Saturday, May 07, 2011

ACL Diary: Pain and Percocet

“Has it really been less than three weeks?”
On the news this morning, I heard that it’s been three weeks since Holly Bobo, the nursing student from Tennessee, was abducted in her front yard. These periodic abduction stories tend to upset my husband and cause him to worry about the safety of his own daughters.

But this one, the story of Holly Bobo, really got to him.

I’m not sure if it was because Holly’s blonde and beautiful (and bears a resemblance to Willow), or if it was more about the timing of the incident and how it coincided with fears over Willow’s pending surgery.

What I am sure of is how it seems like we first heard about Holly’s abduction a long time ago. Has it really only been three weeks? And are we really only just shy of three weeks since Willow’s surgery?



I’m sitting here wondering, how is it this school year has flown by so quickly and yet, the last few weeks have dragged on and on? It hasn’t been about an empty calendar—on the contrary—nor has it been due to any lack of drama. Since Willow’s injury on April 2, our drama content has been on steroids.

Scratch that. Our drama has been on Percocet.

I’ve never taken a Percocet, so I have no clue about how they make one feel. When they were prescribed for our daughter’s pain I asked our nurse, Karen Schwartz (who happens to be a good friend), about the purpose of these pills. “Is this the kind of medicine that actually goes to and stops the pain, or is it just something that zones you out and makes you not care so much about it?”

“It goes to the pain,” Karen said emphatically.

So, I filled the scrip, created a time and dosage chart, and issued these pills to my child every three-to-four hours for the first two days. I kept her good and loopy while a parade of friends came by to see her during what were the first two days of their spring break.

Willow hardly remembers the specifics of anything of what she said or did for at least 24 hours after the surgery. But trust me, she was darn funny. We were told she’d start feeling better by day three, and this was when she could remove the dressings and take a shower. This is also when we decreased the dosage, and then proceeded to stretch out the hours between administering pills.

And now here we are 16 days post surgery—16 days that feel like 16 weeks—and Willow now resorts more to the ice machine and Advil to deal with the pain. We still have several precious Percocet pills, but save them for the hour before she goes to her physical therapy appointments.

In other words, we’re no longer charting the days in terms of hours and pain pills. And because of this, perhaps time will once again go speeding by, and we’ll be that much closer to Willow’s complete recovery.

P.S. To Holly’s family: We are so sorry this has happened. We keep you all in our thoughts, and pray for her safe return to you.

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