Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm in a fighting mood.

For whatever reason lately I have become obsessed with the game Battleship. I made my wife mad by downloading the game on my cell phone, and today, just for fun, I searched the Web and found one to run on my computer. I sometimes do pretty good - sometimes I just get blown out of the water (pun intended.) Now, you need to understand that this game has been around forever, and I haven't played it since I was a youngster. Shows how often I need to vent my anger on some unsuspecting object.

The problem is, now that I have the game on both the cell and computer, I play it more and more, and I am beginning to wonder why I get such pleasure from annihilating my "foe". I smile (me - smile???) when I locate and get the little guys and rejoice when the big ones turn turtle and sink, disappearing forever. Sorta' like discovering a sin in my life that the word of God disrupts, brings to the surface and blasts away by confession and repentence. Hmmmm, imagine God playing Battleship with the sins in my life. Here's hoping I lose...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Will that be one scoop or two...

Well, just back from my appointment with the surgeon. You know, I have always been impressed with the amount of small tools dentists seem to have. As a person who has experienced dentists from both a drilling/filling perspective, and a tooth-pulling perspective, it always amazed me that no matter what the condition of a particular tooth, there always seemed to be, somewhere, just THE right tool or jig for the situation at hand.

Now, so it seems, the same can be said for surgeons doing small surgery. Here I am, coaxed once more into an examination room by an over-bustled nurse and instructed to lay on the table. She gingerly removes the bandages and packing, takes a quick look and says "I'll go get the Doctor", whereupon she exits stage left. Hmmmm, thinks I, where is she off to - I mean I did have an appointment - you know what those are - definite times set for you to show up and wait for an indeterminate time for the person with whom the appointment was made to show up at HIS leisure and convenience.

Enter (after what really was not an unreasonable time) the Doctor. Grabs a set of tweezers (or some similar devilish instrument) and starts probing and digging - so much so that my dear wife, leaning in for a closer examination of the wound actually halts the doctor from digging. He pauses, just for a moment, as if to let my wife satisfy her curiosity. He then, once she has backed off, resumes his digging and scraping and jabbing, cheerfully pronouncing (I presume to my wife) the neat stuff he is dragging out of the wound. "Piece of gauze... necrotic tissue... hmmm, an old piece of vein... (I must confess that at the last one, I kinda' wondered if I wouldn't be needing that vein to help circulate blood, or if that was old school thinking) more tissue." He stops. Takes a look around the room. Rummages in a drawer here and there. Checks the cart with all the bandages and misc. stuff. Thinks for the merest of seconds. "Be right back", he says and exits stage left.

My wife is vociferous. "You wouldn't believe what he is doing! Why aren't you screaming/writhing/rolling in pain!!!??? You should see what he dug out of there!!! "

Enter the doctor, holding a several inches long, skinny instrument in his hand. "Got it", he says with no further explanation and starts to really dig into the wound, seemingly copious amounts now of whatever's coming out. I can see it in my wide-eyed wife's expression - an absolute fascination with this new "tool" the doc is using. He finishes. Packs the wound, puts a bandage over it. States "See me in two weeks", and leaves.

My wife, still wide-eyed, says, "That was an ice cream scoop he used on you, only smaller!! More like a melon-baller!! But shaped like an ice-cream scoop." She seems suitably impressed. "He went all the way around - top, bottom, sides - DIDN'T IT HURT???" Well, yeah, especially when he went deep down toward the knee - didn't you see my other leg doing its rattle/shake & roll, my eyes rolled back so far I could see (as a newfie would say) me very own arse, and hear my poor teeth (only a very few left now) grinding and wishing to be awash in pain-killers (liquid kind, from the LCBO.)

I don't know what impressed my wife more - that I wasn't (externally) screaming, or the sight of a small itsy-bitsy teeney-weeney ice-cream scoop.

The only other news is that now apparently the picture previously posted is out of date. According to my wife, the hole is now 25% bigger 'n better.

And no ice-cream in sight...

* sigh *

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Now an even BIGGER hole...

* sigh * Here I thought the last "cut" was the deepest. Wrong. Not content with the amount of DAILY suffering I was experiencing, the home-care nurses (one in particular) really started to agitate for me to see a surgeon to get the hole made even bigger (hey, with all the money wasted on e-health scandals I suppose some one figured it would be nice if all excess tax dollars ended up in the pockets of the average rank-and-file get-'er-done types instead of bureaucratic do-nothings-except over-charge and screw-up things - and oh, by the way, what about my lucrative termination-payout?)

So, off to the family Doctor (again). Except this time, he chickened out. Yup, went to the phone and called 3 surgeons (who he claims he would "let" operate on himself), one of whom was actually at the hospital in an operating room and would soon be out. So, he suggested that we remain at his (our family Doctor's office) until said surgeon was out of the operating room and could return his call so he could discuss my situation. **** pause *** After taking a breath (hence the pause) he then suggested that we (Janet and myself) spend the waiting time wisely and make haste to the hospital, go into emergency (he would call ahead to tell them we were coming) and wait THERE, at the hospital, for the surgeon to perhaps, if he had time, or was in the mood, or sensed the "emergency" of the situation, or had nothin' else to do, or was in a grouchy mood and needed to inflict further pain/indignities on human flesh to restore some humor into his life (- get the picture?) take me into a vacant room (where hopefully my brain would be in a similar state) and see my wound, evaluate it and take appropriate action/inaction with either a minimum or maximum of growling about the general incompetencies of home-care workers fresh from some conference or other so he could compare them to himself, as chopped liver.

He chose the latter course of action, all the while entertaining a "student/apprentice" with clever witicisms whilst brandishing a slicing instrument, yeah verily hacking away with said instrument into the (temporarily) quivering hunk of meat (me - or better said my leg), to the delight of Janet (ever the home-schooling Mom, she now has more knowledge than she needs about the inner structure of the leg, just behind the knee.)

What was the most telling was Janet's (almost) verbal ejaculation, "OH MY GOD!" I, having received the customary 2 injections of numbing agent, was only aware of a slight tugging while the cutter did its work. I was less prepared for the surgeon to then RAM his finger in the incision, probing into the far, far reaches of the incision into regions where there was no numbing at all. "Hmmmmm, he said. Almost feels like a foreign object in there!" Yes, you idiot! Your FINGER is a foreign object! Get IT the he** out of there!! I guess my face was pretty well contorting by then, as Janet has related to me that it did so. Well, duh...

Anyway, I now have a wound by best estimates 2 inches long, by about 1 inch deep... Ouch, it only hurts when I write, read, think about it, breath, or move in any manner, vertical, horizontal or betwixt the two. I took particular comfort (not) hearing the nurse say that the "freezing" would wear off in an hour or so, and did I have any tylenol (no) - well you'd better get some, says she. Then the final pronouncement from the surgeon to cast comfort to my soul - "See me in a week. If it isn't better, we're gonna' take a REALLY BIG PIECE out and sew the sucker up." Ya' gotta' wonder... Do surgeons get paid by the pound, or what...

Anyway, after a (what seemed to me, although I said nothing) tiny gauze covering was in place, off we went to get pain-killer (not booze, which I eluded to in an earlier blog) but tylenol, and then off we went to the Clifford's to dinner. Thankfully (mercifully?) she had chocolate cake for dessert which was desperately needed at the time it arrived because, to be frank, my leg was hurting like the dickens, blood had soaked through the gauze and into my pantleg and I could feel the odd trickle down my leg, although not as far as the ankle.

Now, to get a rough idea, put your hands behind your knee on the underside of the thigh at that area. Shake your hands. Notice how jiggly it is. Picture an open wound, all jiggly. Imagine how much it would "tingle" (which is another word for IT HURTS!) when shaken. Picture a tandem axle truck. Empty. Picture a road under the influence of "stimulus spending" - ie. small sections carved out of an otherwise (relatively) smooth service. Just to jolt some reality back into you. Picture other sections completely ripped up, exposing the nice bumpy underlaying surface. Picture a sore, stiff, just carved open leg in the (cramped) can of a truck void of any possibility of a comfy, bump-reduced ride.

Picture a young rammy driver (sorry Daniel) who delights in a pedal-to-the-metal, aim for the big-ones, my-god-will-I-make-it driving method. Ouch! Eeech! YAAAAA! HOLY MACKEREL! WHAT THE... !!! ARE WE THERE YET???? I CAN'T TAKE MUCH MORE...!!!! I WANT MY MOMMY!!! All that was just Daniel - you should have heard me...
Anyway. I survived the trip home. I survived the walk from the truck into the house, and the walk from the bathroom to the bedroom, the removing of pants down past the sore spot, the pressure of the sheet and blanket. Only one thought pulsated through my mind - tommorrow the Nurse comes. Funny, it hurts at the thought of that. More days of pain. No booze, only tylenol. No chocolate cake, only rice-cakes. Dry rice-cakes.

Now, have a look at the picture and tell me if you think that's fair. I thought so. So, bring me cake and help an old fella' cope. Thank you.