Just tough it out?
When we were kids and skinned our knees, we’d try to negotiate a trip across the street to my Aunt Mina’s where she would use mercurochrome on the abrasions.
My mother used hydrogen peroxide. It goes to say that Aunt Mina’s cure was painless, but my Mom believed that the only medicine to safely clean out a cut had to hurt to do its work.
Peroxide is right up there on the hurt scale.
One would think that this idea of medicine and pain had passed into what I might call Mom’s medical anachronisms. Unfortunately, not really.
Take last week: Eyes watering, sneezing and asking God why I had sinuses, I stood in front of the pharmacy counter in one of our larger stores and asked for a box of 12 hour Claritin D.
You can’t purchase this product right off the shelves. You can buy Claritin without the D but with the D which stands for pseudoephedrine, you have to share your name, your driver’s license and sign a form.
You see, pseudoephedrine is one of the components of methamphetamine and those that have chosen a life of crime by making meth are suspected of purchasing Claritin D and somehow extracting the pseudoephedrine for their nefarious activities.
So, the rest of us are forced to take these extra steps in order to ameliorate the awfulness of our allergies.
Has all of this extra work for the pharmacy and the customer cut back on illegal meth production? I have no idea. Probably not.
Still I am suspected of being a meth producer and have to jump through these hoops. It is de rigueur for the clerk behind the counter to give me that “you could be a meth head” eye.
I mean, do I look like I make meth in my garage?
Have you seen pictures of those who have been arrested for meth making?
OK, well, on that particular day, having not taken Claritin for several previous days, I did have a passing resemblance to those mug shots.
It is the same way with pain medicine. I have recently had several medical procedures which have left me with what some call discomfort and with what I call pain.
I can pretty much handle the discomfort during the day, but all bets are off at night…you know that time when you are supposed to get the restful sleep that will hasten healing.
I’ve been averaging 3-4 hours of restless shut eye for about two months. Which also adds to the “meth” look.
I’ve asked for something to help with the pain so that I can get a good night’s sleep. I’ve been given a few suggestions.
I carefully explain that I can’t take any NSAID’s…ibuprofen, Aleve, aspirin, etc. because the two procedures to which I refer, set me up to have two of something called DVTs which in turn necessitates my taking anti-coagulants or blood thinners for three months.
So that particular nostrum is out.
I continue with my explanations, telling the doctor or his/her representative that I need something to allow me to sleep. I’ve asked if I could have a weaker version of the oxy that I took after the surgeries and you would think that I had sworn at clergy.
“We don’t prescribe medicine for long term pain.”
Oh, O! I wasn’t planning on anything long term, but I guess four months qualifies for that designation.
The doctor and his minions will not prescribe an opioid because of the fear that I will become an addict. Is it my confessed addiction to chocolate that has caused this fear?
So, I plead, “What can I do?”
“How about taking some melatonin,” one offers.
I explain again that I am sleepy enough. I need something to allow me to sleep through the pain in my hip, thigh and knee. They suggest acetaminophen or Tylenol.
I reply that I might as well eat a cupcake for all that Tylenol does for the pain.
After that there is nothing beyond some vague suggestions about meditation, which although it is effective in some instances, does little for me when I am asleep. And, I might add is awfully hard to initiate when you are dealing with the ouches that come at night.
A final suggestion is to take naps during the day. I am thinking that this sounds a lot like a preference for peroxide mind set.
What also doesn’t help are the anecdotal stories of heartier that I individuals who boast of … well, let’s say something like “I had an arrow in my arm for a month and never took any pills. Just toughed it out.” Or something like “I tore up that prescription for oxycodone.”
Hey, if you can live life with pain…go for it. I am a wimp. I would like to sleep, to heal faster.
If you see the lights on in my kitchen at 3 a.m. it will be me, who has difficulty separating an egg, not mixing up some meth but trying to make a cup of Chamomile tea do the work of the bigger guns.
It doesn’t work, but I keep hoping. Maybe a bullet to bite on?
I am wishing that there was an aunt who lived across the street with the pain medicine version of mercurochrome.
No. It’s just more of the hydrogen peroxide. Yes, a bad analogy. Remember I am going on very little sleep right now.