[Tripping On…] 21 Over 19

I have 21 remaining 10mg Oxycodone pills from after my spine surgery to last me over 19 days before I meet with my new spine doctor again after his analyses. In some ways, this feels promising; I could theoretically take one pill per day to manage my pain symptoms and still have two remaining pills. I implied one fundamental assumption so far, which if you’re just tuning in to this long-running series, might be easy to miss.

The assumption is that meeting with this doctor will solve any of my problems.

While I do feel more optimistic about this doctor than the others I’ve met, to the point where I am not entirely interested in meeting with the sports medicine doctor again. I currently have a follow-up appointment with him the day before I meet with the spine “surgeon” [technically a surgeon, however, I don’t know if these pain symptoms would require another surgery, so I’m referring to the surgeon as a doctor when it’s not overly confusing] and although it’s good to keep this option open, I think I’ll reschedule this appointment on the next business day so I don’t miss my chance.

Despite this optimism, I have to be pessimistic because that’s been more realistic for me.

I have to assume that if I did take one 10mg Oxycodone pill per day to manage my pain symptoms, perhaps erroneously since these pills were only supposed to be for after surgery, rather than as part of my worsening pain symptoms, I would be feeling OK until I met with the doctor. But what would happen if his solution didn’t work for me? I have to assume that the end of this pain tunnel isn’t going to be when I meet with the doctor next – next, after the MRI appointment in a few days, where I may or may not meet with this doctor – but far longer after that.

What would happen if he were as compassionate as the last pain management doctor?

Compassion is a word I use above with the fullest, thickest possible sarcasm. I must state that clearly here because he didn’t give a fuck about me at all. His solution to my pain problems was letting another doctor decide whether aqua-therapy was right for me. I have a bill from him waiting for me in my mailbox too for that world-class compassion. So I have to expect at least a little bit of this compassion from the spine doctor, here, because this wasn’t the only doctor to treat me in this way. If I were to summarize my experiences as I’ve written about in Tripping On The American Healthcare System, every doctor I’ve met has decided that my spine problems are insignificant problems.

Sure, my spine isn’t fucked up severely from a medical perspective.

There may just have been some disc problems or pinched nerves, but for me, it’s fundamentally impacted my life and severely limited my appreciation and enjoyment of life for months at a time. I can’t wait to go to sleep, for example, and I’m only writing this out of a sense of obligation toward documenting this situation as I’ve been experiencing it. It’s so awful and overwhelming that all I want to do is escape this reality and enter into my dreams or escapist media.

This is the perfect breeding ground for creating a new addiction.

If it weren’t for my years of writing about sobriety and dealing with life in the way I do, I don’t know if I could keep my head above water. That’s because as of this writing, and as of the past few weeks, I have questioned at least once daily if not consistently throughout the day, keeping in time with my pain symptoms, how I can keep my head above water. I am so exhausted from all of this pain. It’s wearing me out.

If there’s any saving grace, it’s how ineffective this Oxycodone has been.

It is effective in cutting out most of the pain symptoms, but there’s the trick – most. That could be the secret to remaining “sober” as I know it throughout this process. When or if I get better from this spine problem, I’ll need to assess my sobriety date and even dates from this new perspective I’ve gained needing to rely on an addictive substance to maintain my physical health. If I didn’t – if I flushed these all away when I was thinking about it in an essay a while back, then I don’t know if my body could tolerate all the pain it’s going through.

I don’t know how I’m tolerating it now, besides that it’s not directly affecting my heart.

My breathing isn’t affected by this pain and my heart isn’t beating so fast as to worry me, so it doesn’t meet the requirements I’ve placed on myself to take an Oxycodone. I haven’t reported every single instance in which I’ve taken Oxycodone over the past few essays only because it’s this constant battle for barely tolerating my pain. In videogames, there are low-level challenges, where you enter an area or complete a videogame severely under-leveled, where enemies are overpowered and you can easily be defeated. These challenges are done for the excitement of the player or their audiences. I feel like my life is a low-level challenge, where every day I could be easily defeated by these pain symptoms, but, as long as I respect the medication’s addictiveness and use it only when absolutely necessary, they could act like cheat codes or maybe exception items to make the low-level challenges fairer… maybe?

I don’t know, I’m not thinking clearly anymore.

I have no energy left to do much more than finish writing this essay and going back to bed. Life shouldn’t be this hard, and yet it is. This is a terrible nightmare in which sleeping is really my only respite, followed by escapist media. I can’t do much more.

Will this pain subside in 19 days or will it increase?

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I wish this were fiction.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Template
Written On: 2020 November 21 [12:29pm to 12:58pm]
Last Edited: 2020 November 21 [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.