Why Does God Want Me To Suffer During Holidays?
I spent America’s Independence Day in the Emergency Room. Sadly? This isn’t unusual. When I told my hubz what was up, his first response (after laughing at me) was, “Well, it is a holiday, after all.” I’m glad someone was in such good spirits.
When my son turned ten, lo — those many years past — he had a friend stay over (Hi, Curtis!). Sometime during the night, I got up to check on the boys, and since it was kind of chilly, decided to get them an extra blanket. Rummaging through the linen closet, in the dark, I knocked something off the shelf. Something sharp. Something that landed at the tip of my big toe and tried to chop it off. Screams of pain, lots of cursing, blood everywhere — yep, trip to the E.R. We had to drop Curtis off, first. He didn’t mind.
My daughter’s last birthday party did not involve blood or maiming, but there was pain. She suffered a urinary tract infection which increased in discomfort throughout the evening until we finally had to drop the Chuckie Cheese festivities and cut out for the E.R.
One of us is always messed up, hurt, ill, or near death whenever a holiday rolls around. “Always” might be a bit strong, but I was rounding up. Don’t be such a stickler.
Also, I am never on time to any family get-together. This is a fact, and I am fairly certain I’m not using a best estimate here. Contact them for verification if you doubt my word. They would all emphatically agree that I am absolutely unable to arrive on time. Case in point? The Fourth of July.
We were on time to depart, T-minus-fifteen minutes to backdoor-approach. Shoes were on feet. Purses and wallets were found and grabbed and stashed and whatnot. I even managed to remember a bag wherein I’d been collecting shit I needed to return to my mom & sis. We were SO ON TIME it was almost boring. We were a normal family just then.
It broke the universe. Sorry for that.
But don’t worry. The universe struck back and all is well. That universe is kind of an a-hole. Just sayin’.
My ears were still damp from my recent shower, so since we had time, I used a generic cheap-brand cotton swab to dry them. I know, I know — you’re going to tell me I’m not supposed to stick those things in my ears. And you’re going to tell me all about my self-cleaning bacteria or whatever that shit is, and how I’m packing down wax and causing potential risk to my hearing and blah-blah-blah — I know all this, okay?
Here’s my problem. I don’t have wax issues; that’s not what the canal-dive was about. What I have is moist ear-tube issues. If that fucker stays damp, I am going to get an ear infection. This will quickly develop into a very sore throat and lots of sinus problems. I won’t be able to breathe, I’ll sound terrible, and I will feel worse than ten hangovers. And? I’ll still have to go to the doctor at some point, and pay for antibiotics or whatever they’re prescribing for that kind of shit now. So don’t tell me I got what I deserved.
Anyway, so there I was, drying my ears like I do EVERY DAY after a shower. I’m thirty-what years old, and never had a problem till now. Take thirty times 365, and that is a lot of times I had no problems. The odds were very much in my favor. You see how that could come off as a challenge, right?
When I removed the cotton swab from the ear,
the swab came readily enough, but the cotton remained firmly in place. WHA-AT? I said, the cotton was fucking stuck in my fucking ear!
No bigs, I thought, I’ll just use this stick end to finagle the cotton a bit closer so I can grab it with my stupid sausage fingers. I don’t know why I thought that was a good plan, because — HELLO — fingers are too big for ears, but it seemed right at the time. Except it wasn’t right. It was all wrong.
The stick did exactly what you’d expect — pushed the fucking cotton further back. I called my husband over and told him I needed help and not to laugh and to please look in my ear for cotton.
Hubz: “I can’t see any cotton.”
“You’re just not looking. It’s in there. Look harder. And stop laughing.”
Hubz: “Nope. No cotton. There is no cotton in your ear.”
“Bullshit. There IS TOO fucking cotton in my ear and it’s stuck and for GOD’S SAKE STOP LAUGHING AT ME.”
Hubz: “Babe. I cannot see any cotton in your ear. And I can’t help but laugh. You see that this is funny, don’t you? There is cotton stuck in your ear. That shit is classic. Could only be better if you stuck a Lego up your nose.”
“I will stuck a fucking Lego up YOUR nose if you don’t stop laughing. What the hell am I supposed to do?”
We turned to Twitter and Facebook, that ever-present crowd of parties and advice. The unanimous consultation was to send me to a doctor, since digging around in your ear can really damage things and fuck some shit up. I’m too young to be deaf.
I called my mom to see if I could leave our Little with her. Sure, no problem. I asked, if I’m gone longer than expected, would she take the Little to see the fireworks without me. Sure, no problem. I asked, if I’m gone a REALLY long time, could my Little spend the night. Jesus Christ, you’d think I asked Mom to shit a brick.
Mom: “Surely you won’t be gone THAT long.”
“I don’t know. I have never had anything stuck in my ear before. I’m just trying to be responsible and plan ahead for the worst case scenario.”
Mom: “We’re planning to run several errands tomorrow, so it’s not the best time to have her tagging along.”
“Mom, if she has to spend the night with you, that means my ear is seriously fucked up, which equates to an emergency. I’m pretty certain that trumps your errands.”
Mom: “[*SIGH*]… I guess she can stay if you need her to.”
You see the support I get when shit gets stuck in my ear?
Dropped off the Little and sat for a moment wondering whether we should hit Urgent Care, or the Emergency Room. Urgent Care is WAY less expensive, but requires payment up front, and we could drive all over the city finding not a single one open for the holiday. The E.R. is way MORE expensive (like times a billion), but we get billed rather than being required to pay up front, and they were guaranteed to be open. Sometimes you pay for convenience. We went to the E.R.
The check-in nurse was so considerate and empathetic: Oh yeah, this happens all the time, more than you might imagine, shouldn’t be a problem to remove it. Hopefully. I mean, unless it’s gone further in. But it should be fine. Hopefully.
The nurse that took my vitals was a doll — she started giggling as she typed in all my info, and said, “I accidentally said you weigh TWELVE-HUNDRED POUNDS. Tee-hee. I need to fix that. Hee-hee. Haha.”
Then she got serious and asked, “Are you safe at home?”
“I don’t know what the means. I have cotton stuck in my ear, so apparently NO, I’m not safe at home.”
She giggled some more while my hubz did the face-palm move. Then the nurse left us alone.
Hubz: “Are you really THAT thick?”
“What? What do you mean?”
Hubz: “Safe at home? HELLO.”
“Well, I mean, there’s no glass on the floor or whatever, but I do need to throw out these cheap-ass, piece of shit cotton things. Fuckers.”
Hubz: “Seriously. You can’t possibly be this dense. Are you messing with me?”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
He did some kind of fist-pounding motion. My eyes got big.
“Shit. Oh shit. I answered that question wrong. Yes! Yes I’m safe at home! Oh my god. should I go find her? Do you think she’s calling the police and that’s what’s taking so long?”
I peaked out of the curtain. “Excuse me, everyone, I am totally safe at home. If you could just write that in on the chart-thing, please? Okay thanks!”
More face-palming from my hubz: “I think that definitely cleared up their concern. Thank you, Babe. Next time, please don’t try to help, okay?”
NEXT TIME? Fuck NEXT time. I will never dry my ears again. I will just suffer through strep throat or whatever.
The doctor came in and asked me why I thought I had something stuck in my ear. I’m really proud of myself, because I didn’t say, “Bitch, I think I have something stuck in my fucking ear because when the stick came out, the cotton stayed in, and I don’t know any magic tricks so GET IT THE FUCK OUT AND STOP ASKING STUPID-ASS QUESTIONS!”
Then she asked me why I was using a cotton swab. Again, I controlled my urge. I didn’t say, “Because a knife would have caused more damage, dip-shit.”
I worry for her. She seemed a bit dumb-ish.