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Being sick (part 1)
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Being sick (part 1)

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Paul RichardsonBy Paul Richardson

Waiting in an ER is a trying experience for anyone, especially when in severe pain, on a weekend, during a full moon, and on a holiday. Wow! Come on St. Peter! I need some relief!

After hours in agony, when the nurses finish their crossword puzzles and call every number on their cell phone to catch up on the latest gossip, they finally call a couple of suffering patients. And then it’s the usual forty questions, “do you smoke, do you drink,” that sort of thing. (Never mind my pain.)

Then to add insult to injury, the nurse has the nerve to say, “drinking alcohol doesn’t just mean beer and whiskey, but also homemade wine and moonshine.”

“Good Heavens, woman, is nothing sacred?”

With that out of the way, it’s back to waiting. After two more hours in agony and cussing everyone in there once, and some twice, at last, it’s a two foot wide stretcher and a shot of morphine (I had a blood clot).

I call tell the world, thirty seconds after a shot of morphine, nothing on God’s green earth matters. Bring it on, the pain and suffering, the heartache and the agony, give it your best shot.

For eight days, and with morphine every six hours, most of my time was spent floating around the Heavens with the angels and loving the world, even the arrogant nurse in the waiting room concerned about my homemade snake bite medicine. (My body was so relaxed I couldn’t have swatted a fly.)

The only thing that really concerned me the first week while I was in a state of bliss, was the male nurse roaming the halls with bag on enemas in his pocket. I recall telling him if I saw him even peeking in my door, I would go up side his head with my bedpan. (I wasn’t totally oblivious to my surroundings.)

After the first day, every time the real nurse came in, the first thing I asked was “did you bring my pain medicine?

I think I may have even proposed to her a couple of times. Later that week, when the fog lifted and I rejoined the living, I was glad she said no.

I can honestly say it was the first time I have ever been in hospital when I did not want to go home. That is, not until two days after the morphine stopped, then I was begging to go, even demanding.

When I was discharged, I begged my doctor for some of that “wonder juice” to bring home. “No way, big boy,” he insisted.

“But doc, what if I have a relapse, or a hangover, or Heaven forbid a hang nail,” I insisted?

“Tylenol will have to do,” he repeated.

Trust me folks, after a week of morphine, there is absolutely no euphoria with Tylenol, not even with a double dose of extra strength, long lasting, quick acting. It just ain’t the same.

But moving on to other things, it’s funny what you notice when you nothing but time on your hands, and the trouble a person can get into while doing nothing but being cofined.

We will continue this conversation later in Part 2 when I tell you about the air raid and the torture chamber