Very rough week my friends – my buddy is gone. My Chihuahua Boom Boom has crossed the rainbow bridge after his wounds, woes, and ailments accumulated to a point where his quality of life was really compromised. Words fail. I literally believe I could write a book about his life. For a creature who never spoke a word, he said a lot. He was really over the top about getting himself taken care of, and he was very good at it. There was a wisdom to it all and the more I sit with it, the more it amazes me. I guess no one would read that book, and I know I am unlikely to ever write it, but it is in there somewhere. With the connection I had with that pup, I think I have been able to put his logic in an order that might illuminate one of the most active, deliberative minds I have seen. I still feel like he is with me and I think I am unlikely to ever have that pass fully. In the above photo, the odd placement of his right rear leg betrays his condition somewhat. His back legs barely held him up and his gait was loose and indirect. He had a crushed vertebrae and it greatly impacted him. He was basically not eating, and this made giving him medication very very difficult. His ability to live as he organically was had come to an end. I debated trying to find a way to keep him comfortable to keep him alive longer, but in the end I felt that was just to make me feel better, and I wouldn’t do it. Very rough stuff. My younger dog will eventually get a new sibling, but there is no way to replace the singularity that was Boom Boom. Having a dog for a best friend is something I think I am supposed to feel bad about, but I don’t. In fact, to build such a bond without words seems to me to be the stuff of an even deeper bond, but how could I know and how could I make anyone else understand? I can’t. If I find a way to, I might try. Until such time, I can’t imagine him ever being far from my mind or heart. I hope it is so.
My mind was elsewhere a good chunk of the week, but if you think about it, end-of-life care for a dog puts some high definition focus on the issues with which I wrestle constantly anyway. I found myself mindful of the fine points of what quality of life is in recent days. Immersion in that – and putting my sort of general ideas to the test – doesn’t put me on a different course. There are things we are told and things we are taught and there are the things we actually know – the things which live in us when the things we are taught and told are stripped away. The events of this week sent me pretty deep into my soul and when I got in there, I didn’t find anything new. I found the things I already believed to be true – and I found their tolerances surprisingly tight. I know what I know. Naturally this is both liberating and burdensome. We only have our own experiences, and you carry them with you everywhere you go no matter their weight. To carry that weight is burdensome, but I can’t say I envy those whose packs seem light. I don’t see those unburdened in this way to be free.
I think we instinctively sense when someone is speaking from what they actually know versus a synthesis of what they have been told and taught. In reading news from the “front” in the opiate “crisis”, I feel we are being sold a bill of goods – lies, exaggerations, distortions, shaded narratives, and disguised motives. We are being sold excesses. We are being sold indifference to the suffering of others. My heart tells me that this isn’t genuine. The war on drugs isn’t genuine. The war on opiates isn’t genuine. It is a means to other ends. Dishonest ends. I am yet to see an endeavor to control the lives of others that wasn’t also dishonest, and this is no different. That power of this kind can be concentrated on such a personal matter at all is a part of a wider problem in our society – a wider tension long unresolved. The individual is supposed to enjoy control over their own body – to have the right to act in their own interest as they see fit; and yet, we are so devolved in our thinking on opiates that we not only don’t get to choose for ourselves what we need, we are increasingly seeing the act of even expressing what we think we need being denied. Excesses of this type betray the dishonesty of those who promote them. The desire to control others is rooted in self-deception. To borrow a phrase, to seek to control others is far easier than it is to master your own emotions. I can find my way forward simply advocating FOR my own relief and my own freedom to decide for myself what I need, but it is in this dishonest quest to control others that I also find an adversary who must be vanquished. It would be better to simply be FOR something than to be for one thing AND against other things, but this is where we are at. The distasteful nature of having both an internal and external struggle makes things much harder, but this is the hand we are dealt. To be the equal of this task is a worthy channel for my energy. It is the thing I know and didn’t need to be taught. It is the thing that is real. It is a worthy struggle.
It is also just another week. I will keep the analysis light here as I intend to cover it on the audio companion this week. If it is good enough, I will post it below…:
- Ooopsies. Looks like some of the hysteria around the Rx “over-prescribing” narrative is based on a flawed count. Dios mio!
- I have never purchased drugs from a “dealer” so I probably should watch my p’s & q’s here, but I must say it seems that literally ANYbody can make drugs. I am surprised there aren’t more things like the collective I read about in this piece. If I had no access to pain meds, I would probably be very tempted to study chemistry in such a way as to solve that problem. I make no apologies for believing that no law, no system of laws, no compact, no understanding, and no tradition is so important that it justifies inflicting physical suffering on others. This applies to things large and small. There is nothing larger than physical agony, and that is more than big enough to justify choosing self-preservation over fidelity to the law. Fidelity to humanity and human dignity outstrips all earthly obligations. Do I really need the constitution to specifically say I have a right to my own life? I doubt anyone who will prosecute these people will even get this far in their thinking – I bet it will be stopped on the basis of being intellectual property theft! The national sickness rolls on!
- On a related note, I must say, I am not totally on the Pot Cures Everything train. It does little for me other than help me relax and sleep, which means I don’t need to keep beatin’ my brains with muscle relaxers. That is nice and all, and I think that is all the justification I need to ingest it. Turns out pot is being seen as a panacea far beyond what data suggests can be safely asserted. If people believe it helps – then it does. If people believe it works, then I don’t see any material harm. I am for allowing adults to have and use it as they see fit. I just can’t come along on the idea that it solves everything.
- I don’t believe opiates ever were the source of the “crisis”. The overwhelming desire to get high among Americans is the real problem, but solving that requires a type of self-examination we are incapable of as a society, so you get what we’ve got. Opiates as medicine are 5000 years old, and this crisis is barely 5 years old. Now they don’t even have the prescriptions as an excuse anymore. Will this get us back on track? Har-har.
- I have never been to a Mormon service, and can’t say I know many Mormon’s all that well. I will say that if they come along on medicinal marijuana, then we know the war is won. Not sure when to expect that to happen based on this expose.
- As long as doctor’s remain human, I am not sure how to purge them of normal human foibles. Put them under economic pressure, and force them into running assembly lines instead of practices, and you get pill-distribution-machines disguised as care. I can’t say I am surprised.
- I am going to need some time to think more fully about what is happening in Oregon right now. In essence, they are going to take all Medicare patients off of opiates all together. This is literally monstrous in every possible respect. Forced withdrawal is evil when done even the worst criminals. Forced taper isn’t quite as bad, but think of what this really means: it is an additional indignity heaped upon the poor. Worse, it is heaped upon the poor and sick. Literally the most vulnerable people in our society are going to have pain relief taken from them. I can’t believe this idea has made it this far. It isn’t based on science. It isn’t based on medical outcomes. It is based on meanness and the control freak mindset. I am all for the idea of free healthcare for all and support it generally, but this is where government healthcare loses its viability for me. With the government running healthcare we will all be subjected to drama like this. Our care will be subject to the whims of thirsty and nasty people. Life is too serious to let such things stand. This is literally a matter of life and death for those in pain. To jerk them around in this way requires a lack of humanity that pains me to have to acknowledge still exists in our country. More to come on this, but there are loads of places you write the people behind this at: HERC.Info@state.or.us Please consider that.
- Tons of research around opiates started a few years back as the “crisis” heated up. Looks like some of it is starting to come out. There appears to be content for YEARS of ye olde weblogge should it be needed!