I feel like my desktop, unedited except for intentionally blurring things for a mild semblance of privacy, represents my life. Behind the many screenshots and files is an avatar of me. That version of me, Zombiepaper, is freer and the truer “me” than the person that exists here, Anthony, writing this essay. I thought of writing about my process of cleaning up my desktop to reveal him better, but instead, how did I get here?
I’ll let everyone in on the secret I learned in healthcare IT to get things moving. When you have nurses nervously telling you you’ve got to fill out this form or that in order to talk to the doctor, and you’ve got to mail that form out in the middle of a global pandemic through a series of hoops you’ve got to jump through with a bad spine, tell them that will affect patient care.
I haven’t had these sorts of sensations in a while, but it’s necessary. Feeling as inebriated as I am right now is helping to resolve whatever problems I can resolve while I wait to talk with the psysiatrist of physical medicine in four days. I’ve been having the comfortably numb sensations. Overall, it feels pretty good. But it’s not all paradise and hedonism here. There are still myriad moments of malaise from thunderous back pain.
If I close my eyes, even if I focus on the music I’m listening to, I will fall asleep. I feel nauseous. I’ve felt this sort of insobriety many times before, but I never thought I’d be here again. It’s a medical necessity, I would say. My lower back has hurt for so long that whenever I walk around or do anything, I’m either in pain or focused on the pain, so hey, trip report.
I have a daily pill buffet to manage the pain in my back. Although I feel stoned, I have more concentration than when I was drunk or otherwise inebriated. How does this affect my sobriety? My daily buffet of the maximum dose of Gabapentin, Tylenol-Acetaminophen/Codeine, Nabumetone, Propranolol, and now Prozac-Fluoxetine. I’ll take that last one when I can write a first-dose report, but as the surprised pharmacist said, it might take weeks to take effect.
The day after going to PT with Doctor-Number-Fourteen, I had my follow-up with Doctor-Number-Nine to assess my progress. I had woken up in such pain that it took me two hours to get out of bed. Fortunately, we could do a teleconference meeting to talk. Because I had not been improving with rest and PT, which has been making me feel depressed, -Nine referred me to a physiatrist, or, sports/physical medicine. I’ll meet Doctor-Number-Fifteen soon.
I took two Tylenol-Acetaminophen/Codeine and I’m not impressed. I had been somewhat anticipating this because I’ve never taken anything with Codeine in it before and popular culture gave me the impression that this would be a powerful sedative. Before I took my first dose, I took this photo, and I prepared myself for basically anything. After about thirty minutes, I felt a little dazed, and within two hours, I felt about the same as before…
[6:43 PM] “Maybe? I dunno. I’m feeling the effects of this gabpentin[sic] now.[1,]”
[6:45 PM] “So you’ve suddenly found your gab pent in.”
[6:46 PM] “Not sure I follow.”
[6:48 PM] “Your capacity for advanced speech has been curtailed.”
[6:51 PM] “Oh, uhh, my gift of gab has been pent in.”
I’ve taken Gabapentin for about a week. It’s been an interesting experience feeling numb like this again. It’s been helpful but not for the ways I would expect.
“my brain’s a bit fried so […] I’m gonna drop off”
“i feel it”
I’m coming down off a Gabapentin trip to help sort out the lower back and hip problems I’ve been impaired with for the worse part of the past month. This feeling is comfortable but addicting and I can’t concentrate very well. I also don’t feel the inherent desire I once did to indulge in anything more today… am I free from sobriety?
I haven’t walked around as much as I should. There are days where I wake up in pain, like today, and days where I don’t. Regardless of the day, I should follow the physical therapist’s, Doctor-Number-Fourteen, advice to walk for a minimum of five minutes daily. My body’s problem could be that my lower back isn’t resting on my hips correctly, or my hips are not… as cool as they could be. Hard to say.