Opioid Induced Fog

“I used to think a drug addict was someone who lived on the far edges of society. Wild-eyed, shaven-headed and living in a filthy squat.
That was until I became one…”
― Cathryn Kemp, Painkiller Addict: From wreckage to redemption – my true story

Yesterday I started a stronger opioid, I know it is one because of the warning on the pill bottle. I have been very reluctant to taking them, it is only because of the bad experience when I was on them before for severe back pain. While on them I wouldn’t remember things about the past day. My friend would find me asleep in the oddest places.

Doctors are not quick to prescribe them these days. Several years ago there were a few doctors who were called on the rug for their over prescribing them without a physical meeting. My doctor has not rushed to them as a first response to help a person with pain. Over the last year he has tried many options to help me with this pain.

I noticed today that I felt I was in a complete fog, an opioid fog. I was listening to the trial of the former police officer who kept his knee on the neck of George Floyd. It is a strange feeling when you listen to something and five minutes later you do not have a clue what was said.

I have been here before. It was this type of thing that I started having my friend sit in with me on any medical appointments. Many times he would have to explain to me the next day what my doctor had said. Because I recognized this opioid fog today I made sure that my friend knew what was happening. It was so he would be prepared if I started asking about different things.

Opioids do a great job of relieving pain, but their side effects can leave you feeling empty with your thoughts banging in your head from side to side. I will describe it this way, you are there in the moment, but your brain isn’t receiving the data.

There is not an automatic refill on these pain killers. I must talk with the doctor before any refills are considered. He may with caution change the medication from time to time to stop any long term addiction.

So, I am wondering are there readers who have a similar experience. How does your pain killers react with your thought process? What has been the worst side affect that you have had while taking a form of an opioid? I would like to hear your experiences!

What A Week!

I have had one crazy week. There has been some good things happen, but there has been some totally frustrating things.

Let’s start with the frustration. Twice this week the power has gone out, once while I was trying to write a post. When the power went out it has done something to my wi-fi and it has been a pain in the butt with trying to stay connected. I am not able to reach my modem to run a hard wire. If I had my ability to move freely it would be no problem. So, I need to find someone who is capable of moving my tv stand and to help me run the wire. Next I have to re-configure my network to recognize it. There have been moments where I just wanted to wipe everything off my small computer stand. UGGGGGGHHH!

The last couple of days though has brought me some good news. I received a letter from Sask Health that I am eligible for the Covid vaccine. I waited all day for a call back and late last night the call came in. I now have a date to get vaccinated. I now need to find a way there that won’t cause me great pain.

The best news came yesterday morning from the Surgery Scheduling Office. It was to watch a video about all the things I need to get done before the surgery. Since I couldn’t go they sent me a link to their video on YouTube. I have everything already done, except for the raised toilet seat. I have all it done because it happened when my back was at it’s worst. So, I feel that I have just made one hurdle. The next hurdle is where I have to go and they take measurements for the hip replacement. There will be other tests that have to be done. Things like my heart, lungs and my circulation due to my history of blood clots.

I also have to have a coach and that will be my best friend. He has to be with me for all the next steps. He now has also watched the video. I am fortunate that I have him to rely on!

So dear reader, I guess all things considered, the good outweighs the bad!

Blogging Helps Keeping My Sanity

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you. Rita Mae Brown
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/sanity-quotes

***Inspired by Ashley of mentalhealthathome.org. Her post, How Do We Communicate? Thank you Ashley!

At this time of my life I really do not have many sources that gives me some space to relate with others. My phone doesn’t ring all that much. If it does it is usually my friend, daughter, aunt, or a spammer.

The weather has turned nice which I was able to open the window and air out my house. It also allowed me to take some deep breaths to refresh my lungs and my being. Before this turn in the weather I was suffering with cabin fever and how I really wanted to go walking through a store to do some shopping.

For my upcoming appointment with the surgeon I had to search out a different form to take me. My friend remembered one such service that offers rides for those who are physically struggling. I will have to use my wheelchair, that rules out for my friend to take me. I doubt very much I could ride in his car for it rides low.

I have been trying my utmost to find ways to keep my brain alert and functional. Reading is my favorite in accomplishing that task. I also do Sudoku once in awhile, and my favorite game on the computer is Mahjong.

Of course there are the times where I can watch some curling or hockey with my best friend. It passes the time and we joke around with each other. He fills me in with news from around the city and things that are happening within my neighborhood.

Then there is my dog, she can do the craziest things which will make me laugh. Once in a while she will hop onto the couch and cuddle next to me. She does this usually as I am reading, which calms me from any anxiety I have at that moment.

By far, the only other outlet I have is right here on WordPress. I enjoy reading all the different posts and about what is happening in other people’s world. I like the communicating back and forth with others. I am not always on WordPress lately, so when I do log in, I truly like how I can escape, even for a few minutes, from my own little space and world. If I find someone new that has visited my blog I always take time to check out their blog. I have found some great gems out there to read and sometimes follow!

So dear reader, in a world where I could lose my sanity thinking about all that I will have to face one thing remains certain, blogging helps keep my sanity!

Book Review – Managing the Depression Puzzle

For the past several days I spent the better part of them reading the book, “Managing the Depression Puzzle” written by Ashley L. Peterson(blog: www.mentalhealthathome.org). On the first night I decided to write a review, this is something I have not done.

***I have not received compensation, or was asked to write an review of this book.***

This book is not a step plan guide where if you follow the steps you will reach complete wellness.

The book is divided into parts:

  1. Part l – Illness Treatment
  2. Part ll – Wellness Promotion
  3. Part lll – Putting The Pieces Together

Ashley presents everything like pieces of a puzzle. Each piece is for the reader to choose. The reader can pick those that fit their plan and leave the other pieces.

Just in case you are not sure what the pieces are, Ashley ends each chapter with: “This Chapter’s Potential Pieces of The Puzzle”. I found this very helpful, it is a way to refer back to at a later time.

I bought the book because I follow her on the “Mental Health @ Home” blog and found on the greater part that I could understand what she was writing about.

The book is written with humanity from the author’s own struggles with mental illness. Ashley writes as somebody who has been on both sides of mental health care desk. It was refreshing to read an author who bares her own struggles about her own battle with mental illness.

The book progresses seamlessly from the various types of mental illness. Such as; “Schizoaffective Disorder” to “Adjustment Disorder”.

The reader is then lead through the many options in treatment. The various medications, what they do and their side effects.

She tackles and busts many myths in this book. One myth that she busts is concerning “Electroconvulsive Therapy”.

She writes;

There’s stigma up the wazoo about electroconvulsive therapy{ECT}, sometimes referred as electroshock or shock therapy. Many people’s familiarity with ECT is what happened to Jack Nicholson’s character in “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest” The reality is much different. It is not barbaric, despite the popular misconception.

Ashley then proceeds by describing how ECT is administered and why it is used. I can honestly say I have a better perception about this procedure.

From there the reader is guided and focused on:

Complimentary & Alternative Therapies

She writes about “Activation”. For this reader it was one paragraph that gave me an understanding what “Activation” is.

Walking probably the easiest form of physical activation, especially if your energy is only slightly above non existent. There’s also lots of research demonstrating its benefits. It’s very adaptable; today you could walk to the nearest intersection and back, and the next week you could work your way up to going around a whole block.

There is so much help and resources packed within this 135 page book that I do not have the space to write.

For this reader “Managing the Depression Puzzle” is a keeper and placed into the “resource” section of my personal library for further reference. It was well worth every dollar it cost to buy.

Thank you Ashley for this wonderful resource and help book!

You can find this book at:

*** I hope I have presented “Managing the Depression Puzzle Correctly” fairly and honestly.***

Update – My Journey to Hip Surgery – 3/16/2021

You may notice that I have not posted many over the past several days.

My hip and the pain have grown worse this past week. It is becoming more difficult to move around the house. With the aid of my cane and walker I hobble about.

Sitting and laying are limited and it is dictated by the pain that I am experiencing.

My best friend acted as an advocate and called the office of the surgeon. He spoke with the receptionist, explained what he has been witnessing concerning me. After speaking with her she booked an appointment for me to see the surgeon once again to assess the condition where he will determine my need for hip surgery. This could result in the change of urgency and placement on the waiting list for the surgery.

I may not be as active on WordPress for the next amount of time. I will write posts and publish them depending on how I am dealing with my pain.

So dear reader and fellow bloggers, I will check in to at least look at my notifications and to read some blogs that I follow. I will keep you updated on the progress I am making.

Mental Illness – Schizophrenia

I am not truly sure where this will go, but I have a reason for writing about Schizophrenia.

I had just been married, April 1983, we were heading to Ontario to my home area. We were going there because there were only three that could attend the wedding in Saskatchewan.

I was young and my knowledge about this mental illness could fill a thimble. Yes, I have seen movies and their portrayal of Schizophrenia.

My family in the east was in a crisis situation concerning an aunt of mine. She was showing symptoms of the mental illness. And they did not know how to deal with her. She was placed in a mental health ward and left there.

We arrived into Ontario and my first stop was at my grandmother’s house where we would stay. They filled me in on her situation. At that time the family had never dealt with anything when it concerned mental illness. They had spoke to the Pastor and he didn’t want to deal with it. {what I am about to write I don’t believe it is true} Some in the congregation thought it was “demons” , that is bull pucky pure and simple.

My aunt somehow found out that I was in the area and it wasn’t long before I would start receiving calls from the mental health ward. So, I would jump into my car and drive to Windsor, Ontario to see her. My first glimpse of her was shocking. Her voice was barely above a whisper and her movements seemed jilted.

I really didn’t know what to say or do, so I just went with my gut feelings. I saw that there was a pool table and there was another girl there sitting off in a corner by herself. I took my aunt over to the pool table and I asked the other girl if she would like to join us. She did just that, and we just would shoot the balls not really playing a game of pool. I began to speak to the other girl and I found out her name. I am not sure how long we spent at the table, but I needed to start heading back. Before I left a nurse took me aside and asked how I was able to get the girl to talk with me. I just told the nurse that I just treated her like a human being. That was my first visit, but it wouldn’t be the last and the phone calls were daily, sometimes several times a day.

So dear reader, I wrote the above incident because I would like to explore schizophrenia, the myths and the facts. Have you ever dealt with it? What are the myths that you have heard?

p.s. – Over the next few weeks I will explore the myths and then discuss the facts.

Surgery Wait Lists In Canada

Source: Waiting Lists Numbers In Canada

Last night I tuned into the local evening news, something I like to do each night.

There was a report about the waiting list numbers across Canada since the outbreak of Covid. To be honest I thought maybe I heard the report incorrectly. I had not, for I went and found the report online at the CTVNews website. That is the reason for the table on the side, it shows the numbers of each province and it totally shocking.

What was really shocking to me was a man that they interviewed. He needs hip surgery and the surgery has been postponed four times. My spirit hit like a thud for I have been waiting for something to be done to my hip for almost six months.

When I saw the orthopedic surgeon after going through an MRI I asked how long will it be to I have the surgery. His response was astounding and also shocking. He said this, “I just work here”! Several days ago I called the Office of Surgery Schedule to see if they could give me an idea of when I might have my surgery. I learned that I am way down on the list due to the fact that they only received the report back in December. So much for a moderate wait.

This is Canada, we are capable of all types of surgery. Before I was born my paternal grandfather had the first ever brain surgery. He survived and his grandchildren watched as he had to go back to school to learn the basics. Learn how to drive a car once more. He passed all that with flying colors. However, his speech never came back fully, he managed to speak enough for people to understand his train of thought. When he couldn’t find the words, he would just swear.

I thought about writing the MLA in charge of managing the Health portfolio. I realized that my time would be better spent doing something else.

So dear reader, I am not sure what the answer truly is. I do no think it would be wise to perform surgeries around the clock, for one thing there would not be sufficient number of support staff. I just wonder if we are that far behind, what are the numbers like in America or even Britain.

Is anyone else experiencing a long wait for surgery because of how Covid has affected the Health systems?

My Mental Health Self Checkup

I thought I would write about what I have found myself doing quite often over the past several months. That being, I have been giving my mental health a self assessment.

Here is the list:

  • Change in appetite – loss or binging
  • Sleeping patterns – too much or not enough
  • Withdrawal from social interactions [at this moment this is very limited]
  • Shutting down my interests – reading, writing, or maybe even my music
  • Change in physical activity

It is a short list, but, my fluctuations in my mood has been like a roller coaster. I have caught myself even thinking that maybe I need to be in a long term care home.

So dear reader, maybe you can find some sort of help from this brief post.

How about you, do you perform a mental health checkup? If you do, what is in your list? How often do you find yourself doing the checkup?

Mental Health and Having A Budget

“Budgeting has only one rule: Do not go over budget.”
― Leslie Tayne, Life & Debt: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Financial Wellness

Several posts ago I wrote, “Mental Health and Finances“, but I have been thinking about mental health and having a budget. I do my level best to stick to a budget. It is what keeps me from going over the edge of complete lunacy.

The biggest thing that has helped me with keeping a budget and keeping track of my finances is, online banking. I can go into my account and see where I stand at any point in any month in my finances.

The other major breakthrough that I learned years ago, it was tough, was distinguishing between needs and wants. I need food, but I want a large screen television.

BTW, I am not a financial advisor, but I thought I would share my insights on the subject.

I recognize and have sympathy for those who are struggling in these very extreme circumstances. So, to you hearing about having a budget is far from your thoughts at this moment.

My Steps

  1. Pay my rent
  2. Pay my prescriptions
  3. Pay my phone/internet/tv provider.
  4. Buy groceries – never go shopping when you’re hungry. It is recommended, not always possible, never take children.

After all those things whatever I have left I try to set aside a small amount of money for incidentals, like milk and bread, that I will need throughout the month. That is basically how I manage from month to month.

For other difficulties that may come I do my best to ask for the privilege of making a couple of payments. It is difficult for many families to even handle a four hundred dollar emergency.

So dear reader, do you have a budget and if so, do you have any insight on how you manage? I would love to hear some of your tips on the subject.