One of my favorite songs that discusses addiction in above video
I just passed my 7 year anniversary since I was paralyzed from the waist down due to being a heroin addict. The Dr’s told me that I would most likely never walk again. And they called in my whole family once they got me up to St Vincent hospital. They did not think that I would make it through the night actually.
Well neither of those awful things ended up happening to me. Thankfully! What did happen was they took me into emergency spinal cord surgery to get the infection out. I was completely consumed with infection throughout my body. That was what had happened to cause the paralysis that I experienced when I woke up that awful day 7 years ago. The infection that was spreading throughout my body, without anyone knowing it, had finally lodged itself into my spinal cord.
Which caused the paralysis to set in. So when I woke up that day I could not move my legs. At all. I could not pee. I had a friend trying to help me get onto a trash can that was right by my couch. Because I felt like I would burst, but could not squeeze out 1 drop of pee. I know now that the paralysis was already effecting everything in my lower body. Which includes your bladder.
Once they got me to the hospital they immediately put a catheter in me to empty my bladder, once I told them about my misery of feeling like I had to pee and could not. It was another year and a half after that day before I would actually pee on my own again. I had to use catheters for at least a year and a half after that. It may have even been 2 years. My memory is a little fuzzy when it comes to the exact time frames for some of these things.
The really sad part of that day I woke up and could not use my legs was the fact that it took me all day long to actually get myself to call an ambulance so I could go to the hospital and figure out what the hell was going on with me. The reason I took so long to actually call was because I was not going until I got my fix of heroin in me.
It is not everyday that a person wakes up and cannot move their legs. You would think that a normal person would be straight on the phone with 911 to get the matter resolved. Not me. I admit that I just had it in my mind that once I got to the hospital they would do something trivial to fix me up and everything would be fine. I never once entertained the idea that this was something that was going to be permanent in my life.
So that is how sick I was back then. And I had been really physically sick 2 weeks leading up to the event with the paralysis. I had gotten some type of infection when I was shooting up from my needle. And it was not the normal type of thing that most junkies get from sharing needles and so forth. This was like a very freakazoid type thing that only happens to like 1 in a million people.
Something on the tip of my needle was what did it. Just some random airborn thing. Every time that a person uses a needle there is certain things that are on the tip of your needle just from the air around us. And most people’s bodies just fight it off when it enters your body. Mine did not fight it off like it was supposed to. So instead of my body fighting it off, this infection was able to enter my body and start going into every little spot that it wanted to go to.
My body just welcomed it on in. Like it was some sort of old friend coming for a visit. Instead of recognizing it as a foreign enemy that it was supposed to be fighting. So my body made friends with this infection that was supposed to be the enemy. So since my body was doing nothing to this foreign entity traveling through my body, it just went right ahead and took over almost every single part of my insides.
That was the part that made it so hard to know what was going on. You could not see this infection. It was not like I had a miss from shooting up and that spot had swollen up to the point it looked like my arm may explode or fall off. That is how it happens with most junkies. And even though they can see that their arms are getting bigger than a damned watermelon, they still won’t get themselves to the hospital to get it taken care of.
I did not have this luxury. Because believe you and me I would have been straight to the hospital had my arm started swelling up bigger than a watermelon! I ended up going to the hospital 2 different times before the paralysis set in. This was just within a 2 week period. The 3rd trip to the hospital being the fatal one where the infection had taken over my spinal cord.
I felt terrible! I cannot even explain how bad I had felt back then when it had started attacking my body. My arm was the first to holler out. But it was just something that was misdiagnosed by the hospital as being something like tennis elbow or some crap like that.
Because my arm was hurting. Nothing that astonishing. I could not use it right. But hey, I was an exotic dancer and so I was surprised half of the time that I was able to use my legs at the end of the night to get me out of the nightclub and into my car!
Then a week later I had to call for an ambulance because I woke up with severe pain in my back. And it was really severe! But once again the hospital did not do any tests for infection or anything like that. They actually sent me home with some pain pills! This is something that never happens at my hometown hospital. Well at least not for many, many years. Not since the opioid epidemic had taken over.
You basically had better be on your death bed if you thought you were going to go to the er and get some type of drugs. So I guess basically I was! I never even made it to go and get those exclusive pain pills filled before I was back in the er once again. And this time it was because I could not move my legs at all.
So to shorten this a little bit, I had spinal cord surgery once I got to st Vincent hospital. Which took out all of the infection, but it left me paralyzed from the waist down. It would be 3 months before I would see the outside of the hospital.
The last 6 weeks of it was spent in a rehabilitation hospital. Teaching me how to transfer to a wheelchair and so forth. I had to relearn how to do everything. From swallowing, to catheter use, and being able to take care of myself in taking a shower and all of that fun stuff.
So I had to relearn everything I once knew. So yeah it was very hard, but the real challenge was relearning my brain. To not be a junky fiend anymore. And now here I was with the worst pain I had ever had in my entire life. Something I had never dealt with very well throughout my life.
Throughout my 25 years or so of being an addict I had taken pain pills as a form of energy, and as a form of pain relief. But back then if I even stubbed my big toe I would think that I needed a roxicodone.
Another wonderful fact was the Dr’s who had gotten me really going on the pain pills and then later on the roxicodone. Then once my Dr got shut down by the DEA it was then off to heroin. Because it was cheaper and much easier to find than your average prescription pain pill. And that is when the really bad started happening. And my life spiraled out of control even more than before.
So you can continue reading more if you would like in my next part I am getting ready to write called The addiction issues and the long walk home part 2.
Other Posts That I Have Regarding Addiction
- Controlled Substance Scheduling
- The Story Of Little Lick
- More Overdoses In Connersville
- More Bad News In Connersville
- The Journey Begins
- Addiction Issues & The Long Walk Home
- Free Trade Netherlands
- Addiction Issues &The Long Walk Home Part 2