Posted October 25, 2009on:
Were I of the wild animal kingdom,
my mother would have eaten me at birth.
I have the immunity of a crack-addled preemie with AIDS.
Whether due to the fact that for 12 years I thought antibiotics were a major food group or the fact that I am a magnet for every bug that schleps through town, I’m not sure. I think it’s a little bit of both. That, and pure dumb luck.
If it’s out there, I’m sure to catch it. And I’m not going to ‘catch’ just a little;
I’m in for the motherlode.
I am NOT a hypochondriac, either; I LOATHE being sick, and I’m petrified of illness.
I’m THE FREAKING QUEEN OF GERM-X, for chrissake!
I have stock in LYSOL!
(I freakin’ LYSOL THE LYSOL CAN!!!!!)
My goddam doorknobs look like brushed gold I’ve scrubbed them so much! I BOIL toothbrushes! (once to the point that they melted into a rainbow puddle with convenient handles.)
I have bizarre cleaning/disinfecting/germ-avoidance RITUALS!
(can you say ‘OCD’?)
If ever the M & Ms or I end up handless, we can handle even the filthiest Sheetz ‘comfort station’, any one-holer-rest-stop-shit-pit or puzzling porcelain trough China has to offer; my motto is:
NO CONTACT, WHATSOEVER, WITH PUTRESCENCE!
HOW IS IT THAT I ALWAYS END UP SICK?!
My mother has always said I’m the worst-case-scenario kid.
I started out anemic.
When I was three, Dr. Bono yanked my tonsils. While he was in there, he nearly severed some nerve that caused searing pain to shoot through my face and neck every 5 seconds for months. My mother claims I turned into a pretzel as I twisted and wrapped my arms around my head and squeezed my cheeks to prepare for and to endure the next wave.
Dr. Bonehead’s cure? Making me open my mouth to accomodate 10 jumbo pretzel rods at once — and to eat every bit — several times a day.
I can’t eat pretzel rods to this day.
In 3rd grade, I got chicken pox. Not just a few. I had the worst case the small town docs had ever seen. It was fun. I was out of school for weeks. There were the pox under my eyelids and up inside my nozzles.
My personal favorite was the one on my right forearm that swelled to the size and hardness of a golf ball and immobilized my entire arm.
My mother — the OR nurse — boiled a 7-UP bottle and sanitized her home-surgery kit.
While my dad held me down on the kitchen table, my mother used her TRY THIS AT HOME! scalpel to slice an ‘X’ on the bulging pox.
Then she used tongs to remove the 7-UP bottle from the boiling water.
The bitch donned mitts to grab the bottle and place its opening directly over the ‘X’, essentially fuckin’ branding me. The sizzle and smell of my seared, fragile flesh paled in comparison to the horror of watching the fetid pox-pus ooze out of the ‘X’ as the bottle cooled, creating a vacuum, like so much Play Dough being squeezed through the Fun Pumper.
I’m the brainchild behind the ‘7-UP YOURS’ ad campaign.
In 6th grade, while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, some wire-haired wiener dog sunk his teeth through my nose and upper lip. He shook me like a freakin’ rag doll and ripped a bit my face away from my skull.
After a little bit of plastic surgery, I was good as new.
I was back on the beach in a couple of days
(albeit with one nozzle at a freakish new angle).
As a senior, I had my four impacted wisdom teeth extracted; I was bedridden for weeks. My family had ZERO sympathy for me, calling me ‘lazy’ and chiding me for ‘milking it’ and then ‘faking it’. My mother (did I mention she was a NURSE?) finally took pity on me and begrudgingly took me to Dr. Buck.
Boy, did he chew her ass out (it was AWESOME! Doc Buck to Mom: “And YOU’RE A GODDAM NURSE!” ).
I had an abscess AND the flu on top of the surgery!
How do you spell relief?
HA-HA! My freakin’ parents are STILL wracked with guilt over THAT one!
In college, I had a raging UTI that worked itself into a healthy kidney infection. In retrospect, I’m less inclined to chalk that one up to a weak immune system or pure, dumb luck. I’m willing to concede that wiping with that blackened soggy sponge that sat on the tank of the toilet at the Sigma Chi House MAY have been
a) the culprit, and
b) not such a great idea when alcohol is no longer a presence in the body.
Clearly my germaphobia is masked by barley and hops
— of the Nasty Boh, ‘elixir-of-youth’, variety.
Shortly after I began living in sin with El Guapo (he didn’t become ‘The Dingus’ until AFTER I married him), I did some substitute-teaching — which exposed my hale’n’hearty system to myriad microorganisms in about 30 different schools. I cultured a handsome sinus infection. An ENT had to VACUUM my flippin’ sinuses with a fiber-optic hose up my nose.
It didn’t hurt, exactly, but to this day, it remains the strangest sensation I’ve ever felt. It was like a pipe cleaner was poking and prodding BEHIND my forehead. I CAN say it was worth it; the relief was instant!
Though, I think, in my excitement in being reintroduced to breathing, I may have informed the ENT that he ‘could suck me anytime’.
When The Dingus and I moved back east from Hawaii, we were stuck living in an isolated, long-term hotel in Germantown, MD. Since our cars, clothes and other crap were still packed in a freight container, I never left the miniscule ‘suite’. Its windows didn’t open, so I breathed nothing but poorly-filtered air for weeks.
Surprise! I ended up with aseptic meningitis — high delirium-inducing fever and a rigid neck —
the ‘good’ kind of meningitis where one only WISHES for death.
I’m pretty sure I picked out my first home there during an oxycodone high.
The coup de grace of health-horrors, though, has to be the birth of M2.
After nearly 30 hours of labor, I had to have an emergency C-section.
My kid’s rather large HEAD (a paternal trait) was lodged in my pelvis.
My epidural had worn off and only partially worked on the LEFT SIDE of my body.
I FELT EVERY CUT AND TEAR.
I pictured myself as one of those Revolutionary War soldiers whose appendages were amputated without anesthesia.
WHILE his arms were jammed to the elbow in my gaping gut, I envisioned dismembering my 95-lb.-Doogie-Houser-OBGYN as he grunted and struggled and wrestled and cursed — in an attempt to drag my kid’s head from the vice-grip of the birth canal to save both of us.
It’s always comforting to see your surgeon panic.
My mother-in-law later remarked that, in time, I would forget all about the pain.
(This coming from the woman who was knocked out cold for the entire births of her 5 kids.)
After surviving THAT, a little ‘ole flu bug shouldn’t have been but a blip on my radar —
This nasty flu has kicked my fatback!
First it knocked the crap outa’ my poor kids, and then it took hold of me and
LAID ME FLAT!
Naturally, that man who sometimes stays at my house
WAS OUT OF TOWN ALL WEEK.
(The Dingus’ll NEVER get sick; that sumbitch isn’t ever here long enough to catch a drift.)
I still feel like I’ve been ‘rode hard and put away wet’, but I’m on the mend.
On Tuesday morning, my fever finally broke, and my face was no longer on fire.
I awoke Thursday morning around 3am — unable to breathe.
I wheezed and heaved and finally hocked-up what, at first, I thought to be a
Turns out, it was just a massive, gelatinous gob of GOO.
Remember ‘SLIME’ from the 70’s?
It was just like that.
I sat up in bed, holding this drippy wad of gak, and looked around for that miniature plastic trash can that SLIME used to come in.
Green is GOOD; except when it’s SNOT.