Better Living Through Chemistry

by Yule Heibel on February 1, 2006

The only benefit I can discern thus far accruing from the miserable bug laying siege this late winter to wide swathes of my circle of friends and acquaintances, and its concommitant bacterial assault on my sinus cavities, is that the bath of antibiotics at this moment swishing through my insides has rendered the possibility of infection from something as banal as a kitchen incident moot.

There, did you follow that?

(You have to know German to construct sentences in which the key verb word [*] comes at the very end of a sentence 65 words long. …)

So there I was, on a recent evening, shredding mozarella on the coarse grater in preparation for making pizza from scratch, and whoosh!, I sliced the top of my right thumb’s knuckle. Off. Bone. I pulled back in time to prevent the lacerated flesh from separating entirely, hence no added protein found its way into the pile of already shredded mozarella. The shock to my system was great enough to prevent immediate bleeding — hence the incident did not lead to loss of bodily fluids right away, or their further addition to the aforementioned mozarella. Dinner thus was not ruined — just my digit.

Normally, a cut like that would result in an icky scab, typically the colour of …well, you know: the colour of white blood cells doing their job. And I was dreading this one! But nothing happened: the cut is healing unbelievably (unnaturally?) quickly. It’s now a little crater of a depression, tough new skin already forming across its diminishing face.

It must be the meds. But then, I’ve been a chemical bath of sorts lately, so perhaps it’s the combination. Yesterday I went to the dentist to have an old filling replaced — turned out a bit of decay had already formed beneath its failed seal. My dentist, whose father was a drug enforcement officer for the RCMP, knows that she has to give me lots of drugs, otherwise I go through the roof. I came out of her office pumped full of enough anaesthetic to knock out a small mammal. I know that the small mammal part of my brain went to sleep for the rest of the day, that’s for sure…

When I was a teenager I used to see a dentist named Dr. Boag, who took care of a couple of fillings I needed — in fact, probably one of the same ones I had replaced the other day. His office was in Victoria’s Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce building. He was a young, modern dentist (this was back in the 17th century), and he used to marvel at the amount of drugs I needed to put a nerve to sleep. One time he casually asked me whether I took a lot of drugs, recreationally, because none of his other patients seemed to require such quantities …and I naturally weaselled on the answer. When my pupils finally stopped dilating, he remarked that my eyes were a rather unusual shade of green-but-not-green: he insisted I had khaki-coloured eyes. Subsequently, I soon began to experiment with emerald-green-coloured contact lenses, which, in combination with yellow-tinted Ray-Ban gold-metal Aviator sunglasses, really did make my eye colour …unusual.

Of course Dr. B. was right: between the pro-drugs counterculture and strange family doctors who prescribed Valium for bronchial asthma, I had a steady exposure to eye-colour altering substances. Tonight I’m ending a 7-day run of Ceftin @ 250mg twice daily. Tomorrow, I’ll start topping it off with 3 more days of the same at double the dose. Together with my dentist’s painkillers, plus the ibuprofin I took to kill the pain afterward, and the Flo-nase corticosteroid together with the guaifenesen and pseudoephedrine for the sinusitis, …well, all that in combination and I’m sure I can count on imminent organ failure now.

But, boy, my thumb sure healed quickly!


[*] update, next day after a night’s sleep: Ok, I guess I’m not a grammarian — moot isn’t a verb. It functions here almost like an adverb, modifying the verb render, and sort of turns that whole thing into an adverbial phrase that works a bit like an adjective. Or something. But the general point’s the same… 😉


maria February 2, 2006 at 2:49 am

Ouch! On all counts. But without that chemical stew, it sounds like you could have easly found yourself in a pickle…. (Okay, lame — but it’s been a rough day, and I sure wish I had my family doctor prescribe a bit of Valium for what is making me “cough” today.

I do remember one doctor I had in Vancouver who used to give me Librax for stomach problems. Needless to say, the Librax worked like a charm (and that is probably HOW it did work!)… because I sure forgot about the pain, and even that I ever had a stomach! Ah, those were the days!

Stu Savory February 2, 2006 at 3:47 am

When Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel recently visited Dubya, each had an interpreter, although in Angela’s case this was unneccessary.
Dubya spoke first and the interpreter kept up on a word-by-word basis, translating Dubyas speech into German.

Then Angela spoke, but Dubya’s interpreter didn’t say anything. Dubya got nervous and after the first 5 minutes asked the interpreter “Ain’t you gonna translate fer me?”, to which the interpretere replied “Yes Mister Preznit, but I’m still waiting for the verb” 😉


Yule Heibel February 2, 2006 at 11:07 am

Librax, eh? Well, who wouldn’t want a bit of anti-anxiety medication when there are so few public washrooms around? 😉

Yes, I can just imagine that meeting, Stu. Bush certainly has a certain …simpleness? hardwired into his …brain? I admire simultaneous translators — in languages notorious for verbs at ends of sentences, you have to wonder how they do it.

melanie February 4, 2006 at 2:59 am

I don’t know more than 100 words of German and I certainly could not make a 65 word sentence in it, but yours I did understand!

I that to my index finger once did. A bandaid on it I put and nicely it recovered. ????

Yule Heibel February 5, 2006 at 12:25 pm

Melanie: 😉

The strange thing is to discover that talking like this comes naturally — oh well, me talk pretty one day…

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