It's a good job I've spent the past 5 days in Oxycontin withdrawal as it's kept me too busy rocking in a ball whimpering pathetically to focus much on the new ConDem government policy of 'dis a disabled'. Bit like 'hug a hoody' only more likely to end in borrowing the money for a one way trip to Dignitas. Actually, maybe we cripples need to take heed of the media and form that all powerful disability lobby they keep banging on about, we could have assistance dogs instead of pit bulls and use sugru to make accessible knife waving technology. Having seen the poor success rate of the deaf mugger I've rejected street crime as an option, but I'm not ruling out becoming a master criminal if I get kicked off benefits. I'm not sure which is more attractive, prostitution or drug dealing? There's enough of us to form a decent cartel, though we might find hiding amongst the local population a tad difficult as so few places have accessible toilets.
After dithering about the best way to carry on with withdrawing I decided to go for the tried and tested 'fuck it' approach and simply didn't bother taking another Oxycontin. That means, I've been Oxycontin free for um, 108 hours and counting. Thursday was grim, so much so I've forgotten all of it, which is probably for the best. Friday I dragged myself to physio to be greeted by the lovely J exclaiming 'oh my god, what's happened' which seemed a fair enough statement under the circumstances. I wasn't sure I should even attempt to go, but I'm very glad I did as J worked some magical physiotherapy wizardry on my back and shoulders, without which I doubt I'd have made it through the day. Thank goodness for DLA covering these additional expenses as without that treatment I may well have ended up in A&E and had to be admitted to hospital over the weekend, which would be vastly more expensive than the £47.80 a week paid to me in the form of Middle Rate Care component*. Saturday was a bit easier and I was able to let the sun burn into my back and carry on the good work started by J, then yesterday passed by in a blur of not actually being able to focus or settle on anything.
Stupid jokes aside, coming off Oxycontin has been pretty much the most challenging, arduous and painful thing I've ever had to do, and I'm only having to deal with the physiological aspects of dependance. Giving up smoking was a luxury holiday in comparison to coming off Oxycodone. Opiate withdrawal messes with your emotions, your sex drive, your physical condition and that's not even touching upon the Trainspotting style incidents of vomiting so much you long to fall down the toilet into oblivion, or hallucinated babies crawling across the ceiling. I'm proud to report I didn't hallucinate any babies but there were a fair few other moments even the worst acid trip couldn't acheive. I can't imagine how it's possible to successfully come off opiate drugs with a mental addictive component in addition to the physical symptoms but I can say that until we have a radical rethink of how we deal with addiction in Western society the problem will only get worse. The only thing that seems to help is to be in control of one's own rate of withdrawal, which is perhaps why the pilot studies looking at withdrawal success when addicts are initially given unlimited access to heroin have been so successful.
It's off to Leeds later today for the MRI of my hips, pelvis and spine. Fortunately GangstaGuy is able to drive me, otherwise I'd probably have had to cancel the appointment. It will be good to finally find out what the congenital deformities in my hips and pelvis might be, but after a worrying email over the weekend from another bendy patient advising me that Professor Bird's retirement has been brought forward to July**, I'm just hoping there will still be someone with the relevant expertise to read it. Oh, and that I can keep still long enough to actually have the scan!
*For anyone who's interested, one 30 minute physiotherapy session costs me £30. This particular kind of physiotherapy is not available on the NHS.
** I don't have any details to confirm or deny this other than an email informing me Professor Bird's secretary has had to phone people to tell them they will no longer be seen as his retirement has been brought forward.