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...
- I had a root canal operation.
- I discovered I am allergic to wasp-bites, and that the next one might kill me.
- I may well have destroyed a $2500 MacBook G4 that contained my entire fucking life.