October of 2001 – My eyes slowly opened as I roused from a night of unconscious rest. Once reality hit me so did the agony of a splitting migraine that pounded through my head like a ceaseless jackhammer that wouldn’t shut off. I rarely got headaches but the few times a year I was encountered with one it became instantly unbearable. It was 5:30am and I had to go to work. I crawled out of bed and went into the bathroom cupboard to get some Tylenol. Shaking them out of the bottle I popped three into my mouth and chased them down with a full glass of water. I never was one to take medication unless it was absolutely needed. I barely ever took my Adderall which was prescribed to me for many years. I never wanted to believe that I needed a medication to function throughout the day. Focusing was an obstacle in my life however, I strived immensely to go without the stimulant. Some days were difficult but I managed to get by.
At 6:30am I was walking into work where I was employed as a restaurant manager. I was still in pain and I wasn’t one to call off. The Tylenol I had swallowed an hour before was not serving my throbbing head any justice. I walked into the office and hung up my jacket and purse, then sat down in front of my computer and began working on my food and supply orders for the following week. A few minutes later my fellow employee came into the office to clock in.
“Hey girl what’s wrong with you? You look horrible.” she said, concerned as she was punching the time clock.
“I don’t know Terr – I woke up with this crazy insane headache and for the life of me I can’t get it to subside.” I replied, as I was looking downward, holding my head with both hands as I sat at my desk. I was feeling slightly dizzy by this time, pondering on whether or not going in was a big mistake.
After Terrilyn punched into the time clock she reached into her purse and pulled out a blue prescription bottle. “I have just what you need to clear that migraine right up.” She said with a smile on her face, shaking the pill bottle. She walked over and opened up the bottle, pulling one out and putting it into my hand. “Within an hour you will feel like a brand new woman.” She said.
“Really? What is this?” I asked, concerned about the pill she gave me.
“It’s a prescription strength pain med, they were in my grandmother’s medicine cabinet after she passed last month and she was taking them after she had hip surgery.”
“Oh…okay what are they–” Interrupted by Terrilyn
“They’re called Oxycontin, forty milligrams – just trust me you’ll thank me later.” She said, walking out of my office to service the customers who came in for coffee and breakfast.
“Okay thanks babe.” I said. I was still in pain but at the same time I was apprehensive about taking an unfamiliar medicine that wasn’t prescribed to me. What would it do? How would it affect me? Would it make me feel worse? I questioned myself, contemplating on taking the pill. After fifteen minutes of debating I finally swallowed it, chasing it down with my cinnamon spice flavored coffee.
(To be continued)
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