Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Hives and the Hive-Knots

So yesterday was a complete wash.

First off, the child thing has started becoming a little more self-sufficient. She gets up in the morning and goes to the bathroom, gets herself a cup of milk or juice, and a bowl of cereal, then settles into the living room to play on her computer.

This is all wonderful and great, except that she used to come wake me up first, and now she doesn't. And with all the housecleaning and exercise and stuff I've been doing, I sleep more soundly than I used to (particularly after a late night raiding session, and Thomas and I talking until 1 or 2 in the morning...). All of which means that I've actually been waking up much later than my normal ~8am. Yesterday I slept until almost 10. Yeah, I know, you could kill me... it's ok for you to feel that way.

The problem is that I have a fairly packed schedule and when I get up at 10am, I'm seriously behind already. Add in that I had to have a root canal yesterday, and I got a lot of nothing done.

Well, that's not entirely true. I got the dishes done before I had to leave for the dentist's. (And ended up getting stuck in a bridge opening on the way there AND back... too many damn boats in this area, I swear!) I ended up getting to the dentist's about three minutes late, which wasn't too much of a big deal, since he was running behind, and I didn't actually get into the chair until almost 12:40. The actual root canal wasn't too bad and loads faster than the others I've had to get done... (for those of you tuning in late to this story, I didn't have dental insurance for the better part of eight years, and this is the fifth root canal I've gotten since finally getting insurance... I could have made a down-payment on a new car with the amount of cash we've thrown at my mouth, and there are days when I've debated the value of it...but there you have it.)

I must say that I do really like my dentist. We have a lot of interests in common (well, aside from the whole sticking ones hands into someone else's mouth... ) and often discuss books and movies while waiting for me to get numb.

I got home around 1:30 and made Thomas's lunch for the next day, had a bit of soup for lunch (the hot liquid really seems to help with my various dental aches...) and polished off an email I've been exchanging with Carol. We're having one of those long, drawn out email conversations that we probably ought to be having in person, but we just can't find the time. Working on our issues, and it's been long, sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, and reminds me of all the reasons that I love her so much to start with... and why even everything that we've been through together hasn't yet changed that.

I looked at my to-do list for yesterday and winced a few times. Sweeping the floor seemed like too much work. Writing emails for my various PBeM games was too taxing, and my head hurt. Working out? Out of the question. Especially since Tuesday and Thursdays are my cardio days, and I really, really hate cardio. (Chris Freytag: "Are you ready for a calorie-burning, heart-thumping workout?" Me: "No.") And I felt guilty about it.

My guilt was too great to get out of going for our evening walks; especially since Thomas will go without me if I slack off, and then Darcy will either go with him and whine incessantly that she wants her mommy, or she'll stay here with me and whine incessantly that her daddy is gone. She can be sort of clingy that way. In either case, I didn't want to put up with either the whining, or the feeling guilty.

So we walked.

In retrospect, it wasn't a good plan.

Less than a halfway through our walk, the Novocaine started wearing off and I had tingles in my mouth and up the side of my face as the nerves woke up. And then I got tingles in other places while my nervous system panicked about the unexpected removal of part of the system. Nerves: "Hey! Hey, FEET! Hello, way down there... I seem to be missing a tooth nerve. You don't happen to have it, do you?" Feet: " What the FUCK are you talking about, man? Tooth nerve? Shit. You couldn't find the ass with a map and a compass, what are you doing bothering us? Some people."

A few minutes after this random zotting and tingling in various places, the small temporary filling that my dentist put in fell out. I know this because I got a rush of clove oil into my mouth, which is what he stuffs the cavity with. YUCK. And... for reasons entirely unfathomable (or maybe it's just that my Nerves were upset after being told off by the Feet), I had a systemic reaction to this.


Have you ever had them? They start sort of gradual... a raised welt along the back of your hand that itches. The tips of your ears get a little too warm. The throat tightens up just a bit... and then, like the inevitable tide, they spread. Welts form up your arms, down the back of your neck, along the stomach... down the legs. And everywhere it hits you, you itch like crazy. In the meanwhile, your breathing is obstructed, both because your throat is tight and because, wow, look at that! Your tongue is swelling! Isn't this FUN?

We're almost a mile from the apartment.

Over the last few weeks since I bought new pants, they've gotten looser. I've taken to wearing a belt. I stop to let my belt out a few notches. The jean material of my pants is taut across my thighs as my legs swell up. There is a sudden flare of pain in my hand as my rings cut off blood flow to my fingers.

We keep walking. What else is there to do? It's hives. By the time Thomas ran home and got the car, it'll be over.

Walking is an exquisite sort of torture; delicate and insidious. I'm constantly rubbing the backs of my hands against my jeans, trying to ignore the other various tingles and itches and pains. The base of my spine burns.

"You know," I say to Thomas, "I had considered doing my first C25K run after I got home on the idea that if my first run was after a root canal, none of the other runs after that could possibly be worse."

We finally get home and I take a double dose of benadryl liquid. Thomas, who has recently gotten obsessed with the idea of buying an iPod Touch, drags me back out of the house to go shopping with him. My legs are still swollen and walking is painful and exhausting, but off we go, to both the Best Buy and the Circuit City. (What is is about the double letter electronics stores? I mean, next we'll get a chain called All Appliances!) He asks if I have an opinion about which mp3 player he gets. I don't. I could care less, really. I personally don't think either of us need one, and all I really want to do is go lay down somewhere.

Eventually, we go back home. Thomas buys an iPod Touch, and as a sort of weird afterthought, decides to buy me an iPod Shuffle (in green.) No, I don't know why I need one, but that's ok, I'll use it for my C25K runs...

The benadryl has finally kicked in, and I've stopped swelling up like some grotesque Macy's Day parade balloon, and now I'm really, really sleepy. I make some vague effort to continue life as normal, but can't quite manage it. I go into the bedroom, fall over and die for the next three and a half hours.

As I'm fading off to sleep, I wonder why I'm so hard on myself. I would never expect anyone else to keep up with their work and social obligations after a root canal.

And yet, when I got up at 9:30, and Thomas is on a raid with the guild, complaining about the few non-guildies they had to pull in to get up to the needed 25 to run a raid, I feel a twist of guilt that I wasn't able to get it together enough to show for the raid. I also feel some massive pains in my legs. Apparently, walking around so much while I had hives has knotted up my thighs.

They still hurt.



Erin said...

OH dear, that does not sound like fun. But kudos for you for sticking it out and walking home...and to the store...that man is crazy!!

Hanlie said...

I'm allergic to certain preservatives and get hives from them. The one time I was hospitalized because my face and tongue had swollen up completely. And yes, they itch like the blazes!

I wouldn't have gone to the store!

Anonymous said...

The closest thing I had to what you're describing was the one time I had a reaction to my allergy shots. Thus proving why they make you wait 30 minutes in the office after the shots.

I was extremely thankful then that I was right there with the allergist and immediate access to adrenaline to take care of the problem. I can't even imagine how it would have felt having to walk around like that for any distance, let alone a half mile.

You deserve many pats on the back for being a good little soldier... above and beyond the call of duty.

Cammy@TippyToeDiet said...

Ow, I'm so sorry all that happened to you! As if a root canal wasn't bad enough--hives!! I hope you feel better soon!

I've put my dentist's son through college. Well, prep school first, now college. Hopefully my latest "thing" doesn't require a root canal. The thought makes me itch, all of a sudden. :)

Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Okay, wow. NOT a fun experience.

Definitely no need for guilt (though guilt is one of those lovely party guests that show up whether you invite it or not). You're right, nobody would expect you to accomplish ANYTHING after a root canal. Personally, after each of mine, I was comatose for about 48 hours.

I'm impressed that you were even upright and stunned that you were able to walk! And very very sorry that you experienced such a crappy reaction, too. Hives suck.

You get the Noble Wife Award for suffering through the electronics monster-marts after that too. :-)


Holly said...

Yikes that sounds awful!! I hope you feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

1. Sounds like you need to get an alarm clock.

2. Pants fitting loser is terrific. I love it when I need a belt.

3. My daughter gets hives when walking through cerain neighborhoods. Her doctor has never even heard of that before. Very odd.

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Owie! Im sorry to hear about the root canal and subsequent pain, but the conversation between the different parts of you body were hysterical. Girl you are funny even on benydril. Root canals are no fun.

I hope you feel better soon.