Saturday, November 15, 2008

98 Pound Weakling

Pretty much from the very start, I've had a bit of a love-hate relationship with methadone - I took my very first dose of methadone in September 1999, nine years and two months ago. Now a decade ago, I was in pretty grim shape physically. I had allowed myself to waste away to near nothing, and at 5'7", I barely topped the scales at 105 lbs, so potential weight gain from this particular treatment was very much a non issue for me. Or so I thought. Within no time, I started to experience a rather dramatic metamorphosis and actually started to look rather healthy. A decade ago, this didn't really bother me all that much as I desperately needed a few more pounds on my body, but now I find myself in the middle of a most unpleasant and unsavory situation.

Funny, what kind of effects, a decade ends up having on our changing bodies too. I now find my self, at the ripe old age of 45, waging an ever increasing losing battle, not to mention having to deal with, until now, some really foreign emotions and thoughts. Its frustrating enough on its own coming to terms with this change, but having to deal with the accompanying boatload of emotions, doesn't help at all! For someone who had never had to give their weight so much as a second thought before all of this, this new reality has been monumentally difficult and stressful.

I've now since discovered how easy it is to be cavalier about weight and diet, et al when no problem exists. This should seem quite obvious, but surprisingly enough, it isn't at all. I've since discovered that its much easier to be without vanity when no struggle exists. If there is nothing to obsess over, there is nothing to obsess over. Now, unfortunately, I seem to have something to obsess over, and that something would seem to be the size of my jeans! I will admit though, that I am still not in possession of a scale so I have no idea what my actual current weight would be, or the actual number of pounds gained these past couple of years. Honestly, I really don't need to have anymore of this rubbed in my face, anyway. The fact that I no longer wear a size five or seven is pretty indicative of the amount gained that I certainly do not need any more confirmation, trust me.

OK, OK,  I know exactly what each and everyone of you are about to say to me now. I know that methadone alone is not the sole guilty culprit here. In fact, there is next to no research or findings or even studies stating that weight gain is even a direct side effect of taking methadone. Logically, I am all too aware of this fact, but, I am also very aware of the undeniable fact that I started to aggressively gain weight once I started Methadone Maintenance Treatment. This is a fact that is next to impossible to challenge! I get it. Suddenly, you're no longer on some endless quest to feed that monkey. After a few months on MMT, your life actually starts to return to what others take for granted, boring and routine. With this, your appetite returns and with a vengeance, although for everyone else, this is normal. Most probably, you even become more sedentary, so its really no surprise that the body ends up having such a huge transformation. Logically, I know this, but it still doesn't end up making my current situation any better.

I think what really bothers me even more than the weight gain, is the fact that I can't help but constantly stress over it. In the past few months, I find myself thinking about this more than I ever obsessed and agonized over drugs! Maybe I'm replacing one with the other. How's that for irony? Grrrr....I can't believe that I am actually publicly ranting and whining about my current situation either, although this just illustrates how depressed this whole situation has gotten me. My mother's constant comments certainly don't do much to help my self esteem either. There is nothing like a conversation with my mother to make me feel ten times worse than I already do. She has a knack for pummeling me ever further into the ground. Its not like I am a beached whale either - I am currently wearing between a size eleven and thirteen, with the larger size starting to no longer feel quite as tight as it did about half a year ago too. Each and every time I see her, she ends up fueling my self obsession with the weight, even if I've somehow managed to finally reach a place where I feel a modicum of peace.

OK, no doubt I could go on endlessly on this subject if allowed, but even I have to admit that I am starting to bore even myself! Enough already. Get over yourself! 


Mina said...

I would also like to know what's up with the weight when you're in treatment...

I was on oral slow release morphine, for a little more than 6 months, when i started treatment. [I'm from Austria and we also have morphine in treatment.] I also seemed to gain weight on morphine, but not much. It stopped at a certain level and stayed there. But i couldn't lose weight, no matter how less i was eating.

Then, over 2 months ago, i switched to methadone (liquid methadone, 100mg a day). Shortly after starting, i lost a lot of weight. Now 2 months later, i'm still losing weight, only a little slower. But i'm eating normally and dont have that much movement. I'm sitting at the computer in my job all day.

So what's up with that? Why do some lose weight and others gain it?
But i think you're right, regarding that we start to eat normal as soon as our lives get better and therefore gain weight.

Also, ranting in a blog is a good thing, so you should rant as much as you like ;) Ranting helps. I love to rant in my LJ ^^

SICKGIRL said...

This time around through my first three months of MMT, I actually ended up losing weight, which pleased me to no end at the time, but this effect ended up being short lived. Perhaps, I spoke too soon and ended up jinxing myself! Regardless, it ended up being downhill from that point on.

Over the past month I decided to take a look at my daily eating habits, and to be honest, I was pretty horrified at the amount of food, not to mention the type, that was going into my body on a regular basis. I am too ashamed to even mention my daily caloric intake this time a month ago, but let's say that even cutting this amount by half, has still allowed me more than enough to sustain me more than satisfactorily and then some!

My goal is to start seeing some results by the time the Christmas holidays arrive. I'm trying to remain patient and not frustrated, as realistically I know that this extra weight didn't just appear overnight so by this token, won't be disappearing overnight either.

peace, love and happiness...

Noah said...

I have been using H for about a year now and I know that a lot of the time it is either food or H - of course it's going to be H. Even when I have both I don't eat a lot of the time coz I know the H hits me harder on an empty stomach. After I am high I usually just forget to eat or nod out.

I have a buddy on methadone now and he has put on like 30 pounds but he has been on MMT like a year and a half and he says he is hungry ALL the time. He says he would rather be a little heavy than back to the daily struggle to cop/get high/nod and start all over again. I think he has a good point.

Boston Joe said...

I have to think that there is some kind of correlation between MMT and weight gain. Almost everyone that I know who has been on MMT for over a year has gained like 20 to 30 lbs. Also, I am sure what Noah said has some impact on it, when you are strung out you really don't give a shit whether you eat or not but when you start to clean and clear up your body suddenly craves food again. I bet is is the combo of these 2 things, not that i am a Dr or anything close to that.

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