Monday, July 25, 2005

I Want a New Drug

Jason got sick this weekend.

Maybe it was two straight days of friends and dropzone and no naps after weeks of being in a hospital bed. Maybe it was the oppressive hot and muggy weather conditions. Or maybe it was the walking taco he ate -- a lump of ground beef plopped inside a bag of Fritos, topped with lettuce and salsa and an ice cream scoop of sour cream.

Jason spent the rest of the night shivering and clutching a trash can. His face was a light shade of gray and his stomach was all gurgly, so he took some tablets of Pepto Bismol.

After that, Jason noticed the part of the Pepto label that cautioned against taking it while on blood thinners -- another drug he's currently taking. A call was made to his brother's wife, a pharmacist.

It was no big deal, she said.

What was a big deal was his pain patch -- like the nicotine patch but with powerful narcotics.

Earlier that evening, Jason and I had already decided it was this pain patch that was making him so dizzy and nauseous. To lower the dose, we literally cut the patch in half and threw away part of it.

To me, this made perfect sense. Of course, I also believe that we should get warmer when we skydive at high altitudes because we're closer to the sun. So don't trust me.

I guess that cutting the patch in half can actually increase the dose, something I don't entirely understand. But, um ... whatever.

Jason ended up peeling off the whole damn thing. We flushed it so the cat wouldn't get into the trash and get all hopped up on goofballs.

So, for the first time since leaving the hospital, Jason was without constant pain medication. He does have a prescription for a patch with a lower dose, but he didn't yet have it filled. And the small town where we're staying doesn't have a 24-hour pharmacy. And the prescription was in his mom's purse. And she is in Indianapolis.

The lack of pain medication filled his sleep with fits and starts. Occasionally, Jason was overcome by the ache and cramps and stiffness and he would pass out from it all, his body sprawled across layers of pillows and sweaty sheets. His face was still, but his limbs were all awkward right angles. He looked as though he had lost a battle. Sometimes I quietly checked to make sure he was still breathing.

Today should be better. It has to be.

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