Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ah, lovely hydrocodone. Lovely, love....zzzznnnkkk

Yes, friends, I was a narcotic virgin.

I think I've had one Darvocet once in my life, back when I was a kid and Mom gave me one in desperation after I'd flown with a sinus infection. That was too long ago for me to recall what I felt like. Similarly, I think I might've had Vicodin at some point in the past, but I don't remember anything but getting mildly, then moderately, then severely queasy, then not taking it any more.

Now I have this cough syrup. It has 5 mg of hydrocodone per teaspoon, and I'm supposed to take two teaspoons at a time, which (let me tell you) makes for a party. It also has a decongestant and an antihistamine I've never heard of, so I'm sleeping really, really well.

It's become a hobby for me to look at these experiences through the lens of how my patients might feel in the same situation. When I had a migraine, I mentally cataloged everything that was happening to me, so I could relate better to people with migraines. Now I'm all about the side effects of hydrocodone. To wit:

1. You sleep like the dead, then wake up, *plink!* with no sensation that time has passed at all. This is nice, if a little disconcerting.

2. Everything takes forever to accomplish. I'm not taking this while I'm working, but it's still odd. It takes twenty minutes to shower and ten to make coffee, because I'm....moooving...iiiiin...sllloooowww...motion.

I'm moving like Mrs. Which talked in "A Wrinkle In Time."

3. Nothing much matters. Ten minutes to make coffee? No problem. I'm coughing up green crap? Doesn't worry me in the least. Wanna cut off my big toe and stick it in my ear? Go 'head, I'll just be over here, napping.

4. I itch. All over. No rash, so no allergy, but a common side effect.

5. I'm not coughing as much. When I *do* cough, I have to make an actual thoughtful effort to manage it, because my cough reflex seems to have taken a powder. (Ha.)

Chef Boy just brought me soup, toast ingredients, and a big bunch of purple tulips. The Cat is curled up at the foot of the bed, one eye barely open, watching to see when I decide to lie down. Max is in the hallway, one eye on me and one on the door, so he can get belly-rubs from any intruders that happen into the house. I have lemonade and limeade and fresh coffee, and a book on the couch that I've been wanting to read. All this, combined with a hydrocodone haze, makes this one of the most pleasant illnesses I've ever had.


girl_in_greenwood said...

I had Vicodin for a day and a half when I needed an emergency root canal but couldn't get into the dentist right away (note to self, don't allow future teeth to die on a Friday afternoon), and I still hurt, I just didn't care anymore. Also, I felt drunk.

As for your pleasant illness, I've been told that's why pneumonia is not an unpleasant way to die - you just kind of drift off in a sleepy haze and expire.

Anonymous said...

1) Itching is a side effect? I thought it was something special or stupid that I alone did.

2) Toast ingredients? You mean, like, bread and heat?

Jo said...


1. Yes, itching is common.

2. No, silly, bread and butter. Lots of lovely, lovely butter.


I sure hope I don't drift off and expire from this. I still have laundry to do.