"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"I Was the Patient"

I was not looking forward to my sojourn in the hospital and as it got closer I became more upset...(on the inside.)  Of course as a nurse I couldn't let anyone know of my apprehension.  And so there I was in the prep room answering questions and feeling very exposed.  Patrick was in Arizona!

I wanted to go to big UCLA because I figured I wouldn't see any former students.  When I had my first and only...so far...colonoscopy, my prep was done by a former student.  She assured me she would not be in the exam area where my rear would be out for all the world to see...but of course I was totally knocked out and had no idea if she was there or not. What a perfect way to get revenge on a past professor...give it to her in the exam room when she is under anesthesia.  Another time when I had a lithotrypsy.. (This is a procedure where you are immersed in a tub of water...fully naked and a large laser is pointed at your kidneys to break up stones.)  Anyway this "friend" filled the tub with little yellow duckies as a joke and had them keep me awake long enough to see a gaggle of ducks coming at me when I was dropped into the tank and before I went under the anesthetic.  So you never know what good intentioned friends will do.

Needles to say I decided I should be out of Santa Clarita or the San Fernando Valley where I hoped no one knew me and could stick it to me while asleep.  When I woke up from the "woman" repair...all the staff (my new bff's) kept saying..."push the button" and they put the button in my hand..."What's this?"  "It will make you feel better."  "Great", I said.  So I pushed the button...lots!

After two days and over 800 mg of morphine I decided not to push the button as I didn't want to depend on the drug. I knew it could be addictive.  And IT WAS....and after I stopped pushing the button...I began to feel awful.  Not pain, but a strange restlessness and anxiety that was unknown to me.  The room was hot then cold, too small and I couldn't eat.  After much complaint I was finally moved to a real room, and the symptoms did not get any better.  I walked the room back and forth and continued to feel awful...not pain....just awful.

Get me out of here! The next day my request was finally granted and my daughter picked me up.  Get me home!  At home I knew I would feel better, but I didn't and was confused and restless....what was wrong?  I know now I was in withdrawal from the drug and thought..."If this is what an addict feels like...my sympathy goes out to them."  That night I took a medication prescribed for fibromyalgia that I knew blocked nerve impulses and was finally able to sleep...I usually don't take this medication in the daytime as it makes me dizzy...but since I realized it took away my restless weird symptoms...I took it night and day every 4 hours for three days...and then the awful feeling was gone.  I felt myself again, almost, with a few continuing fleeting moments of anxiety.

This was the first time I had major surgery and was in the hospital for several days so realized my reaction to the medication was severe to the point of possible allergy, and intend to list morphine as a medication I can't take.  I also resolved never never to have surgery again or do anything that required pain medication.  I think the whole family has a reaction to morphine or opiates.

When Michael was still a bit out of our world after his head injury and was coming out of his coma...they wanted to get an MRI...this is a test where you must be still and are placed in an enclosed tube.  They insisted on giving him morphine to calm him so the pictures would be clear.  His reaction was severe...he went wild!  he was on the gurney with straps holding him.  As he was transported to the MRI area we went outside, "Oh Mom your taking me home....thank  you so much".  "No honey this is just for a test", he was devastated!

By then the medication was in full force and upon learning he wasn't going home he did his swim team butterfly move with his well toned chest expanded and lunged forward.  The straps snapped loose immediately.  We calmed him down and put him inside the MRI machine.  I was talking to him on a speaker from the next room as the machine beeped and thumped away.  I knew he was restless but hoped he could be still enough for clear images of his brain.   But No! He sat up...or tried to sit up inside the tube.  The operator began screaming he'll break it! and I ran into the room to calm him down...I got him back onto the gurney and with soft words and rubbing his arms was able to transport him back to his bed in ICU..."I think he had a reaction to that medication" I said  "He must me allergic, or because he doesn't even take an aspirin, he must be sensitive and shouldn't have that ever again.  It made him crazy"...I wanted to say, "I told you so."  but didn't and knew he shouldn't have morphine ever again.   It took several hours to wear off and I remember staying with him that night as he kept waking up and saying he wanted to go home.  I now realize he got the "allergy" from me, and neither of us should ever have that drug again. 

Oh! I think my surgery went well and am feeling just fine, but know I am a very bad patient!

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