Monday, April 13, 2009

A Toll On My Soul

I was procrastinating on Saturday, as usual, so when I went to pick up my pain medication at the pharmacy across the street, I found that they'd closed a little early, and I was absolutely freaked that I wouldn't have enough meds for the following day, yesterday (Sunday).

For someone in chronic pain, narcotic meds are a type of deal with the devil, for on the one hand, they provide a certain amount of relief and respite--a sense of control over miserable circumstances--but on the other, they rob you of your normal emotions, even if, like me, you don't necessarily feel high anymore (not unless you take too much, which I've been wont to do now and then).

When I saw I had just one 10 mg Oxycontin pill yesterday morning, I knew it wouldn't be enough for the day and this made me nervous, but what was actually disturbing was the realization of how much a part of me these pills have become.

While they do ease the pain somewhat, they also take a toll on my soul, and it's hard to imagine life without them now. In a strange way, they fill the space that is the loneliness one feels with chronic pain. When I take my pills, the world is a little brighter, a little softer, and I'm happy to passively sit back and let it pass me by. But it's never without some regret, for when I watch TV, it's like I'm watching others live life for me, and I'm envious of their healthy, vibrant lives.

If it's a true crime show, I wonder what it's like to passionately catch crooks all day; if it's a TV drama, I wonder what it's like to live the life of a successful, creative actor; if it's a reality show...well, OK, I rarely envy those folks, especially any of those Real Housewives babes. If I lived in a world where I ever had to go to a "big hat luncheon," I'd slit my wrists. But I do envy their healthy, pain-free life.

In the past few months, I've even become something of a recluse, which is just plain weird for me, considering my personality. But the pills actually make watching lots of TV interesting, which is what I learned yesterday, as without the pills I was absolutely bored to tears by just about everything. I almost didn't know what to do with all the time, not because of the pain so much, but because I no longer recognized myself. Spitfire Mary Ann has turned into a human lump on the couch. I didn't even feel like shaving my head, which is saying something, because I always get a big kick out of that.

I can tell I'm withering, as I now shave my noggin every two weeks or so, as opposed to every five days. I used to love the fiery feelings my hairless dome would bring up--such adventure, such mischief--but it's as though there's few feelings at all anymore, except exhaustion from all this endurance.

I have to remind myself that I haven't given up--that the therapies I've set in motion take time to come to fruition. Hopefully, I'll get accepted into NYU's psychoanalytic program, so that I can probe the mind/body connection in all this, and once that happens, I'll have more surgery. I want to do things differently this time. I want to be more aware of what's happening in my subconscious before I go under the knife again, which is a curious goal considering I really have no feelings to report, other than an opinion on that cool Chariots of the Gods show on the History Channel yesterday, which wasn't boring at all.

I have to admit; watching all those talking heads speaking so enthusiastically about the possibility of ancient aliens made me wonder what it's like to be an anthropologist. Who would I be without all the pain, all the pills?

It's a beautiful, sunny day today, but it may as well be raining, 'cause I doubt I'll be going out. I know I should push myself, but I'm no longer chasing my dreams and passions anymore. I'm instead running from the monster as fast as I can, only to find he's keeping up quite well and resting comfortably, in fact, in my own body. The only ammo I've got is this friggin' pill, which tames him temporarily, but tames me, too. I'm just so sick of all this crap, all this pain, all this confusion, all these pills.

Now where's the remote?


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