Let me tell you about opiates. They may have saved my life. There have been times when I thought that if the pain continued at the level I was experiencing, dying might be a better option. But I'm really kind of an optimist, so that never took hold for very long.
On the other hand, there are side effects. Not a buzz, or a high--if there is enough pain, there is no high. If you do feel a buzz, you are probably over-medicated. Mostly, an increase to the hot flashes I was already having, some weird effect that makes my hearing ultra-sensitive (this is one great side effect in a classroom full of 6th graders, let me tell you), some truly spectacular nightmares with the latest stuff, and, Oh! the constipation. That is a constant battle.
The side effect I am battling is dependence. There are times when my back is feeling okay, not great, but not serious, either. And yet, I have to take the meds on schedule because otherwise? Withdrawal symptoms. Which suck.
I have read that it's easier to get off heroin than prescription pain-killers. Why that is, I don't know, but I don't plan to segue to smack, so that's academic.
Withdrawal feels like the worst of the flu. Back and forth between shivering and sweating. Headache, aching all over. If meds are stopped too abruptly, seizures can happen. So it's a balancing act, determining what I can stand and what's bad for me.
The first few days went okay. By the middle of Monday night/Tuesday morning? I was in agony. Even with ice packs - plural! - and ibuprofen - 800mg! - I was ready to chew my own leg off.
Tuesday morning around 11 a.m., I sent Captain Dumbass this e-mail:
I can't do it, Captain. I underestimated how much pain was being masked by the drugs. I can't bear that much without help. Now I feel like a total loser.He was kind enough not to agree with me. He and I both think I may have weaned too quickly, but I don't know. I was not experiencing withdrawal symptoms, it was the regular old back pain, returning with a vengeance.
Fwick. I know I didn't fail for lack of support from all my blog buds, though. You guys have been awesome, and it means a lot to me.