The Opioid Crisis, Solved

Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. (Zabriskie is why it's a National Park.)
Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. (Zabriskie is why it’s a National Park.)

My week to rant, obviously.

Ah, the Sturm und Drang about opioids. All the finger pointing. All the acrimony! It’s the Doctors! It’s Big Pharma! Yeah, I suppose everything has something to add to the mix, but the underlying reason is more simple, and more personal. A lot of people are hopeless wimps!!!! On Monday I had a cyst excised from my back. Absent the Latin, that means that a surgeon cut it out with a sharp knife and stitched up the edges. It didn’t start hurting until about 3am  the next morning. I got up, took some aspirin, went back to sleep. After lunch yesterday it started hurting again. By evening I took some more aspirin. Then I took another dose of aspirin when I went to bed. I couldn’t lie on my back because of the sore spot. This morning, I woke up lying on my back! Whattya know? Pain gone. I’m told that later today I can take off the bandage and take a shower. Looking forward to that, I can tell you. The surgeon did prescribe a painkiller. Generic Percocet, a dreaded opioid, which, you’ll notice, I have not used.

Here’s the thing: it didn’t hurt all that badly in the first place! I mean, yeah, I had a sore spot in the middle of my back. I had to be careful leaning back in a chair, and I couldn’t sleep on my back for a night and a half. Woe is me! But, on a scale of 0 to 10 (which is how they rate pain in recovery rooms,) 0 is no pain at all, and 10, to me, is passing a kidney stone. I’d take Percocet, or anything offered, if I were passing a kidney stone (one was enough, believe me.) But, this sore spot on my back, at its worst, got up to maybe a 3. Mostly it was 1.5 to 2.0. For that, aspirin, if anything.* That being the case, I am forced to conclude that a lot of people either feel a lot more pain than I do, or that, as I wrote above, they are hopeless wimps!

Seriously, you need opium for a sore spot on your back? Ask yourself, does the pain prevent you from doing your job? Is it closer to, say, four broken ribs, or a mosquito bite? Sure, Pharma makes the stuff, and doctors prescribe it, but hopeless wimps take it for pain that doesn’t need it! Holy cats, folks, that’s the answer! Want to solve the opioid crisis? Don’t take the stuff!**

Steve’s Live From Las Vegas: the world’s problems solvled in a few easy to read paragraphs!***


* Aspirin gets a bad reputation, but it’s a lot safer than any other painkiller. It may give  you an ulcer, and if you eat eighty regular pills, it might kill you. Tylenol will kill you with as few as 10 pills. Opium messes you up completely. Ibuprofen can hurt your heart, Meloxicam eats your stomach wholesale. Aspirin also works against fevers and body aches. It’s never bothered my stomach.

** Don’t comment! Don’t write! I know, some pain needs opium to be survivable. I’d take anything to make the pain of passing a kidney stone go away. But opium for a sore spot on your back? Really?

*** Since you believe this, contact me for information about a bridge I have for sale!