Friday, February 24, 2012

In which Calcium trumps Teak and Marble

Why is there a liver in my skull?
I had a pretty interesting experience a few days ago, which afforded me the opportunity to try out some things that I've never had the chance to do- and yes, before you ask, the photo above is related, and it does in fact belong to me. That's the X-Ray of my skull, and no, I didn't get it done at the airport by telling the Customs officers that I had a drunken leprechaun squished between my left and right brain.

I got to point my middle finger at various people. I pointed it at my boss (unintentionally) and at all the friends (purposely) I met since the incident whenever they see me in my current condition- with bits of Santa's beard stuck to my forehead and chin. Hey, it's totally legit. You can avoid it by not asking me what happened... or ask me online, where waving my finger as I type out a reply won't make for much comedy.

Anyway, here's what happened. Monday morning, and I was getting ready to go to work. I grabbed hold of the corner of the wall with my left hand as my feet groped for the bathroom slippers (clogs, really), and without warning a bomb went off on two of my fingers. My sister had accidentally slammed the door on them. It felt like a whale sat on my fingers.

I screamed and walked out into the corridor, looking miserably at my purplish-blue fingernails and feeling rather sorry for myself- "not again". I've had my fingernails squashed twice so far: once years ago in a McDonalds trash can, and another time from my car door. As far as I can recall both resulted in the entire nail falling out...

The next thing I knew I was lying on the cold marble floor and my dad was slapping both of my cheeks, and I had enough sense left in me to realize that that shouldn't be happening, and enough strength to shout out something along the lines of 'what in blazes are you doing shtop it gah' and raise my own arms in protest.

It took a little longer for me to get to the more pertinent question of 'why am I lying on the floor', which was somewhat answered when he asked me 'do you know what happened to you?', and to shorten the story- forget the intervening dialogue- I fainted and fell.

I'd like to say that I swooned gracefully but it's pretty obvious that that didn't happen. People who swoon almost always have someone to catch them, and they don't end up lying on the floor with, bloody hell, pools of blood all over the place? At this point my thought processes reveal my messed up priorities, as my first thought upon seeing my precious fluids spread around me was 'oh crap, looks like I'm gonna be late'. It also doesn't qualify as a swoon due to the overall damage caused- somehow I ended up smashing one side of a teak bench. Go figure.

In any case I was rushed over to the clinic where I got bandaged and stitched. Only later on around 3pm- I'd gone home after that to get some sleep- did everyone remember that I had a health insurance policy and I should have gone to a private hospital where they would have done a better job at the stitching. Now I walk around with a gut-wrenching fear of looking like a post McCluskey-Solozzo Micheal Corleone, but only time will tell, and vitamin E cream will be my holy water for the next few months. The only fact keeping me from thinking about it too much is that I never got the chance to see the original wound.

I didn't want to be hospitalized, but I didn't really have a say in the matter since insurance wouldn't pay for the medical costs if I wasn't checked in, the penny pinching twerps. After getting a quick look over from the doctor I was bundled off to the Admissions office where I waited some 4 hours for insurance to give clearance, since I didn't have 200 bucks in cash for a deposit on me which would have enabled me to whisk over immediately to the ward, and perhaps my explanations to my dad were rather flawed as he said he'd 'just pay tomorrow'. Oh well.

I was placed in a four bed ward with 3 other roomies. Not that I bothered to talk to them. On the bed beside me was a guy with a chest infection who'd paid 12 bucks to gain control to the RC for his TV- he spent most of his time watching noisy Hindi/Tamil (not that I can tell the difference) soaps, and when he finally turned off the TV, he snored impressively loudly for someone with trouble breathing.

Opposite me there was a guy who'd gone on a hike or something, where he got into some sort of accident. After that he went to another hospital where they gave him penicillin, to which he had an allergic reaction- not the fault of the doctors at that hospital, but he switched over anyway for reasons I did not bother to ask. He snored too.

Finally there was this silent grumpy kid who didn't have much of an appetite- I wasn't able to figure out his problem. All I managed to figure out was that he had a rather dumb family- a stereotypical loud Chinaman (I'm semi-qualified to use that term) father, an irritatingly concerned mother, and a rather dumb younger brother.

I'm saying this because we were in a hospital, for the love of ol' Florence Nightey, and the Eldest Male was shouting over the phone, and momma had brought kid bro's homework for hospitalized big bro to provide a tuition session. It didn't help that big bro was grumpy, impatient, and kept calling kid bro dumb, kid bro was in fact rather dumb. Momma, if you've the time to visit big bro in hospital, why not just stay at home and teach kid bro, and let big bro sulk in peace? Bah. At least big bro didn't snore at night. Or maybe his snoring was drowned out by the other two.

The next day I had my blood stolen for a blood test. After that, lunch, which was surprisingly passable. Next up was an EEG scan, which involved me getting some sort of sticky gel rubbed all over my head and tadpole stickers stuck on. I hadn't been able to wash my hair properly because I didn't want to wet the dressings, but luckily I'd scratched my head furiously earlier on and dampened my hair a little, though the nurse probably still had a lot of dandruff to deal with.

A short while later I was given an MRI scan, which had me loaded into a rather tight capsule, which had me wondering how the heavyset lady before me ever managed to fit in (with a good deal of squeezing, I bet). The scan didn't last that long, probably because there wasn't anything wrong in the first place.

I had my dressings changed back in the ward by a passably cute nurse. I should probably have lied down while she did it, but I sat up on the bed and she didn't tell me otherwise, which left me with most of her upper torso directly in my face. Being rather gentlemanly- oh crud, let's just say shy, shall we (I don't think I blushed, though)? I kept my visual organs shut for the duration. I hear the yobbos booing already.

With everything settled and my brain confirmed to be in one piece, I was discharged immediately- or so I would like to say because there was another long wait for clearance from insurance. Forget insurance. That's pretty much the whole story regarding my hospitalization.

I actually had a dinner planned for Tuesday night, which I had to cancel for obvious reasons. It was rather funny how I had to field off phone calls from perplexed guests- I didn't plan on telling anyone about my hospitalization so as to avoid worrying and inconveniencing anyone nice enough to take the time to visit me (though I don't think anyone would have anyway), so I settled for telling everyone after I got out... while complaining about everyone not being psychic enough to know I was sealed away.

Now I congratulate you for reading all this, since I've pretty much forgotten what I wrote about in my very first paragraph. This should really be stuck in the pages of my physical diary, but I've become so lazy these days- typing is so easy compared to writing... and I don't have to worry about my lousy handwriting.

An interesting note to end on: sometime ago when I 'lost' my passport in Singapore, page views on my old (now defunct) blog inexplicably jumped to a record high of... I can't remember, 100, 200 plus hits? Meanwhile while I was similarly cut off from civilization, page views on this blog dropped to negligible double digits. Go figure. Maybe I should get myself marooned on a desert island and see what happens.

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