Saturday, January 27, 2007

Objects in mirror may be much closer than they appear...

I've had a rough eye week. The icepick through my head has been turning and poking and generally making thing less enjoyable than usual. I had a date with the Eye Guy on Wednesday - visits there are always long and horribly delayed, which makes the anticipation of any procedures more miserable. I have photos of my eye to share with you, but I still need to scan them in. Sometime this weekend, I'll share them. Viewer discretion advised.

Each time I go in, they have to inject me with a contrast dye to do an angiogram of my eyeball. The dye is an unpleasant bright reddish substance of the isocyanine family. It smacks your kidneys around and makes you pee flourescent green for days afterward. Also, if the technician misses the vein, it burns like a sonufabitch. The new tech at the office had a hard time getting the needle into my left arm this time. She poked and poked at the crook of my elbow, but finally, she thought she had it in. She started to squeeze the dye in, saying, "If it burns, let me know." Within 10 seconds, I was yelling, "Oh, god, it's burning! Oh my god!"

She took the needle out.

So, she moved to the top of my right hand. My poor writing hand. This she got in fairly successfully, although it left a painful welt for a couple of days.

Wanna see what happens when that dye gets outside of a vein, though? Here's my left arm today, Saturday, four days after:

Youch. It still hurts, too.

Everything about this particular appointment was painful. It's the first time in a long time that I had tears flowing during my time there. The icepick feeling remains - the pressure behind my eye is high. It could be because I haven't shaken the bronchitis yet (and, in fact, I woke up this morning with one horribly sore ear, a sore throat, and all the accompanying signs of acute illness. Again.) Regardless of the reason, it stinks.

I had to go into work very early yesterday, so I left before the sun came up. My driving skills, as you know, aren't so hot now when there's limited light. Fortunately, at 6:30 in the morning, Wisconsin Avenue is fairly quiet. I did fine until I reached the parking garage on M Street. I got in and found a spot, only to have the garage attendant ask me to move to another space. The garage only had ambient light on this first level, and, backing up, I miscalculated the distance between me and the big cement pillar behind me. In the mirror, all looked well.

Until I smacked into the damn thing. I bumped it hard enough to make me jump in my seat and feel my neck snap a bit. Fortunately, no damage to the pillar. Maybe another scratch to the bumper (which is already covered in supermarket parking lot/valet parking bumps and bruises.) The biggest victim was my pride as the attendant watched me, smirking as I removed myself from the pillar and manovered to a new spot. Great way to start the day.

When Mr. Eye is acting up, it's challenging to remain upbeat at work. There is so much work on my desk, I get a little freaked out by my inability to clean the stacks of paper piling up. I had a slight mental meltdown at about 8:15 yesterday morning when my computer refused to print anything on plain paper. Everything was on letterhead. And I developed what I'm going to call petite stress-related Tourettes. I'm better now. Honest. I made it through the day with without screaming, so that's a victory, right there.

A short, but decadent dinner with the Sasquatch at Five Guys remedied some of what ailed me. His company can do that. If you get a chance, leave the Sasquatch a comment over on his blog. He rarely posts these days because he's working on an online MFA with SCAD, the Savannah College of Art & Design. He's doing pretty darn well, but, as many folks know, it's tough to balance grad school with a demanding, full-time job. Wish him well - I'm sure he'll appreciate it!

I dreamed last night that he and I had gone to Thailand. Just for dinner. (That's a helluva drive.) I scouted out a likely neighborhood to get a really great meal, only to discover that there were two warring, knife- and axe-wielding gang factions duking it out there. The streets were awash in blood virtually every day at 6 p.m. But the food was so good! I had to get my hairy, arboreal companion to a table before the bloodshed started. So, at 5:45 p.m., I'm dragging him down this street while angry, armed gangs stared at each other from opposite sides. The whole street looked like a wild west town, complete with muddy road and wooden walkways, but with bright neon signs in Thai fronting warm, cheery 21st century cafe windows. It was a little "Bladerunner meets Deadwood."

We picked a place, and the maitre 'd at the door grabbed me by the elbow, politely, but firmly saying, "Ah, yes - a table for two... at the back... in the basement... this way... quickly!" Our waiter, an enormous man with a wide smile said, "Don't worry - we never get broken glass down here." Without ever seeing a menu, the Sasquatch ordered something rapidly in Thai (which amazed me), but I could only order "Thai spring rolls" while I waited to see an actual listing of options. I looked around and realized it looked just like the aquarium section of a pet store, the walls lined with bubbling tanks. Long story short? We'd stumbled into some creepy seafood restaurant where everything had to be consumed raw, and all the food had the possibility of being deadly if not prepared correctly.

In real life, I cannot eat sushi for medical reasons. In the dream, I was freaking out. The waiter's grin left his face when I asked for something cooked, "preferably chicken, please." I'd found a menu, which he stole from my hands, saying, "You insult me! I shall choose!" I finally settled on something crawling in a tank that resembled a giant prawn. Except, this was apparently a "giant thawn" - a prawn with poison sacs. One miscalculation and I was dead. Across the table, the Sasquatch smiled. "Isn't this cool?!?" He was bubbling with enthusiasm, oblivious to my discomfort. My eyes narrowed. I turned to the waiter, pointed to the Sasquatch and hissed, "It's his birthday." The smile fell away from the Sasquatch's face as someone approached and put a party hat on his head. He growled at me. "You totally suck."

I woke up at that point. I'm still chuckling about the party hat. So true, so true. That would be a hanging offense in the eyes of my hirsute woodland friend.

Here's hoping the sore throat fades. Here's hoping the eye won't pound and ache today. And here's to, hopefully, a quiet, work-free Saturday.



Anonymous said...

More great writing, I've been missing this, and moving to dreams, these are the strangest things, sometimes they're the only place we can express ourselves? Or where the mind sorts things out, maybe. Poor Sas, at the end of a freed mind with no defense! near_earth_object

Heather Meadows said...

Wow, what a vivid dream!