doctor returns, takes my blood pressure. pokes my back.
"how about this?"
"sorry to disappoint."
he tells me to lie down and begins jabbing at my abdomen.
he draws some blood, i pee in a cup and he tells me: "you don't fit the profile in the slightest, but all your symptoms suggest that you may have a gallstone." the typical gallstone sufferer profile, of course, is an overweight female in her 40s. (later, when i tell my brother this, he says "dude, i always knew you were a fat old woman.")
so the doc is going to run some tests and let me know what comes next (ultrasound? laproscopic surgery?) he did seem to think the stone was probably small and, given the location of the pain, in the process of passing all by itself. (this is where we pause and all praise jesus, allah, buddah and satan that i don't have a kidney stone.) he tells me to stick to a low fat diet. i tell him i had bratwurst for dinner the night before. he says "don't do that again." i'm like "ever?"
on my way home i am stewing and brewing. feeling sorry for myself. i am walking down my block and i begin to picture my little gallstone, floating along the bile duct. i well with pride a little bit. this is my special little guy -- i made him! behold the miracle of life! i decide to name him Charles. he is the son my wife never bore me. my own little Charles de Gall. i love him.
and then ZING! a branch from a giant rosebush reaches over a fence as i walk by and it jabs me square in the fucking eye! the whole world flashes red and then goes black. i almost fall down from the surprise and the pain -- my eye feels like it's the size of a baseball and it's streaming tears. FUCK! my right eye! i am five blocks from my house, stomping along in the early evening rush hour, one hand over my eye and cursing up a blue streak. "fucking goddamn fucking cocksucking bush! fuck! ow! fuck! my fucking eye! first fucking gallstones and now i'm going to lose a fucking eye. FUCK!" i turn around and shout at the front yard with the bush in it: "I'M GOING TO BURN YOUR FUCKING HOUSE DOWN!" i run up to the bush and start snapping off branches and stomping on them. people are crossing the street in order to avoid me.
my eye really hurts.
i get home, one hand over my eye and the other on my side. my rage has apparently ratcheted up the bile production. little Charles is kicking. it takes me a minute to get the key into the door because i have no depth perception. i scratch the paint around the lock with my key and spit profanities at the world. when i get in, i am relieved that the kids are out with the sitter and the house is empty. this allows me to throw things and drop atomic f-bombs throughout the living room and kitchen.
it takes a full hour, but eventually i am able to open my eye for more than 30 seconds at a time. gradually i realize that i am probably not going to have to walk around with an eyepatch and gallstones next week. this is a relief. that would have been too much to take. the kids come home ("daddy, why are you holding your eye?") and the bile in my system generally subsides. i realize that, erm, this too shall pass.
mrs nice guy gets home and puts the kids to bed while i drink a tall glass of doctor-discouraged beer. i start to feel better.
a little later, i'm walking to my room, glad the day is done and eager to crawl into bed. as i amble down the hall, i stub my toe so hard that i feel it in my groin. my testicles crawl up inside my body and, i guess, introduce themselves to Charles. my gallbladder tells them that there's no more room at the inn. my side aches. my eye begins tearing up again and i cover it with my hand as i hop towards my bed. the toe is throbbing and it feels like someone has jabbed a pen-knife into my gut. i'm doubled over and hobbling blindly. i have no depth perception and i almost miss the bed. the toe -- the second on my my left foot -- i notice has instantly turned an ungodly shade of purple.
i am pretty sure it's broken.
i collapse on the bed and i wait for 2009 to be over.
mrs nice guy looks up from her laptop and asks: "are you done yet?"