humanity determined what was safe to eat or what was effective as medicines for millennia.When we have true Medicinal Freedom drug safety will be increased, healthcare costs will plummet, new more effective natural medicines will be brought to market, and individuals will be able to grow their own backyard pharmacy.Brad Miller Fellow Human

Read Nestle’s Boost label before you buy

I’m laid up in bed with pneumonia along with  some indertiminet GI issue. I haven’t eaten much lately. 

Yesterday after not eating for two days I decided to  drink a Nestle Boost Compact drink to  to get some vitamins and minerals in me.  I’m a habitual label reader and when I read the label I knew that Nestle had a huge opportunity on their hands.

I’ve been eating a primarily paleo diet for the last 9 years and it still amazes me how much of the big three foods that I recommend avoiding are still in mass consumption products including those which purport to be healthy. 

Nestle’s Healthcare division produces the Boost line.

 It’s tag line is: 

“Nestlé Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”

With their Boost product I think they have ways to improve the product and make it live up to their goal of “creating a healthier future”. 

The First five ingredients are filled with red flags for those who adhere to the Anscetral Eating hypothesis. The second ingredient is Corn Syrup Solids, the fourth is sugar and the fifth is vegetable oil (canola, high oleic sunflower and corn). 

These are three ingredients I avoid because our genetic makeup has yet to evolve to thrive on them. I believe there are anecdotal and some studies that are showing that these ingredients may not be the best choice for people to eat for optimal health. 

I believe that’s especially true for people who are reaching for a Boost.  Drinking one is not something you normally do if you are feeling well. 

Nestle’s is a huge corporation who is making an enormous investment in developing scientific nutritional products for everything from alzheimers to Inflammatory Bowel disease. If they begin to use less vegetable seed oils, sugar and and high fructose corn syrup and solids in their products  they could change the entire food industry and help bring down the cost of Paleo compliant ingredients.  That would inspire other companies to do the same or they would miss out on the sales that Nestle will be raking in. 

I believe that simple changes could be made to their Boost product to make it more Paleo compliant. A better option maybe for them to come out with a Paleo friendly version. That would be a huge seller. Primal and Paleo products do sell at a premium and people are willing to pay for it. 

Boost Compact is a product that provides a ton of vitamins and minerals and protein and calories that people who are sick need. Having a Primal /Paleo  approved Boost Product would open up a huge market for them. . 

The Paleo Diet was the number onesearched Diet for weight loss last year. Awareness and adoption rates of the Ancestral Diet movement is growing rapidly. People have turned to the Pelo diet to also help ease the symptoms of autoimmune diseases and other chronic modern day maladies.

Nestle is aware of niche food markets because they do offer a Boost that is FODMAP compliant. That’s a great start. The next step for Nestle is to bring out a Boost product that is organic,has olive oil or coconut oil instead of Industrial Seed oils, and uses a natural sugar like honey or maple syrup or even stevia. 

Organic foods typically sell for 47% higher price. I firmly believe that  the margins and markets are there for an Organic Paleo compliant Boost product. 

I would drink it way more often than o do the traditional Boost drink and o would do so even if o wasn’t laid up in bed.  

If you want to contact Nestle HealtheCare Nutrition and let them know you would be a buyer of a Paleo compliant Organic Boost product call 1-800-247-7893. 
Brad Miller 

Using Belief and Breathing to Change Reality

When I read a book I look for at least one thing to take away and incorporate into my life. If I can find that one thing then it makes purchasing and reading the book worth it. In “Liminal Thinking” by David Gray I did get the one thing and it has greatly influenced how I think about what I think. The big take away for me is not to conflate belief with reality and that I have the power to interrogate and change the “I believe” ideas that govern my behavior.

Liminal Thinking is the art of creating change by understanding, shaping and reframing beliefs according to the author. Nothing in the book is ground breaking or has not been said before. Even the author admits to borrowing heavily from other people’s work. And some of the stories he uses are one’s I’ve heard before and the rest are corporate “turn around” stories about the rebel who helped changed a company’s culture. Not really what I’m interested in reading about.

But the book does have some useful exercises that helped me identify, challenge and begin to change how I look at the “governing beliefs” which I have. Here is one the first exercises: “think about something in your life that is problematic, but you don’t think will ever change. Consider the connection between how you see the problem and how you see yourself. What if you saw yourself differently? If you were the kind of person who should change this situation, what you be like? How would you act?”.

This is a powerful tool just by itself especially for someone who is dealing with chronic pain and chronic illness. In the past I saw myself as chronically ill or suffering from an autoimmune disorder or was cursed with severe unpredictable chronic pain that would always torment me. This is a very limiting belief and it’s kept me from living life. It’s prevented me from making real connections with others, because I believed that my illness prevented me from entering into the dating pool because of my flawed DNA and my current inconsistent behavior and I always felt never good enough to be loved. And I also held onto the belief that I would never be able to contribute anything of importance to the world. Needless to say I was living in misery.

After reading the book I thought its not real useful. How could these simple exercises help me? Then the idea began to soak in, my thoughts about myself aren’t concrete. There are merely a belief. The first step I took to distance and begin to change this view of myself was to say “I believe that I am chronically ill and limited physically, emotionally and socially because of it.” That does reframe the whole issue for me. It was if I took a crowbar to this huge megalithic structures that had become my internal world and the huge almost immovable doors labeled “You are sick and never will be better”, “You’re not good enough to be loved” and “You will never contribute anything useful to others” were now easily unlocked and effortless opened. With these megalithic beliefs I had constructed an almost impenetrable wall with massive heavy doors locked from the inside, that separated me from the outside world. This fortress of belief had become my dungeon and if I didn’t change things soon it was going to be my tomb.

Once I placed the simple term belief in front of these thoughts that I’ve thought a million times it took away their concreteness, they became weightless. They no longer were concrete, immovable, megalithic stones and horrendously heavy locked doors. Reality is a funny thing. We limit ourselves greatly by what we believe. I now believe that I am mostly well, most of the trillions of my cells have no defects and are working just as they should. I believe now that I have now and will in the future have more and more control over my pain and my inflammatory response and that I can live a life with a calm, enthusiastic, curious, loving, open mental state. Once the heavy negative stones of thought became weightless with merely the words “I believe”, I can now consciously shape new “I believe statements” that create my inner and outer world.

I’m done spending any more time in the dungeon. My inner world is no longer dark and protected like a medieval keep, or a dungeon and especially no longer a tomb. It is open and airy. The internal thoughts are full of hope, love and curiosity about the future. My new beliefs are now based on scientific and anecdotal evidence that I can have control over my nervous system and my immune system a This may sound ludicrous but it has been scientifically proven that through mental and physical training this can be done. Wim Hof is an amazing man and has been studied extensively for his ability to control his autonomic nervous system, pain response and immune response. He has done this with many other people as well and his claims have been proven time and time again. I’m starting up again the Wim Hof program along with studying the effects of Flow on Chronic Illness.

http://www.wimhofmethod.com

Flow is the state in which all thoughts flow from one to another without anxiety or the perception of passage of time and your body and brain are working harmoniously at peak performance. It is mostly associated by those in the sports world and its often referred to as being in the “zone”. I recently listened to a Joe Rogan Podcast with Author and Science Reporter Steven Kotler. He suffered from Lyme disease for three years and was so sick he almost killed himself. He has since dedicated his life to studying “flow”. He became fascinated with the concept of flow and credits this state of mind for helping him to heal his Lyme disease and saving his life. He achieved the flow state by surfing. His theory is that the flow state releases positive neurochemicals that reduce stress and help the body to heal.This further strengthens my belief that another proof that my belief that I’ll be able to control and heal my body more and more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNobzrnSRMc
Along with Wim Hof and Steven Kotler I listened to Alan Watkins TEdx talk recently about using breathing to be brilliant everyday. This guy seems to want to be a corporate guru and even bragged about spending time with top CEO’s blah blah blah. I shut off when I hear that. But later on in his talk he got to the good stuff. In simple terms our prefrontal or advanced cognitive skills are shut down under stress. The brain receives signals from the heart and if it becomes elevated due to stress there are only two options as the brain sees it, Fight or Flight or play dead. This made perfect sense to me. When I feel my worst I don’t feel like myself at all. I can feel these higher levels of thought being stripped away – and since my source of stress is my own body causing me pain and torment Fighting it or Fleeing from it are useless. That is why I play dead. I disconnect form the world into my dungeon with and seal the heavy doors and hope by playing dead long enough my body and brain will get tired of tormenting me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q06YIWCR2Js
But there is hope and I believe now the tormenting has ended. Through changing my beliefs about who I am and the outside world I no longer see myself and social situations as threats. Yes no matter where I go I carry with me a possible threat (my adhesion filled abdomen, my three major kinks in my small intensive and a gall bladder that likes to lodge stones in my billiard tract plus an immune system that likes to attack my skin and other organs of my body) but this threat is manageable and I believe I soon will be able to completely eliminate it. Yes to completely eliminate what I’ve been told all my life is incurable or that there is nothing anyone can do for me. I reject that thinking. In Alan Watkin’s talk he stresses about the importance of controlling your heart rate with simple breathing techniques to quiet this flight, fight or feign death response.

In fact there have been amazing new imaging studies on people who have practiced meditation and breathing exercises that have created structural changes in their brains simply by breathing and thinking differently. It was done by scientists and doctors at Harvard. This is not woo-woo hippie dippie stuff this is real science, measurable and repeatable. I believe that if Wim Hof and these folks in this study, and Steven Kotler can achieve real measurable positive results in their physiology so can I.

Now I believe that I have more control over my mental state and that I believe life is worth living. I’ve been filled for so many years of self-loafing and self-hatred because I had stuck myself inside this dungeon and all I could do was wait to die. Through first prefacing my thoughts with “I believe” I was able to change some fundamental beliefs I had about myself and see the world and myself no longer as threats. I believe now that I can live a life full of love, adventure, peace, excitement, and accomplishment. I am done being miserable. I do have the power to change myself for the better.

Having a lot of abdominal scarring and pain causes me to take a lot of shallow breathes throughout the day and have to force myself to take deep breathes. But this is critical for me to relax and reduce the amount of stress chemicals throughout my body and brain. I believe now that I have an amazing future ahead of me, that social interactions are not threats, my body is not the enemy, and that I can create a sense of calm, sereneness free from anxiety any time I choose and that one day I will be able to have total control over my nervous system through breath work, exercise and mediation. This is my new reality.
In the past my problem was that my flight or fight mechanism was constantly being triggered by my body. Constant pain, fear of the pain worsening, and the ever present fear that the pain I felt everyday could at any time lead to a hospital stay kept my body in a perpetual state of fight or flight. The issue being I was the source of the threat, I couldn’t fight or flee from myself so I would spiral into depression and cut off all social ties and be absolutely miserable. I hated vacations and traveling because no matter where I went there I would be. I carried around the greatest threat to my emotional wellbeing inside my body.

This constant level of stress takes a toll on a person. I’ve lost 40 pounds, I’m currently not working, and I’ve almost cut out all social ties to the outside world. But I’m done living this way. In the past I believed this would be my fate for the remainder of my life, but that has changed. This is not delusional thinking. I am aware that pain will return, I’ll probably end up in the hospital again in the future, but I will not be held captive by the pain any longer.

My mental state and not the state of my body is what I’m focused on for the rest of my life. Creating a flourishing mind unperturbed by fortune or by pain. That is the goal. I’m reading Seneca’s Letters on the Shortness of life and he wrote to a friend “What is greater than a man who is above fortune?” Stoicism and Buddhism both seek to reduce or eliminate suffering for individuals. My mental state is something I now believe that I can have a greater and greater command over. I believe that through different breathing techniques, different natural medicines, continually challenging and updating the way I perceive myself and the outside world, I can become an ocean of calm in the midst of the storm of life.

That is my task and that is my journey. To create calmness, clarity and peace where there was once hate, fear and pain. I used to believe that I could never love myself or that I would never be good enough to be loved because of my health and my financial and social status. That belief is no more. I now believe that the past is gone, there is only now, and I can take steps to increase the flow experiences in my life, change what I believe and in the process change my reality and love others and want them to be happy and at peace as well.

I am a big fan of Wim Hof and I’m also staring up his program again. He has been able to take conscious control over his immune response and pain response. That is what I believe I can do as well. I want to end the tyranny of pain and be at peace with being me no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I’ve struggled most of my life with trying to avoid conflict and maintain an emotional equilibrium but that is a false hope for happiness because it relies on others. The Stoic and the Buddhist relies on his or her own mind to create calmness despite the chaos of the physical and emotional world around them. Though I will never fully eliminate pain or emotional distress I can greatly reduce its influence over my wellbeing.

I believe now that my chronic pain, autoimmune conditions are not a life sentence. I believe that fundamental amazing change is possible and is happening now. I believe there are ways to create positive mental states in the midst of the storms of illness and all I need to do is to breathe to make that happen. I’m on that journey now and I believe that my trillions of healthy cells are ready to assist me in this endeavor and to aide the few cells that are having some malfunctions so that I can create more flow states in my life and a produce a calmer and more peaceful mind and a body that is strong, vibrant, capable and able to rest. My mental state is all that I have. I am not my scars. I’m not my ileostomy. I’m not my psoriasis. I’m not my adhesions or my pain. I’m excited to see who I will become with the dungeon walls now destroyed and the doors between me and the world are like the automatic glass doors that open merely with me walking up to them. And all this has occurred because of believing and breathing.

Why keep going?

That is a question I’ve asked myself hundreds of times throughout the almost three decades of being in the Cycle of Suffering. Why continue? Why keep going? Why go to the doctor again? The only answer that has kept me going all these years is that I have to keep going, keep searching for help, and keep living because those who love me need me to.

I’ve felt worthless, burdensome, and down right parasitic most of my life. I’ve lived with family rent free all my life. I’ve never had a place of my own. I do help out where I can. I’m currently blogging and getting a podcast up and running. Needless to say this is a hobby more than a business. As a man its extremely difficult for me to reconcile being chronically ill and still feeling useful.

I’ve always thought that a man should be a protector and a provider. I can see why I don’t have a girlfriend or probably never will because I am neither of these things. I currently can’t even take care of myself and I’m doubled over in pain more often than I’m not. These are not traits that the opposite sex is looking for. I understand that. Unfortunately my biology still wants to have a mate, have kids, and pass on my genes. This emotional pain can make dealing with the chronic pain and everything that goes with it even more difficult.

Life produces life. Isn’t that why we are here?  I know I’m not the only one who can’t have kids. Either it’s a physical issue with fertility or its secondary traits or behaviors that preclude them from passing on their genetic material. I am the reason why I’m unattractive to the opposite sex and why I don’t have kids and probably never will. For me it’s not a fertility issue but the secondary characteristics that make it highly unlikely I’ll ever have offspring.

If I’m not here to pass on my genetic material then why do I exist? What makes the suffering, the pain, the loneliness, the frustration, the humiliation, the loss of control, the loss of organs, the surgeries, the medical bills, the hospitalizations worth while? For me it boils down to those I love. I’ve been very close before many times of choosing not to continue but I’ve always come back to the fact that those who love me, need me to.

Even if I’m not a provider, protector or a procreator for anyone I can still be of value. I can still listen to someone, I can be easy to be around, I can help others laugh, I can  give someone a hug, I can read them a story, I can smile at someone instead of frown, or share some helpful information. The pain is building again. Every breath hurts. I can tell I’m holding my breath more to try and lessen the pain. It doesn’t help. I will not give up or give in. I’ll continue to go to the doctor, I’ll keep making healthier choices, I’ll keep going because that’s my only option, I’ll keep going because my family loves me, I’ll keep going because the pain doesn’t define who I am, I’ll keep going because I want to see my nephews and nieces grow up, I’ll keep going because life can get better, I’ll keep going because I want to own a tiny house and travel the country, I’ll keep going because I want to interview people who are going through the same thing and help them share their stories on my podcast, I’ll keep going because I can choose to define what it means to be successful man for myself.

For me being a man is about being an individual and choosing to judge myself by criteria I choose and not by the values of others who have no idea what I’ve gone through or what I continue to suffer with. It’s not about what I have or what I haven’t accomplished yet.

 

Brad Miller

Philosophy And Chronic Illness

“Sometimes even to live is an act of Courage.” Seneca

I’ve wanted to give up countless times over the past thirty years. I’ve wanted the pain and loneliness to be over. I wanted to be done with the hospitals, the doctors, wearing a bag, getting stuck, taking pills. Even though I’ve wanted to quit many times it was never for very long. I’ve always gotten back up. I credit this to my family and the ideas from the authors I’ve read during my illness. Over these last thirty years I’ve read up a lot on philosophy, self-help and neuroscience.What I’ve concluded after all this reading is that my personal philosophy affects my health more than anything else I can do or others can do for me.

I hate being sick. I hate hurting. There is no philosophy that I’ve found that explains with any logic or merit why I’m sick or what purpose it serves. I used to believe in god but that ended when I was in my twenties. My personal philosophy doesn’t seek to understand or justify or explain why I’m sick or in horrific pain. What I’ve sought out is a practical system of thinking to help me live my best life today, enjoy life more and help others around me enjoy more of life as well. I see a personal philosophy as series of ideas that inform my choices, help me set priorities, and endure in the face of overwhelming sickness and pain.

When I ran my first marathon I came across the concept of having an Internal Locus of Control which I added as a key tenet of my personal philosophy. I decided to complete a marathon after almost dying from complications from a surgery. The recovery was horrifically painful. But I decided when I was in the hospital I would compete a marathon. My intention was to reestablish the paradigm that my mind controlled my body and not the other way around. I started walking around the hospital, then when I got home I started walking around the pool and then into the neighborhood.

I had purchased the book “Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer” years before I started the training. So after the surgery I started reading it. Immediately I knew this would be one of the books that changed my life forever. It introduced me to the concept of having an Internal Locus of Control. This means that my actions determine my fate. The opposite is having an External Locus of Control meaning that external events and other people determine the course and outcome of my life. At the time my doctors and family all thought I was nuts to complete the training let alone complete a marathon. I highly recommend the book even if you never plan on completing a marathon.

https://www.amazon.com/Non-Runners-Marathon-Trainer-David-Whitsett/dp/1570281823

Seven months after almost dying I completed my first marathon, it took me five and a half hours but I finished. Those seven months of training were more about training me how to think rather than how to run. Later on in the training schedule I would use the techniques in the book to breeze through an 8 mile run after work. Look back on that now seems impossible. But at the time it was just what I did. One of the techniques I really liked was the concept of typing out on an imaginary computer positive sentences while I was running. I would imagine my fingers hitting each letter on a keyboard then it would display upon on the computer screen in my mind. I would spell out “I am strong”, “I can run all day” and “I enjoy running”. These ideas became true. Now its been almost 9 years since I completed the marathon and I haven’t ran much recently. But I have begun using this technique again to help me get my chronic pancreatitis under control.

Having a personal philosophy is vitally important to everyone but especially for those who have a chronic illness. For those who are suffering it can feel like your body, your doctors, the insurance companies and the government are in control of your life, instead of you. But that is merely a choice of how to think. Once you decide that a key part of your personal philosophy is having an Internal Locus of Control new cognitive and physical doors will begin to open. Your body responds to your thoughts I’ve not personally been able to heal myself through thinking. I know it’s not a quick fix but I do believe my thoughts have an extremely important part in healing and helping me to make choices that will lead to a fuller more fulfilling life.

A key part of my personal philosophy is that I do have an Internal Locus of Control. I have the ability to find a solution to every health issue I have and to create the life I want to live. Even if its not a full solution or so called “cure” and even if it takes years to figure it out. I will never stop improving myself and seeking to feel better. I do have the ability to finding ways to live better each day. It’s not always easy to feel like and I have my doubts somedays especially on those days when I don’t even want to get out of bed. But the underlying idea of having an Internal Locus of Control that helps me to keep getting back up after I get knocked back down, whether it’s by a bowel obstruction or a severe pancreatitis attack. I want to live. I want to experience all that life has to offer. I want to fall in love. I want to feel good. I want to feel pleasure not merely be pain free. And that desire plus the belief that my actions can change my fate are what keep me going.

My next two posts will be on the ways Stoicism and the Paleo lifestyle have shaped my personal philosophy and my relationship to my chronic pain and autoimmune diseases.

Keep taking those small steps – they add up

Brad Miller

 

Please leave a comment if you’ve found philosophy helpful in dealing with chronic illness or chronic pain.

 

 

Ten things to do instead of watching the debate

Human health includes both inputs and outputs. What we think, what we watch, and how we feel directly influence everything from the architecture of our brain to how well our immune system is functioning. I’ve listed ten things we all can do that will be better our health on Monday instead of watching the Presidential debate which can induce high blood pressure, depression, hopelessness, apathy, and even thoughts of self-harm. So if you want to avoid all of those possible side effects of watching the debate take a crack at doing one of these fun and healthy alternatives.

  1. Make Love to your significant other. If you think 90 minutes is being a bit overly optimistic than start with head to toe massage and then get to the good stuff. Then repeat until the 90 minutes are up.

    Sexual intercourse helps to boost your immune system and also helps to lower blood pressure. Watching the presidential debate will definitely raise viewers blood pressure.

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/sex-and-health

2. Cook and eat a Primal Meal. I would suggest making grass fed beef tacos. Mix up your own taco seasonings, lettuce tomato and if you are cool with dairy, organic cheddar cheese and organic sour cream. If you are feeling really adventurous you can make your own cassava flour tortillas. This is the link to my recipe for the tortillas.  They are delicious.

https://healthier2day.com/2016/08/10/cassava-flour-tortillas/

Eating paleo or primally has a host of health benefits. It can help you lose weight,  lower your cholesterol and help ease the symptoms of many  chronic illnesses. The Paleo approach to eating also helps you to avoid wheat, vegetable oils, and sugar that have a host of negative effects on the human body and all of which can contribute to diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

3.  Get your garden ready for Fall planting. Now is the perfect time to revisit your      summer  garden and write down what worked and what didn’t. After that you can sit down and plan out what you are going to plant this fall. This is something the whole family can be involved with. Growing your own organic vegetables feeds your body and your soul.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/what-to-plant-now-zl0z0903zalt

4. Start learning a new language. If you learn another language it can help increase your memory and help with avoiding common cognitive traps like spelling errors or common grammar errors. Also it helps to broaden your horizon and get a different perspective which is always a good thing. This can help you see through the “tribalism” that the media and the ruling elite attempt to box us all in with and it helps you avoid falling for their plans at creating tension amongst the various “tribes”.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/more-languages-better-brain/381193/

5. Play a board game with your family. I personally would avoid playing risk with my family because the shouting and hurt feelings defeats the purpose. But for most people playing board games is an activity full of smiles and laughter. We’ve heard over and over again laughter is the best medicine, I don’t know about that but laughter has been shown to increase endorphins and decrease stress hormones. Another great benefit of playing board games is that you sit across from each other and you make a lot of eye contact with each person. Anyone knows that one of the best things in the world is to be the recipient of a loved one’s full attention. This is especially important for kids.

Instead of staring into a glowing box projecting images and sounds of two people you don’t know and will never know, use your attention, intelligence, energy and time to engage with those that you love while playing a game. You’ll be having more fun than anyone who is watching the debate, I guarantee it.

http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-board-games/

6. Write three letters to the three people in your life. You don’t even have to send them. The site of handwriting from someone you love has a powerful affect on a person. It is almost like seeing a picture of them writing the letter while at the same time peering inside their minds. It’s a very intimate way to communicate. That’s why it’s very unfortunate kids are not being taught cursive any longer. It is an art form and it conveys individuality that you can feel. If you’ve ever come across an old letter from a long ago love or a birthday card signed by your grandma who passed away years ago, you know what I mean.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23540/the-surprising-health-benefits-of-writing-love-letters-according-to-science.html

Writing letters involves both sides of the brain. There is a structure to it the writing, there is the emotional component and what content you want to cover. It can be as simple as sharing your latest vacation trip with an uncle you’ve not spoken to for a while or a heartfelt thank you to a caregiver, a teacher, or someone else who has helped you in a powerful way you’ve never thanked properly. That is a thousand times more powerful than anything that’s going to be said on the glowing box by those two people you don’t know and will never meet.

7. Take a hike. That’s really what I want to tell all politicians. I know we’d better off without them but in the mean time go outside and walk. Go for as long as you can. It’s not a race. Take someone with you. Enjoy the birds, the breeze and the cool night air. The walk is all about the experience of being in nature even if it’s just walking in your neighborhood. Walking helps improve your circulation, strengthens your bones and improves your mood. Maybe the debate should have the candidates walking and talking?

http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/walking/wow-of-walking.php

8. Go to a yoga class. This is a great time to try out yoga. I have a feeling no matter who is elected in the next fours years, their will be a lot of tumult, stress and strain in the U.S. The deep state doesn’t change when the tenets of the White House move out. Yoga is not just for unwashed hippies or girls in their twenties. It is extremely beneficial for mind and body. I actually followed a thirty day yoga youtube series “Yoga with Adrienne” last year. I’ve had a ton of abdominal surgeries and it helped to stretch out my scars and adhesions.

Yoga helps you get stronger, be more flexible and more resilient, both physically and emotionally. Watching the debates makes you feel powerless. Doing Yoga is empowering.

 

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

9. Read a great book or listen to one – I am knee deep into a Robert Heinlein science fiction book on Audible. The narration is awesome and it deals with deep issues like slavery versus freedom, the book is “Farnham’s Freehold”.  Start a new book on Monday instead of watching the debates. You’ll have engaged your imagination, learned something knew, and have something to share with others. And you’ll be ahead of 42% of college students who never read another novel after graduation. That’s scary and it also explains the state of the world we live in.

Reading fiction helps to heighten connectivity in the brain. That according to experts is a good thing. Plus its enjoyable. Not being able to put down a great book is one of the great pleasures in life. Start on Monday or finish the book you’ve been neglecting.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201401/reading-fiction-improves-brain-connectivity-and-function

If you are not into fiction start reading up on a hobby you wanted to start or about farming, carpentry or some other practical skill. Or better yet about philosophy. If you are interested in Libertarian or The Freedom Philosophy I recommend checking out this free book by Leonard Read: “Anything Peaceful” which is the total opposite of what the two candidates will be spewing on Monday. This book covers why peace and individual liberty go hand in hand.

https://admin.fee.org/files/doclib/anything_thats_peaceful.pdf

The key is to use the time to grow, improve and be an active participant in life and not just a passive consumer. What I love most about books is that there are no commercials in them. I can’t believe no publisher hasn’t thought about putting ads in books yet. I’m glad they haven’t. Below is a bunch of other reasons why reading is awesome.

http://www.persistenceunlimited.com/2007/12/the-26-major-advantages-to-reading-more-books-and-why-3-in-4-people-are-being-shut-out-of-success/

10. Remove toxins from your house. Not having the debates on in your home is the first step in removing harmful cognitive toxins from your residence. The debates, the media, the talking heads all spew out harmful cognitive poison. I watched  “The Human Experiment” last night. It was eye opening. It’s not about cognitive poison but its about all the horribly toxic ingredients that are in everything from household cleaners to makeup to shaving cream to soap which wreak havoc on the human body. Spend time on Monday going through your home and reading labels. Then go online and research what natural and organic products you can buy to replace the toxic sludge we are soaking ourselves in daily.

Two brands I like are:

https://www.drbronner.com (great soap)

http://www.seventhgeneration.com (paper towels and household cleaners)

These are just ten things you can do that are good for your health instead of watching the debates which is not. Your vote won’t matter. Your individual actions and choices you make on a daily basis impact your life a billion times more than any politician’s actions ever will. Spend the time with the TV off as a silent protest to the powers that be and concentrate on living a healthier and happier life today. Your health is the bedrock of your life. It is the foundation for all your relationships. Spending time getting stronger, growing closer to your loved ones, improving you brain and exercising your body is a great way to become healthier today.

Your life is Epic – act accordingly.

Brad