I have torn my labrum, along with a slight tear in my rotator cuff, in my left shoulder. I have no idea when it happened, as I exercise regularly and do a lot of heavy lifting on my own. It let me know last Tuesday night at 2:30am that something BAD had happened in my left shoulder. I woke up with excruciating pain, and I could not raise my left arm above waist level. Having had two rotator cuff operations on the right shoulder, I knew from the pain, it was something bad. I also knew that I was heading into dangerous territory.
It was the first two back to back shoulder surgeries that led to my addiction to opiates. The first surgery was not done right, after, I was still in immense pain every time I moved my right arm. Physical therapy put me in agony. Each time I went back to the surgeon, he wrote me another prescription for Vicodin. I was taking them daily for close to two years before I had the corrective surgery. The next surgeon was equally as giving with the pain medication. This was 10 years ago , prior to the opiate epidemic we are facing today, but it was enough to get me hooked. There was nothing more relaxing than a pill and a bottle of wine. This combination numbed the world away, brought it all to a manageable blur.
The morning following the sleepless night of pain, my husband, the retired doctor, and I went to the E.R. Ex-rays were taken, pain pills were given, along with a prescription for 24 additional, and we were off to the orthopedic doctor who had fixed my right shoulder. He gave me a steroid shot, and set up the MRI, which gave me the results of the tear.
This all did my head in. I was closing in on six months of sobriety from the opiates, and here they are front and center in my life again. Part of my long term recovery plan for the last 3 1/2 years since I quit alcohol, was running and exercise. Now I was sidelined with one of my worst enemies sitting in a little yellow bottle on my night table.
I know my limitations, and I desperately do not want to go down this ugly road again, so I handed the bottle to my husband, the retired doctor, and asked him to manage them for me. To only give me one at the end of the day if I asked.
On day three, when I returned from an AA meeting, I asked husband for a pill. I had worked all day using the arm, which of course one uses their arm, it is an ARM. I was in pain. Husband had been drinking, and when I asked for a pill, he came out and HANDED ME THE WHOLE BOTTLE!! His comment was, here, you manage this.
It felt like someone had gut punched me. I was devastatingly hurt, as well as completely flabbergasted that he could be so cavalier, unsympathetic and show no empathy. I felt like I was living with a stranger.
He has been with me through this struggle for the last 4 years. He knows I have stolen his pills whenever they have been around. He knows I have gone to Maine, to help my father, and have stolen all of his left over pain medicine. He knows I am an addict, yet here he was, handing me my drug. I just couldn’t understand in, nor believe it.
I called my girlfriend and asked her if I could drop the bottle off with her. She was leaving for the weekend, so I kept 3 for the days she would be gone, and I got them out of my house.
When I handed them to her, I told her I would not need them again. I had given myself the deadline of Monday to figure out how to deal with the pain without taking the pills. I did end up needing the three I had set aside, but it has been Tylenol since Monday.
I am still gutted by my husband, the doctor’s, actions. I am so angry, and hurt, I have yet to address it with him. I don’t understand how he doesn’t understand.