Sunday, May 28, 2006

What The Vampires Did To Me: an anecdote

WIMPS!Call me old and crotchety, which I am seeming to become, but in my day we didn't get 4-day weekends away from school. Especially not right near the end of the year when we're going to be free from the chains for three months anyway! The readerboard above came from the elementary school near me. But I noticed something odd at a middle school across town: the students there do have to show up for school on Memorial Day, a national holiday -- then get out at 10:45am. It's as though they called everyone in and took attendance so the school could say it had students for the required 180 days, then punted them back out. What's so wrong with just staying one more day for real, rather than disrupting people's family plans?

A couple days ago I had a doctor's appointment, my first checkup in three years, and the meeting of the doctor and establishing a new medical relationship part went pretty well. He seemed like a nice guy, his staff were adequately cute (especally the pregnant one) and friendly (even when someone who appeared to have some rank started beating on the copier), and the office was organized and attractive. I was sort of taken aback by the fact that he didn't want a urine sample. Digger is copyrighted so here's a housefly Since when have urine samples become passé technology? You can tell a lot about a person by what they excrete. Anyhow, one of the things I went there for is to get a diagnosis and prescription for Lamisil, because my toenails are pretty bad. Digger the Dermataphite? He and I go way back. Since Lamisil has some potential side-effects to the liver, I had to get a blood test to make sure I'm healthy enough to take it, and will have another one in six weeks to make sure everything's fine in my midriff. The pathology lab is on the other side of the building so I walked over there to get some blood drawn. This is where the fun begins...

I went into the reception area and presented my paperwork, and before I could get any emotional involvement in a magazine I was called forth to take a room. I sat in the chair and put my right arm on the armrest, and the attendant tied it off with a rubber strap like a heroin junkie then handed me a brain-shaped stress ball to squeeze on cue. So far, so good. She uncaps the needle and plugs it into a glass vial, and while I have no fear of needles (or vials) I don't particularly relish the thought of it being inserted into me. She unpacks an alcohol swab tissue and finds a vein to the right of the fold in my arm, one location from which blood had never been drawn before, and gives it a good wipe before approaching it with the needle. I turned my head left to look at the clock, and I felt the pinprick... not bad at all. I explained to the attendant who was filling the vial why I had to not look at the flow eminating from my arm, how I had a nasty accident with a hand sickle in 2002 while cutting some weeds which left me standing there watching the blood pulse out of my leg like you see in the movies, and that put me off of seeing my own blood being collected. She laughed and said she understood. So far, so... uh, I'm getting light-headed here. I shook my head. This isn't working. I thought about how airplanes have those vent jets you can point toward yourself (the "blow-on-you things" as Shelley Berman called them) when you feel this half-queesy, half-dizzy feeling at take-off. This isn't an option. My thoughts after that were an internal dialog I wasn't able to pay attention to. Don't try this at home When my eyes opened again, she was there looking a bit panicked, and two or three of her associates had come to the doorway to witness something, also with concern in their eyes. There was no needle in my arm, so she must have finished her task. She suggested that I lay down on the floor, and this bit of advice sounded perfect... why hadn't I thought of this? I mustered the strength to ease myself down onto the floor, thinking that losing bodily control while doing this manoeuver would not be a good idea. They, plural, requested that I go horizontal and they did all sorts of accomidations to help me into that position comfortably. I looked up at the four female faces standing over me, sort of like in a surgical scene of a TV show shot from the perspective of the patient's innards, and commented that I felt that I should be giving birth right now with the sort of attention I'm getting. One of the people remarked that it's always the guys who lose consciousness when having their blood drawn and she's never had a woman pass out, and I offered that women are used to bleeding on a regular basis. One of the people slipped a blood pressure cuff onto my left arm and checked my systoic and diastolic, and she did this every three minutes for the rest of my stay in that office. Once I started to regain my natural mushyroomy color, they offered me juice and a muffin, and I said "wow, this room comes with a continental breakfast!" Half of a muffin and most of a box of berry juice later, I was assisted into another room -- the one where they keep the treadmill, how ironic -- to sit for a bit and finish my breakfast (I hadn't eaten anything all morning at their orders, so this did qualify as breaking my required fast) and the bottle of Boost nutritional suppliment I has been handed. Boost is not half bad, but I like the taste of chocolate soy milk and this wasn't too far different. Another blood pressure test or two later and I was cleared for takeoff, and drove home. It wasn't just the rain I used as an excuse to do very little around the house for the rest of the day. Demon Shopper Crossing So there is my somewhat embarassing (yet not sordid) fainting at the thought, not the sight, of my own blood story, and for that reason I am not looking forward to my followup.

By the way, I still don't have the Lamisil. I got the prescription and took it to the pharmacy on Friday afternoon, and since the insurance coverage was new they had to make some calls and swap some faxes with somewhere which had apparently already packed it in for the weekend. The pharmacy tech with tattoos like purple shirtsleeves told me, "it could be half an hour, it could be Tuesday" before they get authorization to fill the prescription. It'll be Tuesday or so, it became clear. I've waited a few years to get to this point so another couple days won't harm me. The June update of the Laughter is the Spackle of the Soul page was jotted up and posted during my downtime, so click on the link in the page description at left to have a look.

June's Spackle photos:

Roadkill Casserole could easily be made here in AR. We have possums, raccoons, snakes, turtles, dogs, cats, and deer squished on all roadways.

I had another comment about another pic, but I forgot what it was.
The projectile vomiting baby was a cute pic.
It's good you are getting those fungi toenails taken care of. I think it takes quite awhile for that medicine to work.

Fainting in order to get all that attention, huh?

Well, you looked away and tried to get through it without an incident, so you get an A for effort.
But I got an F for Fainted in execution. :)

My doctor said that Lamisil is 75% effective, yet nail fungus has a 50% chance of recurrence within five years. Those aren't good numbers, and the potential for liver damage (and prohibitive price, $200/month without insurance) prevents any sort of preventative maintenance.

Everyone laughs when I tell the fainting story, then they tell someone else -- and pretty soon people are gonna stop me on the stret and say, "hey, you're the guy that passed out getting a blood sample!" Yeah, yeah.
I am feeling so accomplished right now.
I was oooot and aboooot today, and I got pics of the mobile home again with the icicle (better photos this time), and the gas station in town that sports hideous icicle lights all around its edges, and the second hand store I showed pics of before, which also sports very ragged icicle lights.
My contribution to your new blog will be made tomorrow and I hope there are some takers that will snap the icicle lights offenders in their neck of the woods.
My icicle lights post is up, but I have no idea how to upload my pics to your flickr group. Others may have the same problem.
I joined the group though.
Feel free to upload them from my post if you can, otherwise tell me how to do it.
You may want to explain how others can upload to the group in your flickr letter of explanation.
Have written up some instructions, then put them in the reply on your blog and on the Icicle Lights page.

Thanks! Shoulda been in your stream but I can understand wanting to keep the scourge of icicle light pictures out of your family photos. ;-) And thanks for joining the group.

Another change Flickr made recently: Used to be that all new groups would get promoted on people's home pages for a short time after they were created. Now those promotions are for a small number of already popular groups. Grrr.
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