Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Just Say No Thank-You"

This week I finally listened to Nancy Reagan and just said NO to drugs. I haven't written much about pain management since my accident, but I've been on one form of medicinal pain relief or another over the past five months. With 25 broken bones, the hospital staff even brought in the palliative care team to design a "cocktail" that would make movement and merely staying in one place bearable. After they got things squared away, I was not in much pain, although I did nod off in the middle of a few conversations. Once I entered intensive physical therapy at Helen Hayes, the importance of pain medication took on another dimension. One can't work through the intense demands of physical therapy without some degree of pain reduction to pave the way. Since returning home, I have been in the process of steady reduction. I was nearly off the medication all together in December when I had my shoulder operated on and that sent me right back up in my dosage for a spell.

Last week, though, I hit another milestone. On Friday morning, I took my final pain pill and I'm pleased to report that three days later, (while I may feel a bit more stiff) I did not suffer any negative side effects. Of course, I will probably end up like these guys now that I no longer dope, but maybe Nancy Reagan was right. Maybe some times we need to stand up and just say no, or as my friend Jamie used to say, "just say no thank-you."

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