How I found out about my immunity to pain killers
All my life, I’ve been relatively pain-free. No broken bones, no sprains, nothing. I’ve had my share of minor trauma but it never really bothered me that much. Maybe I’ve always had a high pain threshold.
In my late teens, I began to get my wisdom teeth. All 4 came in and started to crush the molars that were near them. This caused the molars and wisdom teeth to crack and eventually start to fall apart. I can’t describe this incapacitating pain that I lived with for years.
When I was 24, The wisdom teeth finally began to break to the point that I couldn’t function at work or at home.
I found a dentist who didn’t require money upfront (Good luck), and got them pulled. Why didn’t I do this earlier? Money. Plain and simple. For the poor or those with no insurance, you are pretty much screwed. I luckily moved to a town where there were a lot of dentists and not much business for them.
Before going to the dentist, I had to take antibiotics and painkillers received from a local emergency room. Naturally, they gave me some low dose Percocets around the 5-milligram range. I might as well have eaten a handful of Skittles. I called them back and they doubled the dosage to 10 milligrams.
They gave me just enough pills to make it to the dentist’s appointment.
Again, even the 10-milligram Percocet had no noticeable effect unless I took 4 at a time. Then I’d eventually just fall asleep. I was very thankful for the couple hours of sleep they provided after sitting and rocking back and forth for 2 days as that was all I could do. The pain, however, wasn’t dulled at all.
I finally got into the dentist’s office.
They immediately injected my gums and jaw with Novocaine. Aha! No effect. 13 shots later, they successfully numbed my entire face. That kind of worked but I could still feel the drills and poking just fine. They didn’t believe me until they really got in there and I flew from the dentist’s chair halfway across the room.
The shocked dentist sent me home for an hour so they could prepare to just knock me out. Thank god for whatever they injected me with. I woke up two hours later and had 3 fewer teeth. Unfortunately, the pain was tremendous. I asked for painkillers and they gave me Ibuprofen! Thanks!!! I threw that away because I had some already. Eventually, I healed up but learned a valuable lesson. Percocets did nothing.
Recently, my arm got a spider bite or some type of tiny object jammed inside near my right bicep. It itched for a day or two and I ignored it. After about a week, my bicep doubled in size and was throbbing and hurting severely.
To the ER! The ER gave me Lortabs (Vicodin) and sent me home with some antibiotics.
I hear about Vicodin in rap songs and how everyone is addicted to it. Seriously? I think I had the strongest ones they make and they barely did anything at all. About two days later, I could feel a disgusting pus pocket under my skin so I went back. They
gave me stronger antibiotics. Another two days later and I had to go back again. I’m guessing my total hospital costs are now around 2K. The ER staff decide they should just lance my arm and see what happens.
To prepare me for this very minor surgery, they give me a large shot of Morphine. Well, they said it was Morphine but in reality, it must have been tap water. They pushed on my arm and I screamed like a 10-year-old girl. They gave me another shot. Nothing.
Shot #3. Still nothing.
By now I’m sick of being poked and prodded and the doctor can’t continue with me since I hurt and flail all around the bed. They decide to give me something called Dilaudid. I say “Go for it!”.
I’m not sure if this is a painkiller but it felt like a small mule was standing on my eyeballs.
Interesting feeling but I still had the pain. I finally lied and said, “Yeah that worked.”
After two shots. They assured me I’d vomit and pass out but I wish I could have.
The painkiller not doing its job, the doctor stabbed at my arm after using Lidocaine (ineffective) to numb the area. I had to be held down by my wife and a nurse as the doctor drained my disgusting arm and stuffed it full of “Packing” so any more pus and blood would seep out. They sent me home with a prescription for Percocets (yay!) which I immediately threw away and some more antibiotics.
I admit, I felt 100 times better after the little surgery but still wondered why the painkillers did absolutely nothing.
Even the “hardcore” painkiller Dilaudid didn’t really do anything. I asked the doctor why none of these painkillers ever work. Her response was “Maybe you just don’t have the receptors in your brain for them”.
What?? How the heck would that happen?? Apparently, she doesn’t know, and nobody knows for sure.
Personally, I blame my parents for doing too many drugs in the ’60s and ’70s. They might not have, but that’s the only guess I have.
Words of Advice
If you are like me and painkillers really don’t seem to do anything. Make sure that your family doctor and anywhere you may have to go know this. They don’t like to believe you and you might be forced to start from scratch once in a while. They do believe me because when they try to send me home with painkillers I don’t fill the prescription as it’s a waste of money.
If you have the bad luck to require surgery for any reason, this is the best way for them to find out what, if any, painkillers actually work for you.
This might not be very common as I have friends who vomit at the sight of the weakest pain medicine imaginable. That’s pretty lucky. I’d much rather have painkillers work BETTER than they should. What can I expect in the future? I’m not sure but if I need surgery they damn well give me something better than Dilauded or just knock me out.