A couple of summers ago, I was hospitalized with a nasty MRSA infection, which in my case was caused by a painful skin boil on my groin that I had tried unsuccessfully to pop with a thumb tack, because I was stupid.
Within two days, I had a high fever and the infection had spread to my upper thigh. It was excruciatingly painful. My husband drove me to the ER when he got home from work. I could barely walk. They took me in right away.
The ER doctor quickly ordered strong IV antibiotics and morphine.
As the medications started to enter my bloodstream, my entire body started to tingle in the most delightful way. I had absolutely no pain at all, for the first time in ages.
The room that I was in started to become glossy, everything vivid and detailed. I must have had a huge grin on my face, because my husband asked me if I was feeling alright.
“Oh, I feel wonderful,” I had replied, or something similar. I don’t really remember. I was flying.
I was on my own personal fluffy cloud of joy, as they wheeled my bed to my permanent room for the duration of my stay. It was late, around 10 pm and I was starving, so one of the nurses found a TV dinner for me.
As sick as I was, the morphine made the food taste delightful. I gobbled it down.
I had started to shiver from the fever. I was under two hospital blankets, my teeth clattering. For the first time that night, I was scared.
“Am I going to die?” I asked the nurse, who was taking my vitals.
She wasn’t the most friendliest person, but she looked at me and smiled slightly.
“You got here just in time,” she said.
They kept me on the morphine for 3 days. People came to visit me, but I was told that I mostly drifted in and out of consciousness. When I did have conversations, I didn’t make much sense, mostly babbling about nonsense.
Once they were able to lance the boil and my fever finally broke, they took me off of it, switching me over to vicodin. I was able to get out of bed to use the bathroom and sit up in a chair.
As sick as I was, the morphine helped me get through the worst of it.
Before they sent me home, they inserted a PIC line into my arm, so I could give myself the heavy-duty antibiotics twice a day. My husband, bless him, had to clean out my wound once a day and repack it.
Without the morphine, it was a painful experience that I didn’t enjoy. But I pretended for his sake that it didn’t hurt. He was so afraid of causing me pain.
I don’t know if I will ever need morphine again in my life. I hope not, even though it made me dream about chocolate covered panda bears dancing in a cotton candy field.
But the point of this post is this:
We sometimes need pain medications, in order not to suffer. My doctor gives me a carefully monitored supply of vicodin when I see him every 3 months.
There is absolutely no shame in this whatsoever.