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Two years after using Stadol as prescribed, I had major abdominal surgery.Three weeks following that surgery, I found out my abdominal wounds weren’t healing and my incision opened in four separate areas, exposing my abdominal wall. In order to encourage healing of these deep wounds, I had to “heal by granulation.” I had to keep the wounds irritated, cleaning them with medicated soaps and rough gauze 2-3 times a day.Alternative to Discipline Each state has its own disciplinary practices, often governed by the Department of Public Health or other licensing body.This type of disciplinary process is public and punitive.In 2015, married-dating site Illicit Encounters ranked its users – 970,000 of them – by profession and found a higher proportion of certain jobs.Then in 2016 their findings were confirmed when another dating site for the attached, Victoria Milan, surveyed 5,658 female clients about their jobs.Around this time I finally realized that I was really sick, that I had become addicted to Stadol. During their investigation, state drug control agents installed surveillance cameras over each of the three Pyxis systems on our floor. I was physically ill when I saw the still shots from the video cameras. My probation lasted four-years, which certainly wasn’t a cake walk.The day I was confronted was the worst and best day of my life; I no longer had to hide my illness, and I could stop lying, especially to myself. During the first year I didn’t have access to narcotics, which required co-workers to medicate my patients.
Nurses see instant relief—both physical and emotional--in their patients’ when pain medication is given.Diversion Begins When I was working in Labor and Delivery, the dose of Stadol required for our patients was half of what was available in the vial.This meant that we would have partial vials of Stadol leftover.Because of me, she was fully investigated; I can’t imagine how horrible that must have been for her.My drug use caused me to act and function my “normal” moral behavior: typical addict behavior. I felt an overwhelming amount of shame, guilt, and humiliation: Once I realized what was going on, I firmly believe the healthier part of my brain started making mistakes on purpose so I would get caught. But I did have to go before the State Board of Examiners for Nursing and my nursing license was disciplined.
And during all four years, both my nurse manager and therapist had to submit monthly reports regarding my ability to practice safely.