I Got Carded!

And the good news is, I got carded for the first time in 32 years.

The State of Arizona, otherwise notable for refusing Daylight Savings Time, and for the Grand Canyon, and Tombstone, and Prescott, all splendid ideas–has seen fit to award me my Medical Marijuana card even though I’m not **yet** an official resident.

I think they took pity upon my sorry ass.

And they knew I needed it, because I am in a world of hurt.

My appointment with the Hand Surgeon arrived today.  I got to wait two hours, then saw his PA, who had filthy fingernails.

I find that utterly repulsive.  A health care practitioner MUST have clean fingernails.  Hell, I’m sure Doc Holliday had clean fingernails, even though he was a drunk, a gambler, and a sometime outlaw.

I even clean my own fingernails before I go to a doctor appointment.  When I was in practice, I not only cleaned them every morning before heading to the office, but also used a white nail pencil (which I have not seen in stores for years) under the tips, to clean them further and make them shine.

The PA was not in my life for long, however, as she took immediate note of the way I flinched and yelled “Ouch!” when she pressed on the place where it hurts.  I made it easy for her by showing her the place.

She left the room and returned with the actual hand surgeon, a very nice young man.  He extended his hand, I rose from my chair and shook it, we introduced ourselves by our first names, and he complimented my last hand surgeon on his fine handiwork and inquired how it was done.

“Pins,” I told him.  “He pinned the hell out of those little bones and told me never to move my wrist again.”

He laughed.  But that is true. 

Of course the surgeon had to manipulate my wrist some, just to get his own idea of what is fucked up wrong, so hours later the bitch is still throbbing.

Predictably, he ordered an MRI.  As a bonus, we’re going to have an arthrogram with our MRI.  Half an hour prior to the scan, he will inject some contrast material into my wrist joint, and the MRI will show where the stuff goes.  This will clarify what is ruptured.  I think I know.  I’d make a bet with my doc, but I think we’re both on the same team.

So, after getting all the paperwork done I walked out to the parking lot, stuffing down a scream, and let the Biggess Doggess out to pee.

Aha, there is my phone!  I knew I left it somewhere.

Three messages from the spine institute in Denver (thank you, friend who suggested this!).  Two of their spine surgeons have reviewed the imaging studies I sent them, and both are of the opinion that I need “decompression and fusion at two levels (of my neck)”, just the same as the spine surgeon here in Flagstaff. 

I guess I will be having a busy spring.

It’s hard to do this kind of shit all by myself.  I wish I had the money for hotel rooms and private duty nurses.  I don’t, so there will be some sort of arrangement with hospital security so I can stay in my van in the hospital parking lot for the hand surgery.  The spine surgery recovery will have to be in some rehab facility, ick.  And poor Atina will have her first boarding experience.  Ever since I’ve had her, she’s been with me every single night, even after her own major surgeries.  It will seem really strange not to have her with me, but since I won’t be able to care for her, I guess that’s how it has to be.

It was getting late by this time, so I drove back to the campground, still suppressing screams.  It upsets Atina terribly when I scream.  So I rubbed her head and ears all the way back, driving with my solidly braced up bad hand.  One thing about having a lot of orthopedic injuries, you get pretty good at bracing and splinting, and at driving with one hand.

Back at the old campground, I rummaged in my stash bag and found a strain of legal (I have my card, remember) cannabis called Blueberry Trinity, which I imagine might be named for the “Trinity” nuclear fission experiments.  Whatever.  I inhaled its vapors, then set to work on a few shots of whiskey.  No, not the best coping mechanisms.  Fuck a bunch of coping mechanisms.  I needed oblivion.

The phone rang.

It was my old boyfriend and now for 18 years telephone friend Dick!  That’s not his actual name, but I know he won’t mind.  I spilled my guts to him, which was just what I needed.  He must have got “the vibe” that I needed help!  We talked all the way through his dinner.  His wife put up with it gracefully.  She is a graceful person, and I’m very glad they have each other.

Now the intoxicants have pretty much worn off.  It’s time for Atina and I to take our pills and go to sleep.  She’s lying up against me, upside down.  I’m intermittently rubbing her tummy.  Guess I’d better take her out for the last pee of the day, and call it a night.

Leave a comment


  1. I feel awful for you. No immediate friends who could help you with cooking and what not. If only you were in one place long enough to acquire some friends to help you. I am sorry that you will be needing cervical surgery.

    My daughter has had two fusions and she said never again.The pain was almost not bearable. I’m glad you have some Maryjane to help with the pain.

    • Eeww. That sounds awful, I’m so sorry for your daughter.

      Since I’m on the Autistic Spectrum, even when I do have friends they’re either online or far enough away so that I don’t panic and run. It’s a problem at these times.

      I wish I could just ignore the spine, but the pressure on my nerves is causing my left arm to atrophy, and the bone spurs are putting pressure on my spinal cord. The longer I wait, the more function I will lose. So not much I can do but endure the surgery 😦

      • Yes by all means you must have the surgery as you have written. It would be pointless and futile to lose any important function of any part of your body. It really does not matter what part is going kaput-fix-er up. The body with all its various health problems needs to be as good as it can be so that we can live a decent life as best we can. I wish you the very best of luck wit your surgery and I’m sending healing vibes and prayers your way.

        • Amen, my friend! Your healing vibes and prayers are much needed and appreciated, and I mean that. I very much hope your daughter finds healing from her pain. I have been through spine surgery another time, almost 30 years ago, and vowed never to do that again. I almost didn’t, but it caught up with me. I don’t wish this thing on anybody! At the same time I know there are people and animals a whole lot worse off than me, so I am seeing things from that perspective and being very grateful that I get around as well as I do, and hoping for even better times for everyone.

  2. Ah, bone people. “Does this hurt?” *crunch* beautiful. That totally sucks, and oblivion is most certainly warranted, although I tend to encourage it for any reason. 😉

    It’s good that you have Dick to talk to, even if he is long distance. I’ve got a couple of those, and they’re lifesavers. Er, long distance friends who really really know me, that is.

    Hugs right back atcha ❤

  3. Ouch! Hope they do a great job repairing your hand and later your spine. You’d definitely be better off with a partner who could help you out. Although you’ll miss Atina, the rehab facility may give you the break you need as you heal from spinal surgery.

    • Yes, I certainly would not be able to handle Miss Wild Child. A two year old Malinois is a wondrous thing, but boisterous….And her idea of affection is to catch you lying down and hurl her 75 lb wiggly sweet body upon yours…And of course she needs her ball thrown, and when she is tired she wants to cuddle some more! So she will be introduced to boarding. Meh. But necessary.

  4. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  March 23, 2016

    What an experience! I hope you’re feeling a bit better after the Dr visit. I always found it ironic to hurt more after the Dr…
    I understand the distant friend thing. I’m not a people person. I can be around my husband and bff, but usually that is my limit. I even work alone in my office. I love it! So, I understand the difficult part about needing or even asking another human for help. It’s a bitch! I’m sure you’ll be fine, the hospital would understand you parking in the lot. Atina might even like doggy camp. I always hear good things about how dogs come back exhausted and sleep for days afterwards. Just what you need.
    I sure hope IL gets their act together and gets 2 birds with one basket. .. legalize MJ and fix our bold red budget. I haven’t asked my Dr if she’s pro-pot, but I did just get new anxiety meds and a direct order to go to a shrink. I have anger issues… 😠
    What about Thursday evening? Free to chat?

    • Should be fine….I have an appointment about my BP sometime that day, but should be free by the end of the day, I hope. What time works for you? If we don’t appoint a time, it will go….I am such a squirrel these days.

      • Midwestern Plant Girl

         /  March 24, 2016

        Is 6 my time 8 yours, too late? I can do 530.

  5. Laura…I’m so sorry. 😦

  6. Laura, I’m sorry. (And sorry I haven’t been around for awhile, just catching up on everyone). Such a lot seems to have happened!

    I hope that the Dr has at least alleviated some anxiety even if nothing has actually changed yet. It must be frightening: that and your spine. Just remember you’ve got this whole community behind you, even if someone isn’t physically there to make you a cup of tea.

    Also, I’m pleased they’ve okayed having marijuana for you. People have such prejudices, but it is a perfectly valid medication. I wish people could understand that.

    Hugs, dbsgirl xx

    • Thank you, dear. Yes, mmj makes it possible for me NOT to have to take other, more dangerous pain meds. That alone makes it amazing! It’s full of anti-inflammatory compounds, so it’s not just masking the pain. It’s hard to get used to using it as a medicine rather than a “luxury,” but thankfully (for me, anyway) I’ve developed tolerance to the THX so I don’t have to walk around stoned, yet I still get the benefit of the medicine. I just hope they’ll let me use it in the rehab hospital!

  7. I’ve been thinking about you all day
    I guess you gave me a good reason too
    Prayers and blessings
    Light and love

  8. Wow…When I’m catching up with you I should read your older posts first. I had the crazy Idea of hopping a bus to go out there to help you…I can see it now….I can see why it’s a bad idea. I’m thinking that a good Idea might be to Skype you to see how you’re doing.

  9. Loving that Atina is still with you. Such a bugger about the surgery requirements. I’ll be where I work best – metaphorically on my knees, bothering the Almighty.

  10. FML

     /  March 31, 2016

    Hi Laura. I found your blog from some of your comments at depression comix and started reading it. I am sorry for the problems you have been dealing with and I hope that the surgery on your hand and spine is successful.

    What prompted me to comment was what you said about Arizona. I lived in Prescott from 1989 until 1998, and even after all this time I miss living there. It was a much smaller town back then, I visit once or twice a year and always wish I could stay. The Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Jerome and Tombstone were just a few of the things that made it special.

    I hope you find Northern Arizona to be as relaxing and enjoyable as I do. There is really no other place like it.

    • Well hi, and I’m so glad you have come to my place! This is where I really live 😉. So interesting that you said that Northern AZ is relaxing, because I very much find it so. My feeling is that the energy of the ancient cultures, the volcanic landscape, the immense and somehow soothing presence of the Mogollon, the Canyon, all these energies blend into a wondrous feeling of harmony and well-being. I look forward to being much more well physically, so that I can get outside more and enjoy it even more!

      Clay has such insight, doesn’t he? It’s rare that I don’t sit and meditate on his new comics and go, “yup, uh-huh, been there.”

      I hope you enjoy what you find here, and please jump into any conversation! The people who comment here are also very much worth visiting.

      Thank you so much for writing. Looking forward to hearing more from you! –Laura


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