Carl’s Story

For the past dozen years or so, Carl Rakowski has had a bad back. The pain has been severe, but Carl has done everything he can to push through it.

“I started with therapy for two years, and it helped but didn’t last,” Carl said. “My doctor added Vicodin, but my back was getting worse and the meds and therapy together weren’t working well.”

Eight years ago, Carl’s doctor decided to send him to a pain clinic.

“These days, I get shots in my lower and upper back, which help,” Carl said. “Ultimately, I did end up having surgery on my lower back. They put in an implant to help manage my pain and I continue to take medication.”

Now Carl’s condition has been complicated by arthritis, which he manages with shots and prescription medication. 

“When I ask my doctor to change my meds to something a little stronger, he says he can’t,” Carl said. “I take my meds as prescribed, but I’m caught up in the opiate war. Some people don’t use their meds as prescribed, so I’m being punished for what they do.”

Carl says his doctors have their hands tied by the government and insurance companies.

“I don’t understand why I can’t get meds needed to control my pain,” Carl said. “But I’m asking for a change, so doctors can prescribe what is needed.”

David Pridniaarchive