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  #1  
Old 08-06-2011, 12:53 PM
jeepus jeepus is offline
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Are you resistant to narcotics? Are you a Redhead?

Apparently, I am. I have had real trouble getting pain relief after surgery. I had knee surgery recently - scoping and a lateral release for all you doctors and knee patients in the crowd. It took more than two hours after the surgery to get any relief from pain. This is the second surgery I have had where I had no (or perhaps diminished) pain relief. First one was a hysterectomy. I'm concerned about ever needing surgery again and what other options there might be for pain relief as well as how to best communicate this to future surgery teams. Also, I've heard that natural redheads are often resistant to pain medications. If you are a redhead, have you found this to be true for you?
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2011, 01:22 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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I don't know if I am because I was two the only time I had surgery, but my mom, also a redhead, definitely has issues. But in her case it's that a lot of pain meds don't work the right way, some that are supposed to relax you wind her up etc, while others don't work at all, so she is very insistent on what she's given.
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2011, 01:31 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Somewhat resistant to opiates, at least based on anecdotal evidence. When I was hospitalized I didn't feel a base dosage of morphine at all, but upping the ante did work. After an endoscopy I was clear-headed within a minute or two, when I had been informed I should be loopy for a half hour or more. I get no particular euphoria from either Vicodin or stronger Norco tablets ( I did get just a bit from the upped morphine ), but they do affect me in other ways, including some level of pain relief, sleepiness, nausea ( from the Norco ) and a "heavy" feeling in the limbs.

So they affect me, but seemingly not in the bog-standard way. However I have dark brown hair and eyes and know of no redheads in the extended family - blue eyes and blond, including my blue-eyed mother, but no red.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 08-06-2011 at 01:33 PM..
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2011, 01:43 PM
An Arky An Arky is offline
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Yep; redhead here. You basically have to give me a horse dose to do any good. This also goes for the deadening stuff like Novocaine, etc. I'm 6'1" and about 200 lbs, so that's probably a factor, as well. Also, when I was drinking, I could put away a ton and you'd never know it.

Last edited by An Arky; 08-06-2011 at 01:44 PM..
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2011, 02:16 PM
Dr. Girlfriend Dr. Girlfriend is offline
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I'm a redhead too. I seem to have the opposite problem, I'm really sensitive to stuff that's supposed to knock you out. A tiny sip of NyQuil and I'm off in LaLa land. The two times I've been put under for something I've had to make sure to tell the doctor to start off with the lowest dose of the nighty-night drugs or else they'll have a hard time getting me to come around. When I had my wisdom teeth out the dentist told me they had barely started the IV drip and I was out.
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2011, 02:34 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Girlfriend View Post
I'm a redhead too. I seem to have the opposite problem, I'm really sensitive to stuff that's supposed to knock you out. A tiny sip of NyQuil and I'm off in LaLa land. The two times I've been put under for something I've had to make sure to tell the doctor to start off with the lowest dose of the nighty-night drugs or else they'll have a hard time getting me to come around. When I had my wisdom teeth out the dentist told me they had barely started the IV drip and I was out.

Me too.
I'm a natural redhead ( well OK, mostly gray these days) and long ago realised with "may cause drowsiness" on the label applied to me x100.

OTOH, I think I have a fairly high pain tolerance and don't usually take advantage of pain meds. I don't enjoy teh woozy unless I am in serious pain.
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2011, 03:06 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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I'm not resistant to narcotics or a redhead so I guess I'm a white swan here.

But I have a friend who's highly resistant to narcotics and he's a black-haired Italian.
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  #8  
Old 08-06-2011, 03:57 PM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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I'm a redhead and very resistant to narcotics. My dentist remarked he had to give me 50% more medication, both to numb me and to put me in twilight sleep. Vicodon and the like don't knock me out - they keep me awake.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2011, 04:28 PM
GythaOgg GythaOgg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Girlfriend View Post
I'm a redhead too. I seem to have the opposite problem, I'm really sensitive to stuff that's supposed to knock you out. A tiny sip of NyQuil and I'm off in LaLa land. The two times I've been put under for something I've had to make sure to tell the doctor to start off with the lowest dose of the nighty-night drugs or else they'll have a hard time getting me to come around. When I had my wisdom teeth out the dentist told me they had barely started the IV drip and I was out.
This is me also - I'm a very (next best thing to albino) pale-skinned, green-eyed redhead. I have to be very careful with antihistamines and cold medicine; I can take Sudafed as a sleeping pill. Never any problem with narcotics the few times I've had them. My dentist does take great care to make sure I'm very well numbed up, though. He uses an auto-injection system with a foot pedal control and it seems to work great. A lot of times when he's worked on me it's taken up to four hours for the stuff to wear off. I do tend to develop allergies, odd reactions and sensitivities to drugs very easily.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2011, 04:56 PM
Tangent Tangent is offline
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Originally Posted by An Arky View Post
This also goes for the deadening stuff like Novocaine, etc.
I'm a redhead, and this is my experience. The dentist usually has to give me about 3 times as many shots as he normally would to deaden an area in my mouth.

After a minor surgery a couple of years ago, the hydrocodone I was prescribed didn't help with the pain much (if at all) at the indicated dosage, but it did make me nauseated, so I just didn't take it.
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2011, 05:20 PM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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Redhead, and yes - sometimes, anyway.

When I gave birth to PandaKid my epidural didn't take very well. At the dentist I need more shots than most people to get numb.

As far as, say, the narcotics I might be sent home with after a dental procedure - nah. I can take a normal dose and that'll do the job.

My mom was a redhead and you could have injected her with enough meds to kill a pony and it wouldn't phase her.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2011, 05:41 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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Super resistant to just about everything, In fact of the two surgeries I have had, I woke up in the middle of both of them. Pain relief is something I have heard of but don't get much of.

Not a redhead but my mother was.
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2011, 05:50 PM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is online now
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I'm a redhead and it also takes a lot of medication to get much relief. In fact, half the time, I don't even bother taking anything, because the smallest dosage that will work is still bigger than the safest maximum dose. I like my kidneys and liver, thankyouverymuch.
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2011, 06:39 PM
Rushgeekgirl Rushgeekgirl is offline
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I'm a redhead. I've never had narcotics by mouth so I have no idea. I have a pretty low pain tolerance though.
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2011, 07:36 PM
jeepus jeepus is offline
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Thanks for your responses, everyone.

Elfkin477, I suppose your mother has just learned what works for her through trial and error? I wish there were a better way to know what works for an individual.

Tamerlane, I was given max doses of all the drugs they said they could give me, with little difference in pain level. The nurse I had seemed exasperated with me for not responding to pain medication. I don't get euphoria from any of these medications either, just a sleepy waterlogged feeling.

An Arky, as a kid, I had to take sedatives before going to the dentist. It hurt. He didn't believe me.

Dr.Girlfriend, that's what I seem to see online - either redheads need 20 percent more medication, or they need a tiny dose.

Chiroptera, i don't typically take pain meds at home as they don't seem to make a lot of difference.

Little Nemo, , all colors are welcome here, that was kind of two questions.

SnakesCatLady, my new dentist believes me and I get enough pain meds these days. Dentists have really improved over the last 30 years or so.

GythaOgg, I'm starting to feel out numbered by you easily medicated types. Redheads are confusing!

Tangent, I come off the pain meds pretty quickly at home too. The side effects are not worth the trouble.

So, everybody, how does Vicoden make you feel? Is it normal to feel euphoric? Does morphine make you feel euphoric?

Nurses, are there a lot of people who do not get pain relief after surgery? Do you get annoyed at the ones who need more medication?
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  #16  
Old 08-07-2011, 07:08 PM
I Am The Lorax I Am The Lorax is offline
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When I had my wisdom teeth out, insurance wouldn't cover general anesthesia, which I begged for. I got 27 shots of Novocaine or whatever they use these days, and as much laughing gas as I wanted, and nothing helped. I got to feel them cracking, chiseling, yanking and twisting out four impacted wisdom teeth over the course of four hours. Yay.

When I had my first child, I gave in and got the epidural and I'm sorry I did. It gave me no relief and slowed my labor down. Great.

I also know from my wild teenage times that cocaine doesn't do a damn thing for me, either. I'm truly glad about that one.

I've used Percoset and Darvoset for pain, and they thankfully work for that, but don't get me high or buzzed or dopey whatsoever. Basically just like a Tylenol that actually works.

Yes, I'm a (kinda)redhead. Chestnut, more like, but lots of red in the family. I didn't know this was a thing, I thought I was just a weirdo.
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2011, 09:23 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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I'm a redhead and I don't have a problem with medication at all. A normal dose usually works just fine for me. I have almost no pain tolerance though. My doctor immediately jumped on board my c-section plan without question and when I asked her why she didn't encourage me to have a natural labor she said it is because she really doesn't think I can handle the pain and discomfort caused by normal labor.
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  #18  
Old 08-07-2011, 09:51 PM
Silver Fire Silver Fire is offline
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Originally Posted by pbbth View Post
My doctor immediately jumped on board my c-section plan without question and when I asked her why she didn't encourage me to have a natural labor she said it is because she really doesn't think I can handle the pain and discomfort caused by normal labor.
Which, in my experience (two boys, one of whom was 8lbs, 10oz), goes away rather quickly compared with the pain and discomfort of SURGERY. Pain associated with the labor/delivery? They have meds that make you not even care.

Not doubting what you're saying, that's just really strange reasoning coming from a medical professional.
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  #19  
Old 08-07-2011, 10:02 PM
armedmonkey armedmonkey is offline
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The following might be of interest to some: Red Hair and Opiods
Quote:
Unfortunately, outside of these few studies, we have little else to go on to aid us in our understanding of the red hair phenotype and response to different anesthetics or analgesics. A mechanism as to why the red hair phenotype would be more suscetptible to pain, or at least, less responsive to anesthetics is theoretical. The current hypothesis states that a mutant MCR1 receptor would allow melanocortin ligands (melanocortins) to exert a strong negative feedback on the hypothalamus and thus decrease proopiomelanocortin (POMC) the prohormone giving rise to endogenous endorphins as well as other melanocortins (ACTH, and alpha, beta and gamma Melanocyte Stimulating Hormones).
There is a great deal more detail in the link.
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  #20  
Old 08-07-2011, 10:16 PM
astro astro is online now
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Redhead (all gone now but back in the day)..

Most meds (novocaine etc) work as advertised except Oxycontin and Hydrocodone. Makes me loopy more than they do anything substantial for the pain. I get more pain relief from Aleve than Oxycontin/Hydrocodone.
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  #21  
Old 08-08-2011, 09:09 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is online now
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Funny, my wife and I were just talking about this last night, because we have an acquaintance who is addicted to Vicodin, but we remarked that it really doesn't do anything for either of us. We're both redheads, though I used to be a lot redder than I am now.

I have a memory of coming out of anesthesia when I was getting my wisdom teeth removed, which was the last time I was under general anesthesia. They put me under, and some time later I opened my eyes and saw persons in surgical masks standing over me. I clearly remember thinking, "Wait a minute, I'm not supposed to be awake!" and deliberately closing my eyes. Next thing I knew, they were laying me down on a recovery table.
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  #22  
Old 08-08-2011, 09:33 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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I am a blonde. I have been given Demerol for migraines a couple of times and, while it makes me sleepy, it really doesn't do anything for the pain; it basically allows me to crash until the migraine goes away. Vicodin will dull the pain a little if I can keep it down, but I often cannot. Tylenol 3 (the kind with codeine) is somewhat more effective.
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  #23  
Old 08-08-2011, 10:09 AM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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I am apparently very resistant to opiates. As far as I can tell they just make me irritable, or maybe that is the unrelieved pain. After a few surgeries where I yell at the nurse for not giving me anything that stops the pain and the nurses yell at me for using up all my morphine, I just go with Ibuprofen. That stuff works better than any opiate I've ever tried.

Not a redhead and no redheads in our family according to my dad.
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  #24  
Old 08-08-2011, 11:14 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I am a reddish-head. When I was a kid I was actually hyper-sensitive to narcotics and would get Knocked The Fuck Out on them. Now, I seem to be like everybody else.
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  #25  
Old 08-09-2011, 06:43 PM
phall0106 phall0106 is offline
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Not a redhead (but my mom is), but demerol, codeine and morphine don't do diddly squat to relieve pain. (Doesn't help that both make be break out in hives something horrible.)

Good thing I have a fairly high pain tolerance.
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  #26  
Old 08-09-2011, 07:32 PM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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Originally Posted by jeepus View Post

So, everybody, how does Vicoden make you feel? Is it normal to feel euphoric? Does morphine make you feel euphoric?

Most narcotics make me queasy and they knock me on my ass. Sometimes, though, that's better than the alternative.

I've had euphoria with 2 narcotics - Stadol and codeine. They gave me Stadol while I was in labor (before the epidural) and I was laughing my ass off within seconds once it hit my bloodstream. My reaction to codeine is the same, just less intense - more giggly than laughing.
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  #27  
Old 08-09-2011, 08:06 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Originally Posted by Lanzy View Post
Super resistant to just about everything, In fact of the two surgeries I have had, I woke up in the middle of both of them. Pain relief is something I have heard of but don't get much of.
Holy crap. What happened when you woke up? Did the doctors realize?
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  #28  
Old 08-09-2011, 08:53 PM
missred missred is offline
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I'm a redhead (what isn't white) and pain drugs, with the exception of opiates, pretty much work as advertised. Opiates, on the other hand, are a crap shoot. If I can keep them down, they tend to make me loopy as hell. The problem is, most of them wind up on my shoes, so they don't even have a chance to do their thing.
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  #29  
Old 08-09-2011, 10:59 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I should mention that when given Demerol when I had my wisdom teeth out I had serious "Fear and Loathing" hallucinations, which I gather other people don't have. I mean, I saw penguins, and I don't know how but a picture that was on my wall ended up on the floor with the glass broken. And there was bloody gauze everywhere.
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  #30  
Old 08-09-2011, 11:29 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepus View Post
Thanks for your responses, everyone.

Elfkin477, I suppose your mother has just learned what works for her through trial and error? I wish there were a better way to know what works for an individual.
Yes, unfortunately. And what's worse, sometimes they ignore her and then get upset when they give her something that makes her hyper rather than knocks her out.

Now that other people have brought up some more drugs that I hadn't thought about, I'm really glad that I haven't needed to try anything stronger than Tylenol 3 yet. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, which is good, because most NSAIDs don't really do much for regular aches and pains associated with minor injuries, arthritis or menstrual cramps.

For example, I injured one of my fingers (I think I might have partially dislocated it. no bruising or swelling, so I don't think anything worse than that happened) on Wednesday by somehow getting it tangled in the lanyard attached to my belt loop when I stood up after sitting on the grass during break. I tried advil, aspirin and aleve, and none of them have done a damn thing to make it ache any less. Fortunately it feels almost back to normal today.


Oh, this article is interesting. According to it, brunettes can have a MC1R mutation - the gene mutation that gives me, mom and Vynce fair freckled skin and red hair - too, just not as often. It's found in almost all redheads but also about a quarter of people with brown or black hair too, which is something I've never heard of before now. This mutation is what causes redheads to react differently to pain killers, so it stands to reason that those people with brown/black hair who have the mutation would also react oddly to them as well.

Now I'm curious if the brunettes they found with the mutation have fair freckled skin too, or if it's different when you only inherit one copy of the gene, not up to two like many redheads.
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  #31  
Old 08-10-2011, 05:32 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Hm, brunette that turns fairly red when sunbleached, freckled enough that my dad nicknamed me turkey egg one summer and narcotic resistant. And I also have what some of my doctors have called an insanely high chronic pain tolerance.
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  #32  
Old 08-10-2011, 07:59 AM
Elysium Elysium is offline
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Auburn hair here, I have a big "Resistant to Local Anesthetics" written on my medical chart.
Dentist have remarked on how much meds it takes to numb my mouth, and when I had my c-section the epidural failed to work half-way through when they were shoving my uterus back in there. Not fun.

I've always noticed that regular pain killers don't seem to do much for me, though oxycodone seemed to help a lot after the surgery. Vicodin just made me paranoid and weepy, and didn't kill the tooth pain I had at the time.

Benedryl and the like knock me out within a few minutes, usually.
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  #33  
Old 08-10-2011, 09:53 AM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is online now
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Not a redhead, and local anesthetics have an imperfect history with me.

Lifelong terror of dentists because of a filling when I was 13 - 2 shots of novocaine and I think my toes were numb but the tooth was WIDE awake. Subsequent experiences bore that out. Now, dental work includes AT LEAST nitrous oxide and often a stiff sleeping pill as well.

2 kids, 2 epidurals, 2 epidural failures (one with a C-section!). "gallbladder pain worse than childbirth" my ass!

On the other hand, I have a low alcohol tolerance, and narcotics make me woozy and spacy. They work well enough, but so do most OTC meds. Tooth pain however is something special (just had a flareup of a soon-to-be-treated tooth and I was alternating high doses of ibuprofen and regular doses of Tylenol for several days, barely keeping up with it).

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 08-10-2011 at 09:55 AM..
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  #34  
Old 08-10-2011, 03:49 PM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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Narcotics (and most other pain killers, too) have verly low effect on me.
Dentistry, especially, is distressing in the extreme. OTOH, I've learned to cope.


Not a redhead, though.
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