Oxycodone: The cost of pain relief

I’ve been taking Oxycodone (Percocet) for several weeks now to treat pain. It is the only self-administered drug that provides any relief from the pain I am suffering. Like any drug, particularly narcotic drugs, there are side effects, as indicated by the photo. I am certainly experiencing some of them. There seems to be another effect on me, though.

Oxycodone, like many narcotics, can cause drowsiness. In my case, it does occasionally cause drowsiness. Unfortunately, it interferes with my ability to sleep. Over the last week or so, my sleep pattern has been to stay awake all night until physical exhaustion forces my body to shut down and sleep for a few hours. The following night I am able to fall asleep. The next night is another all-nighter to exhaustion.

Last night was one of the all-nighters, so I should be sleeping now. It isn’t working tonight, though. It’s now after midnight, and I am still wide awake. I’m going to call it a night now, though, and maybe I can get a few hours sleep.

Sleep Deprived

It’s a little after three in the morning. Once again, I can’t sleep. I’ve tried for the last few hours; I can’t do it; I’m not going to fight it.

Since I’m unable to sleep, I decided I would try to write. Its been nearly two weeks since I wrote anything. As long as my sleep deprived mind cooperates and I can continue to think somewhat coherently, I’ll give it my best  shot. If you look at the graphic, you’ll see that two of the effects of sleep deprivation are cognitive impairment and memory lapses or loss. In my case, the experts got it right this time. I am suffering from both.

I haven’t written in a while because I am having some health problems. The sleep deprivation, though potentially serious, is actually only a minor problem for me now. I hope to start writing about the health problems later on. This morning is not a good time for it, though.

This is not the first time I’ve had problems sleeping. For years now, it has been rare for me to sleep through an entire night. Usually, I would sleep a few hours, wake up for a bit, then sleep a few more hours. Sometimes, I would wake up more than once. Despite the pattern of broken sleep, I managed every day pretty much as if I’d had a good nights sleep the night before. Most of the time, it just wasn’t a big deal.

The biggest difference now is that I’m having trouble going to sleep at all. Since this has been going on for about a week now, I’ve already gone a couple of days with just sporadic naps as my only sleep. When I was a young man, I could occasionally get by like this. Now that I am older, it just doesn’t work. I need sleep. I may not need a lot, but I need more than I am presently getting.

I’m surprised. When I started writing this, I doubted I would finish it. I didn’t think my mind would function long enough to finish. I hate that I don’t have a smooth transition and a nice little wrap up to finish with, but when you haven’t slept and your brain decides to stop, it’s time to finish.

Image by Mikael Häggström via Wikimedia Commons