Suicide Over Pain- Telling My Brothers Story Because he can’t

On August 29th 2018 our house phone rang at 4 am, we ignored it thinking more than likely it was a wrong number because no one we know would call at that time and if they did for some reason they would leave a message. When the machine picked up the caller hung up without doing so and we assumed just that it was a wrong number. So with my husband and I having only about two hours sleep before getting up to start the day  attempted to fall back asleep.

A minute or two later my husband got out of bed for some water and I turned over to get comfortable thats when my cell phone rang. This made me realize something was wrong because the calls were minutes apart and the chances of wrong numbers at both our home and my cell were slim to none.

When I picked up my cell phone the caller ID read “NY state Police Department”, partially baffled and now nervous because what could the state police possibly want or have to say especially at this hour I answered the phone. That is when a conversation that crushed my families life ensued.

“Hello” I said nervously

“This is Sergeant (We will just call him Sergeant) from the New York State Police, I am trying to contact Mrs Dagee am I speaking with her?”

“Yes how can I help you?” a sudden pit formed in my stomach, in no way could this be a non urgent matter.

“Mrs Dagee we found your name in the phone of a Raymond Arlugo stating you were his sister is he your brother?”

“Yes did you find his phone somewhere? I tried contacting him yesterday with no success, he doesn’t have a home phone can you keep it at your station then later we will come pick it up?”

“Mrs Dagee, there has been an incident and we would need you to come to your brothers home immediately if possible”

“At 4 am you need me to come to his home if possible? Why is that? Would you please tell me what this is about? What do you mean by incident?

“Mrs Dagee, I rather not go into details over the telephone,  if needed we can have a trooper come and escort you”

TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED!! My voice was now raised due to sheer fear. My brother lived alone with my nephew he lived a quiet life anytime the word incident is mentioned it can be a wide range of things but of course you always think the worst.

I must have been louder than I thought because my husband came running to our bedroom, I rarely raise my voice so he must have been startled as his tone louder than usual asked “Whats Wrong Are You OK?”

I just looked at my husband held my hand up in a “Hold on” type motion, there was a brief silence on the phone that seemed to last for hours when the words I never thought I would ever hear were said.

“Mrs Dagee, we received a phone call earlier about a disturbance in your brothers apartment, when we arrived we found him deceased. We have your nephew with us he is OK but we would need you to verify if this is or is not your brother and take custody of your nephew”.

I will be there in no more than a half hours time, please tell my nephew I am on my way.

I hung up my phone looked at my husband who still unaware of what was said on the phone, had this half scared and half confused expression on his face then I told him.

“You need to get the kids ready for school before work, call my job tell them there has been a family crisis, call Julian’s school tell them he won’t be in today I will speak with the Principle to let them know when he will return.”

“Sam what happened to Ray? I am going to go with you let me call Miss Lazar next door she can get the kids ready for school”

I stood getting dressed without saying a word then turned around looked my husband in the face and told him “No I need to Go Handle this, I will Text you once I know more”

“Sam answer me tell me what is going on now!”

“Elliot Raymond passed away, that was the state Police, they are who called on the house phone. I need to get Julian and I want to do this alone.”

“Samantha I am coming with you, I am calling Miss Lazar”

“ELLIOT I HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE!!”

I kissed my husband, grabbed my car keys then headed towards my brothers home. I was completely numb inside, I know what happened I didn’t need anything official, he had been telling me for months.

“Samantha i’m getting tired”

When I arrived at his home it was like a scene from a TV show, police cars outside, police standing around talking while neighbors looked on from the street. When I got out of my car Julian who thankfully was sleeping at a friends house next door when this took place,  ran over and hugged me with all his strength while tears flowed. The Sargent I spoke with on the phone walked over an introduced himself.

Once Julian calmed down a little, he went with a female Trooper who held his hand while the Sargent and I walked up to my brothers second floor apartment. The Sargent warned me to prepare myself but at that point I didn’t need to, I had prepared myself the entire ride over.

There he sat in a chair, head leaned over to one side wearing his good clothes in one hand he held a photo of Julian, in his lap was a photo of us as children and in his left hand a 38 revolver. On the side table next to him was a note that read.

Sam,

“I tried, I am sorry for everything but I am tired more than words can express. I begged the doctors for help, they humiliated me and even laughed when I told them this pain was unbearable. I just wanted to be a Dad to Julian.

Samantha make sure he knows I didn’t leave him to hurt him, I just didn’t want to embarrass him anymore.

Ray”

I know people will say “If he loved his son then he would have stuck it out” but you need to understand what Ray had been through in a short amount of time. When he wrote the words embarrassed its not that Julian ever told him “Dad you embarrass me” that was Ray feeling ashamed of not being able to function on a daily basis to be an active part of Julian’s life.

It was in just an eight year span of time Ray had one medical condition after another without a break in-between.

In 2011 Ray was in an accident that caused a brain hemorrhage that needed emergency surgery. It would be the third cranial surgery of his life, he had two neuro surgeries a few years earlier for epilepsy.

This recovery took almost six months. Once he started feeling better,  in 2012 Ray started having pain in the front of his neck. The pain would be dismissed by the dozen different doctors from a primary physician, ENT and Endocrinologist.

It was not until Ray ended up with massive swelling that required him to be placed on an intubation tube did they discover a massive benign tumor pressing against his vocal chords. Then to make matters worse Ray also had Thyroid cancer which caused not only weight gain but an enlarged heart due to viral cardiomyopathy.

Those conditions would be treated in New York City, Ray would finally start being his old self by the end of 2012. There were several months Ray was not only was feeling like his former self but even participating in community activities, coaching Julian’s little league team.

While working on his home in the spring of 2014, the ladder Ray was standing on lost footing and Ray would fall 15 feel onto the concrete. The fall broke his collar bone and fractured his shoulder to the extent reconstructive surgery needed to be done. Which took Ray almost a year to recover from.

Once Ray had recovered from the fall he again went back to his normal life, even while recovering he did things on a daily basis that didn’t require him to use his bad arm, he went to physical therapy and when it came to Julian he made sure he never missed an event be it baseball, soccer or at school.

When an oil slick in the road caused him to lose control of his car in the summer of 2016, Ray broke his left hip. Once again he was back to surgery, physical therapy and life on a daily basis even using crutches he never missed an event when it came to Julian. he had recovered fully from his broken hip by the start of 2017 then started to feel tired all the time.

He would address the tiredness with his primary care physician who would do some lab work and tell him it was nothing but a B-12 deficiency. Every day Ray would got to the doctors office and get B-12 injections until feeling better. The one day while we were all at the park during the summer, Ray cooking on the BBQ grill suddenly collapsed and went into convulsions.

We would call the ambulance, Ray was admitted to the local hospital where they informed us damage from his 2011 accident left underlying damage that had caused him to become an uncontrolled epileptic.

Over the next six months Ray would have continuous seizures until they found the right medicine for him. He had been seizure free for almost five months until one day helping our elderly aunt and uncle clean out a garage Ray went into a Grand-Mal seizure and while doing so fell onto some storm windows opening up a massive cut on his stomach. A large portion of the glass was sticking out and Ray needed emergency surgery to have it removed.

The surgery while saved him from any impending immediate danger left an infection that Ray soon was diagnosed with Sepsis. He then was admitted into the hospital to treat the blood infection and a have the infected tissue surgically removed. This would happen to him three times in four months.

A week after being home in June of 2018, Ray with his latest stomach surgery healing from the inside out would have another seizure and fall down. In the fall Ray not only broke his jaw but his front teeth as well. They wired his jaw shut then a dentist removed his teeth that were broken at the gum line.

One night in late June ray sent me a text asking me to pick up Julian because he was in pain and needed to go to the emergency room. I did and Ray went he was diagnosed with chronic pain, told to see his primary physician then prescribed 2 five milligram percocet pills.

When Ray went to his primary physician, (A Doctor I don’t know why Ray continued seeing after he mis-diagnosed him so many times including his cancer) the doctor told him to just take some Tylenol then seek a pain management doctor in the area.

Over the next several months ray had seen five different pain management specialist all of who stated “We Only Treat Orthopedic conditions, the insurance companies only allow us to bill for one condition you don’t meet the guidelines.”

I personally had brought him to several of these doctors, one laughed when reviewing his medical history and told him “Yeah well I guess your out of luck”.

I sought out more doctors and each time it was the same thing “We only treat orthopedic conditions” or “We can do a trigger point injection but only one area we can’t treat your shoulder and hip and jaw”

When I asked why not they would all respond “Because we don’t some relief is better than none take it or leave it”

He was desperate for some relief so Ray would get the injections, yet the pain from all his other conditions grew out of control. He would occasionally go to the ER for some relief, all that did was get him branded a “Drug Seeker” and on occasion he would get one or two pain pills prescribed. Then he would look for another pain management doctor all quick to make an appointment, all quick to give the same answer despite their website stating they treat all conditions.

As summer passed his pain increased, it would become so bad ray laid in bed with tears in his eyes and would ask us to take Julian for a few days so he could play with the kids.

Once August arrived Ray could hardly walk, the pain in his hips, his stomach, jaw and shoulder had become unbearable. He was taking 6000 milligrams of Tylenol to get some relief and he was taking melatonin to get some sleep which by then averaged maybe two hours a night.

When I would go visit Ray and Julian, bring him his mail it would be nothing but bills from doctors who did nothing to help relieve his conditions. His phone rang every hour even more than that from all these doctors who never helped him that wanted their co-pays.

I went to go see ray on August 15th, he could not get out of bed, he had been having seizures because even walking to his kitchen to get his meds was a 45 minute ordeal so he often skipped even attempting to do so. We started having Julian over five out of seven nights a week and when I would bring ray someplace for some help they again treated him like a drug addict.

He had given up even going to see doctors from help by the 22nd of August because the last time he went to the ER by ambulance, they asked him that standard question about “Do you feel like harming yourself”  and Ray relied “If I don’t get some sustained relief I am not going to continue living like this”

They stripped him naked placed him in scrubs then called a Psychiatrist because he had to be “In Mental distress”. He spoke with the Psychiatrist in detail and the Psychiatrist told the medical doctor that in his opinion Ray was just suffering from physical pain and needed some help.

They discharged him with a referral to one of the same pain management doctors who had already told us he only did trigger point injections and could not treat several areas “Take some relief because its better than none”

Over the next few days Julian stayed at our house, Ray would call several times a day to speak with him and I would stop over his house several times a day to check on him. he had stopped eating, he would make it to the bathroom then back to bed. He took 3000 milligrams of Tylenol every 2 hours for some pain relief. I would ask him “Ray what Can I do/ Why don’t you come stay with us at the house so you are not alone?”

In response ray would say “No you have your own family, Julian is having a good time there and with me being there it would just remind him of what home is like”.

I called several hospitals, his primary care physician and neurologist for some help on what to do and they all said the same thing  “Well there isn’t much we can do call the mental help hotline”

I knew Ray would be angry at me if I did so but I had become worried and called the hotline who only stated “Has he said he is going to harm himself?” When I said no but explained his physical status I was told.

“Maybe he needs some out patient therapy someone to talk with, most of the time this is in their minds and talking gets rid of the pain”

Of course she was probably some volunteer who had no idea about medicine but another call a day later ended in the same result.

On the afternoon of August 27th Ray called and asked for Julian to be dropped off at home, he seemed in good spirits and when I was in the house all he said was “I am in pain but it will be OK I just want Julian home”

When I left I would find out Julian went to go play with some friends outside and one asked if he could spend the night and Ray told him yes. I can only imagine he had already made up his mind and he wanted to spend a night with Julian before he carried it out.  Yet because Julian had seen him suffer so long and spent more time in the house due to Ray being unable to function Ray didn’t want to decline Julian an opportunity to have a good time.

I have no idea how long Ray sat looking at the photo of Julian holding that gun before he pulled the trigger.  I don’t know why he didn’t call me and why didn’t I insist he came to stay with us.

Throughout all his physical injures and illness, Ray never took prescription pain medicine beyond what was prescribed when it was prescribed so he was not an addict. His body had finally needed something more than Tylenol for comfort.

It was in his medical records Ray had an allergic reaction to NSAIDS, Ray didn’t drink alcohol, he didn’t smoke cigarettes in fact he had no bad habits not even fried or fast food.

I was cleaning out Ray’s house the other day when the phone rang, it was his primary physicians office confirming an upcoming appointment. I said “You are asking about an appointment when the office knows ray passed away?”

“Oh yes I do see a note on the chart my mistake”

She said it as if Ray was no more important than a mistake when ordering the daily lunch special only to realize it was yesterdays special.

An hour later one of the pain management doctors offices called, when I answered I informed them Ray had passed and the woman had the audacity to ask me

“Will you be paying his outstanding balance of $31.74.” She didn’t even offer a  half hearted condolence.

Once off the phone with the wretched woman seeking $31.74 for services not rendered I sat looking at a picture or Ray holding Julian and it all hit me at once, I cried like never before uncontrollably.

I wasn’t crying because I miss ray which I do with all my heart, I cried because while I was there to see what he went through on a daily basis it suddenly sunk it what it must have been like to be Ray.

He was a widower, raising a son alone and outside of his medical bills Ray was never in debt. He was never arrested, he attended church every Sunday, he never complained even when the people who were supposedly in a profession to help him didn’t.

He was broken down slowly and not by his physical conditions, ones that alone would have shut down most people let alone combined.

These people laughed at him literally, they called him an addict, yet not one of them have ever suffered his level of pain. They called him mentally unstable, they belittled him as if he was beneath them. Yet Ray while not a doctor of medicine was an educated man with a masters degree in forensic science.

Ray was a proud man who had finally decided he was not going to be treated like that anymore and he was not going to allow himself to be bedridden in front of his son crying in agony.

I don’t know what I could have done to help Ray any further than what I did and I will always blame myself. I look at my nephew and I see Ray in him, Julian stands tall he stood tall at rays funeral he didn’t cry he shook peoples hands as they left he thanked them for coming.

When we try to talk with him about Ray he puts on a front as though it was OK. We brought him to grief counseling but he does the same there. At night I head Julian cry alone in the bathroom, when he opens the door he pretends as if though he has no idea what I am talking about if I as him “Are You OK do you want to talk?”

The only thing someone had to do is help Ray with his physical pain, just admit their limitations if that was the issue. Instead they let him die they might as well have pulled the trigger and done it long before Ray did so at least he would have been spared some agony and kept his dignity.

I am going to tell his story and tell what happened at those visits where they degraded him. I will tell it because Ray cannot and he would not because he was not the type of man who complained.

He deserved better and those who were capable of helping him but didn’t have no shame they are not doctors, there is no excuses. It cost a man his life it broke a family it broke a child before he could even become a man.

WHEN WILL SOMEONE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT OR SHOULD NO ONE BE RESPONSIBLE?

 

 

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Suicide Over Pain- Telling My Brothers Story Because he can’t

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  1. While this is another tragic story of someone, in what I will always call “Intractable Pain”, that is becoming an all too common story. Though each is different in how it plays out, they are all the same; person finds themselves in severe pain, seeks professional help-professional help either belittles, laughs, or tells person “you are out of luck”-person suffers unspeakable pain and torture for what seems like an eternity, because let’s face it, when they pain is so bad it consumes you and your life, every second is too much-person never gets the help they need and decides that they are not only miserable themselves, but they are only a burden to those who love them and they love-person cannot take the neglect not the pain any longer-person decides the best thing for everyone is to take their own life, that way the pain will stop, and they will no longer be burdening their loved ones. This is the worst crisis in America today, yet because the focus from Washington, media, the CDC,DEA, and FDA has been throwing unproven random stories of people who have overdosed because they are drug addicts, and laying the blame on physicians who treat pain, AMERICA is being mislead into believing that treating Intractable Pain sufferers is criminal, and therefore no one will treat those who suffer Intractable Pain any longer. Leaving thousands of innocent suffering patients to be faced with this same conundrum…I can’t live in this pain any longer, if I just end it all it will be better for everyone. This is America’s biggest crisis today, not the so called opioid prescribing crisis, but the lack of opioid treatment for those who truly need these medications and can no longer get them. The truth is, there have been no overdose deaths associated with true Intractable Pain patients who take their medications to get relief from pain prescribed by doctors… NONE! But they don’t tell you that. They only used examples of those who went from prescription to addiction and abuse after they no longer needed the medication for pain. The facts are that the CDC, who brought the data forward that began this ridiculous abusive assault on Pain patients, in their own studies in the matter, in small print notated at the end with numbers or letters coinciding with the tiny number or letter in the “main presented” so called “facts” that will tell you that with all their studies and information, they have “no data on long term users of prescribed opioids for chronic pain used for a year or more”. In other words, their data is incomplete and bias, based solely on addicts and overdoses by addicts, not people who suffer Intractable Pain who have taken the medications for years. They also “have no evidence that a person with Severe Intractable Pain who is prescribed opioid medication for that pain, will ever become an abuser or lead to overdosing”. It’s right there in the annotations of their studies, but no one reads that part, nor do they follow the links provided that explains all that. So they easily get away with presenting the “main report”, which remember is incomplete, to our officials and even our President, who doesn’t understand all that report stuff and depends on the CDC to just explain it and lay it out for them and show them a graph or a set of numbers they can understand. So, leaving out the fact that their data is incomplete and doesn’t include these patients in serious need of this medication, they only present the information on the overdose deaths and that they started with prescriptions and ended up addicted and seeking ways of getting their fix. Pointing out only the horrible outcomes, and leaving out the fact that there are thousands of Americans in each state that do not abuse these medications and truly need them. A fact that you think would be very important considering the implications and outcome of the way they all reacted to the reports. Officials need to know the truth about THE PAIN CRISIS, just as much as the illicit drug crisis and overdosing issues, so that a better solution can be planned and used that will include the continuation of treatment and treatment of those American citizens who are truly in need of these medications who will use them appropriately for pain relief, because it is a matter of life or death for Intractable Pain patients. And unless you have been in Intractable Pain, you just have no idea how much of a critical situation it really is. God bless this sister who had to watch the system and medical world essentially kill her brother and his son, who will grow up in a world that is willing to allow something as horrible as this happen to him, when it was so easily preventable. He will probably always blame himself just as his aunt is. But the blame is in those who have the power to stop this from happening, and aren’t doing a thing about it.

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  2. I’m in tears. I’m at a loss of words. It was the CDC/PROP that is responsible not so much the doctors. And the media for continuing to perpetuate the false narrative that prescription pain pills cause addiction. And the DEA weaponizing the CDC opioid guidelines. I’m so very sorry. My heart aches for you.

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    1. I cannot understand why the head of the CDC is not being held responsible, sending out inflated numbers of opioid related deaths by over 53%, openly stating he has taken the fight because his son dies using cocaine an illegal drug laced with illegal fentenyal. While its tragic this has become a person cause in my opinion thats wrapped up with his need to get back at anyone and everyone to help his own grief.

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  3. I’m not an addict and even if I were I fail to see how this would be worse than than anything someone such as Ray in the above story endured during his painful existence? I’d much rather be labeled an addict who did not take my own life due to the unbearable pain social stigma had forced me into? At least then I’d be ALIVE and able to move about freely, who doesn’t deserve that basic human right? Are we saying addicts deserve pain? Addicts deserve to not exist? I’m a pain patient and frankly I don’t gives flip what you prefer to stereotype me as just because I need two opiate pills per day to walk around my home. I just believe it’s that walking part I prefer to indulge in before my demise. This is an issue of human rights on ALL LEVELS. Do not taper yourself down for the sake of a doctor who is interested in saving his career-keep fighting something much more valuable-your right to life as you know is possible if you were to receive appropriate medical treatment. We aren’t The minority anymore. We are the world and we can change it if we want to do so. I want to, do you? In fact, I’m going to do it no matter what. And then I’ll worry about my career;) This story I’ve heard way too often for too long now. Use the buddy system, start calling someone everyday, it doesn’t matter-just don’t stay silent. We are now the majority. And I’m not a puzzle piece which can be perfectly aligned to fit the picture of perfection. My name is Rachel E Ruhl and pain medication will make me whole. I’m not alone. Am I? Nope! I’m the majority now. And I’ll fight till the death, as you will too:)

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    1. I don’t think Raymond was worried what they labeled him or what they thought of him. While Ray was not a doctor he was an educated man, with two masters degrees one forensic science. In the case of Ray I wholeheartedly believe it was what he had been reduced to physically in front of his son that hurt Ray. They stole his dignity I hope you find the relief you need sooner than later.

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  4. Thank you for reaching out and know that we hear you all;) Thid is an issue that goes way beyond pain. It’s something we call the human experience. Can anyone tell me that it’s anything but? No, you honestly cannot think it is. Unless you simply believe the headline of your local supermarket paper, I suppose. In which case, please let’s get everyone caught back up to speed on what I like to call “reality”!! Not always pleasant But truly deserves a good look over from s fresh set of eyes!! Preferably your own set;) Let’s end these suicides-now!! Please everyone.

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  5. I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face. The degredation, humiliation & sadness your brother, his son & you have endured is so totally unacceptable. But in todays medical world, those of us who suffer 24/7 with chronic pain, this is reality. It doesnt matter why you have pain or what kind of pain it is, pain is pain. Dr’s are “afraid” to order pain medications to anyone. Even those they know are in debilitating pain. Sure, we go to PT and do as we are told. We pee in cups & pays hundreds to thousands of dollars in lab fees & copaymts to PT centers & supposed pain clinics. I had been on a pain med for a few yrs. When I had to move to another state, I could not find one doctor or pain clinic that would prescribe me my med. Thankfully my former dr. in the state i used to live in, agreed to cont prescribing until i could find someone in the state i was now living. This meant i had to drive 3&1/2 hrs every month to see this Dr. & get my script. Then drive 3&1/2 hrs back. This would wipe me out for 3+ days. I finally found a pain clinic not far from where i now lived. The Dr was pleasant and we spoke at great length about my pain & what i have tried over the yrs to help alleviate my pain. & what worked & what hasnt. He saw “no need to change things if they are working”. So, i got into a monthly , then bimonthly routine of going to this pain clinic. Peeing into a cup, signing contracts & listen to the same rambling talk about abuse & overdoses. Everytime, i would ask them what the plan was to HELP me get some relief from pain. Once again, PT, referrals to “life coaches”, maybe some bio-feedback they would say. I would explain over & over that id done everything. The things that do help, albeit, very short term, like massage, acupuncture, yoga, aquatharapy are all out of my reach due to the fact i am below poverty level, but, not ENOUGH below poverty level to get help w/cost of these things. I would tell them, im a retired nurse of 35+ yrs(although forced to stop working early & go on ssdi due to my chronic illness & pain). My husband walked away when i got sick after almost 30 yrs of marriage. My children are grown & live far away. Im alone, broke & now a supposed “drug addict”. This clinic has cut my dose of pain med in 1/2 within 4 months. I have gone through withdrawals & have managed to live w/this 1/2 dose. If you want to call it living. I had a urine drug test came back negative for pain med i used in between. I hadnt been using it as it caused a great many other problems. But, instead in contacting me & discussing why it wasnt in my urine, they assumed i must be selling it or giving it to someone else. they sent the urine out of state to a specialty lab to check for every narcotic there is. I did not know this untill I recieved a $4,000.00+ bill in the mail. I have a $3,000.00 deductible. Needless to say, i will be paying this lab $25/month for a very long time. When i confronted the clinic on my next visit, i was told that I had “broke my contract & im allowed only one more chance before they cut me off. Needless to say this happened again. Once more, i didnt know about this until when i called to get my monthly script i was told i beached the contract twice. They can no longer give me pain medication. I asked to speak to a dr or nurse. I was told ” no, our drs dont talk to patients over the phone. Then i find out im talking to someone 1/2 way across the country! Oh, & i received a 2nd $4,000.00+ lab bill.These drs are knowingly putting me & many others in harms way. They know we will go through withdrawals, they know we are in pain, they know pain can lead to depression. But, do they care? No. Just like they did to you & your brother, they turn their backs & forget about us & move on to the next poor soul looking for help to relieve enough of their pain so that maybe, just maybe,they could breathe a little easier. Or get out of bed, or get dressed. If a narcotic helps someone thats in chronuc pain & they are not taking it for euphoria, or going to abuse it or sell it…tell me where is the harm? If it helps someone to be able to be with their loved ones, or keep working or to be a part of society, where is the harm? Everything today is about saving the addicted. We are told if you can get narcan, carry it with you you never know when you might have to use it on someone. They give addicts methadone. Yes, nethadone. And for free for however long they want it. They get put in rehabs that are more like hotels these days. Best one yet? Large cities are looking into maybe opening “drug safe places”. Its a place that pays medical personal to sit at this clinic like setting that encourages addicts to come into a “safe” place to shoot up & do their drugs. Are they serious? Who pays for this? And talk about being an enabler! Your brother & family went through sheer hell all because doctors dont know how to be doctors and help their patients. They are scared of being sued, or losing their jobs for breaking policy, and never mind the cost of malpractice ins. Why did they bother to even take an oath to help people. Dont get me wrong, not all doctors are this way. Ive been lucky to have known two of the best doctors i have ever had the pleasure to meet, work with, and to be a patient of. What happens to them? They get shunned by other hospitals & practices. They are unable to get insurance because of their belief in helping people. They get disrespected & put on the wayside all because they wont conform to such ridiculous rules & policies. Those of us in chronic, debilitating 24/7 pain are NOT drug addicts seeking a high or an escape. We just want to be able to have a 1/2 way decent day once in awhile, with less pain. I know what your brother did was NOT selfish, like some people are when they take their own lives. And you should not carry guilt. You did everything right. You helped him. You stood by him. You took care of his son. You loved him. You followed the rules. But, yes, your brother was tired. Tired like so many of us. Tired of fighting the establishment. Tired of explaining to medical people his pain over & over & over again while no-one really listened to him. Tired of being dependent on others in sooo many ways. Tired of being pitied. Tired of the sadness in his sons eyes.Tired of the pain. Tired. So very tired.
    I just hope where ever your brother is now, that he has found peace from his pain & agony over the many years. And that he is no longer…tired.
    Take some comfort in knowing that your brother knew you helped him in everyway that you could have & entrusted you with the love of his life…his son. May you or anyone else you know never have to edure the kind of pain your brother lived with.Take care. Be well. Be safe. Be happy.

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    1. I am sorry for what you are going through, what is so infuriating is about two miles from where Ray lived is a Speedway gas station where the police are called no less than two times a week for heroin overdoses. They rush there and they always seem to save the people who use the illegal drugs, that is not to say they are not worth saving but they rush for people using street drugs while they let others just trying to live their life the right way die slowly. They know eventually if they are in that much pain suicide is very likely to happen. What about those people? I know the doctors are worries about losing their licenses because of these regulations inflicted upon them but why won’t they stand up? I know Raymond is resting now , he has no more pain and as time passes Julian will slowly rebuild from what happened. I don’t know if he will ever look at the world the same again. I hope you find some relief and the help you deserve.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your brother and what he went thru, what he was forced to endure at the hands of corrupt lawmakers, dea, cdc, fda, prop and thier falsified opiod epidemic, PROHIBITION of LIFESAVING PAIN MEDICATION!!! I too suffer from multiple debilitating incurable diseases that cause severe pain 24/7. Nearly 20 years of failed surgeries, hundreds and hundreds of injections, therapies, etc. Pain MEDICATION was last resort. I am a rapid metabolizer and require higher doses to sustain a quality of life. Eight years sane stable dose until this hellish nightmare and the dea instilling fear in all pain drs NATIONWIDE. Ive been abandoned by my dr, left to suffer. Called many pain drs here in NJ only to be treated like a drug addict, pill seeker, I was told horrible things by people who dont even know me. Im with a dr now that refuses to put me on the actual pain medication that worked. I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I beg God to take me daily to end this pain. Being in constant unbearable pain, not being able to be the mom my kids deserve, no longer attending family gatherings, missed holidays, weddings, I once had a quality of life, now im mostly home bound. Im sick and tired of people in pain being tossed out with yesterday’s garbage while drug addicts, those who #CHOOSE2ABUSE are being catered to front and canter. I am so very sorry. Rest In Peace Ray. Thank you for Telling your brother’s story . I will share far and wide. This should be sent to every media outlet NATIONWIDE lets see which journalists decide enough is enough with pushing a fictitious opiod epidemic filled with propaganda bullshit, SIGNIFICANTLY INFLATED overdose deathrates!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. These will be more and more common as time goes on. I remember about a year ago Ray reading about a man in his 60’s who committed suicide over chronic pain. He said “I cannot imagine anyone bring driven to that point, where were the people who were supposed to help him?”
      That was before this so called opioid epidemic, there will be many more Raymond Arlugo’s worse than the physical pain he endured was the shame they made him feel. I will always believe it was that shame that drove Ray to suicide.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I am so very sorry your family had to endure these tragedies. Although my health experiences are not near the extent of your brother’s, I get the same lack of medical treatment and attitude. Being labled a drug seeker and having your pain minimized by those who took an oath to relieve suffering is degrading beyond belief. And pain is exhausting, physically and mentally. Keep speaking for your brother and his son. Know you can’t and couldn’t do any more. I said a prayer for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sorry for your medical issues and thank you for your kind words, no its not fair to those suffering and when they scream out “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE” they are quick to label chronic pain sufferers mentally unstable

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Once again a poor suffering human being is so overcome with pain and despair, he sadly ends his life. Even though he has a teenage son he Lives with all his heart.
    A man who suffered multiple major physical traumas and illness over the past decade or more. He was referred to Pain management Specialist multiple times only to be refused pain meds . To be humiliated and accused of being an addict or drug seeker/ abuser. This same snenarion happens to thousands of pain sufferers every day. The doctors need to be held responsible. But The the Fed Govt, the CDC mishandling Chronic pain treatment as opioid abuse. This type of patient do not abuse pain meds. There is no research or statistics to support that . They ARE also NOT THE OPIOID ABUSERS NOR DO THRY OVERDOSE OR DIE . These chronic pain people are genuine and deserve appropriate treatment and attention from a PCP I or Pain Specialists. Many are able to.maintain and Live Productive Lives .They do not do substance abuse. They do not use illicit drugs .They are human beings who are suffering great pain for prolonged time. Trying to live the best life they can. Trying to go on but the pain is too much. They choose death .Because they are turned away by So called doctors without any help .Doctors with no offer of help or support. Even pain specialists turn a cruel cold shoulder and send them away with nothing.
    Family often does not know what to do to help. Or the person in pain withdraws, retreats into themselves. Isolate themselves. Suffer pain beyond belief. It is a crime against humanity. It is happening every day. The CDC publishes info about pain management or opioid therapy that is false . These patients are not drug seeking. Not addicts. Not abusers. They are real people suffering real physical.problems and being cruelly turned away, left without any help . They reach a point where they just can’t bear it anymore .I have a friend this happened to . I worked in Healthcare for over 40 years. I know firsthand how this happens . It is unbearable. Cruel. Heartless.Absolute neglect bordering criminal neglect by Feds, Govt all medical caregivers who choose to turn their backs on these people. Total tragedy . 😢❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I could never understand is how people (Doctors and the CDC) think that reading about something can actually tell how much pain someone is in, I can totally understand a broken leg or hand as something with a limited time-frame but when people have so many major issues in their books considered “Excruciating” be ignored or dismissed so easily

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss, i’ve been there with a .38 special cocked in my mouth, and it’s only by the Grace of God, when the trigger was cocked, I didn’t slip or pull the trigger and am now doing my best to seek the relief I need, I just want you to know ‘bad things happen to good people’, i’m so sorry for your loss, he’s not in pain anymore, and is in a place with no more pain ever- God Bless You and everyone involved in this tragedy-

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Unfortunately, there are many of us that are in the same situation as your brother Ray. We live in constant, unretractable, agony day in and day out without relief or in many cases, even a bit of empathy from our doctors. I feel so badly for what you and your brother have gone through and for the horrible loss your nephew is going to grow up feeling. I am fortunate enough to actually receive pain medication for now but it’s already been reduced twice so who knows how long I’ll really have it. My prayers are with you and your family. Keep speaking out. Change needs to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am so sorry you lost your brother, so sorry for the pain and suffering he endured. I will fight for others like him, I will always remember your story and keep your brothers name in my heart as I do so. It is just criminal what has happened to health care in this country when it comes to taking care of those suffering with chronic pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am so sorry for what your brother had to endure. No human being should have been humiliated as he was. Those people should be ashamed of themselves, that is if they have a concious. I am so sorry for you for having to watch him go through it. And of course his young son.my prayers will be with you all. I hope everyone reads the story, maybe some lives will be saved. I hope. I am a chronic pain patient also. I have been saying that there are people worse off than I am. I am disgusted with the medical profession. Ihave been a Registered Nurse since 1972. I tried my best to keep patients comfortable. I guess not any more. Please keep telling your story about your brother. I hope the right people will hear it so others don’t have to go through what he did. God bless you all. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am so very sorry for your loss. I’m crying fir your brother, imagining all the pain he was in. I’m crying out of anger that the system treated him so badly. I’m crying for you, that you helped your brother as much as you could but the pain was so unbearable. I hope your nephew is ok. Please continue to share your story. Love and Light.

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