November 16, 2017 – For decades, Delaware Valley residents were accustomed to getting the news from anchorwoman Lisa Thomas-Laury. But a rare blood disorder derailed her career. The condition prompted a doctor to prescribe her opioids, which eventually led to addiction.
Thomas-Laury anchored the 5 p.m. news for 6ABC (WPVI-TV) from 1978 to 2001. However, she was diagnosed with POEMS, a blood disorder that causes numbing and tingling in legs, enlarged spleen or liver, abnormal hormone levels and skin discoloration.
This week, she opened up to NBC10 about her struggles with an addiction to opioids:
Her doctors prescribed OxyContin for her pain. First, it was 10 milligrams twice per day. Soon, that wasn’t enough to manage the pain. She began to slice her pills in half and sneak more throughout the day just to feel normal.
“That’s what happens when you develop this dependency,” she said. “When you start trying to manage your own medication, it’s not good. I learned that after the fact.”
On several occasions, Thomas-Laury found herself away from home and from her OxyContin. If she missed a dosage, she became anxious, panicky and irritable. One day when she and her husband drove their son to D.C., Thomas-Laury left her medication at home. The drive became unbearable as withdrawal set in.
Thomas-Laury’s story serves as a reminder that the disease of addiction can affect anyone.
Read the full story on NBC10.