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Hearing the Doctor tell me that I had shattered my L1 vertebrae and was paralyzed from the waist down was an indescribable feeling. You think I would have been crushed, numbed or brought to the thought that I couldn't go on living. But, actually with the addict mind set that I had, it made me think, "at least I don't have to drive to the methadone clinic and pay the $80 per week fee anymore." Because I just knew, that if anything was gonna get me put on some good pain pills it had to be this. I mean, what doctor is going to make someone that will never walk again and be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their lives, do it without some good ass drugs, right?
But the pain that I went through in that hospital over the next month and the rehab center the month after was more than any pain medication was able to handle. I'm sure my tolerance that I had built up over the ten plus years prior, didn't help matters any. I was on a morphine drip and given a button to push every three or four minutes. And that still didn't stifle the pain whenever I had to move or be moved for an x-ray. About four days after my accident I remember going in and out of consciousness. I now know that I had caught a blood infection during my spinal surgery and my temperature shot up to 103° Fahrenheit.
I'm allergic to penicillin, so while they were looking for another way to fight the infection, they had ice packs under my arms and between my legs. They tried to put an emergency pic line right below my collar bone and couldn't control the bleeding. I remember seeing blood shoot out of the little hose they inserted, at least two feet. They finally took it out and put one in my inner bicep and hooked me up to an IV pump with some type of antibiotics that were in the same family as penicillin. So, I was sent to the ICU and it was given to me over an eight hour period. Since I lived through it, they had to hook that pic line up to a bag of that stuff for an hour each night, for the next 32 days. It was a rough month. My sister and brother in-law came from two hours away, every weekend along with my father two of those four times. I had one friend come and see me and that was it. I had gotten to be known among my so-called friends as the hard core junkie that would never change. Which I had learned to accept and honestly gave a fuck less. But, coming that close to death, it was pretty tough realizing that none of them gave a fuck less either.
There was a guy that was also paraplegic that came and visited me. I think he did it for the hospital. I remember him transferring from his chair to my bed, which was about a foot higher than his seat, and saying, "I'll never be able to do that. I'm in so much pain I can barely sit up straight." He laughed and said, "In a few months this will be funny to you also. You will be hopping from your chair to your bed or wherever else you want to hop to. Don't worry bud." And he was right. But there were a lot more things fore to deal with in those few months to come that being able to get from my wheelchair to my bed. Or to the toilet, for that matter.
I got to thinking that if I give this new disability of mine even half the effort to make better that I did feeding my addiction over those ten years prior, I had this shit in the bag. Problem was, I had to deal with this AND my addiction now. Luckily over the next few months I was given enough pain medication to keep my mind off using any other drugs and to focus on at least getting back home. But, not to long after I managed to get back home, my mind done the same thing it done before all of this... think about getting HIGH...