Pain and addiction.
I walk the line between giving too much and giving too little.
Rarely do I get it right.
Rarely do I feel right with myself when I prescribe opioids.
Knowing what lies on the other side of pain relief, knowing the train wreck waiting at the end of the line, knowing the lifelong prison sentence that opioid dependence brings- held hostage in our own skin, til death do us part.
Too many loved ones have died too young from overdosing.
How can I justify prescribing a substance that could suddenly and unapologetically kill someone I’ve never met, somebody’s beloved son or daughter, a curious teen who wanted to feel comfortable in their changing body, experimenting at a party, sampling the medicine cabinet
I want to feel comfortable too.
You complain of pain that you’ve had for years and expect me to fix in an instant.
You say there is a national opioid epidemic, but that you are not a part of the problem.
You say that tylenol and ibuprofen don’t work on you. You say that you need at least Percocet.
You say that other people have been prescribed more for lesser reasons.
You become bitterly enraged if I hesitate, and sickly saccharine if I yield to your request.
You shout that I wasted your time if you don’t get what you want. It kills my spirit to prescribe you opioids, because opioids are, in my humble opinion, the worst medicine- the most risk for the least benefit. With opioids, there is no healing, only the creation of an unnecessary problem without a solution.
It makes me want to leave medicine when I prescribe the medicine you beg for. I’m not practicing medicine for my health, so if I’m not ultimately benefitting your health, then what the hell am I here for.
Can’t you feel my pain? I’m so damn uncomfortable in this drug-dealer role.
If we reserved opioid use for more select scenarios, like only metastatic cancer or the immediate post-operative period, perhaps opioid dependence would be prevented for many who have yet to be born.
However, there are more drug profits to make and more blood to spill before change will come.
The whole scene makes me ill.
If I wanted to deal drugs, I wouldn’t have put myself through the brutality of medical school and residency. I could’ve just dropped out of high school and saved myself a lot of hassle. That might sound cold, but my pain ignites my fire. You didn’t ask about my pain.
I don’t want to be part of this system because I feel like I’m doing more harm than good.
I’m trying to do right in a world of wrong.
I swallow my words until they explode in a song.
Nobody hears my melody because I work all day long.
Sing sweet nightingale.
I dream of you, my favorite lover
Though it has been many years
Since that sparkling summer
When I was 18 and you were 17
I was unprepared to fall so deep
Your hand on mine
Was enough to stop time
I stayed awake all night
Electrified by your touch
And more terrified than I realized, to mess it up
It was my fear that froze me and left you out in the cold
I thought my feelings for you meant that we would never part,
I thought surely you must feel the same way in your heart
But our relationship didn’t even get off the ground
The engine of my airplane is still churning ’round
I wish I had been more reckless-
Gotten drunk with you, had unprotected sex and let you impregnate me
I’d give up my education and prestige of my career
Just to hold you near once more
Instead, my unrequited feelings for you became misplaced on others,
Those many unwanted lovers
No one holds a candle to you-
My heart is a bonfire burning blue
In my dream, you once again hold my hand
I feel the magnetic touch that I’ve missed so much,
Feel the electric current flow between us.
I feel blissfully happy,
Until I wake up to the real nightmare-
that you are married and have a kid.
I feel so happy for you and so sad for me.
In dreaming of you, that sense of magical love is awoken in me
As if I might turn the corner and find love staring back at me
And this time not drop the ball at my feet
But more likely,
I’ll open my eyes to the love all around me
Or look within and realize that I’ve always had it all
Rather than the wish,
I am the well.
I mistook the feelings you brought out in me as something that you alone could give me, like you were my heroin dealer, my poppy seed
I mistook you for the source, but you were the springboard
Off of which I catapulted into the abyss
Tumbling through the dark, I held onto to my spark
Let it glow and grow
And now I know
We are all source-
We are love manifested into physical form
The feeling of losing your love threw me for a loop
For a minute there, I lost myself
Perhaps without you,
I would not have come to realize
That we are all love itself
Without the exquisite pain I felt in your absence
I would not have had to comfort myself
by curling up under the blanket
woven by the in-separateness of all
You, me, and everyone we know
Are golden threads in this tapestry
Leaves on the sole tree of life