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.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What's Wrong?

Why am I using oxy?
I have several herniated discs due to a genetic condition in my spine, along with fybromyalgia and an undiagnosed inflammatory condition that causes pain in my back, ribs, hips, and wrists. These are aggravated by 12 years of repetitive strain from computer work, bad exercise habits and posture.

I have an inflammation in my neck that gives me amazing headaches and I have pain attacks that come without warning and can render me almost unconscious.

Basically I hurt a heck of a lot, most of the time.

Scarry Doctors

It is harder than you think, finding a doctor to prescribe these pills. Because of all the bad news we hear, and how strict they are regulated, combined with the addiction and tolerance that comes with it, it is increasingly harder to get a prescription.

The use and abuse of oxy by people looking for a high or to profit, ruins it for those who genuinely need it.

It was only when I had hit bottom self medicating with Alcohol and vast quantities of Tylenol 1's, did a doctor finally start me on a prescription. It was apparent that I was causing more damage to myself, mentally and physically, trying to cope with the pain on my own. And had I continued on this route, I would have either destroyed my liver and kidneys, declared bankruptcy, or lost my mind, or all of the above.

It is important to understand that medications such as Tylenol and Advil (without prejudice), effective as they are, are not meant for long term high dosage. They are designed to get rid of a headache, or ease a sprained ankle. Using them for more than a couple of weeks, and in my case, handfuls for over a year, can begin to impact your body in negative ways.

But doctors face closer scrutiny when it comes to opiates. They must keep details records, sign contracts with their patients on how the opiates are used and the lifestyle the patient leads. The patient must pass drug screens to make sure they are not taking other drugs. And a good doctor will require that a patient consults with him/her if for any increase, even if it is just one pill on one occasion.

Under close monitoring and regulation by a good qualified physician, opiates can have little to no side effects aside from dependence and tolerance. When all other options have been explored, opiates can help those who suffer from chronic pain lead a normal and healthy lifestyle, where they would otherwise be confined to isolation and poverty due to the lack if mobility.

But look at the left and see the news articles. They are all about the bad stuff that happens when opiates are abused and left to inexperienced individuals.

There are pros that can outweigh the cons of opiate use. And we must weight then accordingly and make sound judgments based on education and experience.

And Then I Saw Green

Just when we thought it was over for our superheros, they managed to find some cash.

How great it would be if cash would instantly turn into oxy, but finding the money is only the first in a long series of steps to pain relief in the black market.

I remember watching a movie called Candy, which was about a boyfriend and girlfriend hooked on heroine, or some type type. At a early point in the movie, the narrator says something like "for every 7 years as a junkie, 6 years are spent waiting," and how true how true how true that is.

I made the calls to my sources, and being 10:30 am, only one was awake. I was told to be there in ten minutes. The ten turned into twenty, then an hour and as usual, just as I was about to give up and go home, the delivery arrived.

After waiting for so many hours, the last ten minutes, driving home with my oxy 80 (referred to as "apples" on the street), seemed to be the longest ten minutes of my life.

And just in time too. No sooner did I take in half the Apple, did the stomach cramps begin with a vengeance, as I ran to the bathroom to flush out every ounce of substance from my bowels.

Cramps and the runs seem to be the most common symptom of withdrawal, and it took about 20 hours after my last pill to start. THis is the longest I ahve gone without a pill in 17 months.

Other symptoms I experienced through the night is insomnia and what is knows as restless leg syndrom.

If I could have slept the night away, it would ahve been easier. If I had something that would knock me out - Valium, Cough and Cold DM, or even some sleepeaze - then the night would have been bearable. But the insomnia forced me to stay awake throught the night while my restless legs made sure that I was quite uncomfortable - tossing, turning and kicking - all night long.

Restless legs, jimmy legs, kicking legs are not necessarily painful, but are very uncomfortable. It starts as a sensation in the lower back that makes you feel like you want to stretch your back and legs all the time. This sensation and desire to stretch makes your legs twitch and kick around.

This is the first symptom an the only way to get relief is to sleep it off, eat Tylenol 1's and apply heat. I had no Tylenol, so I ate my Robax and the maximum allowable anti-inflamm's. I put the heating pad on max, and snuggled up to my pillow, stretching, tensing,relaxing my legs and back until I fell into a light nap. How I would have loved some Valium, and I must remember to hide some for days like these.

I managed to doze off for a hour here and there until 10:30 am.

So with Saturday properly medicated, I now have 58 hours until I can refill my prescription.