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Bad Drug Combinations

March 22, 2017

There are bad drug combinations. I normally don’t worry about them. I don’t take drugs much. Occasionally, I’ll take a Tylenol or Advil. And I don’t drink alcohol at all, so most of the time I don’t worry about drug combinations.

I’ve now got a drug problem.

Work is stressful. I know that. It’s expected. Everyone has a stressful job and part of being an adult is to be able to work through that stress, or work with that stress. Work got a lot more stressful over the past couple of weeks. In fact, it got stressful enough that it started to affect my quality of life. My anxiety level went up. I started having trouble sleeping, which made my anxiety go even higher. It got bad and didn’t get better.

So, having a good health care provider, I went to my family doctor. . .for stress. (Yeah, I felt like a wuss.)

Rodney, I don’t see you much.

Yeah, the anxiety level has just started getting a little out of control.

Oh, I see that you’re to the age you are recommended for a prostate exam.

That’s not really helping my anxiety level!

Eventually, my doctor perscribed trazadone. A small dose, but it should help me sleep. I hate taking drugs. I don’t take ritalin for my ADHD because I don’t like taking drugs. So, I filled the perscription but then the pills sat on my bathroom counter.

Maybe I don’t need them. Maybe I just need to relax and . . .I’m fine. Why would I be such a wimp? I don’t need the drugs. That was a stupid idea. I’m fine. Or, I will be fine. Or, I want to be fine. . .I’m not fine.

My lovely wife knew I wasn’t fine. She is a light sleeper anyway, and my sleep issues were waking her up. She gently suggested that maybe I should take the doctor’s advice and at least give it a try. Some of our kids take trazadone to help them sleep. (The ones with ADHD, actually.) If they don’t take the meds, it makes a big difference.

Finally, I decided to take her advice. . .and my doctor’s advice. . and really, the advice that I knew all along was correct. I decided to start with a half tablet. I took it and went to bed, trying to console myself that I wasn’t being a wimp.

Drugs work! They work really well. I quickly dropped off to a deep and sound sleep. In fact, it was so deep and so sound that it was really hard for me to wake up when my phone started ringing at 4:55 AM the next morning. I missed the first call and tried to fight my way through the fog that was my brain to call them back. Like a car with a bad clutch, I kept trying to get my brain in gear.

Eventually, I got connected to my Outage bridge conference call and was able to sound semi-intelligent as I directed my team as they worked to resolve a work stoppage issue. Most days, I’m generally at my desk between the hours of 7:00 am and 3:00 pm. I consider my “office hours” to be anytime between 7:00 am and 5:30 pm. But, actually, I’m on call 24×7. The only time I’m “off the clock” is when I’m physically in an area with no cell phone coverage, or I have specifically arranged for someone else to take over. (Something I do only a few times per year.)

I realized that I have a condition that makes drug combinations extremely dangerous. My job. More specifically, my phone doesn’t mix well with drugs that cause drowsiness. It’s funny, in a way. I didn’t want to take the drugs, but now that I can’t take them, I feel even more stressed that I can’t use them.

And I’m right back to heightened anxiety. If I’m gonna be stressed anyway, maybe I should just go ahead and schedule that prostate exam.  

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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