CONQUERING THE PAIN: The Alternative Methods of Pain Management

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic low back pain (LBP). Chronic low back pain is the number two, most claimed disability, in the United States. Recently there has been a high increase in opiate use and abuse among pain sufferers. Due to the rise of chronic pain, doctors are now offering alternative methods so that pain patients can live without limitations. Sometimes, doctors will even work with each other, so that the opiate-prescribing doctor can be involved in the alternative treatment.

The high rate of addiction has become a concern in the United States, because some of the addictions are from opiate use and abuse. Opiates include prescription medication, prescribed in doses, as part of a patient’s pain management regime. In order to control the amount of opiates prescribed to patients, the patient’s primary care physician will first recommend pain management methods that don’t involve medication. The pain management doctor will decide to what extent medication is needed to control the patient’s pain and suffering.

Many Hospitals are even working together to provide quality care for patients. Since there are millions of Americans that suffer from pain, pain management has become it’s own type of patient care.   Dr. Mahmoud Sabbagh, MD is a pain management physician at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM), in Detroit, MI, which is a part of the Detroit Medical Center Group. There is a six-month waiting period to see Dr. Sabbagh because of the rise in chronic pain patients.


IMAGE Source: Cynthia Gladden   Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan 261 Mack Blvd. Detroit, MI 48201

“Educating patients with more current treatment options, helps lower the need of opiates on a regular basis,” says Dr. Sabbagh “The purpose of trying the alternative methods is to give patients relief and hope of some healing says Dr. Sabbagh.”

Methods of weight loss, diet, and exercising are daily routines that can aid in the rehabilitation. When asked about other treatments, Dr. Sabbagh stated “that some patients, are faced with easing their pain with a minimal invasive approach such as epidural steroid injections, nerve burning and lastly, surgery for the relief of chronic pain suffering”. These are all temporary solutions, that may last three-months to two-years, “It’s not forever, but long enough for some patients to want to try to be pain free as long as possible,” says Dr. Sabbagh. These approaches can lead to lower doses of prescribed opiate use, and as it was explained to me, every patient is different so the outcome varies from patient to patient, allowing some form of healing physically and mentally.

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IMAGE SOURCE: Cynthia Gladden Signage from the Pain Management Outpatient Clinic

Dorie Fann-Purry of Detroit, MI is a chronic pain sufferer whose pain journey grew from a Fibromyalgia diagnosis into a Lupus diagnosis. Dorie states that, “even though I suffer from chronic pain daily, I finds relief in educating Lupus survivors on a daily basis, through my Facebook page” Dorie is a member of the Lupus Warriors.  Dorie finds self gratification in being an active participating member and encourages other lupus survivors to participate with Lupus Warriors events.

The alternative solutions at times just end up being a temporary relief but for some, a temporary relief is better than no relief to chronic pain and the usage of opiates. Overall, education is the key to learning new ways to cope with pain besides opiates.



More Root Based Foods Could Help With Obesity

Healthy eating has been categorized as the culprit needed to help prevent and maintain certain health conditions. With the maintenance of weight and preventative measures taken to avoid the inevitable weight gain, from over eating and lack of exercise, there is still hope for those with exemplary determination to beat the odds of obesity.

Obesity is linked to many health conditions in societies of Millennia’s and Baby Boomers. The rate of obesity in the United States rank in the top ten of the nation and more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity.

When food is grown from the soil of the earth water is part of its growth process. These fruits and vegetables are naturally part water, some more than others. Water is also associated with maintaining a healthier weight, whether it is through a beverage or multiple fruits and vegetables. Water is known to be the fuel for blood and the circulatory system in our bodies.

Eating healthy requires preparation of foods that are healthy, low in fat, calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and sodium. Eating healthier diets can be time consuming, from shopping more frequently, to assure freshness of the food, to the times it takes to prepare balanced meals. Too often, a hard day of work ensues not prepping or cooking proper meals throughout the day. Maybe you find yourself grabbing a bite to eat while on the move to get to work or home, and that could suffice for the time being, but after a while, you could find yourself at risk of health issues. Healthy eating is a lifestyle choice, and the preparations that are involved for meals involving daily fruits and vegetables can be time consuming but, well worth the extra time to keep your body full of water, and feeling like a well oiled machine, making yourself more vital and energetic and having less chance of being obese.

Serial Rape in Detroit

Levi is a kidnap and rape victim, turned survivor. Levi was 18 when she was raped and in the last five years, she has endured the pain of rape and healing that would turn her life around for the better. Levi now wants to conquer a challenge of encouraging young girls about being out alone, and not in their safe zone of home.

Out at 3:00 am, walking home to her mother’s house Levi was snatched up and thrown in the back seat of a car. The driver of the car, stood outside of the car, smoked a cigarette and guarded the brutal rape on the inside of the car. Levi was eventually dropped off on the corner of West McNichols and Rockdale on the Northwest side of Detroit. As she began to try and walk on McNichols street, a resident from a nearby apartment building was returning home, seen that something was wrong and helped Levi to safety.

The isolated place where a rape happened at 3:00 am.  Photo by: Cynthia Gladden

Levi was traumatized, and needed help to overcome the obstacle that had changed her life for the worse. Rape counseling, therapy and anger management, would be the beginning of a vital journey, while she enveloped herself into a song that she wrote and recorded, called, The Testimony. The arrest did not happen right away but one day a call from the Detroit Police Department would begin to change her life, as Levi had to face the repercussion of being out alone at 3:00am on the streets of Detroit.

Convicted rapist, Christopher Lee Johnson would be identified through the description of his car in other unsolved rape cases. Levi’s rape kit had DNA that would solve multiple rapes in the City of Detroit. Johnson would be convicted of Levi’s rape, the driver was never identified was only a part of Levi’s case. Johnson had already been interrogated without Levi’s case, so no one knew of a driver until Levi’s case surfaced with rape kit DNA and a description of a car that put a serial rapist in prison.

The Green Light Solution in Detroit

In the first half of 2015, nearly 25 percent of violent crimes in Detroit occurred within 500 feet of a gas station. Detroit, Michigan is on the edge of recovery and develops a program to help deter crime and help solve crimes, and it is called the Green Light Project. On January 1, 2016, eight 24-hour gas stations were the first to test the project.

The program is just over a year old and now have about 100 businesses enrolled in the Green Light Project. In September 2016, Comcast Cable joined forces with Detroit to help fight crime by offering to install high definition cameras, so that the Detroit Police may solve crimes in real-time at an affordable price. DTE Energy collaborated with the City of Detroit when there were just 52 businesses registered in November 2016. They encouraged more businesses with an incentive offered by DTE for a $7000.00 rebate per business that enrolled, a 65 percent signup bonus.

Every Green Light Project participant receives the trademark signage attached to the property, made visible to deter crime.  Image by: Cynthia Gladden

Detroit has trademarked the Green Light Project protecting its interest for the signage, lighting, and the green light fixtures on the signs. Businesses involved so far are 24-hour gas stations, 24-hour drive thru restaurants, and liquor stores.The Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan, and Police Chief James Craig expect to see more changes in crime as more businesses participate in the Green Light Program. The first eight participants of Green Light see a 40 percent in crime reduction, newer Green Light participants are seeing an average of a 20 percent change in crime and there has also been a 40 percent change in car jacking’s, compared to a year ago. It was stated during the announcement of the 100th participant that all 911 calls will be dispatched to any Green Light participants first, no matter what. The changes will occur because of a green light flashing on a building that will represent security that leads straight to a monitoring station, that is divided into two parts, one for east Detroit and the other for the west side of Detroit.

The Unheard Voices


The failing schools in the Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) are urged to enter into a partnership agreement with the State of Michigan to avoid school closures in June 2017. The partnership will also involve the schools procuring the aid of other partners to further help improve the schools that are deemed critical, awaiting the fate of the 2017, Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-Step).

School districts have 60 days to reach a deal with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Some districts have already shown an interest and have contacted the Michigan Superintendent, Brian Whiston.

Heaven Young a student at Gompers Elementary Middle School, states that she has been a student at the Gompers site since Pre-School. Gompers is the school where her educational process began, and she hopes to graduate 8th grade from Gompers in June 2020. Heaven says she understands the process of the testing and hopes for the best in a classroom that houses 41-42 students, per one teacher.

$21.4 million Gompers Elementary Middle School, 14450 Burt Rd,. Detroit, MI 48223, faces being closed after three years of failing the M-Step test. Photo by: Cynthia Gladden

The children’s, educational outcome rely on enough children passing the M-Step test per school district. Considering the over crowded classrooms, prepping for the test is not going to be an easy job for the teachers, of Detroit. According to Heaven, the children will take the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP), test first to measure the success of advancement in grade level. The results of this test usually are graded and sent back to teachers within 48 hours. The M-step test will follow for overall school performance of the students measured by the State of Michigan’s guidelines for growth in performance.

The students who work hard at being good students, voices need to be heard. This not just a about a one student problem, it’s about all of the students who want to learn, and they are the ones who really suffer from the massive amount schools that have closed over the years in Detroit, since it’s decline.


Gompers Elementary/Middle School

The Gompers Elementary/ Middle School community has been encouraged to take the necessary measures to prevent the dilapidation of the $21.4 million school that opened its doors in the 2011 school year, in Detroit, Michigan.

Parents and students were notified in January 2017 that Gompers Elementary /Middle School could possibly close its doors in June 2017, along with 37 other schools in Metro Detroit. The 111,882 square-foot school consolidated and replaced three older schools: Harding, Vetal, and Gompers Elementary Schools. Harding Elementary and its Annex were demolished and the new 2-story building was constructed on that site, which houses Pre-K thru 8th grade students. The closing will cause a hardship for many families, as many Detroit Public Schools have already been closed due to the decline of Detroit and state testing scores for children. The city has no plans for the schools facing being vacated and this will only add despair to a city on the edge of rebuilding itself.

Heaven is a former student of Warren G. Harding School, she now attends Samuel Gompers Elementary Middle School and has dreams of being a doctor and now wonders where she will graduate from in the future. Image by: Cynthia Gladden

The children have to be educated and the Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder has delayed the decision to close from February 2017 to May 2017, giving the Michigan Department of Education time to come up with a plan for making sure the children are educated properly and are able to bring up test scores.

Schools that do not pass the state testing three years in a row are subjected to closing instead of seeking solutions to better the test scores. School closings lead to more abandoned buildings in a city whose population has a steady decline. Detroit parents are faced with, where to educate their children, who have dreams to succeed. Finding a place to meet the educational needs for the children of Detroit will be a chore for most parents and they will find it hard to fulfill their children’s educational requirements within the city limits, since many schools have already closed.