I really enjoyed watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on a wet November afternoon curled up on the settee with my legs intricately crossed. I didn't move for over two hours. I sensed these pins and needles in my right leg but felt so cosy I stayed put. I do wish I hadn't. By dinner time I was in searing pain from my right buttock to my ankle. Pain so bad I screamed out loud. I couldn't sit, stand, lie down. Never mind - I have paracetamol and I have the worst ever pain I have experienced but paracetamol will sort it. No they won't.
Day two and Morty more or less carries me to the GP. Yes, you've trapped a nerve, the sciatic nerve, so take these pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs and rest. A tub of sixteen paracetamol last a year in this house. My past history of prescriptive drugs have been my HRT patches and the very occasional anti-biotic for a gum infection. But the searing, chronic pain is barely touched by these drugs so I am carried back to the GP and he prescribes stronger pain killers. He tells me they are opiates and I can take the full 400gm dosage alongside eight paracetamol a day. This is nineteen pills a day. Nineteen pills a day including Class B opiates for a person who looks at half a paracetamol and thinks that'll do.
I feel very ill. Still have severe leg pain and any sleep I get is lying on the floor on my stomach for the odd hour or so as the drugs kick in. I research the side effects of my pain killers. The list is endless and I seem to have every single one of them. Body rash, profuse sweating, itching, acute nausea, diarrhoea, out of body, dizzy, so very tired, can't eat, can't get in the bath, can't even sit on the lavvy, can't string a sentence together.
Day six and I stay in bed as I am so doped up I really don't care anymore. The pain is still extreme and I sleep in snatches. I need all these pills every four hours for some sort of pain relief. I phone the doctor and tell him how ill I am but only sleeping in brief interludes. He gives me slow release pain killers to add to the list and take at night. Lovely. At the end of week two I am existing on tea, water and dry biscuits and still have this excruciating pain. My leg is numb from the knee to the ankle. Heaving every half hour or so. Carried to the surgery again. Surely by now the doctor can see I am not quite the woman I was nearly three weeks ago. He prescribes a different Class B Opiate pain killer plus anti-sickness tablets. That night I lay in bed dry retching for seven hours. That ill that if I had been sick I wouldn't have moved anyway - I'd have lain there in it. My limbs are leaden, my heart is racing out of my body as if it is bursting to get out. I am scared.
I am now on twenty two tablets a day. I decide to ditch all his prescriptive pain killers and go back to paracetamol alone. I begin to feel human again. I can get out of bed. My leg hurts but by comparison it's a dull nagging pain. I have hope. All the good advice I get to see a Chiropractor, Osteopath, Reiki are well meant but I couldn't allow anyone within a foot of my burning, throbbing, pulsating with pain leg.
I research forums on the InterWeb and to my alarm there are hundreds of them with people offering to buy my Class B Opiates for pleasure. Describing the fun they get from any one of my three prescriptive drugs combined with alcohol and a smoke making for a good night out. I could sell them all and make enough money for a good Christmas. I also find genuine pain management forums with people who are addicted to these pain killers and have resorted to ordering them online as their doctors won't continue prescribing them as their original pain has gone but they need them just to function. Just to get through their day.
It's a month since I watched Benjamin Button. A month of misery. The after effects of these drugs are still with me but hopefully fading away. I think I'm back in control of my body and seeing an Osteopath but ready to try any alternative treatment as long as it doesn't involve drugs.
I don't like my doctor.