Because what's more exciting than hearing about someone's hideous medical experience?
On the first day I went to my migraine doctor last May, he did a range-of-motion test on me and I, you know, HAD no motion in my neck and he recommended these occipital nerve block shots.
Your occipital nerve runs from your neck to your temple, and apparently in migraine people it is often jacked up. It is just sitting there, tense and mad all the time, wanting to be migraine-y. "I'M JUST WAITING! JUST WAITING TO GET ALL SWOLLEN AND PAINFUL! YOU'RE PISSING ME OFF!" says your occipital nerve.
So when you get these nerve block shots, it calms it down and then you don't get so many migraines for awhile. "Heyyyy, man. Thass cool." Basically once you get the shot, your occipital nerve goes from being Francis to being Winston.
Is it sad that I bring everything around to being about my pets like that?
At any rate, for some reason I was ooky about the nerve block. I am not afraid of needles. In my giant Santa's List of fears, needles are not in there. I have had tattoos, Botox, collagen in my lips, acupuncture. Go ahead. Poke away at me. Sometimes I just like to stick pins in myself and go around doing a porcupine impression.
But I don't know. I was resistant to the nerve block. Now I know it was SELF-PRESERVATION.
Anyway, yesterday I finally agreed to do one. I had to be there at 8:00, which for the rest of you would be like being somewhere at 2 a.m., so foreign is it for me to be up and dressed by ridiculous 8:00 anymore.
There was a giant traffic jam on the way in, so I was late, and then stupid unemployment didn't pay me this week (another post) so my copay didn't go through and I had to pay for this charming experience with a credit card, and I said to the receptionist, "It's not even 8:30 and I am already having a dumb day." She said, "Well, it's bound to get better after this."
I said, "Well. I AM about to get, like, 30 shots in my neck."
"Ohhhh, that's right," she said, looking sad.
So I go in the doctor's office and it is effing freezing in there. I mean, I could have hung meat. Hulk was in there ice fishing. Huskies ran by pulling Santa. That made no sense.
I opened the door, hoping it was warmer in the hall, and a nurse came bustling over. "We have to keep the door closed for patient confidentiality," she said.
Patient confidentiality. It's a MIGRAINE CLINIC. Who needs to be confidential about their MIGRAINES?
"You know, my migraines really kick in when I dress up as a sexy girl horse and hit the stables looking for stallions. Could hay fever be a trigger? So to speak? Har har har…"
"Let's try the meds not covered by insurance. Since I've been embezzling from my company I have all kinds of spending money!"
Patient confidentiality. Whatever.
Finally, after I had icicles hanging off me like the time Lucille Ball got caught in the meat locker, the doctor came in.
"I am," I said, being Neil Diamond. "But I wanted to ask you, that preventive medication you gave me. Could it be causing weight gain? Because I've never weighed this much in my life."
"…No. That medication is a lot like Topamax. Its side effect is weight loss. Have you been monitoring your calorie intake?"
That ivy-league-educated MF. My calorie intake. When I relayed this story to Marvin yesterday evening, he said, "Is that an empty pudding cup on the coffee table?"
I hate everyone.
So, the doctor had me sit in a chair facing the exam table that you usually lie on. I had to put my arms on the exam table and lie my head on the table, too. I made sure both my arms and head were on that ludicrously thin slip of paper they always phonily have there, which, do you really think that thing protects you from any germs?
I mean, yeah, they roll that paper down and rip it off between patients, but it is so thin. Can't germs, you know, SOAK THROUGH onto the bed thing itself? And the paper never covers the whole table. So old Victor Vomit, there, grabs the sides of the table and then you do and boom, you've caught his disease.
But there I was, pressing my FACE onto the germy hotbed of germ warfare, there, and he started giving me the shots. "Now, tell me if you start to feel lightheaded or nauseated," he said.
"All right," I said, not afraid of either. Did I mention shots do not bother me? He gave me shots behind my ear, and at the base of my skull, and at the back of my head, and in my neck, and in my shoulders, and yeah, sometimes they pinched a little, but it was okay.
After the fourth or fifth one, I thought, man, I do feel a little twingy in my stomach, but I said, Oh, June. That's just the power of suggestion. He said the word "nauseated" so naturally you went there.
Ten shots later?
That is the only way to describe it, and who is sick of me saying, WHOOMP? Is it Marvin? Have I said this to him 80 times since yesterday?
WHOOMP! It was like when you turn on the flame in a gas stove. WHOOMP. All of a sudden I was SO.ILL. I mean, I was twingy and then WHOOMP. There it is.
I got SO HOT. After being effing freezing five minutes before. My whole body was on fire. And nauseated? Oh! If you've read me for more than a day, you know I do not barf. I do.
And after the whoomp? Sorry, the WHOOMP? I knew there was no turning back. I was gonna barf.
"You know, I think I do feel lightheaded," I heard myself say from a million miles away.
"Okay," said the doctor, who does not know from calories. "Normal reaction. This is the whoodeglupaloo reaction, or your fight-or-flight response. It'll go away in a few minutes. We'll take a break. I'll get the nurse to bring you water and I'll continue in a bit."
And he left. I was still lying there with my face on germ central, waiting for my stomach to, you know, head north, and I thought, why are my arms slipping around? I realized then that my ENTIRE BODY was COMPLETELY COVERED in sweat. It was like I'd run 10 miles. I was soaked.
I lifted my head from that piece of paper and it looked like the Shroud of Turin. I have never been so sweaty in my life. It was like Whitney Houston in concert.
And, given that I have not thrown up since 1982, I clearly have a strong stomach. So you know someone prior to me must have gotten ill from this stupid nerve block. Why did they not give me some recepticle to get sick into?
I sat there and breathed deeply, picturing Tallulah's face to calm my nerves, and just waited for it to happen, thinking how I was gonna ruin my nice cords from Banana Republic, when after a few minutes? I realized I wasn't gonna barf.
I still felt like hell, though. I got up and at this point I was shivering because I was so sweaty in that freezing room. I shook into my coat, grabbed my purse and got into the hall, where two nurses where talking and NOT getting me my water, which at this point I desperately needed.
"Excuse me," I said.
The one nurse turned around and shouted, "Oh my WORD! Honey, you are GREEN!"
Now, see, if I'd been feeling better I could have said, "Yes, and I'm here to tell you that I'll get you, my pretty." Then I could have pointed at the other nurse and said, "And your little dog, too!" But I was too sick to make funny, funny jokes like that. Instead I told them that I just wanted to go home even though I was in the middle of my stupid shots.
They got me some water and helped me to my car, telling me I might need a muscle relaxer when the shots wore off. Yeah, that's what I want. A nice nauseating muscle relaxer. How about a roller coaster ride while I'm up, or a lovely rocky boat trip while I eat suspicious mayonnaise?
Anyway, I got home somehow and rested all day. Edsel laid on my legs, Henry laid on my head, and Tallulah kept watch over me across the top of the couch. Because she's weird. I didn't leave the house again until Edsel's manners class last night, which by the way right before we were going, he JUMPED ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER trying to break into his training treats. Glad we've spent $65 on this class, is what I am.
How the Sam Hill did he actually jump all the way up onto the counter? Did someone give him a boost? Did the cats teach him?
At any rate. I feel better today. And by the way, in case you were curious, I am NEVER GETTING NERVE BLOCK SHOTS AGAIN. Because that was fun.
Oh! But on a side note, when I drove home from the doctor, when I put the car in reverse to leave, I turned my head and I had better motion than I've had in 15 years.
Worth it! Not.