Morphine is a funny thing my friends. It can make you feel woozy. It can make you feel weird. It can make you feel numb. It can also make you feel nothing at all. This was my issue the night of March 16th, 2013. Let me digress.

The Nightmare in North Van Begins

I woke up that morning ready to rock out at Rogers Arena as the Vancouver Canucks were hosting the Detroit Red Wings. The team were also set to debut their Millionaires jerseys and the Green Men were ready with maroon and beige suits on tap for the night ahead. Everything didn’t quite go according to plan from there though.

You see I also woke up with a funny feeling in my lower jaw. I’d recently had a crown placed overtop of an old root canal and my mouth hadn’t felt the same since. I felt a welt forming rapidly on my jaw and it just kept getting larger and more painful.


The following is not based on true events, it’s a 100% true story. If a story needs embellishing, it’s not worth telling. My word is my bond and it’s stronger than oak!

9:14am – I skip my morning shower and head straight to the ER. Here a nurse informs me immediately that I’m not going to anywhere tonight but surgery.

Before I know it my jaw was the size of Kansas and the abscess is still growing now at a rapid pace. It is now a race against the clock and as I tried desperately to find a stunt double for the Canucks game that night, sadly none of my friends fit my build (or lack thereof). The Green Men would not be in attendance for the debut of some of the finest jerseys to hit the ice since the downhill skate.

1:32pm – I send a tweet out from The Green Men account that I’m going into surgery and to #PrayforSully

Very soon after this tweet is sent out I get an angry phone call from other Green Man – Force. His phone is blowing up because people keep sending us prayer tweets thinking that I’m dying. It’s gotten to the point that #PrayforSully is also now trending in Vancouver when out of nowhere, then-Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts tweets from her account that she is and we should all be praying for Sully. While I’m truly touched by her and everyone else’s concern, and am genuinely excited that our social media was getting some great traction, I reluctantly come to my senses and agree that the tweet must be taken down. The prayers come to a halt across the Lower Mainland.

8:00pm – I am rushed into surgery and left in the able hands of Dr. Kang

I’m told to count down from ten. Because I’m weird like this, I remember picturing the different Canucks to wear the different numbers while doing so. 10 – Pavel Bure, 9 – Russ Courtnall, 8 – Donald Brashear, 7 – Cliff Ronning, 6 – Adrien Plavsic, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Out!

My IV. She was a good one. Taken shortly after the surgery. (Photo courtesy: Ryan Sullivan)

10:24pm – Taken to recovery with a large pain in my blatter when I meet a very nice nurse

The first thing that crossed my mind, shockingly as a 26-year-old single man, was I should ask out this very pretty nurse. Well, it wasn’t the worst idea, but my courtship afterward was an interesting one to say the least.

We quickly learned that the pain I was experiencing was the fact that my bladder was currently holding almost three times the amount it’s supposed to. Seriously! You see for some people morphine makes it so you can’t do what you need to do when nature calls. Sadly, I’m one of those people.

10:37pm – My courtship of the nurse takes a hard turn

Exiting the mensroom, while looking all defeated, I ask the nurse sadly for her best catheter. I feel a sense of history happening here. She looks a tad stunned as I become the first man on the face of the earth to ever request such an experience.

As she heads towards the supply closet, I notice a cup of ice chips on the table in front of me. I think to myself, well if there’s less surface area for this thing to travel through, the less agony I’ll have to endure. So, with that in mind, I grab for the ice chips and by the time she returned with the shiny new catheter I looked like George Costanza getting out of the pool.

10:41pm – I’m a pretty smart idiot

My brilliant idea did work like a charm. I found a loophole (for lack of better words) in the system and the shrinkage idea worked to perfection. However, the courtship from there on out was pretty minimal to non-existent. What could I do!? I mean there’s really was no coming back from that one. So, the following morning, I tucked my tail between my legs, slunk out and ate nothing but Cream of Wheat for the next two weeks as an very very single man.

What did I learn?

Never ever ask people to pray for you. It really doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, you can’t try to enlist people to put their hands together for your better being. Even if there’s a catheter in your future. With that said, former Mayor Dianne Watts, I’d like to take this moment to apologize sincerely. I must say though, I felt like a pretty big celebrity when I saw that tweet roll in. Though, I’m 110% sure that since that painful night, “big” is probably the last word that my nurse would ever use to describe me.


Filed under: Sully, Unbelievable Moments in JACK History