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The Rapp Report: Chronic Pain Awareness

Jul 2020

E15 Alexander Urman, Chronic Pain Warrior

In this episode, we interview Alexander Urman, a chronic pain warrior suffering from CSF leaks, and adhesive arachnoiditis. 

Alexander was born in The Ukraine. At the age of 15, six months after beginning karate instructions, under the tutelage of a reckless instructor, he suffered a bad acrobatic fall while learning a new technique. He badly injured his spine in the neck and lumbar regions. At that time, in The Ukraine, these types of spine injuries were not considered treatable. He was 16 when he came to the U.S.  He came already disabled, but pushed through the pain and was able to achieve much. He received two degrees from the very prestigious Stanford University in a five year program, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and M.S. in Engineering Economics. He had great professional success in his jobs after Stanford, but was finding himself in increasing pain from sedentary computer work.  In order to adapt to the challenges of his health, Alexander wanted to have more professional flexibility and have less of a sedentary work style, to explore the managerial or entrepreneurial track. He attended the best state school in California with an MBA program – the Anderson School at UCLA. From that point on, things continued to deteriorate as he suffered through multiple failed spinal surgeries. He spends most of his days battling severe, intractable pain, as well as insomnia from the extremely high levels of pain.

Jul 2020

E14 Jemela Williams on Sickle Cell Disease

In this episode, we interviewed Jemela Williams, board member of the Uriel E. Owens Sickle Cell Disease Association of the Midwest. 

Jemela Williams is a lifelong Sickle Cell Advocate that has a passion for spreading awareness and helping those navigate through the challenges of having Sickle Cell. As a Sickle Cell Warrior, she aims to inspire other Sickle Cell Warriors to live their most phenomenal lives. She also volunteers in her free time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in her community. She's served on the Sickle Cell board of directors for the Kansas City, Missouri Sickle Cell Chapter, fundraising for Sickle Cell patients and spreading awareness. She was also a Camp Counselor for Camp Courage, a camp for children with Sickle Cell, for many years. 

When she is not busy being an advocate for the community, she enjoys cinema, dabbles in photography and is an avid fashion enthusiast.

You can check out the Uriel E. Owens Sickle Cell Disease Association of the Midwest at their website,

Uriel Owens suffered greatly from Sickle Cell Anemia but despite the debilitating effects of Sickle Cell Anemia, he made outstanding contributions to his community. 

As a well-known civic leader in Kansas City, Kansas, he helped to establish the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project. For several years he was Director of the Economic Opportunity Foundation, an anti-poverty organization in Kansas City, Kansas. He was an active member of the Democratic Party and was a delegate to the Democratic Convention in Miami, Florida in 1972. 

Owens had often expressed the need for an organization that could assist sickle cell patients and their families in various ways. 

After his death on October 16, 1980, family members and close friends of Uriel decided to establish a sickle cell organization in his honor. The Sickle Cell Disease Association of the Midwest was established on January 19, 1981. The association continues to provide assistance to persons with Sickle Cell Disease, and to educate the community about the disease.

Jul 2020

E13 The Declaration of Independence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --

Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace frie the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Jun 2020

E12 Dr. Thomas Kline, M.D. On The Opioid Crisis

In this episode, we interview Thomas Kline, MD.

Dr. Kline lives in Raleigh, in the Great State of North Carolina. He not only treats patients suffering with chronic pain, but also advocates for them. Many of whom rely on opioid analgesics to survive. 

He has more than 40 years experience with long-term diseases, and has a very distinguished resume, including as the former Chief of Hospital in Home Service at Harvard Medical, a physician at Boston Children's Hospital, his MD from The University of Maryland, completed his residency at the distinguished Stanford University, and he also has a PhD from The University of Oregon.

Dr. Kline has also authored several publications, been quoted in various medical articles, has been a guest on the Roy Green Radio Show, and is featured in a number of YouTube videos. 

These can be found at

He is also on JATH Educational Consortium at

Opioids in America: Misconceptions and Misperceptions

Any questions for Dr. Kline? You can reach him via email at



Jun 2020

E11 Russell Jones, Former DEA Task Force Agent, Discusses The War on Drugs

Russell Jones has been involved in the "War on Drugs" on various fronts for more than 40 years. For 10 of those years, Russell worked as a San Jose, California narcotics detective. Later he was assigned to a DEA-run task force. As a government intelligence agent, Russell worked in Latin America observing narcotics trafficking during the Nicaragua-Contra conflict. In academia, he conducted studies of the impact of drug abuse on the crime index, wrote training programs for identifying the psychological and physiological symptoms of narcotics use, and developed rehabilitation programs designed specifically for the court-mandated client. He has traveled throughout the former Soviet Union and China to study their drug problems and policies. In the field of drug rehabilitation, Russell implemented and taught courses for various California and Texas counties, as well as for privately run programs. Russell is a court-recognized expert (on both the federal and state levels) in the field of narcotics enforcement. His journey to the Soviet Union made it clear to Russell that the "War on Drugs" cannot be won. "Drugs were prevalent even behind the Iron Curtain," he reports. "If a country, as controlling of its citizens as the Soviet Union was, still had such a large a problem - drug-dealing on Moscow street corners, meth labs in Leningrad - how could a free society such as ours handle the problem from a law-enforcement perspective?" Russell rightly attests that from the advent of drug prohibition in 1914 to the declaration of "War on Drugs" in 1970, to our present-day policies and tactics, the US government has not significantly reduced the use and abuse of drugs. Instead we have incarcerated millions, destroyed the lives of countless youths, while corrupting police, judges, and politicians. "We are taxing our population at over 69 billion dollars a year to support this 'War on Drugs,'" he notes, "and the result is the enrichment of drug lords, foreign government officials, and our own government agencies that are involved in this folly." Russell champions a three-pronged approach to reform: 1) treat addiction as a health problem - not a crime, 2) remove the profit motive from the drug trade, and 3) redirect a portion of the billions of dollars in enforcement costs that ending prohibition would save toward real, honest education about drugs. Education programs cut the use of nicotine, the most addictive drug known to humans, in half in a 20-year period and we didn't have to arrest or imprison anyone to achieve that success.

Check out this video of one of Russell's public speeches:

And check out Russell's book:

Jun 2020

E10 Pharmacist Steve Discusses Pain Management and Healthcare

Pharmacist Steve has been a licensed Pharmacist for nearly 50 years and has experience working in chain pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, nursing home pharmacies and owned/operated his own independent pharmacy for 20 yrs that not only provided prescriptions but specialized in providing Home Medical Equipment, including home oxygen/respiratory services, home IV therapy and prosthetics/orthotics and a mastectomy center.

Steve’s wife,  since 1969, (Barb) has been a chronic pain sufferer for several decades and both have had to deal with the good, bad and ugly of trying to get adequate pain management out of our healthcare system.

Now  retired, Steve no longer has to have allegiance to any entity other than to those patients who our healthcare system is failing to provide proper care to.

Check out Pharmacist Steve at his website:

And be sure to check out his Facebook group:

Jun 2020

E09 Jasmine and Chris Discuss Elhers-Danlos Syndrome

In this episode of The Rapp Report, we interviewed Jasmine and Chris. They both suffer from Elhers-Danlos Syndrome. 

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues, primarily your skin, joints and blood vessel walls. Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provide strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in your body.

 People who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin. This can become a problem if you have a wound that requires stitches, because the skin often isn't strong enough to hold them.

A more severe form of the disorder, called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, vascular type, can cause the walls of your blood vessels, intestines or uterus to rupture.

Jasmine is studying for her Masters in the Genomics of Rare Diseases at the University of Advancing Technology. Her specific focus is on CRPS, Parkinson's Disease, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Her and Chris also administrate a Facebook group called Wheel Love:

As well as a Youtube Channel:

They support the Coalition of State Pain Advocacy:



Jun 2020

E08 Kent Morrell, Chronic Pain Patient and Senate Candidate From Tennessee

We interviewed candidate for United States Senate from the Great State of Tennessee, Kent Morrell, live on the air. 

Kent is running on the Republican ticket. Being a Republican myself, we examined what exactly it means to be a Republican and expressed our disapproval at the current state of our party. Kent hopes to restore true Republican values, values such as limited government and the return of individual liberty as a United States Senator. If you live in the Great State of Tennessee, home of such famous historical figures as David Crockett, and you believe in the ideals and principles of limited government and if you value individual liberty, vote for Kent Morrell. 

The opioid hysteria has allowed the Federal government to balloon at an astonishing rate into our medicare system. Now there is more government than ever before in American history keeping millions of Americans suffering from excruciating pain every day from the treatment they deserve. As Kent and I discussed live on the air, we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men. Kent will fight for liberty. Kent will fight to restore the rights of the people, not just chronic pain patients, but to all Americans, and push back against an out of control, over-inflated government. Washington DC isn't just in Washington DC anymore. You can find the Federal government in almost every aspect of your life. (Even this podcast. The FCC regulates my airtime.) Help Kent take on the cause of liberty, the same noble cause taken up by the first Republican President, and our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln. 

Be sure and check out Kent's website and DONATE to his great and noble campaign!



Jun 2020

E07 Shasta Rayne Harner, Vice President of CIAAG, Discusses Her Organization and Chronic Pain

In this episode, we interview Shasta Rayne Harner of Chronic Illness Advocacy and Awareness Group, Inc. (CIAAG). Shasta is the Vice President and Director of CIAAG. She is also a chronic pain patient herself, suffering from Dermatomyositis. 

The Chronic Illness Advocacy & Awareness Group, Inc. (CIAAG) is a national non-profit organization that promotes both a common-sense, compassionate and research-based approach to palliative care along with the responsible prescribing of opioid medication to those experiencing chronic pain and illnesses, including: serious injuries, intractable pain, and those who suffer from painful chronic diseases.

CIAAG’s mission is to work collaboratively with legislators in crafting the policy changes and legislation enacted to combat opioid abuse (including heroin and illicit fentanyl) in a way that does not restrict patients’ access to their medication. Restricting access is not just a problem for the individual; it negatively impacts the nation’s public and economic health, resulting in previously functioning members of society being forced into unemployment and disability in response to the relentless, inhumane and debilitating pain they experience.

Intractable pain and forced isolation often leads to depression and other mental health crises as well. Unfortunately, some patients have turned to the street to find unsafe alternatives (including dangerous counterfeit pills) in a desperate effort to relieve their untreated pain, while others have succumbed to suicide as a final escape.

CIAAG offers lawmakers and other decision-makers fact-based research on prescription opioid use from qualified physicians, as well as policy white papers, testimonials and other resources to aid in crafting sensible policies around opiate use.

 Learn more about CIAAG at

The CIAAG dossier, "Violation of A Nation" can be found at

You can donate and contact CIAAG at

The National Pain Strategy referenced in this episode can be found at

Be sure and check us out The Rapp Report Chronic Pain Crusade group on Facebook:

And follow us on Twitter:

Thank you for listening! Please share this episode!


Jun 2020

E06 Understanding Chronic Pain: A Message For Non-Chronic Pain Patients

This episode is for those of us who don't suffer from chronic pain. 

Episode Transcript:

So, this episode is going to be for people like me; non chronic pain patients.


I want you all to close your eyes and go on a journey with me. A journey through your mind.


I want you to think about your every day lives. Think about how active you are in your life.


Do you have a job? Most of us do. How strenuous is your job? Does it require manual labor? Do you lift things? How much energy do you exert while you're at work? Or perhaps you work in an office, sitting in the same position typing and filling out forms from nine to five.


What about at home? What all do you do around the house? Do you cook? Clean? What about simple tasks like doing the laundry, or vacuuming? Dusting bookshelves? Things break down around the house, and when they do you have to repair them. Are you a do-it yourselfer? What about maintenance? You have to change out air filters in the air conditioner. Replace light bulbs. Mow the lawn. Perhaps you do a little gardening, too.


Do you have kids? What kinds of activities do you do with your kids? Maybe you like to play catch with them in your free time. Or go on an evening bike ride around town with them. Or play Frisbee. Or any number of activities kids enjoy doing with their parents.


And after the kids go to bed, there's intimate time with your spouses, or significant others, right! Can't forget about that!


And how about showering? All that activity. You're going to work up a sweat!


What about hobbies? Maybe you like to play a round of golf on your weekends off. Or some other sport like playing football or baseball. Are you part of a bowling league? Perhaps you like to hit the bar after work and play some pool. Maybe you like to go fishing on your days off. Maybe you and your friends get together for a poker night. Perhaps you're concerned about staying fit and like to go to the gym and lift weights. Or go jogging. Or even swimming. Or maybe you're like me and enjoy blacksmith work, a process of heating steel and shaping it with a hammer on an anvil. There's a lot of hard work involved in that.


Think about how active you are in your daily life. We are very active creatures, us humans. Are you sore after a day of activity, between work, time with family, and your hobbies? That's okay. We'll go to sleep after our long days, wake up refreshed, and start all over again the next day, right? For most of us, sure.


Now, I want you to imagine not being able to do all those things. You're inhibited. Not by time, or weather, or any other factor like that. But, by your own body.


I want you all to think about the worst pain you've ever felt. Have you pulled a muscle before? Or broken a bone? Maybe you've smashed your finger with a hammer. Or wrecked a bicycle. Maybe you've had a major surgery. Those are painful. Or, for us guys, maybe you've taken a shot to the nuts before. That hurts! I want you to think about that. What is the worst pain you have ever felt. And, don't try to compare it with something else. We're all different. We're all unique. Each of us has a different pain threshold and a different pain tolerance. I'm talking about specific to you, individually. What is the worst physical pain YOU have ever felt?


For most of us, we recover from pain. Perhaps its only momentary, and you can just walk it off.  Maybe it lasts overnight. Maybe it lasts a couple of days depending on severity. But, imagine that pain being constant. For more than 100 million Americans, and more than 7 million Canadians, chronic pain is an every day part of life. Yes, that’s right. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

Now, lets look at the term “chronic”, just to give you a better idea. Webster’s dictionary defines the term chronic as meaning “inveterate; constant; continuing a long time or recurring frequently; having long duration.”

In short, it doesn’t go away. It’s everlasting. It’s incurable. And it’s there forever. Every minute. Every hour. Every day. For life. 

All of those activities we talked about at the beginning of this episode, most of us take those for granted. We do them without giving them any thought. In fact, we enjoy most of them! But, for a chronic pain patient, something as trivial as taking a shower, or doing the laundry, or cooking a meal, is a daunting task, requiring every last bit of energy they are able to muster in order to accomplish. The simplest activities are a battle. And, they are excruciating. Since we just did definitions, do you know what excruciating means? The origin of the word? It’s from Latin. Ex Cruces. Meaning of the cross, for the religious among us. It’s a word from the Roman practice of crucifixion. An extremely painful form of execution. Excruciating means exactly that, pain like crucifixion. An apt description for chronic pain patients. And, much like the ancient practice of crucifixion, the pain only ends in death. Tragically, many chronic pain patients have ended their own lives in order to end their suffering. Can you imagine that? I want you to try to. I want you to try to imagine being in so much pain for so long that the better option is to throw in the towel for eternity. 

Remember that part about feeling rejuvenated after a full night’s sleep? That doesn’t happen for chronic pain patients either. Their pain interferes with sleep. Most chronic pain patients don’t get a full-night's rest. They sleep in random intervals. Some nights may be better than others. Maybe they get a full nights sleep on a rare occasion. But, more often than not, it’s a few hours here, a few hours there. That is until exhaustion takes over. 

My wife is a perfect example of this. Just last weekend she slept for 15 hours straight. Overcome with exhaustion from not being able to get a full night’s rest thanks to nagging, insufferable pain. 

When chronic pain patients wake up, whether from the little rest they get, or exhaustion induced crashes, there is no feeling rejuvenated. The pain is either as it was, or more often than not, worse.

Nearly one out of every 10 American adults suffer from pain so severe that it limits daily activities. That is an astronomical number. One out of every 10 American adults are categorized as High Impact Chronic Pain patients. High Impact Chronic Pain is defined by the CDC as pain that has lasted longer than 3 months and is accompanied by at least one major activity restriction, such as inability to work, go to school, or do household tasks.  

So, think about that for a minute. One out of every 10 adults in the United States are totally disabled by pain. No hobbies. No jobs. One in ten. 

Everything we do in a day requires energy. It’s a scientific fact. Sunlight provides energy to plant life on Earth through a process called photosynthesis. The various herbivorous species on the planet eat the plant life, thereby transferring that energy into their bodies. We, as humans, then consume these animals, transferring that energy into our own bodies. We even eat certain plants, too. Thereby getting energy straight from the source, along with valuable nutrients. The energy we get from our food, as well as plenty of sleep,  is what powers us through the day. A day is 24 hours long. The average human is active for about 16 hours, only requiring eight hours of sleep to replenish ourselves and start again. The things we do in those 16 active hours slowly deplete us of our energy reserves, and we start to feel tired, perhaps sore as well, as our muscles recover from a day's worth of use. The point being that, for most of us, the things we do during our time awake is what depletes our energy reserves. 

Now, I want you to think about this. Imagine that you don’t have a job. No hobbies. No kids. Just think of yourself as totally alone and isolated. You have nothing to do all day. Sounds great, right! You can relax in your favorite chair all day and play video games, or watch movies. No job to worry about. No boss nagging you. Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it? No reason whatsoever to expend your energy. But wait! Something is wrong… There is some unseen force that is slowly draining you of your energy, even though you aren’t doing anything! It’s totally invisible. You can’t look yourself over and identify the problem. You’ve looked in the mirror a thousand times, there’s nothing there. But, you can certainly feel it! And it’s slowly sucking the life out of you. You haven’t done a single thing since you woke up but you’re already exhausted. How can this be? That’s not natural! This can’t be right! You should be full of life! You should feel fit as a dancing bear! This is the life of one in ten American adults. It doesn’t go away. They can’t sleep it off. 

And what about the mental impact of all of this? How would it affect you mentally if you were no longer able to do the things you enjoy? What kind of toll do you think that would take on your psychological state if you could no longer provide for your family? If you could no longer be a contributing member of society as a whole? If you could no longer even relax and enjoy your favorite hobbies? I’d think that would start to wear you down mentally after a while. How would you feel? I know how I’d feel. I’d be pretty depressed. There are a lot of things I enjoy doing. I told you about my blacksmith hobby earlier. If I could never be able to pick up a hammer and shape hot steel again. Or if I were to lose the ability to sit in this chair, behind this microphone again. Would you lash out on your loved ones in frustration and anger? If you say know, you’re only fooling yourself. 

It’s happened to millions. 

Let me tell you what it’s like for me, as a non-chronic pain patient, being married to a chronic pain patient. I love my wife very dearly. She’s everything to me. She’s the reason I started this podcast. She’s the reason I became an advocate for chronic pain patients. And she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. She’s absolutely stunning. She never fails to leave me breathless. But, because of her pain, she rarely ever feels beautiful. She’s very insecure. This is a very hard subject for me to talk about on the air, because I don’t see any flaws in her. Any faults. I love my wife. I love her for who she is and just the way she is. But she wanted me to talk about this to give other non-chronic pain patients a view into the world of CPP’s and what life is like. What it’s like to live every single day with chronic pain. 

Anyway, back to the story here. My wife is a knockout! But, her constant pain and suffering has left her feeling very insecure most of the time. She hasn’t always been this way. When she was living in Las Vegas, she worked as the lead auditor for the Riviera casino. Do any of you remember the Riviera? Ever been to it? It was imploded a few years ago but it was a very famous casino in it’s day. The movie “Casino” starring Robert DeNiro and Joe Peschi was filmed there back in 1995. Anyway, my wife worked there as the lead auditor. While doing that she was also going to college and getting her degree, all the while raising her girls. She’s a very brilliant, talented, and motivated woman. When she lived in Montana, while she was on pain medication, she worked multiple jobs, cared for her elderly grandmother, and was an extraordinary mother to our beautiful daughters. It’s just part of who she is. She has a great work ethic and a natural motherly instinct. She’s an amazing woman. She really is. That all changed with the inhumane CDC guidelines. She was rapidly tapered off her medications, despite being a legacy patient. Legacy patient meaning she was on opioid pain medications for a long time, and it was working for her. It wasn’t jeopardizing her health, despite what that nincompoop, Andrew Kolodny, would have everybody believe. Despite what the CDC, a Federal Agency, whose primary responsibility is dealing with infectious diseases, would have you believe. Infectious diseases. You ever hear of anyone contracting CRPS from an airborne virus?! You ever hear of of fibromyalgia being sexually transmitted?! You ever hear of an Adhesive Arachnoiditis pandemic, as if it were the bubonic plague?!

Anyway, things declined after she was taken off of her pain medications. She was no longer able to work. She’s on SSDI now. She went from taking care of our daughters to them taking care of her. She spends most of her days in bed. It’s a daunting task just for her to get up and go to the bathroom. Her pain has crippled her. Not just physically, but emotionally. 

I told you she’s a very wonderful mother, and she is. And she’s a very wonderful wife. I’m lucky to have her. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. The cockles of my heart, as they say. Despite her pain, she still wants to do motherly and wifely things. She loves to cook. Mostly, myself or our kids make the meals, but on good days, my wife cooks for us. It’s something she loves to do and she gets a lot of satisfaction in doing something like that for us. How many of you, my fellow non-CPP’s out there, cook regularly, whether it’s grilling up steaks or burgers, or cooking up a meal. You do it often, don’t you. We have to eat as humans. Remember earlier? That’s how we get our energy and nutrients. And making a meal for your family doesn’t take that much time. Half an hour, or an hour, or so, depending on what you’re making. In that short time, when my wife is able to do that, it totally breaks her down. She’s completely spent after that. On days she’s feeling well enough to make a meal for us, she starts off with almost a spring in her step. She’s happy. Has a smile on her face that could light up the entire city Los Angeles in the middle of a nuclear winter. By the end of it, I almost have to carry her back to our room. 

Not just physical, but mental as well. It’s made her very insecure. She’s always, always, always afraid I’m going to get tired of this kind of life and leave her. Well… I’ve got news for you, my love. I’m not going anywhere. You’re stuck with me, sweetheart. You see, when I drafted out the contract for our marriage, she must not have read the fine print. You’re stuck with this guy for eternity, Dana. (Hahaha) 

In our Facebook group, “The Rapp Report Chronic Pain Crusade” my wife and another member of the Chronic Pain Community, Cathy Kean, were talking about their pain and what they call it, and a few other members chimed in. “The Beast” was a popular one. In the documentary, “Pain Warriors”, by Tina Petrova, at the beginning, the narrator called pain a “dragon.” My wife calls hers, “The Darkness”, because of both the physical and mental toll it takes on her. She takes medication for depression. She gets depressed not just from being in excruciating pain every single day, but because she feels like she’s not a very good wife or mother. She feels like a burden since we take care of her and she isn’t able to contribute often. Dana, my love, I have news for you. You’re not a burden, baby. Your love, your unending and unconditional love to me and this family is the greatest contribution to this family. 

My wife and I are very close. Our family is very close. We have a very strong bond as husband and wife. As a family. For my fellow non-chronic pain patients out there with spouses, significant others, relatives, friends, or loved ones suffering with chronic pain, I have a tough pill to swallow for you. Love, sometimes, isn’t always enough. Despite how close my wife and I are, it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows here in the Rapp family. Being in constant agony is frustrating. Sometimes my wife lashes out. It’s not just frustrating for her. I lose my cool sometimes. I want to urge you all with loved ones who are continually suffering from chronic pain to try your damnedest to not take it personally. It’s not you they are lashing out at. I try and remind myself of this on my wife’s worst days. I am only human, though. I’m a flawed man. I get pissed off, sometimes. I deeply regret this character flaw in me. I try and remind myself that it’s just her pain. It’s “The Darkness” rearing its head. So I urge patience and understanding. Our loved ones suffering from chronic pain are already battling their own inner demons, every minute of every day. They don’t need to do battle with our demons, on top of everything else. Be patient with your loved ones who are suffering. 

I also want to urge you, my fellow non-CPP’s to not be self-centered. I can attest to this, that is sometimes hard to do. I work my ass off. I work nights as a welder in an assembly line, mass production factory. I also do this podcast. I care for my disabled wife. We have kids that need parental guidance, care, and affection. And somewheres in between, I have to sleep. But, I love my wife more than anything. I try my best to put her needs before my own. As I’ve said before, I am nay but human. I sometimes fail at that task. Don’t be dismissive of their pain. I get it. You’re sore after a long, hard day, or night at work. You’re beat. You just want to kick back and relax. But their pain is as real as your soreness, and as I said, it won’t go away after a good night’s rest like our stiff muscles and joints will. It will be there. Their pain is omnipresent. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s not a head game they are playing for attention. It’s very real. Please, keep that in mind. 

This next part is for people exactly like me. Non-chronic pain patients who are married to someone suffering from chronic pain. Chronic pain can take a very harsh toll on married life, particularly as it relates to intimacy. Intimacy, especially physical intimacy, is an important and healthy part of any marriage. Here’s another tough pill to swallow; chronic pain affects your spouse’s sex drive, big time. I’m very much attracted to my wife. She’s one hot momma! But her pain rarely leaves her in the mood, or even physically capable of intimacy, for that matter. This can be very taxing on a marriage. Trust me. But, also believe me when I say you’re not the only one frustrated. Chronic pain patients, if I were to guess, are probably the most sexually frustrated people on this Earth. My wife tells me all the time how much she wants me, but her body doesn’t always cooperate. Your spouse isn’t “faking it” to get out of it. They want you as bad as you want them.  My advice to you; Be intimate in other ways. Hold your spouses hand. Talk to each other a lot. Watch your favorite shows together. Give your spouse a massage. You already know their bodies hurt like hell. They will greatly appreciate those small gestures, and that bond with your spouse will become impenetrable. Your spouse, as a chronic pain patient, has already been abandoned by the nation, by the healthcare system, by the government. Don’t you abandon them, too. They need you more than they need a doctor. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, you can be the greatest pain relief they have. Believe me on that one. I’m speaking from experience. 


As of today, chronic pain affects nearly 116 million Americans, and more than 7 million Canadians. That’s more than one third of the United States population, and nearly one fifth of the Canadian population. There’s a good chance you know someone close to you suffering from relentless, unending, chronic pain. They have been cut off from their pain medications and left to suffer due to extreme regulatory measures by our governments, no thanks to the small percentage of people that abuse drugs. It’s cruel and inhumane enough that our own governments are leaving people to die in agony like this. Don’t add to the cruelty by ignoring the pain of those you know that are suffering. I’m asking my fellow non-chronic pain patients to take up the cause and spread the word around. Share this episode of the podcast. Share it on your social media profiles. Let others hear and understand the pain and suffering of millions of people. North America is heavily focused on injustice right now due to recent events. Look into chronic pain patients and the CDC guidelines. Look into the DEA witch hunt of doctors trying to treat people who are in a constant state of agony. You want to talk injustice, America? We’re not talking about a minute fraction of miscreants and malcontents here. We’re talking about ONE THIRD of the UNITED STATES POPULATION. Pain reigns on the blue, the red, and the purple. Pain reigns on the just and the unjust. Pain reigns on the black, the white, the hispanic, the asian, the arabic, and the American Indians. Pain doesn’t discriminate. And pain is either coming or already there. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we thank you for tuning into this episode of The Rapp Report. We hope you enjoyed the show. If you are an Apple user and enjoyed the show, please leave a 5-star rating, along with a review on Apple Podcasts and iTunes so others can find us and know what our show is about. We’d like to thank Podbean dot com for hosting our podcast. A very special thanks goes out to Mike and Izabella Russell at Music Radio Creative for providing our intro clip and music bed. You can find Mike and Izabella on their YouTube channel, on Twitter and Facebook, and at Music Radio Creative dot com. The Rapp Report can be found on Podbean, Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

 We, here at The Rapp Report salute America’s heroes. Our great soldiers, sailors, airmen, and of course, our beloved United States Marine Corps. We salute our great firefighters, police officers, and EMT’s. And, most importantly, we salute you, the chronic pain warriors from California to New York. From the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Alaska and Hawaii, too. And our chronic pain warrior neighbors to the north in the Great Nation of Canada. We’ll see you next time here on The Rapp Report. This is Branden and Dana Rapp signing off. 

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