Pain killers are great and pain killers are a burden.
Pain killers are great at taking terrible ten out of ten pain and turning it into a tolerable pain or no pain -- and, if anything, pain killers let you forget it ever happened.
But when you stop taking them, at least for me, I take a ride through a series of steps in withdraw. For the first time, with a clear mind, I'm able to face the reality of my situation. It hits you all at once: eighteen months have rushed you by with four surgeries and, guess what?
It ain't fixed and your prognosis ain't good.
When I saw a picture of what's left of my cartilage -- a tiny island in the middle of barren, unhealthy, incongruent bone -- it was my first opportunity to see my enemy face to face. And I saw it winning; dominating.
This is the first step in withdraw for me -- I'm finally able to assess my situation with emotion. And, holy crap, there are a ton of emotions that I run through.
While all that's happening, you get to hang out with some other pretty awesome withdraw symptoms.
Night sweats with chills (quite the paradoxical experience). No energy. That constipation problem you had? Imagine that problem as one end of the spectrum, and, after you stop taking the drugs, you're tossed on the opposite end of that glorious spectrum -- arguably the worse end.
No, it cannot be argued. It is manifestly worse.
There are a few methods to cope with withdraw. The best one?
Above is a picture of the top part of the exfix. This is an area that we're concerned about because it looks slightly inflamed. We tried to push down on it to see if we could get any fluid to come out of the pin site holes, but no toothpaste came out.