chapter 5: it was the best of times, it was the nursed of times: putting the “IV” in “ALIVE”

PAIN.  it was the reason for my visit to St. Joseph’s.  sure, i could tell the staff that i was thinking about them and just had to see their smiling faces.  “when a phone call just won’t do…”  …or i could say it was for the food, or maybe i just wanted to sleep in an adjustable bed for a few nights.  and truthfully, my shower at home doesn’t have that hand-held head.  so many possible motivations for my trip.   but the real reason, if i’m not just trying to make everybody feel good, was that i HURT.  REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FREAKING BAD.  pain was my shallow and selfish–and singular–reason for coming in.  according to the doctor, i had a brain tumor that was bleeding.  let me tell you:  that HURTS.  and after my first butt shot the night i came to the ER, i was given an IV.  it was sort of an all-purpose port into my system.  they used it to take blood.  they used it to inject dye into me for one of my MRI’s.  they also used it to inject me with Dilaudid.  not even Dilaudid could stop the pain, but it reduced it, and it allowed me to sleep…and have the strangest million little dreams that separated the shortest moments of consciousness.  sometimes, writing a text would be interrupted by 10 dreams, one after every word i could type.  i told the nurses that i still hurt, and i learned to voice my needs, and use the call button on my remote for more pain medicine.  and then it happened:  the one time, the one dose, that gave me euphoria, if only for a few moments.  the nurse bore down on the plunger.  and the chemical flushed into my veins.  i felt the sensation flood my body:  first up my left arm, then into my chest, then back outward down both arms, rising up to my head while at the same time reaching out toward my toes.  and it was AMAZING.  THANK GOD for morphine.  it comforted me like Linus’s blanket.  like warm tomato soup when i’ve got the flu.  like Calgon in the commercial.  like being surrounded by cellos, and violas, and violins.  and feeling their chiffy vibrations all around me.  and getting warm from each stroke of every bow.  it was IMMEDIATE.  it was POWERFUL.  so THIS is why Nikki Sixx did it.  from my first night in the emergency room, Dilaudid was the relief i desperately needed, even though it never eliminated the pain, and it was my saving grace while i was in the hospital.

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