Native son: Fentanyl

by Charles D Novak

The pain was all over my body. I walked doubled over. The doctor said I would have to go to the hospital for an MRI. They would have to sedate me before they put me in the tube. I was told the procedure would take 40 minutes and I could go home the same day.
I woke up two days later in intensive care. I thought I was having a bad dream. When the doctor walked into the room he told me there were complications but he didn’t say what they were.
The source of the pain was a disc in my back which they were able to fix. I was in intensive care for six days which I couldn’t understand. No one was talking and telling me what went wrong. Mentally I didn’t feel like myself.
A nurse came into the room and said I was being discharged. I was thoroughly confused. When I got home my doctor reluctantly told me I may have been given an overdose of a drug called Fentanyl.
I didn’t know what that was and the doctor didn’t give me anymore information except that a side effect of this drug would be hallucinations which should go away in two months! I immediately went on my computer and typed in the word Fentanyl. It was a horror story!
This drug is the number one killer in America. It’s a man-made synthetic opioid that can be manufactured cheaply in a crude laboratory using easy to buy chemicals.
It’s 50 times more powerful than heroin and the profit margin is astronomical. This chemical can easily turn a few thousand dollars into millions in a matter of months. Compared to other drugs it’s a breeze to make, transport and sell.
Over 7,000 Americans died last year from this drug in 35 states. The rock star Prince died from it. Over 350 pounds of Fentanyl was confiscated in New York last year.
This drug comes into the United States mostly from Mexico and China. It comes here in a number of ways including the U S mail. A young couple from New York was transporting a 140 pounds of Fentanyl in suitcases. That amount could kill 32 million people.
As of this writing, it’s been 17 months since my body was introduced to Fentanyl and I am still having hallucinations.
My legs don’t always work. I cannot walk across the street without fear of collapsing and falling down. My mobility is mostly gone and just keeping my balance is a challenge. Some days I walk with a limp and there is pain.
The amount that was charged to my medical insurance was obscene. The most unbelievable insult was when I called two law firms and was told I had a case but they would not sue on my behalf because of my age.
Isn’t that discrimination? Did they actually think I could die before they collected their fee? There is longevity on both sides of my family with many members living into their 90’s. I am optimistic I will do the same.
Please wish me luck on my journey.