As I sit here waiting for my pain pill to kick in I worry about how long I will be able to have my prescription. I understand the crisis that America faces right now with drugs. However what are we doing about it? Limiting the amount of opioids. But a lot of times we are cutting off the wrong people. I’ve been on hydrocodone (Vicodin) for about 7 years now. I only take as needed which equals to about 2-4 pills A MONTH. I never had a problem getting a prescription for 30 pills per year when I was in the military health system. However, now that I’m on different insurance no dr will write me for my pain medicine. Even pain specialist I’ve seen tell me I need to find alternatives. I do yoga, stretching, meditation, ice packs, heat and massage. These “alternatives” is what keeps me from needing more pain medicine than those 2-4 pills a month.
When I was around 11 years old I was diagnosed with hyperlordosis scoliosis. My lumbar curve is way deeper than it should be. X-rays also later found that my coccyx (tailbone) is not fully fused to my spine. Therefore leaving room where arthritis and bone spurs have taken over. I was a really active kid. I played basketball, baseball, tennis, and was on the drill team. My dream at the time was to go to the WNBA. As I hit puberty I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. I went to physical therapy twice a week to have my hips put back into place. I was informed I had to quit sports and try to let my body develop without constant physical movement. I spent years in physical therapy. Thankfully, I outgrew the majority of the hip dysplasia. However my back has worsened over time. I was diagnosed with spondylosis at age 17. The webmd description of spondylosis is “a general term for age related wear and tear of the spinal column and discs”. Age related! At 17 years old I under went numerous injections and steroids. At age 19 I had back surgery. I was one of the first people in Washington State to have a new procedure. (Rhizotomy) They made incisions and “burned” my nerve endings to reduce pain signals to the brain. Because I am so young they grew back within a year. Now as I face more medics diagnoses I worry about my future.
I don’t know what the answer to the opioid crisis is. I wish I did know. But what I do know is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that these drugs get taken away from the correct people.
I am 23 years old. All I want is a normal life. I want to graduate with my Masters degree is social work. I want to be a wonderful wife and mother. I want to have family dinners at my house and play with my children and grandchildren over the years. I want to grow old and live a long happy life.
But sometimes I can’t even get off the floor without a pain pill. I want you to know this isn’t the life I wanted.
I wish I could give my pain to those who don’t understand, hand them a Tylenol and ask them to try “alternative methods” and see how they feel.