I've always been a bit of a sucker for drugs and lots of them, if I could get my hands on them. I'd always have one more of anything that was on offer, rarely said no. Having said all that I haven't taken a thing for a few years now.
So when the nurse offered me morphine I said yes. To be fair I was in quite a bit of pain. 'I'll just give you 10mls and then if you need more give me a shout' said the nurse. Looking around the recovery room it looked like a few people might need a hell of a lot more than 10mls.
The guy opposite me had stitches criss crossing his head and a white plate had been inserted at the side and stitched in. He then had what looked like a salt cellar sticking out from under the skin at the back. If I wasn't so fubared after the anaesthetic and the morphine I think it would have really freaked me out, but it just looked interesting. I must have been looking for quite a while because the nurse came back round and said 'Do you need more pain relief?', 'Errr yes please'.
He gave me another shot and I thought my heart rate had gone through the roof. I turned to have a look at the monitor, but as usual none of it meant anything to me. I must have seen dozens of those obs machines in my time, but I've never been inclined to actually find out what they're saying. Is 138 over 72 decent blood pressure? I will probably never know, because I can't be bothered.
Anyway over the next 30 minutes or so I really start to get it together. The second shot of morphine really seemed to mong me out for a bit, but gradually I get to take in the whole freak show. Right next to me there's a guy who's had his appendix done in emergency surgery like me. Only reason I know that is he had the same registrar and she was backing up the general surgery team. Diagonally opposite me there's a guy who's been in for a skin graft on his hand and is apparently a patient of the local care hospital under the mental health act. He is having a very scary re-entry in to conciousness. Opposite, well it's criss ross man and the more lucid I get the more he's really scaring me. Diagonally right there's a woman who's moaning, it sounds like she HAD her knee done, but she's in a lot of pain. Helpfully the ward staff and recovery room staff are right on hand to have a real ding-dong argument about whether she's ready to go up to the ward. Then a bit further round there's a very elderly woman called Joyce, who doesn't know where the fuck she is and all the efforts of the nursing team ar... ''Would you like some more pain killers Mr Heath?''.
I haD a think. I look across it's the last syringe, I'm feeling fine and I'm certainly in the best possible state of anyone on the ward, everything feels normal and not in the slightest surreal anymore 'Err, yes please' - weeeelll you've gotta give these things a crack. My thinking was, the first two shots were all mixed in with the anaesthetic so I had no idea what they were all about, but the third, well with a clear head I could give it a real clear run. So in to the canular it went and boy was it horrible, it completely numbed everything, I kept catching myself thinking, 'God I bet I look like a complete veggie lying here'and no doubt I did. I smoked opium at uni once, by mistake, thinking it was hash pipe and it was exactly the same feeling completely toasted, incapable of any real movement just rooted sunk in to the pillow, a feeling captured perfectly in trainspotting when Ewan McGregor disappears into the ground with the carpet.
So lesson learned. Next time, if I'm offered a dose of morphine and I'm not in considerable pain. Refuse.
Except, I know I won't. As I said, I'm a sucker for drugs