Here is a sample bottle of some hydrocodone medicine. You can see by the beat-up label that it’s kind of old. The expiration date is 1995.
It’s part of my emergency kit. The last time I took one was in 2010, when I was in India and broke my wrist.
Yesterday I was walking on a State Park trail enjoying the late afternoon sun when a lady walked by with her Golden Retriever.
“Is your dog friendly?” She asks.
“Well….sometimes. She plays really, really rough,” said I.
By this time I had moved off the trail into a little grassy area to give the lady and her dog room to pass.
Instead, she decided to bring her dog over to “make friends.”
Before you could say “Oh fuck!” Atina was in her dog’s face snarling and making that fearsome sound dogs make when they’re fighting. She was so determined, I found myself helplessly dragged along at the end of the leash.
Then I myself roared into life and dragged her off the terrified retriever, whose owner was triple quadruple terrified.
Atina had not finished snarling when I got hold of her, but she shut her face once she saw mine.
God I just wanted to kick her ass around the block!
I waited for the poor terrified lady and her dog to get back down the trail before I started back myself. It was getting toward “coyote time” of the evening and I was in no mood for another confrontation.
As I led the now-chastened Malligator down the path, I spied a rock sticking out. Watch out for that rock, my brain said. Fuck you, said my body, and demonstrated my foot-drop so that I could trip on that very rock….and fall into thin air.
I saw the whole thing in slow motion. The hard ground coming closer and closer….I dropped the leash from my left hand and the baggie full of dog poop from my right, and broke my fall with both hands.
Jesus Christ on a bicycle, I have rarely felt such pain! Now I know why beating people on the hands and feet is such a popular form of torture. There’s really nowhere for swelling and blood from broken blood vessels to go. The pressure is maddening.
I’m writing this only because the first-aid measures of last night have much improved the situation.
First I managed to get myself and the Malligator into the van. This was no small feat, since both of my thumbs were so swollen they were pulling my hands into claws due to the spasms in my thumb muscles.
Once I got inside, the only thing I could do was to sit down and bawl uncontrollably for a long time.
Next I had to remember where I’d stashed my emergency pain pills. Fortunately my mind’s eye is pretty good, and I located the plastic box where I keep seldom-used meds. It was dicey getting the box out of the overhead compartment, between my bad shoulders and my completely fucked-up hands.
I took a pill, then sat down to cry some more. Eventually I remembered the Traumeel, that wonderful arnica-based homeopathic ointment. It’s great for bruises and any kind of trauma that doesn’t involve an open wound.
And ice! It required some ingenuity to get the damn ice out of the ice tray, but I did it.
As I was icing, I remembered that I am an acupuncturist. I got some needles and by pressing my teeth into service, extricated a few from their sterile packaging. I did some emergency points for general trauma, then did some decompressing local points. After an hour the spasms had gone from my thumbs and the swelling was subsiding.
This morning my hands are much better, although I fear I may have further injured my already-fucked-up left wrist. I guess I should call my hand surgeon’s office and make an appointment for next week….
(The Golden Retriever was fine, by the way. Just a lot of noise and display, apparently, but soooooo NOT okay. I might get the electric collar out for our next walk. When she has it on, I almost never have to use it because she KNOWS what it means….)