The actress was reluctant to utilize drugs after breaking her femur and developing a staph infection because she wanted to “understand what’s pain and what’s additional injury.”

In a January accident, Brooke Shields shattered her femur, requiring multiple operations to fix it. Later, she got a staph infection, which caused “excruciating” pain. Despite this, the actress deliberately avoided using prescription medications while recovering.

As a result of her concern that she would get hooked on opiates like OxyContin or Vicodin, Shields, 55, says that she has never taken anything stronger than over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol.

Speaking at The Marie Claire Power Trip: Off the Grid event, she says, “I didn’t want to leave the hospital with no pain, return home, and think I was dying because the pain was so bad. My alleged words were, “I’d rather be in excruciating pain in the hospital.”

Shields also wanted to be sure that she could differentiate between the pain she was already experiencing and any new pain that might arise as she recovered.

“I wanted to get used to it and understand the difference between pain and extra injury because when you start to feel pain, you think you’ve been hurt again, even if you may not be as broken as you think.”

She explains, “When you leave and go home and feel suffering, you get terrified, so I wanted to know what kind of misery it was. At the very least, I wanted to acknowledge, ‘Oh, I remember when that agony was there.’ However, you don’t truly feel like a victim.”

However, the mother of two found it difficult to convince the medical staff, asking, “What over-the-counter drug can I take at the most significant safe dosage? I asked. Additionally, I’m not bringing a prescription. Everyone wants to administer Oxy to you.”

According to Shields, the misuse of potent painkillers is “part of the whole opioid pandemic” that harms people nationwide.

She makes it clear that her decision to refrain from using opioids “is not about being a hero.”

“The message is something like, ‘Listen, and then do everything you can to not feel it without having to turn to something that could be far more harmful.’” Options include ice, physical therapy, stretching, Advil, or Tylenol. She says, “I would also take a Tylenol PM if I had difficulty falling asleep at night.”

Shields has made great strides in the months since the tragedy. She’s “gone a long way,” but she still has “a lot of bone pain” and was surprised at how much her muscles have decreased.

“I can do a SoulCycle since there is no impact. I like that I can practice Pilates. My trainer then mainly concentrates on the physical therapy aspect of the whole thing, which she claims entails using the muscles around my knees, which is where the problem is. Weight training is precisely designed to enhance those muscles so that they are not damaged because muscles are what support my joints and ligaments. I have learned a great deal.”