Christy Wells-Reece is living with Lupus, Arthritis, and Fibromyalgia. “my legs hurt so much and my arms hurt so much that I don't want to walk to the bathroom,” said Reece.

She takes up to 28 pills a day but her pain is still too extreme to do day-to-day activities. "My husband will cut my meat for me because my arms hurt so much,” said Reece.

Christy said she was diagnosed with all three illnesses in her thirties. She had two small children at home and the stigma surrounding opioids made it hard for her family.

“Some people are embarrassed by the fact that I take pain medicine. Some people who love me are embarrassed about it but I have to have it to function,” said Reece.

She said the pain was so intense that she visited the emergency room two to three times a week. “I was having violent headaches and throwing up all the time,” said Reece.

She knows there are two sides to the same coin. “I’ve seen medicine used in the wrong way, I’ve seen alcohol and drugs ruin people's lives. But, I also know the other side, where pain pills give people their lives back," said Reece. 

Her husband is acting as a safety net to make sure she doesn't abuse the pain medications. “I personally found it necessary to have someone that I was accountable to. I’m accountable to my husband,” said Reece.

Christy wants to make sure the stigma doesn't stop anyone else from getting the help they need. “Do what you have to do to have a life. Don’t live in pain, just live.”