|Roll the die to see what happens|
TW: brief mention of disordered eating and dieting behavior
Ever since my last couple appointments with the pain management doctor at the orthopedic clinic, I've been trying to wean off my opioid medications even though I'm still in moderate to severe pain. It's amazing how, even though I don't believe the research he cited is sound, even though my physical therapist said that medication is fine if it keeps me as active as possible, even though my pain levels contribute directly to unhealthy markers of higher blood pressure (mine is usually normal if I'm not in pain) and mental unwellness, and even though I'm still healing from surgery six months post-op, that I still internalized the messages about how narcotics are BAD and EVIL and I shouldn't use them.
I feel like this is a scary game I'm playing, whether consciously or not. I'm currently at work, writing this in between phone calls, fighting myself on whether or not I should take the medication. It makes me groggy. It makes me overly chatty. It messes up my short-term memory. I haven't eaten enough to take it properly. I'm leaving work in about an hour and a half and I can't/don't/won't drive impaired.
There's a part of me that loves it that I made it this far....but it feels like the old ghosts of diets past, just in a different form. Instead of "good job for not eating breakfast and only eating carrots for lunch," that little voice is saying "good job for not listening to the pain signals and pushing through"....even though I will be completely shot and out of spoons for doing anything when I get home, whether that's my scholarly work, working on relearning choreography, or fun stuff like reading or video games.
What makes this different is that while food is fuel, and denying myself the fuel necessary for life, it could be argued that the medication isn't necessary. The medication gives me side effects that I find obnoxious. If the medication more consistently would allow me to be a functional member of society and have a better overall quality of life that allows me to pursue my goals (get my PhD and be able to dance), this probably wouldn't even be an issue. The medication involves a metaphorical dice roll in which sometimes I roll a 20 (like Tuesday night with the dance class) and sometimes I roll a 1 and then I lay in bed pretending to comprehend the hours of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that I stare at on my iPad because my brain is too foggy.
Roll the die, take the pill, have an Alice in Wonderland moment?