Friday Frivolity: Anemic

“Ed, you’re anemic.” Considering that I’ve been pretty much restricted to my recliner for 6 weeks, you could rightfully expect that was Sue taking exception to me ringing the ‘servant bell’.  It wasn’t. It was my doctor.  Seems that one of my blood tests in the ER indicted my body was deficient in iron.

Really? Iron-poor, tired blood?  I remember those Geritol ads. Right on baby…just a swig of Geritol will get you “twice the iron as a pound of calves liver”  Get real. I can’t even stomach a little bitty chicken liver. The pills the doctor prescribed better not taste like they look.

Red…maybe rusty red.  That’s the color I see in the bottle.  It’s either compressed rust or coagulated blood of a calf.  My gag reflex convulses every time I open the bottle.

Coincidentally, about the same time my doctor called to say my excess weight was not due to swallowing scrap iron, my brother in Alabama found out he had excessive iron in his blood stream.  ‘Bama doctors are still in the ‘blood-letting’ era, I guess.  They sent a nurse out to drain some off.

I hurriedly sent off an e-mail to Bob.  “Wait, just a minute, Bob…get those leeches off your arm.  And don’t let that nurse poke you until I can get there.  We could work out a little ‘blood-sharing’ protocol.

Bob wrote back.  “Too late, brother. I’m a quart low so you can’t siphon off any more this time.  But, here’s an idea for the next time the nurse comes around.  I’ll save the quart of blood and boil it. How long do you think I’ll have to stand over a cauldron of boiling blood to smelt down the iron?  Smelt? Nobody wants to have smelt, or even sniffed, a witches pot of blood.

But I wasn’t done with the concept of transfusing iron rich blood into my veins.  My youngest brother is a frequent flier at the Apheresis Lab. I guess that’s sort of a modern day blood-letting.  “Yo, Rick, what do you think of sharing some of your blood with me at your next blood draw?”  Rick claimed he doesn’t lose blood, so there’s nothing to share. They just take plasma out and cycle his blood back in.

Well, I suppose that settles it. Not only is my blood anemic, but my brothers think my ideas are weak as well.

Friday Frivolity: Ouch

Last week I mentioned that I had a lumbar fracture.  Today, three weeks after the fact, I have regained enough of my senses…not to mention reduced narcotics to enable clear thinking…I will try to relate details of how the facture came about.

Before I begin my tale of woe, I’ll back up to provide some back-ground that may or may not be relevant.  Early in January, I was standing during a conversation with Sue and another person.  I wasn’t dizzy or disoriented, but I did teeter a bit forward before taking a step into the triad of people to catch my balance.  Awkward, but not even close to falling.

Then, just the day before my annual, non-specific, physical check-up, I had another minor tilt which Sue witnessed. And, NO, this is not the “Ouch” mentioned in the title of this Frivolity.

Sue usually accompanies me for Doctor appointments.  She claims I don’t always hear what the doctor says. She is usually quite silent—only observing and listening.  However, with my recent non-alcoholic tipsy tendencies, guess what became a high priority for Sue to discuss with my doctor?

Don’t bother to guess! The result of her anxiety, was NOT a Xanax prescription for HER.  Nor did the doctor suggest No-Doze for me.   Bottom line—to keep me off my bottom… the doctor agreed with Sue that I might benefit from some Physical Therapy.

Therefore, I spent the 2nd & 3rd weeks of January being retrained on “Balance” techniques at a place called “Recovery Project.”  The morning after my 5th session, January 24th, I needed to check on Amara’s car tire.

Amara had mentioned that her tire might be damaged, so I was headed out to check on it.  There had been, and still was a misty rain.  I did grab an umbrella to shelter me.  It was not cold enough to even put on a coat. Clad in T-shirt and sweat pants, I was walking to Amara’s car parked in our driveway when I heard a very loud thud.

It was not Amara’s tire exploding. That reverberating thud was my skull contacting the asphalt shortly after passing my fanny going the other way. What I had perceived as a “wet” …it was clearly raining onto my umbrella.  At least until the umbrella was tossed skyward along with my feet.  “Wet” was water on ice now soaking into my sweats. I managed to crawl across the frozen pond, previously mentioned as driveway.  I was headed to ER.

I’m going to bring suit against “Recovery Project” for failure to meet my expectations.  A lot of good it did for me to practice standing on one foot on large sponge.  They should have known that my driveway is not foam padded.

The ER staff at Sparrow Hospital categorically rejected being co-litigant.  So a few wonderful nurses and one doctor with no sense of humor, accomplished blood tests every hour, plugged in an IV, heart monitors, took CT and x-rays of everything but my big toes.  Then they advised me of an L1 compression fracture, as well as C4 & 5 degradation (that’s Cervical, not the crania degradation often questioned by friends).   Though not visible in any pictures, it was also noted that there was aching spasms of back & neck muscles.  Ah, but only abrasions on my noggin and elbow…no breaks. They did agree some bruising of my ego could surface later.

Because I am on blood thinner, bleeding internally was a concern I shared with everyone in ER.  After my CT, I asked the doctor if my grey matter was blood stained. Did I mention he lost his sense of humor around puberty? He didn’t even smirk, but allayed my fear of inter-cranial bleeding. For that news I was extremely relieved.  I still had a massive headache, but there would be no drilling my skull for a blood-letting.

So, for the past three weeks, I have been in my recliner, lounging UNcomfortably in a cinch that would fit a Clydesdale. Okay, so maybe my back brace would only fit snuggly on a pony, but it is nevertheless miserably cumbersome.  A friend of mine characterized that contraption as scaffolding.  Then, purportedly as encouragement, she advised me to “hang in there.”

The very good news is my plight will likely only last 4-6 weeks.  Sue said I didn’t hear that prognosis correctly.  She claims I am under her unilateral control for 4 MORE weeks—until I get a new CT.  THEN hopefully I’ll get a reprieve from my orthopedic surgeon…, that makes it the 8 weeks she heard.  Ouch! I hate it when she’s right.