I was greeted by a text message yesterday afternoon from a fellow spoonie, someone had stolen several doses of her strong narcotic pain medication. Only allowed ten a month and now down to eight, that might not sound like a big deal but when you are in so much pain you cannot function... It is a very big deal. These drugs are not "fun" drugs by any stretch of the imagination and can have a large range of side effects. This is also a good reminder of prescription safety measures that everyone should exercise if they have drugs in their house. In the case of my fellow spoonie friend, it was pretty unpreventable and by no means was anything done wrong on her part to have the theft occur. Sometimes it just happens. Pain happens too and unlike the person who stole it most likely for recreational uses, these meds can mean the difference between being up for 36 hours in extreme pain or sleeping in relief for eight hours. This is serious buisness.
People think when they hear of narcotic meds how great it must feel to be high and disoriented from the world. It is just not so. The effects my stronger set of meds have on me is highly undesirable. They make me dizzy, drowsy, "checked out," I am in a haze for quite a while after the medication it's self has worn off, constipation, basically if I put it short and sweet: it really screws up my system. I don't like taking such strong stuff when I need to but I can only tolerate so much pain before there has to be an end. There is nothing that motivates a person to kill themselves faster than being in extreme pain. So, recreational people, please go smoke some weed instead, I promise you it will be better than the narcotic stuff. Plus people like me won't have to spend a night in lots of pain that could have been prevented had someone not stolen the precious small allotted narcotic pain meds people like me do get.
How to prevent theft of these strong drugs can be sometimes difficult. In the case of my spoonie friend, the prescription had just been filled and she was with family. Sometimes sadly it is even too tempting for close and supposed to be trusted family to not take the meds, as it was in this case. My policy for drug safety with what I take is fairly tight. First if I carry a dose on me, it has to be ON me. Someplace where I would notice if someone was trying to take my precious dose. Purses are not the place for narcotics, they are too easily infiltrated. Second, don't talk about the specifics of the narcotic being taken. Things like name, dose and strength should not be shared unless whomever one is sharing the info with is highly trusted. Third, get a good locking safe or medicine cabinet in a very hidden spot in the home. A smart person does not leave such powerful drugs out in the open, they must be concealed. Finally, medication side effect and receipt sheets should be finely shredded. Or else the recycling bin could be free advertising for someone to come in and clean out one's precious store of narcotics.
There are few things that can infuriate me faster than hearing about someone not getting the pain relief they need due to medication theft. I had to take one of my strong doses of pain banishing medication after I busted out in the butterfly rash and had swollen joints fairly out of the blue late yesterday evening. Had I not had the dose to do so... I would have had to spend the night shaking in pain. Not fun. Okay, I will now jump off my little spoonie soapbox.
I wish you all a very pain free and good week on this second day of April. Today is the first day of spring quarter and I am slightly scared. I am in for eleven weeks of very intense learning, including statistics. I know in the end... Whatever will be, will be. Now to get out of bed...