I already wrote about my post-surgery medications, including oxycodone, but for this essay, I’d like to explore this question. I’ve passed seven years of sobrieties. Oxycodone is much more effective and dangerous than alcohol. Shouldn’t I be clamoring for more? Why am I not… addicted? My simple answer is that I take the medication as prescribed and it’s helping to relieve a majority of the post-surgery back pain. I’d be hurting if I abused it.
I continue to be disappointed by many aspects of the American Healthcare System. My insurance company has been less than helpful consistently enough to where I can reliably know that whenever I need to call them to ask for help, I have a 33% chance of getting a rep that is willing or able to help; the others… don’t understand healthcare. But, I’m disappointed my old spine doctor didn’t tell me more about commonly-occurring post-surgery drainage.
If there’s one notion in media/culture that needs correction, well, there’re many, but one I’d like to focus on in “The Story” – if I only get one – is the idea of ‘the ambulatory wheelchair user.’ Not everyone that uses a wheelchair is completely physically helpless. For example: after my spine surgery, I considered using my cane[s] to walk to an in-store wheelchair to go grocery shopping, except, there’s subconscious abled-bodied prejudice against people with disabilities.
Spoilers?: Minor [physicality of existence]
WANNA CONSIDER HOW YOU CAN HELP SOMEONE YOU SEE THAT MIGHT HAVE A DISABILITY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
I’ve wondered how some people get into such bad mental conditions to where they’re willing to live in squalor to chase after their highs. Through my experiences in the American Healthcare System, it’s much easier for me to understand that if anyone were thrown into a situation where they were in an incredible amount of pain, given medication to relieve that pain, then stopped suddenly, of course people would chase after highs; or rather, normalcy.
Before my spine acted up in the way it did, I was a fairly private person. Maybe even shy around others? There’s something about being in a fair amount of pain, or being unable to do something on your own, to where when someone asks you to do something, you’re much more willing to do it. I’d scratched the surface before in essays about “The Story.” I’ll dig in a bit more after the jump.
I have 32 wound photos and counting. I started taking these photos as a way to document what is going on with my wound, after my surgery “bilateral L3-4, L4-5 Laminectomy and Discectomy,” so that whoever might care enough about me to treat me like a human being could assess how the wound is healing. Yesterday, we noticed some blood from the wound. This was new. We went to an urgent care. It was just exudation.
I received an email from the contact that I had spoken to at one of the companies dictating my healthcare benefits. To summarize Part 1, I received a survey that had someone’s email, so I emailed them directly to tell them their company was more concerned with red tape than patient care. This eventually got their attention and they wanted to set up a phone chat to learn more, but unfortunately, it seems they didn’t learn.
When my doctor entered the room, he looked at me like he recognized me. I looked at him looking at me and then he asked if he knew me. I said no, but he did seem familiar. We were wearing masks, and probably will for many months forward, but I overall felt like I had a good experience with this new primary care physician. I’m OK with going to a larger hospital network doctor now.
I am writing this essay in the evening of my first full day back home from surgery. I woke up at 3am needing to use the restroom, reposition myself, and check on my bandages. This took me one hour in solitude and I was then able to sleep until my 8am alarm. It still takes me about 30 to 60 minutes to stand up out of a chair or off my toilet, but I’m progressing, I suppose.
Some valuable advice I was given was to request the post-surgery medications, and secure the medications myself, prior to having surgery. This way I could go home and have my medications ready – antibiotic Cephalexin, stool-softener Docusate, and painkiller Oxycodone – without having to be concerned over whether I’d have them or not. This was useful because my hospital’s outpatient pharmacy, months ago, proved themselves to be incapable of running my insurance. How have these medications gone?