I was just kidding.

Wow, it’s great to be here. By now all of the friends I’ve made in the blogosphere have either succumbed to Facebook or dropped off the face of the earth, so now it’s just like it was in the beginning, before I had any blogging friends and it was just me typing to myself all the time. I don’t suppose I mind that too much.

Maybe I will make all new friends! Just kidding. Seems unlikely. But that’s not what I’m here for.

What am I here for? No special reason. Just because. Just because I’m me and I do random stuff. Today I went to the doctor. I didn’t really want to go to the doctor, although I don’t ordinarily mind going to the doctor. For years and years I hated going to doctors, and I’m not sure when that changed. Probably when I left California. The doctors in Oregon have been a lot better, in my experience. That’s not to say there aren’t excellent doctors in California. I just never met any. Ha ha, no, that’s not exactly true–I did have one doctor who was very nice, but he retired, and that was the end of that. But that’s not why I didn’t want to go to the doctor today.

Today I really, really wanted to take a nap. You see, I was very tired because I was up half the night dealing with a very troublesome retainer. This is how much has changed, dear Internet, since we last spoke. On Friday I had my bottom braces removed and I am now the proud owner of a retainer. (My top braces are not coming off in the foreseeable future. I’ve stopped asking, and my orthodontist has stopped telling. I may spend my golden years having my wires tightened every 6-8 weeks.)

Anyway, I have this removable retainer–they gave me the option of a permanent one, but after four and a half years in braces, I’m not about to sign up for a permanent anything else. I want to floss my teeth like a normal person (i.e., occasionally, but without a big production). I want to eat leafy greens and and not discover them in the crevices of my dental appliance three hours later. No, it was strictly removable for me. And I have enjoyed the removable aspect. It’s amazing how much does not get stuck in my teeth now (at least on the bottom ones). I have not enjoyed the taking-out and especially not the putting-back-in processes.

Question: is inserting my retainer supposed to feel like I’m stapling it to my gums? Because that’s been my experience so far. At first it was only painful when I first put it back in; after a few minutes I’d get used to it and be fine. Last night as I was trying to go to sleep, this surprisingly sharp piece of plastic was disturbing my calm. I tried to be all mind over matter because I was super, super tired and thought if I lay still long enough I would just pass out, but it just wasn’t happening. I kept getting up and taking it out and putting it back in and maybe trying to put some wax between my most sensitive tissues and the most sinister plastic edges, but that didn’t work–I didn’t really expect it to because this sucker fits tighter than vinyl gloves that are a size too small. (That is the comparison that comes to mind because I also happen to be the proud owner of a box of ~75 vinyl gloves that are a size too small. I bought them for when I color my hair and I’m too proud to admit I made a mistake and throw them out and buy new ones. But I digress.) No, not at any point did I consider not wearing my retainer. I have been wearing braces for four and a half years. I am not jeopardizing my long-term oral alignment now. Anyway, I eventually remembered that I had some Orajel in the bathroom drawer, and I used some of that and it actually helped. Happy ending! Except that I had to wake up five hours later and that sucked.

So I really wanted to take a nap, but it was Princess Zurg’s late arrival day, so I couldn’t lie down until almost 9:30. Once I lay down, I was in a prime position to fall asleep, except that our neighbor is having a new roof put on. Let me give you a list of things you shouldn’t try to do when your neighbors are replacing their roof: 1) Take a nap. 2) That pretty much covers it. Well, in between hammering sounds I somehow managed to fall asleep, but much too soon my alarm went off and I had to take a shower.

I might have considered not taking a shower and taking another 20 minutes to sleep, except that I was going to the doctor to see about this thing that’s been growing under my toenail since, like, May (or possibly earlier, I can’t really remember, it’s such a part of me now), and when you’re going to have something disgusting looked at, you at least want to be clean. Well, I do. I mean, I like to be clean most of the time, but there are priorities and there are priorities. Anyway, I’ve had this disgusting thing since May and I hadn’t really been sure what it was. At first it hurt like the son of a motherless goat, and I thought that I had just bruised my toe really badly somehow–maybe I stubbed it, maybe my clogging shoes were too tight, I don’t know–because it looked and felt like my toenail was going to come off, and I resigned myself to that and just waited.

Well, it stopped hurting, but the toenail never came off even though it was obviously doing something super weird. Plus there was that growth-thingy. Now that it no longer hurt, I could see there was something under the toenail that ought not to be. I considered that it might be a fungal infection, so I got some anti-fungal whatever and applied that for a couple weeks or whatever, but it didn’t seem to be making any difference, and it occurred to me that the thing was starting to look an awful lot like a wart, and since I have about 12-15 plantar warts between my two feet (long story, also probably disgusting), it was not inconceivable to me that I could have some weird under-the-toe wart virus too. So I tried some wart remover, which was similarly ineffective, and then it occurred to me that when something is under one’s toe, one cannot really get any sort of application where it most counts, so one should probably get some professional help. It only took me six months or so to come to this conclusion.

Actually, it only took me about four months to come to this conclusion, then another two months to make a doctor appointment. Have you ever made a doctor appointment and the person on the phone asks what you need to be seen for, but you have no idea how to explain it? “I’ve got a weird thing growing under my toenail and I don’t know what it is.” I wonder what they type into the computer. “Weird thing growing under toenail.” There’s probably a diagnostic code for that. I said I didn’t know if it was a wart or a fungus or toe cancer, but I just wanted to get rid of it and that’s why I needed to see the doctor.

Well, the good news is that it is not a toomah. The bad news is that it is a fungal infection and //SQUEAMISH AVERT YOUR EYES// the doctor had to cut off most of my toenail, which hurt like a mother pusbucket when she got to the part where crazy-fungal-infected toenail met skin. I don’t want to brag, but I was very brave. I only screamed a little bit. (For real.) //SQUEAMISH MAY LOOK AGAIN// Anyway, she bandaged up my toe (with Donald Duck bandages–because that was all she had, but I didn’t mind) and sent me off with this prescription that I have to take for twelve weeks and I also have to get my liver function tested every month until I’m done, and my toenail should grow back in about a year. Awesome.

Also, I got a flu shot.

So after the doctor and nurse were both gone, I hobbled over to the chair to put my sock and shoe back on, and I noticed //SQUEAMISH AVERT YOUR EYES AGAIN// there was a drop of blood on the floor. “Huh. Curious,” I thought. That is seriously what I thought, even though I HAD JUST HAD PART OF MY TOE CUT OFF. Then I looked at my foot and saw that I was still bleeding quite a copious amount, Donald Duck bandages notwithstanding. (“Copious” being a relative term, of course.) So it was then I noticed that in the course of my aforementioned hobbling, I had dripped blood all the way from the examination table to the (aforementioned) chair, and naturally there were no doctors or nurses or medical professionals anywhere in sight. (I thought at the very least, someone should be aware that my bodily fluids had not been properly contained. Biohazard, right? Anyway.)

So I wasn’t really sure what to do because I had this bleeding foot and I didn’t want to hop out to the nurses’ station, but I had this bleeding foot and I didn’t want to put it in my sock because it was one of my favorite pairs and while bloodstains are not difficult to remove if you get to them quickly enough, I didn’t want to take any chances, and also I really needed to go grocery shopping before it was time for me to pick PZ up from school (early, for a therapy appointment).

Long story short, fortunately for me, I had recently had a head cold, so there were several (still clean and relatively sterile) facial tissues in my purse, so I used those to apply pressure and wrap them around the insufficiently absorbent Donald Duck bandages, and somehow I was still able to fit my foot into both my sock and my shoe with not too much difficulty.

Then I casually informed a nurse about the blood-soaked examination room before putting on my hat and hobbling to my car. //SQUEAMISH MAY LOOK AGAIN// Then I drove to the grocery store and hobbled around there for an hour before heading back home and hobbling around the kitchen putting the groceries away, and then I went to the Target to pick up my prescription and also hobble around the store looking for Avengers cereal for my ten-year-old. Then I got a bacon cheeseburger because I needed to replenish my iron stores after all the blood I lost. Just kidding. I got a bacon cheeseburger because I was hungry because I hadn’t had the will to endure the discomfort of removing and replacing my retainer so I could eat that morning and I also got it because I’m a pig.

But I am giving blood (on purpose) Thursday, so iron is important too.

The good news is that when I removed and replaced my retainer this afternoon, it only hurt a little bit. Possibly because I wasn’t trying to sleep. We’ll see how it goes tonight.

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