Friday, March 21, 2014

The Freaking Ides of March

The Ides of March has always been a bad luck day for me and I don't know why. It's become a thing and now I'm all superstitious about it. You can laugh if you want, but this year just reinforced my fears.

This year, the Ides of March was a Saturday and it lasted for three, long days. I'm not kidding. It began when my dog Brady ate something (that we now think may have either been a sock or part of a scarf) and made himself so sick that he almost died. It took 24 hours of cleaning up dog vomit and then a $6.5 million dollar surgery to save him.*

*Not the actual cost. Just felt that way. 

Let's start at the beginning. I woke up Saturday morning and before I'd even had a cup of coffee, I was informed that Brady had gotten sick all over my oldest daughter's room. EVERYWHERE. It took oxyclean and a bucket and 35 minutes to clean it up. I then showered (with bleach) in the hopes of someday feeling clean again. As I walked downstairs a few minutes later, I glanced in my daughter's bedroom and saw that he'd done it all over again.

I was displeased with Brady at this point because while I know he can't help it, that was just a dick move.

I cried a little, then proceeded to clean it again. Then the weekend whirlwind began, because weekends are crazy. At noon last Saturday, I was required to have my three children in three different locations doing three different things. When I told my husband that, he was like: "That's ridiculous. WE SHOULD NOT BE THOSE PEOPLE. (sigh) At least I'm not going to Brazil until Sunday." Just in case you thought he was kidding, he wasn't.

So on Saturday, my husband had the boy at baseball while I had the girls. I dropped them off at their respective activities and then reached for my "let's be productive" mom bag. You know the one. The one that helps pass the hours and hours spent during my offsprings' practices, or lessons, or games , or whatever. My "let's be productive" mom bag had my laptop, 4 books, a steno pad, a bottle of water, pens, a tampon, a protein bar, and some papers to grade. This means it weighed roughly 5 lbs more than my youngest child. As I reached over to the passenger side of my van and to lift it up, I heard (or felt?) a small popping sound in my shoulder. Then a sharp pain immediately ran down my right arm, akin to the feeling of being thwacked by a riding crop held by a tall, equestrian sadist.

The next couple of hours were spent running around with my kids and literally gritting my teeth because my shoulder hurt so much. The cherry on the cake of my day was coming home from these excursions to find that I'd forgotten to crate Brady. He'd thanked me for his freedom by getting sick all over the mommy room. By late afternoon, I couldn't take it anymore. I gave in and went to a doc in the box near my house who told me it was probably a rotator cuff injury, gave me a sling, and instructed me to go get a shoulder x-ray as soon as possible.

How pitiful is this dog? I know.
Turns out I couldn't do that right away. Why not? Because it was March 15th and therefor the whole day was a giant shit show. I really didn't want to spend the next 8 hours in the ER. And Brady's puking was totally freaking us all out (especially the kids) because our geriatric, ill-tempered cat just died and we are so not over it. Also, a chance of snow for Sunday night had just turned into a predicted minimum of 6 inches. Let me mention right here that the last time it snowed 6 inches in northern Virginia, they cancelled school for 2 and a half days. Oh! And my husband's flight was scheduled to take off right in the middle of the rain to ice to snow transition. My anxiety took over.

By the next morning (the Ides of March day two, if you're counting), the dog was worse. My shoulder hurt like a mofo. My husband was packing his bags for Brazil. There was no milk or bread left at the grocery stores. Everything was sucking hard. I spent half the day at the emergency veterinary hospital getting bad news and the other half freaking out on the inside while calmly beseeching my beloved children not to freak out. My husband went to the airport. They operated on my dog. He was going to be fine. It started to snow. My anxiety brain was in full effect.

At a certain point that evening, my daughter Lina looked at my shoulder and started giggling to herself. I asked her what about it was so funny. She smiled and said: "It's just you have the one arm in a sling - that's your T-Rex arm. Then your other arm has to do the work of both arms, which means eventually it will get huge while your T-Rex arm gets smaller and more useless. So by the summer you should have one Hulk arm and one T-Rex arm. That's awesome."

I sent them all to bed.

I woke up on day three to the phone ringing and a deep, burning pain in my shoulder. I was surprised to find my 5 year old "snuggled" up with me. I guess she thought she could sneak into her dad's empty side of the bed. While sleeping, she had inched slowly into the exact center of our queen sized bed and turned into a starfish. I was contorted into a bizarre s-shape to avoid her small, thrashing limbs that were attempting to push me out of my own bed.

It was my friend Beatrice on the phone telling me to wake up and start making phone calls because with all the snow, I could probably get an appointment with a shoulder doctor (as there were sure to be a ton of cancellations). I'm very fortunate to have smart friends because I never would have thought of that. I was prepared to spend the entire day on the couch in stretchy pants, staring at the unshoveled snow and hugging my kids while they tried to wiggle away from me.

But finally some good news - the doctor could see me right after lunch. After a brief exam and a set of x-rays, I was bracing myself for the diagnosis. I expected months of painful PT and possibly surgery. The doctor walked into the room and said: "It's good news. It's a bursa sac injury. Take it easy, take this prescription, apply heat, and don't wear the sling. You should be fine in a couple of weeks."

Instead of being really happy about this, my mind started buzzing as if filled with inebriated bees:

  • What did he just say? Purse attack injury? Because it wasn't a purse, it was a mom bag. I told him that.
  • Maybe he said 'purse or sack'? It wasn't a sack, either. I'm confused.
  • Wait. Purser sac injury? That sounds really gross. Why I am I thinking about Fred Grandy?
  • Fred Grandy's sac. NO NO NO NO NO. Brain stop it.
  • Did he say purser or bursar? What's a bursar again?
  • I know what a bursar is. I've seen that word before. I think it has something to do with being poor in college…
  • Do you think it would be weird if I looked up what he just told me on WebMD right now? Would that seem as if I lacked confidence in his diagnosis? Would he get mad at me?
  • Dr. Zimmer would probably need to tell me how to spell it before I could google it because I don't know what he just said and I don't think "Purser Sac Injury" is something I want in my browser history.
  • Wait. What if a purser sac injury is one of those things you look up and it's all - "You're actually going to die a painful death. The doctor is lying. It's death by a purser's sac. Say your goodbyes."
  • Or worse yet! What if I look it up and it says: "This is a minor ailment that heals on it's own and generally causes only mild discomfort. Anyone who has this condition and complains about how painful it is, most likely is a huge whiner or just trying to get attention."
  • Dear GOD I have spent the last two days on Facebook moaning non-stop about my dog and my rotator cuff injury and it's really just a purser sac thing that normal people probably think feels like a kitten nibble while I'm all - TAKE ME TO THE ER AND REMOVE MY ARM IT HUUUUUUURRRTS.
I must have looked confused and alarmed because the doctor told me I could always call the practice if I had any questions and then sent me on my way. Two seconds after getting in my car, I googled Burser Sac injuries and this came up:
I feel that by italicizing the word I got wrong that Google is being snotty to me.
OH MY GOD I HAVE BURSITUS. What the hell?! I thought that was an old man disease. Or something people got right before they decided they needed to take retirement and spend their winters at Del Boca Vista in Florida. That's awesome. That's just perfect. My transformation into Rita Del Vecchio and/or my grandmom in NJ is nearly complete. Fine, I accept it. I LOVE IT.

If you know who Rita Delvecchio is, you get 15 points.
Also, you're very old.
There's some lessons in all this nonsense, right? YES. First, the Ides of March is a real thing and it's bad news.

Second, look at your dog right now and tell him not to eat socks. Tell him I said any dog who eats socks is an asshole. Then kiss his nose.

Third, we've proven definitively I am an old, weird lady whose brain works in ways that really don't make sense and I should just give up and wear knee highs and a housecoat.

Fourth, and this lesson is really for all of us, do not bother with the heavy, injury-producing, productivity mom bag. That bag is for stupids who like excruciating pain. Just bring your phone and play Candy Crush until all the lives run out. Then play that farm saga one. Then Facebook. You know that's what you want to do anyway. Do not attempt to be productive and get work done or you could get hurt. Playing on your phone saves lives.  The end.
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