Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Drugs and how poorly I handle them

I've never used drugs recreationally. I've never even really wanted to, because of how poorly I make decisions when I'm constantly sober. I have had three surgeries in my lifetime, however, which required me to go under the knife and receive my own dosage of fun juice. These are my stories.

My first experience with surgery and noxious gas I was 13 and due for a tonsillectomy. I was incredibly emotional about the event; I've always been a huge cry-baby when it comes to needles and knives. I remember coming to afterwards in a bright room with loud voices, and dozens of women around me. My whole body was shaking as the gas wore off, and that terrified me, I also seemed to be unsure if the surgery had happened, or if it was still going to happen, and I was definitely not willing to allow these people to chop on me while I was awake. Logically, I began screaming as I sat up, "Mommy?! Mommy!! Please don't hurt me, please don't hurt me!"
Meanwhile, in the waiting room, my mother said she heard my screams and thought, "oh, look, she's awake."
I kept on my screaming, because my body was shaking, my head hurt, and there was a possibility someone was going to put a knife to me. While my mother says she didn't hear any of them shouting, it sounded to me like everyone was yelling, and I kept hearing, "give her morphine! Morphine!" which was irritating, because no one was realizing that I didn't need morphine, I needed to get off this bed and find my mother. However, none of my protests of "please don't hurt me!!" were doing anything and everyone seemed set on screaming for more morphine, so I devised a cunning ruse to get everyone to shut up.
"I'll just pretend to fall asleep!" I thought. "Make them think they've won. I am a champion"
Now I realize that what I thought was my own genius reasoning was probably just sneaky morphine taking me as its own. Pandering to whatever the cause of the thought was, I played sleep until I made it back into my hospital room, and for years harboured a resentment towards morphine.

My second ever surgery was years and years later for my suicidal appendix. For this one, I was more than happy to go under the knife because I was in ridiculous pain that everyone (other than doctors) kept insisting was just gas. When I woke from the surgery I was in the recovery room with a tending nurse who had a pin of the Swedish flag on her scrub. Drugged Melece apparently finds it incredibly rude to ignore a nearby person, and so I fought hard against all natural instincts to sleep, and tried valiantly to engage the nurse with my wit and humour. My first attempt at flirtation was to communicate to her over and over again that,
"You're Swedish!! I know Swedish!!" I only know one phrase in Swedish, and it is "I love you," back from my High School days in an international school where it was my goal to learn how to make as many people uncomfortable by professing my love in their native languages as possible.
When my nurse didn't seem to care too much about how much I loved her (I believe I told her over 10 times), I tried jokes.
"How much do I weigh??" I asked, probably pretty aggressively.
"Excuse me?" she asked.
"Am I lighter??"
"How much did my appendix weigh?! Am I lighter now??"
She never actually told me. In retrospect, I'm assuming that my communication, which I thought was clear and intellectual at the time, was probably slurred worse than an abstract Van Gogh, because she never responded to any of my queries with anything other than laughs and "what?"s

My last tale is from my wisdom teeth extraction experience, and actually doesn't include drugs at all.
As I sat in the chair before the surgery I talked cheerfully with my dentist and his hygienists, we had good rapport going, because I am clearly a social gem of a person, and it was grand. When it came time for cutting and yanking one of hygienists slipped a tube of gas over my mouth and into my nose while the dentist squeezed my upper arm into a rubber band to find a vein for an injection. They continued to chat with me and I tried to respond, but I began to feel dizzy and weak as the gas seduced me through my air-holes (how's that for a romance novel statement?). Feeling that this was no reason to panic, I did nothing to fight off my slow decent into unconsciousness. Five minutes later I find myself awake and bedraggled in the chair surrounded by worried voices, poking fingers, and beeping monitors. This was surprising to me, because, as far as I was aware, everything was going according to plan.
"Why didn't you warn us that you're a fainter??" My dentist was demanding of me.
"What?" I ask, truly confused by everyone's panic.
"You fainted. You collapsed and fell out of the chair." To this day this statement is really impressive to me, because dentist chairs are pretty much built to be falling-out-proof. I feel accomplished in knowing that when I faint I do so intensely enough to fall sideways out of a reclined dentist chair, even with three people administering to me. Nice.
What I had assumed was sleeping gas was in fact good old oxygen. True to form, I was terrified of the impending needle in my arm, and had gotten nervous enough to pass out, but assumed that I was adult enough for that to not happen any more, and had attributed my symptoms to gas that was not there.

After I really did get surgery, I wandered around Walgreens in a drugged attempted shopping spree while I determinedly hunted for something "fluffly." I also talked openly with people at McDonalds asking intrusive personal questions to the cashier and a family sitting nearby. Good times that I don't remember. Good times.

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