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Posts Tagged ‘Redheads and Antesthesia’

This weekend I went to the emergency room. I cut my toe on a metal utility cap that jumped out of the ground and attacked at the precise moment that it saw a niche in my almost impregnable Teva sandal foot-armor. I fell down, my friends laughed at me, I walked inside, I got a drink. No big. Then I saw that I was bleeding profusely from the right big toe. After some sink washing some expert healthcare advice from Cameron, the pre-dental student, and Mike, the future accountant, we decided that I should go to the ER to entertain the idea of stitches. That’s when the fun started.

Emergency rooms are terrible places. I would argue that hospitals are terrible places. With the exception of the birthing of babies, there’s really nothing good happening when you’re on your way to the hospital. It is much like Sanford stadium after a loss – its a large building full of lots of really unhappy people that I don’t want to be in.

I entered, had a great chat with a woman with Austin Powers level bad teeth, got a number, a sweet bracelet that is impossible to take off without scissors, and took a seat with the pledge who drove me to begin what would be the first of my longer-than-thirty-minutes waits. After longer-than-thirty-minutes, I was called back to an examination room. It was here that a series of nurses would have the distinct pleasure of touching and dealing with my feet, that, after 2 showers, were absolutely disgusting from walking around in a mud pit during the tug of war tourney that the fraternity put on earlier that day. I can’t think of a time wherein I have had dirtier feet. Bad luck for the nurses. The first nurse curled her nostrils in disgust while the second went to get a gas mask and a pair of chain mail gloves to wear.

The nurse practitioner, who seemed to be the shot caller and resident medical expert, examined my toe and engaged in a series of painful pokes and prods for which I was not prepared and reacted to with flinches and whimpers. The pledge laughed from his chair in the corner of the room. She then told me that she was going to “give me a little bee sting.” Now, through my 21 years of experience in avoiding pain as often as possible, I have come to learn that when doctors, nurses, and worst of all, dentists, say things like “I’m going to give you a little bee sting” or “You’re going to feel a little prick”, that seem slightly painful, that those things, when they happen, will cause enough pain to make you wish you were stuck in a room watching repeats of The View for all eternity. Last time I checked, bee stings hurt like hell.

The pledge laughed again from his chair in the corner. My eyes got wide and my brow furrowed as the nurse produced a syringe. I clutched the side of the bed, decided to look at the wall in stead of the needle sliding into the base of my toe, and told the nurse to go ahead and “do me.”

The nurse did me. I felt something needle-shaped slide into my toe, which hurt moderately, but then I felt whatever was on the other side of the needle passing from syringe to Randall, which felt a lot like someone had injected vinegar into my toe and that the aforementioned vinegar was seeping out of my wound. Note: I know what this feels like approximately because my older brother once dressed a childhood wound of mine with white wine vinegar in stead of water…as a joke…hahaha. In this moment of crisis and surprise duress, I decided to deliver an F bomb to the wall I was staring at. The pledge laughed hysterically. She pulled out the needle. Damn. Ow. Glad that’s over.

The nurse then re-inserted the needle a few centimeters to the left. I proceeded to let the wall know that I am of the opinion that he is the son of a quite disagreeable woman. The pledge fell out of his chair. One more shot in a new location. At this point, the previously mentioned room with The View on loop has, in my mind, risen to the level of the heavenly place that comes with 72 virgins that jihadists are always talking about. The pledge continues laughing on the floor. I really let loose on the wall this time by hurling a nonsensical combination of profanities at him and adding a physical strike for good measure. Poor guy…none of this was his fault…

The nurse is chuckling at this point, which was probably equally motivated by my choice of vocabulary and the pledge’s reaction to the happenings. She concludes her assault on my toe, which I am starting to lose feeling in already, and says that she will be back in a moment to clean the wound and that we’ll move forward from there. She leaves. I order the pledge never to speak of what just happened.

Being a strawberry-blond–red-beard-pretty-close-but-not-quite-ginger type of ginger, I get to choose when to be part of the club (whenever beneficial) and when not to be (kick a ginger day. Try to kick me. I dare you. I’ll come down on you like you were a cut big toe and I were a malicious nurse with a needle). I’d like to link you over to this very legitimate study that proves scientifically that redheads are less affected by anesthesia than are people of less fortunate hair coloring, meaning that, in short, they require almost 20% more to achieve the same level of painlessness. What can I say? We’re highly evolved.

I had read this study some time ago and the thought of it crept into the back of my mind as I was playing with my numb body part, which is a very strange, unusual, and entertaining sensation. Five minutes had passed. Then seven. Then ten. Then twelve. Then I started to vaguely feel my pokes and prods. The fifteen minutes had passed. I was really starting to feel my toe again. Then seventeen minutes had gone by. “You know…I bet this shot wears off on my red-headed self a little faster than on other people, ” I said to my pledge-friend. Then twenty one minutes had gone by. Then twenty eight. Then thirty one. Then the nurse showed up.

“Hi, hello, how are you? Welcome back!” I said, somewhat testily and with a pinch of sarcastic enthusiasm. “Question for you: how long does that anesthetic typically last?”

The nurse ignored me while she looked at my toe. “I’m going to have to really get in there to clean this…sorry what did you say?”

“Oh, pardon me, I was just wondering how long the anesthetic is supposed to last. Its just that I can kind of feel my toe again…”

“It should last about 17-19 minutes,” she said, not realizing at all that it had been at least thirty since we had last spoke.

A very painful cleaning of my cut ensued, followed by a painful dressing of my wound, followed by an angry signing of my signature and billing information, followed by an angry exit from the hospital premises. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I now, for my sanity, am requiring myself to theorize that the particular nurse that administered my shot just happened to really enjoy giving shots. Dad, I do not wish to know how much this shot ended up costing. Also, If you’ve read this, you’ll probably want to un-read it before you get the bill for the shot.

Question: Would you marry someone, live happily for fifteen years, and then finally get around to moving in with them 15 years after the divorce? Of course not. Do you enjoy not getting the McMuffin you want because you ordered at 11:15 AM in stead of 10:30? I hate that too. Worse, have you ever showed up to chic-fil-a for your post Saturday night hangover breakfast on a Sunday morning? This is one of the top five worst emotions in existence. DO YOU BUY A MOVIE TICKET AND THEN GO INSIDE THE THEATER AN HOUR AFTER THE MOVIE ENDS? NO. NO YOU DON’T. Dear St. Mary’s, Sorry For Staring, but I’ll pass on the shot next time.

❤ Randall

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