Self-Portraits with Objects (VI)

I know the burden’s heavy
As you wheel it through the night
Some people say it’s empty
But that don’t mean it’s light1


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  1. Leonard Cohen, “A Street.” From Popular Problems.

Drugs (A List of Seven)

Before even having a complete diagnosis, I have accumulated a small pharmacopeia, mostly analgesic.

  1. Ibuprofen: When I first developed pain in my back, I took a fair amount of ibuprofen, which worked pretty well. Sometimes I would switch to acetaminophen for a few days to give my stomach lining a rest.
  2. Cyclobenzaprine: A muscle relaxant. Worked fairly well for a couple of weeks in combination with a shot of
  3. Prednisone: The most common steroid. Can be taken by injection or orally. I was given an injection.
  4. Percocet: When my back pain threatened to become disabling my doctor prescribed percocet, a combination of 5 mg of oxycodone & 325 mg of acetaminophen. He ordered an MRI and by the time the fracture in my vertebrae was found–caused by “something” pushing on it–the prescription had run out. Because oxycodone is highly addictive, I was switched to
  5. Gabapentin: Nobody know how this works, but it is used primarily as an anticonvulsant, but also for pain that originates in nerve tissue. It didn’t work for me & it made me nauseated. I’m no longer taking it, having gone back to percocet, which can also make me want to throw up, which is why I’m also now taking
  6. Ondansetron: An anti-nausea drug I haven’t looked up on the Mayo Clinic website, my usual practice. At least two of the drugs above can cause constipation, so I’m also taking
  7. Docusate Sodium: A stool softener.

That’s my autobiography as of the beginning of May, or the physical strand of it anyway.