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PLEASE Don’t Take Opioids

The newest statistics just came out and they nearly knocked me over. 1 in 3 American adults currently
is taking some version of opioid narcotics.

I’m sharing the story of how I had 5 surgeries in 2015 related to my cerebral palsy. Right after one of the surgeries, I came to understand what a slippery slope opioids can be.

I was recovering in the hospital and the nurse gave me narcotics through my IV automatically. After the first day they changed to giving them to me by mouth on a four hour schedule.

I found myself anticipating when the next dose would come and noticing that I felt better soon afterwards and started feeling worse as it became time for my next dosage.

I noticed thoughts of anticipation and eagerness for the pills, and some thoughts of wishing I could have them more often.

Part of my mind had the presence to look at the experience more closely and questioned in which ways I felt better after the medicine and worse as it’s effect waned.

The conclusion I came to was pretty shocking and hit me like a splash of cold water in the face.

I realized that my level of pain in the surgical site wasn’t what was fluctuating before and after the pills. Rather what was changing was what I interpreted as a normal amount of background anxiety and existential angst that I think most of us have much of the time.

After taking the pills, it was completely gone and I felt unusually lighthearted, almost giddy. There was a false sense of ease that was not normally present in day-to-day life.

The pain from the surgical site was noticeable but tolerable. The feelings that the narcotics seem to be taking away, were normal feelings that I was adapted to handling in day-to-day life.

I would either have to eventually learn to tolerate these feelings again or stay on narcotics long-term. Since the latter choice was not a realistic option, I chose to stop the narcotics immediately but I saw how tempting it would have been to have chosen differently.

My experience with my birth mother has also led me to hate narcotics. Sadly she was one of the overdose statistics that we hear about on the news.

She was only in her 60’s when she died of an overdose after being on pain medication for several months after a carpal tunnel surgery.

If you’re taking any prescription medications long term, please rethink the strategy. Here’s some more reading on how harmful many common medications can be.

To your best health,

Dr. C