Srsly? You rock.
I ask this because I have what started as a cold and is turning into a sinus/upper respiratory infection that will probably require antibiotics. And, when my doc gives out antibiotics, he throws in a scrip for that stuff that's liquid hydrocodone and promethazine combined, which, while providing a pleasant night's sleep, leaves me unable to do much more than blink for 48 hours after one-half of the recommended dose.
Yet I have friends and coworkers who live on narcotics. I mean, they're unable, due to chronic pain or unresolved injuries, to function without, say, a couple of Lortab in the morning with their coffee. That blows my mind.
We went over this in Pharmacology, and I understand that some of the side effects do go away, with time; yet I can't imagine actually *caring* about stuff with a Lortab or two in my system. I can barely imagine breathing with a couple of Lortab in my system.
And yet people do it. One of my most productive coworkers, the kind of nurse you'd want for yourself if you ended up in the ICU, the woman who catches complications before they're complications, takes four or six Oxycontin during a shift. She does that because she's had two failed back surgeries in ten years and is currently grinding bone-on-bone through at least three vertebral pairs. Meanwhile, I'm sitting in a chair, head lolling loosely, barely maintaining my own basal metabolism, on five hundred milligrams of Robaxin.
Beloved Sister takes Tylenol 3 now and again for migraines and general female troubles. And she does fine on it. Tylenol 3 will make me fall over in a little heap that does nothing but groan, vomit, and sleep--in that order--for sixteen hours.
Narcotics are weird. I remember in high school trying to get stoned (Hi, Mom!) and ending up paranoid and shaky. I remember later, attempting to take some drug or another that would make me mellow and love everyone, and merely being insomniac and organizing my sock drawer compulsively. This is why I no longer follow the Rainbow Trail or hit Burning Man in the summer. It's not the heat; it's the drugs. I am a big walking FAIL sign for anything that's supposed to relax a body or make you feel cool. You want me to be happy and mellow? Give me coffee. You want me to veer wildly between comatose and compulsive? Give me a narcotic.
All joking aside, it makes me wonder about my brain chemistry. Dr. Dink (my shrink) explained patiently to me during my last visit that I would probably never get the answers I seek to the (fascinating to me) questions I have about brain chemistry, simply because they would involve depriving people of/stuffing people full of various chemicals that might harm them. I wonder sometimes if my brain chemistry is just that off.
There are benefits, of course. Too much caffeine rarely makes me shaky; instead, I fall asleep. And I can get a commendable high from non-controlled substances. If I'm given a controlled substance, like Valium or hydrocodone, I can manage a dose or two (or at most three) before I start itching all over and having hallucinations. Tylenol works on my migraines. I'm a cheap date; half a bottle of wine will make me goofy; five glasses of same will make me no more goofy than two, but will effectively erase my memory.
I'm really, really thankful that my shoulder is getting better with massage. I'm really hopeful that I don't have to be on NSAIDs for months on end (because they make me stoned). And I'm amazed by people who can take codeine and go to work on the stuff.