I think it is important to state before we begin today that I have been known to lean towards melodrama and hypochondria when it comes to matters of my health. You should know this about me before you read this post.
After the recent knee surgery to repair my cartilage, I was prescribed Tramadol, a very friendly synthetic opiate adept at nullifying boo-boos. Three weeks on and I am no longer taking Tramadol, not because my knee no longer hurts, no my knee still hurts. Word. I am no longer taking lovely Tramadol because I did not wish to end up kidnapping my GP and disposing of his body in the dead of night, when he refused to re-issue my prescription.
Pass the cold turkey please
Don’t misunderstand, I was at least a few weeks away from engaging in intensely anti-social acts to maintain my chemical equilibrium, fear not. I do however know myself. My character traits. I could recognise after laying down for two weeks straight with a big dumb-ass smile on my face – a happy lump with an ever expanding fadass – that I needed to stop taking prescription medication, before it was too late. Before I sold everything I own. Before I woke up with one kidney.
I am not the kind of man to suffer in silence. I am the kind of man to make a meal of it, you know – moaning, whining, complaining, over-stating and generally being a huge baby – but I’ve been bearable. This was the tip off. Forced immobility should have rendered me a cantankerous and grumpy man-tool, but no, I have been a model patient. A delight to care for. Something was up. Something was amiss and that something was concious, rational thought. The time had come to withdraw the happy pills.
Of course I made the very sensible and healthy decision to not discuss this process with a health professional, but rather research on’t t’internet to determine the kind of symptoms I could expect going cold turkey. After a mere 10 minutes or so on-line I had a comprehensive list of possible side-effects. (If it’s good enough for Philip Schofield it’s good enough for me). I won’t bore you with the full list, I will say however that at the very point of reading each symptom, I instantly developed it. (see opening paragraph)
It would be uncivilised and unnecessary to regale you with all the gory details, lets just say there have been one or two ups, and one or two downs. I will however share with you my very lowest point in a bid to continue Zammo’s excellent work with the ‘Just say no’ campaign. Feel my pain. Don’t laugh.
Cold turkey can repeat on you.
It was day five, the 27th December and I found myself sat in my bedroom on the floor, in the dark. Motionless, silent and staring into space. I declined the occasional offer of a cup of tea and enquiries such as “What the **** are you doing?”, not verbally you understand, rather via a haunting stare, as I had decided hence forth to be an elective mute. Seemed the only thing to do at the time. A necessary step in my transformation into chaos. My death-like stillness was interrupted only by the occasional violent leg twitch associated with Tramadol come down.
After contemplating my demise and my many, many character flaws for a few hours, I changed tack to watching Barry Manilow on my Blackberry, who was singing songs seemingly written solely for my purpose. I refer you to ‘I made it through the rain’ and whilst I still think it is 6 minutes or so of marvellousness, it fails this time around to render me inconsolable. No longer do I have tears rolling down my face and no longer do I sing along in a snotty falsetto.
And then I could take it no more. I was imbued with intense cabin fever. I had to get out. The next thing I know I am hobbling on crutches down the street in the pouring rain. I knew not where I was heading, I had no money, no mobile and no underpants, but I was free. I was a windswept and rain soaked moron limping off in to the night. After roughly 20 minutes or so, I still hadn’t reached the end of the road I lived on and begrudgingly sat on a neighbours wall. I sat in the rain. And then it went. Poof. Just like that. I actually felt the chemical tomfollery dispel. Just like that. It was weird, like waking up.
Just like that, I was cured. For now. The terrors had left me, and I was just a nobhead sat in the rain. The immediacy of being back to normal surprised me, I have to be honest. I spent a short wet while feeling embarrassment for being such a drama queen freakoid who needed to man-up, but took solace in the fact that many fine people have suffered at the hands of Tramadol. Plus no-one would ever know.
I got up, hobbled home, dressed myself in dry clothes and accompanied my family around to our friend’s house for a Heston Blummental Mince pie and a speciality beer. And that was that. The Diary of a Tramadol come down. What a nobhead.
As I sit here typing this in the cold and stark light of day, there are a roughly 60 Tramadol on the high shelf to my left. I shall keep them there for sometime to come, as a reminder that ‘I made it through the rain’.
I refer you one final time to the opening paragraph.
Come on Barry, sing it. Sing it Barry. Sing it.
©2013 Man in his pyjamas. All rights reserved. www.maninhispyjamas.com