Six Thousand Days Since Normal
Page 6


You already heard what the first few weeks were like—getting off the Vicodin. Horrible drug. In the middle of all that, my ophthalmologist found something really wrong in my right eye and sent me to the chief in charge of corneas. Emergency, outpatient surgery ensued…and they could never figure out the composition of the "white substance" that they removed from my eye.

By the third week of March, I had been experiencing weeks of gut problems. No longer able to blame the Vicodin withdrawal, I went to see my gynecologist after some spotting. He sent me for tests and the results required a "D & C," as they call it in the trade. Ten days after this procedure, I still was very ill, unable to eat. On a Thursday evening in early April, I called the ambulance.

It was good that I did so, as my appendix was about to burst. My general surgeon, a good friend of my personal physician, was at my side rapidly. Very good guy. Unfortunately, he was not in charge of hospital operations. After a successful surgery, I was left for 15 hours to thrash in my bed, my chest and my head exploding, refused any of my regular medications.

Saturday morning, less than a day after the surgery, I was discharged, tossed into a taxi, and sent home with what was later diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The crazy, 30-second flashbacks in my vision for ten days were beyond scary.