Posted at October 13, 2009
How do you say no to something that does you good? Is anyone strong enough to overcome the dependence for a drug that relieves pain? From the millions of people that suffer each day from pain, I am part of those who had enough and sought treatment. When I heard for the first time of Tramadol, I had recently been to the doctor and he had told me that my bones were starting to lose calcium and that I had osteoporosis. What can I say, he didn’t have much good news to give to me.
I went home, faced my family and told them I was fine, it was just a routine check-up. I did not want to put such a burden on them but I felt the need to talk with someone. I went online and drenched my sorrow in one of the many chat rooms. You would not believe it, but there are actual chat rooms for osteoporosis. People talk about their diagnosis, ongoing treatment and their upsetting symptoms. For me, it has become like a second home, a place where I can talk freely about the constant pain in my neck and search for possible answers. This is the place where I discovered Tramadol and with just a few clicks, I was able to order some as well.
The Tramadol arrived at my house after 2 weeks and I had to tell my husband there were some vitamin supplements the doctor had recommended. Fortunately, he did not ask for more details and he did not pay too much attention when I took them. I hid the pill bottle and started at a dosage of 100 mg/day. The doctor had given me hormonal treatments for my osteoporosis and he had also prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs (with analgesic properties). Still, I did not feel very well taking them as I suffered from gastric acidity and they made me feel really bad. I had to take something for the pain and Tramadol was the best!
Today I take 100 mg. Tomorrow I might raise the dosage up to 150 mg, just to see if the pain disappears faster and the effects last longer. So what if I feel nauseous and agitated? It’s the first time I took such medication. These were the kinds of affirmations I used to fool myself. The truth is that the more side effects that appeared, the more inclined to finding explanations I was. The doctor could not understand why I had lost my appetite, was so weak and complained of constant headaches. He kept on asking if I had taken other medication and I denied taking anything else. Tramadol was a personal decision and I wanted to keep it that way.
In just a few weeks, I had reached a comfortable dosage of 300 mg/day and I have to say that the side-effects grew worse. They were combined with hallucinations and extreme anger, symptoms that disappeared in a moment and were usually replaced with a euphoric mood. My husband was at a total loss as he could not understand my behavior; he called the doctor and he mentioned about the possibility of me taking pills without anyone knowing. I was out for a half an hour and it did not take him longer to find the hidden bottle of Tramadol. When I saw him, I realized the truth. I was an addict, a junkie and I felt incredibly ashamed.
Pale and trembling, my husband asked me why I had not told anyone about the treatment of Tramadol, and particularly the doctor. How many pills do you take? Well, just about 6 a day, maybe 8 when I felt under the weather and the pain was really intense. Are the symptoms he had noticed possible side effects? I nodded. He did not wait for a verbal answer and he called the doctor. He asked him if Tramadol is indeed addictive. The doctor’s response was everything he needed to hear. The next morning we went to the rehabilitation center and I was admitted without any questions asked. I learned to say no and I am happy, taking the treatment that the doctor prescribed along with analgesics that do not harm my stomach or my integrity as a human being.
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