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CRPS Awareness Day 16: What We Lose When We Undertreat Pain

Published on November 16, 2017 under Guest Blogger for RSDSA

Vlog by Kate Nicholson

This video is being shared with Kate Nicholson’s permission. Kate was a civil rights attorney for the Justice Department when pain consumed her life. Using opioids to function, she moved on to become a federal prosecutor. Based on her experience, she recorded this TED Talk to show how the opioid “crisis” is harming the people in pain that need it and how it harms so many when we undertreat pain.

Thank you to Kate for sharing her story and her opinion on such a large platform. We are honored to share it through our blog as a vlog.

The full description of this YouTube video states: “Kate Nicholson was working as a civil rights attorney for the Justice Department when a surgical error left her unable to sit or stand, largely bedridden, and in severe pain for almost 20 years. Using opioids as an appropriate pain management tool, she continued to function as a high-level federal prosecutor. In this talk, Kate pivots from her inspiring and excruciating story to examine the under-treatment of pain, showing how our approach to opioid abuse by 2.5 million Americans is hurting 50 million people in severe or persistent pain.
Kate Nicholson served in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for more than 20 years, practicing health-related civil rights law and securing powerful victories including in the U.S. Supreme Court. She is currently writing a book about her personal experiences with severe chronic pain. Kate is also an arts writer and enthusiast who helped found the new non-profit, Tilt West, www.tiltwest.org, recently named by Westword as the “best think tank for arts and culture” in the area. Kate was a Senior Fellow at Dartmouth College and is a graduate of Harvard Law School. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx