Narcotics and Me

Hell in a bottle.
Hell in a bottle.

Is “Narcotics and Me,” as a title, grammatically correct? Probably not. But I don’t care because narcotics. Is it a bad idea to blog right now?

The hydrocodone has lived on the top of my bathroom cabinet for about three years, from some other lumbar episode, but I hear that stuff has a pretty long shelf life.

I’m curious, all eleven million of my Facebook friends who have toddlers right now: does giving birth hurt any worse than a day of rip-roaring lumbar spasms?

Also, can you mix Carisoprodol with hydrocodone and high doses of Advil? I hope so.

If my back went into spasms while I was rescuing a neighbor’s dog from the creek or saving a toddler in the road, I’d be less embarrassed, but it happens without any warning when I do something like sit down in my chair to work or bend to pick up my purse.

But when it happens, I swear by the holy mother of all of the gods of war and the underworld, I want to die. It’s like someone pressed a hot griddle across my lower back. As if my muscles are being ground and squeezed into sausage while I’m still alive. The kind of pain that soaks your scalp in sweat while you struggle not to puke until you can lie down and make it stop by keeping perfectly still.

I started with Advil and the only muscle-relaxer I had on hand, the trusty, sleepy Carisoprodol, left over from a different medical crisis. My spouse fed me in bed and helped me through the six steps to the bathroom in horrific, shrieking, cursing 15-minute odysseys that probably cost me my humanity.

So I told him to open up the medicine cabinet and find the hydrocodone bottle, and I popped a half-dose of that along with everything else.

Then my book sort of toppled out of my hand and I went to sea for awhile – I could feel the waves under the bed. Then I became aware of the blackness behind my eyelids and looked at the clock. Three hours gone.

When I got back on my feet, the back pain had gone from a scream to a high-pitched whine. But to my dismay, my body suddenly weighed 1,000 pounds, so slick with icy sweat that it was ready to slip through the tilting floorboards. There was a shrieking teakettle in both my ears and as I gripped the sink, I wondered what was going to hit the floor faster: my head or the contents of my stomach.

When I returned, gasping in misery, to the sheets, I listened for awhile to what sounded like a chainsaw on the next block. But it was just my ears ringing.

So as far as I know, back spasms and narcotics are just a choice between two different kinds of agony. Seriously, how does anyone get hooked the latter? Am I lucky to react to painkillers this way, when addiction ruins so many others’ lives?

This is what I think about while I lie on the couch and type, with my friend, the muscle relaxer, and the nauseating hangover from my not-friend, the narcotic.

God, my back hurts.

Do you ever get back spasms? How do you treat them, or better yet, prevent them?



Add yours →

  1. Only people who have experienced back spasms can relate to the pain you have so vividly described. It will get better ~ and then you will have to work on some preventative maintenance. Hang in there!

  2. I’ve recently been dealing with sciatic pain (which I thought only happened when you were old enough to start receiving biting “over the hill” cards, but oh well). Besides ibuprofen when it gets unbearable, heat and capsules of Turmeric on a daily basis has helped a bit, but mine is way less severe then yours. Hope you start feeling better!

  3. I had one once, and yes, it is comparable to giving birth. Mine both came and went without notice. I hope you’re better soon and can find some reasonable way to relief!

  4. Ok, well, it’s not legal here (yet) but…. it might help. It doesn’t remove the pain so much as it helps with the suffering…. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about? Chronic arthritis pain in the neck here…

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