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Thread: nurses are human too

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    nurses are human too 
    #1
    Needle
    hi all. im a long time (23+years) ER/trauma nurse. im also a chronic pain patient and occasional recreational user of opiates outside my prescription realm. ive seen the horrible ways drugs of every kind ravage a body, physically and mentally, along with the effects the user (myself included) use has on ones relationships, job, memory, intellect, self confidence and self esteem. ive seen kids and grandparents overdose and die, sometimes to be brought back by us and our majic code cart full of lifesaving drugs, first and foremost narcan and romazicon (for benzo OD). ive been involved in hundreds of "codes" or overdose cardiac and respiratory arrests and brought people back with a push of a syringe into an IV that is been put in places tof last resort only to be made with an infuriated patient angry i fuked up his high and nod, oblivious to the fact he was clinically dead 3 minutes before. i think ive had 2 patients in all my time say thank you. ive discharged these parients knowing they were going straight out to cop after leaving, having a much higher risk of death now after he was chemically "detoxed" in my ER. ive seen them come back 2 hours later so we can do the same dance between this world and the next, hoping this roll of the dice works out the way the last did. lately ive seen many less "saves" as the dope is now tainted with large doses of powdered fentanyl shipped to mexico viz china, and carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer. the max dose of narcan IV for opiate reversal is 2 mg (basically 5 syringes full) but because fentanyl is 50 times more potent than smack and carfentanil (might as well be pissing on the patient)is 1000 times as potent we greatly exceed the given maximum with little to no results. if were lucky the patient only stops breathing and we can intubate them until the narcan drip kicks in hopefully somewhere in an ICU room upstairs. if the respiratory arrest is followed by the heart stopping due to these horrible cutting agents, then we dutifully go thru the cardiac arrest protocol of CPR, drugs, and defibrillation only to see the eyes fix and dilate......i then say a prayer that they peacefully go on to whatever they think comes after this life. very depressing, to feel so helpless as a caregiver.
    on to the second half of my story. after years of lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy patients and stretchers amd having a patient hopped up on flaka clock me and knock me out for 5 minutes i developed several herniated dicks and a cervical spine pushed back 6mm by my assault. after the usual OTC meds for pain i was put on vicodin and the oxy and then dilaudid. ot helped the pain and i could function, however i found i liked the feeling as much as the pain relief. i began going to a pain management doctor and, being a highly trained medical person, knew just what to say in the correct terminology to get exactly what i wanted because even tho nurses and doctors have approximately the same rate of opiate abuse as the general population (approx 10 most of us choose not to judge or accuse each other of illicit use. at one point the pills stopped giving me that great feeling, even at high doses. i began taking the liquid narcotics wastage i would use on my patients. i never cheated them or shorted them of their ordered dose but definitely took what was left in the vial home and wasted saline with a coworker instead of tossing it. i would look forward to getting off shift and using my stash of basically pharmaceutical grade heroin. i also would take the wastage of benzos like valium, ativan, and versed. i would soak in a hot tub after work and get high. and then i would feel like shit. i was a thief, liar, and junkie. i would justify it, saying to myself i had a jacked up spine and pain and the drugs were just going to be wasted and tossed anyway. this went on for 4 years. on the fifth year i met the love of my life online. he was an army medic in the national guard and an amazing man. we fell in love and i hopped states to be with him. i took my nursing license and drug habit with me. he knew i had a bad back and neck and believed i was only taking prescribed pills. one day on his active training day, he blew out his knee and tore his ACL. he promptly had surgery and ws prescribed oxy for pain. he was a stubborn guy and got up the day after surgery and reinjured it. i had come home from my ER shift and he was in mass pain. i offered him an injection of dilaudid wastage i brought home. he was wary but trusted me. it helped his pain and he had several more over the next few days. and then he began liking the way it felt. i started to panic...what had i done? it was one thing to screw my life up but omg what did i do? i understand it was his choice to take it, but i offered it and in essence became his dealer. he began asking for the leftovers too and i felt guilty (and irritated i had to share) fast forward to 2015. i took a travel ER nursing job in paradise and he was going with. we were gonna quit using and have an amazing normal rest of our lives together. i picked him up at the airport after his last national guard weekend in the states. i had obtained some xanax for the flight as im petrified of flying. this wasnt anything either of us used with our opiates before. we had a great night of netflixing, eating sushi, and having our last hurrah with the drugs. he had trouble sleeping...why dont u take a xanax. i knew that was potentially dangerous but it was only 1mg and he was a big guy. itd be ok, right? 2 hours later i had him in the tub trying to wake him up. he finally became semi coherant and he went to sit in bed. he asked me to run downstairs and grab some breakfast. i was gone 10 minutes. when i returned to our hotel room packed with everything we were taking to his dads we couldnt take on our initial move to paradise and he was sitting up in bed and was blue. i pulled him off the bed and screamed for someone to call 911 as i started CPR. EMS arrived quickly and got a pulse back on him. i was frantic (not my usual calm under pressure in this situation at work) trying to figure out what time exactly i had pulled him off the bed and how long was it until EMS got there with oxygen and meds as he had no pulse with me. he was taken to the hospital i worked at and the doctor asked me where the holes in his elbow crease came from. even then i was thinking bout my own ass. instead of telling the truth and that he, as a medic, had been injecting oxy and took xanax i lied and said they were practicing IV starts on his army weekend. he came off the ventilator the next day and was breathing on his own. he opened up his eyes as they weaned him off sedation to try to "wake him up" 3 days later he was unresponsive. he was transferred ro the nearest army hospital for specialist care. i cried nonstop. i asked him and God to forgive me for introducing him to this. he was seen by 3 army neurologists and his EEG showed little to no activity in his brain. his parents made the decision to withdraw care and he died 4 days later at 34 years old. they blamed me, not for getting him hooked, as they didnt know, but for going downstairs to get him food when he arrested...."i was a nurse, i shouldve known better and called 911 sooner" i felt ashamed and guilty. i went back to the hotel and used all night long. even then after losing the love of my life because of what i had done, i couldnt put it down. i gathered his and my stuff and our dogs and the future i no longer had and drove home to florida. i contemplated overdosing partially because i wanted to be with him wherever he had gone but mostly because i didnt think i deserved to live. i didnt do it because i didnt want to hurt my adult kids. fast forward 3 years later. im still wracked with guilt.....and i relapsed after 1 year clean.i quit working in the ER and in nursing as i could no longer look my patients in the face after what i did and what i had become. im working on my masters to do medical research in the area of neuroscience and addiction.
    i guess the point of this rambling is anyway can become an addict, even a well educated, intelligent girl like me who has seen the horrors of drug abuse over and over and still got hooked. it cost me my love, so much time i couldve been actually LIVING my life, not nodding out. having gone thur withdrawal before im contemplating getting on sub or methadone. i want to live now for my kids, for myself...i want to live for him. im here to help answer any medical questions one might have as well. if i can keep just one person from going down the road i went down and took him down, maybe i can help save the life i couldnt save earlier. god bless yall in this group and forgive me for the length of this post. thank you for listening.
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    #2
    Moderator
    New Member Introductions
    madness00's Avatar
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    Hi traumanurse1,

    Thank you for the introduction. It's true - anyone can become an addict. Addiction doesn't discriminate. And we are all above addiction. Even those who, unlike you, are not educated or do not have good intelligence, they are above it as well. We all, together here at Bluelight, want to reduce the harm of the substances we are on, and ultimately wean ourselves off of them, as so many of us have done. There is a time and place for everything though, so no matter where you are on the road to recovery, there will be someone in the same place with you along the way.

    That is what Bluelight can offer you, and I hope you take advantage of it.

    So welcome to Bluelight

    And wanting to live for your husband and kids as well as share your knowledge with us is very commendable, and I wish you the best.
    - We don't see things the way they are, we see things the way we are. -
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    #3
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    madness00's Avatar
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    Sorry, was in a rush and my ADD got the better of me. I re-read the story, and wow, it's powerful. Congrats on working on your masters, that's a step in the right direction for sure. I know you must feel guilty about all of this, but just know that, like you said, doctors and nurses have equal chances of falling victim to drug abuse.

    I wish you the best, and urge you to check out The Dark Side. You may find you're able to share some knowledge and do some good in that sub-forum.

    All the best,
    madness00
    - We don't see things the way they are, we see things the way we are. -
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    #4
    Sounds like you'll make a great member!

    I'm so sorry to hear about what happened with your love. I can't imagine what that would be like.

    Welcome to BL
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