A surgeon who had a hip operation four weeks ago was walking briskly towards me. He had a smile on his face. “How did it go?” I asked.
“The surgery was fine but when I tried to stop the ‘Percs’ (Percocet) I was not able to sleep, began to have the shakes and was awake for up to five o’clock in the morning, reading and watching Television. The temptation was almost overwhelming to take just one more Percocet to stop the shakes and aches in my muscles and get some asleep.”
After discussing how difficult it can be, he carried on stating:
“Luckily for me I did not have to work the following day. How could a professional or anyone work the next day if they had spent the night shaking and without sleep. I was prescribed them and have prescribed them but I never had prescribed an exit plan, a plan to conquer the withdrawal symptoms.”
This was an important point which I knew I would immediately need to write about, we often follow the patient towards the quick cure without thinking about the impact of medications or treatments prescribed, and how to avoid dependency on them.
“The monographs, the surgeon continued, “states that Percocet can produce drug dependence of the morphine type and therefore, has the potential of being abused. I did not abuse them and I only took them only when I had pain.
“Now I know why Percocet is called “White Collar Heroin.” But it is also a dog collar which leashes one to a crave that is almost impossible to break free. I was lucky to break free.”
I checked the monograph on Percocet in the CPS pharmacy. Yes, it uses the verb Can- “can produce drug dependence.” We know that 10% of users will struggle to avoid dependence.
Do you have an escape plan? Some don’t and are collared.
Striving for aequanimitas,
John Mary Meagher
- Your Theory of Error Matters
- Meditate on death to live more fully.
- Tolstoy’s Ivan Illyich asks, “how have I lived?” A Cautionary Tale.
- Ivan Illyich’s Doctors treat his disease but neglect him.
- The Elephant in the Dark House
- “Needless” Mr. Lemond’s reflection on end of life gasping for breath.
- We see what we expect to see.
- The ageless conquest of oneself
- The Inner Game of Golf- of Medicine
- What advice would you give to a medical student?
- “That was a curious incident – the corneal abrasion did not pain.
- Poems to jolt when humanity has flat-lined in the hosptial
- Heard at a Journal Club On “the Difficult Encounter”
- Brochure for upcoming CME event: Staying Tuned La Malbaie, May 8th, 2016
- Staying Tuned CME May 8th at La Malbaie QC
- Percocet (oxycodone): This White Collar Heroin is a dog collar. Who will escape?
- Is Cynicism pernicious to your health?
- Should the privileged get privileged care?
- Antoine Saint de Exupery (or The Carpenter and his Block of Wood)
- Heartsink is a better term than Difficult Patient?
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