Write In Between

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hip Trip: In search of a good leg to stand on, Part 3

On better living through chemistry...

As I woke up from my hip replacement surgery, my cheerful nurse, Erin, instructed me on the use of the self-administered morphine pump for my pain management. No sooner had I awakened from the anesthesia, that I realized I had a new best friend-- the button on the pain pump that shot the morphine through my I.V.

Pain has a way of wrecking one's good nature. And as I lean somewhat towards pessimism in my temperament, I need all the help I can get! The morphine pump--aka "Morry"--was my main squeeze for the first 48 hours post-op. I watched the clock for the 6-minute intervals in which I could activate Morry and get my pain relief. Every six minutes sounds a little much wouldn't you say? It is and it's not. Depends on your point of view. My point of view was that even my hair hurt me. Morry made that hurt go away quickly.

Naturally I was comforted by the handholding and love of my hubby who was by my side the whole first day, and by my son who came by after work that night. But it was Morry I needed most, and they both knew it. They even giggled about my altered state of consciousness... I'd be chatting it up, take a hit from Morry, then drift temporarily into la-la land mid-sentence... then a few minutes later pop right back mid-sentence where I was--not skipping a beat (in my mind.) My attention span seemed normal to me. Not to them. Oh, well.

My two days with Morry made me understand the power of addition that imprisons its victims. I had a need for Morry that dominated my every waking hour. Just. Make. The. Pain. Stop. Now I realize that I had a medically-induced pain that I actively chose via medical consent forms, and medical consultation. But for people who try to reduce the pain--be it physical/mental/emotional or spiritual--of their lives through substance abuse, well after two days on morphine, I got a taste of the "need" for a substance. It was my on-going desire. I just can't imagine living that way day to day in normal life, but indeed, many suffering souls do. So there was another little opportunity to offer my pain up for others. And in the meantime, be grateful for the miracles of modern medicines that have allowed me to cope with the shock of major surgery.

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