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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Have You Considered Having Them 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 both of my hands, aching from the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome I have both inherited and worked my way towards, have threatened to secede from the Union.  Wrapped in ice, stabilized by Velcro-ed guards, shielded from manual labor, none of these things are interesting, amusing, or have any market value.

All of these things, as my Grandma would say, stick in my craw.

I'm being brave, I'm trying not to complain, and I am studiously avoiding the growing stack of dishes in my kitchen.

And while I know it’s no one’s fault,  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.

34 comments:

savannah said...

i have learned that unless you say what you want, no one will ever, ever, ever bring you a pint of chocolate brownie fudge ice cream. of course that could just be MY experience with the MITM...your daddy should give lessons! ;) xoxoxox

Shelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Camille said...

Well Dang it Pearl - I just don't like it when you're not feeling your very best.

If you were not for the 1,400 mile and 23.46 hour driving distance (I consulted Mapquest) I'd be right over to red up the house and bring ya a double dip chocolate mint sugar cone. Heck - I could have even fed the cats. Although, all things considered, if Liza Bean Bitey (OTMB) can swirl a Gin and Tonic cocktail with extended claw - she could at least try to wash a few dishes for you.

Shelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bill lisleman said...

I have a general mistrust for the health industry and doctors often are the dealers.
My wife had the carpal tunnel surgery using a workers comp case.

Pearl in addition to ice cream you have a great treatment available - your great humor.

Pearl said...

savannah, I shall put it out to the universe: BRING ME A TREAT!!

Camille, Love that. :-) And the dang cat? Spent part of last night trying to chew an earring out of my head. Once able, I am going to write about the little bugger...

Shelly, Oooh, now THAT doesn't seem fair!! I have made an appt to see a dr. this afternoon -- who no doubt will have me see another dr... Nevertheless I am tired of this pain. I need help.

Pearl said...

Thank you, Bill.

I would like to avoid surgery, but wonder if I just shouldn't have it done. I don't have any good drugs, really, and it seems any doctor I have ever seen is averse to giving them out. Why is that?! I have relatives who are absolutely prescription painkiller freaks and I can't get a little sumpin for my wrists...

joeh said...

Ah...I know that mom!

Here is some "Depression Mom" advice for your malady,
"Pencil, mouth, type, stop whining!"

But you might want to see a doctor.

Now get better.

vanilla said...

Or as my Dad used to say, "Doctor? Go to the doctor he sez, 'Have you had this before?' 'Yes.' 'Well, you have it again.'"

fishducky said...

Can't you just dictate & have one of the cats type it up?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

If you were closer I would wash your dishes and bring you ice cream...just know good and healing thoughts are headed your way.

Joanne Noragon said...

Been there, done it different.

Like you I had a high wrist impact job. Then I went home and knitted and did housework and yard work, until I couldn't push that pencil one more inch.

I had carpel and ulnar release surgery, both hands, in the early '80's. I made them do it outpaitent, under local anesthesia. That's how it's routinely done now.

It'a a personal research and decide issue, and if you can get by with splinting overnight, I'd recommend against it.

On the other hand, I had to go to work every day and be an accountant, and I'm here to tell you, pushing a pencil is as deadly as keyboards later turned out to be.

I'm glad I had the surgery.

sage said...

Those arm/wrist bands helped mine--which came on with a vengeance after spending two weeks away from the keyboard, one of them building a Habitat house and the next one with a fishing rod attached to my hand.

I'd send you some ice cream, but it'd melt, so I'll enjoy a pint of it and think about how much you'll enjoy it!

Eva Gallant said...

You definitely deserve some chocolate chip ice cream!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Tough lot, our parents' generation. Often wish I had more of their stamina.

If not ice-cream at least chocaromatherapy, wouldn't ya think? I'd tell you to stick a "postit" hint on the fridge, but that might be pushing luck...&<

Accept some distant hugs (((((0))))). YAM xx

jenny_o said...

As I see it, this is perhaps the only disadvantage of having bloggy friends around the world - when we want to help, we are too far away.

Imagine the work party we could assemble if we could all descend upon your home! Imagine what a party we could have after the clean-up! We might have to have another clean-up :)

If you get that pint of ice cream, have the person who brung it feed it to ya too. Can't be straining those wrists, even for ice cream.

Mitchell is Moving said...

When I was 11, I had a fever of 104. My mother ASKED me if I wanted her to call the doctor. I was 11! I said, "no."

The next day in the ambulance, she said, "I asked you yesterday!"

Wishing you pain-free days soon and all the chocolate mint chip ice cream you can eat.

Leenie said...

After the sticker shock of the bills coming back from multiple doctors I don't remember seeing and for treatments and tests given mostly to protect those multiple doctors from lawsuits; I'm hoping you have GOOD insurance before you even go near one of those medical people.

Indigo Roth said...

I'm sure once you bellow at Willy, the kitchen chores will be but a memory. And he'll probably drown you in ice cream. I'll bring a spoon. Roth x

Daisy said...

Aw, I'm sorry to hear you are having such trouble with your wrists. If you lived closer, I'd bring you ice cream myself!

The Savage said...

Last Time I saw a doctor was when I had pneumonia... that was back in ott four... I love being able to say ott anything....
Even when I got the shots for work I only saw nurses.

Shelly said...

I've banned myself and my comments from here because I can't proofread at all when I'm sick.

Ian Lidster said...

Carpal tunnel is not amusing but I'd almost be with your Mom on this as in WTF is a doctor going to do about it? I'd say opt for the ice cream. As the Yiddisher Mama said about the chicken soup: "It vouldn't hoit."

Lorna said...

Pearl, you are definitely not simple. :-)

Gigi said...

Oh Pearl! This is when it totally sucks to be bloggy friends....because I can't pop over and make things right!

HermanTurnip said...

"while he attached the whatzit to the doohickey"

Hey hey hey....slow it down with those technical terms. I'm just a layman, here! You _tryin'_ to make my head hurt?

Lo said...

I inherited a suitcase full of Ace Bandages from my Grandma......they cure everything for me.
Can I sen you a few?
Love, Lo

River said...

Send out for food and eat it from the cartons with disposable cutlery. No more dishes. Put the dishes you have into the sink or bathtub, add a squirt of detergent and fill with hot water. Leave them until they soak clean. Add more hot water as necessary.
Have you tried anti-inflammatory gels or creams on the wrists? They do help with the pain. slather it on, put on those little white cotton gloves you can get at the chemist, then put the stabiliser over that.

Geo. said...

I use a curative scrap of blanket, which I have declared magical, to wrap whatever doesn't work right. It works! I wrap it around my head at night a lot. Doesn't matter if you feel like it's silly --helps anyway.

Elephant's Child said...

You know that Liza B was taking your mind of the pain of your wrists don't you? Or something like that.

Healing thoughts and virtual ice-cream (not as good as the real kind) are flying through the blogosphere to you.

Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous said...

I'm not what anyone would call stoic when I'm sick or injured. You can bet if I'm feeling anything less than in the pink, everyone around me will hear about it long and loud.

Glen said...

I'm going to take a lot of convincing that there isn't anything that a pint of mint-choc-chip can't cure. Anything

jabblog said...

I think you've had enough of the pain and the stoicism - it's time for some professional help and the ice-cream can come later.

Diane Tolley said...

This pint's for you!