I stumbled out of the car, my hands trembling, sweating profusely, up to the pharmacy door. I opened the door with my last ounce of energy and walked up to the counter. As his eyes met mine the pharmacist said “Lyn you look horrible, all the pain meds gone?”

In my head I was screaming “give me them, give me them, I need them NOW!” Of course in reality I said “yes” and handed over the prescription. I asked for the gravol first, opened the refrigerator and took out a bottled water, popped the cap and downed that one tablet as he prepared the Tramadol. 10 minutes later I swallowed the Tramadol and prayed it would kick in quickly. Another 20 minutes and I felt the edge get knocked off the pain and I sighed…..thank God for pain meds!

Relating this experience to my doctor he said to me :that’s drug addict behviour”; in that moment I thought “its official you are now a junkie”.

Is there a categorizing system for junkies? Are you a particular type of junkie when you need the drug for pain relief as opposed to achieve a high? I wonder. I take this medication because I have to that’s the only reason. If I can stay in bed and not have to get out for the entire day I will opt to stay in and not take the medication. Realistically though, that is not an option on most days. I don’t like the way I feel when I am taking the Tramadol but I hate the pain even more.

I used to be able to take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Voltaren. Cataflam, Acteric, Vimovo and Baralgin. Layering the NSAID with the Tramadol worked and worked well for me. I went skipping through the day. Then I developed an allergy to that brand of meds so here I am. All I have left is Tramadol.

So am I a junkie? Or am I just a prescription medication for pain management dependent individual?

When I hear the word junkie do I picture myself or well dressed middle class working professionals? Most times we think of persons using illegal drugs and who look strung out and unkempt. I am definitely not like that; but on those bad days I need the drug like I need to breathe. Maybe its a thin line I’m walking; maybe another topic for therapy; maybe I don’t know; maybe I don’t care.

This I know, I am doing the best I can with a messed up situation. My best right now requires Tramadol; I wish it didn’t but it does. That’s the reality. Such is my life.

So if you look at me and call me a junkie that’s OK, you are entitled to your opinion. I’m just a girl doing all I can to survive……one day at a time.


Author: mypcslife

I am a Psychologist by profession, wife and mother. Living in the Caribbean island of Barbados.

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