Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ear Ringing, Knee Screaming

This blog has been about as inactive as a governmental banking oversight committee member of late, and I thought I'd explain some of the why.

My right ear keeps getting infected. Right before our Canada trip it got blocked and painful again and I ran to Doc Rubberglove who gave me some sort of secret government strength anti-biotics and it cleared up in three days. I got a referral to Doc Teaspoon, the ENT1 which I planned to use when I got back.

No sooner did I get back than the ear got infected again. On one particular Friday I was forced to go to a wedding, which because of the ear I couldn't dance at and because I was driving I couldn't drink at2. I sat for five hours drinking water that tasted of chlorine with a head that hurt so much I thought seriously about poking out the offending eardrum with a knitting needle. I would obviously need to see Doc Rubberglove again.

I was finally allowed to go home, and climbed into bed at about 1am. At about 4:30 am I was woken from my sleep by my left knee, the tendons of which were vying with each other as to how much they could hurt. I stifled a manly scream by biting Mrs Stevie and limped to the fridge where I fabricated an ice-pack from some ziplock bags and some ice cubes.

I've had this before, same knee. The last time it was so bad I went to the emergency room on a Sunday lunchtime (a place I've been exactly twice before in my life, only once in the US and that was involuntary) where the three year old "doctor" wrote "knee pain" under the Reason for Visit, clamped the leg in a wraparound aluminum splint and prescribed painkillers so dangerous they won't let you have more than 10 at a time. The outcome was that it took a month for me to recover use of the leg, and because the tw*t with the medical degree and the pen didn't write "acute" or note that I had to be carried in to his presence, my insurance refused to pay the costs of the visit, saying my condition "wasn't emergent4". I appealed, speaking with passion about controlled drugs, wheelchairs and the number of ER visits they could track me to. They were implacable, stating that I should have seen my doctor first. I was astounded. On what planet does a Doctor work on a Sunday?


Realising that the same problem was rearing its ugly head, I spent Saturday and Sunday in a recliner with my knee iced5 and on Monday called Doc Rubberglove and begged for an appointment.

Doc Rubberglove must have heard me coming and he left town leaving his partner in charge, the delightful Ms Doc Rubberglove. The receptionist tried to put me off by telling me Ms Doc Rubberglove couldn't give me a cortisone jab. I thought about the times I've had these jokes at my expense and said I would live with that. By now my whole face was on fire with the teeth on one side, both upper and lower jaws, all aching the worst I've ever experienced as an adult. The knee was almost unnoticeable beside that. Almost.

Ms Doc Rubberglove was most sympathetic and gave me cortisone pills and Vicodin6 for the knee and ordinary Amoxicillin for the infected head7. Mrs Stevie, in the meantime, found a Velcro knee-support that wonder of wonders actually made things better not worse.

I spent a week in bed, gradually getting better, too ill to do anything but lie there groaning, and went back to work the next Monday where more irritation faced me (a story for another time). Suffice to say I really have been too sick to post for most of the time.

For the rest of the time, I just had better things to do8.

  1. That's Newyorkese for Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist. I was not, as might be inferred from the text, getting my ear looked at by some sort of motile oak tree with a Welsh accent
  2. A minor mercy. The one drink I permitted myself tasted as though some sort of industrial chemicals had been substituted for the rum I asked for, and I feared for the eyesight of the other guests who were swilling the stuff as though there was no tomorrow3
  3. Which might have been true for some of them if my suspicions about the chemicals were right
  4. I am not making that up. They denied me in Furbish
  5. Not the easy life of Riley one might expect. The TV was showing a 48 hour marathon of the world's crappiest programs on every channel and Mrs Stevie was mutinous when it came to making the tea
  6. The same meds that Dr House takes. Wildly great painkillers that would squelch the agony to mere discomfort in no time. Which the insurance company downgraded to Generic Almost Near Vicodin Substitute that had almost no noticeable effect
  7. Funny thing is I had forty anti-biotic pills and eight cortisone pills. The pharmacy shorted me on the count...for the cortisone pills. I'd never have noticed one from forty, but when I opened up the pack of eight and noticed there were an odd number of pills, a sudden second sense told me something wasn't right
  8. A lie. Stuff happened. Watch this space


Anonymous said...

Inasmuch as sympathetic mutterings from this end will have any palliative effect, please accept said mutterings.

I am not going to tell you about my kidney stone operation that I endured at much the same time. Oh, no, I'm not, even if it would make you feel better by contrast.

I look forward to a resumption of your interesting exploits.


Anonymous said...

Okay gil, I'll cede you a win on that one. Kidney stones are one of the arguments I use against Intelligent Design.

Feel better my friend.

Becs said...

Yes, I know, ancient post to be commenting on, but if you by chance read comments - the person you need to talk to, the person with the drugs, the good drugs, the tasty drugs is - no, not Jamal down the street - but a doctor who specializes in "Pain Management".

They may also prescribe physical therapy, which is worthwhile.

I was there not too long ago.

I hope this is not the thing that plagues you often, if at all.