VS’s Opioid Crisis

I had a tooth pulled on Tuesday – one of the big, two-rooted ones. Along with the gauze and pamphlet about after care, the oral surgeon wrote out a prescription for four Vicodin.  I was a little skeptical but since I’m not known for my stoic-ness where my dental work is concerned, I decided to get the prescription filled, just in case.

As the pharmacist was going through all his required drug implications, I suggested that I was hoping not to use any of the four tablets. He was very serious and said I should probably take one right before bed so that I didn’t wake up at night in pain.  “Stay ahead of the pain” were his exact words.

By bedtime at 9:30, all the Novocaine had worn off and with a few ibuprofen, I was actually doing OK. Remembering the pharmacist’s words, I thought maybe I should try the pain killer for overnight but couldn’t bring myself to take a whole one, so I took a half instead.  I slept really well.

Unfortunately, when I got up I had an upset stomach and was pretty woozy. Clearly I should have slept several more hours as that’s how long it took the drug to work its way out of my system.  I felt a little incapacitated at work and decided that all math and emails needed to be either re-figured or re-read to make sure I wasn’t spreading my idiocy throughout my world.  Even after the wooziness subsided I still felt a little wiped out. All of this from one half of a tablet.  The instructions on the side of the bottle say “1-2 as needed”.  Sheesh, I’d be in a coma if I had taken 2!

When were you woozy last?



43 thoughts on “VS’s Opioid Crisis”

  1. As someone who takes two extra-strength Tylenol roughly every four hours to combat pain in various parts of my body, I’m envious that half a Vicodin makes you woozy, VS.

    Unfortunately, I don’t tolerate some of the more effective opioids well. When I was first admitted to the hospital with three fractured bones subsequent to my fall six years ago, I was hooked up to a contraption that injected morphine intravenously at regular intervals. An unexpected and very unpleasant side effect was that I felt as if ants were crawling all over my skin, so that was discontinued. We switched to Oxycodone instead. It wasn’t as effective in controlling the pain, but it did away with the ants. Also, it made me drowsy, so I snoozed a lot, which was fine as I couldn’t do much anyway.

    I think the most pleasant drug experience I’ve ever had was from injections of Demerol. It was used immediately after my knee surgeries. I could feel the sensation of pain lift from my body, and a sense of well being replace it. I felt as if I was floating on air. Could have gotten hooked on that stuff in no time, no doubt about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yesterday evening we spotted the folks-across-the-alley out in their yard, which was good because we’d been wanting to talk to them about how to start up a neighborhood block party. He’d told us previously about how they used to have “alley parties” decades ago. They invited us to sit down for a glass of their homemade wine, then went to get a bottle each of white and red. Three hours later, we stumbled home and remarked that we hadn’t had had so much fun with new people in ages… The only reason I have no hangover is that I alternate glasses of wine with glasses of water.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have always gotten the same advice from nurses urging me to take opioids – “Stay ahead of it! You don’t want to wait until you’re in pain.” I’ve tried Vicodin, Darvon, Dilaudid, Oxycodone, Tramadol, can’t rememer what else, and all they do is make me groggy without really touching the pain. Then after I get groggy I can’t sleep. Oxycodone was the worst – that one actually made me throw up. I do much better just taking ibuprofen. It doesn’t do very much for pain, but I’d rather e alert and in pain than groggy and in pain, and at least I can sleep after taking ibuprofen.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My dad deveopled an absess on his spine once, and was given morphine for the pain. It made him hallucinate, and the doctor had to give him something else for pain.

    We see lots of opioid addicts at my work. They can be the nastiest folks because they will do anything to keep that lovely warm feeling of wellbeing that they get from their pills. What will you do with the 3 leftover pills, VS?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not a good solution. Sewage treatment plants are not up to the task of neutralizing drugs. The preferred method is to incinerate them.


  5. Rise and Stay on Your Feet Baboons,

    Any opioid makes me woozy–I just do not do well on them. After a wisdom tooth extraction 40 years ago I was placed on Percoset, and thought I might lose my mind. And then my entire jaw went numb for 6 weeks. Apparently the surgeon nicked a nerve. It was miserable from start to finish.

    Most of March in AZ I was woozy. It was all allergy reactions to everything that blooms there in March. I was headachy, dizzy, nauseous and fatigued. I gained 5 pounds, and did not have the energy to exercise. After years of never-ending allergy treatment for allergens in this vicinity, I am much better off in MN than elsewhere. Especially AZ in March. Novermber there was not bad at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BTW, I have been taking Curcumin for inflammation with remarkably good results. Maybe that is an option for some of your for joint issues.


        1. I’ve been taking Curcumin for a little over a month and still can’t feel a difference. Alas.


  6. I got this at Fresh Thyme. The brand is Doctor’s Best. The first brand I tried was Sagely Natural (with CBD) which I was trying for sleep. I ordered the combo with Turmeric because it claimed to reduce inflammation. The CBD did nothing at all except make me feel weird while gardening in the sun, but when I quit that, and the effects of CBD passed, I noticed I had not been having headaches and my arthritic symptoms were different (more localized). You have to take the stuff with black pepper in it to promote absorption.

    Hope that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried CBD oil as well. As near as I could tell, it didn’t do a damn thing and it tasted horrible. Gave it to my massage therapist to mix with the massage cream, but can’t feel any difference. When my hip gets really bad, the only thing that helps is acupuncture and cupping. I’m due for a series of treatments, I think.


    1. When you get rheumatoid arthritis (which is one of my health problems) the good news is that there are some pretty good drugs for ameliorating the symptoms. The bad news is they won’t give them to you until it is clear that milder drugs aren’t going to help much.

      I came down with RA about when PJ suffered her fall, a bit over six years ago. They kept trying to help me with relatively mild drugs. I know I was on Oxycodone and Tramadon early in the time I was sick. Neither did me any good. I struggled with pain and disability for three years. Then they finally gave me the big one, the drug that most often helps RA sufferers: Methotrexate. It is a nasty thing with a bunch of undesirable side effects. I am now kept functioning (but not “well”) by a combination of Methotrexate and Prednisone (a steroid with its own list of unfortunate side effects).

      I’m extremely lucky that nothing they gave me earlier was addictive.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. i quit booze which was my preferred woozy incubator. i have some alternatives in my stash but i find i dont so much want to go off into never never land as i thought i would. i cant find a time slot to give up the ability to participate in life. mellow yellow is nice but must be done on a chosen basis. i am so buried right now i dont have a slot to fade away.
    woozy is a treat. no way to spend a life. i remember the brave new world mother who was hooked on soma and spent her life in la la land. not there yet
    my math skills dont go a way but the ability to negotiate the logic is either sharper or gone depending on the batch.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Heights often make me woozy. When I was in London a few years ago we went up to the top of the Shard which is about 77 stories high. They have a huge observation deck glassed in , glass all the way to the floor. I had to go down a flight to an inside corridor and stand with my back against the wall for a little bit because I was feeling light-headed.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve never had to take serious pain meds like opioids, so I can’t speak to that version of woozy.

    However, I’m tall and have low blood pressure, so when I crouch down for more than a few seconds (like when I’m grocery shopping and reading a label from an item on the bottom shelf) and then stand up, I routinely get a head rush that often feels like I may faint. Really annoying when I get in that “zone” for days at a time and get 3-4 headrushes per day. But I may go weeks or even a month or two between incidents, so after the first one, I try to be cognizant of when I crouch and for how long.

    C in O

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had an inner ear problem many years ago and spent several days with the room spinning. Dramamine and antibiotics helped.


  11. After my surgery, I was readmitted to the hospital several times during the first few months. During one of them, my skin felt itchy, so they gave me some Benadryl. At the time, I was wired up to three different bags of meds on an IV pole. Each infusion tube was attached to a small motor that made a subtle whirring sound.

    All hell broke loose upon taking the Benadryl. I told the nurse that I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. Between that and spiking blood pressure, the medical SWAT team was called. Five doctors worked on me with a sense of great urgency. It’s their way of preventing a Code Blue. While this was going on, a close friend called to chat. One of the docs answered, saying; “She can’t talk right now – we’re working on her”. My poor friend thought the worst, of course.

    I cracked funny jokes, made fun of the fuss they were making, asked one handsome doc if he was married, and God only knows what other totally inappropriate things I said. After about half an hour of surveillance, they concluded that I wasn’t in trouble and left.

    I began having auditory hallucinations. Each motor on the IV pole was sounding like a jungle animal. Chimps, elephants, lions. I called for a nurse and begged her to shut the motors off because the chorus of all of these wild animals was making me crazy. She assured me that there were no sounds emanating from the IV pole. “Can’t you hear that???”, I screamed.

    By the time that I’d hit the call button three times, they knew I wouldn’t stop until they could figure out a way to at least muffle the sounds that my brain was ascribing to the jungle. They wrapped all the motors with a flannel blanket, then gave me a sleeping med.

    Benadryl, an over the counter allergy syrup, had sent me on an LSD trip! It’s been listed as the only drug to which I’m highly allergic on my medical records ever since. I must admit though, this was the highlight of my months in the hospital. It really was fun.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. A dear friend of mine had a benign tumor removed from his pituitary gland. (They took it out through his nose). In the days after surgury he was quite sedated but still aware of what was going on. There were multiple IV bags and tubes going in and out. He said he made sure he always made a noise when the nurse came to change out tbe bags so that she didn’t mistake him for a bag and throw him out, too.


  13. Today. High temperature and humidity in the building. Gallons of sweat.
    A few years back I had an infection in my knee that required surgery. The incision was about 3 inches long and nearly down to the kneecap. The three days I spent in the hospital were rough but I was able to self-medicate through a pump system. Upon release, I was under a pain doctor’s care and was given a perscription for morphine-type pills. The first pharmacy I went to didn’t have the pain killer and the second refused to fill the perscription because “I had never had the drug before”. Well, I’d never had a surgery like that before either. The pain management doctor was unable to intervene on my behalf which upset him greatly. I suffered through using Naproxen. I’m now rather glad I didn’t get the “good stuff.”


    1. And truly this wasn’t what I was thinking about. I was more thinking about other things that make us woozy then opioids. Sorry about that.


      1. Not to worry, VS, this isn’t something that has happened over night. We’ve been an “old folks” blog for quite a while. Then again, some of us are old folks, and really can’t pretend otherwise.


  14. OT – A big old tree on the other side of the street has just bit the dust. Don’t know if high winds or lightning did it in, but it’s a goner for sure. Upon inspection, Hans reports it was a pretty diseased tree, with almost the entire trunk rotted to a height of eight feet.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. If I torque my neck too far to the right I get a bit dizzy. I have always had the benign condition where if I stand up fast and start moving, I can get faint and even faint. Since I used to always move fast, i sacred a few classrooms of kids and my employees.
    I have no drug that helps much. From ibuprofen to oxycodone. Excedrin helps some and that’s it anymore. Ultram never did work. A couple antidepressants helped when the pain was lighter, a standard fm ftreatment, until side effects ruined that. Aroma therapy, massage, and acupuncture will only irritate my high sensitivity to smell and touch. Tomorrow I see in the afternoon a pain expert/doctor. She will do a complete review and see if there are options. Process will take the summer.
    In two weeks she and surgeon review any surgery options, but I have been told not to expect much. Last two rounds of shots in lumbar failed.
    Tomorrow morning I get test for something else entirely. We will see.


  16. Please people please. Do not flush drugs. Please. Find where to turn them in. My Walgreens accepts them.
    Significant measurements of many drugs of many drugs have been found in water systems, from flushing of drugs and excretion of drugs.
    Do not flush drugs. Not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was wondering about that, NS. I see that the FDA still recommends flushing unused drugs, but I’m aware that studies show that even very low levels of drugs in our waterways affect fish and other critters.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.