Pills & Pain

There have been some scary times lately.
I’ve developed a couple of physical conditions that cause enough pain to keep me up at night or waken me if I’m asleep. I have tried over-the-counter pain meds and they’ve had no effects. I’ve also been prescribed non-opioids, with the same results. Pain hurts. I’m tired of it and exhausted in general. My doctor has suggested I bite the bullet and take some hydrocodone, which he has prescribed.
The problem is that a quarter-century ago, I was addicted to pharmaceuticals. I came by it honestly—my sainted mother was a pill addict for the better part of her life, back when such addictions were commonplace and not taken too seriously.
I broke my habit in the early 90s, but it was hard, though not as difficult as quitting smoking. The withdrawal took lengthy days that were none too pleasant. I am terrified of getting re-addicted. I don’t want to go through such times again.untitled
The party line is that if I take opioids properly and as prescribed, they will deaden my pain, allow me to sleep, and I’ll be able to put them away once the pain has been dealt with organically or surgically.
The problem is, this simply is not true. Opioids mess with your brain, whether you’re hurting or not. I have known a number of people, particularly victims of lower back issues, who took Percocet, Vicodin, Fentanyl and other drugs and soon became dependent. The opioid epidemic besetting the nation is partly due to the take-them-as-prescribed myth generated by manufacturers, and the ignorance of the medical world.
Several years ago, after a particularly invasive surgery, I took opiates and, to be honest, they felt good; way too good.
So it’s a quandary. I’m putting this out as a way of telling on myself. I figure enough friends will read it and keep an eye out for my safety, for which I thank you. And I’m seeking advice from anyone who might have been in the same situation. As usual, I need all the help I can get.

About epiphanettes

Writer, songcrafter, possibly the best French pedal steel guitarist in Virginia.
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3 Responses to Pills & Pain

  1. I understand you being wary of taking opioids. I only took two of the 30 that were prescribed to me after my gallbladder surgery. I only took half at a time and refused to take any more than that.

  2. Richard Poole says:

    Thierry, do you have a copy of Food is Better Medicine that Drugs by Patrick Holford? If not, please get one. Pp. 233-255 deal with pain relief in a non-addictive fashion. Still with you, my old mate. Richard

  3. thewriterjoloving says:

    As always, beautifully and honestly written, Thierry. You are wise to ‘tell on yourself.’ It’s a good way to keep ourselves accountable… many years ago, I was married to a kind, funny, bigger-than-life man. A few years after we were married, he was injured in an automobile accident. Pain was a constant companion, even after several surgeries and intervening years. Then, a doctor prescribed Oxycontin, and, for the first time in years, he could tolerate his condition. The trouble is, this opioid was so addictive, and his family history of addiction so great, that he could not shake his own addiction. Every day, every thought, was tied to the next pill. He is no longer alive, and a world is cheated of his ebullient personality, kind ways and words … of him. So, Thierry, I pray that your pain will be relieved, and that your wisdom in ‘telling on yourself’ holds. We need your words. We need your honesty. We need you.

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