Brooke Shields says she didn’t take painkillers after harrowing leg injury, staph infection

Brooke Shields broke her leg in January and came down with a staph infection, but the actress refused to take prescription painkillers.

Despite multiple surgeries to fix her injury, the actress wouldn’t take anything stronger than over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol during her recovery. On Friday, the 55-year-old told People magazine she was concerned about relying on addictive painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin.

“I didn’t want to leave the hospital with no pain, get home and think I was dying because the pain was excruciating,” she told the outlet. “I was like, ‘I’d rather have excruciating pain in the hospital.’”

“[I wanted to] get used to it and understand what’s pain and what’s further injury, because what happens is when you start to feel pain, you think you’re injured again, but you might not be as injured,” she explained. “You just might be sore or in pain.”

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Brooke Shields admitted she feels "lucky to be alive" after breaking her leg in January and undergoing multiple surgeries.

Brooke Shields admitted she feels “lucky to be alive” after breaking her leg in January and undergoing multiple surgeries.
(Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for MoMA)

“I wanted to really understand what kind of pain it was, because when you leave, and you go home, and you feel pain, you get really scared,” Shields continued. “And I wanted to at least go, ‘Oh, I felt that pain before. OK.’ You don’t feel sort of like a victim to it.”

The mom of two admitted that it was difficult to convince the hospital that she didn’t need anything stronger to combat the pain she was experiencing. The star said relying on prescription painkillers is “part of the whole epidemic” with opioids impacting people across the country.

She stressed that her decision “is not about being a hero.”

“There’s ice and PT and stretching and Advil or Tylenol, and if I couldn’t sleep at night, I’d take a Tylenol PM,” she said. “I was unnerved by what could have happened.”

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Brooke Shields is a proud mom of two.

Brooke Shields is a proud mom of two.
(Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for AAFA American Image Awards)

According to the outlet, Shields still has “a lot of bone pain” but has “come a long way” in her recovery. She keeps active with SoulCycle and Pilates with the help of a trainer. Shields also relies on physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the injury.

In May, Shields told Good Morning America that she felt “lucky to be alive” after severely shattering her femur in a gym accident.

“I flew up in the air with such force, and I landed so heavy and so hard and with such musculature and such velocity and such heights on my hip,” said Shields. “And it just snapped it.”

Shields added, “I don’t remember how I was, I just started screaming. I was just screaming, And I’ve never screamed like that. Not even in childbirth.”

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Brooke Shields said she has come a long way in her recovery.

Brooke Shields said she has come a long way in her recovery.
(Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

Reflecting on the ordeal, Shields called the accident “the biggest blessing to date because I realize what a fighter I am.”

“There are so many things that could’ve happened, I just feel so lucky. I feel so lucky to be alive,” Shields said. “If I can turn it into anything positive or I can teach my girls, yeah, stuff’s gonna happen in your life. And how you respond is gonna define you. Adversity will reveal you. It won’t make you as much as it will reveal you. ‘Cause you see who you are, you see what you’re made up of.”

Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report,

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