Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Can We Give Val a Hand?

I think I must have injured my finger during a frantic bout of lottery-ticket scratching! Maybe I tore a knuckle cartilage! Maybe I'll need arthroscopic surgery! Maybe I'll be in a cast for six weeks! Will I be scratching tickets with one hand tied behind my back elevated above my heart in a hot-pink stylish sling?

Woe is me! There's my disfigured digit, resting comfortably on a single-ply bed of Puffs With Lotion. Not sure why the knuckle next to the injured one looks like an elephant's knee...Somehow, I bruised the bejeebers out of my index finger.

I think the injury might have occurred during a wrestle royale with FRIG II's ice-maker. That contraption decided to take a vacation while Hick was in Sweden. It was all I could do to pry THREE BUBBA CUPS of ice out of it each day. That wouldn't fly if Genius was here! He could use that many ice cubes just by himself, to fill red Solo cups, douse them with water, and let them sit melting and undrunken. (So unlike himself in college town.)

I wish Genius was here to see my finger. I'm sure it will come as a shock to you that he does not read my blog! It probably won't come as a shock to you that Genius is squeamish about things like this. You may or may not recall the times he had to get his shots, and made The Pony go first during flu season, and then declared that he couldn't feel his LEG after a shot in his opposite arm.

Anyhoo...on the way to the casino a couple weekends ago, with Genius driving A-Cad, Val riding shotgun, and Friend sitting behind Val...we saw an ambulance. Which reminded me of my 80-mile ride in the back of one when I almost died a few years back with multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms. That led Friend to espouse that he would have to be pretty much incapacitated to allow himself a ride in an ambulance, which I assured him was most unpleasant, even though you would think the morphine they gave me would have made it more bearable.

That led to a discussion with Friend of how you'd think morphine would depress respirations and not be good for somebody with multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms...although it must be a vasodilator, because hospital personnel assured me that this was not their first rodeo it helped the blood-clotted struggling breathers to breathe easier. Friend was in my camp, although my knowledge of drug actions comes from a degree and teaching experience in biology, whereas his...does not.

Anyhoo...getting back to the hand theme...I agreed that morphine does indeed make one feel like everything is going to be all right--just before you nod off in a rainbow-and-unicorn alternate universe. It didn't have that effect in the ambulance when I was trying to die on the way to a better hospital than the Backroads ER, but when I had one of those pump thingies before and after my gallbladder came out, the year after The Pony was born, it did.

"Oh, you had the pump? Every 15 minutes?"

"That's right! Every 15 minutes. I could click it every second if I wanted to, but it only pushed that morphine into my vein every 15 minutes."

This is where Genius began to object. "NO! Stop. Enough."

"What? You don't like to hear about my pain medicine pump?"

"No. I'm trying to drive."

"Okay. You go ahead and drive. You know, Friend, that medicine worked great right up until the morning of the day I was being discharged without my gallbladder. The pain pump ran dry, and they hooked up another one until time for me to leave. They explained that they would give me pills for the next few days at home. I was hurtin' for certain, so I pushed my pain pump. But that medicine didn't seem to be working. 'Oh, no!' I thought. 'I've already developed a tolerance to morphine! I'm addicted! I'm pushing this button way more often than 15 minutes. It LOOKS like it's working the same as before. But I'm still in pain.' So I just decided, Friend, I'd have to tough it out, and get used to some discomfort, because the pills probably weren't going to take that pain away as good as the sweet, sweet morphine."

"You already had a tolerance? How many days were you on that morphine?"

"I was in the hospital five days. They had to wait for some liver enzyme to go down before they could do surgery. So I guess I was on it about four-and-a-half days. Every 15 minutes. But here's the thing...I finally called the nurse and told her that my pain medicine wasn't taking away the pain. She looked at my hand, and said, 'Well, no wonder! Look at your hand.'"

Friend leaned forward, getting into the story. Not so with Genius.

"NO! I don't want to know what was wrong with your hand! Stop!"

"You see, hand was swelled up like a Mickey Mouse hand. All bloated--"

"NO! STOP! I can't!"

"Except I had four fingers, not just three--"

"STOP! I'll have to pull off!"

"Because that nurse said, 'She missed the vein when she put the IV in, and every time you push the button, the morphine goes into the tissue, not your bloodstream.' They blew this vein right here on the side of my wrist--"

"You have got to STOP!"

"I can't believe you don't care that your mother was in pain, with a Mickey Mouse hand."

"I can't drive if you're going to do this!"

"Okay. I'm done with my story. Look. It was THIS hand right here--"

Yeah. I think my ice finger will heal up nicely. It's more purple today. But the swelling has already gone down. It's not like I have a Mickey Mouse hand or anything.


  1. OMG, I am so sorry. But I was laughing OUT LOUD at that story! I rode in an ambulance once in my life and it scared the not-heaven out of me. 'Course I had fallen and smacked my head and was having terrible nerve pains in my arms and half (no, all the way) out of my head. But that's another story. Wonder why they didn't offer me any of that fine morphine.

    1. I am not a doctor, but I've watched a lot of them on TV. If morphine is a vasodilator, then you couldn't have it because it might have given you excessive bleeding in your brain due to the head injury. Sweet, sweet Morpheus might have put you to sleep permanently!

      The ambulance ride was a trip! Strapped to a rolling bed that was in turn strapped to the floor...they still managed to fling me seven ways to Sunday during that ride. I was bracing myself against the side bench/shelf with both arms the whole way.

  2. Val, you had me just about rolling on the floor...and yes, laughing...while wishing I actually could laugh "MBO" :) If you read my reply to your comment on my blog...this just proves again how much I love your sense of humor and writing! Hope your finger gets all better, real soon!

    1. Thanks for the finger-wishes! Only one segment of it is purple today. It feels normal again.

  3. My kids don't read my blog either. My boy does occasionally, but all their friends read it and tell them about whatever I wax eloquent about. If the blog is about my dogs the girls will not even listen. Like you torture Genius with your injury and pain, I torture the girls with my puppy love.
    I think we have he same manicurist! Your fingers are nice and straight, while mine are crooked with arthritis.

    1. I am definitely not a mani (nor pedi) kind of gal! The right hand knuckles are markedly larger than my left hand knuckles. Pretty sure arthritis is knocking at the door. My mom's fingers started to crook in her later years.