Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Putting Down Painkillers-A CHRONIC LINE by Adrian Miranda

Gini Chang

By Gini Chang
I have immense respect for those who are able withstand dental surgery without full anesthesia. Even when there’s partial anesthesia, I don’t think that would be enough. Just the thought of staying awake while I know someone is drilling into my teeth as if there’s oil hidden somewhere beneath my gums is starting to make me feel uncomfortable. Since childhood, it’s been a known fact that trips to dentists, doctors, and other adults with an MD after their name will cause extreme pain. And as children, we would do anything to avoid those trips because we were afraid of the pain.
While doctors were mistakenly associated with pain, my younger and less intelligent self was making at least one correct association. Pain relief soon became associated with our local CVS pharmacy. Allergy medicine, cough drops, and painkillers never failed to bring relief to me as well as my family members whenever one of us was suffering.

That’s why I never thought badly of prescription drugs. They were always there to back me up, to support me and help ease any ailments or pain that I happened to encounter. I had chronic migraines in high school and painkillers my constant ally for many years, until my doctor discovered that excessive use of painkillers was actually causing the continuation of my migraines instead of alleviating the pain. Since then, I’ve been adjusting to a painkiller free lifestyle.
Abuse of painkillers and prescription drugs in general have been an ongoing problem for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just a few months ago, we lost the great actor and singer Prince, who died of an overdose of prescription opioids.
Opioids have been the go to treatment for patients suffering from various illnesses, from back pain to terminal cancer. Perhaps you recognize the names of different kinds of opioids such as morphine, oxycodone, or the illegal derivation: heroin. Needless to say, opioids can become extremely addictive which is why the government has been working together with medical practitioners in order to implement new opioid prescribing guidelines as well as increase funding for addiction treatment. And their main focus to prevent further increase of opioid addiction is to provide treatment that can take the place of these prescription drugs. 

Adrian Miranda’s musical, A Chronic Linestems from his own experiences as a physical therapist and gives the audience a special peek into the lives of his patients, all of whom are suffering from different kinds of chronic pain. Their physical ailments also cause problems in their personal lives and negatively affect their relationships with families and lovers. In today’s world of modern medicine and pharmaceutical cocktails, the more difficult and time-consuming treatment methods such as physical therapy are often overlooked. However, Dr. Adrian reminds both his patients and the audience of the benefits of physical therapy. 

          Have any chronic pain stories you’d like to share as well? Curious as to how physical therapy will be able to help you? It’s never too late to learn more about how to keep your body healthy and feeling good! Comment below or tweet us @RiantTheatre and come see A Chronic Line by Adrian Miranda at the Strawberry One Act Festival on Sunday, July 24th at 7pm and Tuesday July 26th at 10:30pm in the Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th St, NYC.

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