[Rowing Machine] 2021: Week 22 {226.5} “Sickness On Sickness”

The funny thing about this spine pain problem that’s lasted over a year now is that whenever I think it can’t get worse, it does. The medications this third pain doctor prescribed were harmful-Methylprednisolone and ineffective-Mexiletine. It’s been rough the past few days. I feel like I’ve burned out quite a lot more energy than necessary. This doctor might want to screw around with my health but I haven’t been screwing around in my research.

The anti-depressants thing he said was kind of a joke.

He was trying to bully me into trying his anti-depressant in part because his argument was that SNRIs are different than SSRIs. Yes, they’re different, like how one car manufacturer is different than another, but they’re both cars. The thing I hate within literature and communication is the focus on semantics. Arguments like that are technically true – SNRIs are different than SSRIs – but they’re both antidepressants. As I wrote when I summarized my experiences with Amitriptyline: “The only time I’m depressed is taking anti-depressants.” TCAs fit this doctor’s argument. TCAs aren’t like SSRIs. But TCAs treated me the same as SSRIs, and I’m willing to go a lifetime without experiencing SNRIs.

Naturally, this breeds distrust in this doctor and his methodology.

As I write this, we just passed the stoner holiday of 4/20. There are many people in my wide circle of friends and acquaintances that consume cannabis. I asked advice from my friends that actually studied cannabis as a drug rather than just as a recreational substance. The key difference there is research. I have no problem with people that consume cannabis, unless they make their consumption of cannabis problematic for themselves, me, or others, which happens a lot when in the pre-COVID times you’d walk around downtown and get a little contact high just by passing certain blocks. Most people find this pleasurable. I don’t.

So, we talked at length about my situation.

Conversations with patients like this are not things that doctors or medical professionals have time for, since they’re too busy treating patients. I believe like almost everything in life, there should be a balance between research and application, objectivity within science and subjectivity within trip reports, and the notion that now that cannabis is starting to be decriminalized, legalized, and researched properly, then we can figure out if and when it can be used as a proper tool for patient treatment.

Pain doctor three is either unknowledgeable about this or paycheck-focused.

As I think back through our most recent conversation, as I edited the transcription, I thought about how he did the sorts of fascinating linguistic traits that we forget. We go in one direction of thinking then change when we catch ourselves. His focus on anti-depressants, his embellishment of injections, and other things all point away from him being a friendly doctor and point toward him being a manipulative doctor that can work within the system to get the most money he can.

Maybe he’ll change my tune after I talk to him again?

I was feeling vulnerable and in the sort of weakened mentality that is the highest risk for relapse into various addictions when I realized the totality of this. Not only was the medication that this doctor prescribed making me sicker – the Methylprednisolone would borrow tomorrow’s health to pay for today’s decreased association to pain – when it did much of anything other than make my heart beat faster……….

Even writing this now is tough.

The American Healthcare System will kill its patients to get their paychecks. It doesn’t care about me as a human being. Should there be some sort of caring-based policy? No, rather, doctors should have some or most of their power removed. They should not be allowed to “own” as much of a patient’s health as they do. Outsourcing that power to an insurance company would not be better, but at least having checks and balances would be a start. My insurance company is useless and I’ve written them emails telling them that I have not had a single positive experience dealing with their reps over the past year.

Willpower can only hold for so long, right?

With 4/20 and all the cannabis stores in my area being highly accessible, it makes sense to go to one to get the pain relief I need to exist as a normal human being again, right? I can’t even throw out my trash regularly, go to my mailbox, buy groceries, or cook food unless I time it just right so my energy is at its peak. How is it appropriate that my health can continue to deteriorate like this? I asked all my friends, far and wide. Most are pro-cannabis, and a few are anti-cannabis.

IDKFA’s statement rang the clearest:

Try it, see if it works. If it doesn’t, stop. Don’t abuse it. Don’t be a stoner, pothead, asshole, and/or fucking moron.
Regardless of the above, if you smoke, vape, or otherwise produce [cannabis smoke], I will think less.
Consider this: what if they were suggesting alcohol instead?[1]”

That inspired a newfound sense of willpower.

Sure, it’s a difficult road, but it will be on my own terms. I didn’t like the anti-depressants because of how negatively they affected me in the past. Cannabis does, too, but maybe there are prescriptions that don’t negatively affect me? I would never know if I gave up now, went to a cannabis store – like a liquor store, because then the American Healthcare System could call me just another statistic. Rather than treat me as a patient, they could discard me as just another person that tried and failed to recover through their programs. When my pain flares up particularly bad now, I don’t feel like I wish for the easy solutions that are available, but the correct solution to the problem. I’ve had many people dismiss me for wanting this over the past year.

I will prove them all wrong by permanently receiving the solution to this spine pain problem.

Quotes: [1] IDKFA.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 226.5
Last week’s weight: 226.5
Weight Difference: None
Difference between writing and editing for publication: Chiropractic work has helped, but only somewhat, otherwise I’m just floating along waiting for doctoring to fix my back.
Inspirations: I wanted to write this to tell my perspective on what could be an easy solution.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2021 April 24 [11pm to 11:28pm]
Last Edited: 2021 April 24 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.