Even worse (from his view) was that they wouldn't let him smoke.
Recovery from this sort of thing is not painless. After surgery he was put on a morphine PCA pump. For those of you not in medicine, this is a gadget that delivers IV narcotics controlled by the hospital patient. You need more morphine? Press a button and it gives you some. The pump is programmed with a maximum amount and frequency you can receive, and is locked out with a security code.
20 years ago, however, the security codes were only 4 digits, and Dr. Tallahatchie had a photographic memory. After watching the nurse set it up, it took him only a few tries to hack it. Due to ongoing pain, he increased his morphine dose. This made him much more comfortable.
Nursing found him still breathing, but unable to be woken. The internal medicine service, comically, called for a neurology consult, and my colleague, Dr. Violet, told them exactly what the problem was.
So they took his PCA pump away. Since his vital signs were okay Violet didn't have the heart to use Narcan.
As a result of the overdose, the good doctor was now unable to pee, and so a foley catheter was ordered. His nurse started the procedure, only to be stopped when Dr. Tallahatchie suddenly became wide awake, sat-up, and yelled "HEY! THAT'S MY WINKIE!!!"
Although now more alert, he still couldn't run the water. And when the nurse came at him with the foley again, he asked her to give him a few minutes to "prepare himself."
She stepped out, and he frantically paged me, asking me to bring him a pair of sterile size 7 gloves. He didn't say why, but I realized what was up when I got there. He took the gloves and told me to distract the nurse for 5 more minutes. He wasn't going to let anyone touch his winkie.
When the nurse came back, she was stunned to see he'd put it in himself. Correctly.
Note: As of yesterday, Dr. Tallahatchie confirmed that (20 years later) he still smokes and drinks. He has not, however, attempted climbing a tree again.