Minor Is Relative

You have all heard it many times:

Its no big deal, its just minor surgery

she will be fine it’s just minor outpatient surgery, it doesn’t even require a hospital stay

Well let me tell you, that’s all fine and dandy when it aint us having the surgery.  It makes us feel better about not calling and not really caring about whoever is having the surgery.

Now, as someone who has been there, allow me to give you the real truth.

When a doctor or doctors have to put you into a medically induced coma to keep you from dying because of the effects the pain of what they are doing will have on you…There ain’t nothing minor about it.

So the chances that you will survive the surgery are very high, and the fact that they can send you home from a surgery center an hour or so after bringing you out of your medically induced coma truly is amazing. The truth is, it isn’t minor.

In the coming days you will hear a lot about a drug called Propofol, aka Diprovan. It will be related to the Michael Jackson death.  I have some experience with this drug, it has been used on me twice. It’s what the anestheologist uses to induce that coma that allows you to survive surgery, be it major (as in the case of my spinal surgery) or “minor” as in the case of my recent sinus surgery. It’s an amazing drug that only came into use less than twenty years ago.

But when it’s used on you, or someone you even care a little bit about, It means that they are about to undergo some very painful days.

For me, in some ways this sinus surgery was worse than my spinal surgery, for sure it hurt more, a lot more, not because of anything except the fact that I had a morphine drip with on demand delivery for 8 days after the spinal surgery…that and a massive dose of percocet every three hours kept me null and void.

This time there was no morphine, yes I had the Percocet but they didn’t stop the pain, not even a little.  I have an extraordinarily high tolerance for pain, but persistant pain over days will wear down anyone. Fri, the day of the surgery wasnt too bad because of the lasting effects of  the anesthesia combined with the pain meds and lack of swelling and what not.  Saturday it got worse, and Sunday and most of Monday were excruciating, the throbbing and the stinging and the constant pain could be dulled, but they didn’t go away and you couldn’t be distracted from them. Sleep was all but impossible and the nose bleed was a constant.

Eventually on Tuesday it lightened up, and when it did it got better quick, the nose bleed stopped mostly, and the pain meds could mask the pain to a level where I could actually sleep for more than 15 mins at a time. Today I have been able to gently blow my nose, as long as the percocet was kicked in.  I blew out a LOT of coagulated and congealed blood.  Eventually it got to the point that I don’t feel congested anymore.  I still use the saline spray 10-12 times a day and Im still on the Percocet but I have halved the dosage, instead of 2 every 4 hrs I can do one every 4 to 6 hours without much discomfort.

You may be wondering why I’m telling you all this.  I’m telling you my experience because every one of you will either have this surgery or know someone who will have to have it.  It’s commonly refered to as having your sinuses roto-rootered and thats pretty much exactly what they do to you.  I also had a deviated septum fixed, which no doubt added to the pain.

As people who know me say all the time…Damn South you’re a tough motherfucker dude.  Well I dunno about that I’m just me, I probably am pretty tough, I don’t bitch about being uncomfortable, I face my problems and trials in life head on and I have never once said why me, nor will I, that’s a pussy thing to even think.

Like the spinal surgery I said simply one of two things will happen, I will own this or this will own me. Like The spinal surgery I owned this.

So the next time someone you care about is having “minor outpatient surgery” remember what you read here today, remember how this tough old mother fucker was brought to writing this by pain that I hope NONE of you EVER has to endure. And remember the one thing that makes that person feel better, is knowing that you care enough to email, call, text, send a card or whatever.

What few moments I had that made me feel even a little better came from friends and family who thought enough to say how are you feeling. I even got good wishes from someone who I know doesn’t like me, and he admitted he doesn’t like me but he also has enough humanity in him to appreciate  and empathize with my situation.

I now have a lot more respect for this guy because unlike other pussies who tell everyone else they don’t like me  but pretend to be my friend to my face this guy admits he doesn’t like me but tells me to my face he doesn’t want to see me suffering. I respect that. Same as I respected Kurt Lockwood doing it when I has my spinal surgery.  I know some so called friends who could learn an awfull lot about being a real man from this guy.

There’s a lot of lessons in this post, a lot of things for y’all to remember, one day you will in a position to use this info so dont forget it.

Thank you again to all the people, friends or not, who have sent me a little cheer. And thank you to all my real friends who have offered anything I need, I’m lucky to have you in my life.

27980cookie-checkMinor Is Relative

Minor Is Relative

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4 Responses

  1. Pain sucks. Eventually it will wear down even the toughest of us. Hang in there!

  2. I know that I am late to the party, but I had the same deviated septum surgery in 2004 along with a uvulopalatoplasty (removal of uvula from back of throat and pinning of excess tissue to bone) to take care of a really severe case of sleep apnea. The throat work hurt much worse than the nose but the nose was just as annoying with the gauze I had to tape under my nose to catch the blood for three days. Annoying overall for about ten days, it finally healed and I am glad I can now sleep without gasping for breath every 30 minutes! The pain was tolerable, but probably because I take strong pain meds for my back injury every day anyway (you actually can function quite well on Methadone, Dilaudid, Percocet or whatever the doc prescribes if it is titrated properly and after your body adjusts to it, the Methadone takes care of most of the pain from my back). I actually had to take less of the additional pain med (Norco IIRC, two pills at a time) the doc gave me then I was supposed to because that on top of my regular meds left me feeling like I had twenty too many at the bar (although in no pain whatsoever)! With your spinal surgery, I am actually surprised that you walk and function as well as you do and your reaction to two Percocet alone leads me to believe that you do not take opioid pain meds on a regular basis (which is very surprising considering your spinal problems).

  3. Youd be right on all counts brudda.

    According to my neurosurgeon Id only just now be getting off the neurontin….but I HATED that shit the massive doses I had to take were having side effects that were only a bit more tolerable than the nerve pain so instead of 2 to 3 years like he said I was off them in 2 months…

    As for the pain meds ya I still have a scrip for oxycodone and another for hydrocodone but I rarely need either one I usually use none of the oxys and maybe 2 or 4 hydrocodone in a month, I do walk with a bit of a limp, and I have limited ankle flexibility but I’m extraordinarily lucky and I had what everyone says is the best neurosurgeon in Atlanta.

    Now you on the other hand …man…I couldn’t imagine having to live with methadone but I do know when you have pain like that ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I was on40mg of oxys every 3 hrs plus the morphine for 8 days then it was just the oxys. I actually asked to have that changed to hydrocodone and I slowly decreased my dosage on my own just in case I had developed any dependence…I hadn’t but my understanding is when you really do need them for pain dependence isnt so much an issue and I was tolerating pain in order to lessen the dosage. When my friend Neal Boortz had knee replacement surgery he called me and asked me how I got off of the oxys and I told him, he called and thanked me a few weeks later saying that worked well for him as well.

    I feel for anyone has to deal with that on an ongoing basis…I mean I have pain every minute of every day but it isnt bad enough that I can’t manage it the only time I really need the meds are if i really work hard at something…like offshore fishing for a couple of straight days…I could never make it out on day three or probably even to sleep without the meds so its good to have em when I need em and the doc told me at the rate I use them he will renew the scrips every year for as long as I want because they are actually better health wise than using ibuprofin.

    So,,,long story short, considering how serious my tumor was, its location and the 8 hrs of microsurgery to remove it…I am extraordinarily lucky I can walk at all. I’m also extraordinarily lucky in a lot of other ways that some day I will explain. My surgery cost over half a million dollars and it’s all paid off…

  4. Mike, thanks for the sentiment. However, if necessary you can learn to live with surprising things, and I can live with the medicine side effects a lot better than the severe back pain I would have otherwise. Most people that I have told about this that know me say that they couldn’t tell that I was on such strong medication. To talk to me most of the time I just don’t seem like I am high or impaired in any way. I have been told by doctors that a person adjusts to the “high”, nausea and motor impairing symptoms of opiates in these dosages (and I am on as much or more than many heroin addicts) and will seem normal but still get the pain relieving effect of the opiates. I just had to titrate the meds with the assistance of my MD to an acceptable level of pain relief without feeling the “twenty too many” feeling. I titrated to my current dosage over a year’s time, as the pain came back the dose was increased until I reached a plateau where the side effects were relatively minimal while still getting pain relief.

    BTW, (IIRC) 40mg of oxycodone every three hours alone is roughly equal to a third of my methadone dose (there are computer programs to compute these things), so you were on some pretty strong stuff when combined with morphine.

    As for that $500K surgery, aren’t you glad you married that friend of yours and got on her insurance? You would have had to file bankruptcy otherwise. This way, your reputation is untarnished and you get to live your life to its fullest (and make lots of dirty movies).

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