Showing posts with label drugs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drugs. Show all posts

February 15, 2013

Me In A Turban, Or "Hurtie Ears"

It is rather unseemly to complain about pain that one inflicts upon oneself. It's probably not reasonable to expect sympathy when one has undergone a purely elective procedure for something as minor as an ear.

But I am not complaining about my pain, nor am I asking for sympathy. I am simply outlining, for those of you interested, what it feels like to become a character from Star Wars.

As many of you know, I underwent surgery on Monday to correct my one-and-a-half sticky-out ears. (Obviously, I have two ears, and both were operated on, but only one was very sticky-out. The other was moderately sticky-out, but it's easier to achieve symmetry if they do both.)

I suffered from an affliction known colloquially as 'bat ear', or, in medical terms, as 'bat ear'. (Yep, sometimes Latin just doesn't cut it.). The ridge of my ear was lacking a crease, causing it to stick out at a 90 degree angle instead of lying flat against my head.

The operation, known as 'otoplasty', involved creating a crease. The surgeon made an incision in the back of each ear, scored the ridge of each ear with a special instrument (as opposed to, say, a spoon), inserted permanent stiches to hold the ears in place, and then dissolving stiches to re-connect the skin.

He then slapped a massive piece of gauze on each ear, wrapped a bandage the size of a turban around my head, fastened it with approximately twelve metres of surgical tape, and sent me on my way.

In the long term, the result will be two beautiful flat ears.

In the short term, the result is two hurtie ears, a new taste for pain medication, and a rather startling resemblance to Princess Leia.

I have never before noticed the similarity

The surgeon reassured me that the pain wouldn't be too bad, and that I could probably make do with just paracetamol. And I totally could, provided that I washed it down with a couple of Digesics, a nice strong sleeping pill, and a slug or two of gin.

The sensations themselves have varied from day to day. The first night it felt as though my earlobes had been sliced off, and two red-hot pokers inserted in my earholes. The second day my entire ears ached, and it pained me to open my mouth. The third day, the pain localised to the site of the incision, and the bandage began to feel very heavy. The fourth day, the ache began to subside, bar the occasional shooting pain in various locations throughout my aural region. Today, day five, I am frantically itchy, and quite desperate to remove the massive turban.

Last night I felt a mild panic attack arise, as the claustrophobia of the bandage began to overwhelm me. I had wild fantasies of attacking the turban with a pair of (safety) scissors, ripping it off dramatically, and scratching my new ears. Perhaps, I began wondering in fear, there weren't even ears under there at all, but two transplanted fingers attached to each side of my head. Perhaps the surgeon had removed my ears and put them back on backwards, as a joke. Or perhaps he'd tattooed them with purple spots and bejazzled them with sequins, just to lift my spirits.

I still don't know. The bandages come off on Monday and all will be revealed. Until then, I am trying desperately not to scratch, and to breathe through the crazed desire to return from planet Star Wars.

Thank you all for your support, and my ears and I will see you soon. Or at least hear you soon.

From a much flatter distance.


October 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong, PEDs, and the Busy Working Mum

So the truth has come out. Lance Armstrong has been using Performance Enhancing Drugs for years. Who knew?*

Lance still hasn't admitted to his wrongdoing, but plenty of others in the sport of cycling have. And this has inspired me to finally come clean about my own experience with PEDs. Because it is obvious to the entire world that I am a user.

I am embarrassed, truly. I am remorseful. I am ashamed. But in my defence, I couldn't possibly get through my days as a Busy Working Mum without some kind of chemical assistance. And besides, everybody other BWM is using too. So how could I keep up with them if I wasn't?
In Less Shameful Times
Mornings, for example, would be impossible without PEDs. My three children need to be at school at eight fifteen am. Did you hear me? EIGHT FIFTEEN AM. There is no way I can get three kids dressed, fed and out the door by eight fifteen am without the use of caffeine. Hell, I probably wouldn’t get them out the door by ten. Every other mother is mainlining coffee, and if I abstain, then my kids will be the last in the car, the last to pull up at school, and the last to get into class. And I just can't risk it. It's about a perfect school attendance record.

Later, in the morning, it's time for work. Now, I know it's theoretically possible to write blog posts and columns and books without the use of stimulants. But I could not compete in the cut throat world of Mummy Blogging and professional writing without that extra edge that two or three cups of tea gives me. The hit of caffeine and sugar allow me to write at a super fast pace, my fingers flying over the keyboard, hundreds of words at a time. It's part of my routine. I just need to keep on top of the game.

Mid afternoon, and I need another injection of PEDs. This time, I need energy to drive to school at a competitive pace, and score one of the rare and valuable parking spots in the overcrowded streets. Without my afternoon hit of sugar straight into the bloodstream (think biscuits, muffins, cakes or scones), I would be circling the block pitifully for an hour as my kids wait forlornly on the corner. If I want to get in to school and get out again before nightfall, I have no choice but to use.

Evening falls, and it is the end of another frantic day. But I am stressed from my life as a Busy Working Mum, and need a little something to help me unwind. It is time for more PEDs; wine, this time - red, white or sparkling - and a nice piece of chocolate. I relax, sleep soundly, regain some much needed strength, and awake ready to face the next challenging day.

When the whole vicious cycle begins again.

*Well, most of the world, actually. But that's beside the point.

June 26, 2012

The Day I Drugged Myself

Yesterday, I had a lot to do. My house was an utter pigsty after the excesses (of children) of the weekend. I had an article to write, invoices to send, and several phonecalls to make. Oh, and I had to shop for food, as we'd used up all the sausages on the weekend, and I didn't think I could feed the family apples for dinner. Again.

I woke up fired with energy and ready to take on the day. That is, until I tried to get out of bed, at which point I realised that I had a problem.

My back had gone. I have a back injury which plays up now and again, and this time, it was playing a game of dodge ball with my spinal chord. I hobbled to the mirror and looked at myself and gasped, because I was, quite literally, bent sideways at approximately a 45 degree angle. Imagine a gingerbread man, broken at the waist, and rearranged on a plate with the head now positioned at 2pm on a clock face.

That was me.

I was in agony. I managed to get downstairs and fumbled my way to the medicine chest (which is actually an old box painted by my daughter, but 'chest' sounds far more OH&S approved) and swallowed two Voltaren and two Panadol. Then I remembered the pills my doctor had given me to help coat my stomach when I took Voltaren, so I took one of them too. Then I got all the kids to help each other get dressed (my husband was helpfully showering himself so at least I didn't have to worry about helping him), and somehow got out the door and to the car.

I'd dropped the kids off at school and was driving back home, waiting for the sweet relief to kick in so that I could get on with the day's chores. And it did kick in.

Only it wasn't that sweet.

About two streets away from my house, I suddenly felt strange. Very strange, indeed. Like, jetlagged strange. Like, I-haven't-slept-in-a-week strange. I got home and inside and started to take off my coat when I realised that I needed to lie down. Immediately. I crawled to my bedroom, lay on my bed (still in my coat, seemed too challenging to take it off) and glanced at the clock. 8.45am. I'd just shut my eyes for a moment and then get to work.

A minute later I opened my eyes. It was 11.15. I'd slept for two and a half hours.

It took me a while (and two cups of coffee) to figure out what had happened. Apparently the pill to coat my stomach wasn't actually the pill to coat my stomach at all, but was the pill to take in event of a migraine (and one which clearly works by making the migraine sufferer unconscious until the migraine passes). Small mistake. Big nap.

My back was much better when I woke up, though I did need another little sleep later in the day until the medication was fully out of my system.

Then, whilst putting Dencorub on my back in a shopping centre toilet cubicle, I managed to get a bit of the searing hot gel on my vajayjay.

Still, that, my friends, is another story.

December 7, 2011

The Falling Prom Queen, or Don't Do Drugs

Last Friday night The Architect and I were losing it at the Eminem concert. Okay, so I was losing it, and The Architect was sitting sedately with his legs crossed tolerating his wife's peculiar taste in music, but still...

Eminem has wide appeal and I had assumed that there would be people of all ages in the audience. And there were. There were 35,000 people between the ages of 15 and 25, and my husband, and me.

Most of the crowd was beautifully well behaved. The boy next to me - who couldn't have been more than 19 or so - kept asking considerately if he was giving me enough room. The young man in front of me quickly climbed off his seat when I explained he was blocking my view. And the row of girls behind us danced sedately in a row, and collected their litter before they left.

There was just one discordant element. One member of the crowd who stood out, and not in a good way. And she was off her little trolley.

The girl was sitting next to, but not with, the sedate girls behind me. She was, inexplicably, wearing a strapless chiffon prom dress, and (more explicably) braces on her teeth. I didn't see her drink any alcohol, and she seemed sober when she arrived, so I can only assume that she'd taken something before the show. Because as the evening progressed, Prom Queen got more and more out of control, until by the end of the night, she was quite literally on the floor.

Initially, Prom Queen was just chatting loudly to her friend, a Goth who seemed completely disinterested in her. When Eminem came on stage Prom Queen jumped up immediately and began swaying rather vigorously to the music. She raised her hands in the air, closed her eyes dramatically, and moved in a dance reminiscent of 'Swan Lake meets bullet to the chest', if the Swan was very uncoordinated, and the bullet wounded, but did not kill.

Then, when Eminem was about half way through his set, the Prom Queen suffered a decline. Up she would be, flailing around, and then suddenly woops! She'd fall over, right onto the girl beside her.

"Sorry!" she'd say, and jump back on her feet. (She was flying, she was unsteady, but she was unfailingly polite.)

Up would go the Swan hands, and off she'd fire again, moving emotively to the rhythm, braces clanging in the breeze. And then whoosh! Forward she would fall, right on to The Architect and me.

"Sorry!" she'd exclaim sincerely, and climb up again.

This went on and on and on, for songs and songs and songs, until I was tempted to tether the girl to a pole. But no, it got worse. Because shortly thereafer, Prom Queen lost the power of her legs. She'd be dancing away, and then whoa! Down she'd fall right to the floor, where she'd curl in the fetal position for a minute, maybe two. We'd look, we'd wait, we'd wonder whether to call the medicos (all of us but Goth, who just glanced at her in disdain)... and then bam! Up she'd jump again, pumping her fist into the air, like a phoenix from the ashes, to reclaim her dance.

Until two minutes later when she'd collapse again, and have a nice refreshing rest in between the seats.

I hope that Prom Queen had fun losing herself at the concert. I suspect, however, that she didn't. I suspect that all she lost was a few of Eminem's songs, and quite a significant amount of dignity.

As for me, if I never get struck by a falling Prom Queen again, well, I won't consider myself to have lost anything at all.

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