Friday, January 10, 2014

House & Home

Some time ago I wrote about pain and its a subject I've been thinking about for a while...mostly because I've got into watching old box sets of House (I never saw it on TV first time round and the BIL has been buying them for me for Christmas and Birthdays!)...and partly because of my surgery. The latest lot of surgery was not exactly because my fusion has failed, or because my curve was getting worse (which was always a consideration since they fused less of my spine than they originally intended), but for some other complex reasons, one of which was pain.
It goes without saying that I have taken quite a lot of painkillers over the past few years, but nowhere near the number that Gregory House does. The TV programme makes great play of his addiction to Vicodin and I wondered just how much he is addicted, or in fact, how anyone who takes lots of painkillers every week may or may not be addicted. For myself, I watch House tipping up the bottle and shovelling pain pills down his neck and it really does make me think. I know its just a TV show, but, ever aware of how addictive the painkillers I take can be, I try and fool my body into not letting it know where the next dose is coming from. I take two now, one later, eight today, three tomorrow - I take enough to take the edge off the pain so I can function, but I don't look for my pain relief to kill my pain. I think the term painkillers is poor - it leads people to expect a 'cure', some kind of magic that will make it all OK. The thing is, I'm not sure that House knows this...is he looking for his pain to go away or just to reduce it to a dull background roar? Is he really addicted to the painkillers, in the way that they can give you a buzz, a high...or is he just addicted to not having his leg hurt, even if just for a short while?
Whichever it is, I find the whole character fascinating and Hugh Laurie's portrayal of him excellent. I know I identify with him on some level and that in itself is added interest. Of course, none of this really answers any of the questions I've been wondering about, but I am sure there are as many ways of coping with chronic pain as there are chronic pain sufferers and being grumpy and swallowing vicodin by the handful is just one of them....

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