Wounded Me

I haven’t written in a while – that’s the depression I think, why write when nothing matters is a common thought. Why anything when nothing matter? I deleted the bookofjamez site, you can still find those stories here but the site and host name aren’t being paid for anymore.

My friend Deborah, (who makes amazing cookies that I have only had once in my life but I still remember, that’s how good they are folks – they left a lifelong impression on me… lifelong) wanted me to write something especially given recent goings on. She thinks I write well, and I’m never sure if I do or not. Self doubt is common I hear among writers and artists.

Those of you that don’t know me or haven’t known me long, may find insight or be frightened by some of my writings, I’m ok with that. Really having more than one or two friends is hard. Some of it I am really proud of you can read my poem on growing up in a foster home called… foster home (yes, I’m that creative with my titles) or my passion for comics or politics and my disdain for religion. I have some short stories that went places but never finished and some short stories that are stand alone – and always ideas that float in my head space that want to get out – pestering me until they can be free.

I recently opted to take a new job in the same industry I was working – reasons. That job is out in Mesa – about a 20 minute commute during rush hour (going against the rush) and I was thinking of moving closer, but really love where I live so I opted out. Instead I moved into an apartment in the same complex but one with a washer/dryer inside. That’s where our story begins…

I think, though I don’t recall a specific incident, that while moving I was bitten by a non-radioactive (as far as we can tell from the lack of super powers) spider during the move or shortly after I was getting settled in.

spider bite?
Non-Radioactive Spider Bite

Sunday: It started out rather small, like a mosquito bite or something but soon grew to to the image you see there. Hurt like a B and wanted to keep me up at night throbbing (not in the good way) and when I would walk on it or my pants/blanket/hand/air would touch it.

By Wednesday I was in constant pain – I’d take two Advil, two Tylenol and two Aleve at the same time and still would hurt. I wrapped it up after slathering it in Aquaphor and it still hurt and didn’t appear to get better. I had a scheduled appointment with my regular doctor (a great guy I can’t say enough about, if you need a Primary Care Physician let me know) so I didn’t want to go twice – two $25 co-pays bah… I can man up and take it one more day.

See I was to see the doctor because at my annual physical he ran the usual tests and one of them indicated I have diabetes. He had me redo the test and yeah, sure enough diabetes and this Thursday I was going to talk to him about what that meant and of course the painful leg.

Thursday at my follow up I showed him my leg and said “Doc, I’m dying”. He of course said, “Yes, everyone is dying” Funny guy. Then he said “oh, something bit you” after looking at it closer. He prescribed an antibiotic and told me I could keep wrapping it and advised if it got worse – go to the ER. So I said ok. He also told me about a topical over the counter that I could put on the wounds. So I was good there.

Then we talked about diabetes. He gave me a take home booklet on what I needed to know and talked to me about a lot of things I’m not going to be able to articulate here. He did advise an observation that I tend to pick at my skin a lot…. he said that was going to have to stop as a diabetic, wounds are serious business… well it’s one thing to say something and another to put into practice, or stop practicing… I’ve stopped drugs, cigarettes, women… what more do I have to give up? how fair is this?

That evening I picked up my prescriptions from the pharmacy and started my antibiotic and wrapped up my wounds and then lay down on the couch – legs up against the wall high in the air as my leg was all kinds of swollen. Didn’t seem to help it at all and when I’d bring them back down and walk there was all kinds of pain. Not fun, not really WoW playable in that position either. The antibiotic was three times a day for 8 days or something…

Friday – morning I started the day by testing my blood – no food, no coffee just bleed on this stick first. I think I went through 5 needles and 7 sticks before I finally figured out how to make it work and get enough blood on it. I also dressed the wound in a wrapped bandage and went off to work. Little pain but not the end of the world… until I tried to move or something, then ouchie.

Works good though, I like work, they keep me busy and I do my best to be busy, sing and be funny if I can – not everyone gets me though and then I don’t seem funny I guess. The day went pretty quick and before you know it I was on my way home.

I stopped at the grocery store for some diabetic friendly foods – steel cut oats (not a fan), green beans, oranges, apples, carrots, unsweetened apple sauce, couscous (maybe not diabetic friendly but I wanted to try it out), tomatoes and other non fun, flavorless items. See I had done a little reading online about food choices and diabetes – low carbs, low sugar, low salt/sodium… just saying “low taste” and you wouldn’t have to say all that other stuff. But I’m willing to try.

Saturday – Leg in a lot of pain, kept me up half the night off and on and off and on… really getting on my nerves – had it raised up on two pillows but still swollen and painful. Still angry looking too.

I was running errands, walking around – hoping the exercise and use of the leg would help (what do I know? not a thing). I came home with groceries and took a bite out of a whole wheat peanut butter and jelly sandwich and … broke a tooth. Broke a tooth… can you believe that. Like I don’t have enough going on right now we want to break a tooth on a PB&J? I thought my dentist was open on Saturday so headed over there, but no… not open on Saturday and I vowed to call them Monday to get this fixed. Doesn’t hurt, so there is that.

My goal for Saturday, besides errands and WoW, was to watch Shaylee Gonzales play basketball for BYU – She’s an amazing player and you should really check her out. But I was so tired from not sleeping I did get a nap but it was during her time on the court.

Saturday night was spent watching old TV shows I have with my legs in the air (not in that way you pervs) and hoping the swelling would go down and angriness would fade. But alas it didn’t happen.

Sunday – Saturday night sleep was a no go, I was up all night. At 3:30 I gave up and just got up and did some stuff I had wanted to do and played some World of Warcraft. Saturday I had posted a photo of my wound (see above) and a lot of people suggested I go to the ER and call Teladoc so I did that.

Teladoc is a health/telemedicine company that uses video conferencing and telephones to provide on demand services… that might save you a drive/visit to the urgent care or your doctor. The company I work for, LeBaron & Carroll Insurance, provides it free of charge as a benefit to its employees – thanks bosses, it was helpful this time and one other.

I took some photos of the wound and uploaded them prior to scheduling my television so the doctor could see what was going on. The video conferencing is pretty cool and the doctor speaks with you about what’s going on and asks all the right questions… and he said “Jamez, you need to get to the ER, I’m a little worried about how this looks and that the antibiotic doesn’t seem to be working as well as it should.” Ugh…. am I right? I thanked him and then thought about it for a while. The Teledoc vid conferencing was at like 4:55 a.m.

At 6:39 a.m. I texted my spiritual advisor, Flo, and his wife, Kas, and asked to have Flo call me when he was awake – I used speech recognition and the text to Kas said “have flow call me” 😉 . Then I took a shower, stripped my sheets, placed them in he washer and waited… oh, maybe I did the dishes too.

Flo called at 7:10 and I asked him if he would drive me to the ER. See I was a little afraid… ok maybe a lot afraid and wanted someone with me… also, logically I thought they might do something to my leg which would prevent me from driving so I’d need transport. Flo said, without hesitation, “I’m on my way”

Now in my brain I’m thinking that health care with video conferencing and diagnosing can certainly be like Drs. McCoy, Crusher or The Doctor on certain spaceships and just look me over run a tricorder over me and send me on my way… I literally thought this would just be a “give him a shot of penicillin” and he’ll be on his way… kind of situation, I was hoping it was for sure.

The ER Doctor (his name pronounced “R OK” which was ‘ok’ took a specimen, they also did a local x-ray and ultrasound of the affected area and then all of my happy thoughts about the science of healthcare stopped when they said “oh, we’re going to have to admit you”.

They hooked me up with an IV and started filling me with antibodies… We sat in the ER for a while looking across the way at ER Bay 42 which is where I wished I had been.

Ruf3ICjURxa9YaerZhH4Fg

I think an hour, maybe two, Flo sat with me in the ER before they moved me to a floor and my own room 547… not even a 42 visible to me…. I did ask if I could have that room instead but no.

In my room I waited for a while and Flo sat for a while with me before heading out.

They checked my blood sugar regularly, fed me insulin in shot form and wouldn’t let me eat anything I’d want to eat the whole visit. But it was good – we kept the glucose? low and everyone was happy about that while I was there.

I was assigned a nurse and a nurse’s assistant? and then a doctor, but then a different doctor. Doctor King (not Martin Luther) came in to see me, tall white guy, handsome and all and of course straight came to see me and prodded on my wounds a bit and suggested a wound specialist he had work on his own knee come and see me. I said – I’m here and you’re the experts so he said he’d put in a call.

Then he asked – “are you planning to do anything about your diabetes” and it probably wasn’t but it sounded accusatory… and I was like “I just was diagnosed on Thursday, Thursday.. what was I to have been doing since then?” and then he was all like “oh, I didn’t know” and now I feel like I’m writing like Michael Peña talks in Ant Man, like all over the place with little stories here and there and making lots of sense but taking the long way, you know? My cousin, she met this girl at the hair salon and they were eyeing up this macho brother from the Philippines… and you know

The nurses at Honor Health Scottsdale Osborne were great – they took very good care of me. I did manage to set off my bed alarm three times in the two night period I was there, kept forgetting it was there. When it goes off they all come running and then you, well I, felt really bad about them running to me.

Monday – The wound specialist guy came to see me, he was an older Doctor and he looked at my leg prodded, pushed sliced and squeezed – took some cultures and left…. no pain blockers were given during this procedure he was just “Oh, that’s what I want” and he took it… I felt so violated – ok, not really, it hurt like a son of a though…

Sadly he didn’t get a large enough sample for his own tests so he sent the nurse (the nurse that I liked) back to do it and she had to come back a second time too… which was less painful but she was at least aware I wasn’t just a hunk of meat that is there for your culture taking you big meany!

Dr King came back and said there would be no surgery based on what the mean ass old doctor decided…. so I wondered when I’d get to go home and was told “maybe tomorrow, I’ll come and see you as soon as I can tomorrow to see how things progressed”

Now the mean doctor, who likely isn’t mean and just rubbed me the wrong way did manage to slice into the wounds so they were draining – he said he found at least three abscesses in there but I guess maybe slicing them open is all he needed to do. The leg did start to feel better afterward but never really stopped draining.

Tuesday – They said I could go home around noon and Dr King came back to check on me. I did ask about the possibility of developing Spider-Man like powers, but he said it was highly unlikely. He was a good guy and gave me good directions for taking care of things when I got home as well as a new prescription and ointment for the wounds.

IMG_0819
so cute

I received flowers from work, that looked really neat and my friends on Facebook and other places were very supportive and worried about me. Sorry folks, didn’t mean to worry you.

My Ma called me to check on me cause I hadn’t called on day two yet, made my heart grow three sizes.

My friend Flo spent an awful lot of time with me, and I really appreciate him being in my life and there for me when I needed him this weekend. He and I do get to talk about basketball when we hang out and other things so it was nice.

Gerald and Katelyn came to see me during their lunch hour Monday and that was really nice to.

I don’t often think of myself as worthy of this kind of attention and love, but when I get it I do appreciate it and it makes me very uncomfortable to be honest. I’ll see if I can work on it.

That’s all I have in me for this today, I might write about more later and will see about wiring about the three D’s – Diabetes, Depression and Death – sounds ominous doesn’t it? wow

Check out some of my other stories, send me pictures of your husbands shirtless… whatever you need to do.

Jamez

2 thoughts on “Wounded Me

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