Thursday, May 13, 2010

A few weeks back: this patient was 55. She was an osteopathic mess. Multiple back surgeries; arthritis, some chronic inflammatory problems, and plenty of reasons for pain. She had become addicted to multiple medications like Norco, Dilaudid, Methadone and so on. She might not classify it as an addiction, but she had clearly developed a high narcotic tolerance, and the number of meds required to reduce her pain (“as stated, according to the patient”), was mind boggling. She was incredibly debilitated, and I suspect it was somewhat self-induced.

But, oh well: I don’t judge the pain or the victim. In ICU, pain is the 17th vital sign, and by golly, I’m like Robin Hood with his arrows. Where there is pain, I shoot the drugs.

Brittle and Broke

She's busted and rusted
She's brittle and broke,
She's on so many pain meds
It's almost a joke,
She has morphine for breakfast
For lunch and for dinner,
With a methadone side-dish
Baby, that is a winner

She has a long list of meds
It's an alphabet soup,
There's a bucket of pills
She keeps on the stoop,
And every year on the holidays
She gives them away,
Plus a few for little Bobby
To go out and play.

She's broken from pokin'
A needle into her arm,
She believed her first dealer
He said it would cause her no harm,
Now as a regular customer
It doesn't matter any more,
Being hooked on narcotics
Is the name of the score.


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