…I don’t expect you to remember me, but after reading your book I think you know just how meaningful your support was for someone who had suffered chronic pain for 45 years, with very inadequate treatment until I met Dr. James P. Murphy. I was just getting started with treatment when that all took place.
Since that time, I have been incredibly blessed to be able to return to teaching part time, and enjoy my position as adjunct professor of sociology at Bellarmine University. Each semester Dr. Murphy has lectured my Intro class about addiction and drugs, and they love him. He and I have worked up a new course–Sociology of Pain, Drugs and Addiction (Myths, Truths, and Policy). Dr. M will be doing the lectures that are strictly medical, and my nurses’ training will get me through the less rigorous medical input. But the important thing is that I will be using The Painful Truth as the first textbook, which will also accompany later phases of the semester. For the history of drugs in this region I will be using Sam Quinones’ Dreamland. There will also be other articles and film. A number of my students are already excited about it, and so am I. It is scheduled for Fall semester, and I can’t wait. It will be such a privilege to use your book as the main text. Reading it made me feel as though you and I had had extensive conversations about some of the most difficult periods in my life, and that you were supporting me personally with what you had written (I confess that at times during the worst pain I sometimes regressed to the egocentrism of infancy when the pain and I were the center of the universe–maybe ALL the universe)….
..Powerful, engrossing and clear-eyed, this is an important book for those dealing with chronic pain–sufferers, medical professionals, and caregivers alike.” – Booklist (starred review, November 1, 2015)
When people speak of “chronic pain patients” all too often pejoratively and as a group, it’s easy to overlook their individuality, and the courage and inherent dignity of their too lonely struggles. Not Dr. Webster, thankfully. Reading his book will change you and hopefully enable your humanity to emerge anew whether you are a professional or loved one of someone in pain or if you a person in pain — for yourself. I can assure you it will be impossible to be dogmatic about sufferers ever again.
—Steven D. Passik, Ph.D. VP, Clinical Research and Advocacy Millennium Health, San Diego, CA
Unlike the condensed anecdotes that books like this usually have, your more lengthy, deep, extended portraits were very moving, complete and compelling. All the people whose stories you told came across as real people, not made-up examples for the sake of some editorial point. I also liked the second (policy) part of the book very much….The book succeeded admirably in being very sympathetic to both pain patients and people with the disease of addiction. Good job!!!
—Judy Foreman, author of “A Nation in Pain – Healing Our Biggest Health Problem” from Oxford University Press
This book should be read by every severe pain patient and pain practitioner. It captures the essence of our dreams and challenges to bring meaningful pain care to every suffering patient.
—Forest Tennant M.D., Dr. P.H., Veract Intractable Pain Clinic and Editor, Practical Pain Management
This book will change the way this country thinks about pain, pain management, and those who struggle with pain every day. Dr. Lynn Webster uses his compassion and love for people with pain and pain care to make The Painful Truth a groundbreaking and remarkable book. This book is a first of its kind and needed in the pain awareness movement. Dr. Webster uses real-life stories and his vast background and experience to remind us why pain is a reality that cannot be ignored.
—Paul Gileno, founder and president, U.S. Pain Foundation
The Painful Truth is a unique and important book. Through a series of poignant vignettes, Webster brings into stark relief the modern-day plague of chronic pain—one that kills insidiously and slowly, if not always literally, then most certainly socially, emotionally, and spiritually. This book is a treasure. Everyone should read it.
—Perry Fine, professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine, University of Utah; past president, American Academy of Pain Medicine
With this book, Lynn has drawn back the curtain on the disease of chronic pain that so many Americans suffer with daily while they struggle with a medical system that generally lacks understanding or education to help them. The Painful Truth is an important read for pain patients, family members of those patients, and perhaps most importantly, the providers who care for pain patients.
—Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, M.D., program director, Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management
As someone who works on behalf of people in pain and who also knows what it’s like to experience chronic pain, I highly recommend this book. One of the most hope-filled, helpful books on pain I’ve ever read.
—Janet Favero Chambers, president, National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Association
[The Painful Truth] has the potential to be a “game changer.” The stories are very powerful.
—Myra J. Christopher, Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain and Palliative Care, Center for Practical Bioethics
This book gives voice to real people who suffer with chronic pain and to their caregivers. With the wisdom and compassion of a seasoned practitioner, he tells their stories. Some are inspirational stories of healing and hope; others depict the disenfranchisement experienced by so many forced to live with chronic pain; other stories are tragic. We would all do well to heed the call of those forced to live with chronic pain. This excellent book is a very good place to start.
—The Rev. George Anthony Hoeltzel, Episcopal priest, Yonkers, New York
It is not often that you come across a book written by a physician that is filled with more than good advice; it is filled with compassion and understanding for people with pain. From his early childhood, Lynn Webster understood the torment of pain and the importance of just being there and accepting the person in spite of his or her pain. His accounts of his patients are heartfelt, and anyone with pain can relate to the struggles he so perceptively tells. Dr. Webster also looks at the real issues we all face when it comes to access to care for the person with pain as well as the struggles the provider faces in whether or not to treat people with pain in today’s climate of opioid prescribing.
—Penney Cowan, founder and executive director, American Chronic Pain Association
The Painful Truth is an asset for people who deal with pain on a personal level or on a larger scale: people suffering; their loved ones and caregivers; and practitioners of counseling, physical therapy, pharmacy, elder care, and other related professions. Webster avoids jargon in all medical descriptions so that everyday people can understand. And while every thought is given the level of development it requires, the book is not dense; it’s an easy-to-read, smooth mix of story and information…The Painful Truth is an invaluable, hope-filled resource for individuals—and societies—consumed by pain.
An intelligent, provocative, and inspiring call to arms for those who simply want relief and a return to normalcy.
From reading this book one can very well see how compassionate Dr. Webster is in caring for his patients during their most difficult moments. This is quite noticeable in his conversations and treatments with his patients where he tries to balance realism in their need for hope….This is an intelligent wake up call in acknowledging that we are not doing nearly our best to get them the treatment they need, and often look at them askance when they try to do their best for themselves within the system as it exists today.
Powerful, engrossing and clear-eyed, this is a critical book for everyone—those dealing with chronic pain, medical professionals, caregivers, and anyone tempted to turn a blind eye to a problem that affects 111 million people in the United States alone.
The book tackles all different avenues of support – family, friends, medical, spiritual – and tries to offer something for anyone reading it. If you have CPS, it offers the knowledge that you are not alone, some new ideas and thoughts, and a sense that you are not stumbling around in the dark with something no-one can understand. If you know someone who has CPS it can offer you a better understanding of what they’re going through and what they might need to support them through it. And if you have never encountered CPS then it helps to shine a light onto a criminally overlooked problem that so many people dismiss as nothing.
—The Review Diaries
Thank you so much for the book, The Painful Truth. It was so compelling that I read it in one sitting and as soon as I could I watched the trailer for the documentary. (I’ll be looking for the full version.) If giving these victims of pain a voice was as satisfying for you as it was edifying for me it must be one of your career highlights. You know, on my side of the business patients get turned into subjects who are then further dehumanized by being referred to by a number and whose story is told in a sterile data listing. It’s easy to sometimes forget what your book so gracefully reminded me. The Painful Truth really was able to capture your voice as well and your passion and compassion were self-evident. I’m prayerful that I’ll never find myself a victim of chronic pain or a caregiver to a loved one, but I’ll always have a great resource on my bookshelf.
—Tim Warneke, MS, Senior Director, Clinical Operations
BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc.
I just finished reading your book (perhaps on a Sunday is appropriate). I knew before I read it that it would be good, but I did not anticipate just how talented a writer you are! Simultaneously thoughtful, penetrating, sensitive, and determined advocacy. It made me wish that I was able to be a physician. And I’m certain that it will inspire others to be pain specialists – despite the many challenges and sacrifices. BRAVO!!
—Robert B. Raffa, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Temple University School of Pharmacy, and Associate Editor Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
I’m reading your book and it’s wonderful. You have such compassion and connection to your patients. Your ability to truly understand so well what’s happening inside these people with invisible pain and illness is amazing.
I’m a disabled retired physician. I’m 41 yrs old and had to quit working 2 years ago after becoming severely sick with acute intermittent porphyria. You truly are the model physician. If all patients like me were to have doctors like you then what a difference in this world. Outcomes would be dramatically different. Thank you so much for speaking up so honestly and courageously and risking so much to do what’s ethically the right thing. You are one of a kind.
—Lisa Kehrberg, M.D.
Long Grove, IL
I found much to admire in The Painful Truth. There are a number of intertwined stories going on in the book: the course of Dr. Webster’s career and the false allegations against him; the history of pain treatment and the use of opioids; the extended anecdotes about Dr. Webster’s patients; and the conversation about the role of caregivers. Dr. Webster also discusses the role of religion in the treatment of pain without suggesting that religion or spirituality is a panacea. The story of Michael is particularly memorable (though also depressing, as it ends with Michael’s death, which certainly many medical stories must). I appreciate the notes at the end of the book…. My main takeaway from the book is a lot of people are suffering much more than I could have imagined, and sometimes there really are no good answers….
—Judge, 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards