mimi smartypants
Seriously, though: what's with the penguins?

introduced into the blood-stream

After days and days away, for reasons general and psychological and geographical and time-constraint-ical, we really have no choice but to resort to Ye Olde Numbered List if I want to tell you things. And I do, I do, I do want to tell you things.

  1. I got to have drinks and bar snacks with Alexa Flotsam. I guess I call her “Alexa Flotsam” in my head because part of me assumes that everyone must have a dumb pseudonym based on their blog. 1999 FOR LYFE, KICKING IT OLD SKOOL. In actuality she has a regular name and is a Real Writer and an interesting person. One of the better Tuesday evenings  I’ve spent.
  2. I arrived at the bar first, ordered a glass of wine, and started my usual bar routine of reading/scribbling/staring into space with the glass in front of me all lovely and red and full of possibilities. Too soon the bartender came back and said, “How’s the wine?” and too quickly I said, “It’s great, thank you” even though I had not tasted it. I do not know why I lied, it was a reflex. I think the bartender knew I was lying but she chose not to call me out, and we both silently agreed not to let it ruin our relationship.
  3. The following week I had another acute emergency out-of-freaking-nowhere bowel obstruction! I whined about my hospital admission on Twitter but apparently I am not done whining about it yet. It involved the sacrifice of yet another bathroom trash can (the ER nurses always very politely offer to wash the vomit out of my receptacles so I can take them home, and I always very politely tell them “no fucking way”), a ridiculous wait for triage while I writhed and puked and intermittently fainted onto the floor (I was too out of it to care, but I could feel LT vibrate with anger every time some mildly injured person walked in ahead of us), morphine, Zofran, “clear liquids,” an overnight stay (hospitals = least restful places in the world, with all the coughing and screaming and people verifying  your signs of life every five minutes), and a bedside visit from my very nice gastroenterologist, who came close to missing his flight to a conference in order to come discuss the state of my baffling guts.
  4. The unsatisfactory medical conclusion is that we still don’t really know anything. I have had another, fancier CT scan (my contrast “drink” tasted a lot like dollar-store margarita mix without any alcohol), and soon I have a consultation at U of C for a double-balloon enteroscopy. This is sort of like a colonoscopy on steroids. It supposedly takes hours under heavy-duty anesthesia, can get completely through every bit of your small intestine (as opposed to the colonoscopy, which apparently peeks at the first couple feet and calls it good), and, get this, takes biopsies and TATTTOOS any bits that are diseased enough to need removal later.
  5. It’s possible I could have a tattoo on the inside of my small intestine, folks. I either want a wolf head or Calvin peeing on the Green Bay Packers logo, I have not decided.
  6. I do not particularly want this next test, and I do not particularly want surgery, but I will do just about anything to avoid another pain/vomit crisis and hospital episode. I read the report from my pill-cam study and it was somewhat dire: words and phrases like “bleeding,” “ulceration,” “erythema,” “fucked beyond belief,” and “like your intestines are a Dutch hotel room and Mayhem stayed there during their tour.”
  7. While I was bored to death in the hospital, I watched part of a show called “America’s Worst Tattoos,” about people who wanted their tragic ink covered up or improved. The bit that was on when I flipped to the channel involved a young woman who had a Frankenstein* scrotum tattooed on her ass. Green, cartoony, stitched together,** etc. Your basic disembodied Frankenstein nutsack.
  8. *In college I studied/wrote papers on Frankenstein in some depth, and I have the usual knee-jerk reaction whenever people use “Frankenstein” to refer to the monster, but I think all of us pedantic types might just need to get over that, because clearly there is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and there is the pop-culture Frankenstein, and the latter comes up much more often in conversation. And in tattoos. And in nutsacks.
  9. **I have to confess I do not understand the mechanics of this, because wouldn’t the mad scientist just harvest a whole nutsack from a dead guy? I can see maybe having to stitch it ON, but I don’t get why you’d have to stitch it TOGETHER.
  10. The woman on the show “explained,” although it was no explanation whatsoever, that her boyfriend’s nickname was “Franken-Nuts,” and that it was his honor that she had commissioned the Frankenstein scrotum to be depicted on her skin. She did not say that this was a lost love or a bad breakup or anything, so it’s possible that she simply no longer wanted to have the Frankenstein scrotum tattoo. Huh, go figure. I did not see the cover-up portion, probably because yet another nurse came to extract or inject something else from or into me, so I will never know how it ended up. Such a shame.
  11. I was discharged the next day (a Thursday) at 10 pm, blew off work the next day in favor of sleeping with my cats, and decided not to run the 5K that Nora and I were signed up for on Saturday. I felt super crazy guilty about that—which is ridiculous, as people scratch races all the time for any number of reasons—but part of me was just all “come on you loser it’s only 3 miles.” But every time I thought about the crowds and the hoopla I just wanted to cry, plus I had not been eating and maybe running 3 miles after a 24-hour intake of 5 bites of mashed potatoes and half a banana would not have been very fun.
  12. I will wrap this up now, as we are well over my 1000-word limit and HOLY HELL MY OLD –LADY MEDICAL PROBLEMS ARE BORING BEYOND BELIEF. If you have not deleted my site from your bookmarks and feeds with extreme prejudice by now, next time I will write about other things, possibly (no guarantees) including my trip to Montreal, why vegans are terrible at measuring things, some sappy stuff about parenting, and an exploration of why that Ke$ha person insists on gluing glitter and sequins and other shit all over her face.

—mimi smartypants: hogging all the health care.