Physical Problems

april09 026We use real cups at my meeting in order to save the planet.  I try to take a cup with me to meetings, and I figure I’ve saved quite a few from the land fill over the years.  I wish more people would do this, since I know AA people use more than our fair share of disposable cups.

Yesterday I got a new name and today I got a new tooth.  My first false tooth, a dental implant.  So far, a few hours after getting it, it seems great.  I can’t help but imagine what it will look like when my body decays.  I mean, I try not to think of that, but my mind goes back there.  It didn’t help that the dentist gave me the models of my teeth with the implant installed.  Like I’ve seen on TV that they use to identify a body.

The main drawback in my mind to getting older is that it is closer to the end.  Other than that, I don’t like the way my body ages, but it’s mostly OK.

I hate being sick.  I hate being debilitated, like I can be with my perimenopausal woes.  I’ve often felt kind of sickly, because when I was a kid I had severe allergies, then bum knees that had to be operated on.  I’m short and not very strong, and I’m not athletic at all.  But all of my illnesses and maladies have been mild or temporary, or both.

I’ve seen two clear lines of thinking in AA regarding pain medications.  I think the intensity of both sides comes from the fact that the person talking has likely felt herself saved by AA.  That I where I’m coming from.  Some AAs feel that if you are following a doctor’s orders, it is all OK and good.  And many times it is.

I have seen people actually killed, by what I consider to be an inability to completely kick pain medicines.  Now it’s totally possible and maybe even likely that these had chronic pain and needed the medicines.  I don’t know what the brain twist is when these things get in our systems.  I know that I have spoken to a dentist when I drove someone for oral surgery.  I know that the dentist assured me the pain pills he prescribed were not narcotic.  I know that when I asked the pharmacist, of course they were narcotic.  I know that I personally cannot completely and blindly put my sobriety in the hands of health professionals.  I know they won’t always guard it the way it needs to be guarded.

My own experience with pain pills is limited, and when I was drinking, I actually stopped taking pain meds in order to drink.  There was a girl in my high school who was in a coma from mixing alcohol and pills, and thank goodness I was afraid to do that.  I know that in the pain of childbirth, the Demerol felt completely marvelous except when a contraction was happening.  Then, it didn’t really help.

I’m afraid that once I’m taking a drug like that for pain, I don’t know what it does to my brain that may make me want more.  I know that it can change my thinking to where I feel I want or need more, and that could lead to more pills or other things.  I’m pretty radical in my view about not taking the drugs unless there is no other option, and getting off of them as soon as humanly possible.  This is not an official AA view, and many people in AA disagree and do it differently.

Aside from the issue of pain medications, I have many daily excellent examples of how to deal with physical illness and disabilities.  Day to day I try not to give too much time to what’s wrong with my body.  At times it’s too hard to remain calm or cheerful when I’ve been sick or in pain or suffering from women’s issues from a long time.

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