Which sucks, because these daily balloon rides to the Moon get pretty dull without a buddy.
By comparison, I was lucky: My roommate was tripping hard on his drug cocktail. I saw little animals coming in and out of the buildings outside my window, but that poor guy was hollering about the CIA coming for him and trying to formulate elaborate escape plans. It got so bad that I called over a nurse and told her that my roommate needed psychiatric help.
She told me I didn't have a roommate.
I was in the room alone.
When I didn't believe it, she pulled out the security video of the room, which showed me talking to an empty bed. So either I'd hallucinated so hard that I hallucinated a whole other person's hallucinations, or the CIA is really, really thorough.
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"He knows too much. Quick, have that janitor who looks like Burt Reynolds get up here so he thinks he's dead."
You Will Never Fully Heal, But You Can Get Used to Anything
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After those Christopher-Nolan-caliber plot twist hallucinations, they cut my painkiller dose. And, of course, my pain level shot up through the roof. At first, I was a constant 10/10 on the pain scale, because my nerves were actively healing and my bones were still setting. But then, sweet relief!
No, the pain didn't go away. This isn't a Disney movie. It's just that, like anything else, constant agony gets boring. Pain becomes a part of everyday life. I'd fall asleep and wake up with my nerves pulsating and stinging, and that felt totally normal to me. I had another surgery later and was put back on a high dose of painkillers, and that felt wrong. The absence of pain was so unsettling that moving to a lower dose and having the pain return was a kind of relief.
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"Every step is like a thousand stab wounds and each breath is like swallowing hot coals. Finally, I feel alive."
Eventually I was weaned off of painkillers. Again, it's not like it went away -- you don't ever fully recover from an injury like this. But taking pain pills for the rest of your life is the textbook definition of addiction. On the plus side, my pain threshold has gone up dramatically. But I don't plan on going for the Stage Dive World Record again anytime soon.
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