C13: Morphine, Drunken Glaswegians, and a Blue Peter Badge

When you have titanium rods and titanium screws and bone grafts and angry tumors all jiggling around vying for living space in your neck, it’s always a good idea to have a secret stash of morphine hidden somewhere.

When the fractures were diagnosed (as told in C1:), the guy with the less than exemplary bedside manner gave me six tablets of morphine as emergency rations for the journey from Canada to India. I took one that night, Christmas Day, and another before I flew the following day, Boxing Day. I’ve been frugal with the remaining four, only taking one a few weeks ago, a couple of days before I flew from India to Bali, because I was close to rolling on the floor moaning and groaning like a baby. The steely knives are vicious.

Today was as close to being a morphine day as I can imagine without actually being a morphine day, but the fact that they were there if needed certainly helped.

Tablets are my staple diet. Six for breakfast, one for lunch, and three for dinner as constants, plus others as necessary, described by the physicians as S-O-S, for nausea (every eight hours), others for diarrhea (every two hours), and yet others if the anti-diarrhea ones do their job too well and I’m constipated!  Capsules, caplets, tablets, and tabules. No, I have no idea what a tabule is, but it scanned well. Plus, of course, the painkillers. They go down like candy. I leapfrog paracetamol and ibuprofen and, usually they manage the problem OK, but it’s a chronic prescription. Today they failed. Just not enough tablet-power. I even doubled the dose but I was close, very close, to morphine.

Living on the Space Station must be similar. They eat dehydrated stuff and tablets all the time don’t they?

The bad dreams were back last night. One starred three drunken Glaswegians (What’s the opposite of oxymoron? The use of a superfluous word that is already implied by another word, no matter which of the two you examine).

They arrived and scraped their car along the side of mine, metal on metal for the whole length. Then they tried to break my legs by driving at me and ramming me against a wall. Then, when I was getting away and phoning the police, they jumped me into some undergrowth, pinned me down, squashed and crushed me, and tried to strangle me. Then I woke up.

And then there were the frogs.

Hannah had sent me a picture of lots of frogs jumping into trees just before the onset of an earthquake. Really ‘sent’ me the picture. By snail mail. For some unfathomable reason, my Mother had opened it (she lives13,000 kilometers away but that sort of detail doesn’t interfere with dreams, does it?) and phoned me to complain about the amount of testosterone they must be using jumping up into the trees. Then she asked if she looked out of the window and there were no frogs did that mean there wasn’t going to be an earthquake.

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” said Prospero and he was probably right.

Thursday, 3 March. Mark it in your diary. First day of vomiting.

Is that the Full Monty of Chemo nasties? I felt that was the only one missing, so I’m pretty sure I can get the badge now.


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