Sunday, January 18, 2015

Loretta, where the fuck have you been?

I've been largely absent from the internet and public life for something like three years now. That changes today. I apologize to my fans, followers and friends for my untimely disappearance with no explanation. Sometimes life gets so fucked up you just kinda have to drop out for a little while and take stock and get your shit together. That's what I had to do. This posting is going to be a purge of all the garbage that I've been living with and kept inside. When you finish reading it you'll understand why I kept my problems to myself. So, where to start? How about with the truth of when my life started getting off track. Let's go back to 2007. Two words for you.... OPIATE ADDICTION One morning I was taking my German Shepherd out for a walk. I stepped off the bottom step wrong and broke my foot. I have osteoporosis so I break bones fairly easily. Up until I broke my foot I was able to manage my pain pretty well with cannabis. But although cannabis is great for some kinds of pain it isn't so great for a broken bone. That shit hurts. No two ways about it. So I went to the ER and was prescribed 120 10 mg Percocet. Now, I'd taken opiates for pain in the past after childbirth and surgeries and never developed a problem with them. Had been administered Dalaudid IV when I had my appendix out. No problems developed. Had taken lortabs after having my tubes tied. Hated them because they made me itch and made me nauseous. Never ever thought I'd become dependent on an opiate. Never planned to. Who the fuck does, right? But from that first 10 mg Percocet it was a love affair. The Dr. kept prescribing them long after it was necessary and so I kept taking them long after it was necessary. I remember the moment I knew I had a serious problem. I woke up in the middle of the night with goose skin and sneezing. And I knew. From that point on my entire life descended into the bottomless pit of addiction. Nothing mattereHhhhd to me but getting my next pill. I spent every penny I could get my hands on on pills. I spent every day chasing the shit down when my prescription ran out. And my Dr. had to know I was hooked. Who.the hell needs 120 10 mg Percocet 6 months after a broken foot has healed? But he kept' prescribing them. And I kept eating them. Then my Dr. moved away and I was left with no legal way o acquire them. So I resorted to illegal means. This went on until 2012. Eventually I ran out of money. And when that happened I started thinking about doing crazy shit like knocking over pharmacies or hunting down heroin. And those thoughts scared the living fuck out of me. I'm not that kind of person. I'd never rob anyone and the thought of even touching heroin almost made me sick. I realized I had to seek help. I looked into methadone but two things kept me from going to a methadone clinic. It was cost prohibitive because you have to pay daily and I would have had to travel 120 round trip daily for 90 days before I would be allowed to take my script home with me. Plus, that's some seriously dangerous shit and I was trying to live, not die. I heard about Suboxone. I researched and decided it was the best solution for me. I picked up the phone and called Dr. Jimmy Blake in Birmingham who runs a suboxone clinic and also happened to be a friend of mine and set up an appointment. This was in Nov. 2012. That was the right choice for me. Jimmy wasn't just my doctor he was my friend and I needed one right then. Under his care I was able to get a handle on my out of control addiction and regain my self respect and start getting my life back in order. I was also strongly encouraged to lose the weight I'd gained while in the throes of addiction. When I started seeing Jimmy I weighed 230. I'm now down to 170 and holding. Suboxone was a miracle drug for me. It controlled my pain and it was so goddamn strong there was absolutely zero compulsion to abuse it. One strip and I was on the nod for hours. I decided a whole strip was way too much for me and dropped myself to a half strip a day. Another great thing about Suboxone is that when my dosage was decreased I never noticed. When I was eating 20 pills a day and could only get 8 I felt it. I never felt that with suboxone. I continued making the biweekly trips to Birmingham until a transportation issue came up and I could no longer get there. I switched to a local doctor. Huge mistake. I went one time and was drug tested. It never occurred to me that I would be. Never had been up to that point. Of course I was positive for cannabis. At this doctor's hole in the fucking wall clinic in Dadeville AL cash ruled. On my only visit I learned they would not accept any form of insurance even if you had insurance that covered it. I didn't...but that was beside the damn point. Each visit cost a whopping $125. Almost twice what I had been paying. They also required that someone else drive you to the clinic and be your "sponsor". The only person I had to do that was the elderly gentleman I had recently moved in with to take care of. He was happy to help. So, after I pissed in a cup I went in a trashy little room and waited. Suddenly I overheard the nurse and everyone from the front office discussing my pee results. And I mean everyone. And that wasn't even the worst. The "doctor" came in and started raising hell about my drug test. Then he went up front and brought the old man I take care of back into my exam room and shared my results with him. I told him I had not fucking consented to him sharing my information with his entire office staff or the gentleman who had brought me and that doing so was highly illegal. The bastard looked at me and told me I needed to go to church. I informed him I was an Atheist and he started preaching. I told him I was there for treatment and when I wanted a sermon I could get one for free but that I didnt pay him $125 so he could proselytize to me. He said he wasn't going to treat me unless I came back for five weeks in a row with $125 in my pocket each time and a clean drug test which would cost Me an additional $100. I told him I made $9 an hour and there was no way I could afford that. He wrote me a script for 15 suboxone. I made that shit last for two months. And I never went back to that doctor. Sadly he's the only one in close proximity to me. His practice is all about money. I know three people who have been seeing him for over six years and he still prescribes 90 strips a month to each of them. He has not tried to step them down at all. He's as bad as a pill mill doctor. After that disaster I once again had to resort to illegal means to get my strips. It wasn't hard when you have a doctor like that prescribing that much to all his patients. That stuff is everywhere. And since one strip will last me a week it was a fuck of a lot cheaper to buy four strips for $80 than have to spend $225 weekly then pay for my strips on top of that. Legal? Hell no. But sometimes you have to break the law in order to survive. I'm alive and I haven't robbed anyone and I haven't shot heroin so it was worth it to me. And I've never cared much for laws that restrict what I put in my body anyway. But last week I ran into a huge problem. I couldn't find anyone with a strip. I've said for along time that I would never even try to come off suboxone. It works for me. The two most frightening words in the English language to me are opiate withdrawal. If you've ever been through it you know how God fucking monstrously awful it is. The sneezing, the waterworks nose, the puking, the cramps, goose skin and worst of all....firecracker ass. The unrelenting insomnia. The restless legs. Not to mention the depression. Oh the miserable awful depression. I'd said I'd rather die than face that shit. But today is day six with no opiates whatsoever. I found something non-addictive that has kept the worst of the withdrawal symptoms at bay. And I can sleep. And friends and neighbors I think in another few days I will finally have this monkey off my back. I can't believe how easy it's been up to this point. All I know is I feel ok today. No firecracker ass. None of anything that I feared. I'm sick of being in bondage to this shit. I want my life back and I'm going to get it. Keep me in your thoughts in case it gets worse. I'm determined to come off. Some people may say that I shouldn't be so honest about my addiction. My critics will say that marijuana led me to opiates. Bullshit. A broken foot led me to opiates and a doctor who knew better than to keep prescribing them led me to addiction. I take responsibility too. I could have stopped going to the doctor and getting them. But it was too late for that in my case. My brain is hard wired for addiction. Runs in my family. And once opiates sink their claws into some people there's no looking back. I'm one of those people. At least I have the testicular fortitude to share my trials and tribulations with you. Took me a while to rediscover my balls, true dat, but now that I've found them again nothing will stop me from sharing my life with those who want to know. I hope my sharing helps give courage to someone else struggling with opiate addiction. It can happen to anyone. And does. Every day. And there's no shame in it. Talking about it helps. Hiding it hurts and leads you to isolation. I know. I lost everything. Every friend I had I pushed away. Every penny I had I lost. All the activism I did that meant so much to me and others fell by the wayside. I lost myself. I lost my personality. Worst of all I lost my sense of humor. Life ceased to be amusing. I miss that most of all. Humor. Best medicine in the world. This is going to be the end of part one in a series of articles I'm going to write about where I've been and what I've been doing. Part two will be about ending my 23 year marriage and mental illness. Look for that one tomorrow possibly. Thanks for reading and stay tuned.

No comments: