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Not yet Back in the Saddle

(30 posts)
  1. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    On December 7, I had a spinal fusion from L2 -5. Quite the surgery, as you can well imagine. On my return home, I discovered that my tobaccos didn't taste quite right and I am assuming that this is due to the influence of the heavy doses of morphine I was taking. I wonder if any of you have had similar experiences? Then, to make matters worse, the installed hardware failed, and they did a revision of the surgery last Monday, installing heavier hardware, heavier screws, and making me truly a bionic man. I'm currently at a rehab facility not far from home recovering my strength, learning to do most things, save smoking my pipes. During this difficult periodI had the occasion to be home for one day, during which I was installed as Worshipful Master of my Masonic Lodge. I expect to be out of here in a few days, and then I will begin to sample my tobaccos on a bit by bit basis. If any of you have any advice to offer on how to enjoy tobacco while taking heavy doses of narcotics, I would appreciate it. The good news is that the narcotics are managing my pain, but not putting me in Disneyland, so I'm grateful for that. I've been whiling away time here listening to broadcasts with Brian Levine and Olie Sylvestor, longing to sample a bowl now and then. Anyway, colleagues, words of comfort and encouragement would certainly be appreciated.

    Eric
    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. joshwolftree

    joshwolftree

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    No sage advice from my corner, but I'll certainly smoke a pipe for you.

    The true measure of a mans worth is how he chooses to chance his mortality
    Junior Member of the Black Bloods
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. ace57

    ace57

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    Glad to see you. Hang in there and things will get better. Soon the tobacco will taste like it did.

    U.S.M.C. (SEMPER FI)
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. papipeguy

    papipeguy

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    Sounds like you've been through a lot. I hope you mend quickly and get back to doing the things you like most. Best wishes for a better 2013.

    Blowin' smoke since 1970.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    Thanks for your good wishes, please blow a puff of good smoke my way. I look forward to lighting up my own in a few days, and once I'm off the narcotics, I'll be able to have a glass of brandy or a single malt, or even a glass of wine with dinner. right now alcohol is strictly a no no.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. winton

    winton

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    Have you discussed smoking with the doctor? My wife had three vertebrae in her neck fused last year and the doctor emphatically said that nicotine can impede bone healing. If your doctor agrees, I suggest giving up the pipe for several months to heal.

    Winton

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. yadan

    yadan

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    May the Almighty, blessed be He, restore you to good health in record time, and may you continue to savor the wonders of your pipes.

    "I'm always easy to please since I'm always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Good to see you back Eric and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    According to just about every doctor on the planet nicotine is bad for anything and everything. If we listened to the doctors on that score, every one of us would take our pipes and tobacco and toss them in the trash. I would not object to seeing some documentary evidence on the impact that nicotine has on bone healing, and then I might consider the idea. I did mention my pipe smoking to my orthopedic surgeon, and he didn't say a word about nicotine and bone healing, however I will make it a point to ask him very specifically on the issue. Moreover, we do have some physicians who are members of this forum, and it might be interesting to hear from them as to what they have to say. I'm certainly willing to defer my return to smoking if there is serious evidence that points in that direction; however I do not want to hear one more sermon from one of these antismoking evangelists.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. bubblehead33

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    hope everything works out for ya ravkesef.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. dlattim

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    Don't know about the healing aspect, but I do know that on the rare occasions when I had to take pain medication the intake of nicotine would really send me for a loop if I smoked while on the pain meds. To me it seems to amplify the woo-woo effect of narcotics. Not pleasant at all.

    If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    Winton-- or rather, his wife's doctor may be correct. It's certainly worth checking out, which I'll do shortly. Certainly the last thing I'd wish to do is impede my healing. U'l'Yadan: Rav todot!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. yohanan

    yohanan

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    Here's wishing You the best for a speedy and trouble free recovery.


    Smoke What You Like, And Like What You Smoke...Regardless Of What Anyone Else Thinks...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. coalsmoke

    coalsmoke

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    Here's wishing you a thorough and speedy recovery. While you're full of meds, it'll take a few days to clear them out of your system so you may want to wait a bit after you get home before lighting up. The last thing you need is a bad reaction to the nicotine. Or even worse, a bad tobacco taste when smoking your pipe!

    Russ
    Smoking a pipe is true relaxation...everything else is too much like work.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. cynyr

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    Get well wishes to you, and congrats on your ascension to the East. Listen to the Past Masters (cuz they run the Lodge) and remember you'll be back on the Level in a year. Sic transit gloria mundi.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    Coalsmoke: I think you hit the nail right on the head. The reason that we all smoke pipes is because we enjoy the taste of our tobaccos and the last thing we want to see happen is to lose that sense of pleasure that comes from lighting up and enjoying a bowl of a favorite blend. Right now my body is filled to the brim with narcotics: it's a detestable thing, and I cannot imagine why some people want to do it for fun, because let me tell you something brother: it ain't no fun at all. The taste of certain foods is flat, so why shouldn't the taste of tobacco be equally so? Of course, as soon as my healing has progressed to a certain point, I'll begin to decrease the amount of morphine and Percocet that I take, because I'll be better able to handle the level of pain that I have, but that time is not yet, sad to relate. So for the time being I will stare sadly at my racks of pipes, and contemplate my tobaccos, and look forward to that day when I will be able to put the two together once again, sit back and enjoy the divine clouds of our wonderful hobby.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. mattmars

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    Unfortunately, I can't help you out here. I had my spinal fusion during my nicotine free years and I can't use morphine. I can tell you that I have not had any issues with my pain meds and tobacco taste.

    My main advice is to do your physical therapy. I didn't and have not had a pain free day in 3 years. Get well soon!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. shawn622

    shawn622

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    I think that the meds do effect the taste of my tobacco sometimes. I've had back surgeries and I feel your pain. My surgeries didn't work:( I wish you a speedy recovery.

    There's nothing quite like tobacco: it's the passion of decent folk, and whoever lives without tobacco doesn't deserve to live.
    -Moliere
    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. maduroman

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    morphine now for about 4 months. i have not seen any change in tobacco taste for me...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. pipenscotch

    pipenscotch

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    Hope all fixes itself in your future recovery mate. Get well soon, so you can smoke some more baccy!

    “The fact is, Squire, the moment a man takes to a pipe, he becomes a philosopher. It’s the poor man’s friend; it calms the mind, soothes the temper, and makes a man patient under difficulties. It has made more good men, good husbands, kind masters, indulgent fathers, than any other blessed thing on this universal earth.”
    -”Sam Slick, The Clockmaker”
    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. cezario

    cezario

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    + with Ace57 , Roth and MaduroMan.

    Cezario
    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    Well my friends, there does seem to be significant evidence that cigarette smoking does have a negative impact on the healing of spinal fusions. The problem is that a great many researchers put all smokers into the same category and therefore if one is a pipe smoker they will assume that the negative effects of pipe smoking or precisely the same as those of cigarette smoking. I smoke a maximum of three bowls per day, more often one or two, and I am willing to assert that my nicotine level in my bloodstream is in fact rather low, though I have no evidence whatsoever for this. I'm going to make a wild, unfounded statement that the amount of pipe smoking that I do does not negatively impact anything, and certainly will not affect the rate of healing of my spinal fusion. I have no evidence whatsoever for this, but then those who claim that it does are in the same boat. I will be home tomorrow and I will sample my tobaccos, and if the if there is a negative impact on taste , that will determine my future actions, more than anything else.
    As to Cynyr'r observation that I will be back on the Level in a year, I have only one question: will it be that long?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Eric, I'm no doctor, but I don't see how smoking one occasional bowl of tobacco will amount to a piss hole in the snow (excuse my French).

    That said, if i were going through what you are, I would definitely keep it at, say one bowl every couple of days.

    My glass being perennially half full versus empty, I would just look forward to that bowl and ponder that, by easing off, it just might help me heal faster so I can get back to the things I enjoy more quickly.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. cynyr

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    It may seem longer!

    But I was speaking metaphorically. I hope your physical recovery is much faster.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. oldshacker

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    I have a history of a few broken bones in my life and it never stopped me from a good packed bowl for an evening smoke. It relaxed me and the pain I thought at the time. But if you see me now, you would say it stunted my growth and my hair fell off.

    When I was knee high, I thought that my late grandpa made the clouds in the sky with his cigar smoke, only to find out later it was his pipe smoke.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. bigboi

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    I am not that certain you will have problems or not. I am going to bet you do not have the same health problems as a chronic cigarette smoker and the nicotine is probably going to be much less in levels in your bloodstream. However, you may want to ease your way back in.

    “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.”
    -Albert Einstein, 1950
    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    I think bigboi and rothnh are right. I'm going home tomorrow, and I will ease myself back into the groove by one bowl every day or so smoked very slowly. I don't think that that will interfere with my healing, but rather, it will make it a darn sight more pleasant.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. dottle

    dottle

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    About 20yrs ago, I broke my leg in 6 places car surfing,,Ill spare you the details,and during my 3 week stay at Babtist hosp in NC, I got my doctor to "prescribe" me as many trips outside via wheelchair that I needed for a smoke. He was a cool doctor for sure, and I had no problem getting a smoking nurse(no pun intended) to wheel me out,as she could get her a smoke also, on company time.I do not recall the doc saying it would help heal my broken bones tho.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. prettyinpink648

    prettyinpink648

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    I hope you have a speedy and successful recovery!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. dhizzy

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    Ravkesef, I pray that you will heal quickly. As for your curiosity on nicotine and healing. I (as I know many forum members do) see many health benefits to pipe smoking. I am usually one bowl a day max and approach pipe smoking from the less is more angle. I get so much enjoyment and relaxation out of it that I know my body is releasing endorphins which are known to generally make you feel better. The anticipation for a relaxing smoke is even a bit of a natural buzz so-to-speak. I've talked with my chiropractor (have a severely herniated disk c6/c7) and he feels the same. This is just the world according to Hoyle but I think it's a good point. My condition has darn near kept me from smoking in the first place. Excruciating pain in the shoulder and arm can get in the way when trying to hold/light. Good luck man, hope this helps.

    By the eternal! There is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college in the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies; do the thing - "carry a message to Garcia!" Elbert Hubbard "A Message to Garcia" 1899
    Posted 1 year ago #

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