Fun With Pharmaceuticals

I started going through drug withdrawal yesterday. Don’t panic. It’s not what it sounds like, although it certainly feels like it. I am not coming off of heroin in a jail cell. I didn’t get dragged to rehab after an intervention of family and friends because I’ve been indulging in the Walter White special. I’m don’t snort coke. I don’t even drink Coke. No, this was withdrawal from a legally prescribed and cautiously consumed pharmaceutical.

To be sure, I have had plenty of experience with Big Pharma. I almost feel like we’re BFFs, me and Big Pharma, as we walk hand-in-hand into our local pharmacy to pick up yet another pill or capsule that will supposedly help me feel less pain. Very few of them are lacking in side effects. Even fewer of them actually work for me. But I’ve never had withdrawal symptoms like this. Not ever.

Yesterday was my first day cutting back on my dosage of this little capsule. I was happy about this. I wanted to get off this drug so another pill, hopefully kinder and more helpful, could take its place. So I was at school, minding my own less pharmaceutical-filled business, when the head that normally clouds my life with headache pain started hammering down rain. I mean the thing was freaking pounding. Then my stomach started to feel uneasy, then queasy, then full-on nauseated. At lunchtime I made the mistake that is the bane of modern existence: I Googled it. I typed in what withdrawal from this drug is like. And yup, it’s severe. Yes, my symptoms were right on track. Of course, this would take days or weeks to resolve.

After school I had a routine appointment with my primary care doctor, not the physician prescribing this stuff. Lucky him because by the time he walked into the exam room, I was about to hurl and had started to have a panic attack. The poor man listened patiently to my woes and told me that I should contact the person doing the prescribing because I would have to go off this drug much more slowly. Way, way more slowly.

So I guess my withdrawal will take some time. I guess I get to spread out these symptoms over a longer period, only now I want to get it over with. I want to move on from this stuff. Patience is apparently only one of my superpowers at school. But I’ll live with it. I’ll be okay. If not, I’m hoping the Betty Ford Clinic has a wing for people like me because yesterday was BAD.



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