Self Defense And Surgery 


As I write this post, I am about three weeks into my recovery for a fairly major abdominal surgery.  I was under the knife for almost three hours and now have seven healing incisions in my belly.  It also required an overnight stay in the hospital.  I’m happy to say that the surgery was successful and I am healing up ahead of schedule, but I suffered quite a bit of pain and loss of mobility in the days immediately following the operation.  It altered the way I had to think about personal defense.

Source: Self Defense After Surgery | Active Response Training

Go read. Another great post by Greg.

I was going to write about my experience when I came across Greg’s article, but as usual, he does a much better job that I could do.

Two weeks ago I went to the hospital for an outpatient procedure which required full anesthesia and I wanted to share what I learned from the event. I won’t go into the details about what was my defensive strategy going back and forth the hospital, but I felt rather covered as I had properly armed back up. But the great teaching moment was back at home, still under the influence of post-op drugs.

The first thing I noticed was that my brain was able to think coherently, I was not tripping or saying stupid stuff. I felt that my body did seem a bit slower and I had to be more cautious and “think” more about doing something. Still, I thought “This ain’t bad. I can control it” but I needed to compare it to some task that required decision-making and fast action. Guns were out of the question so I went with something that had the same requirements but without the danger: World of Tanks.

M37 self propelled artillery

M37 self propelled artillery

OK, stop laughing. I play almost exclusively Self Propelled Guns and my favorite is the M37 pictured above: It is fast, accurate, has a great reach and I am damn good with it. It is very rare that I don’t make money out of a battle even when I get killed and lose.

So I loaded WOT and  played seven games in a row to make sure I was not being lucky/unlucky. I won the first one and was decimated (not killed, not crushed but embarrassingly decimated) the next six. What I found out was that I was not only brutally slow reacting (seek target, aim, shoot) but the simple process of identifying a target took and ungodly amount of time. If you are not familiar with WOT, the targets are easily identified by the red tags and markers, it does not get any more user-friendly and still it took a certain amount of willpower and a lot of time to “pull the trigger.” But it went beyond that, I was not hitting what I was aiming for either because by the time I clicked on the mouse, the target was already moving from its original position or possible path (You don’t go far in Arty unless you get to hit moving targets from far away.)

So basically being under the effects of medication screwed with both the decision-making capabilities, the reaction times and manipulation: You can see the danger, but you are too slow to take appropriate action, will not be taking appropriate action and you will not perform the required drill to ensure a hit. As silly as it may have been testing on an Online Game, it was an eye opener and a humbling experience.

I was prescribed (standard) a schedule II narcotic for the post-op pain and although I weened myself out of it rather fast (went with ice packs and Motrin by the end of day 2 instead of the standard every four hours of narcotic) I still had to take one at least once a day for the worst wave of pain. After the learning experience with WOT, I made the decision not to touch a gun until 24 hours after I had my last schedule II pill. Basically I was a real Gun Free Zone for 6 days.!

It does not matter what your brain might be saying when you are under the influence of an intoxicant. The reality is that you will be affected and that is not kosher in both moral and legal terms. Do not make checks with your Ego that somebody’s life (yours included) may have to cash in blood.



Owner/Operator of this Blog. Pamphleteer De Lux. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

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  1. That was you with artillery. If I was under the same with a Centurion I’d not land any hits or land hits that are crap. Unlike most T9 MTs the only selling point for the Centurion is the gun and its accuracy, so if you’re not channeling Zvika Greengold at the Golan Heights, you’re not gonna do much in that tank.

    • I kept saying “You can do better than this!” but you can’t fight a substance-induced diminished capacity with sheer will power…so best not be in a situation that requires emergency procedures! 😀

  2. clockworkgremlin : July 25, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I wonder if trials like this would be a good way to educate the general populace who claim they’re “better” drivers after “a couple” of drinks. (something which repeated trials have proven to be extremely untrue)

    • That’s one of my guilty pleasures, is have a few drinks in the evening and play driving games, and watch how my lap times take a shit.

      And note that I rarely get loaded drunk anymore, that’s really youthful behavior.

      I’m just talking maybe two stiff cocktails, and I’m HALF the man behind the “wheel” I was before.

      Hence why I rarely drink outside my home.

  3. I had kidney surgery. I was out of the hospital after a week, but I was in recovery for over a month. I had to use one of those fat-guy scooters when I went grocery shopping because standing for too long hurt. I got a lot of nasty looks like “who is this lazy young guy on the scooter.” I ignored most of them. One woman did say something to me about “young people these days” and how there are real handicap people that need this. I just lifted by shirt to show her the foot long scar and drain on my side. That shut her up.

    They way it affected my CCW was 1) I couldn’t carry strong side for a while. A holster rubbing on my scar drove me insane with discomfort. But more so, I couldn’t run away. I couldn’t run for more than a few feet. I had very little abdominal muscle strength on my dominant side, so I couldn’t fight. I may be a 6’3″, 270 lbs guy, but physically, I was a crippled man because all the muscles that held the right side of my body had been cut in half and two ribs removed.

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