ChezGigi

Fractured Fallacies of a Finagling Fact Finder and Obfuscating Humorist

A Woman's Guide To The Universe

Of Opioids And Surgery: Off To La La Land With Happy Pills

Opioids and surgery have been occupying me a lot lately. Thank goodness for opioids and drugs in general. I like clean living and all, and could earn a merit badge for effort for the off and on commitments to various environmental endeavors I’ve endeavored to embrace in past years. But try being in the hospital and asking them to cut down on the plastic waste during meal time. Hopefully, they recycle some of it.

My best efforts lately at eradicating my carbon footprint have been through giving up things like honey, not flushing flushable wipes, and turning off the water while I brush my teeth.

I got my second hip replacement last week at Cedars Sinai, which is where the opioids and surgery come in. You definitely want some drugs when you get sliced and diced. My right leg was so bad the doc was almost in a panic. He called it The Haunted Hip, like a spook was in the habit of jumping out of my hip bone at innocent passersby as they walked past.

There was so much internal damage that he was afraid his work wouldn’t hold together. He talked about introducing me to a doc who does a ring and bolt thingy, in case his after market part didn’t take in this little science project, but so far it seems secure. I’m supposed to baby it for three months instead of six weeks.

After five days in the hospital, they finally let me go. There was talk of transferring me to a rehab place in LA for a week or so, but with an upcoming appointment for the MOTH, who would have to drive home without me and then drive back, I just went on home after passing the final exam by  a physical therapist. These people come and get you at various times and make you walk up and down a public hall with your bare bottom hanging out.

I had a great idea to make money and the physical therapist was behind it. She had come and gotten me out of bed to walk to places I didn’t want to walk, like down that public hall. When we got to the end of it, she told me to “go into the stairwell,” so that we could practice on the stairs.

I was suspicious of this whole plan. I asked if she planned to leave me in the stairwell, or push me down the stairs, but she denied it immediately, which is a big red flag. Of course they’re going to deny it!

She kept pulling the two edges of my smock together in back while we walked down the hall after assuring me that I was packing a concealed weapon, not one on public display.

I finally gave up all pretense at modesty and told her we should sell advertising on the behinds of ambulatory patients. An ad could say, Buy Bayer on the trip down the hall, and then, Use Preparation H on the way back. Don’t spend your new fortune made from your behind. Just sit on it.

But the real point is, it was the opioids that gave me this inspiration for Bottom Advertising. When you take them, you drift in and out on weird brain waves. Sometimes, I’d have an earth shattering thought and continue the conversation that was going on inside my head–only out loud–but it made no sense, not even to me.

I felt exactly like those unfortunate people must have felt who are in those old photographs of opium dens. They lie there all day, day after day, clouds of smoke and dreams wreathing their heads. It’s a commentary on the dangers of doing drugs.

As far as I can tell, if they help you come up with brilliant ideas like bottom advertising, how bad can they be?

Image result for opium den

So this is an opium den. Mom always warned us about them.

Opioids definitely help with pain. The first day they made me walk, I forgot what liars medical personnel are and figured I was doing it all on my own–that I was a badass hombre who rarely felt pain like lesser mortals, and that I was as strong as I was when I was 20.

Or that I still had legs like I had in my 20s:

Circa 1982, Jackson Heights, NY, Pan Am. The puppy is Chulo Lindo Titere.

Truth was, I was packed full of drugs and moving still felt like hell.

After the first day when every movement hurt and I was given express permission by the doctor not to walk more than two steps if I didn’t feel like it–permission that was totally ignored by the physical therapist–the worst pain was when I spilled boiling hot soup on my chest and stomach. They serve it in stupid little cups with non-existent handles.

I pulled the soup covered smock away from my chest, Don grabbed a washcloth, wet it, wiped me off, put some DMSO on the burn, which caused it to disappear almost immediately, grabbed a clean smock and a clean sheet, and remade the bed while I pulled the clean smock on.

The nurses never even knew. He was good. He was like The Flash, if The Flash worked in a hospital. If he hadn’t been there when I spilled it, I don’t know what would have happened. I’d have had to take more oxycodone or something.

Here’s a good tip on hospitals: once you poop, you can go home. Pooping is the Gold Standard for patients. Nurses even have a scale they refer to with pictures of poop in various stages of evolution. The poop faces have happy or unhappy expressions. You want happy poop. Happy poop means you can go home. Opioids are challenges to overcome to this happy ending, because the drugs dry you up like the Sahara Desert and there will be no pooping for you.

After we returned home, I practiced my walking on the walker–the one with two wheels, no seat. I took baby steps through the living room, real casual, heading for the front door.  Out that door were many adventures. I’d be too slow to catch them, but hey, at least I could try.

I stopped dead in my tracks halfway across the room. A handsome man, a blue-eyed devil, was sitting at the dining room table, seemingly unoccupied. Best of all, he was ALONE.

Perhaps, just perhaps, he’d like some company. I proceeded to find out.

Wiggling my own seat back and forth, I attempted to attract his attention. He glanced over and told me to “be careful” with all that wiggling. Sigh. Do all femme fatales go through this?

I told him he was looking at a street walker, ready to roll, but not too fast. I’m cheap and easy, the perfect woman for most men.

I moved closer to him, holding the walker carefully, my lips slightly parted, breathing hard. So much wiggling and walking. I’m not used to it and now it’s senior porn. He crooked his finger at me, growling “Come closer, baby. Closer. That’s right. Come right here. My oxygen tubing isn’t long enough.”

My bosom heaved with desire, or it could have been caused by some rare syndrome flown in fresh from China. I’ll give him oxygen. I’ll get his heart rate up.

 

of opioids and surgery on chezgigi.com

What a great idea I just had. I wish I could remember what it was.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Craig Jackson

    Your writing is so evocative, Gigi. I feel like I’m right there with you. I think hospitals only dispense opioids for extreme pain (8 to 9 on the 10-scale). Too bad they don’t give simple opium instead, maybe mixed with a little bit of Cannabis. Of course, fentanyl is restricted to surgical procedures along with the other anesthetics.

    You wrote: “I told him he was looking at a street walker, ready to roll, but not too fast. I’m cheap and easy, the perfect woman for most men.”

    Sometimes I envy the MOTH. I bet he has a lot of fun.

    • Thank you, Craig! There’s no higher praise than for a writer to hear that. I’m guessing there’s some opium in oxycodone, because of the “opi” in the opioids. I could be wrong. It’s probably also codeine, right? That first day, I really needed it. Every little movement hurt. But by the second day, it already felt better. The body’s healing abilities are amazing.

      Mixing it with cannabis is a brilliant idea!

      I felt so out of body at times, that I figured it was similar to how smoking opium makes people feel. Didn’t Sherlock Holmes smoke it, too? And that scene in The Wizard of Oz where they all go to sleep in the poppy fields.

      I’ll tell the MOTH you said so, Craig. He’ll get a kick out of that!

  2. Mary

    You is on some good stuff! Codeine is part of the group of wonderful drugs originally derived from opium. So there you is. An opium fiend. (Always wanted to be some kind of fiend myself!).

    Glad the surgery seems to have gone well, take care of yourself, behave yourself. You should be back in the pool just about pool weather time. Good work!

    • Thank you, Mary! This one, while much worse according to the doctor, is also easier, because now I have a good leg to work with. He just has me worried it’ll pop loose any time. I don’t even want to think about it!

      When we lived in Australia, you could buy aspirin with codeine in it over the counter. Great stuff. Wow. I don’t want to become addicted to oxy, but the stuff is sure good. I’ve cut down to two a day, one to help me sleep and one to stop being so miserable in the morning. I’m getting there, though, and am not so fiendish as I used to be!

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