Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tale of the Tail (and other complications)

I have been waiting for Becky to feed me some excuse as to why she can't come to KS. It's happened twice before, usually leaving me brokenhearted. The first was a woman who claimed she would come to Las Vegas, way back in 2000, to rescue me from unemployment and misery of surviving surgery on my shoulder all by my lonesome. The other claimed that she would come to NY and rescue me from the boarding house I was living in...and then turned out to be lying about EVERYTHING! Even her name was a lie. (Yeah, that one was great.) Due to previous experience, I was waiting for my plans with Becky to crumble easier than a board of matzoh.

Yesterday was my wound care followup. Once again, Gina was thrilled by the amount of healing I'd done. The smaller ulcer did something unexpected, becoming dry, scabbed, and flaky, but she told me to address it with a strong skin moisturizer. (She gave samples of the latter.) We also discussed my second toe. The top of it is very red. Just the top. There's no discernible swelling, no noticeable pain, and it's not warm to the touch. It's just a worrisome red. I was told to keep an eye on it, and as long as it's just red, that Gina and staff wouldn't be doing anything else for it. Go to my PCP.

Easier said than done. I've been trying to get into my PCP for days with no success. At this rate, I'm thinking that if I had serious congestion problems, I'd have to visit the ER.

Okay...Overall, the wound care visit went well. Things are looking good, and Gina hopes that I may have only one more visit to go.

With that done, Ray was to take me on a that which has been commonly called "a Wal-crawl." It means a trek to Wal-Mart. The plan was to go, take our time, be able to think about whatever we needed back home, and me making the usual purchases that I've committed myself to. But Ray ended up hanging out with his sister, Jess, and Jess's boyfriend, and friend all-around, Wyatt. It was Jess's birthday. I knew this. But Ray Ray said that any activities associated with that wouldn't interfere with what we planned on doing.

Instead, it became a rush to "run" through Wal-Mart and get home as swiftly as possible, since Jess's son, who is supposedly being punished, would be home soon and probably doing all the things he's grounded from doing. I knew we wouldn't get home that fast. I had to stop at the pharmacy to get insulin and syringes, and the day the Wal-Mart pharmacy does EVERYTHING correctly is the day Hell actually freezes over. Sure enough, they failed to run my syringes through my insurance, so that had to be taken care of. What's more, there were TWO cashiers at the pharmacy counter, and both were moving at the speed of dark. Look, I understand Wal-mart employees don't have the best prospects, but if you can't do a job well, then why do it at all?

After that, there were several things I wanted to get, but being rushed meant I was sure to forget something along the way. I was right. I wanted to get a surplus of breath mints, since I have great potential to end up with a case of dragon breath. I'd rather remove my head before allowing Becky to kiss such a potential nightmare. At least I was able to get the vanilla candles I'd promised her. She likes the scent, and the candlelight can't do anything bad in terms of atmosphere.

After a quick stop for food, we headed home, where I called Becky. Worrisome news was awaiting me. Becky's mother, whom she moved in with after ending it with her fiance back in October - see? She did correct me! - wanted to "have a talk" when she, "mom," got home. Oh, our imaginations went wild. We couldn't actually think of what her mother could do, but we imagined the trip being destroyed with one threat or another.

Before that could even happen, Becky noticed something wrong with her cat, Ashes. (A gray cat named Ashes. Go figure.) He wasn't lifting his tail and was meowing in discomfort every time she touched the base of his tail. This brought Becky to tears. One of her kitties was sick, and so she was worried.

I did the unthinkable. I mean, I was truly loathe to ask, but I eventually found myself asking, "Sweetie, do you want to stay home and take care of Ashes?" She answered rather adamantly that she wouldn't do that. She made a promise to me and would keep it. "Yes, but I'm over here and seeing my Becky is upset, and I'd rather you take care of what you have to than come to me." No...she would come to KS if it killed everyone everywhere.

Meanwhile, as she tried to examine the cat's tail, I jumped online to see what the problem might be. The first answer I encountered was the possibility of a broken tail. How Ashes might have broken his tail was a mystery, but certainly not impossible. Was it stepped on by someone when Becky wasn't around? Had it been caught in a door? We had no idea. But discussing something other than the idea that this was a sign of impending death for the cat calmed her a bit.

I added to the fun chats we were having by going over tornado safety. I don't expect her to have such a problem, but forewarned is forearmed. I wanted her to know what to do should she run into such a situation, what with her entering "Tornado Alley" and all. "Travel at a 90 degree angle should you spy a tornado. Not all tornadoes have funnels, so watch for debris moving around at ground level. If a tornado appears too closely for you to drive to safety and there's no solid shelter, get out of the car, find low ground, lie flat, and pray." Really...Tornadoes are scary things, and tips I discovered online were the best pieces of advice I could give.

Then "mom" got home. Oh, this was sure to be "fun." Becky logged off of Skype and said she'd talk to me in a bit. I spent the next 10 minutes fearing the worst. But when Becky returned, it wasn't nearly as terrifying as we'd imagined. Becky's mother FINALLY decided that it was time to run a background check on me. Mind you, I'd suggested this weeks ago. Why no one leapt at the idea is beyond me. Still, if that's all her mother wanted, it was no problem. Becky gave her mother my full name and birthday, and I...Well, I went a little nuts. "Oh, your mom is worried about me? Fine. Let's start with noticeable scars." As I started aiming the camera at markers that make me stand out in a crowd, Becky took pics using Skype. I gave her the scars on my right upper arm, as well as the ones on the outside of both calves. Then I went to expose my right foot...

...and noticed a problem. My sock had gotten caught on the nail of my "useless toe" and ripped the nail up slightly. There was blood, redness, and a bit of swelling. After taking a pic of it, I immediately started applying all those methods I'd learned during my wound care. I even have some of the supplies needed to do it all properly, and did just that.

The situation with Ashes was also discussed. Becky's mother would take the cat to the vet on Thursday. All was well...

...until this morning. When my phone rang, I expected it to be Becky telling me she was getting in the car and on her way to KS. I was right in that it was Becky. Ashes had gotten worse during the night. There was now blood and pus coming from the base of his tail. Adding to this was the symptom of being unable to get to the litter box to relieve himself. As I understand it, he urinated on the computer printer. (New printer, anyone?) She needed to get him to the vet right away.

An hour and half after she was supposed to leave, Becky called again to report that things weren't as serious as she'd thought. The cat simply had an infected abscess at the base of his tail, and that he'd have to be kept overnight for the vet to drain it. Becky just needed to head home and drop off the cat carrier, and she would be on her way.

As I post this, Becky is heading for I-70, which goes from PA to KS, right through my town. She just has to find it and drive. She told me she should be able to get around 10 hours of driving done today. And some time between mid to late afternoon, my Becky will FINALLY be in my arms.

Am I excited? You don't know the half of it!

NOTE: Zeb tried to leave a post on "So THAT'S what I am." Blogger.com, however, wouldn't let me post his comment, nor would it allow me to post it under my name. So...He said:

"Well, I know you moderate posts. That last bit was just making mention to you, in case it was the second time you saw it, that I'd had some difficulty getting the comment made and it was unclear whether the first attempt succeeded or not. Apparently it did not. (This is not the first time I've had trouble. Either that or what I tried to post last time you found offensive. 8-D)

((Grrr! Third attempt on this one too.)"

Not sure what's going on there, but know that I'm receiving the comments in my e-mail, and they're always appreciated. =)

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