Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why Drugs are Bad

Just Say No! Even when it's a prescription, drugs are bad. Here's an excerpt from INFECTED showing why if you're going to OD it's good to be in a hospital when it happens.

                When I woke up later, I knew something was wrong. I was in pain. I pushed the button still in my hand giving myself another dose of morphine. That wasn’t the problem. There was something else. My chest hurt. Why did my chest hurt? It hurt because I was holding my breath. Breathe, Kate, breathe. I opened my mouth and sucked in a mouth full of air.
                Breathing is instinctual. Conscious people are capable of holding their breath, but unconscious people always breathe. Except for me. I was asleep, and I hadn’t been breathing. Now I was awake and I still wasn’t breathing. Breathe, Kate, Breathe. I gulped down another breath of air.
                Everything felt confusing. Why did I keep forgetting to breathe? My abdomen hurt. I pushed the morphine button in my hand. It beeped three times in rapid succession, telling me I wasn’t allowed anymore drugs yet. Six minutes can feel like a very long time.
                I didn’t even know why I kept pushing that stupid button. It didn’t take away the pain. Nothing took away the pain. All the morphine did was make me stop caring about the pain. The six minutes were up, I pushed the button again and heard the satisfying single beep. I didn’t care about anything, not even breathing.
                That’s right, I still wasn’t breathing. No wonder I felt so dizzy. Breathe, Kate, breathe. I pushed the button. Not the one in my hand, the one on the side of my bed.
                “Can I help you?” A voice came across the intercom.
                “There is something seriously wrong with me. I keep forgetting how to breathe.” I knew I sounded like a crazy person. I probably was a crazy person. I may not have needed a lamp sign before, but I definitely needed one now.
                Debra came into my room. “Kate, how are you feeling?”
                “I keep holding my breath,” I said. I knew it sounded lame. Why had I called the nurse? When would six minutes be up so I could have more pain meds? My abdomen really hurt. My chest hurt too, probably because I wasn’t breathing. I remembered to take a breath. “I’m not trying to, I just forget. Everything’s confusing right now.”
                “You’re forgetting to breathe?” Debra gave me a look. She was a new nurse, so I hadn’t learned how to decode all of her looks yet. I had no idea if I looked insane or critical. Either way, I’d probably get a lamp sign.
                I laid there trying to figure out what Debra was thinking, and forgot to breathe again. A lot of time must have gone by because Debra started shouting at me. “Breathe, Kate, you need to breathe.”
                “Oh yeah, that’s why I called you in here. Why do I keep forgetting that?”


  1. That sounds like too much morphine to me!

    It also sounds like you needed the pulse oximeters my husband's company makes. They register the oxygen level in patient and alarm the nurses when it drops.

  2. That is exactly what happened next, I just didn't want to have a crazy long post. After the nurse came in she dropped my morphine level, checked my oxygen level and when she saw it was crittically low hooked me up to both a pulse oximeter and an oxygen tank. I stayed on the oxygen tank for a couple of days.