I have had the misfortune to have been a recent consumer of western traditional medicine, a total knee replacement, my second. Trust me, I won’t be requiring another one, but I digress.
I have a rare neuromuscular condition that affects my motor skills it’s progressive, but I believe it will allow me enough time on the planet to get a few items checked off my nefarious crip agenda. There isn’t much data or research on my issue, as there is little to no money to be made from it, aside from a few assistive devices and a few orphaned trial meds. that I refuse to ever be the test subject for.
Being that this wasn’t me first surgical rodeo, I did my due diligence when researching the best surgeon available for the job at hand, I spent a lot of time explaining my situation, the affects of certain medications pre- and post op on my body, and downloaded the* anesthesia protocol for that specialty to avoid on their end of things.
The surgeon was billed as a rock star for this type of ortho surgery he had a great set of diverse reviews, I checked him out as thoroughly as I could. Everything was in order, all the ducks lined up and off to surgery I went. Now, mind you, TKR is done under a spinal anesthesia protocol, so I was quite aware of my surroundings while in the OR. I dealt with the anesthesia really well, had the new part installed, glued, sawed and screwed in there and was soon off to recovery. So far, so good. Indeed. It was soon time to take a ride down the brightly lit corridors that could resemble a transition from this earth into the unknown while quasi blotto, but no, I was still very much alive.
For a while… Now, if you haven’t ever had this type of surgery, I feel compelled to tell you it hurts… it hurts like Hell. In order to mitigate the pain from a procedure like this, they use opiates to control the agony. In the not too distant past, (when I had my first TKR) they gave me a morphine pump, so I had some semblance of control as to when* I needed some relief. I also require oxygen after any type of anesthesia, as my involuntary muscle control falls off very rapidly post op. and my level drops like a stone. Since the Opioid crisis* those days are apparently gone forever. The surgeon put me on a course of Dilaudid, long and short acting. This* was not going to end well, I just knew it after the very first dose.
Being that once a protocol has begun, and one cannot summon the surgeon directly to get it changed, you are at the mercy of the powers that be. My second day on the pain management protocol, I began to lose time, along with quite a marked decrease in my manual dexterity and overall muscle control. I knew* this could not be right. That afternoon they began to give me long acting IM Dilaudid in addition to the short acting pills anywhere from two to four hours apart. I continued to lose control of my hands and was having a lot of trouble breathing, I was fighting for air and began to panic in the early hours of the morning. The last thing I remember thinking was I can’t get enough air I began to hallucinate, but focused on the monitor above my bed. All I remember from that time was slamming the Call button for the nurse with my right fist.
It was late morning when I came around, but I did remember seeing a lot of medical staff running toward be before I crashed. My Spouse arrived soon after and I was so glad to see her, as I truly believed that I was on my way out earlier in the morning. I eventually found a balance point after the crash, though they were still giving me the short acting meds. I began ditching them and going without them while trying to recover. I just knew this medication was not something I should be taking.
After having had this experience, and having had some discussions with my surgeon, post Op., I realize how truly pervasive Big Pharma is. My surgeon was very honest with me in regard to the protocol that they were legally forced to enact while I was under their care. They had no choice in the matter, given my disAbility and what could possibly happen given the interactions I have with so many medications. I was likewise honest with them about not taking any pain meds for the last two days after the post surgical incident with the Dilaudid. I will not be taking this medication ever again.
The assumption was that while I was under the care of the medical system, it would cause me no harm (clearly on this occasion, it did). The other assumption that was made on the part of my surgeon was that I would not react adversely to this medication, as for the majority of the post-op cases, it has not. As I stated before, this condition is rare, and there are very few documented cases nor empirical research to give weight to any research that has been done. Despite my best efforts to stay alive with my disorder, I live in a precarious state where there are so many unknowns. I feel that gone are the days of individualized medical treatment despite propaganda to the contrary. If you do not conform, beware be informed and be pro active.