The Perils of Narcotics

This is not me Now

This is not me Now :(

The past seven days have been a very challenging few, as I round out my withdrawals.  I know that my statement makes some stop and do a double take, but to clarify “Yes I am in withdrawals from the opiates that I’ve been on for the last two plus months, and no I’m not a drug addict.”

Let me explain..

A few months ago, I took a nasty spill at my apartment complex.  I was knocked unconscious, fractured my elbow, tore the ligaments in my arm, and damaged my spinal cord from my IMG_3699L4(lower back think hips) to my mid back (think chest level).  I was taken to the ER and given pain medicine that made me shake violently and stop responding, and from what I’m told (by my boyfriend & the ER nurse) scared the Sh** out of them and the doctors.  Needles to say I was intubated, and transferred to the ICU.  I ended up staying a week in the hospital with the worst patient care of my life.  My “doctor ” (“Dr.” Melanie Kim at STRAUB) was rude, yelled at me, belittled me, never took the time to actually examine me, told me I was making up the fall, the pain and my injuries.  She did not diagnose me with anything, refused to give me pain medicine, and discharged me minutes after my first “walk” (in a week) with my cane, even though I blacked out (thank goodness the nurse caught me mid-air!!).   The nurses snapped at me, did not offer to change my sheets, help me shower or use the restroom, get me food that I could eat, or check on me.  The toilet was three steps away and I could not take three steps on my own!!  I had to wait until my boyfriend came after work before I could do anything, before anyone would even listen to me.

Enk on my hospital bed

Enk on my hospital bed

I spent the next month in and out of consciousness on my couch, with my friends and my boyfriend taking care of me.  I’ve been in and out of my doctor’s office, and orthopedic doctor, a pain management doctor and a physical therapist.  I’ve had countless MRI’s, x-Rays, scans, etc.  All the while I’ve been prescribed various pain medicines that barley took the edge off the pain I’m in.  What kills me, is that no one, not a single soul along the way ever spoke to me about the perils of drugs.  I’m 33 years old, and never had opiates, never smoked pot or done any recreational or other type of drugs (I barely take aspirin).  I read the pamphlets that came with everything, I asked questions in the doctor’s office, and nothing was ever mentioned to me.

Last week after my pain doctor, who is an actual M.D., tried a proven successful procedure on me; where he gave me 20+ shots directly into my spinal cord of the strongest available Novocaine and it failed he told me to “get off the narcotics and suck up the pain.” By getting off the narcotics the second round of shots (the worst pain ever btw!) would probably work better and he would be shocked if it did nothing to numb the pain in my back because “everyone else feels relief.”   This was after I made him take a few breaks during the three-hour

This is me Now

This is me Now

appointment because I was screaming in pain.  And after he told me I have permanent damage to my spinal cord and will need to look at other options like a permanent stint in my back!

So let me help those who may face the same problem [and don’t say it’s not you, because you never know].  This is not something you “suck up” and if your doctor tells you to, find another doctor.  Some insurances will cover you detoxing in the hospital and had I of known I would have done this.  If they don’t ween yourself off the drugs by decreasing the amount each day or so.  Only take narcotics  as needed and I mean sparingly because the withdrawals will be more painful than your pain!

Sleep aids don’t work on me.  I have slept a total of 10 hours(if I’ve been lucky) in the past 7 days I only sleep in 2 hour or less increments.  I can not concentrate on anything.  I am nauseous all the time.  I go from nauseous to throwing up in 2.5 seconds flat.  My head is pounding.  I am angry.  I am hot.  I am cold.  I have chills and cold sweats.  Everything hurts, all the time. I am still cold.  I am sad.  I am hungry but can’t stand to eat much.  I am super light-headed and I black out.. a lot.  I wake up with stabbing pains in my stomach.  My original pain is radiating through my body constantly.  I wake up screaming (sorry boyfriend) from what is called “the zaps,” which feels like a paddle of needles is being repeatedly smacked onto my back and the pain from it radiates to every extremity with the sensation of needles pricking my skin.  In essence it SUCKS!! I quit the drugs cold turkey, and now I know it was just plain dumb.  But I had no idea what was about to happen, because no one told me!  Get a good support group to help you and to stop you, a cuddly puppy or two, eat healthy and don’t give up.  Drinking plenty of fluids(H20 & Gatorade), eating bananas, oatmeal and other wholesome foods are helping me a little.  

I hear that I should be feeling better soon, but each day gets worse.  It is 3am, Enk, Massimo and Chloe are passed out in bed, and I’m sitting at the computer staring blankly until I decide to try to focus.

IMG_4568 IMG_4538 IMG_4524 IMG_3683IMG_3695

8 thoughts on “The Perils of Narcotics

  1. Big big hugs! I’m so sorry you had such a horrible experience with the doctor! My dad fell and broke his back and got addicted to the pain meds. It was a hard process but he got better on all accounts. Prayers the same for you!

  2. I’m so sorry that you are having such a terrible experience. Sometimes Doctors suck and sometimes they are amazing. I think it depends on the institution they work in and on the individual. Look after yourself and just keep the faith that the withdrawal will pass and you’ll feel more yourself soon.

  3. Ms. Tina, I’m at a loss for words and sometimes I don’t know the best ways of sayings things. I want to be honest: you were one of the best teachers that I’ve ever had in my many years of going to school. You impacted my life in a way that I would never forget; most importantly you lit a spark within me to live and enjoy all what life has to offer (I also found another job out of the realm of the family). It was an important lesson to learn because not to long before that something within me died. I was in a similar situation where I was prescribed harmful drugs that almost took my life (being completely honest). It goes to show you how harmful and powerful Big Pharma really is and how “sold out” some doctors are by money. In another instance, I went to the ER (at STRAUB) and got prescribed pain killers just for a sore throat!

    I am praying for you and I hope that it isn’t weird that I commented on your blog.

    Ashley W.

    • Oh Ashley, I love and adore you! Thank you so much for all your kind words and for being such a light in my teaching life :) I want to hear about the new job, and everything over lunch or coffee when you have time!! And btw it’s never weird that you comment, email, text, or anything me!!

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