Don’t think it bothers him, ’cause he still seems to scarf his food down like a vacuum cleaner on crack. Stubborn sucker, that cat. Speaking of stubborn, when it comes to docs, I can be one hard-headed mofo.
Back when I had a wisdom tooth yanked, after I had a bizarro reaction to the numbing meds that made me feel like I was on speed, the super-hot dentist handed me a detailed sheet of aftercare instructions. It was well written, but I promptly threw it in the dumpster. I figured I remembered all the essentials. They told me to stick to liquids for three days. They meant juices and such, but on the way home, there I was, chugging a Diet Dew.
A half hour later, I was so damn hungry, probably because they told me not to eat, so I went and cooked up an elaborate Mexican tamale potpie. It was mega-tasty, I swear. They also told me to avoid straws and soda, that the act of sucking might cause infection. An hour later, I was magically beamed to UDF, and I was soon gripping a Super big Gulp of Diet Coke with one of those Supersize straws. They also told me that smoking was out for at least five days. Well, after the Super big Gulp, I decided to chill in Emily, my car, and have a cigarette.
It got worse. Evening came and another rule popped into my head: Avoid exercise the first day. A few hours later, I was at a gym teaching a yoga class, performing all the regular tricks. What can I say, swollen face or not, I needed the cash.
What’s even worse is that I called the office a few weeks later to let them know all of the details of my awesome recovery method. I was cracking up, no one at the office could believe it, and the hot dentist decided that I was his wildest, Worst Patient Ever.
Last time I was there, though, I still scored a sticker.
Go figure. I love stickers. F’n love them. I mean, those things still make me all excited like I’m 5 years old and Santa just handed me the entire breyer Horse collection and mini-farm and corral and the whole shebang, even the black, rearing mustang. Hells, yeah.
The Worst Patient Ever thing goes way back.
Once, I had a tumor removed from my breast. Non-cancerous, we later discovered, but it was a biggun. Well, I knew that sometimes medications (even over-the-counter stuff) could hit me weird, having the opposite effect. Sure, I’d had bad reactions. Nothin’ new. So they gave me the anesthetic, and I was out for a bit, but I wasn’t shocked when I woke up in the middle of the surgery and I heard the doctors talking while cutting on me. Secretly, I listened in.
Doctor stated, “Women don’t know anything about football.”
Then I piped in. From the operating table, I yelled, “you sexist bastard! My grandma knows more about football than all of you men.” True statement.
The doctor jumped, telling someone to give me more sleepy juice. Something like that.
Then I saw some goofy intern. “Who the hell are you?” I asked her.
She jumped right the fuck out of her skin. Later, I woke up again, just in time to see my tumor, a bloody golf ball sitting in a jar. I thought about taking it home, but I wasn’t sure where I would display it in the apartment. bathroom, nah. Kitchen, maybe. I’d never been good with decorating.
When I was bandaged up in the recovery room, the doc told me to take it easy, handing me a prescription. My dad was there, and he promptly took the prescription from me because for some reason, again, instead of being tired from the whole mess, I was absolutely wild.
I yelled at the nurse, “I want a coffee! Now!” She told me to rest. Something like that. “Do you have a coffee? I know you do. I know you’re holding out on me,” I said to the poor guy next to me. He was all bandaged up from back surgery.
He laughed and winced. So the doc told me not to lift heavy objects or do any strenuous activity, among other things.
I agreed. As soon as I got home, on absolutely no pain medication, I did three big-ass loads of laundry. Got that taken care of in a jiffy, and then decided to head outside for a power walk. Walked about three miles, including taking on that big hill that goes from Northside into Clifton. Not kidding. There I was, marching up the hill, bandage and all, swinging one arm, holding the other against my breast.
Two days later, I was riding and jumping horses, paying no mind to the mummy white gauze all over me. Unbelievably, it healed well, and the stitches didn’t come out.
So I might not be a star student when it comes to doctors’ orders. And maybe I’ve just been lucky, but this year I promise to be a better girl. As long as they give me a sticker. I f’n love those.
CONTACT C.A. MACCONNELL: firstname.lastname@example.org