chapter 6: making it out alive

so, at this point, the chief of neurosurgery had spoken to me, and left me once again in the care of an internal medicine doctor.  this doctor would prescribe–and start me on–medication that i could continue to take when i went home (goodbye, Dilaudid), medication that would be perfectly apt to the charge of keeping my pain at bay.  his sensibilities would dictate my post-hospitalization plight, as i prepared to see the recommended neurosurgeon at USC and plot my course from there.  this I.M. dr. would be the one to make sure i was filled with the right chemicals to end my suffering.  and his name was?  –it was a replacement doctor…my original internal medicine man was off for a few days.  his replacement, the man who was going to be killing my pain:  i kid you not, it was Dr. Gevorkian.  yes, that’s right, Gevorkian.  not the most trusted name in the business.  not a comfortable name to speak when referring to my own health.  “please, Dr. Gevorkian, ease my suffering…it really hurts…isn’t there ANYTHING you can do?”  uh…NOT GOOD.

Dr. um, well, the doctor…the doctor–i’ll just call him Skippy (not his real name)–prescribed Percoset.  okey dokey.  tried it.  not strong enough.  so i was told that Percoset was not an option, as it contains aspirin, which in heavy doses can damage my kidneys.  and so i moved on to:  Oxycodone.  this stuff took GOOD care of me.  only problem:  waking up, itching like a MOFO.  like i’d bathed in poison oak.  if i keep scratching like this, i’ll wake up every morning and leave a shell of my former self on the mattress, like a locust on a tree.  nighttime schedule:  brush teeth, get in bed, go to sleep, MOLT, wake up…

a couple days of this, and my headaches were under control enough for me to take a walk.  went down to the first floor.  just taking a stroll down the hall, when suddenly i was back in the youth group at church, around 13 years old, and…a chaperone walks up.  “wade!  you can’t be down here.  you’re not supposed to leave the floor.”  i hope they don’t tell my parents.  i’m already grounded for that C in Geography.  a nurse from the 7th floor escorted me back to my room.

speaking of my room, there was one thing that was really odd about it:  Jesus.  well, a figurine of Jesus.  the same figurine was at the nurse’s station.  i guess it’s a Catholic hospital (St. Joseph’s), so okay, but the figure of Jesus was like none i’d seen before.  his mouth seemed sort of pursed to one side, and he looked like he was presiding over a tense town hall meeting, and he was saying, “hey, HEY, settle down, okay okay…just settle down, settle down…”

such was life in room 1718.  but life was about to change.  like a woman the day before her period, it was almost time for my discharge.

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