Recovering Drug Free

Ongoing readers of this blog know that I broke the fibula in my lower right leg on 24 January, and I am recovering in a cast, waiting for it to heal while at home on disability leave from work.

Some people have inquired about how I am doing. I appreciate the inquiries, and caring concern.

I am doing okay. Really. I am finding ways to keep busy, from preparing income tax returns for senior pals (40 out of 50 completed), to getting the Boot Wiki going, to continuing to support my current job, to searching for a new full-time job, doing some consulting which keeps my brain busy with new challenges, and writing a book (I won’t give away the plot just yet).

I don’t like to have to be confined to sitting in a chair all day with my leg propped up, because I cannot walk… yet. I am uncomfortable sitting in an awkward position using a TV tray as my laptop computer’s “work station,” but it works. I have burned up more cell minutes than I want to, and am finding a way to make my regular home phone more accessible, so I can use it as my primary means of communication and avoid cell overage charges.

Most of all, I am not in any pain. I would say that most of what I am feeling is soreness, as the use of crutches and relying on my one good (left) leg and hip just makes me sore. By late in the day, the soreness and confinement both make me a bit grumpy. Some of my family and friends have noticed that when they have spoken with me on the phone, so I have to work on that.

However, soreness isn’t the same thing as chronic pain or bone pain. I have none of that. My leg was painful for the first few days, and last week when I accidentally bumped hard in the bathroom and fell (but didn’t break anything), my left side was painful with a big bruise. But generally speaking, I am not in any pain now that a couple of aspirin can’t handle.

I am glad about that. I like my mind (what’s left of it) to remain clear, and my gate to be as stable as possible as I hobble on crutches to the bathroom and to the kitchen, plus once a day to and from the bedroom. Narcotics have a funny way of messing with your head, as well as with your physical strength.

The doc gave me a prescription for enough narcotics to take 4x/day for a month. I really wondered why. That’s an awful lot of pain pills. Everything I can find on the internet says that the pain that occurs with the type of break that I had lasts for perhaps as much as one week, unless you have to have surgery, which fortunately, was not required in my situation. I am fortunate that my pain didn’t last but a few days.

Unlike prescription antibiotics, which are to be used as prescribed until gone, with prescription narcotics, you should take them only when you really need to do so. And I really don’t.

I searched on the internet, and respected government agency websites specifically say that the type of drug that I was prescribed should not be flushed down the toilet. It is a very popular drug with abusers, so it shouldn’t be discarded in the trash, either — though some sites say that if you mix it with kitty litter or coffee grounds, that might be an option. Well, not having a kitty nor being a coffee drinker, that is not an option for me.

I called my local health department, and couldn’t find anyone who could tell me what to do. I decided, then, to call my tenant who is a police officer, and ask him. He said that when they seize drugs from nefarious people, they enter the drugs into evidence. Since I am not a drug-dealer and have these drugs legally, he said would ask for me. He called back later and said that our county has a program where drugs could be returned to a pharmacy and they would dispose of them properly. So that’s what I will do.

I will remain, “drug free.”

Life is short: be drug free and live it as fully as you can.