“I hate to say this, but Ghost Shark is no Sharknado.” I sipped my beer and looked across the couch at Anne. Seamus slept between us, unimpressed by the ghostly antics of the titular shark.
“The on-screen Tweets are just trying too hard, and they’re getting in the way of the movie,” she said.
“Yeah, stop trying to make Fetch happen, SyFy. It’s not going to happen,” I said. Just then the Ghost Shark flew out of a puddle, cutting a hapless victim in half.
“OH!” Anne exclaimed, startling our dog, Riley, who jumped up and looked around nervously.
“It’s just the Ghost Shark, Piles,” I said to our old and nervous dog, “don’t stress about it.”
Riley laid down by my feet, between the couch and our ottoman, panting heavily. She has a bad knee and osteoarthritis in three of her legs, so she’s constantly in a lot of pain. We do our best to mitigate it with some medications, but in the last couple of months, she’s gotten much worse, and is slowly becoming less of a sweet dog and more of a cranky dog who really isn’t into the energetic puppy we have around the house. She was really not into that puppy walking up to her and licking her face a whole bunch. Generally, this behaviour is considered submissive, but Marlowe can do it so much it becomes obnoxious and irritating. I usually catch it and stop her before it makes Riley angry, but being distracted by the Ghost Shark, I didn’t notice that Riley was annoyed until she snapped at Marlowe, and Marlowe lunged back at her … and a full-on dogfight started beneath my feet.
I jumped up and tried to pull them apart, as Seamus jumped off the couch and, as pack leader, tried to pin Riley. Anne flew off the couch and grabbed one of the dogs, too. The next few seconds are a blur to me, but somehow we got Marlowe away, and while I was pulling Riley away from Seamus, she freaked out and bit my left wrist, hard. I remember screaming, pulling her jaw open and getting her off of me, just in time for Seamus to grab her again and try to pin her down again. I remember thinking, very clearly, that there was nothing aggressive in Seamus’ behaviour, that he was very calmly trying to subdue her. I realized that I was bleeding all over the place.
Less than a minute after the whole thing started, we had all the dogs separated. We checked them for injuries, and, finding none, addressed mine. I had four big punctures on my left wrist, and a couple scrapes across the top of my hand. We used some Hibicleanse to wash them out, dressed the wounds, and Anne gave me a Vicodin for the pain we both knew was coming as soon as the adrenaline wore off.
“When was your last tetanus shot?” Anne asked.
“I think it was 2007, so … six years ago.”
“You have to go get one,” she said.
“Why? I need one every ten years.”
“No, they changed it to every five years.”
“What the fuck? Goddamn tetanus industrial complex is bullshit, man,” I said. “Okay, I’ll go tomorrow.”
We tried to get back to Ghost Shark, but I’d pretty much lost interest in doing anything that wasn’t elevating and icing my rapidly-swelling wrist. About two hours later, I took another Vicodin and got into bed.
I woke up at 1:35am, my entire left arm from elbow to fingertips throbbing with the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life, including sitting through most of Ghost Shark. I tried to move around and get it into a position that didn’t hurt that much, but I just couldn’t do it. I began to cry, and pace around the room. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was going into shock. I got intensely cold, and I woke up Anne. “I need help,” I sobbed, “this hurts so much I don’t know what to do.”
I sat on the edge of our bed and wailed like a little kid. I can’t remember the last time I cried so hard for so long, but I remember thinking, through the pain and panic, that maybe my body would interpret my wailing and suffering as a call to dump endorphins or something to minimize the pain. It did not do that.
“I’m taking you to the ER,” she said, “to get you painkillers and to make sure nothing is broken or severed.”
“Oh– oh– oh-kay,” I cried.
She got dressed and got me dressed, and she drove me to the hospital. Luckily, nobody was there and I was in a bed very quickly. I have no idea how much time went by, but I had an IV in my arm pretty soon, and the nurse was putting some painkillers into my body. After five minutes that felt like an hour, it started to work, and the pain began to recede behind a heavy feeling of rising and falling at the same time. “I feel like a balloon filled with lead,” I said to Anne.
I spent the night there, getting painkillers and antibiotics and x-rays. Nothing was broken, and none of my tendons or nerves were damaged. The doctor told me that I couldn’t move my fingers because of the swelling. “Wrists are so small, there isn’t a lot of room for swelling to happen. It will go down over the next few days,” he assured me.
They put a brace on my wrist to help take the pressure off of it, gave me a prescription for painkillers and antibiotics, and instructions to clean my wounds. We drove home as the sun was starting to lighten the Eastern sky.
I slept all day, waking only once to take antibiotics and painkillers. It was almost 6pm when I got out of bed on Friday, and my wrist had swollen up to about the size of my forearm. Which is pretty big you guys, because I work out.
I spent the next three days trying to type with just my right hand and left thumb, moving through the hours in a painkiller-dulled haze, just waiting for the whole thing to be over. Meanwhile, Anne took Riley to the vet to find out if we can get her some kind of doggie anti-anxiety medication, because we can’t go on with her being the way she’s been for the last several months. It turns out that there is, in fact, some sort of doggie Xanax that she can take. She’ll start it tomorrow and we’ll hope for the best.
Over the weekend, I had some forced downtime, because I couldn’t really think all that clearly or use my hands to type. I ended up watching more TV in three days than I have in months, including some shows that I’d wanted to watch, but never did. I wanted to like GIRLS, but I couldn’t make it past the second episode. I can’t believe I waited this long to watch TRUE BLOOD. ADVENTURE TIME is hilarious, but that could just be the drugs talking. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is probably the best documentary I’ve ever seen about the street art movement, and is about so much more than just Banksy. I took GAME CHANGE with a grain of salt, but still enjoyed it.
By Sunday morning, I was completely off the painkillers and could take the brace off my wrist. I’m able to write this today because I finally have use of my hand back and instead of massive muscle pain I just have some stiffness in my forearm from the immobility. I get to wear four awesome Batman bandaids which should really be called Batmandaids.
I’ll be on antibiotics for another week or so, and I need to be careful to keep my wounds clean while they heal. All things considered, it could have been much, much worse, so I’m grateful that it is what it is instead of what it could have been.