This is all to say: no, I’m not on pain medication. Yes, I’m terribly uncomfortable. No, I’m not uncomfortable enough to jump through hoops and beg for more drugs. (Maybe if I were, things would be different.) And at the times I was most uncomfortable, those were the times when medicine was the least available to me, by design.
We’ve got to get over our weird Puritanical crap about pain and pain medication, and accept the fact that in certain contexts, we need the drugs. And by “we,” I mean myself, the medical system; everybody. We can’t be responsible for the entire opioid epidemic every second of every day. Sometimes we just need to be able to go to sleep.
I’ve learned a lot about this domain in the last 5 years. The backlash against opioids, while understandable given the toll that they’ve taken, has also served to cast an unhelpful shadow over pain meds of any type. For those in chronic pain, carrying the extra weight of that shadow is the last thing they need.