Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Eyes Have It

Here’s the thing:

This dog may look sweet and innocent and totally harmless…

But make no mistake, she’s 6 ½ pounds of fur-covered steel.  

And you might think she looks hilarious when she’s all splayed out on her back like this:

But if you think that gives you free license to tickle her belly with reckless abandon, you better be prepared for an explosion of paws and nails and epic barking.

This, I can assure you, is information Opie wishes he had last Monday night when he tried the aforementioned tickling and she accidentally scratched him right across the eye.

“Is it bleeding?” He asked.

I really wanted to be helpful and reassuring but it was difficult because, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I  have a weird eye phobia type issue and I just knew that if I looked down into an eyeball scratched to bloody shreds, I’d never get over it.

This explains why my cursory examination revealed nothing.  It does not, however, explain why, when we went to the ER 6 hours later because Opie couldn’t open his eye without wanting to scream, the ER doctor also found nothing.  I mean, presumably he’s used to seeing disturbing anatomical issues.  And he had a huge light and magnifying glass. But the doc said Opie’s cornea was fine and he just had a little scratch on the inside of his eyelid.

Which made me a slightly unsympathetic (and suspicious that he was trying to upstage my poison ivy) when Opie spent the next 5 hours lying in bed with an icepack on his face, moaning.

So you can imagine how guilty I felt when we finally got in to the actual ophthalmologist and she went “Ohhhh.”

In case you’re wondering, this is NEVER the sound you want your doctor to make when she is examining you (or your husband). And it is certainly NOT the sound your doctor makes when there is nothing wrong with your eye.

“She got you good,” the ophthalmologist told Opie. Then she started talking about corneal abrasions and epithelial scarring and a bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember because I was focusing all my mental energy on not throwing up in the trashcan.

“Can we get some painkillers?” I finally muttered.

But she wouldn’t prescribe Opie any because, as she explained in excruciating detail, the best way to gauge the healing process is to see how much the pain is decreasing throughout the night.

And I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was really hoping for some painkillers for ME.

Anyway, we got a bunch of other prescriptions to avoid infection and scarring and headed home.

“I’m going to drop you off so you can get settled and rest,” I told Opie.  “Then I’m going to go pick up your prescriptions.”

“Sounds good,” he agreed.

“Then,” I said with deceptive calm. “I’m going to drive to the ER and punch that doctor in the face about 50 times.”

Opie seemed to think this was in the “overreaction” category. Especially when I added. “Then I’m going to kick him in the shins. Then I’m going to demand our money back because that was the worst freaking, piece of crap medical diagnosis, I’ve ever heard in my life.”

And for the sake of the PG nature of this blog let’s all just pretend I really said “freaking” and “crap.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works.” Opie said.

And he’s probably right…but maybe that’s how it should work.

In any case, I didn’t go assault the ER doctor but only because I really didn’t have any spare time.  

After all, we had to put drops and this disgusting antibiotic goo in Opie’s eye every hour for the next 24 hours—even setting the alarm to go off at hour intervals throughout the night—and all this eye medicating involved a lot of crying, moaning, and shouts to the heavens for help. 

Which doesn’t even include Opie’s reaction.

But now, after a week of treatment and 3 more visits to the ophthalmologist, his eye is on the mend and should heal with no ill effects. So, in sum, the ER doctor may one day be hunted down and punched in the face, I am the worst eye nurse in the history of the universe, and dog tickling is a dangerous sport.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Oversharing Update

Because I am, apparently, the type of person who enjoys sharing my personal health issues online, I'd like to report that the rash has spread. It is now not only on my face, neck, chest, stomach and back but it is also on my cat.

And no that's not some gentle euphemism for female genitalia, I literally mean MY CAT, the infamous Princeton P. Kitty.

Some of you might be saying to yourselves that I am a lunatic, that cats can't get poison ivy. And in most cases you would be right.  Because most cats have fur. Sphynx cats--in spite of their many charms--don't have fur. They can, and clearly, DO get poison ivy (although they are somewhat reluctant to have their rash photographed, no matter how many times you explain this is for your blog):

However, it is interesting to note that not everyone is thrilled to be bombarded with pictures of ivy-afflicted cats.  Not because they don't love and care about cats but because the pictures, when viewed in miniature in an iPhone text message preview, look a little obscene...as is evidenced by the response I received from my friend Kelly:

"Here's another fun fact. Pictures of a Sphynx cat's leg, that pop up on an iPhone as a tiny flesh colored picture, at first glance look just like a human penis."

I laughed so hard that I almost forgot how bad my back was itching.

In any case, I still feel like a leper but am heading to the doctor soon...I wonder how she'd feel if I brought the Prince along?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Insane with Rage

Those of you who have known me for awhile may remember the unfortunate skin cancer incident of 2004.  It you haven’t heard this story, I can—as always—sum it up in a few brief sentences:

I got skin cancer.

I freaked out.

In any case, since then I have to go to the dermatologist once a year for the full body scan which also seems to involve a lot of unnecessary prodding and poking and “We should probably whack a piece of that off and send it to the lab for testing.”

I hate it.

This situation is not noticeably helped by the fact that last year I went in with a lump on my face, terrified that the skin cancer was coming back, and the dermatologist said that, while it wasn’t cancer, she wasn’t sure what it was—maybe a new mole developing.

And about a week or so later, it developed into a huge pimple.

I mean, I’m no expert, but isn’t acne covered in the first week or so of dermatological school?!

However, I was actually glad about the appointment on Thursday because I woke up with a nasty rash all over my chest and face.

A rash that Opie was pretty sure was poison ivy or the like from working in the yard. He was, I’m sorry to report, downright dismissive of my suggestions of leprosy, flesh-eating bacteria, meningitis and West Nile.

Clearly, he doesn’t read enough WebMD.

In any case, if you have to get a disgusting rash, the day you’re already going to the dermatologist is the best day for it to pop up.

Unless, of course, when you get to the doctor’s office the receptionist looks at you in confusion and says “Dr. Rice isn’t here today. She’s out on maternity leave.  You should have gotten a letter.”

“I did get a letter,” I assured her—and even pulled it out of my purse. “I got one that confirmed my appointment for today.”

“You should have gotten another one,” she said.

And I didn’t say anything for a long minute, largely due to the fact that I was using all my mental energy to stop myself from punching her in the face.

“She’s on maternity leave,” the receptionist said again.  “She won’t be seeing patients until the end of August.”

“Then why did I get a confirmation card?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she admitted. Then, like I knew the answer better than she did, she actually asked “Maybe it went out before the letter?”

Some people take this in stride, vow to pray for the person irritating them and continue on without incident.  Others roll their eyes and make observations about mind-boggling levels of apathy and incompetence.

In my defense, compared to everything else that I wanted to say—most of which was laced with profanity and involved suggestions that weren’t anatomically possible—this was downright civil.

Much more civil than the tirade that Opie was subjected to when he asked “What did the dermatologist say?”

“I am NEVER going back to that doctor.”  I told him. “I don’t care if my skin starts rotting and peeling off in patches.  I am NEVER going back to her.”

“I think that’s the only dermatologist covered by our insurance,” he said.

“NEVER!” I shouted.

He hasn’t yet told me that I’m over-reacting but that might be because I kept yelling “Do you think I’m over-reacting, DO YOU?” in a somewhat aggressive manner.

So, in sum, I have an appointment with my regular doctor on Monday, I have been researching rashes on the internet and have added pityriasis rosea and lyme disease to my list of possible illnesses, and Opie brought home 3 different types of anti-itch creams.

But he really wants me to get off WebMD.