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Saturday, February 12, 2011

At That Point

Every time I've quit anything, from men to potato chips to drugs, there comes That Point. It's where you've been thru several days of hell without the whatever, and all the agro doesn't seem worth it. Here, at 7:58 on Saturday morning, I drink a huge cup of coffee and await the wee-wahs going away in my head. While sneezing. Everything hurts. It was only a few days ago that things didn't hurt that much... just stick that patch on, and toss a couple pills down the throat and it's all a dull roar with a few spikes after a while...

This is when I remind myself how weird it was to feel fingerprints and the little body hairs on my arms when I started withdrawing, and realizing how much tactile sense I'd lost. In fact, a lot of senses were dulled to a butter knife. My hearing, which I'd chalked up to a family tendency to deafness, is back to pretty much normal. The palate that I have inordinate and damning pride in, isn't entirely back, but I know now that it was gone and I hadn't a clue it was. My eyes are better, slowly. No flashing chrysanthemums, no spins...even my balance is coming back, now that I know how to stand and walk without opiates masking things. I've turned out more artwork in the last week than I have done in over 2 years. As for the book, well, this is all going in it. I'm sure there will be gimps who'll want to live without the inferior "pain relief" that does little in the long run except make you an addict. This is all another chapter. Supposedly, new studies in pain have claimed that opiates only really work on cancer patients. How they figure that is a good one, since pain receptors are pain receptors and don't sit and sort out, "This is arthritis, this is MS, this is a stab wound, this is cancer." I think it's all BS being promulgated by the same people who wanted everyone on oxy, only now they've changed their minds.

But this is also when ya have to remind yourself of all the reasons you quit the shit to begin with, and what you'd be returning to if you slapped that patch on. The federal rules and regs, the assward systems, the constant treadmill. There's a doc I want and can't have unless I dump the opiates, so there was a prime motivator. And when I decided to stop and let everyone know, the outpouring of "Atta Girl!" helped tremendously. There's a lot behind that after this last week; the support and encouragement of my terrific chocolate-bearing friends, the surprising tenderness and silliness of my brother Billy- and my incredible BFF, who spent a small fortune on chocolate because for 3 or 4 days it and coffee was all that would stay down. I couldn't let them all down now, even though they'd entirely understand.

I gotta say, chocolate has incredible healing powers.

I still can't stand alone long enough to take a shower but I'm gaining a little each day. Once I'm used to this pain level I'll start my PT exercises again. Pink clouds don't come with this kind of cleaning up. You just get your pain back, all the pain that was masked by the drugs. And all ya got for it is a naproxen sodium and aspirin. At least the alprazolam the doc ordered gets me to sleep; which in itself is a huge help. For the first time last night I didn't throw the bedclothes all over the room in my sleep. But I have hope that the new doc is a different sort, and will help me formulate an herbal way to alleviate pain without pharmaceuticals.

There are many to thank for helping me get to this point (This is where some gratitude helps blow away the thoughts of picking up a patch or pill). Firstly behind my frontline people (and you all know who you are) I can hang back and know I'm covered, which is a lot these days. And then, I really couldn't have made it this far without Led Zep. Page looks just like I feel. We all rock.

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