Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Soldier of Misfortune

I like to watch TV. I watch a lot of it. You do this when you are a single man. I watched a news programme the other day. It was about euthanasia… Who knew that euthanasia WASN’T about children in China?!?! I have also been watching re-runs of The A-Team. The scrapes they get into, the soldiers of fortune out to help those who need it. It got me pondering…
I am the opposite of The A-Team. I misunderstand and am misunderstood. I am not a soldier of fortune, more a soldier of misfortune! I get into situations, sometimes because I have no choice and other times because I am trying to be helpful, but often it is by pure accident!

I went to the dentist a few months back. A tooth had snapped in half (bloody apples, no wonder I don’t eat green stuff) and as a result the tooth had gone ‘bad’. So it was either opt for root canal surgery or have the bad boy whipped out.

I read up on root canal surgery and it sounded uncomfortable over several sessions and didn’t always work, whereas tooth extraction (makes it sound much less barbaric!) is only uncomfortable for one sitting. I opted for the extraction.

I sat in the dentist. I was nervous and a fair bit sweaty at the thought of the extraction. For some strange reason my right arm pit sweats more than my left one.

Because of my excessive sweat situation I have to do the lick test in clothes shops. I go in the changing room and lick the fabric of the t-shirt or shirt and see how dark a patch is left… It gets a little embarrassing when staff catch you suckling on new clothes mind you, and I’m not allowed back in Burton’s now as a result!

Anyway, it helped that the dentist was a young woman who was very easy on the eye. Although I think her name was Ms. Fortune so that should have been an omen! She practically climbed in my mouth with various power tools! I swear I had a Black & Decker drill and a Dyson vac in there at one point!!

It’s the noise that’s the worst bit. You feel nothing as you’ve been numbed up after being stabbed with what appears to be a sawn off drain pipe and plunger! That thing is huge!! For a good ten minutes she ‘crunched’ and ‘cracked’ away at the tooth. A sound that only you can hear in your head, the dentist hears nothing at all. This is nice for them.

Eventually the tooth came out (it was at the back, the one before the wisdom tooth for your information). She held it aloft, like a new born child – in fact like the scene in Lion King when Simba is born – I swear there were trumpets and a choir somewhere in the room. Then the euphoria was shattered when she turned to her assistant and asked quietly "Have you ever seen that happen?" The assistant shook her head.

I mumbled, whilst spitting blood every where, was this a good ‘happening’ or a bad ‘happening’? The dentist put down her Black & Decker, turned to me and said very calmly "Your wisdom tooth has come away at the same time".

She saw the look of panic in my eyes and acted quickly to reassure me.

"Don’t worry Mr. Evans, think of it as a 2 for the price of 1". At least she had a sense of humour.

I kept the teeth by the way; I paid for the job doing after all, so I wanted them as a kind of prize trophy to adorn my mantelpiece! Or maybe I could wear them round my neck like surfer’s do with shark teeth???

This wouldn’t be the first type of ‘medical’ misfortune either to hit me. Far from it in fact. I once broke my wrist playing football and they set it at a very camp angle. I walked around for two months looking like I was mincing. I am still unsure why it affected my hip movements so much!

It wasn’t the comfiest thing to wear either and restricted a lot of things you take for granted. Like wiping! I solved that though by shuffling round on a towel on the floor, similar to what a dog does when it has worms! I won’t go into too much detail there though.

I once lost a cigarette packet down the cast as well when I had an itch deep inside and the only thing to hand was an empty pack of 10 Lamberts. I still have the imprint years later, a kind of unfortunate tattoo.

Then half way through the two months it wasn’t setting right so they had to re-break and set it again. I remember waiting patiently in the hospital room. This nurse carted in a canister of gas and placed the breathing tube on my lap.

"This will hurt Mr. Evans, so please use the gas as a form of pain relief".

Meh!! I don’t need that! Plus it makes me feel ill. When my eldest was born there was gas on hand for his Mum during child birth. I swear it had a leak and came floating round the room making me feel quite sick.

The nurse started ‘breaking’ away. "Please sir, use the gas…" I felt nothing though. She continued… "Gas, sir". I responded that I didn’t need it. This wasn’t going to hurt really. After all I am a strong, thoroughbred Yorkshire man! Then, in one swift movement she bent my wrist forward sharply, producing a sound like a creaking floorboard. I swear I saw her smile at this point. That concerned look for her patient had long gone!

WOW! That’s when all the hurt came at once through my entire body and I went through three canisters of gas in 2 minutes!!! I do hate it when I’m wrong!

I used to play rugby in my teens. That’s rugby league by the way, not that soft version that is played globally. I never really was on the end of any terrible injuries. Just misfortunes…

I was playing full back this one game, last line of defence, on a very autumnal, muddy pitch. The opposition kicked the ball through on the last tackle and I went down to scoop up the ball. Meanwhile the player that kicked it had followed up and went to swing for it with his foot, missing the ball (as it was in my hands) and instead booting me in the head!

It left me with quite a gash in the side of my head and a stiff neck.

We lived near a doctor at the time and after the game he wrapped a Guardian newspaper round my neck as a temporary neck support brace and then covered that with a tea towel. I know it was for the best, but didn’t I look a bobby dazzler in A & E with newspaper print on me and a stained tea towel from Brixham!

The medical staff sure had a laugh at that!

I had taken my contacts out also, just in case of concussion, and had my glasses on at the time. They took me into a small room and cleaned the wound, and then instead of stitching the cut they decided, due to its position, they would glue it.

I also had to have a tetanus shot in my arse! I asked, no I begged, for it to be in my arm, but they said that would leave me with a dead arm for a few hours. I didn’t mind, I was willing to take that risk, but it was a no go and because of the fuss I kicked up several medical staff sat around watching as I was pricked in the arse! Feel free to make your own jokes up in your head there…

I returned home, bruised, battered with the previous days headlines smudged onto my skin. I still had a bit of mud from the game earlier in the day and so was ordered to shower before I sat down.

I went into the bathroom, got undressed (calm down ladies!!), took my watch off, turned the shower on and then went to take my glasses off. That was when the real misfortune of the day’s activities hit home.

The glue had slowly run down from the cut in my head, to the point where the arm of my glasses rested on my ear.

The medical staff had glued my glasses to my fecking head!!!!

I wrapped a towel round me, ran downstairs and declared a state of emergency!! I was looking for concern, sympathy and guidance. Instead I was greeted with howls of laughter and tears of joy!! Family eh!!

To cut a long story short I had to scrub at the glue in the shower with my glasses steaming up. This didn’t work and eventually led to me trimming round the arm of the glasses that left a bald patch where the glue had been cut out of my hair!

There was one positive though. My glasses at least had a nice winter coat on one of the arms now! Talk about accessorising!!

And that, readers, is why I am the ultimate soldier of misfortune. One day I will love it when a plan comes together…

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