So, I go to the doc, and I say, doc, I want a prescription for Fentanyl, and he says, okay, since your life won't ever contain anything but misery anyway, you’ve got it. Then I say that I don’t want some candy-ass dose, I want enough to know that I’ve taken something, and he says I needn't worry my pretty little head about that.
I pick up my Fentanyl—which I’ve never had—and I stick one those 50 microgram per hour patches (Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine, and is measured in micrograms rather than milligrams) onto my belly, and sit down to read the directions. Shit, I discover, this dosage is the equivalent of 68-112 mgs of oxycodone, an amount that I should think would almost certainly kill me. Reading on down, I find that, yes indeed, if I haven’t been taking that much oxycodone day and night for at least a week, Fentanyl will hit me about as hard as a ten pound horseshoe (this was underlined and in bold letters, only without the part about the horseshoe). Whoa! I hardly ever take oxycodone or any other narcotic anymore simply because I’m unwilling to keep piling ever higher doses of dangerous drugs into my body, yet here I am with enough Fentanyl on my belly to, to, what? –kill a horse. Yeah, that’s it; kill a horse. I consider ripping that patch off right then and there, but I first run what I had read by Peggy (my resident nurse who was doing a Sudoku at the time); she doesn’t seem alarmed.
Okay, I remind myelf, I told the doctor what drugs I take, and Peggy knows what drugs I take, yet neither of them are worried, so, unless they’re trying to kill me so they can run away together, maybe I shouldn’t be worried either. I am though. I’m real worried, but I don’t want to take the patch off because the first commandment of my religion forbids the waste of good dope. Since it takes up to 24 hours to achieve maximum absorption, I figure that, well, I’ll just see how I’m feeling as the night passes, and with that happy thought, I go to bed. After five minutes, I can’t handle the fear anymore, so I get back up and use some pointed scissors to cut the patch in half while it’s still glued to my belly (carefully saving the half I removed). It looks solid—like a little sheet of plastic—so I figure what could be the harm since there’s nothing to leak out?
I go back to bed and congratulate myself on my sagacity, my perspicacity, and even my pederasty, but I don’t go to sleep because I’m way too happy to waste the night sleeping. Life has gone from ho-hum to highest heaven in less than an hour because of that little bity patch. Oh, but do I ever love Fentanyl! Forget sex, fame, money, power, luxury, and even food; all I will ever want and need from this day forward is Fentanyl. Take ten years off my life (or whatever I have left), but don’t take my Fentanyl. Yeah baby! I lie in bed certain that, having found such joy, I’ll never lose it—I’ve been down that road a few times by now.
I woke up around noon (I did sleep some) feeling sort of ground down, and, as Peggy and I had our morning cuddle, I told her about cutting the patch in half, more or less expecting her to praise me for my prudence. Instead, she flipped out, which pissed me off since she didn’t have a word to say the previous night when I told her I was wearing a drug patch strong enough to kill 50 Navy Seals. I then called the pharmacy to prove to my wife that she was wrong (that’s important in a marriage even when the issue isn’t anywhere near as important as a drug overdose). To my horror, the pharmacist—who was also a woman—flipped out too, and said I was lucky to be alive—dumbass that I am—because, although the patch looks solid, it’s not, and this means that I was still at risk of dumping three day’s worth of Fetanyl into my bloodstream all at once. Upon hearing this, I ripped that patch off like it was a rabid rhino, and then I sat down to finish reading the directions. They informed me that, in case of an overdose, I could be at risk of respiratory failure for 24-hours (this isn’t a drug that comes on all at once, so I didn’t trust myself to know if I had overdosed or not), and that I should be under intense observation. So, I observed myself, intensely. As bad as that marijuana trip was two weeks ago, I now looked back upon it with a certain nostalgia because never once during that long night did I worry about being dead before the sun came up again.
Freddish and my reality - In this very interesting article in *The Atlantic* magazine about Fred Rogers of *Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood* fame, he is reported to have been very careful ...