Patrick Ward words, code, and music

Perfection and the Oxycodone Blues


I’ve been working on the buddha story today and it’s coming along quite nicely. In fact, I rewrote the first part that I too hastily posted yesterday. I suppose, in a way, that’s the danger of trying to get through a 30 day trial like this. Some things are just going to be rushed out the door before they are ready.

I’m okay with that, though. It’s forcing me to learn to accept failure every once in awhile, and not be so focused on perfecting things. Granted, I wish I could edit these posts for a good long time before I send them up, but that wouldn’t match one of my stated purposes of this exercise: breaking the perfectionist habit.

Before I started the 30 day trial, I would write maybe once a week, if that. And what I would write, would be poured over and perfected until I got bored with it and left it unfinished indefinitely.

Since the 30 day trial started, I’ve written every day, sometimes for 3-4 hours or longer at a stretch. I’m seeing patterns in my writing and learning where I’ll need to improve. I’m beginning to understand what I like to write, and what I don’t. I’m creating a desire to know more about the craft I’ve chosen to spend time in. And, most importantly, I’m finishing projects that would normally never see the light of day.

Forcing myself to create something every day has been an eye opening challenge for me. It’s made me realize how much more I have to learn. Yet, I’ve also begun to see how much more fun the journey can be as well.

Oxycodone Blues

Outside of the obvious challenge of writing something creative every day, I’ve also been dealing with some recovery issues. I had my wisdom teeth extracted last Thursday. In addition, they had to couple that with some bone grafts to replace some of the bone in my jaw that they took out. So, to say the last few days have been enjoyable, would be like saying I enjoy a good kick in the groin every now and then.

Surprisingly, though, what sucked the most wasn’t the pain in my jaw. It was the symptoms I felt after ingesting the recommended dosage of oxycodone (which is the generic term for drugs like Percoset) that the doctor gave me. For the first 36 hours after my surgery I felt nauseous, I had severe headaches, my body was aching, I could barely think, I couldn’t keep food in my stomach from all the purging, and to top it all off my jaw was still aching! I’m sure the purging didn’t help with that last part.

I thought this was all part of the recovery process, until I started looking up the symptoms associated with oxycodone. I think I must have checked off 80% of the possible effects they listed.

So, after my final purge on Friday, I thought it couldn’t be any worse if I just stopped taking the pills for awhile and relied instead on a couple of plain Advil.

Hallelujah! As soon as I stopped taking the oxycodone pills, I started to regain my old self. I felt human again! I felt like grandpa in the 1971 production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, dancing around the bed doing my best impression of a jig. If it wasn’t for my still swollen face I would have sung till the neighbors complained!

Of course, all of this jubilant behavior ended the next day, when my face puffed up even larger. I was okay with it, though, that part I had prepared myself for. At least I could still think; I was still human. I’d rather take a little pain than mask it with a poison pill that reduces you to a putrid mess on the floor, writhing and screaming about the demons in your stomach.

The Advil still helps, in fact, it’s about time for another dose as I write this. The good news is that I probably only have a few more days of this left. I expect the swelling will start to go down tomorrow and my road to a normal life will once again be on the horizon.

In the meantime, I’m actually kind of proud that I was able to keep writing despite the oxycodone blues. I sucked it up and posted in order to keep the 30 days going. Some were posted before they were ripe enough for public consumption, but in the long run those little distractions won’t make much of a difference.