For those of you interested (all one and a half of you! LOL!), here's the last half of my appointment today with Dr. Kevin. I forgot I had the damn P&S camera in my pocket to do the recording, so I didn't get the first half. But we had a really good chat about addiction, and what it means, and why it's his job to worry about it.
Basically, it went like this:
I haven't increased my drug use in almost 15 years, but for once, two years ago, when I went from 3 T3's to 4, per day. I am NOT a drug seeker.
I DO drink a lot of beer. We talked about that quite a bit. I explained to him I drink approximately the same amount of beer today that I always have. He said, "So, you've drank beer every day for the last fifteen years, too?" "More like the last 35 years!"
BUT, the big difference between me and an alcoholic is there has been no escalation. I drink the same amount (give or take, allowing for a party etc.). I don't wake up in the morning, wondering when I can have my first drink. I can go without drinking, for days if necessary, but I usually have some. I LIKE to drink, and it bumps up the effects of codeine, so I don't have to take more medication. (Of course, that one is no longer true, but you know what I mean). I have quit drinking for a month, and my pain med intake went way up. Also, drinking is social. And it's what we do. It's fun! Although, when I said that to Kevin, he said, "Well, it's not my job to make your life more fun, you know!" He's a funny guy.
Kevin was rather impressed that I had answers to his questions. I don't lie to my doctor and I may have surprised him, but I think he knows that I was telling the truth.
On to drugs: we had to talk about the dangers of opiates. Of course, we did. And I had done my homework, and already knew what the concerns would be. But as we chatted, I related to Kevin a story that Paul and I had seen on TV about an Oxycodone addict. I told him it was funny that we were even talking about this, as we had just seen this story last week. They were talking about how people will break into friend's homes, and steal and rob to get this drug. I asked Kevin what was up with that? I've taken Percocet (which is an oxycodone/acetominophen mix) but I sure as hell never got high from it! Drowsy, maybe. But high? No. But Kevin said some do, and perhaps I'm just not an addictive personality. The more we talked, the more he seemed to think that was the case. Yippee! I am OK! You don't know how relieved I am to have that kind of affirmation. I knew it all the time, of course, but now I can tell everyone else to shut the hell up! LOL!
So we have decided to try a regime of long-acting oxycontin, with quick acting oxycodone on hand for breakthrough pain. We are also scheduling a pre-emptive CAT scan, and will be booking an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon, just to rule out any surgical options. Kevin asked me, given my (relatively) young age, where did I see myself in 20 years? I said, maybe in a wheel chair, but maybe not. "So, you don't see a resolution to your pain?" "No, there is none. My condition is degenerative. All I can hope for is pain management, and someday, perhaps a magic button that can turn pain on and off. But in the meantime, if all I need is a few pills each day, and I can function relatively normally, then I'm a happy girl!"
Anyway, on to the recording. This is eleven and half minutes of me talking to my doctor. I don't know if anyone will find this even mildly interesting, but it's still nice to listen to Kevin's Irish brogue. He's cute as a bug's ear too, all ginger haired and freckly.
This an AUDIO file only, NOT a video. But I didn't know how to upload an audio file, so I used my P&S camera to make a video with a piece of black paper over the lens, in my bedroom, with the lights turned out. Then I put the two files together in Movie Maker. Awkward, and I'm sure there are easier ways to do it, but that was all I could think of.
So, that's the back story. You may need to turn up your volume, and if I swear, well, you takes your chances!
A Chat With Dr. Kevin: