How to put together a plan of action when you can't get out of your chair


Vicodin and Percocet make me itch, so I asked surgeon Mark for something else. He prescribed Norco, but the druggist objected that Norco is the same thing as Vicodin only stronger. I next got a prescription for Demerol.

Because I’m a practical man and because I had a bottle of Percocet left over from the second of my three surgeries last year, I decided that, if I could survive the itching, I’d finish off the Percocet before I started on the Demerol. To accomplish this noble ambition, I take a Benadryl every time I take a Percocet, and this has gotten me by passably well. My scalp about drives me crazy, but at least I’ve avoided the total body itching. I was curious about the Demerol though, so I took some at church last week. I thought I was handling it tolerably well until I came home and nearly fainted on the pot. I still don’t know what that was about.

Yesterday, I needed a nap, but I was hurting too bad to sleep, so I took some more Demerol before I sat in my recliner (the pain is much worse now than it was last week, which means that it is way too intense to even think about sleeping in bed). Well, I didn’t go to sleep, and I didn’t go to sleep, and I didn’t go to sleep, so I eventually found it necessary to advise myself as follows: “Snowbrush, my handsome and charming young man, you’re obviously not going to sleep, so I would advise you to get up and make yourself useful.”

I immediately saw the wisdom in this excellent counsel, so I ordered my body to lean forward and stand in the same punctilious way it has always done, but it declined my command without so much as a, “Thank you, but no.” I kept resolving to get up, and my body kept ignoring me, and each time this happened, the prospect of getting up anytime in the foreseeable future appeared a little more fantastic until it seemed about as feasible as flying out the door and laying an egg on the roof.

I finally said to myself, “Well, I can go one of two ways. One way would be to freak-out. If I freak, I’ll probably start thrashing around (if I can even do that) until such time as I fall on my face and possibly rip my tendon in two. The second way would be to lower my ambition to that of simply enjoying my drug trip until such time as Conductor Demerol puts me off his train.” Being a child of the ‘60s and having seen from inside my head what a bad trip looks like, I naturally chose option number two. Only there wasn’t much to enjoy since the trip was neither especially bad nor especially good. It was just….well, it was what it was, which was basically sitting shit-faced in a chair for three hours.

I kept trying to at least think different thoughts (so as to not totally waste my time), but I found that I stayed stuck in the same groove. I can best compare the feeling to an intellectual “Ground Hog Day,” that being a movie about a day that repeats endlessly, only nobody realizes it except for one person. In this case, I was that person, but what good did it do me? I was stuck; stuck like glue; stuck like stink on a bloated corpse; stuck like fluff on a baby bunny.

I think there might be some wisdom in thinking of chronic pain as like a bad drug trip. If you throw all the energy in your emotional arsenal into defeating it, it will catch that energy and throw it right back at you twice as hard. This means that the only way to deal with the problem is to stay loose. So, with that in mind, let us pray,

May the Lord bless us and keep us. May the Lord shine his fatherly countenance upon us and keep us loose, now and forevermore. Amen.

24 comments:

Lisa said...

Amen indeed. Loose is the way to go.

I too, get the itches from strong pain relief but only after day three or four- up until then it works ok- a Benadryl would make me goofy but that is probably a desired state for you right now.

I would like to send you some distance healing however, i need your permission to do so, so if its ok with you, i will get to work........

Sitting in a recliner shitfaced ?
yes, i can relate to that dear friend- a friggin awful weekend to be sure xxx

Lisa who loves you from a distance xx

Snowbrush said...

"I would like to send you some distance healing however, i need your permission..."

My dear, consider it a lifetime contract--same goes for large amounts of money. You send it, I'll accept it, guaranteed, for sure, no joke, no complaint. I love health. I love money. I even love good drugs from time to time.

His kajirah said...

Seems we have a lot in common Snow. Awake, awake, and still awake and there's really nothing we can do until we exhaust completely. It just won't come until then.

Praying your pain subsides soon or your pain level drops significantly and the itching minds it's own business.

Always be as well as you can be

Audrey said...

Oh my goodness! Sounds like an interesting journey you are on! I would like to say that I can relate, but truly...I cannot, having never had the Demerol experience. I will need to trust that it is indeed shit facing experience :)
Hope you are up to speed, so to speak, soon!

Natalie said...

Think I might join Lisa and send you some love too.

My head does that Ground Hog Day thing everyday! SOBER!!!!!
With that in mind, I think I better sit in a chair for a couple of hours ....AAH!

Hope you are o.k.xx♥

All Consuming said...

"I think there might be some wisdom in thinking of chronic pain as like a bad drug trip. If you throw all the energy in your emotional arsenal into defeating it, it will catch that energy and throw it right back at you twice as hard. This means that the only way to deal with the problem is to stay loose." I couldn't agree more.This has absolutely been my experience, and it works for me. I've had many many prescribed drugs over the years, and my fear of the side effects have sometimes been worse than the pain, as when they ae bad, they really are grim. Had the itching thing a few times, drove me crackers, especially as I occasionally get excema, thats the sure fire way to kick it off. I've been sleeping incredibly erratically since I've been on the steroids, luckily, even with my strong painkillers urning me into the village idiot I can still read. So I do, forever it seems some nights. I do hope you get some proper sleep soon.x

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Wow man my head is spinning just reading this!

Hang in there Snowbrush. Just to articulate what you're going through like this is a measure of your inner strength - I am sure all will be well, or at least better, eventually.

Sending you pain-free prayers and the very best of wishes. X

JOE TODD said...

For what it's worth vicodin and norco are the same thing,just different mfg.Both demerol and percocet are stronger than vicodin/norco and should be about equal to each other as far as pain relief. Vicodin/norco=NORCO® (hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen So don't take any extra tylenol and I really hope you are taking colace (stool softner) From one who knows
Joe Todd

Michael Ivnitsky said...

get better, and save some Vic for me

Matawheeze said...

I've had the experience (with a different pain med) and sat glassy-eyed myself. I'd say "Enjoy!" but somehow it isn't entertaining, is it?

Fascinating to be of the age where get-togethers often involve long discussions of the pros and cons of various pain relievers. One of the joys of aging and seeing our bodies revolting (heh!) against the process. Humor is the only remedy I see - and you do it well.

Pantheist Mom said...

How very frightening. Good for you for not taking the freak out thrashing about path. I'm not sure which my frightened brain would have chosen if I were in that position.

I'm more than a little angry at your surgeon for prescribing essentially the same thing (but stronger) of a drug that gave you a bad reaction. Did he not hear you???

Hang tough....

Snowbrush said...

"Seems we have a lot in common Snow." Cali

Cali, aging is chronic and gets worse, yet I still hope to get somewhat of a handle on most of my specific ailments, at least. If I can't actually fix them, I can hope to make them a lot better.

"I will need to trust that it is indeed shit facing experience :)" Audrey

I will be learning more about it, perhaps. Even the maximum dose of Percocet is no longer helping a great deal.

"My head does that Ground Hog Day thing everyday! SOBER!!!!!" Natalie

Just as coffee puts some people to sleep, maybe drugs and booze would help you to think normally!

"...vicodin and norco are the same thing,just different mfg." Joe

Joe, different manufacturers yet, but also different strengths. Norco is like extra strength Vicodin (Vicodin 7.5/500 Norco 10/325), the small numbers being hydrocodone bitartrate and the big numbesr being acetaminophen. Go to http://www.empr.com/ for drug comparisons. Colace, I assume, is the trade name for docusate.

"my strong painkillers urning me into the village idiot I can still read." All Consuming

George Bush is our village idiot, but he can't read.

"I am sure all will be well, or at least better, eventually." Reasons to be Cheerful

I'm keeping the faith about it.

"I'd say "Enjoy!" but somehow it isn't entertaining, is it" Matawheeze

Maybe it's an acquired taste--like coffee and tobacco. I had rather not acquire it though.

"I'm more than a little angry at your surgeon for prescribing essentially the same thing" Pan Mom

I have found that otherwise good doctors do and say utterly stupid things all the time. I can't explain it; I just go with the best, and I think Mark is the best despite this mistake. He thought the narcotic was a shade different in the two, but the druggist disagreed.

Snowbrush said...

Damn, I overlooked Michael. I'm so glad you dropped by again, Michael--haven't heard from you in a while The Vic is here, but are you flying in from Israel anytime soon?

Strayer said...

I got stuck on the toilet right after back surgery. There was no way to get back up. I hadn't thought of this problem beforehand. So I sat there awhile thinking what a fine mess. But it wasn't very comfortable after an hour. I finally hooked a towel rack with some clothing and pulled myself up that way, but the towel pulled out of the wall. Oh well.

I never thought before surgery that afterwards I would not be able to pick things up off the floor, or scoop the cats litterboxes either. I ended up making one of those old people picker up'ers by duct taping two curtain rod pulls to the handle of a pair of needle nose pliers. I duct taped a stick to a litterscoop too. So I made it all right.

The back surgery wasn't nearly as painful as shoulder surgery afterwards. Sounds like you need a nurse, or more narcotics or....maybe both! And a lava lamp to go with the batch.

julie mitchell said...

"Being a child of the ‘60s and having seen from inside my head what a bad trip looks like, I naturally chose option number two. Only there wasn’t much to enjoy since the trip was neither especially bad nor especially good. It was just….well, it was what it was, which was basically sitting shit-faced in a chair for three hours".....I remember many people from back in the day, who's main goal was to sit shit-faced in a chair for many hours.

CoyotePrime said...

Hang in, Snowbrush, you have a great, positive attitude about things. Like Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never give up!"

Lisa said...

i would gladly send you money, if i had any, or if i thought it would help
healing on the other hand, i have in abundance and i know it will help.........
smooches snow-man xxx

Gaston Studio said...

Wow, Snow, 3 hours in a recliner with only your intellectual thoughts, that must have been quite a trip.

Demerol is my best buddy for, on the 2 or 3 times it's been prescribed to me, I was blissfully pain free, and left giggling like a child, and talking nonsense to anyone who would listen. I think I prefer your reaction!

As usual, you make me laugh and so glad I found you in blogworld!
Jane

Snowbrush said...

"Sounds like you need a nurse, or more narcotics or....maybe..a lava lamp... " Strayer

I actually thought about one of those lamps that have fish swimming round and round, but I didn't get it because of this decorative minimalist thing that I wrote about. I had one as a child, and really enjoyed it.

"As usual, you make me laugh..." Jane

Thank you so much, Jane.

"I remember many people from back in the day, who's main goal was to sit shit-faced in a chair for many hours." Julie

You are so right, but I was never one of them. I tried to get into it, but never even came close.

"...you have a great, positive attitude about things." Coyote

And thank you too, you old coyote you. I hope you're as handsome in person as you look in your picture. I suppose you make a lot of noise when you lap water up with your tongue, but you sure look hot. I would gladly settle for looking like that. Just point me to a plastic surgeon. BTW, I could have sworn that you put a blog reference in your post, but now I don't see it, and I have no idea where it went.

"smooches snow-man" Lisa

Pucker, pucker. Smoochy, smoochy. Slurpy, slurpy. All right back at you.

Renee said...

May the Lord bless us and keep us. Amen.

I could only imagine how all that must have felt, but I have to be true and admit that I was laughing my head off. You wrote so funny.

I needed a laugh.

Stop taking those pills that make you itchy, just throw them out. You are worth more than that.

No nickle and diming on the pills.

I loved your comment on my blog. You get it, that is the thing.

Love Renee xoxo

Sonia ;) said...

Snowbrush...

I love your spirit and honesty..You are a hoot...My dad and you would have alot in common...Love Ravens, Crows, Blackbirds, and Grackles...LOL The darkness of the wings and the way they have always been represented in history...I am going to have to look up the Raven in Virginia...and that medicine makes me itch too...cant win for trying sometimes....How is the weather in oregon...beautiful country up there I hear....Come by my site and visit as I with you...You have made a new friend...The boat is never too full for more friends....may bob and sway a lil...but we all can get sick together.

Smiles...and laughing too(thank you)..

Sonia ;)

Renee has the strength and knowledge like a Raven.

The Passionate Book Worm said...

And here I am complaining of a little old headache. You really put things into perspective. Sending well wishes your way!!

Pouty Lips said...

I just caught up reading your post-surgery posts. It is good to hear that your surgery is behind you. Please accept my best wishes for a full recovery.

Snowbrush said...

Renee "Stop taking those pills that make you itchy, just throw them out."

Well, Sweetie, they turned out to be the best of the lot unless death is preferable to itching. Besides, if I take the maximum dose of Benadryl, I can stave off most of the itching.

The Passionate Book Worm " Sending well wishes your way!!"

Thank you. I'm still getting there, but, boy, does it ever hurt.

Pouty Lips "Please accept my best wishes for a full recovery."

Wishes accepted, Pouty Lips!