The Day I Discovered I Was Addicted To Opiates




Part 2

On Monday I got a text to say meds were in. Brilliant, finally Tramadol. She hands them over and I say don’t I need to sign for these? No, she says. So I looked in the bag and sure enough, other meds in there but no Tramadol. I said there’s no Tramadol? No there isn’t, she said. Well there should be, I said. No, that’s all there is, she said.

She calls pharmacist (?) over and the woman said your prescription expired on 3 April. What? But when I came a few weeks ago after you sent me a text I was told there was nothing here? She repeated it again – it expired on 3 April. I said why are you not ordering Tramadol when they’re all on the repeat prescription? I need them! I’m in extreme pain!





“You have to order them”, she said. Sorry? What? “We don’t order prescriptions monthly”.

“What? You told me you order them monthly, you request the script from my doctor, not the other way around? I’ve had a brain injury and get confused, you have this on your notes! You’re supposed to text me every four weeks and then I collect but this hasn’t been happening. Why aren’t you re-ordering the Tramadol? I don’t understand?!”

My head hurt starts hurting even more and my hands are both sides of it rubbing, like, well have you ever seen anyone have a meltdown? Like that. Every time I go in they tell me something different. Now they’re standing there with “computer says no” face on. Muttering to each other and staring at me. Its hard for me to describe to you how much confusion and frustration really affects me – my mind goes blank for a start. All I want is my prescribed meds and not to be stood in Boots begging for them in the middle of a global pandemic.

It starts again.

“Your doctor hasn’t sent it”
“No, YOU order it from him! You told me you request it every 4 weeks and then text me. I cannot cope with this, I’m in too much pain!”

I can’t remember the rest but I do remember listing the times I’ve been in and out and ended with “a sorry would be nice!”

Its at this point the sales assistant says “I’m not being spoken to like this! You’re speaking to me abusively!” In a MUCH louder voice than I had.

“I’m abusing YOU?! Are you joking?!”

“Yes, YOU’RE BEING ABUSIVE!”

Abusive. I’m having a meltdown because I’m mentally ill and unable to cope. I’m rubbing my temples and crying now. (I said to Sophie when I got home, bloody hell, if she thinks that was abusive – that was just a warm up!) I try and remember how many Tramadol I have left at home. 4? Do I have any in my dog walking bag?

Then a bloke appears from the back because of the sales assistant giving her YOU’RE ABUSIVE speech. The pharmacist tells the assistant to call my doctor and the bloke asks me to take a seat. So I did. And wept.

And that, THAT was the moment I knew I was seriously addicted. Ibuprofen aren’t going to cut it. I need those opiates. I’ve never cried in a shop before. State of me. The absolute shame.

Few years back I decided not to take them. All I ever heard/read is how addictive they are. And its not mentally, its physically. I lasted 10 hours before giving in and taking some. The pain was like nothing I can even put into words. If you’ve watched Trainspotting and seen someone go through cold turkey, it was just like that. Incredible pain.

The man comes out and says you need to ring your doctor. At this point I’m weak and worn out. Go out to car and ring.

“Hello **** health surgery, Dawn speeeeeaking” in her singsong voice. Dawn, I say, can you help, I don’t know what’s going on, I just want my Tramadol prescription. And then the same old “Boots have it, we don’t have it” and oh my god why ME?!

Eventually she says she’s going to leave a note for the prescription clerk and to ring after 2pm the next day if I haven’t heard anything.

I drive home feeling deflated. Invisible disabilities. Learning disabilities. Brain damage. It makes everything harder. I get that its hard to understand but its also hard for me to describe my difficulties.

A huge search at home turned up half a strip that had fallen down the back of my bedside cabinet and a strip of 6 in my dog walking bag. I often set off on a walk to the woods without a single thought about how far and how long and then have difficulty walking home, so take them with me.

Tuesday at 2.30pm I’ve had no phone call. I ring the surgery. “Oh there’s nothing on your file, no notes” FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK.

“I spoke to Dawn last night, she said she would pass a message to the prescription clerk”

“Oh let me have a look. Oh yes, its been sent to Boots”

Give me all the strength you have.

I do wonder if my bell ringing twice a few weeks ago was the reason she came back and said she didn’t have them then. What happened to that expired script?

Its now Friday morning and I really don’t want to go in there again. Which will be the very last time. Stressed thinking about it. But I have to, only 4 left. Please let them be there, please?! I really don’t want to write a Part 3. Pray for me?! Thank you!

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