Double Weekly Roundup: Petty’s Pain Edition

Tom Petty’s family did an unusual and brave thing on Friday: they released his autopsy and they explained why it says what it does. Some time ago, he had fractured his hip — he was sixty-six years old, remember, the age at which my grandfather was already an Eldorado-driving Florida retiree — and out of a desire to continue touring, he had begun taking pain medication. Over the course of playing fifty-plus tour dates he “turned up the volume”, as Dennis Quaid said in Any Given Sunday, to the point where he was using that destination opiod, fentanyl. It’s worth noting that fentanyl also killed Prince, who suffered with similar pain and a similar desire to keep touring despite it. When he died they found six different opiods in his system, evidence that he was mixing cocktails of painkillers in an attempt to obtain the relief that he could no longer get from just one.

As someone who has been treated with opiods multiple times for trauma injuries, I can tell you that they are only truly useful in the first few weeks. After that the required doses climb into dangerous territory. In October of 2015, I broke my leg at the Glen Helen MX track while riding a Husky 450. The actual break wasn’t so bad, but in the course of putting three screws into the tibial plateau at various angles my surgeon managed to damage the main nerve. What followed was six months of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Even today, my left leg is numb sometimes and on fire other times — but that first six months was unparalleled misery. After surgery, I found that I could sleep for two hours with 10mg of OxyContin. Then it was 15. Then it was 20. Then it was 25. I was still working at the time, including a particularly miserable six hours spent in a prototype race car, so I couldn’t just lie down and deal with it. I had to keep going, which made the pain even worse, and I needed to sleep, which meant that I was reliant on the drug.

It was at that point, around the 45 day mark, that I realized I was going to become an addict if I continued using it at any level. I had to go cold turkey. It was miserable and I apologize to anybody who had to interact with me between December of 2015 and June of 2016. But if I hadn’t done that — and if I hadn’t performed a similar early withdrawal from painkilling medication in 2014 — I would probably be dead now. When I broke my ribs and fractured my arm in May of last year I didn’t even bother to fill my prescription for Vicodin. The cure is worse than the disease. But not everybody figures that out.

Furthermore, it’s no crime to want to be free from pain. I’ve been in constant pain since I broke my beck in 1988. It wasn’t until my son turned five or six that I took a moment to consider what that pain has done to shape my personality and character. John is cheerful, kind, forgiving, and enthusiastic — all the things I was when I was in my early teens. It wasn’t until I had a few pounds of flesh and muscle forcibly debrided from my legs and back, to say nothing of having a titanium rod shoved into my leg and bolted on both ends, that I because suspicious, quick to anger, and quick to criticize. Constant pain is the opposite of getting high. It removes your ability to suffer fools gladly, it destroys the baseline cheerfulness that most people use to get through the day. It sharpens your awareness of everything. Even Hemingway was more or less permanently undone by a series of injuries he suffered in a plane crash at the age of forty-three; the chronic pain he suffered afterwards figured strongly in his suicide years later.

Last week, my brother wrote about the unseen effects of emotional pain and trauma. Today, it’s my turn to talk about the misery caused by physical pain and the deadly effects of the drugs we take to palliate it. I know that a few of our most constant readers, including our own Nate, have suffered some pretty major injuries in the past few years. I’m here to tell them, and you, that it’s better to live with the pain than to try fixing it. The first path makes you a miserable son of a bitch; the second makes you a dead one.

Alright, let’s get to this extra-long roundup.

At R&T, I offered a medical explanation for the rise of the SUV, uncovered the truth behind a strange 800-horsepower Miata/Civic hybrid, and praised the automotive incarnation of Yacht Rock.

For TTAC, I wrote

* an update on the “long-term” Silverado
* some thoughts about the economics of trading in a car to save on gas
* a rental review of the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu
* a guide to ridiculous search-engine queries
* a review of the Detroit Auto Show
* some ruminations regarding buying a second truck
* a few potential answers to a reader question about replacing an RS

Beyond that, I managed to: go to the Detroit show, visit a friend in the Baltimore area, lose a BMX race, hit the skatepark a few times, work seventy hours at the day job, and keep Riverside Green up to date. Fortunately or unfortunately, however, the next few weeks are going to be even busier, so stick around for more content, more guest posts, and more of the insane narcissistic consumerist drivel you’ve come to, if not love, at least tolerate! I’m runnin’ down a dream!

64 Replies to “Double Weekly Roundup: Petty’s Pain Edition”

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      Were the pharma makers forcing people to swallow?

      Doctors have a role in this crisis as well. They believed nonsense about just how addictive the newer opiates were. By now we should know that you can’t make a non-addictive opiate, whether it’s heroin (introduced in part to alleviate morphine addiction), oxycontin, or fentanyl (which killed Michael Bloomfield long ago). Fentanyl is a double problem because it’s more potent than heroin and if I’m not mistaken the threshold between effective and lethal doses is not very broad.

      Reply
      • DeadWeight

        You’re hopelessly naive and/or incredibly misinformed and/or incredibly disingenuous.

        I’d cite a litany of links to a truly credible body of FACTS and EVIDENCE that many pharmaceutical companies, not the least of which is Purdue (but there are many in addition to Purdue), intentionally misrepresented the qualities of opioids such as Oxycontin, *literally* advertising it to doctors and patients as “non-addictive,” when they knew while making such representations that it was as or likely more addictive than heroin, and Purdue was doing so purely to engage in profiteering.

        That’s the tip of the iceberg.

        The opioid crisis is a massive tsunami that has washed over the U.S.A. In main part to the fact that money and profits are the new religion, and major pharmaceutical companies (and the owners and executives that directed them) have and continued to rake in hundreds of billions in revenues based on falsified data and research, claims touting “safety” and “non’addictive” qualities, and on and on, since the early 1990s.

        The opioid crisis, intentionally created as a profit-making (GOD PROFIT) by Big Pharma, many of its scientists, executives and major shareholders, and exacerbated by many greedy physicians (drug dealers), is a drug epidemic far, FAR higher than the cocaine, crack cocaine, or heroin crises – COMBINED.

        You will witness a tobacco-like industry wide settlement of claims in the coming years by many pharmaceutical companies and their minions, and the evidence of these entities’ wrongdoing is even more solid, scandalous and disgusting than that which Big Tobacco partook in.

        Pick the choices I gave you above, to describe yourself, Ronnie, but be true to yourself, others and your internal moral compass (whatever its quality), when doing so.

        Reply
          • -Nate

            “Everyone’s fault but the person taking the pills.”

            I don’t quite agree with this .

            It’s true that no one was ever forced to smoke crack or inject heroin, these supposedly safe pain killers are another thing completely .

            If you cannot trust your Doctor, then whom ? .

            Obviously I have very little sympathy for those who _choose_ to get high then lose their way .

            -Nate

          • DeadWeight

            Nate, unfortunately, few people have the willpower Jack does (it’s thought that less than 3% of people can quit prescription opioids, prescribed legally and usually for legitimate purposes, permanently and successfully if they’ve had two or more month-long prescribed courses -‘conveniently, Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies making opioids knew this and designed the highly addictive aspect in as a feature, not a bug).

            Again, it will come out (it already has) that opioid manufacturers recognized opioids as a huge profit center of their business models in the late 80s/early 90s, and dedicated massive resources towards ramping ever higher potent and ever larger scaled production of them as a core, profit-driven focal point of their operations, knowing full-well that effectively inducing fast addiction would reap tremendous rewards.

            Here’s just one example of the avarice and greed that fueled this ongoing crisis that is swallowing lower, middle and upper class families whole, and in particular, in working-class areas and non-coastal states where pharmaceutical companies have shipped massive, outsized supplies of these pills to, in furtherance of what is a criminal enterprise that far exceeds Los Pollos Hermanos’s of fictional Breaking Bad fame by a factor of 10,000 times.

            The Columbian Cartel, Escobar, El Chapo Guzman, etc etc AIN’T GOT NOTHING on the sophistication, scale, methodology, business model, distribution, mens rea, profitability or distribution network of Big Pharma and opiods, not their propensity to and effectiveness in buying off legislators and judges.

          • -Nate

            You’re preaching to the choir DW ~ I had the threaten to kill a nurse before Kaiser would stop automatically doping me to the gills with morphine when I was run over on my Moto in 2008 by a taxi .

            It was awful, being doped up like that .

            I had little trouble saying “!NO!” after talking to people I knew had died twenty years earlier for a week .

            I hate dope .

            -Nate

          • DeadWeight

            Links for Ronnie (and others) of just one company and family that reaped billions and are bigger than El Chapo, Escobar and all the rest put together in wrecking lives (doing it through effective bribes, lawyering, and regulating alleged regulators).

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/founder-of-purdue-pharma-made-a-fortune-from-addictive-painkiller-oxycontin-donated-generously-to-charity-1500647400

            https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/30/the-family-that-built-an-empire-of-pain

            https://addictionunscripted.com/kingpinsoxycontin-heroin-and-the-sackler-sinaloa-connection/

          • Disinterested-Observer

            Ronnie-much as I hate to admit it Deadweight is correct. The pharma and the doctors are literally the pusherman in this case. There is a reason that fentanyl deaths have spiked in the last few years and it isn’t because people suddenly became weaker.

          • Ken

            I had two facial surgeries in the last year. The procedure is 50+ years old, before the “miracle” of modern pain “management”. The surgery is known to cause temporary nerve paralysis, as such, there is very little pain afterwards. On BOTH occasions I was prescribed Oxy and on both occasions did not want to, nor need to fill it. I’m talking pain manageable with Tylenol. Most frustrating was the 2nd surgery. where I explicitly requested not to be prescribed such a strong anti-pain medication. I already went through the procedure once before and knew something as strong was not required. I did however request (just in case for some reason the 2nd surgery would be worse) a less strong pain medication, perhaps Valium.

            I was told the prescription of Oxy is “standard procedure”. The hospitals and doctors are just as culpable as big-pharma. Why prescribe the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut? Because profits. Yes, no one is “forcing you” to swallow that pill… but let’s say you need to crack that nut, and all your given is that highly addictive sledgehammer in the corner…

            Drugs like Oxy should be like morphine. Reserved as last line pain-management tools when all other options have been exhausted. Not first choice prescriptions – especially for surgeries that don’t need them.

        • DeadWeight

          Edit from above (since Jack and Mark can’t be bothered to offer an edit function, apparently):

          “I’d cite a litany of links to a truly credible body of FACTS and EVIDENCE that many pharmaceutical companies, not the least of which is Purdue (but there are many in addition to Purdue), intentionally misrepresented the qualities of opioids such as Oxycontin, *literally* advertising it to doctors and patients as “non-addictive,” when they knew while making such representations that it was as or likely more addictive than heroin, and Purdue was doing so purely to engage in profiteering…IF YOU WERE CAPABLE OF CHANGING YOUR PRE-SET, FIXED, DOGMATIC MINDSET, BUT GIVEN THAT YOU AREN’T BASED ON YOUR PAST WRITINGS DEMONSTRATING THAT YOU ARE EINGESHPAHRT.”

          Also, you increasingly come across as meshuggeneh, lately.

          Reply
      • DrSmith

        Ronnie;
        Yes, individuals have a responsibly. However, as Nate and Deadweight (god, I hate saying this) have pointed out, Pharma has a hand in this as well as the doctors….as both groups knowing pushed these drugs at times on people chronic pain as a ‘safe’ alternative when they did and (in the doctors’ case) should have known better.

        Alslo, let’s not forget the role of insurance, more specifically Obamacare, has in this mess, too. Part of the deal with Obamacare was that by a certain point in time, private companies and their insurance plan companies that had ‘gold’ heath plans with heavily incentive’s via taxes to do away with them….and that is just what has happened. As one whom works for one of the big three in metro Detroit area, our plans have changed over the last three years so that the only choices left are high deductible plans that have servery reduced or cut out all together others ways people with chronic pain have death with it besides drugs, such a chiro visits, Physical Therapy, acupuncture, etc. Guess what, tho – prescription narcotic pains meds. are still available.

        This is the world we live in today – one way or another, Big Gov. has us by the balls and doesn’t want to let go. Very few people can wean themselves off prescription pains meds. once hooked, so it is better to not go on them in the first place.

        Reply
  1. Ronnie Schreiber

    Humans were not designed to be in ultimate peace and contentment, which, combined with their biological pain killing effectiveness, is probably why opiods are addictive.

    Pain tells you that you are alive. We need to strive and struggle to survive. Without resistance, a muscle atrophies.

    Though I haven’t been damaged nearly as much as Jack has, I probably haven’t had a day without some kind of physical pain in decades. I first had surgery when I was 7. I hurt my back as a young teen and have had migraines since college. Twenty years ago my then ten year old daughter and I fell about 30 feet down a steep hillside in the Upper Peninsula. My head hit a log and my neck was probably stretched beyond it’s design limits (it makes some interesting noises now). Some nights I laugh when I count up all the things that hurt. When it gets really bad I’ll take three aspirin or some ibuprofin. When I got hit by an SUV while I was riding my bike and got the same tibial plateau fracture as Jack, I don’t think I used the vicoprofin opiate for more than a couple of days. After surgery demerol didn’t do much for my pain (Panadol, a non-narcotic did, btw) so maybe I’m idiosyncratic with opiates, which would be weird since I’m very sensitive to anesthesia, which takes forever to wear off for me, but frankly I’m afraid of opiates. There’s a strong OCD gene in my family. I smoke enough cannabis and have enough obsessions to know that I have an addictive personality, so I’ve given opiates a wide berth.

    Still, thank God, I’m in pretty solid health. More important, my kids and grandkids are healthy. Everything else is gravy.

    Reply
  2. Ronnie Schreiber

    I saw Bob Seger at the NAIAS on the second day of the media preview. He was with his wife and daughter and looked to be in great health. Last fall he hurt his back and decided that it wasn’t worth risking his health to tour in that condition so he canceled the remaining 19 shows on the tour to recuperate.

    I wonder how many Tom Petty fans are happy that they were able to see and hear him play on the last tour, now knowing the price. Still, it was Petty’s choice to go out there on a fractured hip. Considering he’d kicked heroin dependency in the ’90s one would think he’d know the dangers, but then I’m not a rock star with 20,000 people screaming my name.

    Reply
  3. Nick D

    A close co worker lost her son on Christmas Day from an opiate overdose. The loss one sees on her formerly cheerful face shocks your soul to its core and I can’t even begin to try and make a feeble attempt at sympathy.

    Puts much in perspective.

    But the world will continue to turn.

    You should get a Transit over a truck, if only to add a rolling third bay to your overfilled garage.

    Reply
  4. Nick D

    A past life gave me a front row seat to this. Tons of blame to go around, but bad doctors and DEA incompetence deserve most.

    Reply
  5. -Nate

    Thanx Jack, this is an important and timely message IMO .

    I’ve been in chronic pain since about 1967 and you’re right on every word you wrote .

    I have lost so many friends and acquaintances due to dope I now hate to touch the stuff and mostly rely on meditation to allow me a few hours of sleep .

    Failing that I remain active until I more or less pass out in exhaustion for a few hours .

    It really does make one grumpy .

    I love life and try to grab every minute of it I can but sometimes I too must take a hyrdocodone 5MG / acetametaphin 325 Mg pill, that’s all I’ll allow because I too am scared shitless of going down the drug addict rabbit hole .

    This is an important subject that needs to be brought out into the light .

    After WWI the pharmaceutical companies pushed heroin hard as an over the counter pain killer to Veterans and ruined many of their livs and killed many more . now they’re doing the same thing with these new synthetic pain killers .

    M Doctors always want to give me ever more, more _MORE_ dope because I even walk funny, they don’t seem to grasp that I’d rather be in manageable pain than be high .

    At least the metal plate and 8 screws in my neck don;t hurt although my beat to shit shoulders often do as does the remaining long plate in my arm .

    I am up to 42# grip pressure in one hand, 82# in t’other, yesterday I got some help and loaded a vintage VW Engine onto the rolling stand and began trying to make it run again ~ I can’t hold the screwdriver from turning in my hand when I snug up the valve adjusting lock nuts ~ this sucks ! .

    Whoops, rambling on again sorry .

    Good thing there’s a delete button so the butthurt brigade won’t complain too much .

    -Nate

    Reply
  6. Texn

    OMG EBFLex is a trollololol! I’d suggest a Colorado for your second truck. I can’t decide if we should wait for the Ranger or go ahead and get a 4Runner…wife wants a 4R Limited, I want a midsize pickup but the GM twins are slightly too small for two boys and a small lab. And if we get a 4R, I’ll likely inherit her Accord.

    Reply
    • -Nate

      RE: new pickup truck =

      I know Jack likes those HUGE things because he files them to the brim then attaches a trailer but many (me anyway) like smaller 1/2 ton rigs and yesterday I was driving and passed a Toyota T100 that’s about the same size as my old Chevy 1/2 tonner, it was red and black and had the usual myriad of tiny dents along the bed sides indicating a light use work truck .

      ? Are these any good ? . do they have a small engine option ? .

      TIA,

      -Nate

      Reply
      • Dirty Dingus McGee

        “? Are these any good ?”

        From what I have seen, yes. One guy that used to work for us had one and he used it like a rented mule. I had seen him carry at least 1 ton in it on many occasions and it didn’t seem to effect the truck much. Don’t know about the engine choices, but which ever one he had was a dang good one.

        Reply
        • -Nate

          Thanx ~ I can’t seem me buying anything V – configured but this rig looked well used and still had original paint etc.

          When first the T100 came out my Son was working in a Commercial Garden Equipment shop and they bought one with a V8 to tow chippers etc. , he said it was a good rig .

          -Nate

          Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        The T100 was a very, very good truck and I don’t know anybody with a bad word to say about them.

        The primary issue was they didn’t haul or carry as much as the domestic competition and they weren’t exactly value priced.

        Reply
        • -Nate

          I seem to recall they were very $pendy when new too .

          One of these dayze I’m going to have to buy a new vehicle and I don’t see any reason not to buy a truck as it rarely rains here and I’m usually alone when I drive .

          I tried and enjoyed ‘crackerjack pickups’ and they were just too cramped for my, I’m 6′ tall with 32″ inseam so I fit most smaller vehicles but not Japanese pickups it seems .

          Pot has helped many people I know but for me it not only made me stupider but gave me worse dreams than I have now so I wasn’t rested when I awoke .

          -Nate

          Reply
        • Robert

          I owned a 1998 T100 4×4 for a few years, it was by far the best built truck I ever owned. I believe they offered a 4 cylinder for a short time on the single cab models only.

          The runners up include 3 Hardbodies from 1990 to 1998, and a 1988 GMC 2500 long bed extended cab. The GMC was my favorite. I bought it very used in 1999. The bordello red velour interior looked just fine to me, and the wide, plush bench seat was very accommodating of my numerous back injuries. It was the only truck I could ever load in a motocross bike straight and still shut the tailgate. Bliss. The engine was so worn out, it would belch out a cloud of smoke you could pickup on Doppler radar if you stomped the throttle.

          Reply
          • -Nate

            Thanx Robert ;

            A short bed single cab W/ four banger is what I was hoping someone would say existed .

            I tried a Nissan Hardbody, a good little trucklet but too small .

            -Nate

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’ve been thinking about the Colorado for sure… the problem is that it doesn’t seem genuinely cheaper than the Silverado.

      Reply
    • -Nate

      I was at a local Show & Shine yesterday and a young guy showed up in an E30 (?) Bimmer cut down into a pickup truck, at first I thought it was a VW Caddy grey market import .

      -Nate

      Reply
  7. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Like many, I have about as many bones that have been broken, as I have those that haven’t been. When I crawl out of bed I sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies, turned up to 11. I have managed to avoid becoming dependent on opiods, mainly because I become useless when I have taken them. A couple instances I used them for a short time (kidney stones will make you willing to kill anyone you love for an opiate), but ended up throwing away most of the prescription. A recent weight loss (about 20 pounds, trying for 25 more) has helped, as it puts less stress on the oft damaged back, wore out knees and bad ankles. Doesn’t help the neck or shoulders, but any help is welcome.

    Reply
  8. Mudhen

    Read the book Dreamland if you want to learn about the start of the opioid epidemic. It will make you very angry.

    Reply
  9. silentsod

    The guy on TTAC who suggested a running comparison feature with a new 2019 Ram 1500 vs the Silverado was on point. A lower trim spec will have less doodads but the underlying capability and chassis/suspension would be interesting to hear about.

    He was much more useful than I was chiming in about weak front ends on apparently two entire generations behind on the Rams (I honestly don’t follow truck chassis much but I have seen the 3rd gen Ram apart and I was underwhelmed so it stuck in my mind).

    Reply
  10. Dr. Throwaway

    I haven’t had a tonne of trauma, but I am starting to feel creaky enough that it has been causing me trouble sleeping for the last few years.
    has I have recently discovered edible pot products. While I hate the high I get if I actually take the stuff recreationally, having a gummy right before bed leads to a restful 7 hrs with no back or joint pain when I wake up. Like how I used to feel getting out of bed as a kid.

    maybe it’s placebo, but I can understand why a pharmacological lobby would want the stuff banned.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      If I didn’t work in a business where I was drug tested on a random basis, I would absolutely go in that direction any time I wasn’t about to operate a motor vehicle or a BMX bike. It is far more effective over the long haul than the opiods and it’s not addictive.

      Reply
      • Ryan

        There’s a guy who looks a lot like me who also happens to have constant knee/back pain and the occasional pinched nerve due to years of hockey and other shenanigans during his late teens/early 20s.

        While he was previously taking Norco 7.5s and Flexeril as needed, he eventually flipped to CBD oil and it has very rarely has the same issues. Cannot speak to the drug testing issue, but it has at least gotten rid of the constant “hangover” from the hydrocodone.

        Reply
  11. hank chinaski

    You broke your beck? I suggest Dilaudid.

    Papa H was convinced that the Feds were spying on him, and of course, they were.

    The Impala review is particularly timely as I was reviewing rentals for an upcoming trip only yesterday and wondering if the 300 was worth the extra scratch.

    Supposedly the synthetic Fentanly that the Chinese are importing can be potent enough to kill you with a few grains and it’s finding it’s way into the pot.

    Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      Supposedly the synthetic Fentanly that the Chinese are importing can be potent enough to kill you with a few grains and it’s finding it’s way into the pot.

      That’s got to be an urban legend. Fentanyl isn’t cheap to make and most of the cannabis smoked in the U.S. is now domestically produced. Why would a grower or dealer spike pot with an opiod? Potheads are already addicted.

      Reply
  12. Shrug

    Hey Jack would you be giving up the Accord for a new pickup or keeping both?

    In either case, have you considered a van? They’re significantly less cool, heavily stigmatized, and much worse looking, but they generally trade for a bit cheaper and have the whole cargo area covered. From all accounts the Transit 3.5s are a very nice piece of kit.

    Reply
  13. DeadWeight

    Jack, you and I have at it often, but you are a good man for realizing the path that the path they put you on, and being awake to its hazards, and firefighter strength to break the cycle early.

    I say this with all sincerity; your son is lucky to have you as a father, and your parents, brother and wife should be proud that you’re as strong as you are.

    Reply
    • DeadWeight

      Should read “back g the strength to break the cycle,” not “firefighter” above.

      😉

      I am on an advisory committee in Oakland County dealing with this rampant public health crisis/epidemic, and we are just now getting effective programs into place to emphasize rehab versus criminal sanctions (for a crisis that effects the poor to the very wealthy, given it’s origins, to wit, it started with a prescription, alike).

      Linda Davis, a former Macomb County Prosecutor and judge, is doing an awesome job in heading a task force to more effectively tackle this massive crisis, also.

      Reply
      • Thomas KreutzerThomas Kreutzer

        That was a nice thing to write.

        Also, I liked “firefighter strength.” It’s got a certain poetic ring to it. It has to be right up there with “Bowel-shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse Assail him, impale him with monster-truck force” for some of the greatest poetic imagery ever.

        Reply
  14. Mark D. Stroyer

    My worst is some pretty bad carpal tunnel, but I don’t even like taking large doses of Ibuprofen or Tylenol. I’ve only had a couple of surgery cases for stronger stuff and stopped just as soon as I could. I don’t like feeling fuzzy. (I also don’t really drink for the same reason. I’m clearly atypical.)

    I would absolutely get the Colorado, for one reason: Anything else will be exactly the same as your Chevy and fill the same role. The Colorado will cover your needed purpose but also be a discernibly different vehicle for day to day activities. I did have my crappy S-10 for an awful long time, so that could just be my compact truck Stockholm syndrome.

    Reply
  15. Ronnie Schreiber

    I think the business with cutting the nerve is just part of the surgery for the TPF. That’s what my surgeon told me. I’ve had reduced feeling in the outboard side of my calf ever since he repaired my knee. Sometimes I bang into things because I don’t feel my pant leg brush up against my leg. Beats being a cripple.

    Reply
  16. rwb

    I’m glad you were able to see the cycle developing and get yourself out of it. Didn’t know it had ever gotten that bad, your will continues to impress.

    Very awkward segue, but my “ice racing team” had its shakedown/debut this past weekend. Barring catastrophic damage, I’ll be running a full season (thru March) in the Lakes Region Ice Racing Club near Winnepesaukee. Anyone in the New England area is welcome and encouraged to come see the spectacle, it’s very spectator-friendly.

    Reply
  17. Hogie roll

    The pointed prows on the C7 and maclarens really ruins their aesthetics.

    Big wide flat noses must evoke an association with wide high T faces. The C6Z06 really gets it right and the better looking pony cars. Aerodynamics be damned.

    Reply
  18. VTNoah

    I guess I’m one of the lucky few who gets very sick whenever I’ve taken an opiate. They gave me a giant bottle of vicoden when my wisdom teeth were taken out when I was 20. I could barely get through the damn thing but, that’s how many of my generation got addicted. They were prescribed the pills after a minor operation, and then things. just. progressed…
    Opiates have torn through Vermont and, now that they are harder to get, Heroin is the cheaper, easier to obtain alternative. Thankfully pot legalization was just passed so I’m hoping to see a drop in opiate addiction here. It happened in CO so fingers crossed. Thanks for all the great pieces Brothers Baruth. Whenever I need to read something of substance, this is one of the first places I turn.

    Reply
  19. DougD

    Interesting contrast that the Petty family the information in hopes that it would help others the same week Glenn Frey’s family sued Mt Sinai hospital for wrongful death.
    I regret never seeing Petty & HB live, those songs occupy a lot of space in your head when you start listing them..

    Reply
  20. CJinSD

    I could write a few thousand words about injuries ranging from burns to a broken C4 vertebrae that I’ve weathered with maybe 15% of the prescribed painkillers. Medical science never gives up though. Ever since treatment at the hands of incredibly crummy student medicine at Virginia Tech twenty-five years ago, I’ve been rather susceptible to bronchial infections. In that time I’ve received care ranging from worse-than-state-administered to surgically accurate. Every couple years I end up talking to someone who thinks antibiotics are to be denied the public like effective diet pills. Last winter, I had one such imbecile. I don’t rush to the doctor. I know it is going to be a miserable experience, and I’d rather wait for a broken bone to heal than get a lecture about my various activities.

    Last year, I waited for the cold to turn into intense sinus pressure combined with coughing up green chunks of phlegmy lung. Then off to the doctor I went. She was a useless POS who should be working in climate science, which is ‘settled.’ Not so bronchitis. Since last year, she had learned that bronchitis is viral rather than bacterial, so no Z-pack for me. Instead she gave me OTC decongestants that really don’t work so well thanks to the tweekers’ affinity for sudafed. Just to be clear, I have enough experience with bronchitis to know that a z-pack is the silver bullet. It works so well for me that it could cure me on placebo effect alone at this point. A few days later I received a customer satisfaction survey. I was not satisfied. The doctor’s office rewarded me for taking the survey and expressing my displeasure by writing me a Z-pack prescription. Just kidding. They listened to me complain about not being able to sleep for ten consecutive days and prescribed me opiates and a steroid. When I was a young man, I once blacked out from pain after letting the morphine administered for a broken neck wear off. More than a week of sleep deprivation and sinus pressure was enough to get me to take the opiates last year.

    Reply
  21. Robert

    For me at least, the fatigue caused by chronic pain is much more damaging to my psyche (and loved ones) than the pain that causes it. Every minor irritation, bump, and sharp edge is brought out in stark relief by the raking light of exhaustion.

    Reply
  22. VoGo

    There used to be an expression about how a conservative was a liberal who had been mugged.

    I wonder if the update for this century involves how a Trump supporter is a Democrat who has been in a bad accident and got addicted to opioids.

    Reply
  23. Mopar4wd

    Traveling Wilburys:

    Odd I had rarely heard one of their songs since being a kid in the 80’s and 90’s where my dad had the cassette in the car constantly.
    For some strange reason I have heard wilbury songs at least a dozen times in the past month, on the radio, TV and oddly enough several times in retail stores and restaurants.

    Wonder if Mr Petty’s unfortunate passing is fueling the interest.

    Reply
  24. -Nate

    This shit SUCKS .

    I have _four_ Orthopaedic pillows and I still can’t get any fucking sleep .

    Last night it was back to the old “read in bed until I pass out from exhaustion then the pain wakes me up again in three hours” .

    If I’m moving a bit the pain is barely tolerable so this morning I went out and spent the day working on a pile of old rusty European spec. bumpers ~ It gave me something to do and my dogs were happy, I am not .

    I finally took 800Mg. of ibuprofen, it’s been two hours and my shoulders are finally beginning to relax a little bit .

    Those who think only weak people take drugs are pathetic and I hope no one here _ever_ has to suffer this bullshit .

    Old Man whining session over now ~ peace, out .

    -Nate

    Reply
  25. David Sanborn

    Having now gotten some insight regarding your recent-ish journey into suffering I’d like to apologize for all the times I’ve blithely swooped in and left pointed commentary rebutting your political posts. For some reason I now feel like I was kicking a man while he was down.

    However, for a man who was down you sure were compensating well.

    I’d like to leave you with this short story by a hero of mine, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. You’ll finish reading it in about a minute and afterwards you’ll breathe a sigh of relief that your pain *wasn’t that bad*.

    http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/ootdays.html

    Reply
    • -Nate

      Thank you for this .

      I was lucky and had all my wisdom teeth out in 1972 in a proper situation .

      In 1977 I had to have three abscessed teeth removed 1/2 way through my work day, the Dentist cut me a break by taking all three in one go for only $35 instead of $35 each, I didn’t have but $35 in my pocket .

      I still have them in a box to remind me of the tough times .

      Same drill : in the chair holding on for dear life, no pain meds to be had .

      Salt water is a good wound cleaner / disinfectant .

      Tooth aches are almost as bad as ear aches .

      Many Americans have no health care, it’s shameful .

      -Nate

      Reply
        • -Nate

          No ;

          I was very grateful he was helping me out during a bad time .

          BTW: that stupid Kaiser Nurse ? I told her I’d squeeze her neck until her head popped like a rotten tomato .

          Sometimes I get grumpy, esp. when it comes to pain and drugs .

          I hate dope and worry about falling down the rabbit hole like so many before me .

          -Nate

          Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’ve seen that story — but was happy to have an excuse to read it again.

      As for the other thing… if I’m healthy enough to post, I’m healthy enough to receive criticism. Anything else is moral cowardice.

      Reply

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