This is another experience I had during my recovery after surgery to repair my broken left arm. It was scary. Sorry if you get freaked out. Everything’s cool now, so…don’t worry.
“It seemed like a good idea,” I said.
The thing was, it couldn’t have been a worse idea.
I’d only been home for a couple of days and I was still figuring out how to recover. I spent all my time in bed, my left arm wrapped-up like a fat mummy. People were bringing us food, but I was never very hungry. And I had all kinds of medication I was supposed to be taking. Hydrocodone and Morphine ER were the two biggies.
And they would be my downfall.
One night, after a day of not eating, I reasoned with myself that I should just take one of each at midnight. That way it would be easy to remember when I had taken them. See? Seems like a good idea. So, I swallowed them both and fell asleep. And that’s when things got weird. I was asleep, but I was in my room in my dream, and everything was moving around. Then, suddenly, I was wearing layers upon layers of children’s pajamas. They were really small and super tight, so I started furiously yanking them off. I kept pulling and pulling on the sleeves covering my left arm until…
I started to wake-up. And I realized I was pulling off all the material wrapped around my left arm in real life. I freaked-out and went to the bathroom to assess the situation. I had no idea how it was wrapped by the doctor, so I just did the best I could to put everything back. Then I went back to sleep.
In the morning, I got up and took a shower because I knew we had to go to urgent care. I wasn’t well. I stumbled downstairs and sat on the couch, a clammy, incoherent mess. I vaguely remember my wife calling my parents and telling them what was happening while intermittently yelling, “Ryan! Ryan! Are you there?? Talk to me!” We took the kids to my parents’ while I sat in the front seat barfing my brains out, trying not to pass out. When we got to urgent care, they whisked me inside right away. The nurse finally got an IV in me and as the fluid entered my veins I shook violently. It was freezing, but it felt good. I reassured Julie that it was ok, I was just cold. After the first pint (was it pints or quarts?) I was feeling better so they sat me up. I remember getting into a sitting position and everyone’s face in the room scrunched-up and the doctor said, “Get another one.” Yes, they had to pump two pints of fluid into me. The nurse said I was so dehydrated that when she pressed on my arm to find a vein to put the IV into, “The blood didn’t move at all. It just smooshed around.” Fantastic.
Eventually, after some crackers and 7-Up, they let me go. The experience scared the junk out of me, but I was happy to be ok. And I learned a couple of very important things. First, taking multiple powerful medications at the same time on an empty stomach, no matter how good of an idea it seems, is never a good idea.
Also, if you ever want to get right in at urgent care, just have an “amputated” limb wrapped-up so they think you’re dying because it’s infected.
Worked for me!
I feel like I need to say this: In all seriousness, please be careful when taking powerful medications. I had never had to take anything like that before and I was really stupid about it. So, pay attention when the doctor…and, um, your spouse…tell you to eat and take the medication appropriately.
Only just got round to reading this, Ryan .. lot of family crises over last few weeks so somewhat disorganised in reading your blog .. ring any bells at all?
Guess your wife would be even more freaked out than you .. becuase the “other” (non-patient) has it worse than the mollycoddled victim ..
You have learned YOUR lesson and hopefully others who read this will take due notice too.
So good of you to share these things with us .. many thanks