fun times with Vicodin

The lymph node biopsy came back negative, but now the surgeon wants to biopsy the other side.

I had an iodine-contrast CAT scan yesterday to look for a reason for my partially collapsed lung. Preliminary blood tests were ordered for the day before, and I was in a lot of pain when Peggy drove me to the internist’s office. I had called twice to verify that these tests hadn’t been run as a part of my pre-surgical blood-work, but Peggy asked a third time when we got there, and was told that they had. The nurse had an “Oh, well, shit happens” attitude, about it, so Peggy complained to the practice manager.

Another nurse promised me that we wouldn’t be charged for coming, but I stopped at the front desk to verify it. She appeared while I was there and, looking hurt, reminded me of her promise. I couldn’t very well tell her that I no longer trust anyone in the medical community to get anything right.

I took full advantage of Vicodin for the first two days. Even with it, I hurt too much to sit up for long, but time passed pleasantly enough in bed with an ice pack on my groin. I was determined to read a book on informal fallacies, but I dozed off so often that I re-read most of it twice.

I was just starting to understand how people get addicted to painkillers when the side effects hit. I hadn’t pooped in three days and was eating heartily, so my weight shot up an incredible ten pounds, and my abdomen became as rigid as it was bloated. (When you’ve had hernia surgery, the last thing you want to do is to strain to poop.) Then came the itching. No sooner would I scratch in one place than it would start in another, and I was soon itching in way more places than I had hands to scratch. Last—but not least—I was forgetting to breathe. I would be feeling all happy and mellow, when all of a sudden I would gasp for air, and realize I had missed a few breaths. It was like sleep apnea, but I was doing it while awake. I can’t say enough bad about how this feels.

The surgeon’s nurse advised that I cut the Vicodin in half, but I decided to simply endure the pain. I thought that, being two days post-op, it just couldn’t be that bad. It was. Now, four days post-op, the pain is so intense that I have trouble walking. It is worst in my privates, which are purple and swollen.


All Consuming said...

I've had many sections of my lower bowel removed over the years so mark my words I can relate to the 'not wanting to strain' whilst in hospital. After the terrible side effects of the morphine from my first op, many years ago, I was far, far more cautious after that. Yup, it hurts like hell, but better that than the grim side effects for sure.

Snowbrush said...

We have something in common it seems. I've never had bowel surgery, but I am piling up my inventory of other types of surgeries. Now, I'm facing a bone biopsy and two shoulder surgeries. Those joint surgeries are a drag because it takes months of rehabilitation. This makes me envy people who have anything other than joint surgery, although I'm sure it's an envy based upon ignorance.

All Consuming said...

I understand your envy entirely. I have felt much the same previously. It's all relative when it comes to pain I think. There are some people's conditions it would be almost a joy to exchange, and others I have no doubt would leave me very sorry indeed. I first became ill when I was 21 and by all the small gods I have often wished it had waited until I had been rather more mature in years, but that was not to be. The blog is, I hope, very therapeutic for you, it is for me for sure.