Today’s adventure involves scalpels.
It seems Universe is getting back at me for all the times I’ve called someone else a boil on the ass of society, except that Universe either has really bad aim or a sense of humor. In a place that um, shall we say, affects my mobility, there arose a boil a couple days ago. Not only did a hot compress do diddly, I managed to piss it off something fierce somehow. Yesterday it told me how angry it was with a hot, stabbing pain any time I (pick one/mix and match): bent down, turned, twisted, knelt, squatted, climbed, or carried. Luckily, that was only the last half of the day. Before that it was just mildly uncomfortable. If this doesn’t cause at least a little schadenfreude from some quarters I’ll be both mystified and disappointed.
This morning it was bad enough that I decided it was a fine day to visit the ER. I’m not generally one for polite euphemisms, but when standing at an ER desk populated with 3-5 people paying attention at any one time, and passers-by, it’s a delicate matter to state one’s reason for being there. “I’m here because um. I have this, erm.” *cough* Even if I’d whispered this, it had to sound like, “I’VE GOT AN INFECTION THAT’S GOTTEN OUT OF CONTROL IN A RATHER DELICATE PLACE AND IT’S AFFECTING MY MOBILITY!”
Naturally, the first step after that was to have a seat and answer questions for intake.
Of course, it is only then that it occurs to me that I might wish to have my insurance card handy. As it happens, it was conveniently tucked away in my wallet. In my back pocket. I can have either a twist and a *stab* or a stand *stab* and sit *stab* Decisions, decisions. I opt for the solo *stab* and twist to reach my wallet. I forgot about the twist to right myself after that. *stab* I got two bonus *stabs* for putting wallet back. “Oh, my ID?” *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab*
When they wanted emergency contact information, I gave them my significant other’s. Having given me a ride there, she was standing right behind me. Name? Check. Address? Check. Phone? Check. Relationship? Check. *typetypetypeclickclickclick* And how long has this been going on?
“Oh, about three years.”
A look a shock from the clerk. A pause.
“Oh, you mean the infection! 2-3 days!”
A round of laughter rolls through ER, thankfully including my significant other.
I was joined by a young man in the examination room. Judging from his clothes and the fact he was sent in by the others, I can only assume he belonged there. I don’t think I ever saw his nametag or learned what his role was. What he did says, “medical assistant” or “nurse,” but his clothes said, “EMT.” He’s got plenty of other medical history questions, and I let him know from the start that I only shared part of the story out there, given that there’s um, delicate areas involved.
I let him know the full extent of the reason for my visit. After writing it all down he agrees. “Yup, ‘delicate area’ works for me.”
I figured as long as we’re talking about my horrid deformations I’d bring up the sebaceous cyst on the back of my neck. It’s been sitting there, out of sight, out of mind (mostly) for a fair bit now. I had one there a few years ago that finally got to the size of a peach pit before I finally considered it sufficient reason to lose several days pay. Apparently the first surgeon missed a spot, because by fair bit I mean more like a year and a half, and in that time it’s grown to about the size of an almond. When asked, it’s just my CIA implant. It was almost worth having just for the looks, but what the hell. May as well cut out all the things, right?
He takes my blood pressure and my temperature. The waiting begins.
Eventually a kindly older man came in and introduced himself. We’ll call him Bill. When addressed by anyone, either by EMT-Nurse-Strangerman or someone peeking in to speak with Bill about medical things, it was always, “Bill.” Not doctor. Oh, did I forget to mention the bit where I’d already changed into the Buttless Robe of Medical Shame? Sitting or lying, there was no way I couldn’t help but to go all Sharon Stone on my hapless audience.
Luckily for me, there were no precog psychic grammar nazis there. Not near the scalpels, at least.
EMT-Nurse-Strangerman took off. Bill had a good, thorough look over the Occupied Territories. Upon spotting my friend Stabby, he proceeded to press it like a patient pushing the call button for more morphine. Yes, that was an 8 on the 10-point scale, thank you. The one on my neck got the same attention, but that one wasn’t sore, so nyah.
We agreed to take care of the CIA implant first, then get around to Stabby. EMT-Nurse-Strangerman returned for the procedures. The only thing that sucked about getting the CIA implant sorted out was the lidocaine shot. Those bastards hurt a bit. After that, the only thing notable was the amount of gunk that came out. Turns out it was a peach pit after all. It was just playing a friendly little game of Iceberg.
It was all downhill from there.
Let’s just say that Stabby was Vastly Unamused by the lidocaine needle. I went all Spinal Tap and declared it an 11.
After all the preliminaries had been seen to, Bill turned to the tray.
“Doc, do me a favor will you?”
“Once you’ve got the knife, don’t sneeze.”
“You don’t either.”
Bill and EMT-Nurse-Strangerman seemed to appreciate my sense of humor.
Finally, Stabby was drained by the turn of events and stopped being a huge pain. A bandage was surgically taped in place, a promise of fun to come tomorrow. And Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday. I’m thinking of starting a new grooming trend and calling it a Montanan.
Much aftercare was discussed, many good-natured jokes of the “let’s not embarrass Sharon Stone here any more than we have to” variety, and I vigorously agreed to follow all of the directions. “After all, last word I want to hear from you is ‘gangrene.” Pause. Bill: Amputation! For comic effect, EMT-Nurse-Strangerman even flicked open his pocketknife, an impressive piece with a nice combination blade. Most awesome ER moment I’ve ever had. Comedy genius!
I ditched the Buttless Robe of Medical Shame once they cleared out, put my clothes back on, headed out, wrapped up paperwork, and got my prescription for antibiotics and pain killers as well as a return to work note.
Might I say I’m extremely glad to be surrounded by kind, thoughtful, tactful, and considerate folks here. The person to receive this documentation at work also happens to be the boss’ wife. She didn’t even bat an eye at the words presented to her on the return to work note.
“Frank has had minor surgery on his neck and groin, should work in a clean environment until Monday.”
Considering I basically cover myself in filth for a living, whether it be dust and dirt and chaff, or grease, new and old, or any of no less than four different species of poo, she was quite amenable to letting me run a deficit on my sick time.
And this is how I got a five-day weekend.