Duterte bothered by chronic pain near ear
President Rodrigo Duterte is suffering from chronic pain near his ear as a result of a spinal injury he sustained in a motorcycle accident years ago.
The President made this revelation in Puerto Princesa City, during the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival on Saturday even as he denied allegations that he was addicted to fentanyl transdermal patches, a powerful anti-pain medication that he used to relieve himself of the pain.
“I’m suffering from pain, 24 hours a day. Probably you see me always massaging the left nerve of my lower ear. It’s because I’m suffering almost every day nonstop,” he said.
He added: “On a pain scale of one to 10, maybe something like two, three.
Referring to a motorcycle accident he had when he was 68 years old, the President said his family did not want him to undergo surgery for fear of negative effects later in life.
“It became an issue because I couldn’t really bear it. The problem is my family didn’t want me to undergo an operation as long as it’s spinal,” he said.
He said even his partner, Honeylet Avanceña, was totally opposed to him undergoing an operation.
Avanceña is a former overseas Filipino worker and a nurse.
It was Avanceña who suggested that he use fentanyl patches to treat the severe pain.
Fentanyl is an opioid used as a pain medication, but doctors warn against its prolonged use, since it may be addictive and habit-forming.
“She said, I should try fentanyl. It’s a painkiller. But the doctor said I should cut a piece into four and use one at a time for two days like an adhesive,” the President said.
He said the doctor cautioned him to stop taking the drug when he was already taking too much to make the pain go away.
“The doctor said, ‘Either you stop it because that’s not the remedy. If you want, I can operate on you,’” the President said.
Wary of surgery
He admitted, however, that he was wary of surgery, since it carried risks, especially if it was a spinal operation.
“If you make a mistake, so many thousands of nerves there. One wrong move, it’s over. I’ve seen so many priests operated on. After that, they cannot stand anymore,” the President said.
He also denied that he was addicted to fentanyl, saying he was only taking it as a painkiller.
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