Recommended beverage for today’s entry: A Scrunchie martini. YUMMY. A creation of my friend Tippi, this is a wonderful fall concoction. Basically, it’s PAMA (a pomegranate liqueur), Absolut Ruby Red vodka (grapefruit flavored), and sweet and sour mix. Tippi says the trick is to put the first two in the blender, then add sweet and sour gradually, tasting often … really, really often … until it’s just perfect. Dredge one of your 1990s scrunchies from your underwear drawer and put it around the stem of your martini glass. Perfect!!
It all started under the pinball machine on Wednesday.
There I was, trying to plug something in, when I realized I was about to bloody my temple on a jagged metal piece, so I deftly darted my head the other direction. And heard a grotesque pop.
By Thursday, I couldn’t move my head — but it was only a problem if I wanted to move it to the left, to the right or forward. I was still able to read for the blind, though, where my friends suggested I try Bio-Freeze, a 21st century version of Ben Gay. So I slathered it up and down my neck, through my hair, which hardened into perfect, stinky spikes, and drove up to Ohio to pick up one of my daughters. I am sure that she was pleased to have her friends on campus see her mommy. Oh yeah, and the fumes from the Bio-Freeze made my eyes water the whole car ride, so in addition to the spikes and the scent, I had streaks of mascara striping my face.
But it was my birthday weekend and both my kids were coming home, so I didn’t even care that every single semi honked at me as I changed lanes totally blindly, using the old lady method of turning on my blinker just as I crossed the center line. My head wouldn’t turn to look, so I figured I’d just give it my best shot. By the end of the trip, I honked at myself too as I changed lanes. THAT took the wind out of their nasty-attituded sails.
Friday morning dawned bright and sunny. I know because my blinds had a teeny-weeny-weeny little opening in them and the sun was laser beaming on my left eye, rendering it momentarily blind. That’s when I found out I couldn’t move my head at all. So I just waited patiently for the sun to progress on its mindless, merry way across the sky. I might have actually been cussing the sun out in my head, so remind me of that on those gray January days when I’m lamenting the lack of sunshine.
My husband insisted on taking me to the doctor and Dr. Dixon was super helpful. Right after I told them that my pain was a 9 out of 10, that I couldn’t move my head without excruciating pain and that my glands were also swollen so that I couldn’t even open my mouth, he told me to follow the nurse who can walk at 45 miles an hour to the XRay room.
Nurse: OK, now I need you to drop your head all the way back.
Me: Uh, maybe you missed the consultation. I’m here because I can’t move my head.
Nurse: Here. (She wrenches it backwards and I try to kick her, but miss her ample shins) This should do.
Me (massaging my neck): Man, I’m glad that’s over.
Nurse: Now drop it forward. (She doesn’t even wait to hear my pathetic whining, she just pushes it.)
Me: This is so not helping.
Nurse: Only five more. Now open your mouth as far as you can.
Me: OHMYGOD STOP TORTURING ME MY HEAD IS BROKEN AND THAT IS WHY I AM HERE.
Back in the exam room, Dr. Dixon said there were no broken bones in my neck but an MRI might be needed. He did notice some freakish deformity in the curvature of my spine and I tried to defend myself, but he wasn’t listening. Instead he was already scribbling a prescription for pain meds and a cervical collar.
I know what you’re thinking. I thought a cervical collar sounded like a gynocological aid myself, but this thing is much too large for even the biggest woman to use in such a capacity. I am sure that all the years of mocking my dogs when they have to wear those post-surgical collars has come back to bite me in the butt. In fact, they have been making fun of me and it’s hurting my feelings.
My husband, who has more common sense than me even when I haven’t just come out of the torture chamber and been forced to speedwalk down the hallway, asked the doc about the pain meds and celebrating my birthday. He said, “use wine instead of the medicine on your birthday.” Do they teach that in med school?
Friday night, with both kids home now, we set out for the college football game. My friends Tippi and Sherry had a little birthday tailgate party set up with a delicious new drink (see above) that helped. I didn’t feel very sociable because I could only speak to the person standing directly in front of me. I would periodically shuffle my feet around about 30 degrees to see who else was there. I can tell you this, you really can’t make fun of ANYONE when you don’t have peripheral vision…you have no idea who is lurking. It makes chit-chat tough.
After the game, I was excited to take my pain/sleeping medicine so that I would awaken Saturday to feel refreshed and ready to enjoy my kids and celebrate my 50th. Oops. About two hours after taking it, the nausea started.
LALALALALALALA … I’m skipping most of Saturday because, in a nutshell, Saturday sucked.
My husband and daughters did come into the bedroom to watch the end of the Kentucky-South Carolina game with me. That was fun. And then my husband decided to give me one of my birthday presents a day early. He explained that he had sought to get me an autographed picture of Ashton Kutcher but to no avail (I am sure it is just because he’s on rocky ground with Demi right now, and the correspondence with me would open a WHOLE NEW CAN OF WORMS). So, instead, he had an autographed picture of a lesser-known celebrity.
It was framed, I could feel that. Hmm…, I thought, through the fog of my pain, this may be something we can hang on the wall in the newly redone basement.
Uh, that’s a NO. See, my ever-charming spouse had framed the super-glossy 6-view picture of his colonoscopy, proudly presented to me by his doctor on the day of the procedure. I rejected the picture , much to the doc’s dismay (he was a man with some pride in his work), but he folded it and tucked it into my crossword puzzle book. I’m sure you’ll want this later, he said with calm certainty.
No, sir. I didn’t.
The bottom line: Turning 50 + broken head + mean doctors + evil medicine = bad birthday. Add in the framed colonoscopy picture and … wow. Just wow.