Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Accidental Addict

  I don't even know where to begin on this one.  It's a story I've never told, a story I am ashamed of and a story that several will recognize as close to their own. 


They are a blessing and a curse all rolled up into one tiny little tablet.  They rush through our veins like the evil little demons they are, easing the intense pain we are feeling, all the while whispering to our brains, "You need us, you need us!"

My first addiction to pills was in 2006 after a very serious car accident that nearly cost me my life.  Hats off to the lady who had been drinking, rushing to pick up her child from the bus stop and smashing into the driver's side of my SUV.  RIGHT NEAR MY CHILDREN!  BITCH!  They heard the loud "SMACK" and the crumpling of metal.  They ran out to see the commotion, as is normal
thanks to the "nosy gene" in my family, and saw their momma, in the ditch.  I had flipped in the air. My kids got to see the lovely sight of their mother covered in blood once I was pulled out.  Imagine how frightening it was for their tender ages of 9 (the twins) and 10.  Three broken vertebrae, a very strained neck, a cracked skull, broken sternum and several broken ribs were my injuries.  I count myself very lucky.  I SHOULD have died considering how the windshield WOULD have jabbed me in the neck (or severed my head) if my seat belt had not "miraculously" released. 

The point of this story was to give some background on WHY I needed months of painkillers.  I couldn't lay on my back, I could not lay on my side.  I was uncomfortable no matter what position I attempted to lie in, EVEN ON PAINKILLERS!  I even "turtled" myself one day when no one was home.  What is turtling, you ask?  Ok, turtling may not be a word, but it's MY word, so leave it alone.  Turtles get stuck on their backs and struggle to turn upright, and that was me.  I was in so much pain on the couch, I decided to "lay on something hard" as had been suggested by a friend.  BAD FUCKING ADVICE, DUDE!  I proceeded to lay on the floor, 3 hours before anyone was due home and I WAS STUCK!  I couldn't roll to my left, I couldn't roll to my right, thanks to all the broken bones and sitting straight up?  No go!  Those broken bones in my chest would not allow me to move, dammit!  Bad idea to drink coffee that day, I had to piss like a race-horse by the time I was saved by my friend. 

Now, you've gotten the background and are understanding the pain, let's talk about the addiction.  It was 3 months of physical therapy and drugs.  3 months of constant painkillers is more than enough time to become addicted.  My naive little ass didn't realize this, until my doctor felt I was well enough to be off of them.  I was fine with it.  I felt so much better, little aches here and there but nothing I couldn't handle with some ibuprofen. 

Me:  Hello, doc?  Something is wrong with me.  I am shaking, having cold sweats and my ass is exploding diarrhea like crazy. 

Doc:  How long have you been off of your pills now?

Me:  3 days!

Doc:  Come in for some more, we have to wean you off of them, you've developed an addiction. 



So, I was weaned off and no more withdrawal symptoms.  The End.


Fast forward to 2011, when I was having a marvelous time kicking the ass of cancer.

Hello, Dilaudid! 

Yes, my new best friend.  While in Moffitt, after having my chest split and ribs spread like an easy prom queen's legs, I needed it. I needed it so very badly they even gave me my own pump with a happy little button to push as I saw fit.  I now had a scar that ran from the top of my sternum to well below it and it fucking hurt.  PUSH PUSH PUSH

Nope, I didn't get an addiction from 5 days in the hospital.  It was the months after.  I was prescribed opiates for pain relief and once it was radiation time they added 12 hour, long acting Morphine to my list of meds.  I can honestly report to you that I took my pills AS DIRECTED.  I never took more than needed ( I am highly sensitive to the high it gives you and I don't like it) so I always took less than prescribed.  If I was told one pill every 4-6 hours, I took 1/2 every 4-6 hours.  I kept on my regimen as they were radiating the spot they had just sliced and diced!


They joys of trying to stay alive.

Please excuse all the cursing.  I know I offend a great many of you, but drug addiction offends me, so deal with it.

After a beautiful 5 months of painkillers, I went off cold turkey.  Again, my naive little self never once said, "Hmmm, but my other doctor weaned me off of them, why not again?" 

2 days later I was dying, I just knew it.  My legs  hurt so horribly, every inch of my body ached, but my legs were intense!  I wasn't sleeping, wasn't eating and my ass decided to expel all the contents of my bowels yet again.  I complained to my 20 year old and he laughed and said, "Mom, you are going through withdrawal!"


This doc was of a different sort and didn't believe in "weaning".  So there I was, dying a little every day for a week.  Vomiting, sweating, shaking, and wanting my legs to be amputated. 


Hurrah for me, I beat it, alone.  I never intended to be addicted.  It's been one year since I've taken painkillers for anything, except for my little friend, ibuprofen. 

Accidental Addiction.

I would bet you the world I am NOT the only one this happened to and I worry that some never conquered those little shitheads. 

I see the why they can take over your life, it's understandable.  They take away your pain and give you this gushy feeling, numbing you and making you happy.  Thank God this one time for Panic Disorder.  Too much of that euphoric feeling would send me into panic mode, so I never was able to over indulge in them.  What would my life be like now if not for that?  I shudder to think.  I don't want to think. 

I want the drug problem in the world cleaned up, for you, for me and for our children!  Opiates are far too easy to obtain and that's frightening.  There are people that genuinely need them for pain control, then there are the assholes that deplete the inventory at the pharmacy, for their own selfish needs, denying those genuine people.  It pisses me off and I mean REALLY pisses me off. 

Know an addict?  GET THEM HELP, NOW!  Yes, it is your responsibility.  You know them, help them.  Imagine if we started taking responsibility for all that was wrong in this world, we could clean it right up, together, as a community. 

Look up the nearest treatment center or AA/NA meetings near you. to give to those addicts in hopes they will see the light, be inspired and realize they too, through laughter and tears, can recover.

Anything is possible, just believe!

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