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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Have You Considered Having It Removed?

I like to kid about past cases of calling in to work “with an eye problem” – which, of course, meant that I couldn’t see myself going to work that day – but the truth is that I was raised by people who did not believe in doctors.

Doctors? What do you want to see a doctor for?

Doctors were for when you couldn’t stop the bleeding. Otherwise? You’ll be fine! Nothing a little work won’t cure.

“Pearl! Your father’s trying to kill me!”

I remember that day, the day my parents put a wood-burning stove into the basement, the heavy cast iron pipes running from the stove out through the walls to the garage and then out and up the roof.

What do you mean, pay someone else to do it? When they have two arms and two legs apiece? Don’t be silly!

Of course it’s silly to pay someone to do the work that you yourself can do – until your mother yells for you, as mine did, claiming that ol’ Paul was trying to kill her.

He wasn’t really trying to kill her. She just couldn’t keep that pipe up in the air while he attached the whatzit to the doohickey.

I helped her to the kitchen, where she sat on the counter with her foot in the sink, the tap running cold as the blood swirled down the drain.

“Ooooh ,” she moaned. “Your father’s trying to kill me!” Mom regained her strength just long enough to yell out “Dammit all, Paul!” before lapsing into the moaning again, studiously avoiding the sight of her own blood.

My mother cannot abide two things: children with runny noses and her own blood.

Your blood? Oh, she was fine with that – might even make her laugh in that frightening yet adorable way she has when she is nervous – but her own blood makes her gag.

“We should probably take you to a doctor,” I said. I showed promise, even as a teenager, of knowing which end was up.

“What? Why?”

“That’s a lot of blood you’re losing there,” I said. “I’ll bet that could take some stitches.”

“Stitches, schmitches,” she said. Mom is nothing if not logical. “Ack. I’m fine,” she said dismissively. “Kevin can help with the rest of that lousy stove.”

He did. Kevin helped with the rest of that lousy stove and Dad went to the store that night and bought Mom a pint of mint-and-chocolate-chip ice cream, the kind of treat that passed in our house as an extravagance, an apology, and a declaration of love.

And she shared it.

And so it is with agitation that I tell you that I actually left work in the middle of the day Monday. Someone has slipped in and filled my head, from the eyeballs up, it seems, with cement, or, quite possibly, a heavier version of those foam packing peanuts.

Whatever it is, it’s making me hurt.

And I know it’s no one’s fault, but I’m kind of hoping that somewhere there will be a bowl of mint-and-chocolate-chip ice cream in it for me.

It’s simple; but then again, sometimes, so am I.

20 comments:

Willoughby said...

I'm siding with your mom on this one (sort of). For me, personally, to go to the doctor, there must be massive blood loss, protruding bone, unnatural discoloration (the bug bite I blogged about), or severe pain. Generally, if it's not worthy of a trip to the ER, I'll take care of it myself.

I have a much different set of standards for my husband and my kids. I would never neglect their medical needs, including getting prenatal care before the kids were born.

I hope you feel better soon! I'd send you some mint chocolate chip ice cream if I could!

Kr√ęg said...

Pollen sucks. Feel better.

Simply Suthern said...

I grew up much like that. Never hired anyone. We built my parents house from the ground up. Hand dug the foundation. My mom and sis and I roofed the house while dad was at work. We were all EMT's so any injury was instantly diagnosed by knowledgable eyes. Can you shake it like this. Does this hurt? Thats a mild limp, no one will notice. You cant be hurt, We aint done painting yet. My wife on the other hand takes the youngins to the doc for everything.

Teena in Toronto said...

I cut my leg really really really badly when I was 11. It definitely needed stitches. But instead my mother had me wrap it in gauze all that summer. Now I have a HUGE dent :(

Jen said...

I should probably go to the doctor more often, like for yearly checkups. Most injuries I just let heal on their own and that's the way it will stay.

Sweet Cheeks said...

I think I have an idea about your aching head...maybe Liza Bean slipped something into your morning java?

She was pretty mad on twitter last night....something about 'prying eyes at home' and 'get even for the cone'.

Watch your back, Pearl!
=]

Anonymous said...

Hope you're feeling better soon, Pearl--sinus infection--antibiotics! Herbal tea might be better than any milk product.

When my eldest son was in third grade I made him go to school every day, even when he wasn't feeling too great, so that he would get a Perfect Attendance Award at the last-day-of-school assembly. Then his class didn't go to that assembly because the teacher's aide in his class had a surprise birthday party for the teacher. Those in charge never got around to giving him his certificate. I never forced any of my sons to go to school when they didn't feel good ever again because I realized what a fool I had been, seeking reflected glory.

sage said...

I hope you are feeling better... As for mint and chocolate ice cream, enough of it should bring about world peace.

Flea said...

My 15 year old son cut off part of his thumb the night before Easter, chopping onions for fajitas. I hesitated before taking him to urgent care. Just exactly how long does one wait for bleeding to stop, anyway? When he said, "I can't feel my fingers anymore," is when I decided we needed to head out.

The fajitas were really good, BTW.

Secretia said...

Ice cream or sherbert nakes for relief to a stuffed up nasal passage. Followed by a nice nap.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Madder than a box of frogs... love it.

mapstew said...

I've just put some ice-cream in the post for you! Enjoy! :¬)

xxx

Pat said...

Anonymous was me, Pat; I was using a computer at the school where I volunteer and it wouldn't allow me to sign in. I should've just put my name in the comment. Still hope you're feeling better.

Will Shealy said...

mint and chocolate chip can make anything better - it's a known fact

Ruthibelle said...

aw... i;'d ship you a big tub of mint and chocolate ice-cream if i knew where. A sorta thank you for daily pick-me-up posts. A daily dose of amusement, if you will.

Hope you feel better soon, Pearl.

fingers said...

I used to like ringing the office and speaking to my old boss and telling him I was too sick to come to work.
He'd say, 'How sick are you ??'
I'd say, 'Well I'm in bed with your 12 year old son.'
Then I'd hang up...

Amber Star said...

Pearl,
You have some interesting and weird friends. They are the best kind. I guess your mother would have had a heart attack that I went to the emergency clinic, not the one in the hospital, because I woke yesterday morning with a UTI and had to meet someone to go to Dallas in the early afternoon. I'd have been miserable and so would everyone around me if I hadn't gotten the meds.

They are really going on about those Neti pots where you pour saline water in one nostril and let it come out the other. I saw Kelly Ripka demonstate it on Regis one morning. I still don't have the guts to try it yet. However, those who use them swear by it. Hope you are better soon. My doc, who has a waiting line of hours, said for me not to eat any dairy when I had a sinus infection the last time. I tried, but finally gave in and had some ice cream. I like Death By Chocolate the best.

Amber Star said...

Maybe that is Kelly Rippa...I dunno, and am too tired to go look it up.

SweetPeaSurry said...

Oh dear ... I hope whatever's gotcha head doesn't head on down to ya chest. I've been wheezing and hacking for a week straight ... ANNOYING!

Blessings!

Marla said...

My mom always said if we weren't bleeding or didn't have a bone sticking out somewhere, we were fine. Farm women. Gotta love em. Or lock em up in the barn.