Either surprisingly short or surprisingly long, I'm not actually sure which one applies. Maybe both.
Previous - this entry written on April 12, 2007 at 1:01 am - Next

Whee! Less pain - yeah, it's because I'm on Happy Joyful Opiate-Laced Drugs and a stiff antibiotic, but still. Not hurting is good, particularly when you're having a period, a UTI, and a gallstone all making you go OwOwOw. Not hurting is also (as no doubt I've bitched about before) seriously addictive.

I haven't really said much about that lately, and it's been on my mind a lot, so I think unfortunately any readers of this journal are going to get a long rant on the subject; if this bores you, just skip this entry, k?

First off... hell, where do I start? I could talk about the complications involved in even getting a regular supply of the drugs I am physically and/or mentally hooked on. I could talk about the effects of my addictions. I could talk about the cost, or the frustration, or the stress, or the social problems... actually, that last one is a good place to begin, I think.

See, a lot of people are used to interacting with or hearing about or seeing smokers. There's no stigma attached to the need for caffeine, at least if it's just a cup of coffee in the morning or a soda or two at work or a Jolt in the middle of the night if you're a geek with insomnia. No one complains about the way most women (and quite a few men, actually) crave chocolate at times, or really thinks twice about someone who is a sex addict as long as it's not rubbed in their face, as it were. There's even a fairly wide and active Drug Culture - lots of people taking drugs, all sorts of drugs, recreationally. It's sort of assumed that if you're just doing it for fun, just doing it occasionally, that really, it's ok as long as you're not caught and not dead.

Then there's Us - the ones hooked on prescription drugs. Painkillers usually, though sleeping pills and antidepressants are fairly high on the list as well. The addiction is usually a fairly balanced mix of physical and mental; when in withdrawal we get the shakes, queasy, can't sleep, start twitching, dry mouth, headaches, the works, as well as sinking into depression, getting moody, feeling 'off', the whole shebang. We haunt pharmacies, practically live in doctors' offices, you can recognize us by the purses full of pill bottles or the backpack that always seems to have a few pills in the side pocket or the medicine cabinet that doesn't have ROOM for another jar or bottle or anything because it's already full of half-empty ones. We know, generally, that we Have A Problem. We don't like talking about it; we feel guilty, ashamed, and even worse, we know that to bring the subject up or discourse on it around most people will lead to social rejection and less access to what we crave.

Some people who are hooked on 'scrips started out using them recreationally; not many, though. Most of us actually HAVE some sort of chronic pain problem. In my case, it's kidney stones, gallstones, Period Cramps Of Doom, and the irritatingly-frequent UTI or kidney infection. I'm in low-grade pain pretty much every day, and about 50% of the time in fairly serious pain, often to the point where I can't stand up or lie down, or can't sit up, or can't even move without crying, or hurt so much that I throw up... yeah. Not pleasant, not fun, and fairly good reasons to take painkillers. Just being me HURTS. Add in the depression and the fucked-up chaotic mess that passes for my sleep schedule, and it's no big surprise that I'm on a sleeping pill and an antidepressant - two antidepressants, technically, since my sleeping pill is one too, as well as something to help with the chronic pain, go go amatryptaline.

The big addiction though, the one I'm ashamed of, the one that actually bothers me both because of the number of times in a month I end up going through withdrawals and because of the simple fact that it's socially-embarassing, is vicodin. Hell, any opiate will do in a pinch, although codine isn't nearly as effective and makes me way more loopy and queasy. I've been on oxycodone - the next step up from vicodin (hydrocodone, in the generic form) - which has no tylenol and therefor is a lot easier on my stomach, but it's also inclined to give me even worse withdrawals and is even more embarassing to admit to taking, let alone being addicted to.

I've taken a LOT of vicodin. As in, prob'ly as many pills as weeks I've lived. Maybe closer to days, at least in the last few years. My first vicodin was taken around 4 1/2 years of age, courtesy of my mother. My last - or rather my most recent, I know it won't be my last - was about two hours ago.

Geh. I love that boy dearly, but when he's not-entirely-sober, he tends to spend large amounts of time staring at me somewhat blankly, which is really unnerving when I'm trying to concentrate on something else, particularly if it's something like writing, where I have to use a different portion of my brain than I do for photoshopping, or reading something, as far as I can tell. I get nervous whenever someone is looking over my shoulder unless I've specifically asked them to/given them permission, and even though from WHERE he's staring I know he can't really see what I'm doing, it's still a bit unsettling. Feels kind of like being in a zoo, y'know? Like being an exhibit. Only cool if I'm getting paid or purposely showing off.

It doesn't always bother me, to be honest; there are some days and some circumstances where he'd be welcome to stare at me for hours. But this subject is, as I've said, one that's... not particularly easy... and so the Intense Observation makes it nearly impossible to keep typing, at least about that subject. Fortunately, I love him, and it does make me happy to know he wants to look at me. ^.^ He's on fuzzies right now though, which tend to make him unusually wide-eyed and frequently makes him blink less, sometimes not blinking at all for a good 15 minutes, which makes the whole staring thing a lot more blatant and a lot more disturbing.


There are much worse things that could happen. *grin*

Also? Starcraft. We played a fairly intense 2v2 game against two computers on a map I've not encountered before (or at least, not in a long long time) and it was quite entertaining. I'm looking forward to Puppy getting 'net access and a copy of starcraft, both of which might take a while but will be well worth the wait, as then we can play 3vassorted-numbers again; we used to play it pretty frequently when he was here, me on my computer, he and Caleb on their laptops, muchly fun.

Hmm, drafty. I should go check on the snake. Kaa is doing well, for those curious; he's had his first shedding since coming here, eaten twice, and should be ready for his next meal sometime between now and the end of the weekend. This is good, as Cleo's babies are now at the point where they're starting to explore their cage, albeit still rather clumsily as their eyes are closed. See, my plan is, once the hamster keeping Alexander company has become snakefood, to move Cleopatra and her litter into the Big Box and have Alex occupy the cage she's in now, at least until the litter has been weaned. There's either eight or nine, I think eight now but my count may be wrong, that's happened before, and they're in one of those little travel-cage type things, not really big enough for more than one hamster and not all that great even for one, but I take Alexander out for Running-Around-Time pretty often and he's not too upset about smallish homes as long as he has a wheel and plenty of wood chips and fluff to burrow in. Dwarf hamsters are usually pretty good about that. Plus, we may be getting a nice big wire cage from a friend of Rie's, which would give me even more room for him (I think) and certainly give more options for multi-level housing.

Anyway, must go check on the snake, and the hamsters, before I forget. ^.^

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