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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Cheese Was Unrepentant

I’ve had surgery on my face.

When I tell people that, they get excited, imagining, perhaps, a disfiguring car accident. 

In actuality, it isn’t anything to get excited about: they just needed to fix a malfunctioning tear duct.  Of course, it didn’t work, this fixing, but that didn’t keep them billing me the equivalent of, say, a yacht payment. 

I went in, they doped me up, broke my nose, set it, introduced a length of fine plastic tubing and voila, as we used to say, fish and chips.

I awoke in Post-Op, drunk on anesthesia.  The world was whirling; the pain, painful. 

The time between “coming to” and finding myself at home, in my bed, cannot be measured.

My sister is leaning over me. 

“You there?”

I nod.

“You want to see?”  She is holding a mirror.

I nod. 

“You look ghastly,” she says.

And it’s true.  There is a plastic form up my nose, covered by a surprisingly bloody bandage.  There is another bandage, unbloodied, over my right eye.  There are splotches of dried blood on my cheeks, my chin.  I am breathing out of my mouth.

“I’b dry.”

She hands me a lemon drop.  I suck on it without the benefit of taste and salivate anyway.

“Do you remember that Dylan is at his dad’s ‘til Sunday?”

I nod.

“And that me and Kyle are going to a cabin?”

I nod again.

“I’ll be home in a week,” she says.  “You going to be okay?”

I hold up a thumb and its corresponding index finger:   A-OK.

“You got drugs?” she says.

“I dot a prescription,” I say.  I hold up a bottle of Tylenol 3. 

“Seriously?” she says.  “They break your nose and you get Tylenol 3?  We got cousins that get OxyContin just for being good liars.”

I lift both palms:  What are ya gonna do?

“Hmmm,” she says.

A friend visits the next day.  We sit on the porch, where she studiously avoids looking at my bloody bandages.  In a codeine-assisted haze, I listen to her read my horoscope.

“Today,” she reads, “is a good day for entertaining.”

I spend the rest of the day sleeping.

On the evening of the third day, I realize that I’ve eaten nothing but a bag of lemon drops since the day before the surgery. 

It is 3:30 in the morning.  The street is quiet.  The house is quiet.

My belly is decidedly not.

I wrap myself in a robe, hobble feebly to the kitchen.

The fridge is, essentially, empty.  There is a small container of curdled and/or curdling milk.  There is a jar of pickles that, strangely, has what may be a crouton floating in it.  There is a bottle of ketchup, a jar of capers, two open containers of Miracle Whip, both half-gone.

But wait – what’s that?  Behind the pickles is a ziplock-baggied container of shredded cheddar cheese.

Cheese!  I tear at the bag.  The fridge door open, its light washes over me, streams past my shaking hands, pools onto the linoleum floor.  I stare without seeing as I shovel cheese into my mouth. 

It is on the fourth fist full of dinner that I notice that my tongue feels funny.  I can’t taste anything, of course, but the feel…  There is something wrong with the feel of this cheese. This doesn’t really feel like cheddar.

Knowing what I will find, I look anyway.

The cheese in the bag is, conservatively, 80% mold.

And just like that, I’m not hungry anymore.


vanilla said...

Mold: It'll cure your appetite!

Furry Bottoms said...

yewwwwwwww! Well, it's sure to give a boost to antibiotics!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I remember when you would stay in the hospital for a few days after an operation and be cared for. Not only that, you would get all the jello in every color whenever you wanted it. Mold was extra.

Delores said...

Didn't plan ahead for this too well did you? You need chicken soup and jello and Chinese delivery.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Behold the power of cheese.
You poor thing. I wondered where you were this week - there's been a definite lack of kitty memes in my Facebook feed. Wish I could come visit with a pitcher of feel better. Er, um, margaritas.

Silliyak said...

Was this the new "job"?

terlee said...

Ah jeez, Pearl. I'm trying to eat my breakfast here!! ;D

Maybe next time look before you eat...or perhaps stock up the fridge beforehand?? You never know where that mold has been. I'm just sayin'...

jenny_o said...

Oh, Pearl ... I'm ALMOST sorry I voted to hear this one ...

But the way you tell it, I'm grinning instead :)

Thank you for that.

p. s. I would be more solicitous, be sure of that, if your surgery was recent; but I'm thinking from the "clews" that it was a few years ago.

Sioux's Page said...

Pearl--Even your disgusting stories are hilarious.

Eva Gallant said...

Yikes! Feel better and eat better, soon!

Geo. said...

The fridge of milk and pickles, the Miracle Whip, the "Unrepentant" cheese --you have the makings of a religion here!

Daisy said...

My face hurts after reading this.

It was a good day for entertaining... the notion of sleeping all day. :D

Pearl said...

This was all a number of years ago, yes. Rest assured, my new job is still quite new and still about three clicks below harmenfletcher.

Seriously: new jobs are exhausting.

Jono said...

Excellent diet plan! Except for the cheese.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Good grief, Pearl. You need a keeper!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
EEuuuuuwwwwwwww... okay I did ask for it... but EEuuuuuuuwwwwwwwww. I'm sorry, tylenol-induced semi coma is insufficient excuse. With the right brain on you'd have turned it into pizza... Hhehe. YAM xx

(ps - 'storm brelly' is a very special and, it must be owned, very expensive protective tool...May even give it it's own post!)

Elephant's Child said...

Not a diet tip I wanted to hear. Though I am sure that there are some demographics were it will catch on (if it hasn't). Small demographics, aiming to be miniscule demographics.

Lo said...

Oh, my dear girl

So sorry!!!! But you have writteb a masterpiece describing your torment.Fervent wishes for a quick healing. Better yet, I wish I could come by and spoon feed you my excellent chicken soup. That'll fix anything.

Love you.

Joanne Noragon said...

The useless things we do to ourselves when we're young, because the experts knew how to fix us. Now they offer me a new hip or knee; I know how to say NO.

Gigi said...

Well now, the next time I'm tempted to reach for something that I shouldn't; I'll remember this.

River said...

Dang! I was just about to wander into the kitchen and make breakfast.....think I'll wait a while.
I can't believe they have to break your nose to fix a tear duct.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Oh yikes. I'm glad I've already eaten. Kinda wish I hadn't eaten cheese, though. I may not ever be able to eat cheese again.

Lin said...

Penicillin. You'll feel better in no time!

Poor thing--sounds HORRIBLE. Get well soon, my friend.

wellfedfred said...

Well, I would have called one of those cousins for some oxy. In my experience, hospitals give you crap painkillers unless you're convulsing on the floor.

So did the cheese ands cheese byproduct contain any penicillin?

Daisy said...

Ewww! I just made some chicken soup...be right over! (wish)

Remembering Grace said...

Ugh! I'm so sorry for the ickiness, but this was a great post! LOL

I had family members take off on me after I had surgery a couple years ago...I told them I'd be fine, and they TOOK ME AT MY WORD, can you believe that! LOL

I was hungry for six days until they got back!

I didn't think about the moldy cheese diet, though...

Rose L said...

Just imagine it is one of the fancy cheeses that are moldy.
Maybe you should order a pizza!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I love my cheese and mold is a real turn off

Slamdunk said...

Oh gosh, yes moldy cheese would be an appetite killer.

Linda O'Connell said...

I did the same thing with the gallon jug of orange juice. Drank it all week commenting on the taste, then looked inside and saw black mold on the walls of the plastic jug. Oh good grief. I'm done with OJ.

Diane Tolley said...

The 'mold' diet! Revolutionary! Sometime I'll tell you what happens to chokecherry syrup when it's in my fridge!