Wednesday, April 22, 2015

That Stings

I don't like sharing lanes at the swimming pool.

I don't like old lady perfume or guys with braided hair, so when someone vacates a lane I will always move to a less crowded one. Last week I found myself in empty Lane 3.

Moving there was a mistake.

As I swung my arm down in a perfectly-sculpted Australian Freestyle stroke, I got stung. I've had bee bites before but this one stopped me dead in the water.

It felt like someone had taken a machete to my middle finger, perhaps the most important of all the fingers.

I flicked off my Speedo Performance XT goggles with the anti-fogging protective seal and scanned my knuckle. I didn't find the stinger but I did find the culprit flailing helplessly in the water. I swatted him off to dry land where he would die a slow and painful bee death.

That night there were no ill effects from the bite. But the next day, my middle finger had doubled in size and turned to an unrecognizable shade of purple.

I'm going all Tarantino on you and sharing.

What you can't tell from the picture is the throbbing pain that went with it. Pain that was not easily soothed by Vicoden. Or two.

Not wanting to go to Century City to visit my personal physician, who I had just seen for my 5 year physical, I unwisely turned to the Playa Advance Urgent Care Center, where I became a new patient of Dr. Urshubeggodavozian, an unusually hairy man with a brusk demeanor and the forearms of a grizzly bear. If you have a minute check out their stellar 1 star reviews.

The "Dr." took three very expensive X-rays of my finger, which in retrospect seems unnecessary. But when your finger feels like it is going to explode like a resigned priest released from a three decade long  vow of celibacy, you just go with it.

Next, the hirsute doctor gave me two very painful shots. An anti-biotic and a cortisteroid. As the medicine started coursing through my body he decided to have one more look at the bite decided he would do a scalpel-aided exploratory to "dig out the stinger."

As the third shot of Lidocaine numbed my finger I began to get an uneasy feeling about the whole procedure and making my first smart decision all morning, walked out.

The good news is the swelling has gone down and the oozing (no pictures, thankfully) has stopped. The part that really stings was the bill from the Playa Urgent Care, who can expect a colorful Yelp review from yours truly.

The better news is the results have come in from my physical.

Apart from the abnormally high testosterone levels, my real doctor who was impressed with my 3 hour daily exercise routine, says, without hesitation…

"Rich, you're the fittest fat man I've ever seen."

We went over the numbers via the phone and he invited me to look into one of the key indicators of good health, my resting heart beat of 51. Which as you can see from the accompanying chart is not bad for a 44 year old guy.

I was thrilled.

My wife, who after yesterday's post looked over our lucrative insurance policy to see how much she'd stand to gain upon my demise, not so much.

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