The Unexpected Mishap HGTV Home Town Star Ben Napier Faced After Surgery

Most "Home Town" fans weren't surprised to learn in the Season 8 premiere that Ben Napier had undergone rotator cuff surgery. Back in March 2023, his wife, Erin Napier, kept viewers up to date on her husband's well-being post-procedure via Instagram. They were in the middle of filming a remodel when the operation took place, meaning Ben faced a long road to recovery even though the renovation projects never really stopped.

While we can envision quite a few unfortunate scenarios involving demolition and building projects undertaken by someone rehabbing a shoulder injury, the real mishap he faced took us by surprise. The HGTV star revealed to People that not long after his surgery, he was asked to speak at a Southern Baptist college. According to The Baptist Paper, Ben and Erin were headliners at Mississippi College's scholarship banquet on April 4, 2023.

As Ben proudly told People regarding his Christian bonafides, "I've never drank. I've never taken anything." Or at least, he hadn't until Ben took some prescribed pain pills right before going on stage. Although he got some relief, along with it came a few other symptoms Ben was completely unprepared for. He explained how he wasn't totally with it during the speaking engagement, experiencing difficulty thinking straight while addressing the audience. 

Ben Napier was in a very different state of mind

After his rotator cuff surgery, Ben Napier was likely prescribed a few different medications to help him manage the pain. One of them may have been an opioid, a class of drug that's commonly recommended after surgery but which can cause mental changes like confusion, nervousness, and even disorientation. Ben confessed to People, "I took my [pain] medicine right before I went in and it hit while I was onstage. My confidence soared, and I could not keep a train of thought."

Fortunately, it sounds like his wife, Erin Napier, was by his side at the engagement to help keep Ben in check while he was feeling the side effects of the medication. If anyone in the audience noticed, they likely didn't say anything, as a statement was never made to address any strange behavior or incidents at the event. Hopefully the side effects were mild enough that only Ben truly realized what was going on.

Immediately post-procedure, however, Erin and Ben's temporary replacement, Cousin Jim, could tell something was up with the demolition expert. During the "Home Town" season premiere, Erin called from the job site to check on Ben, who was resting at home, remarking to the cameras, "Ben's not feeling anything at all," as her husband offered a glazed-over look. "He's taking pretty serious painkillers," she added, before telling him to go take a nap.

It was a novel experience for the Home Town star

This isn't the first time the woodshop owner has spoken about being sober. In an Instagram post from October 2020, he wrote, "I've never drank alcohol," but continued, "I don't have a problem with it," before shouting out a friend who was in partnership with a bourbon line. Ben's abstinence from alcohol (and presumably Erin Napier's, as well, though she hasn't confirmed it outright) likely has to do with his faith. The Scotsman Co. founder was raised by two ministers, as both his mother and his father were ordained by their Methodist church. 

Abstinence from alcohol isn't something all Methodists believe, but some do, and Ben has confirmed that he grew up in quite a religious household. In fact, before starting "Home Town" with HGTV, he was pursuing a faith-based career as the youth minister of the Laurel First United Methodist Church. In a blog post for Laurel Mercantile, Erin wrote that they enjoyed bottles of sparkling cider to celebrate "Home Town" becoming a reality in 2016, potentially highlighting their desire to remain steadfast to their religious values.

Despite leaving the pastoral calling, Ben acknowledged in an interview with Lemuria, "Faith has been part of my life for as long as I have been alive, and it's the guiding hand in every decision we make." So we have to believe that his wild trip with painkillers certainly had to be a disorienting, once-in-a-lifetime experience for him.