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Opiates

Hey Doc – a Little Help? Life In the Era of Opioids.

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by

* I did it. *

I turned down the Vicodin during the pre-op appointment.

When he asked why, I replied, “I like it too much.”

Vicodin

Instead of considering the acknowledgement I’d just made that I am to some degree addicted to opiates, or perhaps even complimenting me on my self-restraint and self-awareness, he pressed the idea that I would need some pain relief over the weekend, and we compromised on a prescription for ten pills of something ‘similar’ to Vicodin.

During interactions with doctors, nurses and support staff in the hours before and after my surgery, I told five other people that I like Vicodin too much. Each time I expected them to make a note in my chart but no one did, although Heaven knows that anything else you tell them gets noted and is then impossible to get deleted, even if it is in error!

Two of the medical professionals made comments along the line that there aren’t enough pills in a normal post-op prescription to make a difference – meaning not enough to rekindle an addiction, which is of course completely wrong. Without exception, my obvious cry for help and support: “I like it too much” was ignored and pain killers pushed. I don’t know how to tell you this Mr. President, but if you’re going to kill opiate pushers, you’ll need to start with two doctors, an anesthesiologist and three nurses here in my town.

Several years ago my doctor prescribed four Vicodin a day to deal with arthritis. Month after month I swallowed those along with others that I finagled from my dentist. When it became clear that the time had come to stop taking them it wasn’t terribly difficult, but it wasn’t easy either. If I had accepted the normal prescription of thirty Vicodin for this recent operation, by the fourth day after surgery I would have already been scheming about how to get more.

It’s great that as a nation we have become more aware of opiate abuse. It is not great that the old white politicians always automatically assume that any problem is with the poor, the not-white and criminals.

America did not get hooked on opiates by the poor, by any race more or less, or by those whom we normally label as criminals. America is hooked on opiates because of doctors and a medical industry et al. that are both compassionate and very concerned about you having a good (pain-free) experience so you won’t hesitate to come again, while being unconcerned about whether or not you get hooked or re-hooked.

The proliferation and furtherance of widespread opiate addiction may be aided by a more typical ‘criminal’ element, but they are merely providing a supply for a demand created – and also proliferated – by the medical industry.

Opioids

If anything should ever be noted in one’s medical chart, it is an admission of an addiction! Once noted, a cessation of offering that substance to the patient would then be in order. It is truly amazing that the very nice and otherwise competent people that saw me through this surgery, and the medical industry in general are getting this so very wrong.

I did it – I turned down the Vicodin. Good for me. Hey medical industry – how ’bout a little help next time?

Hey Mr. President – killing opiate dealers will wipe out the all medical professionals; got another idea?

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Reeno

–  REENO  –

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A graduate of Portland State University, Steve Kloser is the author of “Beginning Band - A Guide to Success” and “Let's Make Music - Classroom Recorder Course”. He is also an accomplished teacher, conductor and composer, having penned numerous pieces including: La Vida and Fly With Me. Teacher, web developer, Packers fan and proud American, Reeno's usually slanted outlook often presents an unlikely perspective on issues old and new. Reeno currently lives in Portland, OR. Read more at www.reeno317.me or follow Reeno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reeno317.

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