It's been over a month since we last reported on Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old grad student suffering from a virulent case of necrotizing fasciitis. Since then, she has continued to make strides toward recovery, even refusing morphine during some of her procedures.

That's right, she's willfully avoiding the good stuff, based in part on her graduate studies in holistic pain management techniques. Aimee's father Andy Copeland says the hardcore pain meds make his daughter feel like a "traitor to her convictions." Seems a small price to pay for not feeling intense and unrelenting physical pain, but hey, what do I know?

On Tuesday, Copeland's condition was upgraded from "critical" to "serious," as Andy reported on his blog. A couple days before that, he was able to see the scope of her wound for the first time, following Copeland's first successful skin graft.

The area of her wound, which I saw for the first time on Sunday during a dressing change, is massive. The nurse who completed Aimee's dressing change was astonished at Aimee's insistence to avoid morphine during the procedure, as was her mother and I. I know the pain was significant, but Aimee's courage is greater.

Anyone else cringe at that description? I mean, kudos on sticking to your convictions — especially in such extreme conditions — but if a nurse is "astonished" at your refusal of morphine, maybe reconsider.

Aside from her holistic medicine bias, Copeland also complained that the morphine was making her groggy and confused, and causing "unpleasant hallucinatory episodes." Hard to imagine what could be more unpleasant than the reality of the situation.

[Image via Shutterstock]