Sorry for the loss of two nights of posts. I would apologize harder, but I ended up in the ICU so…I think I had it worse than you guys for a bit.
This is one of the situations where I said, while sitting in the ER, to my aunt as she held me hand: “the line is starting to blur.”
You see, I was scared at that moment. Yes, I was in pain, but I know by this time that to a certain extent I can deal with that. What it appears bothers me the most is the straight-up fear that I will end up in a situation (surgery, painful procedure, or just intractable pain with an understandable and traceable cause) where the only option for relief from pain will be the drugs I MUST not use.
I can’t tell you how many times I had to say that to how many different doctors on Friday night in the Meridian Park ER. And they have all my charts. They have all the red flags that say, “this guy is a drug seeker. He will still the prescription pad from under your arm if you look away for a second….don’t trust a word he says that you can’t confirm yourself” etc.
Yet they still took one look at me sitting in the discomfort I was in (my aunt Kate reminded me that there was no way what I was going through could possibly equal the discomfort she was in for her 26 hour long first labor during which she used NO form of medicinal pain relief) and told me the choice was up to me! Fortunately with my aunt sitting there in front of me, I said no. I said no, no.
Then another doctor came in and said he was admitting me to the ICU where they would do a bronchoscopy (essentially stick a tube down into your upper airways to try and find where the bleeding had come from) under conscious sedation. He explained that the typical combination used to sedate patients during this procedure was versed (midazolam) and fentanyl (a powerful opiod). So with my dad sitting beside me I said, no fentanyl. Just the Versed – which, by the way, really hardly had any effect on me. They kept giving me more during the procedure and it is supposed to make it so you aren’t really conscious and that you actually have no memory of what happened. However my memory of the procedure is clear as a bell and I could walk you through it if I wanted… I probably would have kept talking except that at one point the doctor told me he was moving the scope down through my vocal chords so that if I tried to talk I could damage them. So I shut up.
The point I was trying to make? Every single doctor who entered my room on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday, offered me some form of narcotic in order to make me more comfortable.
Scratch all that. No matter how good the story, no matter how great the rationale, the real point of this post is to tell you all that I relapsed early Saturday morning in the hospital. Sure, I had a string of doctors offer me drugs. But I had up until that point rejected them. Part of me knew I could handle it. And part of me had decided that I couldn’t. I chose to take narcotic pain medications even when I knew that would completely sabotage my wellness quest.
I wish I didn’t have to say it. My dad actually told me that he wouldn’t tell anyone about it, that we could treat it as a mistake and an isolated incident. But I didn’t feel that it was right to hold him to a lie or to lie myself. Not to my family, and not to all of you.
Here is what I am truthfully struggling with: what was it that made me decided that I couldn’t handle what I was going through (painful or not) without drugs? And furthermore, how can I prevent that part of me from taking control in the future?
This is going to be a long, hard road.
Because, you see, me taking those drugs, even in a hospital setting, has violated the contract I signed with my aunt and uncle. That means that once I finish this blog entry, once I finish doing the nebulizer treatment I am currently doing, I lose all their support and my parent’s as well.
I don’t know where I am going to sleep tonight.
I doubt I will have internet access, so I figured I better post this fast.
Thank you to everyone who is reading this and helping me get honest. I hate it, but the truth is that no matter what was going on, I could have gotten through it without taking painkillers. I could have done it, but I made the decision to go back on a commitment I had made.
So what if the “line was blurred” like I said before. So what that I was in some pain. So what that the doctors told me it would be ok, that it was ok for me to take these drugs now. So what so what so damn what?
Regardless of the circumstances I know that I could have dealt with that situation without opiates, and if that is the case then I have taken a serious step back in my wellness quest, and I don’t know where things will lead from here.
But no matter what, it isn’t over. This is not me giving up, this is not me “signing off”. This is me opening a new chapter where I examine what it inside me that allows me to make this type of self-destructive choice.
Thank you for listening,