Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh, The Horror!

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of HM's fears and the summit of her knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Hillbilly Mansion.

Two weeks ago, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was injured by a recliner. The resulting broken neck laid her up for a good (or BAD, according to her) two weeks. The neck injury happened on a Wednesday night. On Friday, her sons and her Hillbilly Husband left on a trip to St. Joseph for the state youth bowling tournament. That left HM in charge of feeding and watering HH's precious auction chickens and bunnies. It also left HM driving the $1000 Caravan.

In severe pain from the neck wound, HM did what any spoiled adult child would do, and called her loyal mother to whine. MOM commiserated like a champ, and as a bonus, offered to come out and help with the animal chores. For three days she did almost everything animal for HM. Plus, she brought Hot & Sour Soup to help cure the cold that HM came down with on Saturday. Darn that HH and his nighttime breather! Too bad, so sad that HH was wheezing his way around St. Joseph, sick as a dog. HM's virus was annoying, but the mildest of the viruses HM has had all year. It was mainly a snot event, then a run-of-the-mill coughing event. Not at all like the disease that HM had last fall that lasted six weeks.

Mrs. HM was hurtin' for certain from that broken neck. It was all she could do to get through a day with ibuprofen, BenGay, TheraGesic, and 2- and 4-year-old fake vicodin. Adding insult to HM's injuries was a bite on her left side, at waistband level. The origin of the bite was unknown. But the thing swelled up and itched until it was the size of softball. It didn't poof out like a 3D softball, but that's how big around it was. HM finally asked MOM to draw a circle around the edge with a black ink pen to see if it was getting larger every day, thus necessitating a trip to the doctor. Why go unnecessarily with a broken neck and a cold and a vermin bite when that waiting room was probably chock full of swine flu carriers?

Luckily, the next day after the black ink drawing, HM's bite remained the same size, and the day after, the redness began to recede. That brings us to the fourth ailment to befall HM. There was an irritation on the back of her broken neck, at about the 7 o'clock position. It had been there for several days before HM had the strength to even think about it. Once the cold was reduced to the loose cough stage, and the broken neck was moving again and merely aching instead of stabbing HM with pain, and her softball bite shrank, HM began to tentatively finger that new neck distraction.

Being the type who occasionally gets some little skin tag thingies on her neck around the collar area, HM presumed this was one of them. Sometimes a hair or a shirt threat will irritate the skin tag, or get wrapped around it, in which case the little thingy will itch and move about and eventually dry up from lack of blood supply and fall off. Ain't that a pretty picture?

HM scratched that area every now and then, and started to wonder why this one was not progressing as other skin tag thingies had in the past. The little doo-dad would move back and forth on that thin stalk of skin, but it didn't seem to be getting drier and smaller as they do before they fall off. To make HM even more concerned, this one had a rounded bump under it. It felt like a thingy a few years ago that HM's doctor thought might be a basal cell carcinoma. The itch was the same, and it had a little bump. Thank the Gummi Mary, that past incident turned out to be nothing to worry about. The name of it is long forgotten, but the biopsy results showed that it was not a carcinoma. MOM has had three or four carcinomas carved off her neck and nose and forehead, being of the fair, freckled redhead variety. So HM chose to consult her about that troublesome neck thingy that could not be seen in the mirror. This consultation just happened on Monday night at MOM's house, while waiting for The Pony's sixth grade orientation to start.

HM asked MOM to look at her neck.

There's this thingy on the back of my neck that I'm worried about.
Let me see.
I want to know if it looks like something I should see the doctor for.
How long has it been there?
Since right after HH and the boys got back from bowling. I thought it was one of those skin tags ready to fall off, but it has a bump under it.
Lift up your hair.
You'll have to turn so I have the light.
Do you see it?
Does it look like a carcinoma?'s got a dark...I looks like a tick.


I squealed with revulsion. MOM was a trouper. She got out her 10-year-old bottle of Bactine. I forbade her to put that on me. I asked for alcohol. Alcohol doesn't get just evaporates, right? She put some on my new best friend. He kicked his legs. All six of them. She put on more. He would not back out. That's because HM is the tastiest of hosts, I presume. I told MOM to yank it out. She wanted to get tweezers, but I said that would squeeze all the contents of the tick's intestinal tract into my flesh. MOM grabbed the tick with her fingers. It hurt. It felt like she was skinning me. I told her to do it fast. MOM yanked really hard. Nothing happened except and explosion of pain. She yanked again. More pain. But she had the tick.

Do you want to see it?
NO, I don't want to see it! Get rid of it!
All right. I'll smash it...
No! Go flush it down the toilet! Then it can't get on me again.
All right. It's gone.
Did you get the head out?
I think so.
Was the head on the tick?
I couldn't see it. But there's no black speck on your neck.
How do you know you could see it? It felt like you ripped out my spine.
Well...there's kind of a hole there where he came out.
Maybe the head is deeper.'s a pretty good size hole.
Just get some of that triple antibiotic ointment and a bandaid.
Hey! I have that stuff at home. It's not in that kind of tube any more.
Well, I'll just make a list of medicine and go to Walmart and restock.
Seriously, let me look at the expiration date.
I can never read those things.
Do you want to guess?
No, not really.
It expired in June 2007.
Oh. Well, that's not very old.
Just put it on me.

Now I must monitor myself for signs of Lyme Disease. And a reaction to medicine from Ye Olde Expired Medicine Shoppe.


Mary said...

I must say Mrs. H.M. that you have a boat load of ordeals you have happen to you day in and day out. You haven't noticed a bull's eye target on your neck, have you? A former colleague of mine, a science teacher at that, got bitten by a tick and now she has Lyme disease. Not that I'm trying to scare you or anything, but I know that if you get treatment soon after a deer tick bite, there is a 100% recovery.I was just wondering if that other bite "thingy" you had around your waist was another tick bite. I'm just looking out after my husband's much older sister!!! Hope all your ailments are healing now that summer break is right around the corner.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Mary Bean,
Not to be rude, but you must have slept through your basic anatomy class, because what freakish individual can see a rash on the back of her own neck? You KNOW that I am not the kind of gal to primp with a handheld mirror to look at the back of my head in a regular mirror.

To hear you tell it, my brother your husband must be a mere lad, wet behind the ears. I never in a million years would have thought you would become a cradle-robber.