I visited the ER many times as an accident-prone kid – and a couple of times as a still-accident-prone adult – almost always for stitches, almost always somewhere in my head, to the point that one time, after seeing it done so often, my mother got medieval and fashioned her own butterfly stitch for one of my lesser wounds.
As of this morning, I’ve visited the ER three times in the last five days.
*** Semi-graphic details to follow. Check out Robert Smigel’s hi-f’n-larious “Blue Christmas” instead! (Or, in addition if you’re the voyeur type, like Dyanna!) ***
Long story short, I got some kind of infection in my right armpit last weekend that swelled to the size and shape of a two-inch banana, virtually disabling my right arm by Monday night when Salomé forced me to go to the ER. After a ridiculous wait, I got in and the doctor had to slice, drain and stuff my pit in what was far and away the most painful experience I’ve ever endured. As it was, the infection had made moving my arm deliver a pain like skin being ripped apart. The anesthesia he injected burned like something no metaphor can convey. Like what I imagine fire consuming flesh might feel like. After that, everything else – the incision, the draining, the packing of gauze into the wound – was a mere annoyance. Relatively speaking.
Vicodin and a prescription for anti-biotics, and a return appointment Wednesday morning to remove the packing left me thinking I’d be good to go by Thursday at the latest.
Turns out the infection was still there Wednesday and I was still pretty swollen, so they removed the packing and – with an offer of the anethesia derived from Satan’s urine, to which I said no – packed it up again. If this is modern medicine, I’m guessing people simply used to die from this sort of thing.
The swelling went down significantly over the next two days, to the point where I was able to move my arm pretty freely without any notable pain, and again I’m thinking I’ll be done after this morning’s follow-up.
Why is it that the doctors with the gruffest bedside manner are generally the ones that seem to be better doctors?
The guy I saw today was rather abrupt, and not the least bit gentle, but he was the first one to clearly explain what was going on and, though I’m sore as hell again after his thorough but not-the-least-bit-gentle cleaning and re-packing job, I at least feel like I have a better sense of where things stand and what probably caused the infection to begin with.
So, anyone know an alternative to deodorant? As it was, I always avoided anti-perspirants because I knew they could cause things like this, but apparently my underarms are too sensitive for regular deodorant, too, a problem that apparently also plagued my grandfather. Not being a hippie or bohemian poet-type, I need some kind of alternative that won’t get me weird looks at work or extra personal space on the train!
Where’s my Whole Foods shoppers at?
Public apologies to Cristin, whose farewell toast/roast I missed last night asa result of this. I really wanted to be there but, obviously, it just wasn’t happening. 🙁
PS: When I say “sore as hell,” I mean sore like someone’s shoving their thumb into my armpit and pressing hard right up into the wound. Ouch!