It could have been taken out in August, in the same place with the same doctor as finally removed it in December, yet not with my terms, not with my consent. The bar would have been disposed of as medical waste.
In me – my heart, my soul, my mind, my voice – I knew it was not waste, it was valuable, and I wanted it. I needed it out and in my hand; else keep it inside no matter the damage. This part of me would not be sorted.
I had a great conversation with the doctor who put it in. She had come to explain my surgeries after I’d woke and suggest another. Also, to apologize for breaking off a drill bit in my pelvis.
How do you break off a drill bit in a person? I’d asked. Confused by my image of a computer controlled robotic drill press meticulously following a well plotted path.
“Well, as you’re drilling, if you put a bit too much side pressure…”
She was still speaking, yet now I knew. You break a drill bit off in a pelvis the same way you break a drill bit off in anything, by hand.
“In five days we’ll build you a custom internal bar and you will be able to sit up again.”
I currently had a half inch handle bar externally across me as if the safety bar had been pulled down in a carnival ride. Twelve inch rods were bolted to it, penetrating down through my skin twisted inches deep into each side of my hip keeping me together with a pair six inch bolts into each side of my sacrum.
I had to be rolled every four hours. Suspended from the bar that over hung six inches on each side. Fentanyl and Hail Mary’s at the top of my lungs. Every time you finish, the only logical conclusion is that you’re not dead. I wasn’t sure what death felt like and I wasn’t sure I wasn’t dying each time.
I didn’t want the drugs the first time I remember being offered, no opioids. She told me I was already on a morphine drip. I tried a bed roll without any more. The next time I agreed to a “quarter mike” (spelt how I heard it, mg?) of IV fentanyl. It didn’t help much, an infants dose they said. I wouldn’t take anymore than that, just more Hail Mary’s.
I still hurt in August, bad pain. Not ‘you need to go walk it off’ pain, I had ‘there is a problem’ pain. What is the story? A mouse and a lion, and the mouse pulls the thorn from the lions paw? I had a thorn and it was not the bar.
I knew that. In me I knew that. After the bar was out, there would be no more surgical interventions for my pelvis. The doctors did not see and the doctors did not believe I had a thorn, other than the bar.
Pain is normal, take some medicine. One doctors office introduced themselves to me that way, in the week or so all my first appointments were set in late February twenty two. What is a PM&R I asked? Confused with all the specialists assigned, do I need one more?
“We’re the ones that will manage your pain meds- you’re going to want an appointment with us.” She was my source, she knew it and expected to be treated according. I added that appointment, and a few more with that office – yet that is another story for a different day.
All my doctors needed to do to get rid of me was take out the bar. I needed a thorn taken out (my hip and ankle relocated.) Yet, I was the only one that believed the bar was not a thorn.
I chased a good thing to a good conclusion. Yet, from any other perspective, I was chasing a thorn to my own self induced demise.
Under my own direction, I used the drugs I had available, based on my own considerable personal experience and observational knowledge, to chase my bar.
From another perspective, I was abusing the drugs, hiding that from my doctor, and not cooperating with the plan. Regular daily dosage, increase to match ADL pain as necessary. Decrease ADL to mitigate pain, as necessary. Find a balance, welcome to life.
Maybe that works for others, yet I knew. I know. And I will alway remember and see these words, that path would end with a needle in my arm. A slow path to hell has always been my favorite road, it’s safe and easy path.. nothing to be afraid of once you get used to it.
And the drugs will help you get used to anything. Instead, I used the drugs to find my thorn. Inspired by my bar? My natural intuitive body tuned by eons of evolution? By a voice in my head? By Jesus, the sum of all knowledge? Inspired by a person.
Inspired by a conversation and a smile. I told her then I understood how a drill bit gets busted.
She smiled at my layman’s understanding and said “I’m sorry I busted one off inside you.”
I smiled ear to ear. When do I get to return the favor? I asked.
She paused, and paused, even a third time she paused. From Doctor, to Apologist, to Mother/Wife (idk,) to Woman. I had made light of her error by undeniably changing the topic to her female personhood. It took her a few seconds to think. She blushed in the meantime.
She started to smile and inhaled deeply to hide it; I needed my doctor back. I’m sorry I said, I meant to say I understand how bits get broken or something like that. I asked about the new bar, could I keep it.?
Honestly, a childish question of no importance other than to change the topic again. And it worked, yet something else had changed too, her radar was down as we talked about the bar.
She thought the new bar was so cool, she didn’t have one in her collection. Her answer was simple, if I didn’t keep my bar when it cane out, she would. She spent twenty or thirty minutes talking with me, about the bar and other things I can’t remember as well..
I keep kinda flirting with her, as much as a man half paralyzed lying flat in a bed can, smiles and facial expressions. Beautiful brown hair, she kept playing it, twirling it around her finger.
I met a hot doctor at a bar in Florida and I wasn’t dead yet for at least the next half hour.
Is that a good reason to snort oxy and lie to my doctor? No, yet it was the only path I saw to get to my bar. The bar is valuable, the insurance price was fourteen thousand for the bar and it’s screws. This story is worth more than that. Was it Jesus that gave me what I needed, to know that my bar was valuable?
Did I see him when I saw my doctor as a person? Did she see the same when she let down her guard and saw me as a person and not patient for a little while?
In Twenty Two, for the first time something changed in me, whether good or bad, a little opioids were okay to me, then even a little bit more. Rational. Ground I could tread. I’ve made it to the big leagues now.
I carry naloxone and my bar. My last non medically directed and dosed use was November second, last use Christmas Day Twenty Two.
Time to work.