Chronic pain affects 1 in 3 Americans and exerts more than a $600 billion drain on the economy annually. It is the largest invisible epidemic in the land. Having treated thousands of patients with chronic pain—often when they were at their most vulnerable—Lynn R. Webster, M.D., continues to believe there is hope. Ultimately, a cure for pain will require more research, better therapies, and improved policies. But healing can begin today with a broad-based approach to treatment, including compassionate support from those closest to the ones who are hurting.
The Painful Truth is an intimate collection of stories about people living with disabling pain, their attempts to heal, and the challenges that we collectively face in helping them live meaningful lives. As a physician who has treated people with chronic pain for more than thirty years, Dr. Webster reveals the difficulties that patients face in dealing with chronic pain in a society that is often shamefully prejudiced against those who are most in need of our empathy. He shares how such biases also affect medical professionals who treat patients with chronic pain.
In Part 1 of the book, Dr. Webster introduces nine former patients of his, illustrating their unique situations as their lives were suddenly and dramatically torn apart by chronic pain. These personal stories are raw and truthful, revealing the humanity of an often-overlooked part of our society. Each story describes a person’s journey toward healing in the face of misunderstanding and societal barriers.
Part 2 of The Painful Truth helps readers understand the uncomfortable realities faced by people in pain. Due to controversies over opioid prescriptions, they are often unable to get the treatment they need. Dr. Webster initiates a bold series of calls to action about how we all can contribute to a cultural transformation that will change attitudes and behaviors toward people in pain. The goal is to ensure that treatment of chronic pain is established as a human right.