Monday, April 6, 2015
Pain Killers on the Sunshine Coast
You've probably heard that prescription drugs kill more people than illegal drugs do. I guess we all know people who abuse them to some degree. I probably know some. But you don't really worry about it because the pills are ..... legal. Those people's doctors give them the drugs and say it's OK for them to take them.
I don't think about that problem much, but it was smeared in my face this last week. As you probably know, I broke my hip and had to have surgery and stay in the Nambour Hospital on the Sunshine coast of Queensland for four days. The only hospitals I've been in previously were in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so comparing those religiously run private hospitals with a public hospital in a tropical paradise on the other side of the world is comparing apples and mangoes.
And I had a painful surgery and injury. But still. They tried to shove drugs down my throat all the time I was there and freaked when I refused them. I'm sure one guy on my ward was playing the staff for everything he could get. He was quite proud of himself. I think he may have even been doing a little distribution across the curtain from me.
I started refusing the strong drugs because they made me nauseous and dizzy. I needed to get home and I could only do that if I could get up on my feet and prove I'd be OK when I left. I needed to be able to balance and navigate on crutches. And who wants to be nauseous?
When the little Swedish girl across from me fainted in x-ray, everyone was asking, "What do you think caused it?" I was lying there thinking, "It's the drugs you stuck down her throat, idiots."
When you are in pain and a nurse gives you meds, it's easy to take them. I heard one nurse comment that if all GPs gave to patients was Panadol, they'd all go out of business quickly. I also heard staff discussing the price of Oxycodone in the streets.
They passed that stuff around like candy in there. Once a nurse gave me some when I hadn't requested it and I spit it out when I realized it, which really pissed her off.
When I left, I didn't want any drugs but they sent some....not a script, but a box of drugs....home with me. They said they just wouldn't feel right not doing so. Sheesh!
Well, I'll admit that I took one. One day, everything just hurt and I got tired of it and took one pill and it felt great to feel the pain just washing out of my body. But that was it. I need to get up and move around and I need to go to work tomorrow. That will be a story!