Let me first start by saying I never thought I would be writing a defense for pain pills. Sure, I first began treatment with pain pills at the young age of thirteen after getting my first (and most painful) kidney stone, but I hated them for years thereafter.
A typical doctor’s appointment when I was younger:
”Are you aware of any allergies to medications, miss?”
“Um, well, I think I am…to Loratab. Please, don’t give me that stuff!” Then I would launch into the details of what happened after that first painful kidney stone: the severe gastric issues that caused me to throw up blood for a short stint and how I felt more pain after the surgery to remove the kidney stone than prior, partly due to the temporary damage from the pain killers.
Their answer would include a soft chuckle usually with “That’s not an allergy,” (they were right). “But your issues are noted.” OR “Wow! We usually get people asking for pain killers, not begging us not to give them out!”
Thereafter when my then chronic kidney stones would arise with painful stabs, I would simply clench my jaw and try to press on with schoolwork and other daily activities, or when the pain was too intense, miss out on both.
It wasn’t until my late teens when I had persistent pain that demanded I turn off the lights, avoid the world, and curl into a fetal position with moans escaping intermittently that I decided to give pain killers a second thought.
This is where I will mention the importance of the subtitle.
Pain pills make even more sense to me for the people who hate them. The people who try to under-dose their prescribed amount because they hate the drowsy side effects. The people who have had horrendous experiences in their past–like mine–where they try to avoid any orange cylindrical bottle especially prescribed for pain.
If you hate pain pills, but feel you need them, then you are the exact person they were created for in the first place.
Do I prefer taking a natural solution like Curcumin over painkillers? Absolutely. And they do cut back on inflammation. A university has already lent credence to its inflammation reducing capabilities.1 That and other natural alternatives are my first line of defense against pain because I do hate painkillers and their nasty side effects. (Let’s not pretend as if we’re not placing chemicals in our body that do indeed come with side effects.)
But sometimes I want to date my husband and see him look at me as if sickness didn’t exist and pretend that I don’t need pain pills to have a conversation…because talking with pain can sometimes turn ugly.
Sometimes I miss connecting with people and would rather sacrifice my energy and meds for days where I can write someone a note…because grappling with sentence structure while in pain is too difficult, even when you were once one to take creative writing classes as a hobby.
Sometimes I want to write on my blog…like this very article. I had to take a pain pill prior because I wouldn’t have been able to manage otherwise.
Sometimes I want to feel like I’m still connected to you, dear friends, who are reading these words. And if I don’t take painkillers, then I’ll simply try to distract myself from the pain…which would lead to the opposite of meaningfully connecting.
I know there are some who have nicely cautioned me about taking pain pills. To those I would say, I’m forever appreciative of your concern, just hear me when I say I want at least a taste of normalcy, even if the pills don’t mute the pain completely. If this were a perfect world, I wouldn’t have pain, thus the need to be on pain killers would be null. I know you’ve experienced your own pain, as you tell me, but remember, we all feel pain differently. Each of our pain thresholds varies as well as the duration. Believe me, I know the downfalls all too well. But because of my past negative experiences with pain pills, I’m all the more cautious. Because the people who hate pain pills are the very ones who sometimes need them.
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1 Turmeric. University of Maryland Medical Center, 26 June 2014. Web. 7 Feb. 2017.
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