Friday, October 26, 2007

I Ponied Up To

I was a good friend of his. Better than ever. Really. But don't ask him. No good, that.

He was personable, he had really good hair, and seemed to have this Woodstock-era sweet concern for the elderly, the sick, and the medically-challenged. Even those who might not be the first recipients of sympathy: the obese, the addicted, and the disordered. I really respected him. He was commandingly beautiful. Yes. Very. Like that, but not that.

Poor me. I was less schooled then. Less savvy. Less empowered. Less me.

Less pointed.

He had a history of narcotic addiction and he never beat it. Like many others.

When he worked on the med-surg floor other nurses told stories about him. They said he drained multi-use vials of morphine.

We don't use those any more. Just single doses now. Individually sealed.

He himself told me that when he had prostrate surgery the issue of narcotics was paramount. But by then he had been accused of stealing morphine from orthopedic patients and diverting this drug to his own use, and his license was imperiled.

He lost it.

Once we caught another nurse staring blankly ahead by the narcotic drawer in the E.D. crash cart.

"Hey John. How ya' doin?"

"Hey," he said, in a stupor.

"Been into the Versed, have you?"

"Yup," he replied.

The end.

The plain sad truth is that both of these people were very nice. Caring and loving individuals. Smart. They taught in the local ACLS courses. They knew their stuff. I liked them. But they were major fuck-ups. Big time. Too bad. There's a nursing shortage. But people like that cannot work around controlled substances. It gets to them.

The last time I saw the first guy he was working on the ferry, and the other one was a part-time skiing instructor.

1 comment:

may said...

it is hard to watch people suffer this kind of addiction. it is just hard.