Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Doped Up

I've spent a good portion of the past two days waiting for health care. In doctor's offices, at the pharmacy, at the vet.

But now I'm good and doped up, and the cat is stumbling around the apartment.

I hurt my ribs/back at Schreibefest two weeks ago. I blame my nine-year-old niece, who was my tubing partner and demanded to go fast, so fast that we bounced up and down on the tube about a hundred times, enough to pulverize my delicate thorax. It was fun, but afterwards I noticed my ribs hurt.

Since then I've played tennis five times, and each time my back hurts worse and my play suffers. I have no backhand, because turning my body from left to right causes excruciating pain. So after trying to heal my injury through denial, I'm taking a new track: modern medicine. The worst part of the healing process is not the pain, but the fact that I have to give up tennis for a week or two. This during the last part of my vacation, when I have so much free time, and the weather has been absolutely perfect lately. That's torture.

I made an appointment to see a doctor, and after waiting an hour and a half, got some good advice and a prescription for a muscle relaxant. I don't care about the pain, I just want to heal as quickly as possible. There's a tennis tournament over Labor Day that I really want to play in. Then I had to get a blood test (unrelated to the injury) and had to wait about an hour for that. When I swung by the pharmacy to pick up my muscle relaxant, a little after 6:30 pm, they didn't have my prescription ready. They said it would be 15-20 minutes. So I left, ran an errand, and came back 15 minutes later. Sorry, they still hadn't started on my prescription yet because there was a problem with my account (I wasn't in their system.) They had tried to page me but I wasn't there. So this time I waited in-house for them to finish, which took an additional half hour. By the time I finally got my drugs, I was starving and frustrated and just wanted to go home and take drugs.

The muscle relaxant really knocks me out, so I can't really go anywhere while I'm on it. Luckily, these are the last two days of my vacation and I have most of my errands done. So I can take two days to drug up and let my back heal. My last errand was to take my cat, Hermione, to the vet this morning:

This is what she looks like when she's alert. But lately she's been giving the vet fits during her annual checkup. She howls, spits, hisses bites, claws, and poops in her carrier. It's no fun for any of us, and so this time we decided to give her some tranquilizers before her checkup.

I was surprised how easy it was to slip the pill into her mouth and get her to swallow it. By the time I drove her in to the vet, she was grouchy but subdued. I could even see the medicine taking effect, as her eyes glazed over. We had to wait half an hour at the vet, where all she could muster was a weak growl when I tried to pet her. She woke the hell up, though, when the vet opened up her cat carrier. It was just as bad as before: screaming, cursing, lashing out, pooping. It's embarrassing. I always wonder if they blame the owner when something like this happens. Did I not raise her right? Am I a bad kittydaddy?

After I got her home, cleaned the poop out of her tail, wiped off the carrier, and put the poop-stained towels from the carrier in the washing machine, I was ready for some drugs of my own. I took my muscle relaxant and will now veg out for the next two days, watching TV and movies and playing online until I get too dizzy, which is happening as I type. Fun! (If you notice any typos in this post, it's from the drugs. Really.)

Meanwhile, Hermy is stumbling around the house like a drunken sailor. She changes her perch every three minutes, and keeps missing when she tries to jump up on things. It's hilarious.

This is her, eyes glazed over, trying to hang out at my feet. She'll sleep it off, and be ready for more mischief soon.

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