Friday, February 02, 2018

(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls

If Ohio is the center of the opioid crisis like all the news channels say, then I am just the next victim to be waiting in the wings.

During pre-op the other day, the anesthesia fellow (or was it the surgical fellow?) popped his head in to discuss meds with which I would be taking at home. I had the option or narcotic and non-narcotic.

Seriously, in the past none of them have done much for me. Even with a perforated appendix, morphine didn't touch the pain. And if you're doing that hard core, why would you settle for less?

I told the doc to do the non-narcotic.

Either he didn't listen, I wasn't clear or the actual doctor made a decision for me. My script was for hydrocodone. Or Vicodin and acetaminophen, if you need to break down the ingredients. The powers that be are doing nothing to contain, let alone decrease, the opioid epidemic.

I came home with a partial nerve block, one that rendered half my hand with no feeling. That was more disconcerting than having pain...........I think.

Feeling came back mid-morning yesterday, but no pain. Well, not a lot. No more than pre-surgery. Maybe because I'm taking the pain meds?  Maybe not? It's hard to tell unless I stop taking them - which I was told not to do.

It's like they're my pusher.

So - get this. Opioid addiction is easy because it's cheap. Granted insurance paid for most of it, but I had to pay $6 for 28 pills. And if you go to StreetRx (yes, this should be my Site of the Month - a site that gives you street value of your prescriptions!), depending where you live - I can get $8-10 per pill! Chances are, I won't take all seven days, so I can make some arcade moolah on the side.

But semi-seriously here:  WTF.  Why is it so easy to get these and so cheap?  I totally get people have severe chronic pain and need these drugs, but most do not. I do not. Yet, here they are, on my counter waiting to be taken Q 6 hours, by someone who didn't want them in the first place.

Maybe I will have pain without them. But I'm not getting any euphoric high with them either. I get cotton mouth - and possibly opioid induced constipation, though the jury is still out on that one, as we're only starting day three.

Yes, some of the users are to blame, but we got a "hey kid, try it, you'll like it..." problem with our healthcare professionals. A big problem.

I think during today, I'll start to wean myself off, skip every other dose to see how the pain progresses, if at all. I want to operate heavy machinery and make big life decisions, and they tell me I can't while I take this stuff.

I'll show them!  I'll show all of them!

Song by: Dionne Warwick


anne marie in philly said...

it's GROUNDHOG DAY! (sorry, couldn't resist)

spouse got cortisone shots in both hips on monday; he's still waiting for those to take effect. in the meantime, he was given codine (sp?) pills for the pain; they are cheap also. today the MD told him it would take up to 2 weeks for the shots to work their magic. WTF?

Travel said...

When I had surgery on my spine in 2015, I stopped taking pain pills two days before I was discharged from the physical rehab hospital, the hospitalist still insisted that I promise to fill a prescription for opioids on my way home, or he wouldn't authorize my release on a Friday. I insisted I didn't need them, and he insisted I did. The bottle sits unopened. Yes, Docs are part of the problem. And no I didn't sell them, wish I knew how to safely get rid of them.