Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, August 22, 2009 2:17 pm

A plea of a somewhat different kind

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 2:17 pm
Tags: ,

It would be real easy to crack a lot of jokes about Sherry Johnston. She’s the mother of Levi Johnston, the father of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol’s baby.

As if trying to live up to some of the classist assumptions about the Palins and anyone connected with them, Sherry got popped last winter for six felony counts pertaining to the prescription pain reliever OxyContin, familiarly known as Hillbilly Heroin. She pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of possession of the drug with intent to deliver. The other five counts will be dropped and she will get a five-year sentence, of which she actually will serve only three years if she behaves.

Fine and good so far. Now here’s the interesting part:

Sherry Johnston has two pain pumps implanted in her body to deliver medication because she suffers a rare condition involving scurvy and chronic pelvic pain from prior medical surgeries, [defense attorney Rex] Butler said. She was receiving professional pain relief treatment but the problems arose when her insurer refused to pay for the medication, Butler said.

“People want to think she was just a drug addict,” he said. “She made a poor judgment choice. But what do you do?”

This could very well be just defense-attorney BS. But what if it’s true? I mean, insurers have never refused to pay for a needed treatment, right?

The linked story makes it clear Sherry Johnston was dealing, but not clear why. Was she doing it for fun ‘n’ profit, or was she doing it simply to finance the purchases she needed to make her own chronic pain more bearable?

We can’t tell from this story. But here’s the thing: Chronic pain, severe chronic pain, can make you so miserable that you’ll do anything, anything to make it stop, or at least to make it manageable.

Is that what was up with Sherry Johnston? I do not know. But if it was, and if the facts regarding her insurer are as her lawyer has claimed, then she neither needs nor deserves to be in prison.

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