Thursday, August 02, 2007

That Was the Day That Was

Yesterday started with a root canal, and rather went downhill from there.

Actually, the root canal was not nearly as bad as I'd anticipated. Back when I got my hip replaced, I made the monstrously stupid mistake of looking up the procedure on the Interweb -- and was utterly horrified at the medieval drawing-and-quartering and carpentry work the thing entailed. Determined not to make the same mistake again, this time I went to the endodontist's blissfully unaware of what to expect. I had imagined that slicing and dicing of the gums were on the menu, but a poster on the e-dontist's wall disabused me of that notion.

The thing involved an endless amount of drilling, but with the copious local anesthetic, the worst part of it was the whining noise inside my head. I went to my Happy Place (3471 Maple Ave., Bradenton, FL, in case you're curious), and emerged from the procedure in a minimum of pain -- the leftover Vicodin given me by the dentist certainly helped there, and with my psychological state.

I returned home to recuperate -- I'd budgeted the day to recover, but found that since the root canal had involved no spilled blood at all, no sutures, no swollen tissues, I was actually in rather fine fettle. After a couple of hours spent reading Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver (quite good, but haven't formed a firm impression yet), I decided that the new tachometer cable and ammeter I'd just gotten in the mail from Nova Scotia needed installing on the Triumph. So off I trundled to the Land of Grease and Gas Fumes in the garage.

The job done, and happily oily and sweaty, the bike once again starting on first kick, I cleaned up after myself. Whitworth wrenches back in their bag, screwdrivers and box-cutter back in the toolchest, I marched, satisfied, back to the house.

As I walked, I felt a tiny prick in my upper calf, right at the hem of my shorts. Ouch, I thought slightly mindlessly, I've been bit by something. It truly didn't hurt much, just a little bug-bite. I paid it no more mind, went inside, got a tube of Benzocaine from the bathroom, applied same to Affected Area. Sat at the kitchen counter as is my wont in the early evening, played a hand or two of Solitaire as a repeat of the Seinfeld show played on the kitchen TV.

I began to feel an itching where my t-shirt met my throat. It became quite irritating. I felt inside the shirt -- and felt lumps. I scurried to the bathroom to look in the mirror, and found that the area around my throat was covered in hives. It looked like ten thousand mosquitoes had had their way with my chest and throat. And the itching became almost unbearable.

I took a couple of Benadryls, despite their tendency to make me sleepy and grumpy. (I'd give a kingdom to find an over-the-counter drug that make me Happy and Doc.) They seemed to have their intended effect. The hives soon went down, and I considered the bullet dodged.

(The doctor I consulted this afternoon was quite grave in her assessment. Those hives around the throat may very well be, in extremis, exactly the allergic reaction that will close my esophagus the next time I'm stung. I am now, it appears, the kind of person who must travel at all times with an Epinephrine Pen, and avoid contact with wasps wherever possible. I, who have never been allergic to a goddamned thing -- including Poison Ivy -- am allergic to wasp-stings. Fu-huh-huh-huck me! I have a date with an allergist who might be able to discern more closely precisely what it is I'm allergic to, but I really hate the idea that my body has a weakness that could actually prove anaphylactically fatal.)

But the day was not over, my friends! No! There was more punishment in store!

Remember that Benadryl? Sleepy and Grumpy? I fell asleep in front of Jon Stewart, my feet propped on the table in front of me. A glass of grog sat next to my laptop, my foot poised (oh, you can see it coming!) just to the right of it.

A-yep. I awoke to a horrible electronic swooshing noise. The grog had sloshed, like the Waters of Babylon, into the keyboard of my MacBook G4.

It is now deader than Vaudeville.

My employers consider me an important enough person that even a day of mine spent without a computer costs them money (check this for something I very recently finished helping design -- a matter of some small professional pride, launched yesterday, after a year and a half of work) -- and so I was immediately furnished with a rather zippy new MacBook Pro, the Pentium Core Two model. But -- and that's a Big But -- the data on that destroyed hard drive is vulnerable. I don't know yet if I'm going to lose it. If I do, all of your email addresses, all my carefully collected bookmarks, all the phone numbers and names, the emails sent and received, will be gone. Not to mention my entire professional portfolio (although that can be reconstructed). I am in Existential Limbo -- all because of a fucking wasp-bite.

So let's sum up, shall we? Today...
  1. I had a root canal operation.
  2. I discovered I am allergic to wasp-bites, and that the next one might kill me.
  3. I may well have destroyed a $2500 MacBook G4 that contained my entire fucking life.
And how was your day?


Jeremy said...

My day was excellent, since you ask. Dull work, natch, then a cooling walk down among the raggle-taggle gypsies-o with the dog, and then a light supper with a friend in the shadow of San Francesco a Ripa. Slept well too.

But I'm sorry about yours. Feck indeed.

blue girl said...

I think only an exorcism is going to work at this point.

And a professional one. Not an amateurish one like the one that was recently in the news.

EmployeeoftheMonth said...

Finding you an appropriate card at Hallmark will be tough. Geez.

ClareToreador said...

The site is lovely, Neddie.

I hope you feel better.

theo said...

Neddie, your hard drive should be okay. It can be removed, put in an external case and hooked up to your new laptop when you create your new user ID and all your data and settings will be copied over.

I hope it wasn't quality grog you spilled.

Lance Mannion said...

My day was going just fine until somebody felt he had to go on and on about his root canal and remind me that I have to have one myself in a couple of weeks.

Jeez. Some people have no consideration.

Ronzoni Rigatoni said...

Bradenton Feckin Florida a "happy place?" Feh! It's over the bridge from me and I never go there.

Your gradual deterioration to festering soritude is scary sh*t. Stay outa the sun. It causes "shingles," I was told.

Linkmeister said...

Don't listen to Mannion, he's a sourpuss anyway.

My sympathies. Between my last dental appt and the upcoming one in Sept. I seem to have lost a filling; there's something not right in there on the left side, anyway. But root canal? No, please, NO!

treepeony said...

Neddie, dear, out here in the sticks we call the reaction anaphylaxis. It's not your esophagus (the food pipe) that constricts, or, if it does, the constriction doesn't matter, because your trachea has constricted as well and cut off your air supply. Everybody here is joking and tittering with nervous laughter, but you're wise to head on in to the allergist. Better days ahead to you.

Simon said...

I'm similarly allergic to Wasps, so I know what you went through. Hold fast... better days are ahead.

Kevin Wolf said...

Hope you are pretty much recovered by now, Neddie. Take a ride on the Triumph (in your beesuit).

cope said...

I had no idea you were the creative force behing AOL.

Bradenton, huh? Just drove past it on our way down and back to/from Sanibel. Would never have guessed we passed so close to a happy place.

Had a great time on the island, by the way. Off to Santa Fe for my niece's wedding next week. Oh yeah, am getting that check for the slip-and-fall settlement, the Cubs were actually in first place for a day, that super carburetor I got on eBay is giving me 100+ mpg, Ty Pennington is coming to rebuild our house and mrs. cope has finally come around to my point of view on the three-way with Famke Janssen (just have to convince Famke).

Sorry about the computer mishap more than the others only because I have experienced 3 (count 'em, 3) spillages on two different iBooks while I've never had a root canal or toxic sting threaten my life. As for your hard drive, it should be recoverable.

Things you can be grateful about:

1) You will not soon die from septic shock due to a massive jaw infection.
2) You discovered you might be allergic to wasp stings and didn't die in the process...I know of a geologist on a field trip who took a drink from a can of Coke into which a wasp had crawled, it stung him on the lip and he shortly thereafter died.
3) You have such supportive employers willing to instantly replace your MacBook. All my school district can come up with for me a Dell laptop and if I happen to do any mischief to it, TS. Ugh.

Anyway, hang in there. Things are always darkest just before they turn pitch black.

XTCfan said...

Oh, you and your "Big But"

Really, as Theo said, the hard drive should be okay, unless the grog you groggily tippled over contained some exotic substance you aren't revealing (wormwood, perhaps? for purely medicinal purposes, of course...)

And, c'mon, you've told me all along you know you should stay away from WASPs.

billy pilgrim said...

I had a root canal a year or two ago.

It was the same experience, with the HUGE KILLER BEES BUZZING IN MY HEAD!!!!!!!

He didn't give me Vicodin though. Bastard. Probably keeping them all for himself.

G said...

I got stung twice in the head by a wasp who flew into my hair. two days later i still feel hungover. these are the perils of motality. on the bright side, perhaps the wasp venum contains an anti-cancer agent that will tack on 30 years to our lives later on.