Friday, October 5, 2012

Feeling Blue? DON'T GO TO THE E.R.

October Challenge: Fear Factor

Maegs, Russe, and I were eating lunch at a little bake shop last weekend when we discovered a common fear: Bugs. Insects. Spiders. Creepy crawly things. A fear based on sad experience with creatures too disgusting to be allowed. We are not alone. Most women--and my youngest son--would fall right in line with us.

For me the deal was sealed years ago when I walked barefoot into my bedroom after a date. I was just about to plant my foot across the threshold when something told me to STOP. That something was very commanding. So I stopped. Then I reached out, flipped on the light, and looked under my foot where it was just poised to smash to the ground. Right beneath it was a sickeningly GINORMOID brown and hairy wolf spider the size of my palm. GAAAAAAH! I spent an hour and a half trying to vacuum the thing up. It jumped every time I got near it. I screamed. It probably crawled right back out of our Hoover later that night.

Yeah. I have good reason to fear spiders and their ilk.
However, there IS something worse than spiders for me. Worse than snakes. Worse than bats. Worse even than liver. And that thing is: mysterious inexplicable bodily events.

I HATE it when my physical self does some whacked-out medical thing and no one can figure out why. It gives me the gollywobbles. For instance, my eyes will randomly swell shut. No reason at all. A general allergy to the state where I live, apparently. And it takes a week to go away. During that time I feel and look like an alien. Ask my Gnomies. They've been with me for the Attack of the Alien Eyelids on several occasions.

Also, my blood vessels will randomly burst in my fingers and toes. This is probably not good. But no one knows why it happens. Once I was in dress rehearsals for Footloose, dancing away on stage, and the bottom of my foot totally exploded. Had to limp through the rest of the choreography and make it look like that's just how Ren's mom danced.

And childbirth? Baby, don't even get me started (no puns intended.) SO many funky bodily things happen in the course pregnancy and delivery, it ain't remotely funny. Like with my first kid I had to eat a plate of green pimento-stuffed olives every day. Every. Day. I hate green pimento-stuffed olives.

The real problem here is this: unexplained physical things freak me out. And my imagination runs wild and I assume body parts are going to start dropping off and dying from whatever is going on.

Kind of like two days ago. I've been dealing with an elbow injury for the past three weeks. Smashed the living shortcake out of my left funny-bone nerve (which has a name, but not one I know.) I hit that little canal between the radius and ulna so hard that electrical fire blasted down my forearm and out my fingertips for twenty solid minutes. It hasn't been the same since.

So today I see a specialist. But Wednesday night? After my kid's '80's-themed A- Capella concert? I got home and my whole left hand was blue. BLUE. Unmistakably. Freakishly. Thing was clearly not getting oxygen. And I couldn't figure out why. But the nerve in my arm was sending zings down to my hand and pain across my wrist, so I figured something dire was happening.

Long story short, it was 9:00 at night and my doctor's after hours clinic wouldn't see me because I am a new patient. So they told me to go to the Emergency Room. I did not want to go to the E.R. Too expensive. And what were they going to do? Tell me my hand was blue? I can do that. But I went. And they booked me in, hooked me up, and checked me out. Well, my hand anyway.

But they couldn't find anything wrong. Nothing. I learned more about my elbow injury but nothing about my blue hand. They even called my doctor at home. He had nada to say about it either. So the E.R. sent me home telling me I'd live and probably not lose the hand until after I'd seen my doctor today.

Well, I was panicking inside. What the heck could it be? Was my arm going to fall off? Was I going to be paralyzed? Was I going to die from Gangrene? Or rather, Ganblue?

My friends. I finally found the answer. I will not die. And I will, perhaps, work on not freaking out so much in the future. For at some point after my kidlets were in bed I looked down fondly at the new jeans I was wearing. New unwashed jeans. Jeans upon which my sweaty little pre-menopausal hands had been resting for an hour and a half during my son's A Capella concert.


I went to the kitchen sink. I applied soap and water. Five seconds later my skin was nice and pink again. The sink was blue. But my hand was back to normal.


If any of you tell anyone about this, our friendship is over.


Robin said...

Stuff like that happens to me all the time. As a professional dyer, it's an occupational hazard. My family stopped asking if I was bleeding or bruised. I'm bleeding dye.

Janiel Miller said...

Yeah, somehow I knew you'd relate. Although your experience would be intentional. And you wouldn't go to the ER. :)

Shelly said...

LOL! That's funny.

Hugs and chocolate,


Morgen said...

So once in college, I woke up with a spider bite. But it had these weird red veiny things coming off it. I was convinced the venom was spreading and I was going to die. I called my mom in a panic and her, and my sister who was home from med school at the time, rushed to my dorm to take me to the hospital. while I was waiting for them I realized that I had written on my hand in red pen the day before. Apparently I had slept with my hand between my legs and the ink had come off around a mosquito bite. (In my defense it TOTALLY looked like a spider bite with red veins shooting off it) I was really embarrassed and my mom was mad. But at least we never made it to the hospital!:)

arthearts said...

Janiel, look on the bright side - at least the doctor didn't discover your mysterious blue-hand disease was a result of jean dye while you were in the ER!!!

Now THAT would have made you "dye" of embarrassment! :)


Janiel Miller said...

Hah! Rena! You are absolutely right. Now this post has been published in the AF Citizen and I'm hoping the ER staff don't read it. Ack!

Morgen - that's awesome! I would totally do that. I hope your mom eventually saw how funny that was, because you made me laugh!

Suzi said...

I can't stop laughing. I'm sorry.

That was one expensive pair of blue jeans.

kris said...

that is so funny. We had the same thing happen to my daughter, Danielle, twice, and my nurse practioner friend looked at it, we were all puzzled...until we noticed her legs were a little blue after taking off her new jeans. We were sure her hand was going to fall off it was so blue!!!

Jennifer said...

That made me laugh so hard! I wouldn't have gone to the emergency room because I hate emergency rooms. But I would have freaked out a little. Sorry you had to spend the money!

Maegan Langer said...

Oh my goodness, that's hilarious! I'm a little worried that the ER doc didn't figure out it was dye, though. Aren't doctors supposed to be, like, smart? Maybe it was a super-stressful day.

Janiel Miller said...

Jenn - Thanks for the sympathy. :) I wish my brain was more like yours and I hadn't gone. But with my elbow all whacked out I feared it had, you know, spread to my hand. Right. I'm a dork.

Maegan - yeah, I wondered why the doc didn't pick up on it too. Except that it REALLY looked like oxygen deprived skin. Really. Matching color. The nail beds were even blue. My doc was actually really good. My jeans should get an Oscar.

Norma Beishir said...

I've had the swollen eyelid thing. Not pretty.

There is one well-established fact: if you need rest, don't go to the hospital. You won't get it. I had surgery 12 years ago. There I was, sleeping soundly, when two nurses came in and woke me. "Do you have any pain?"

"Does a pain in the a** count?" I asked.

They looked at each other. One said, "I think she means us."

William Kendall said...

Oh, I'm falling about laughing!

Janiel Miller said...

William - eeyeah. Someday I may laugh about it. Right now I'm too mortified to go there. I was hoping writing about it would give me closure. *sigh* Glad you got a chortle out of it. :)

BTW, I had to explain it all to my specialist because he wanted to know how things had turned out in the ER. I'd forgotten they called him. He fell about laughing too.

Janiel Miller said...

Norma - Hahahahahaha! Awesome!

Russo said...

I love our lunch days, you girls can always make me laugh till I snort. Plus, I love that I can open up with you both.

BTW these bug posts are still making me cringe. i hate bugs :)

Oh, girl, I hope your elbow injury gets better. You're one tough gal and I just love ya.