Cancer Lesson #28: Morphine Dreams – Sometimes the side effects of painkillers are worse than the pain.
Rumor has it that Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was written while he was high on some form of morphine.
Having spent several days in a similar haze of hallucinatory dreams brought on by morphine and Percocet, I can believe it.
For six days, falling asleep meant plunging into a world filled with action, high adventure and drama. Each nap was a fantastical long train of thought boarded by the most unlikely characters.
One particularly unrealistic thriller involved Las Vegas underworld “enforcers” chasing The Engineer and I through the city’s back roads and alleys. I knew it was a dream and struggled to awaken, but only managed to dodge the gangsters again and again as the action grew more and more farfetched.
It was like watching one of those movies where the director expects you to suspend disbelief one too many times.
When every reawakening is a heart-pounding escape back to reality, it’s hardly conducive to healing. At least it wasn’t for me.
I asked for alternatives.
“How about Vicodin?” the interns suggested.
Nope. Having had that drug a few times for dental surgery, I knew I didn’t like it either.
Finally, we settled on Tylenol 3. It left me only slightly loopier than the average person.
I could live with that. I’ve been doing it for years.