Speaking of tests

StrawberryThe boy had a Complicated Medical Procedure this morning, beginning at 8:15 in the AM and lasting for just over four hours, where they put me and him in a small room together with only an iPad, my phone, and a novel for company and periodically came in to feed him bits of strawberry and make him take his shirt off.

The good news: apparently my son is no longer allergic to strawberries.  The bad news: I feel like the day is completely shot (who knew sitting around for four hours could be so exhausting?) and he’s demanding strawberry-flavored everything right now.  I will have to go out and buy ice cream tonight.

(A week from now, he’ll be insisting he hates strawberries and always has, because that’s how he rolls.  Nine days from now, he’ll want them again.  Last night he insisted out of nowhere that he’s never liked green grapes.  Motherfucker we could seed a vineyard with all of the grapes you’ve eaten around here.)

So.  Yeah.  That’s going on.  Lots of cleaning to do before the wife gets home on Saturday morning and I’m out of the house almost all day tomorrow, so I probably ought to get to work.

Woo new face!

IMG_7121Finally got the new glasses today, which was exciting up until the point where I remembered that having a new prescription for my glasses is basically exactly the same as being super duper baked.  I’m spending all my time staring at my hand and the floor seems like it’s farther away than I’m used to it being and there’s this weird haze around the edges of my vision that comes from not having trained my brain to not notice the edges of the new glasses yet.  One interesting development: these lenses have some sort of new coating on them that is supposed to both screen out certain kinds of light emitted by digital screens and sharpen those images, and holy cow my iPhone has never looked so good before.  So I’m staring at my phone like I’ve never seen it in addition to anything else in the world with fine detail.  My old prescription wasn’t that out of date, but it’s been long enough since I’ve changed it that I’m way out of practice, if that makes any sense at all.

Tomorrow I get to go back to the dentist for like the third time in a month.  They’re going to numb me up again and do some sort of horrible procedure to my gums– they’re pretending it’s cleaning-related but I’m pretty sure it’s actually just punishment for having taken so long in between visits.  At any rate, the important part is that they’re going to be numbing me again, so I get to look forward to not being able to feel half of my face for most of the day.    I may actually have to run into work to close out a sale after the procedure, which is going to be awesome fun.  I’ve never tried to close a sale while unable to feel my face before. I’m really excited about it.

What’s on y’all’s agenda for the next couple of days?

In which I annoy a medical professional

Carie_0fada0_3648754So.  Uh.  Oops?

You may recall my misadventures in corn chippery over the weekend.  The doctor at the ER who checked me out said she thought my tooth might be cracked, so I made an appointment with an actual dentist like a big boy to have it looked at.  Now, this person is “my dentist” in the sense that ten years ago when the exact same thing happened to me (possibly not involving corn chips) his office was the one I went to.  I’m not afraid of the dentist, I swear, I just … don’t prioritize it?  So the last time I was in there was the last time I was in there.

Anyway, what I figured would happen was that they’d look at the tooth, do some X-rays, maybe a cleaning, and then make a recommendation for what to do about the tooth in the longer term.  And if they tell me that the tooth needs to come out, so be it.  I’m grown, I can handle a little tooth pull.  It’ll be fine.

So. Dental assistant gently chided me for the length of time in between visits (fair) inspected my teeth (expected) took some X-rays (still following the script) and then called the dentist in, and then the whole damn thing went sideways.

“So, we’re gonna take that out today,” is how he started the conversation.

“Uh,” I said.  “Today?”

“Right now,” he said, gesturing at a pile of tools behind him.

“About that,” I say, realizing that in a very real way my entire life has been leading up to the next three sentences that are about to come out of my mouth, “It’s my 10th anniversary?  And I have reservations at an expensive steakhouse and tickets to Hamilton tonight?  I am not throwing away my shot.”

And of course neither of them get it.

“What are you saying?” he asks.

“We are not going to be pulling any of my teeth today.  I intend to be eating a large steak in about eight hours.  I’ll make an appointment for next week.”

… it didn’t go over well.

So, serious question: I had not for a single second anticipated the possibility that absent an imminent dental emergency they were going to just go and yank a tooth out of my mouth on no notice.  All of my training with medical procedures for my entire life has led me to believe that this is the decision flowchart:

  1. Make medical appointment to discuss/diagnose problem.
  2. Are you dying or in danger of imminent death?  If yes, go to 4.  If not, go to 3.
  3. Make second appointment sometime in the future to remedy problem.
  4. Do surgery, or radiation, or whatever.

So apparently I need to add a 2a, which reads are we gonna pull a tooth? and if the answer is yes you also go to 4.

Anyway, I stuck to my guns– turns out it’s awfully hard to convince me to let you yank a tooth out of my mouth if I didn’t wake up today prepared for tooth extraction and have very expensive uncancellable plans that will be totally screwed up if you try to pull my teeth– and now I have an appointment next Thursday for a tooth extraction.

Which I’m sure will be all sorts of fun and generate at least one more blog post.

(Please, somebody, speak up in comments and tell me if I should have been expecting this– because I literally hadn’t even considered the idea that they’d go straight to an extraction without specifically scheduling it.  Am I nuts?)

Hold my beer and watch this

002012107-1So I think I found the dumbest possible way to end up in the ER, guys, for serious.

Friday afternoon I found myself craving both corn chips and queso and potato chips and French onion dip at the same time.  I texted my wife and requested that she obtain at least one of those two pairs of things on her way home from work.  My wife, being wonderful, came home with both sets.

“OM NOM NOM,” I replied, and I had me some corn chips and some queso.  And a piece of chip promptly got stuck in one of my wisdom smilebones.  While this was an unwelcome development, it wasn’t the end of the world or anything.  I dislodged it after probably less than a minute, had a few more chips, then decided it was a touch more hurty than such things usually are and discontinued my chip-eating.

The next morning my goddamn jaw still hurt.  Still hurt a lot, actually; quite a bit more than it had the night before, and with a touch of dizziness and lightheadedness (are those the same thing?) to boot.  I went to work anyway, of course, because driving when you’re dizzy is what you do when you’ve already made one stupid mistake in the last couple of days.  I did not last at work, however, as the pain intensified and I decided after about an hour that spending all day 1) on my feet and 2) talking to people was not what I wanted to do.  So I left work early and came home.

I spent the whole day fighting with myself about whether I was going to urgent care or not– it was Saturday, after all, so a regular doctor was out of the question– and finally decided I needed to go around dinnertime.  By that point I was assuming I had some sort of quick-onset jaw infection.  It wasn’t the first time that this had happened to me and the pain felt pretty familiar from the last time .  So, fine: off to urgent care, where they’ll give me a scrip for an antibiotic and probably some sort of painkiller and then I’m home free.

Hah.  First of all, there was only one urgent care center anywhere near me that was still open.  Second, they refused to treat me, since jaw pain is “dental-adjacent” and as the lady behind the desk very apologetically explained, they were administratively banned from dealing with anything “dental-adjacent.”

Here is a list of dental urgent care centers.  They are all closed on weekends.  Which violates my understanding of the meaning of the phrase “urgent care,” but whatfuckinever I don’t have the energy for this fight right now.

I contemplate the idea of being in this much pain until Monday and have to fight off tears in public, because shit’s getting worse.

“Do I have any options here?”

“The ER.”

No.  I’m not going to the goddamn ER for jaw pain that I created by eating corn chips.  The ER is where you go when you get shot, or when you’re so sick that you literally don’t know what else to do.  I need a simple goddamn antibiotic and a pain pill.  There’s seriously nobody who can do that for me?


I went home.   I told my wife what had happened.  And she pointed out that my options were basically 1) Go to the ER now, or 2) go to the ER at 3:00 in the fucking morning once I entirely lost the ability to handle my shit.

Which is the story of how I spent my Saturday night– part of it, at least– in the emergency room, apologizing to nurses for wasting their (very efficient, it must be said) time.  And I left (quickly!) with an antibiotic and instructions to see a dentist ASAP for a tooth that the doctor thought miiiiight be cracked and a scrip for a much stronger painkiller than I’d expected, and instructions that if at all possible I wasn’t to drive while on it and that it therefore would be best to not go to work the next day either.

Which is why it took until 8:30 tonight for me to write about any of this, because I’ve kinda been in a bit of a haze.

Because of corn chips.

The end.

IDIOTIC POSTSCRIPT:  Despite all this I am literally at this very second considering finishing off the queso.  I might have to use a spoon, though.

In which I ain’t right


Chances are if you’re reading this you’re not a doctor, since most people aren’t, but I bet you can look at my x-rays there and pick out at least one thing wrong: that being that my kneecaps are in the wrong place, and pointed in the wrong directions.  As it turns out, my femurs are rotated a bit to the outside, and then my tibias are rotated a bit to the outside more, thus resulting in my fucked-up feet that point outside instead of straight ahead like they ought to.  My knees apparently hinge properly, and while there’s apparently a bit of wear where there ought not to be I’m not in danger of the damn things falling apart on me anytime soon.  Basically I have some deformities (the doctor used the word “deformities” a lot) and that’s about it.

Solutions are as follows: surgery, which would be stupid, cortisol shots followed by knee braces followed by some physical therapy, which would likely be long and fairly pointless, or I could just be less of a fatty fat-fat and lose some weight.

The doctor didn’t quite say “fatty fat-fat,” but he made sure I heard it.  Also, I only know the things I talk about up there because he was busy explaining them to the med student he had in the room with us.  He barely talked to me at all.  Like, the whole conversation was third-person.

I’m kinda tired of dickish doctors right now.

My new book, Tales: The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 3 is now available for pre-order on Amazon!  Just $2.99 for the ebook edition!