Nurse Ratched’s sledgehammer

September 20, 2010

My mom is hardcore about making sure I recover from this ankle break. Baby Silas and I have been staying with her for less than 24 hours, and Mom has already turned my tongue-in-cheek suggestion of a service bell on the end table into a reality. I have a miniature copper Liberty Bell, mini-crack and all, at my side. One shake of the bell means I’m hungry. Two shakes means I’m bored and need a new DVD to watch. Three means the pee jug is in danger of overflowing. You know, as of right now, I think the “pee jug” has made more appearances in my blog than my wife has.

My mom is one of the greatest resources I have. She’s devoted this entire week to serving me tirelessly, and I’m very appreciative of it, but she’s taken this tough-love, Nurse Ratched stance against letting me do anything for myself. Everyone else just lets me crutch around as I please and wear myself out. With Mom at the helm, my daily poop break is the only time I’m free of the bed. A couple more days of this and I might start faking bowel movements. I can’t wait to explain that memory to my therapist of the future.

I’m suddenly aware that a lot of people in our society do not have the luxury of taking a comfortable daily dump. I previously thought this to be an inalienable right, but I haven’t found a properly accommodating toilet since my injury. It might be up to me to design a line of roomy, welcoming toilets for the obese and infirm. Doublewide seats, leg rests, Sirius satellite surround-sound, built-in bidets, the whole nine. I’m not sure what the disposable cash situation is for the obese and infirm, but I bet with the proper political palm greasing, I could get Medicare to shoulder most of the burden.

Meanwhile, I’ve started to play around with the idea that my mom is so devoted to my recovery that she’s going to turn into Kathy Bates from Misery. I’ll be typing away on the laptop one sunny afternoon, and the door will open. She’ll say ominously, “You’ve been out of your room.” I’ll say no, I don’t know what you’re talking about. She’ll say, “Andrew, my little ceramic penguin in the study always faces due south.” Then, out will come the sledgehammer. It will be for my own good.

I need to make a follow-up office appointment with the doctor who performed my surgery. I also need blood work to make sure the anti-coagulant I’ve been ingesting every day hasn’t thinned my blood to the Ally McBeal range*. Even more alarmingly, my pain pills are running dangerously low. When I stay in bed, the pain hovers at a dull, slightly annoying level. It’s like having a giant literal and metaphorical house arrest bracelet on. Except, instead of setting off an alarm at a parole office somewhere, the alarm goes off instantly all through my injured foot if I get out of bed.

I think my medication tolerance has built itself up this past week. The Ankle Bone Incident** is my first experience with popping multiple prescriptions at multiple times of the day. I’m not worried about potential for abuse personally, but now I see how when you’re bored and in pain and confined to your bed, you might want to reach for a little more of Mother’s Little Helper than the doctor has actually authorized.

Here’s a list of celebrities I promise I will not model my prescription drug habits after:

  • Elvis Presley – way too fond of Fried Peanut Butter & Banana & Barbituates hoagies
  • Rush Limbaugh – called Oxycontin pills his “baby blues”; also, hates everyone
  • Michael “Jesus Juice” Jackson – no example necessary
  • Marilyn Monroe – sleeping pills caused her to sound like she was half-awake when reading film dialogue
  • Heath Ledger – you name it, dude was high on it
  • Ol’ Dirty Bastard – painkiller/coke buzz made him invent the lyric “I don’t have no problem with you f***ing me / But I got a little problem with you not f***ing me”
  • Pimp C – died from an overdose of sizzurp; I am not making this up
  • Anna Nicole Smith – see “Heath Ledger”

* = I dunno, the rest of her is so thin, I figure her blood is too. And how lazy is this 1998 reference, anyway? Like there hasn’t been a go-to anorexic actress to plug into this sort of talk show monologue punchline since then? One of the Olsen twins or something, right? I need to bone up on my plug-in cultural references. And Ally McBeal and the Olsen girls need to bone up on some baby back ribs.

** = Possible name of bad late-’90s alternative jam band already in existence? I need to bone up on my plug-in cultural references.

5 Responses to “Nurse Ratched’s sledgehammer”

  1. Kyle Hayes Says:

    I like how you add an asterisk* to interesting parts of your blog and comment on them later, like an footnote** in a fact-filled novel.

    * =It bothers me when people say ass-trick instead of asterisk.

    ** =I guess this might also be considered an endnote, but it is difficult to determine that from a blog post, as there are no pages to flip.

    • dadsdaytime Says:

      I think the phrase “ass-trick” may cause my blog to be blocked by the software concerned parents (perhaps including you and Mrs. Hayes) use to keep their kids away from naughty stuff. I’m really trying for family friendliness here. Well, a PG rating, anyway.

      The asterisk trick is an old one from a computer journal I kept for a number of years. It prevents me from going off on crazy tangents in the main essay but allows for quick or sometimes lengthy detours that get tossed to the bottom.

      And, as a reader, it’s really hard for me to resist jumping straight to a footnote, provided it’s not all the way in the back of the book. Forget that.

  2. Kate Hayes Says:

    I think you can also use Lindsay Lohan as an anorexia example. Actually, I’m pretty sure that no matter what problem you’re talking about, it’s pretty safe to use Lindsay Lohan as an example.

    • dadsdaytime Says:

      You’re probably right, but I’ve managed to make it this far without mentioning Snooki, Justin Bieber or Lindsay Lohan. (The comments section doesn’t count, okay?) Besides, it’s much more enjoyable to me as a man in his thirties to dredge up old pop-culture references and see who goes for them. You will see this as a recurring theme in all my work. Even my grocery lists.

  3. Lisa Says:

    Okay, I know it’s been YEARS since you wrote this, but for me it’s only been 5 days since they put my ankle back inside where it belongs. 🙂 I’m at exactly this stage–dying to get around and feel normal again, but when I do, I end up exhausted and very sore, which is probably counterproductive. I think you have talked me out of crutches for a little while. Thank you!

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