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I am starting to understand


Can you remember your first kiss? Or the first time you were able to take the car without your parents. Or your first plane ride? All great first memories, right? Unfortunately, I just experienced one of my first memories and it was not a memory I was looking forward to remembering. It was my first trip to the emergency room.

Recently, I hurt my back, while working out. I hadn't really done anything out of the ordinary, but I felt a little twinge in the back, some minor pain, but believed it would soon go away. I woke up Saturday morning, a laundry list of chores to do, and thinking my back pain wasn't a big deal, rubbed some Icy Hot on it, and went outside to work in my garden. No big deal right? Well by that evening, I had trouble standing up straight and could not lay down. By midnight the pain was so excruciating, I called an Uber driver to drive me to the emergency room at 1:00 am in the morning.

I was desperate to find out what was going on and receive some relief and would have done or taken anything to get rid of the pain, but when the doctor started talking about giving me a narcotic to help with the pain I became a bit wary. I have had my struggle with drugs and alcohol, but fortunately have been sober for the last 15 years. However, I tend to be obsessive compulsive and I knew that once I started down that road I could easily find myself going where I swore I would never go. When they asked how much medication I wanted I said just a couple of days of narcotics and that was it.

At first, the days were hard, but the nights were much worse. I couldn't sleep more than 30 minutes straight. After 30 minutes, the pain made me wince in agony and would keep me up the entire night. I would get up and try to find a comfortable position to rest in, but I soon found out was none and spent many a sleepless night crying out for relief of any sort.

I now understand the lengths people will go to get relief and how desperate you are for a help. I know that I really wanted to make that call to the doctor to prescribe me more pain meds. Surely a couple of weeks worth would not hurt me, and I definitely wouldn't get hooked. But I had heard too many horror stories from people of how a simple injury and the doctors over prescribing narcotics, then ended up being addicted. I was determined that it would not happen to me so I sucked up the pain and went along with my life. Was it hard, absolutely but I know in the long run, I will get better and will have done it without becoming and addict.

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