Thursday, June 21st, 2012

All right, the bathroom is clean. I ain’t doin’ a goddamn thing the rest of the day, except taking a walk to the store in about a half-hour to pick up a six-pack of Gatorade and a tube of Desitin. The Gatorade’s to keep me hydrated and replenish my electrolytes. You figure out what the Desitin’s for.

I really shouldn’t have done this but, when I picked up the industrial-strength laxative I’m supposed to drink today and tomorrow, the pharmacist gave me a thick packet they hilariously call a medication guide, and I read it this morning. I try not to do that because it’s more like a nightmarish prose poem than a guide of any sort. Usually six or eight pages of very small print, it’s a litany of every known and possible side effect of taking whatever medicine they’ve given you, and the side effects are always the same. They start with nausea, dizziness and chills, but quickly escalate to blinding headaches, loss of consciousness and blood spurting from every escape hatch on your body, including your eyes, ears, nose and fingernails. Why would I want to know any of that? The medical profession ought to be based on the blind faith that my doctor will give me medicine that will only make me feel better, not make me clutch my chest as blood hemorrhages from all my orifaces. Orifaci. Orifacea? Them big holes in my skin.

Irregular heartbeat, heart attacks and exploding heart syndrome seem to be the theme of the side effects associated with the megalaxative I’ll be using. I made up “exploding heart syndrome” but if it’s a real thing I call dibs on the royalties. Aside from serious dehydration, the self-inflicted diarrhea it causes will drain me of electrolytes, which are little glowing orbs of magic that surround your heart and prevent heart disease. They really are. Look it up. That’s why I’m going to the store to stock up on Gatorade, or whatever sports drinks are supposed to be loaded with electrolytes. I’m allowed all the clear liquids I can hold, so I’ll be sucking on a big bottle of that from now until tomorrow morning, or until I’m too miserable to suck on it any more.

orifaces | 11:25 am CDT
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The dishes are washed and drip-drying on the countertop, the cat dishes are washed and filled, I ate the last solid food I’ll have until tomorrow, and that’s everything I had planned for today. There’s nothing else. Oh, shit, there is something – I planned to clean the bathroom. Dammit! I hate cleaning the bathroom, but it’s got to be done. There are dust bunnies the size of water buffalo in there, and I don’t even want to think about how big the pathogens that are growing in the tile grout have gotten. When I hold still long enough, I’m pretty sure I can see them move.

Okay, fine. I’m going to clean the bathroom now. Hope you’re not.

the plan | 9:48 am CDT
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Monday, November 15th, 2010

Sitting down at my desk this morning I happened to scratch my ear before doing anything else. I’ve got old man’s ears and something was tickling the hairs that grow around the lobe, making me dip a pinky finger quickly into the cleft between the lobe and whatever that knobby bit of cartilage is called that sticks out in front of the lobe.

There was something just inside the opening. What the hell?

I cautiously poked a pinky in there again and, when I pulled it back out, it was covered with enough wax to light all the votive candles in the Vatican. (Man, I bet that would smell so bad.) I got my handkerchief out, wiped my pinky clean and poked around in there again, and again my pinky came out caked with wax. I really couldn’t stop at that point, could I? I poked my finger in there yet again and this time pulled out a clot of wax like a big old wrinkled raisin, generously smothered in peanut butter.

It was so huge that I had some trouble getting it out, and probably wouldn’t have if it hadn’t gotten stuck in the sludge on the end of my finger. Then I sat a moment, gaping at it. Really, I should have been deaf in that ear, it was that big. The ick factor made me want to get it off my finger immediately, but when you pull something that large out of your head you have to give some consideration to whether or not to throw it away. It might turn out to be something vitally important. Without medical experience, you really don’t know.

In the end I decided to pitch it. I could still hear, my brains seemed to be working more or less the same as always, and I wasn’t bleeding. Flick! Away it went. I suppose I could have stuck it on the underside of my chair and left it there until the end of the day, in case it turned out I needed it, but I didn’t want to touch it again, so it was outta there. What the hell. Got to take a chance once in a while.

Extraction | 9:22 pm CDT
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