Drug-seeking behavior.

A few weeks ago, I linked to Roger Ebert’s takedown of “The Bucket List,” in which he suggests terminally ill cancer patients have better things to do than go globetrotting, and that these things might include “convincing the doc your reports of pain are real and not merely disguising your desire to become a drug addict.”

Funny how often I’ve heard some version of this complaint. For all the wonderful drugs out there to relieve suffering, it can be awfully hard to shake a few loose from your doctor. I’d think a cancer diagnosis would be pretty much a prima facie argument for a key to the medicine chest, but maybe not.

I must look like a tough, strong peasant with a secret stash of pot in her dresser drawer, because in my experience of pain, the best I ever got was Tylenol 3. Episiotomy with tearing at both ends? Damaged knee ligaments? Lateral incisor snapped off in bicycle accident? Tylenol 3. I don’t ask for anything stronger (and, to be sure, it’s always been enough, at least when taken with three glasses of wine), but just once, I’d like to be offered a serious narcotic.

A while back I read a story about how incredibly vile the modeling industry is, and learned that lots of girls live on maintenance doses of Vicodin and clenbuterol, a painkiller and bronchodilator, respectively, both of which help with weight loss (particularly when combined with Marlboro Lights). Celebrities are always checking in and out of rehab for painkiller addiction, which developed, we’re told, after the celebrated one was injured in dance class, or something. Rush Limbaugh’s elephantine thirst for oxycodone, another one of those unfortunate aftereffects of back surgery (again: so we’re told), is legendary.

And I pass an eight-pound infant through my ya-ya, and the best I get is Tylenol 3. It came with a warning that I shouldn’t take too much, because codeine is constipating, and the last thing I’d want to do is push a hard stool through all that beat-up tissue down there. Think how painful that would be. Thanks, nurse.

You know where this is going, don’t you? Heath Ledger, accidental O.D. He had six separate drugs in his system — two painkillers, three anti-anxiety potions and one over-the-counter sleep aid. I’m baffled by this last, as you’d think, after the first five, getting to sleep wouldn’t be a problem. (And I guess, technically, it wasn’t.)

I wasn’t born yesterday; I know how these things work. Ledger didn’t have to cool his celebrated heels for 45 minutes in the doctor’s waiting room before getting a scant five minutes to convince the man with the medical degree to throw a few decent meds his way. I’m just sayin’. The next time slings are slung and the arrows land in my knee, I’m asking for the Full Ledger, or I’m going to know the reason why not.

Lots of dumb ol’ work to do today, so not much bloggage. But a little:

Fort Wayne is called the Summit City, because it sits on the watershed between the Great Lakes and Mississippi drainages. Also, because it lends a touch of cruel irony during the city’s regular floods, like the one it’s having now. Mitch Harper has a nice pic of what happens to a riverside skate park when the river rises.

When the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died earlier in the week, most of the talk was about the Beatles. But did you know he also had an acolyte in director David Lynch? Who’s sad, but not really:

Well, Maharishi dropped his body. It’s like a man is in a car and the car is old and the man gets out of the car and rolls the car into the water into a lake. Do we feel sorry for the man? The car is gone but the man is there. No problems for Maharishi. People are sad because that voice of wisdom is gone.

I wonder if this means David Lynch will keep making movies after he rolls his car into the lake, so to speak. If so, I’m hoping for more “Mullholland Drive” and less “Wild at Heart.”

Death Comes for Britney Spears, the musical. On YouTube.

Lovely snowy day out there, more on the way. This may screw up our location-shooting plans, a sentence I thought I’d never get the chance to write. Shows what I know.

Posted at 9:43 am in Current events |

59 responses to “Drug-seeking behavior.”

  1. Danny said on February 7, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Yeah, I’ve never gotten much help prescription-wise either and, thankfully, I’ve not needed it. But my current doc is a little different.

    Two summers ago I had a rough patch. Depression, sleeplessness, hypertension. It lasted two or three months. He wanted to put me on some anti-depressant that I can’t remember the name of right now. I never filled the prescription, but I do remember initiating an earnest conversation with him about how people abuse this medication and that I found it a little disconcerting that he would prescribe it for what mounted to a blip on the radar screen of life. He said he understood, but did not relent.

    Anyway, I even hate taking aspirin these days. Which is odd. As a teenager I never eschewed self-medicating So I guess all that teen angst was the problem. Either that or I just really liked getting high.

    It cracked me up when Obama said that he never understood the “I didn’t inhale comment,” because he thought that was the oint of it.

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  2. MichaelG said on February 7, 2008 at 10:40 am

    A couple of years ago I slipped in the mud and fell backwards onto an exposed tree root. That broke two ribs and a shoulder blade. They gave me a morphine shot in the E-room to ease the 3 hr wait. Then they prescribed Percodan. A year later I had an airbag go off and break my breastbone in two (yeah, I hit something: an impatient left turning lady). That time they gave me Vicodan. I had an excellent experience with each of the three drugs. They worked exactly as designed. I got pain relief but had no feeling whatsoever of being loaded or high or stoned or anything at all but the most welcome pain relief. When the pain lessened, I stopped taking the pills. It wasn’t difficult since there was no reason not to. Having heard all the stories about painkillers, I had been a little apprehensive, but one sneeze sold me on their desirability. Believe me, you do not want a cold to go along with your broken ribs and scapula. Anyhow, maybe I was lucky, but I’ll bet my experience is reflective of the majority of cases of pain killer usage.

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  3. Sue said on February 7, 2008 at 10:59 am

    If you have been with your doctor a long time, and he/she still doesn’t trust you to handle prescription painkillers, it’s time to find a new doc. I very carefully hoard my back pain pills and actually bring my bottle in to show my guy how many are left when they expire, so I can get a new prescription even if I am not having trouble. He gives me another script and I fill it because I am NEVER going to be without meds the next time I screw up my back. This is how a patient/doctor relationship should work. He’s not afraid of me and I’m not begging him.

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  4. John said on February 7, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I had shoulder surgery about two years ago and the doc passed out the Percocet, OxyContin, and Vicodin. The first day after surgery was spent in bed with the Percocet doing the job. The next day, I was down to the OxyContin and two weeks later was off the Vicodin. Mostly, all I experienced was pain relief which was very comforting. I started physical therapy three days after surgery and the Vicodin was helpful with that. No sense of euphoria or even a blissful mood, just pain relief and mild nausea. I suppose that there are all sorts of body chemistries and we are affected different ways by various drugs. I know my prescription pill of choice is Valium, which certainly doesn’t relieve pain but does give me an awesome mellow.

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  5. nancy said on February 7, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Confession: I spent a few minutes Googling “heath ledger’s diet,” hoping to find out he was a vegan or ate only organic vegetables or something. Because meat will kill you, you know.

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  6. MichaelG said on February 7, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Whoops, looks like I spelled “Vicodin” wrong. Actually I spelled it “Vicodan” which was incorrect.

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  7. velvet goldmine said on February 7, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I don’t think the Maharishi would ever push a car into a lake, even as a metaphor. Or even “into the water into a lake.” (Geniuses do not stoop to proofreading. Neither do I, since there’s sure to be a karmic typo in even this short comment.)

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  8. Kirk said on February 7, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I’ve had arm and neck pain off and on for several years because of a chronic pinched-nerve problem. My doc will give me Vicodin for it. Last time I got a bottle was May 2006. I just ran out, so he knows I’m not gobbling them. They do help with the pain. I have to admit that the pain relief is accompanied by a generally pleasant feeling.

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  9. Joe K said on February 7, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Heath’s problem was not going to sleep.
    His problem was waking up.
    Back in the Rugby day’s we use to eat ibeprofin like candy.
    As I remember, it went well with Budweiser and Dr Rummneys menthol snuff after the match.
    Care to comment Brother Dave????
    Joe K

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  10. Dorothy said on February 7, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I am on an anti-depressant (75 mg) for symptoms of menopause, and I take a daily Celebrex for a bad left knee (torn cartilage that hasn’t been repaired yet). It helps a little with arthritis in the heels of my thumbs, too, but two weeks ago the right hand got so bad I begged for a cortisone shot, which is helping just fine.

    My son had morphine on his 16th birthday when he got pushed at an outdoor basketball game, getting a compound fracture of his left arm. Kid was flying high as they wheeled him into surgery, and kept asking “Do I get to keep my boxers on?!” We still tease him about that. Morphine is the bomb, according to him.

    I agree with Sue – I was thinking the same thing about you needing to get a different doctor.

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  11. Mindy said on February 7, 2008 at 11:58 am

    My friend Jeanne, an appropriately named geneticist, suffers terrible pain in her neck and back from years of craning her neck to use a microscope. She’s been taking the Full Ledger for years including the infamous OxyContin. It did weird things to her but she was able to function well enough to get through the workday. Last time I saw he she’d finally had a successful surgery and is much like her old self.

    I got Vicodan for a knee surgery. The pain was still just as sharp but I didn’t care about it. After a hysterectomy I was given a morphine drip to administer myself with the push of a button. It did absolutely zip. With my mother sitting by my bed for hours at a time, I really really needed a painkiller.

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  12. alex said on February 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    In my job, I analyze the medical records of personal injury claimants and people trying to go on disability and what’s even more amazing than the physicians who give away drugs like Halloween candy is the incredible number of litigants whose medical records show them to be drug-seekers and doctor shoppers. Some of them go to multiple emergency rooms and urgent care clinics per day claiming to have different sorts of pain symptoms at each.

    One time I almost got skinned alive when I fell through a cracked sewer grate that opened up beneath me like a pair of wild west tavern doors. At the Northwestern Hospital ER they washed me up and sent me on my way without anything for pain. When the bill arrived, however, there were all kinds of good drugs on it and quite expensive, but they backed down when I told them I’d received nothing and would make sure to tell my insurance company the same.

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  13. Danny said on February 7, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    The title of today’s post reminded me of the following passage from one of my favorite books of all time:

    Conversation between Enoch Root and Bobby Shaftoe in the novel Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson 1999)

    “I don’t like the word ‘addict’ because it has terrible connotations,” Root says one day, as they are sunning themselves on the afterdeck. “Instead of slapping a label on you, the Germans would describe you as Morphiumsuchtig. The verb suchen means to seek. So that might be translated, loosely, as ‘morphine seeky’ or even more loosely as ‘morphine-seeking’. I prefer ‘seeky’ because it means you have an inclination to seek morphine.”

    “What the fuck are you talking about?” Shaftoe says.

    “Well, suppose you have a roof with a hole in it. That means it is a leaky roof. It’s leaky all the time – even if it’s not raining at the moment. But it’s only leaking when it happens to be raining. In the same way, morphine-seeky means that you always have this tendency to look for morphine, even if you are not looking for it at the moment. But I prefer both of them to ‘addict’, because they are adjectives modifying Bobby Shaftoe instead of a noun that obliterates Bobby Shaftoe.

    ** Edit: I love that last line which I emphasized. Neal Stephenson rocks.

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  14. colleen said on February 7, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    When I had my appendectomy experience, I discovered that morphine makes me go “ah. that’s a little better”, and demerol makes me go “oh yeaaaahhhh”. They sent me home with Vicodin that I didn’t finish or refill, because I didn’t really need it except to sleep. But it DID give me a nice feeling that everything will be just fiiiinnnne.

    And dry socket with my wisdom teeth was FAR worse than the appendectomy. Vicodin didn’t TOUCH the pain.

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  15. Sue said on February 7, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Nancy, is “Full Ledger” your own term or is it going around? If it’s your own invention, take credit for it now; it sounds like it could be this year’s “Truthiness”.

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  16. nancy said on February 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm


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  17. Julie Robinson said on February 7, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Years ago my mom had gall bladder surgery, back when they did the full incision and you stayed in the hospital 10 days. She’s a very solemn person, shall we say. Severely depressed, we might also say. But after morphine she was giggling like the proverbial schoolgirl, and actually told me, “I have to go now, it’s time for my happy pill”.

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  18. LAMary said on February 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Alex, you might have had nurses or doctors taking care of you who were charting that you were given meds but were pocketing said meds themselves. This stuff goes on.

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  19. Danny said on February 7, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    John McCain’s wife, Cindy, became addicted to painkillers a few years back. She was even stealing them from the supplies of the medical charity that she founded.

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  20. LAMary said on February 7, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Speaking of soporifics, Mitt Romney just dropped out of the race.

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  21. Danny said on February 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Not everyone can be as exciting as Hillary Clinton.

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  22. del said on February 7, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Danny, great quote. Alex, your story of “Morphiumsuchtig” reminds me of when I handled workers comp claims. I once had to cut off benefits for an injured trucker addicted to pain killers. Big and scary he always showed up at the claims office. And when the subject of no longer getting meds came up he’d get all misty and wide-eyed and get very near to me, like he was gonna rip my head off. One doctor we sent him to wrote back that the guy scared the bejesus out of him and please don’t send him back.

    As for Cindy McCain, I forgot that John McCain was part of the Keating Five. The others, like Michigan’s senator Don Riegle, seemed to fade off into the sunset. Not McCain.

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  23. alex said on February 7, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    LAMary, that did cross my mind. I’ve reviewed a lot of provider records involving the dispensation and disposition of narcotics and have learned about all kinds of tricks used by staff in medical facilities to circumvent the checks and balances.

    Most common, I hear, is the removal of morphine from Duragesic patches with the use of a syringe. This is also done to vials of morphine which are then refilled with saline. Sure would hate to be the patient receiving water postoperatively for pain relief.

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  24. nancy said on February 7, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Around here, the syringe trick is used to give our heroin that fortified-with-extra-vitamins-and-minerals kick. A year or two back, 30-some junkies ended up in the morgue in one fortnight thanks to fentanyl-laced heroin. Including a 16-year-old girl from one of the richest suburbs in the country.

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  25. ashley said on February 7, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Demerol rocks the llama’s ass. “Dim it all” we used to call it.

    When I had the tibial rod put in my leg, the doc couldn’t get the reamer to go all the way through the tibia. Turns out there was plenty of bone growth after a year, just no fusion. So he had to slice the top of my shin open and chisel it all up. Lovely.

    So naturally, they had me on painkillers. My dad was afraid I’d turn out like my junkie sister/mother, so he was encouraging me not to take them. Tylenol, he suggested. The doctor had to actually come and tell him I wouldn’t get addicted if I was using it for the pain. So I ended up alternating among vicodin ES, Tylenol 4, and percocet. Fun times.

    Nowadays, I end up taking about 1600mg of ibuprofen and 350mg of aspirin just to get through the day, but I can’t function on narcotics. But man, the doc gave me dilaudid for my vasectomy pain. That was nice of him. Of course, he did the surgery with a dull grapefruit spoon.

    And as for Fort Wayne: “I don’t want my tax dollars going to people who are stupid enough to live in a flood plain. They should know better than to live there.” Then again, that’s my pat argument to any Katrina/federal flood denier.

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  26. ashley said on February 7, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Hey, wasn’t that fentanyl syringe trick in the last Hiaasen or Christopher Moore book?

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  27. Danny said on February 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    As for Cindy McCain, I forgot that John McCain was part of the Keating Five. The others, like Michigan’s senator Don Riegle, seemed to fade off into the sunset. Not McCain.

    del, my suspicion is that we will ALL be reminded of this as soon as the general election campaign starts in earnest. The stories have already been written (like those celebrity obituaries) and the press is waiting for the perfect time.

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  28. nancy said on February 7, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    You got dilaudid for a vasectomy? Every guy I’ve known who did that says he got an icepack and the afternoon off.

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  29. Sue said on February 7, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Gee, perhaps stolen meds is what happened to talk show host Glenn Beck when he had his botched surgery and wanted to die. Not being a G.B. fan, I was ready to dismiss him as a whiner, but maybe not; apparently he ran into a solid wall of non-caring health professionals who were not at all impressed by his stature, and it wasn’t enough for him to send back the “tell us how we’re doing” survey when the time came. Who looked worse, the hospital or Glenn, when this story ran its course is a tossup. Being made to wait in the emergency room of an upscale hospital for pain meds perhaps shouldn’t be compared to the case of the woman who died on the floor of a barely-functioning public hospital, although it is a comparison the CNN made in an effort to drum up interest in this non-story.

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  30. brian stouder said on February 7, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Every guy I’ve known who did that says he got an icepack and the afternoon off.

    for me – it was a bag of frozen peas

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  31. ashley said on February 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Yeah, but now, courtesy of said surgery, I have an infected prostate, and the wonderful pain that goes along with that. I can describe it, if you like.

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  32. John said on February 7, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Brian….you beat me to it!

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  33. nancy said on February 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Ash: Ouch. Not just for the infection, but for the exam.

    Bagged frozen peas are the best. I used them on my boobs when I started breastfeeding, and they assumed the size, shape and average temperature of radioactive watermelons (the boobs, not the peas). When the peas melted, I just tossed them back in the freezer until they were ready again.

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  34. nancy said on February 7, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Jeez, I just noticed Dorothy’s comment about her son. A compound fracture at a basketball game? Your boy runs with a rough crowd.

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  35. brian stouder said on February 7, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    When the peas melted, I just tossed them back in the freezer until they were ready again.

    and then, after you recover – time to make pea soup!

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  36. ashley said on February 7, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Intense excruciating pain during and after ejaculation.

    Wonder what BF Skinner would say about that.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on February 7, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    TMI, Ashley!

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  38. Connie said on February 7, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    I will agree that morphine is the bomb. I was in labor, with IV, (I had been in the hospital for 10 weeks at this point) and the dr. said I need to relax and put a tiny shot of morphine in my IV. I immediately said “Wheee, give everyone some of this and we can have a party.”

    4 years later my mother died of stage 4 breast cancer after a couple of months of hospice at home. My brother and I were sorting out some of the hospice and other stuff when we realized we had three small bottles of liquid morphine. We both absolutely froze, and looked at each other. He told me he could probably find someone to buy it, but we quickly agreed it was going down the drain.

    I find the older I get the easier it seems to be to get pain meds. I have a brand new bottle of vicodan in fact, from my oral surgery two weeks ago. Never took a one.

    Dorothy, arthroscopic surgery fixed the worst of my pain from shredded knee cartilage, synvisc took care of the rest. But I want my Vioxx back!

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  39. Danny said on February 7, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Intense excruciating pain during and after ejaculation.

    Well now that Mardis Gras is over, I think we can all guess what Ashley is giving up for Lent.

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  40. joodyb said on February 7, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    i agree w/the others, nance. find a new doc.
    i got Vicodin 2 wks ago for an infected hangnail that turned into a giant red throbbing mess. my doctor, who had broken both her legs in november, was horrified at the sight of it. the finger still hurt, but i did not care. the size of the prescription was apocalypse-worthy, but after 15 years, my doc knows i’m not working on any addictions. i got morphine in the ER last year when something got stuck and infected my upper GI; they stuck in the drip, closed the door and let me sleep for an hour. it was a saturday. i don’t remember anything after that. i love abbott-northwestern.

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  41. ashley said on February 7, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Well now that Mardis Gras is over, I think we can all guess what Ashley is giving up for Lent.

    I can’t. That’s supposed to make it better. Welcome to my life.

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  42. MichaelG said on February 7, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    My vasectomy qualified me as well for the ice and the afternoon off. I still have a medicine cabinet full of percs and vikes from my misfortunes of a year or two ago. Keeping them for a rainy day. Sounds mighty rainy for you in NOLA, Ashley. I hope you’re better soon.
    Stephenson is great. I’m waiting for whatever is going to follow the Baroque Cycle. I still can’t believe he writes in pencil on a yellow pad.

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  43. LAMary said on February 7, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I get weepy and morose from demerol. No fun at all. I’m so pathetic I’m finding the first waves of sleepiness from Advil PM pleasant.

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  44. Dorothy said on February 7, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Eh it wasn’t a rough crowd at his birthday party. It was showing off in front of the girls. What kills me the most is the kid who pushed him had parents who thought he’d make an excellent priest. Feh.

    For the record my hubby had the ice-pack-and-afternoon-off thing too after his Big V.

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  45. Michael said on February 7, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    I hate to interrupt the painkiller thing, but … that Britney Spears thing is a real trip.

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  46. alex said on February 7, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks Connie!

    At the moment looking at a fucked-up knee case and Vioxx seemed to be the only thing that helped, not the invasive surgeries or chronic narcotics for his longtime pre-existing degenerative disease mostly unrelated to the trumped-up trauma at issue. Fun, though. This is someone who’s been on Social Security disability x ten years but claiming lost wages in the six figures at present. I predict he’ll be lucky to collect four figures after his scumbag counsel collects his third of the pie for this bogus piece of crap.

    I’m torn. Self-interested Republican or fed-up Democrat? What should I do?

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  47. Danny said on February 7, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    MichaelG, Slashdot did this great interview with Stephenson a few years back. Enjoy

    An excerpt for you other writers here. He was asked if it bothered him that SF writers did not get a lot of respect:

    A while back, I went to a writers’ conference. I was making chitchat with another writer, a critically acclaimed literary novelist who taught at a university. She had never heard of me. After we’d exchanged a bit of of small talk, she asked me “And where do you teach?” just as naturally as one Slashdotter would ask another “And which distro do you use?”

    I was taken aback. “I don’t teach anywhere,” I said.

    Her turn to be taken aback. “Then what do you do?”

    “I’m…a writer,” I said. Which admittedly was a stupid thing to say, since she already knew that.

    “Yes, but what do you do?”

    I couldn’t think of how to answer the question—I’d already answered it.

    “You can’t make a living out of being a writer, so how do you make money?” she tried.

    “From…being a writer,” I stammered.

    At this point she finally got it, and her whole affect changed. She wasn’t snobbish about it. But it was obvious that, in her mind, the sort of writer who actually made a living from it was an entirely different creature from the sort she generally associated with.

    He then goes on with some thoughtful comments about popular writing versus literary writing and then had this:

    Later at the writer’s conference, I introduced myself to someone who was responsible for organizing it, and she looked at me keenly and said, “Ah, yes, you’re the one who’s going to bring in our males 18-32.” And sure enough, when we got to the venue, there were the males 18-32, looking quite out of place compared to the baseline lit-festival crowd. They stood at long lines at the microphones and asked me one question after another while ignoring the Dante writers sitting at the table with me. Some of the males 18-32 were so out of place that they seemed to have warped in from the Land of Faerie, and had the organizers wondering whether they should summon the police. But in the end they were more or less reasonable people who just wanted to talk about books and were as mystified by the literary people as the literary people were by them.

    Fun stuff.

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  48. Danny said on February 7, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    By the way, Ashley. I highly recommend Cryptonomicon to you. The comp-sci angle is awesome. Especially the cryptography stuff.

    Hope you feel better, man. Ouch.

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  49. Dave K. said on February 7, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    As I recall, Dr. Rumney’s snorted from a breast or thigh provides the best results. As for the vasectomy, mine was done while I was laid-off from Dana and without short-term disability insurance, so after ibuprofen, ice and Budweiser, (not necessarily in that order), I returned to work the next day. I drove from Ft. Wayne to Dayton, OH to pick up a load of (I swear!) cast-iron manhole covers, and when I returned to the job-site in the Fort, the contractor had gone home for the day. I think there were 12 or 15 covers, 425 lbs. each. I unloaded them by the squat, push and slide method, letting them fall to the muddy ground.

    More ice and Bud did not prevent massive swelling, vivid discoloration and pulled out stitches.

    I am truly grateful for my United Steelworkers’ job (WITH health care) which I have today!

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  50. nancy said on February 7, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Dave, your story shook loose a memory, still pretty vague — I can’t recall if I read it in a magazine story or saw it somewhere else, but the gist of it was about the need for sex ed in schools. The person telling the story was talking about counseling a pregnant teenager, who kept insisting she couldn’t possibly be pregnant because her boyfriend said he’d had a vasectomy. The counselor was trying to gently suggest that couldn’t be true, and the girl said, “But he showed me the scar!” Counselor asks where. The girl raises her arm, points to her armpit and says, “Here.”

    I bet your scar is very sexy.

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  51. basset said on February 7, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Stephenson peaked with “Snow Crash” and “Cobweb” if you ask me… I refuse to read any novel which includes mathematical formulas, so when he started on that Victorian steampunk stuff I just tuned him out.

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  52. Linda said on February 8, 2008 at 5:02 am

    I don’t know anybody who has chronic pain who has troubles getting powerful dope, just people with temporary situations. Even I didn’t have a hard time getting drugs strong enough to knock me out when I got shingles years ago. My mom and sisters swap drugs tough enough to knock me out like baseball cards. Of course, I’m a wuss and everything knocks me out.

    The upside the not getting the Full Ledger is that you don’t end up where Heath did. I’m betting if he’s anywhere, he is wishing he didn’t get it either.

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  53. alex said on February 8, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Wow, talk about drugs and everybody participates. Say, Nance. Today you should try sex or rock-n-roll.

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  54. John said on February 8, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Brian, don’t you make your pea soup from the dried kind, not the frozen kind?

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  55. brian stouder said on February 8, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Actually, I’m in charge of table-clearing/dishes afterward; where the food comes from is as mysterious to me as sanskrit. (Watching Food Network is like watching Philip Morrison explain the nature of the universe, to me; it all makes sense as I watch, and is utterly inscrutable afterward!)

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  56. joodyb said on February 8, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Once again, Brian demonstrates his high level of intelligence.

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  57. joodyb said on February 8, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    that looks like i’m being sarcastic; i’m totally sincere.

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  58. brian stouder said on February 9, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Hah! when it comes to brain-power here at nn.c, gadflys like me are in the cheap seats…and, now it looks like you’re being doubly sarcastic!

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  59. ky said on March 4, 2008 at 2:15 am

    You people are pretty disgusting making jokes about someone’s death.

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