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Prescription Drugs – The Mental Gymnastics of Rationalization

Continued from Part 3 – From Accident to ER 


Thanks for staying with me while I blog about my experience from my bike accident, to the emergency room visit and then taking prescription drugs. I’ll tell you this; I don’t care for prescription drugs. Well, that’s not entirely true. I don’t mind penicillin and medication like that, but I don’t care for prescription pain relievers. Actually never have. I count myself fortunate to have not liked their affect on me. Even as a young man, when I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I took a Percocet and it made my head swim a bit and my stomach sort of nauseous. I took Tylenol instead. When I had my appendix removed a couple years later, I remember not wanting to fill the prescription. I thought I’d just tough it out with Advil this time. This was around the time when Tylenol was being pulled from the shelf because of the arsenic scare. I think Cabbage Patch kids were big then too.

But for the exception of knee surgery, I’ve not taken prescription drug pain relievers. The doctor might tell me they are fine if I just take them as directed, but I know me. I know how I feel. I might be overly paranoid, but isn’t that better? Isn’t that better than finding myself jonesing for the next pill? Isn’t it better than finding I’d let my guard down, and now I need to commit myself to a prescription drug detox? I think it is for sure.

So, after being lost in the corridors of the hospital basement, and being helped by the maintenance man via the service elevator, I found myself finally face to face with a little white cup with two white pills and another little white cup with water. The nurse stood there, an expectant look on her face.

“What is this?” I asked, grimacing, pain shooting up my arm as I spoke.

“Percocet.” She looked tired, her skin creasing beneath her brown eyes.

My mind started to weigh my options. “How long before it hits?”

She blinked. “What?”

“How long before it takes the pain away? I’m an addict and I need to know these things.” I was sharper than I meant to be, but this was my life, my addiction. I needed to know.

“Oh, okay,” she said, her face softening. She smiled just slightly and touched my healthy arm with a reassuring squeeze. “On average they take about twenty to thirty minutes. The pain won’t go away, but you’ll be able to manage a bit better. They aren’t incredibly strong.”

I hesitated, but nodded. The pain was intense.

One of the scary parts about addiction is rationalizing your reasons for doing something; even taking pain medication. Was my pain that intense or was I making it more intense in order to rationalize my taking the medication.

How’s that for mental gymnastics?

Stay tuned for Part 5