Monday, January 23, 2012

A story from long ago

I read This Daddy's post about pain medicine, and couldn't help but think back to my own experience.  I thought I'd share it here as it, in my opinion, is a pretty good story. 
I had back surgery over ten years ago.  The surgery itself was supposed to leave a scar the size of an eraser you would find on the end of a pencil.  It ended up being the length of an eraser you would use on a chalkboard since they had to cut through (and subsequently reattach) the muscles in my back to completely fix everything.  As it turned out, the surgery was not as "simple" as the surgeon originally thought; he found more damage in need of repair once he got me opened up.

When I got home, after a brief 23 hour visit to the hospital for the procedure, I had Vicodin and muscle relaxers waiting for me.  Even with the medicine I was in pretty bad pain.  I couldn't lay down, because I couldn't get back up on my own.  I didn't realize this, unfortunately, until the middle of the night when I had to visit the little boy's room.  I made it, but just barely, and it really hurt.  Let me clarify - getting to the bathroom hurt, not the act of pottying.

For the next few days, I lived in a recliner.

On the second day after surgery, I ate a little breakfast, popped my pills, and settled back in my throne to watch Sportscenter.  For those of you that aren't familiar with ESPN's lineup back then, they basically replayed Sportscenter every hour from 6 AM to noon, and then would loop a new one from 4 PM to 6 PM.

On this particular day I started watching Sportscenter at 7 AM.  I planned to watch just one episode and then put in a movie.  All I remember from that day is watching the first half of the 7 AM show and the second half of the 5 PM show.  The rest of the day was gobbled up by the pills.  At some point I did take my next dose of medicine, but I can't say that I recall doing it. 

That concerned me a little - especially when I saw that I had made a few phone calls, returned some emails to clients, cooked myself a pizza, ate the pizza, and left the oven on.  I also, apparently, had a beer or three with lunch.

That night I was watching a basketball game with my wife.  Florida State was playing somebody.  In the middle of the first half my wife asked me a question.  In the middle of the second half I realized someone was lecturing me on the culture of numerous American Indian tribes.

As I sat there watching the game, listening to this idiot ramble on with no apparent end in sight or real point to be made, I realized I knew some of what he was saying to be true, but most of it sounded as though he was making it up on the spot. 

I checked the TV to make sure I wasn't hearing one program and watching another.  As I turned the channel to something else, the guy kept talking.  I turned off the TV, and all the stereo components and still this guy spoke.

I went to the bathroom and this guy went with me.  He was talking right behind me the whole time.  How was this happening?  The bathroom was a half bath, with no room for two people, yet even with the door shut I could hear him plain as day. 

I didn't see anyone.

It was truly bizarre.

As I returned to the living room he came with me.  I started to argue a point with him and then it hit me.  I asked my wife one question:

"How long have I been talking about Indians?" 
"Since I asked you if you cared who won this game - about 45 minutes ago" she replied.
Even thought the pain was great, I decided to quit taking the Vicodin/muscle relaxer combination.
It was kinda like what John went through.
Can you blame me?


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Wow...that must have been pretty scary...for you, and for Julia.

This is interesting insight for those of us who have never taken any kind of pain meds. You hear about people misusing them, but this makes me realize that there may sometimes be more to those stories.

Emmy said...

Oh that would be freaky and weird. I had three c-sections and get some strong stuff after the births- but I usually just take the 800 mg Ibprofin as I don't like that loopy feeling.

jen@ living a full life said...

That stuff can really mess you up. But then i guess you already know that! And to think people pay to take that, and actually love it, crazy!

Helene said...

Oh wow, that would be truly bizarre! Esp when you think about all the e-mails you returned and cooking a pizza but having no recollection of eating it!

This Daddy said...

As always, thanks for the love man. God pills are a dangerous thing. I hate them. They scare me. Im glad you didnt hurt yourself or anyone in the house. Sounds like we both have great wives to watch us and keep us safe from ourselves