Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pie+wine+coke+hot chocolate=dinner

And then I had pie, hot chocolate, and orange juice for breakfast.  I'm sure my insulin is going, would you please give us a break so we can get organized? But by the time I got around to dinner last night, I had simply given up, and it made no sense to un-give up this morning. 

Rather than telling you what happened in chronological order, which might make some sense, I'm going to tell you in the order that happens in my head, because that better explains why I had to give up.  And be forewarned, this is not for the feint of heart.

At about 3:30 yesterday, Captain America calls me in a fit of hysteria to tell me he's been stung by a stingray.  Which is apparently just about the most painful thing that can happen to you, aside from maybe having your face chewed off by a rabid squirrel.  I don't know.  Maybe we'll try that next.  So I ask where he is, and he says he's driving home, but that he's having a hard time concentrating.  I say, okay, pull over, I'll come get you, and he says he's in a ton of pain.  We continue this rather useless conversation for about five minutes (it was probably  more like 30 seconds, but whatever), and finally he says, I need you to look up what to do for them.  Aha!  We come to the reason he's calling.  So I do a quick google search and learn that you're supposed the soak the appendage in water as hot as you can stand, which we already knew.  So I call him back to find out if I need to cancel my facial appointment this evening, and I can hear from the frantic way he goes about explaining that he'll call me in 10 minutes that he's on the brink of making Very Bad Decisions.

I'm not sure if you know what I'm talking about, and maybe this sort of thing doesn't happen in less dramatic marriages, but my husband gets this tone where I know that panic/frenzy/endorphins/something takes over, and he's about to start making Very Bad Decisions.  So I take matters into my own hands, cancel my appointment, and come home from work...

To find my husband moaning in agony on the couch.  At least he took a bath/shower first.  And two percocets.  There's water heating on the stove and I pour it into a tub. To soak his foot.  Which looks like this:

But he said that the water was too hot, so I brought him a cup of ice, but in his impatience, he dumped all of it in, so I filled a tea pot with hot water for him, but by this time the bin was full, so we started this process all over again.  I informed Voracious T that at least we were making good use of the tea cozy she gave us.

I didn't actually take that picture, but it's the same tea cozy I have.  I'm not sure if I should be delighted or disturbed that there's more than one.
So after an hour or so of the water being too, too, too hot, I informed Captain America that he was to leave me alone for an hour so I could log back into work and any emergencies he came up with he was going to have to sort out himself.  This worked out pretty well for about 45 minutes until he decided that he couldn't handle the amount of blood in the water anymore.  I have to admit, it was totally gross.  And it smelled. 

So I bandaged up his foot, made him elevate it, dumped out the bloody water, washed the rest of the blood off of his foot, and lit a candle.  All was moving along in relative success until Captain America got up to pee.  He looked down at the bathroom floor and noticed he was bleeding all over it.  I had him sit on the toilet lid, I rebandaged his foot, I checked the carpet for blood (fortunately all of the bleeding was done in the bathroom), and sent him back to the sofa.  We decided at this point that his wound might be beyond my nursing capabilities, and while I didn't think the blood loss was going to kill him, it was a little disturbing that it was still bleeding steadily.  And it was making me truly nauseous. 

So we decided to go to the urgent care clinic.  Captain America hobbled out to the garage (I have no idea why he decided that this was the logical exit point).  He asked me to grab his sandals from the top shelf, so I picked a pair of tevas.  Those were the wrong ones.  So I dropped them on the floor and pulled down his brown flip-flops.  And probably some other shoes as well.  The top shelf is just about the limit of my arm-stretch, so there wasn't a lot I could do about the mess I was making.  And I was at the point where I didn't care anymore.  (When I'm trying to do something useful, like get you to a doctor, and you're doing something annoying, like being picky about your shoes, well, this really does nothing to improve my attitude about the situation).

We get to urgent care, which is, thankfully, not busy.  However a couple of people did manage to come in who were determined more urgent than we were, so we actually had to wait a while to see the doctor.  I suggested to Captain America that I could rip off his bandage so he'd bleed all over the place.  He seemed to think waiting was a better choice. 

Our concerns were primarily that there was still part of the barb in the wound, which we couldn't see because it wouldn't stop bleeding, that it might cause an infection, and that the bleeding wouldn't stop.  In that order.  The doctor admitted that he had never actually see a stingray barb before (I don't fault him for this), so I googled it on my phone, and this is what I found:

Last night I managed to find a cool picture with a dime as scale, but that must have dropped lower in the google rankings today. 

The doctor injected Captain America with some local anaesthetics, then washed off the foot with iodine.  Then he took a water syringe and injected iodine into the wound.  Then he injected sterile water into the wound.  Captain America was not enjoying this procedure at all, although he claimed all he could feel was the pressure. 

The doctor then stuck a metal instrument in the wound to feel around and try to determine if there was anything stuck in there.  He determined that there was not, although Captain America insisted that all of the stuff injected into the wound caused a bubble to form.  Nobody knows what he was talking about, so we all ignored him.

The doctor decided that it would be best to allow the wound to continue to flush itself, so he cut up a latex glove and created a drain that he sewed into the wound.

He told Captain America to keep taking the percocet as needed, he wrote a prescription for some antibiotics, he wrote a note for Captain America's work, he told me to change the bandage today and to bring my husband back tomorrow, and then he sent us on our way.

So then we had to go to RiteAid to fill the prescription.  Yes, Captain America had prescriptions filled there before.  No, this was not part of the worker's comp claim (when he twisted the same ankle about a month ago.  Ironically, he had been cleared by that doctor to go back to work yesterday morning, and then he decided to go kayaking and swimming (because of some stupid rule at his work that you have to take sick time to see a doctor, even if you're seeing a doctor because of a workman's comp claim, so Captain America decided to just use a whole sick day) and managed to mess up his foot again).  No, I'm not going to wait; I'm going to Taco Bell (Captain America's choice, not mine), and then I'll come back.

(Yes, I know that last paragraph is a bit of a mess.  Too bad.  I told you at the very beginning that I was giving up.)

Taco Bell does not sell milk shakes or fries.  I'm not sure how they manage to qualify as fast food without those two staples, other than the fact that they are dirt-ass cheap.  Captain America ordered two tacos and some sort of bacon-ranch-chicken-flatbread-sandwich, which I took two bites of when we got home and decided was wonderful, which really only goes to show my state of mind by the time we got home. 

Conveniently, as I walked back into RiteAid they announced that my prescription was ready.  There was no fee (because of our magically strange insurance, which I didn't have the mental capacity to tell the guy at Urgent Care, so I just paid the $23 he said we owed, and I'll deal with our insurance on that one later), but he did ask me if I wanted to join the RiteAid whatever loyalty program.  I thought: no, I want to go home and eat something, preferably chocolate or alcoholic or both, and sit on my sofa, and not have anyone ask me to do anything for a while, but what I said was no, thank you.

Around this time, I realized that I was probably PMS-ing, and that I was really hungry, and I was still a bit emotional from having just finished Catching Fire, and I was trying to hang on the the deliciousness of anticipation for a few more days before reading Mockingjay, and I must say, I'm pretty impressed with myself to have the wherewithal to realize this was probably why I was disproportionately irritated compared with what the situation actually called for.  And then I gave up.  Captain America asked if he should take just one, or two more percocets, and I said, I don't care.  Take as many as you want.  I'm done for tonight.

When we got home, we discovered two little angels left us LARGE pieces of Julian pies (thanks, P & J!), and that's when I decided that pie+wine+coke+hot chocolate=dinner.  I did run 7 miles that morning.


  1. awesome...Simply awesome...i can totally see dolemite in all the agony.

  2. Wow. I'm a bit speechless. I think you said it all.

  3. I know how hard it is to make you speechless!

  4. Yikes! I have lots of comments:
    1 - I've been wondering how walking barefoot in the ocean was part of the Captain's job defending America. Now I know.
    2 - Glad you got some use out of the tea cozy.
    3 - That doctor actually seemed pretty ingenious, cutting up a glove to make a drain. I need to remember that one.
    4 - When I was an EMT we were always expected to tell the ER how much blood had been lost by the patient. I took that to mean that I was supposed to estimate the amount of blood I could see, but how do you go from "a puddle I could step over" to "55.89 mL"? Now they're expecting me to do the same thing when my water breaks. Good luck with that.
    5 - So how's the foot now?