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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sex and Drugs

I want to say a lot. There is much history I want to cover on how and why I got to this point in my life. And as I start typing, I find that the topics are so intertwined that it is hard to separate and organize the coherently.

I would be lying if I said I started these pills only for pain. But ultimately pain is the reason why I continued.

Now I am looking back over this last weekend and some of the side effects to opiates.

First is my sex drive. It was not that I could not perform, it is that there was a complete absence of desire. It is as if the opiates fulfill all your needs and wants, leaving you with no desires, no needs, no wants. Or to be more specific, they satisfy all your needs and wants so that there is nothing left to satisfy.

As the opiates left my body this last weekend, and even in the depths of withdrawal, I found those desires returning. Then late Sunday night, I made love to my wife. Genuinely, I felt a desire and longing to be near her, to breather her breath, to touch her skin and taste her lips.

I miss that. I love her so much and although my sex drive was non-existent, my desire and love for her could not be replaced or taken away by any drug.

I know in the end, it is with that love that I will ultimately overcome my struggles and survive.

My doc said that the decreased sex drive could be due to stress and my work habits. Both are an integral part of my life and I do not know much else about how to spend my days other then at some form of productive activity. This usually means doing, or thinking work pretty much every waking and sleeping hour. My friends are work related, my family is work related and my wife and I work together. Work is what I am, and I usually take on too much and over-commit myself. I do not know if I would want it any other way.

Is this the cause of my diminished sex drive? Could be that I am aging and cannot multitask as well as I once could. It could also be a combination of factors. But a some things are definite.

1. I love my wife completely
2. The sex drive is affected by external influences, not a matter of the heart
3. I am not going to get any definitive answer to this anytime soon.

73 Hours Later

So our superheros made it through another weekend. It was a tough weekend, and many hours were spent with insomnia, depression, anxiety, restless legs, and our old friend chronic pain. It was surprising how long each hour was. How each time I checked the clock, only 10 minutes passed when I was sure it was 40.

But time, as it so naturally does, it passes, slow and relentless and determined.

And now, just back from the pharmacy, I have taken the prescribed amount and wait. The next 30 minutes will be spent smoking cigarettes, drinking fruit juice and waiting for the pain to go away.

The rest of the withdrawal symptoms should dissipate as well, however I suspect that the diarrhea will continue for a bit longer. Not that I mind - when I was self medicating with alcohol to numb my body from the pain (or render me unconscious at the least), I seldom enjoyed a solid shit. So whether it is the runs or constipation... it can go either way. Don't matter to me.

Looking back, after I got the apples on Saturday, I was anxious and optimistic. I wanted so much to get some comfort, and to get some sleep, that by Sunday I was out again, and as each hour passed the pain and symptoms began to rear their ugly heads.

Ideally I would have just stayed in bed, but I had work to do and had to spend the afternoon with clients looking over contracts. I kept my ground, which was probably due to the 4 percs - referred to as "regulars" - that I found. They got me through my meetings, and even got me through my evening family dinner. That is until I made the mistake of playing "airplane" with my nieces and nephews.

The kids love me so much and they are so precious to me. One of the hardest things for me to deal with is not being able to play with the kids. The youngest boy always asks if my back is better yet. I know he is hoping that I will pick him up for "airplane" and hugs, and I usually do. I pick him up without thinking about the pain that is going to come on later when I get home. And after a night of tossing them around, my back was one big muscle spasm.

Thankfully, I managed to beg a few dollars to pick up a pill to get me over the pain and get me to sleep. I held my optimism for Monday.

As Monday woke up and carried on, I went to work and saw my clients. I was in pretty rough shape, but when it comes to work I am able to turn on auto pilot and get through the performance and even managed to get a pill late in the day.

Then realty hit me with a big fat fist: due to the new Family Day holiday, the banks were closed and my paycheck did not clear, leaving me with no money for my prescription.

Beg, Borrow or Steal. By Hook or by Crook. I found an old lottery ticket for $3, a bunch of change and after counting every last dine, I managed to get enough to fill half my prescription, which brings me to now.

Now. Now I can take a moment to look back on the last few days, and ask myself some serious questions about this current treatment for my back pain.

At my age, how do I feel about potentially using opiates for the rest of my life?
How will I feel about dependency in 3, 5 or 10 or 20 years?
Have I truly explored all options, western/eastern medicine, holistic, spiritual?

I am not ready to accept opiates as my only option and with some relief, I can now afford to be introspective.