Rough Random Thoughts on Pain Meds

January 25, 2022

I received so many wonderful wishes, prayers, and offers of help during the last few days. So many that my heart is full of gratitude. My care team at Essentia Health was OUTSTANDING and the neurosurgeon, Dr. Terzic is the best.While I was strictly on a neuro trauma unit, the impact of the hospital being full due to COVID was apparent. I wound up with a very confused roommate who spend much of their first two nights hollering for their husband and various other people—some in response to what they were watching on TV. Wanting to see Dr. Phil or help with a case Judge Judy was arbitrating, for example. Wanting me to help them pick up a lamp that had fallen on something they were watching. In the past, patients with that level of confusion, would be in a room of their own in order to minimize the impact on other patients. With the hospital being full, there was no place to move them, and nursing needed to keep the door closed to minimize the impact on other patients. As a nurse who did her share of hospital floor nursing, I get it but I was conflicted in how I felt. Their middle of the night rantings was keeping me awake and affecting my own healing. Their confusion would go away once someone was talking to them. I didn’t have the energy to carry on much of a conversation at night, but we did chat a bit during the day. It took me until the second night to put my nurse hat on and ‘talk them down’ in the middle of the night. Hell—I was awake anyway so why not try. It worked.

I got home after being in the hospital for 4 days--January 25th. Looking “back” over the first 5-days, I’m not going lie. There were times when I said, “WTF did you do?” It’s been rough and at times the pain has been excruciating. Just simply getting dressed or up out of bed to get meds is exhausting. However, I don’t have leg pains when I walk thst I did before surgery. I can stand upright more than I could before (of course the brace helps with that). The numbness in my toes is only intermittent rather than constant and will continue to get better while inflammation from the surgery comes down. I have a couple donor bone plugs in my back whom I shall call “Bob.” I have lots of titanium making me a bionic woman! Perhaps, I have even gained back the nearly 1-inch in height that I lost!

I can dress myself (super-loungy-sports-bra-type-clothes) I even put my rings and earrings back on! I have to adjust to being dependent in other things and I have to give up control and some of my OCD tendencies, such as no dishes in the sink. Shawn checks on me every 45-60 minutes—I’ve only had to use the bell (thanks Judy) twice. Kitzi is afraid of the walker and has been hiding. I felt him come up to check on me last night: big old paw on my shoulder and some sniffing at my face. Right now, I’m looking out the window and having a cup of tea. I’ll be in this crazy brace for a least 3-months. Yes, I picked the pattern because why not!

Avie Layne 2012