NOTE: Today’s blog is a little different from my usual writings about the garden and the environment, but I felt this topic needed exposure. I hope you agree.
Rock Center with Brian Williams presented a compelling show the other night about babies being born addicted to prescription drugs. “Prescription pill epidemic impacts babies of addicted moms” shows the real life horror popping up all across the country. We associate addicts and drug dealers with back alley and parking lot buys. We imagine dark rooms and dirty drug dealers dispensing their wares to the wasted and head-nodding addict.
The reality of this epidemic is even more frightening as I recently learned on a visit to the emergency room.
Two hours later, I still lay in my cubicle awaiting transit for the scans.
The nurse brought me a Percocet, which is oxycodone with acetaminophen. Thirty minutes later, I was wheeled to the CAT scan room. As the nurse wheeled me back to the cubicle and my waiting cubicle, my head screamed while the nurse attempted jokes. I couldn’t laugh something I do quite regularly. “I’m usually the life of the party,” I said to my nurse.
“Sure you are,” he said as he patted my shoulder.
“No, she really is,” my husband said.
The doctor entered and told me the scans were almost ready for her to read.
“Did the Percocet work?” she asked.
I shook my head.
Fifteen minutes later, I saw patterns on the wall and fireworks on my husband’s face.
“You don’t see that?” I asked him.
“No, and you’re not making any sense right now,” he said. “How’s your head?”
I moved my head from side to side only to feel the same piercing stab as before. I could have been pounding a stake into my right eyebrow and not known the difference.
“Still there, but who cares?”
The doctor came into the room.
“There’s nothing on the scan. Your sinuses are clear, too. You’re probably just having a migraine. Did the medications work?”
“Not a bit, but with all these drugs in me, I don’t care anymore,” I said.
“We’re going to send you home and send the tests and results to your doctor,” she said. “Do you want me to write you a prescription for Percocet?”
“Why would I want that if it doesn’t work?” I asked, still quite woozy from the drugs in my system.
My headache is gone, thankfully all on its own. It’s the lingering aftertaste from my experience bothering me now. That night I found myself smack in the middle of a drug-dealing den, complete with bright lights, sanitary conditions, and legal sanctions.
Yes, we have a problem. Now how do we solve it?