Falling into the trap of addiction

If you follow my blog, you know I haven’t been posting as much recently. I’m getting serious about my book, which I’ve been devoting more time to, so today I’m giving you an excerpt. If there were one part of my story I could forget, the narcotic addiction would be it. It took me a long time to include this in my book, but God has called me to be transparent. I love the verse I chose for today’s prescription. I’m taking the shame of my past, which is erased in God’s eyes, and using it to share his truths.
The world we live in revolves around pills. Whether addiction occurs from taking pain medication from an injury or from sheer curiosity, the addiction potential is the same. Drugs do not care who you are, what you do, where you live, how much money you make, or whether or not you’re a Christian. Too many people are blissfully unaware how narcotics work and how dangerous they can be. It seems ridiculous to me that I let myself become addicted because I’m a pharmacist. But I wouldn’t trade anything for the understanding I have now. Addiction is truly a phenomenon you cannot understand until you’ve been there. I certainly would have never imagined it could happen to me. 
I hope you enjoy this tidbit of my story. 
My first seizure, though unnerving, did not leave me with any physical harm done to my body. I wasn’t so fortunate this second time around. In the emergency room, I was told I had a broken nose. My first glance in the mirror confirmed it. My head was killing me and my body hurt all over. When I fell this time, I was standing in the middle of the pharmacy, and I went down sideways into the “P” section of the pharmacy shelves. Apparently I wiped out the Premarin, Provera, and Prozac sections to say the least. My head hit first, and my nose caught one of the shelves at just the right angle to make it good and whop-sided. With my head as the lead Lego, knocking down the lower shelves, my body followed crashing to the hard, tile floor. I’m thankful my brain didn’t remember the scene, but my body sure did. I have to be honest here. I’m a wimp. I don’t like pain, I’ve never liked pain, and I do not tolerate it well. The emergency room doctor sent me home with prescriptions for Depakote (for seizures) and Lortab (for pain), a list of  “do’s and don’ts” for seizure patients, and a referral to an ear, nose and throat surgeon for my crooked nose. And so my recovery began.
The soreness slowly dissipated from my muscles, and the bruises on my body faded away. The bruises on my soul, however, were growing. The ear, nose, and throat specialist informed me that sinus surgery was in my near future if I wanted to ever use my nose for breathing again. Breathing through my nose. Hmmmm. Sounds rather necessary. Sinus surgery it was.
In pharmacy school, I was able to sit through four surgical procedures during my clinical rotations. One of those surgeries just so happened to be a rhinoplasty—a nose job. It wasn’t long into that surgery that I completely understood why people are so black and blue after a nose reconstruction. You’d have thought the surgeons were working with Play-doh or clay, not an actual human face. I was mortified to watch as the doctor cut inside the nostrils with a scalpel, and with his equivalent of tweezers, pulled cartilage out. Then they proceeded to mash, tug, squeeze, push, and squish this man’s nose until they had molded it into the shape they wanted. I wasn’t getting a nose job per say, but the surgery is essentially the same to fix a broken, crooked nose.
Between the emergency room and visits to my neurologist, and visits and surgeon, it took about two months for me to come to the end of this nasal nightmare. Lortab, a narcotic pain medication, had become my friend to get through those months, especially during my recovery from the surgery. It was not pleasant to have my sinuses packed with gauze attached to small tongue depressors hanging out of my nose for a week. Remember what a great pain tolerance I have? When the packing was finally pulled from my nostrils, which felt like ropes being pulled from my brain, my nasal nightmare was over. Or so I thought. For the most part, my pain was gone, so I stopped taking the Lortab. I could have never guessed what was coming next. 
Watch for my next post to get a unique perspective on drug addiction. Understand the truth about the dangers of addiction so you can prevent those you love from falling into the trap. Addiction is very hard to overcome. In some cases, prevention is the only cure. 

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