So. Degenerative joint disease, did you know pretty much everybody will wind up with it eventually, unless you die first, which seems like a sort of extreme kind of plan. Trend setters and pace makers such as I just got a head start on the rest of you by coming down with it sooner. I first noticed this burning ache between my shoulder blades when I was a teenager, brought on by my scoliosis. The scoliosis caused the joint between my shoulder blade and backbone to not work right and instead of the two plates of bone sliding over each other, they scraped away instead. Yeah, it is just exactly as pleasant as it sounds.
Anyway late in 2010, I finally harangued my doctor into doing something about it; his plan turned out to be turning me over to a pain specialist who prescribed daily pain medicine for me. It helped immensely and I am grateful for it. He was also the doctor who first gave me this look I came to recognize as "no idiot, of course not" when I asked if they couldn't just cut out the rib and the joint that were causing so much trouble.
Thirteen years of various pain meds have come and gone, we've had some laughs, some ups and downs, but then Thursday morning it all came tumbling down. There's a small pharmacy on the ground floor of my building that I've been using because I think it's important to support small businesses. What a schmuck I am. I showed up there Thursday morning to pick up my regular prescription, only to find out they had changed their hours and were now closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That was not part of my plan since I had used up the last of the medicine the night before.
I sort of white knuckled it through until Friday when I went down there and lo, the pharmacist had gone home early. They are closed on weekends. That meant no pain meds for you, mrpeenee.
Today is Monday, a day I was not sure I was going to see. Withdrawal symptoms include, but are not limited to, fevers and chills, gastro distress, body aches, and the hilariously so-called heebiejeebies which refer to seriously uncomfortable sensations in your joints and extremities. I've been busily working my way through the whole delightful list with the addition lately of an increased sense of smell. I have fucking bionic scent; a small problem is that everything smells bad.
The only thing I have missed out on is an increase in pain. Why is that? Because the medicine I've been taking appears to have made absolutely no difference in my pain level. The ache up inside my back feels no different today than it has for years. I have to assume the dopamine receptors in my brain that opioids work on have been so fried out after all this time that the medicine has been doing nothing except keeping me from going into withdrawal. Hilarious.
So since it's not working and since I have now pretty much suffered through the worst of the withdrawal, I'm just going to stay off of any more pain meds. Maybe. I hate making pronouncements like that since much like saying you're going on a diet is so embarrassing when you fall off a week later, I'm not sure what the future will hold. But it seems like it would just make my life simpler if my back is going to hurt either way to not have to support big Pharma.
In short, don't do drugs kids, but if you do do drugs, don't stop.
I was going to present a sample of mens with really fine backs, but I am not up to that level of research. You'll just have to make do with these guys: