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.