Without Prejudice. The posts in this blog are only my opinion, and should not replace or be considered that of a qualified physician. Brand names that are commented on are not meant to disrespect of be defamatory in any sense. The posts in this blog are only based on my personal experience under a doctor monitored and regulated use of opiates as an effective treatment for chronic pain.

Friday, February 15, 2008

This hurts.

Almost 18 hours since my last pill, and by now whatever was in my system is fast breaking down. As the meds dissipate from my body, it is becoming evident how bad in shape my body really is.

The pain starts in my ribs, and in my neck. Tight muscles that have been in spasm for the better part of a decade, and hard tissues that are so inflamed that it hurts to move. Heck, it hurts to lie down, or to sit. There is no comfortable position and I know that I will fall asleep in the next hour or so.

But I hate the mornings most. So much hurt! The kind of hurt that makes you want to lie down, but lying down is what causes the hurt. So all I can do is stand there, holding my sides and rocking back and forth trying to find a position that provides even a few minutes of relief.

This hurts. And it is going to get worse.
73 hours to go.

Out of Meds

I ran out of meds today. This is the first time since September 2006 that I have been without any oxy.

I have 74 hours until I can refill my perscription, I have no money or anything to pawn and there is no one who will lend me some pills to get through the next three days.

This is going to be a long night. I have no idea what my body is going to do while in withdrawl, and I am honestly quite scarred. I have read the blogs and forums and I know what the typical symptoms are. And I am not so much worried about those as I am the depression that has already gotten a strangle hold of me.

I realize now that one of the other benefits oxy is that it numbs you to a lot of emotion and feelings.

How long has it been since I had a sex drive? How long sicne I had any genuine appetite for anything?

If I could find a pill, I wouldn't have to think about it. But since I can't, my mind has started reasoning and the word that best describes how I feel is "cheated". Cheated because I have to trade off so much just not to be in pain.

So the long night begins... 74 hours to go.

The Toothache and The Bear.

I don't know why I started. There were three main reasons. The first and foremost was a degeneration of my discs and several herniations. For a long time I was albe to tolerate the pain, but with each day that passed, I felt it wearing me thin, and I began to realize that I was no longer the once happy, ambitious young man I once was.

It is like the story of the bear with a toothache, or a lion with a torn in his paw. Miserable, tempermental and downright nasty the animal was changed the moment the pain was gone. And I felt the same when I took the first pill.

The pain was gone, and I slowly began to return to the person I once was.

Bad Rep O

If you take a look on the left, you'll see a number of articles form Google News. Chances are that a few of them are about the sale and/or tabuse of opiates.

A friend of mine who has three ruptured discs said to me that he felt opiates, especially Oxycontin has received such negative press that a stigma is now attached to it and anyone that uses it.

Like most things newsworthy, the public does not want to hear about nice and happy things. They like staraing at accidents as they drive by hoping to see a body in a stretcher; they want to see guns and missles in the east; they want to hear about the actor that overdosed. Sure we like the good will story once in a while, but not at the frequency that we like to hear about the bad.

So it is not surprising that we hear very little about how oxycontin has helped thousands, maybe tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people who suffer from chronic pain, return to and once again enjoy a quality of life.

It is important to balance a socially conscious awareness of the abuse opiates with the benefits of a doctor monitored and regulated treamenet program.

Avoidance of Adverse Stimuli

A couple of years ago I was reading through a Psychology textbook and came across a section on behavior and conditioning.

The chapter looked at studies involving mice and different motivators used in observing how they responded under different situations. Food was used in some, sex in others, but the most interesting experiment is where they placed a mother on one side of an electrically charged plate, and her baby mice on the other side.

The electric plate was used as a source of adverse stimuli, and food, sex, water, etc was used as the motivators. When food, or sex (a male on one side and female on the other) was used, the mouse would not cross the plate to obtain its reward. However, when it was the mother - separated from the baby mice - she was willing not only to cross the plate, suffering electrocution, but would do so at increasingly stronger voltages, up to a point the charge could have killed her!

The mother was willing to suffer great pain, and even death to reach, secure and protect her children.

This study ranked motivators, and placed the parent/child at the top, food, sex, water, etc at the bottom and second form the top, avoidance of adverse stimuli (the electric plate).

When it came to pain, the mother was willing to face the adverse stimuli for her children, but without baby mice on the other side of the plate, neither sex, or food, or water, or any other motivator could get the mouse to cross the plate.

Nothing could get the mouse to endure pain.

I give us humans a bit more credit then mice, however, barring any metal disorder, at the basic psychological and behavioral core, pain is a really really difficult thing to deal with.