Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

A Day in the Life

dayA day: The following is a recent interchange with a patient. He had sustained a leg injury while working construction, and the pain did not resolve. He was eventually diagnosed as having RSD (CPRS Type I) and entered a pain center where he was placed on increasing dosages of narcotics.

He has a 10th grade education and no GED. Just prior to injury, he had married a woman several years his senior who had four children and an ex-husband in prison. She did not work, and the family was now living on his $275.76workers_ compensation check.

He relates the following about his days, his future and his life:

“I usually take my Oxycontin three times a day sometimes I take four and then run out of them. My cousin had a back injury, and he has some left over because they make him sick so I take his.

I take oxycodone for what they call  breakthrough pain, and my mom and sister have a lot of them because they are both disabled. I guess I take 6 a day on some days but mostly about four.

If it (the pain) really gets bad, I drink a six pack or two. Alcohol is not a problem for me, and I have not had a DUI in almost three years. Sometimes I run short on money for cigarettes. I have smoked a couple packs a day for a long time, but with nothing to do, I smoke even more nowadays.

My wife is on me to get back to work, but I know that the insurance company is watching me. People tell me that they always do. I could work with my brother-in-law, who has a landscaping business, and he has some easy work and would pay me good money, My wife complains that I do not get up and help her with the apartment or the kids, but even when I take a lot of pain medicine at night, I don’t sleep very well and am beat in the morning. She sleeps late and wants me to feed them. Her oldest son has gotten into a lot of trouble. Her other son does real good in school when he goes. Her daughters are 13 and 15, and some nights they don’t come home at all.”


National Register of Health Service Psychologists

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