Citation: Lonesome Ghost. "Foggy Dreamland: An Experience with Fentanyl & Midazolam (exp115479)". Erowid.org. Jun 15, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115479
Recently, Iíve made it a life goal of mine to try every class of consciousness altering substance available - barbiturates, amphetamines, psychedelics, really just anything I could get my hands on to see the full range of human experience. Iíd consider myself to be a seasoned veteran with some types of drugs, such as psychedelics and barbiturates, but the drug that scared me the most in my quest was opioids. With their high potential for habituation, and generally low LD-50, I wasnít sure Iíd ever actually be able to do one safely. That was until I learned that I needed surgery, and that the sedation I would be given was fentanyl.
Going into this I knew very little about fentanyl. I had heard of it from the many news reports saying that it was hundreds of times more potent than oxycontin and that people could overdose just by touching it, so having it be my first opioid made me nervous to say the least. However, the doctor assured me that it would be administered in a safe manner and that I had nothing to be worried about.
I arrived at the surgical center around 7am, filled out a good bit of paperwork, and then was taken over to the holding room where they looked at my vitals and told me about the procedure. After putting electrical pads all around my body, they put in an IV which I absolutely hated. I have a big phobia of needles, and even though the IV brought me very little pain, it gave me a tremendous amount of stress.
After about thirty minutes of sitting in mental anguish with the IV, the nurse finally wheeled me into the operating room. I said hello to all the doctors and nurses who were tending me, and they had me shuffle onto the hard operating table. I laid back, and for about fifteen or twenty minutes I had people swarming around me like bees; checking vitals, preparing instruments, asking questions, and the whole time I was just getting progressively more and more stressed. Finally, a nurse came around and told me that she was starting the medication. The first thing they gave me was midazolam, which was supposed to help me relax before the surgery.
They injected the drug into my IV, and truthfully, I felt nothing. I saw the slats in the ceiling start to sort of wave and wiggle around in almost a psychedelic manner, but I didnít feel any less stressed. I was still able to feel the pain of the IV in my arm, and was very much conscious of the goings on around me. The doctor informed me that he was about to make his first incision, but before he was able to I asked that I be sedated. He looked confused, and then asked the nurse to increase my dosage and start the fentanyl drip. The nurse obliged, and soon everything started to get very fuzzy.
I felt incredibly warm, comfortable, and my cares more or less slipped away. It was as if I was wrapped in a heated blanket on a cold winter day, as comfortable as someone could be. I could still somewhat feel what they were doing to me, but it was of no concern. My eyes rolled back into my head and I started slowly drifting in and out of consciousness. I was still able to hear everything that the surgeons were saying and the music playing in the background of the operating room, but I suddenly began to dream.
My dreams incorporated everything I was hearing, and they were highly cartoonish and nonsensical. Colorful visions were flickering in and out of the darkness like rapidly changing channels on a TV. Even with this going on, I was still conscious enough to respond to the surgeon. Every once and a while he would ask me to do something and I would comply without hesitation, but after every request I fell back into that foggy dreamland. My grasp on time slowly slipped away and I became utterly content.
After about two hours under the scalpel I started regaining some higher awareness, even though the operation was still going on. In slurred speech I asked the nurse to increase my dosage, but she informed me that she wasnít able to as it would fully knock me out. For the next hour or so I was still mostly out of it, but wholly unable to fall back into the same dreamlike trance as before, and much more aware of the pain of the operation. It wasnít really a problem at that point, but was becoming progressively more uncomfortable.
As the surgery neared its end, the surgeon started pressing on the incision he made which snapped me back into reality and made me groan with pain. He assured me that he was almost done, yet he still did that three more times which I was not happy about at all. After he finally completed the operation, the nurse came over and informed me that she was going to give me the slow release formula which should help ease the pain. She injected more fentanyl into my arm, and once again I slipped away into that semi-lucid state.
By this point I could barely talk, but when the nurse wheeled me back into the holding room I was able to request for her to hand me my phone and earbuds so I could listen to Pink Floyd. She handed both to me, gave me two warm blankets, and I felt more comfortable than Iíve ever felt before. Of course, the first song I put on was ďComfortably NumbĒ.
I spent the next two hours waiting as the sedative slowly faded away, listening to music and more or less enjoying my time in the holding room. After that time had passed, the nurse came in and told me it was time to go. I filled out my release paperwork, my friend came and picked me up, and he drove me home. Almost immediately upon entering his car I started to feel incredibly nauseous and exhausted. I began taking deep breaths and sipping on water, hoping not to vomit and ruin the inside of his car. Fortunately, we made it back to my apartment without issue, and my friend got me ginger ale and left me to recuperate.
I went into my room, laid down on the floor, and started to feel marginally better. The effects of the fentanyl still seemed to be dramatically slowing my mind and speech, but it was no longer really relieving me of my pain. After a couple hours of lying there eating hard dry food, I fell asleep.
I woke up the next day feeling still somewhat sick and in a great deal of pain. Walking was difficult, I didnít have much of an appetite, and the strangest thing was I started feeling heavily depressed. I thought about how comfortable I felt yesterday, and comparing it to the pain I felt today made me wish to go back. It almost felt like the very start of an addiction, something I had never felt before.
The depression and pain slowly subsided over the next week as I recovered, but the idea that a substance could have such a hold on me after even one use scared me. As I write this, Iím almost two weeks out from my surgery and it seems as if it was a success. I feel a lot better, the depression has faded, and Iím forever grateful that the doctor decided against prescribing me opioids to manage the pain - as Iím unsure if I would have had the willpower to resist abusing them.
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