Huge credit for the title of this post goes to one of my all-time favorite blogs: Hyperbole and a Half.¹ It’s author, Allie Brosh, created an oeuvre through her blog that garnered hundreds of thousands of fans² who have followed her through all social media platforms for years, and a best seller: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened.
In quite a few of those years, Ms. Brosh, who is famously private, perhaps even reclusive, has dropped out of her public presence, ceased blogging and stopped posting to her various social media accounts. It is a testament to how beloved she and her blog are that there are forums and other blogs wondering where she is and if she is all right.
Anyway, this blog post isn’t really about Allie Brosh and her wonderful blog, it’s about pain. Pain management, to be more specific.
If you guys have hung in there lately and read a few of my personal posts, you know I had rotator cuff surgery about two months ago. It’s a particularly painful surgery and recovery as many people can attest, but my surgeon (who did this to my other shoulder almost four years ago) handled my pain management so skillfully I was off pain meds in record time — just over two weeks. One tactic he used was to give me an Oxycontin just before the surgery, then after he prescribed alternating Oxycontin with a low dose of Oxycodone every few hours for the first few days, then just the low dose Oxycodone with ibuprofen. Magic.
Now, this week, I’m staying with a friend who had major surgery on Monday, but who’s having a very different experience. The contrast between the approaches of the two medical professionals is stark. Pain management for her didn’t begin for more than two hours after the surgery was successfully completed. Oral, not IV, meds were given, but at a fairly low dose. It took hours to get her pain tolerable enough that I could bring her home to recover. Since then, she has been taking a low dose of Oxycodone alternating with ibuprofen. It’s not enough, I tell you. She’s never been able to get ahead of the pain.
As annoying as it is to be asked this question when you’re in pain, “How do you rate your pain right now on a scale of one to ten?”, she told me this morning she was right at seven/eight. That is too damned high four days post surgery. I wondered if I needed to take her to the ER, but she said she was in too much pain to get into and ride in a car. *fingers hovered over 9-1-1 on the cellphone*
The one-to-ten scale is hooey, in my opinion, and I was reminded of Allie Brosh’s perfect pain scale in her hilarious blog post: “Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Ebola. Probably.”
So, while we keep trying to get my friend’s pain under control, Sophie and Fergus have been giving their own, special brand of comfort.
They both just came back from the groomers and are looking very precious. Looks can be deceiving…
¹ I commend this blog to you even though Allie Brosh hasn’t posted anything there in quite some time. Her posts, her art and her take on life, depression, childhood angst, adult angst for that matter, are quirky, but oddly relatable.
² A mere handful more than we have following this blog. Ha.