There aren't too many things that would make you go, "Man, I'd rather go to hell than be here right now. Hell has demons, torture, fire, and all the ill-prepared pizza they can shove down my throat." However, if you had to choose between these people's predicaments and hell, you'd probably be ready to have pizza for dinner.
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"It's Just A Simple Procedure..."Giphy
"Oh, shut up! You don't feel anything."
Did he just tell me to shut up?!
Panic set in but I forced it down and shut my eyes.
I did the only thing I could do:
I began humming Stevie Nick's Edge of Seventeen as loud as I possibly could. With my mouth open.
"Uphh igh fuh unn een uvvv singg owww sssiinphh oooo aybuh oooo ayyy ooooohhh!!!"
Cracking, loud cracking was all I heard. Lots of pressure. I would open my eyes to see his face near mine, wearing a frustrated grimace through his mask.
I was having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out at once. There was no dental assistant and I was awake for it. I had Novocain but not any sedatives. Not even nitrous oxide.
You think it would have been a little more of a cushy experience for me given it was 2002. I was 19 and a classic rock fan. Don't let Stevie fool you about the year.
My dentist had been mine since I was four, so that's why I was so shocked he said shut up to me.
At one point he had to pull so hard, he was directly over me with his right knee on my chair, using all of his strength.
In his defense, I do have big horse teeth.
I was driven home by my mother, Hydrocodone prescription in hand.
Four days later, on a Saturday, we had to call the dentist at home because I was in so much pain. Bruises were now visible all over my face, running down my neck. My swelling got so bad, I honestly resembled Mimi from The Drew Carey Show when I tried a new eyeshadow to distract from the bruising (even 2 weeks later).
His response to my mom? "Well, yeah. A root wrapped around her jawbone and I essentially had to break her jaw to get it undone". He called in some more Hydrocodone for me.
Jesus Christ. That would have been good to know sooner.
I have given birth twice. I have had an episiotomy and stitches from tearing. SO MUCH BETTER THAN WHATEVER THE HELL THIS WAS, LET ME TELL YOU! The drugs for pregnancy are wayyyy better, especially when you are given an OPTION TO HAVE SOME!
I didn't go back to this dentist.
Now when I go to the dentist, I gladly accept pill sedatives for any procedures. As you can imagine, I am a little flinchy now.
Unwanted At A Party
So, it was my elder sister's birthday . I was really excited to see her and my niece and nephew. But as soon as I walk in, it's silent.
...My sister says hi, and so does my niece and nephew. Some of my aunts and cousins say hi. But most of my family just stared at me as if I were ugly and whispered about me (I haven't met them in a year or two). I was thinking maybe it's because I got taller or maybe my hair changed or the way I dressed. I went to my other cousins, tried to say hi, but they walked away(they acted like there was an emergency or that they couldn't hear me.)
I go outside, tejano music was being played, people were laughing and barbecue cooking. Some of my cousins came up to me to say hi. I went to where all my other cousins were but they ran away like I'm a monster or a nuisance. So I'm chilling by myself and eating. My aunt says "OK everyone time to say happy birthday". So I go there and my cousin bumps me so I bump him a little bit, but he bumps me back so then I just nudged him. He walks away with his chest up and with a disgusted face.
We ate cake and one of my aunts completely skipped me on purpose even though I was right infront of her. I said "uh you skipped me" but she doesn't say anything and gave me my share of cake. I finished eating, and I'm like "I gotta get out of this place like ASAP". So I tell my sister "I think I'll be heading out, I'm kind of tired since I didn't get any sleep (I lied I slept like a kitten the night before). She said "OK bye bro I love you". I said "I love you too" and I walked out and I was gone.
That was one of the worst 1 hour and 30 minutes of my life!
Hey, Maybe Let's Not Put The Finger Under The Skin?
Anyway, fast forward past the events and the horrendous waiting time. Eventually, I was passed through. I was put under the knife, with local anesthesia. The doctor (let's call him F to preserve his identity and allow him some anonymity) told me to quit moving, even holding my badly injured leg in place to inject the anesthesia. Let me just say that the worst part (even worse than the injury itself) is the pain caused by the anesthesia. It felt like I was having corrosive acid poured over my open, profound wound.
My parents told me that I yelled so loud that the people walking on the street probably could've heard my wails of agony. My excruciating pain was, quite frankly, amplified as the doctor informed me that the injection itself did not cover the wound with anesthetic, so he decided to put another, for good measure.
At this point, I would've rather had the stitches without the anesthesia. Suddenly, without warning, F injected me with the other one, and the second wave of pain unexpectedly rolled in, and boy it was quite the tsunami! I instinctively yelled, clenching my teeth and tongue as I attempted to withstand this intense pain. Finally, it was over.
Then, F said that he wanted to show the extent of the wound to my interested parents, who were unfazed by my pleas of help.
With his plain blue rubber gloves, F stuck his index finger into the wound, like a spelunker going through a thin crevice. I thought that F's finger wouldn't go very far, but I became physically sick after F's finger slid in and kept going, like a train slowly disappearing into an endless tunnel. Finally, F stopped moving his finger, and I looked in horror as my deep wound swallowed F's finger whole. My mom yelped, "OH MY GOD! HIS WOUND'S THAT DEEP, DOCTOR?" (Note that she said this in Spanish; I saved you the pain of translating it ;)). My father left the room, probably from disgust or anxiety, or maybe both.
Then, the doctor smiled and said, "That's quite the wound. We'll have to stitch it from the inside as well."
That's exactly when I would've chosen hell...
The Trip That Never Ends
This had been a long-awaited trip.
The trip was to Central America. I'd wanted to just stay in a resort. Camp out. Relax. Do a couple of day excursions.
A balance of relaxing and exploring.
She wanted the opposite, to rent a car and travel throughout the country, and stay at 3–4 different hotels.
In the months leading up to the trip, we had so many disagreements on the vacation that my head about spun. I should have known.
But we locked it in. We managed to agree on the vacation.
The trip finally arrives.
The night before the trip she got called into work, a medical job she can't say no to. She works from 9 PM until our 8 AM flight.
I arrive at the airport. She meets me there, looking like the walking dead.
When I show up, I have all of my stuff. But when I go to get my driver's license it isn't in my wallet. I'd managed to leave it at home.
This leads to my own stressed out dig through all my bags to find my ID. Before surrendering.
This wouldn't prevent us from traveling. I had a passport. But I'd rented a car in my name. We just get on the plane. I sit. A bit rattled and concerned about the car rental.
She sleeps, head down, face planted into her airplane tray, like a tranquilized animal.
The trip was off to a rocky start.
My (then)-GF and I had been getting along OK up until this trip. But things had definitely been trending downwards.
We get there. I'm in good spirits. She's still wiped out. Unfortunately, she has to drive because I don't have my license.
We are driving on rocky 3rd world roads. It's a 2-hour drive to the resort. She has to drive because my dumbass forgot my license.
She's absolutely miserable. Too tired to be driving on these challenging roads.
Her attitude is rubbing off and wearing on me. I'm trying to stay in good spirits.
I get tired of the sulking. I tell her to pull over. I drive. If I get a ticket, I get a ticket.
Also - it is hot. Beyond hot. We aren't unfamiliar with the heat, being from Florida. But it's equatorial heat. Pressing. You can't even breathe.
She's tired. She's cranky. I'm annoyed, perhaps selfishly, about her attitude. I want her to try and cheer up.
Any issues we'd had in the months leading up to this are only boiling under the surface.
The logistics of this trip are not going to improve our stress levels.
Part of this is my fault - I should have pushed back on this plan. It was way too ambitious. I knew this type of travel was going to make me miserable too. It was too much packing and unpacking and relocating. Too much driving on roads in another country that we weren't familiar with.
We get to the nice hotel, the one I wanted to stay at for the entire trip. But got negotiated down to 2 nights in. The power is cutting in and out. There are bugs. It's still hotter than Satan's bedroom.
At some point, she and I got into an argument. I was annoyed with her attitude and complaining, which was making everything worse.
We go on a rented boat the next day. I'm having fun. She's miserable. Perhaps it's my fault. I don't know. I tried though.
2 nights later, we have to pack all of our stuff and get in the rented car and drive through several more hours of rocky winding roads. Much of it spent in silence.
At the next hotel, we get into another fight. An ugly one. She's annoyed with me. I'm annoyed with her.
Drive to the 3rd hotel. Silence.
We have a THIRD ugly fight at this hotel.
This trip was an abject disaster. Midway through that trip, I remember thinking to myself literally that I felt like I was in hell at that moment. I just wanted to get on a plane and go home.
The cities we were traveling through were extremely worn down 3rd world areas, but they still were in better shape than my relationship.
Many years ago, there was a gold rush in California. Miners often found gold, their path to wealth and never having to work again.
Their ecstatic cries of joy often came crashing down with the realization that they'd found Fools Gold.
They came up with a trick.
If the miner found what looked like gold, he would take a rag, put a few drops of nitric acid on it. Then he'd rub it on the prospect he'd found.
If the nitric acid caused the gold mark to disappear, he knew it wasn't real gold. If the gold remained after the application, he knew he had a reason to celebrate.
It's called the Acid Test.
Traveling is a pretty effective acid test for relationships. You'll quickly find how if it's real.
Take It To The Solo!
Twas' back in the day when I was 15 and had just started getting into guitar.
I had just gotten semi good at playing drums, and picked up guitar a month prior. I was good enough at drums that a friend of mine named John (not real name) decided we should perform songs together.
We did quite a few rehearsals, and we seemed like the perfect duo. A guy heard we played and asked us to play at a party, so we accepted.
Later on, we arrived at his party and got set up in the living room. I was on the drums and John was on the guitar. We had arranged to play 5 cover songs and then we'd leave.
We got set up and John took the microphone, everything seemed to be going smoothly. We played our first song, which was a cover of Dysentary Gary. The song actually went pretty well, and we were surprised how good we sounded…
Then we got to our second song
We played a cover of Heart Shaped Box, and John decided to voice crack into the microphone on the "HEY" part.
The whole song went down from there.
His guitar playing was off, his singing was off, it was basically just me playing drums and him attempting to play guitar. He just stopped playing because of how badly he was messing up.
"I'd choose hell over this" does not even account for the embarrassment us two felt.
Attempting to recover the mess up, I stood up and yelled out to the crowd.
"John can't sing!" I yelled out to the crowd, and then proceeded to go into a drum solo I made up on the spot.
After my two minute drum solo, everyone at the party applauded at me. I had just single-handedly saved the gig with a killer drum solo. John finally stopped sh-tting himself and we played the rest of our songs, which all went well.
We continued to perform gigs from then on, and now we can perform full on concerts with each other without any mess-ups (for the most part).
So if I had to give a lesson to all you 13 year old's out there who have an out of tune ukulele and want to start a band, remember to learn your instrument and remember to recover if you f-ck up
Living With People Who Hate YouGiphy
"Yeah they told me to not let you in their room. Said to keep an eye on you so you wouldn't steal their jewelry."
What? I stared at my brother who simply shrugged.
The place: My parents' home
The time: A year ago
When I was nineteen I was living with my parents and working as a waiter. It wasn't ideal but I was just content to have a roof over my head and WiFi. My parents had gone out of state to visit some in-laws, taking my sister and leaving me with my oldest brother. We were kicking it off pretty well, like any pair of brothers. About two nights in we were taking advantage of no one being around to complain about our overbearing mother. That's when my brother let that front page blurb drop.
It was as if lightning had struck my brain.
I quickly ran some analysis. I was paying $800 a month to live with my parents (I typically made $1400). I wasn't allowed out of the house unsupervised except for work. This had been an area of some serious contention. In fact I was often forced into going to religious services that I honestly couldn't care less about. There was rarely enough food in the house. When I came home tired and hungry from twelve hour shifts all I could find were cans of chili and peanut butter, stuff that had been sitting in the cupboard for months. Everything else had a huge forbidden label on it and if you touched it you were to expect fire and brimstone.
To this day I can't touch chili without nausea and I can only just tolerate peanut butter. Add onto this that I had to request permission to buy a video game console from my mom. She said no and that was that. She closely monitored my spending and withheld my debit card. Before she left she was in the process of coercing me to going to college. I was hellbent on going into law enforcement but she wanted me to become some sort of secretary. Guess who was going to win that argument. Then my mom was a whole factor of her own. She regularly banged on my door at 6 or 7 am when I wasn't working, insisting I be in bed by 10 pm. Now her paranoia led her to locking up valuables while she was away. I knew the location of the spare key. I could've cleaned her out months earlier.
I thought long and hard. I was nineteen, meaning I was just starting my life. This could not be all there was to life. I compared myself to James Bond. Did I drive super cool cars? Heck no, I couldn't have told you where the gas and brake pedals were. Was I picking up bikini clad blondes like a carpet picks up dust bunnies? Heck no, I was still crying over a girl I had known in high school. Did I know parkour\hand to hand combat\how to shoot a gun? Nope, wasn't even close to learning either.
It came over me. I had to get the f out of here. Fast. I was looking at another five or more years living with people who had beaten me up as a kid, going down a career I didn't want, my job and money under their access.
I had to ask myself some hard questions. Was I willing to lose pretty much everything I owned, be stripped down to a backpack? Was I willing to sleep on a park bench and hide from police? Was I willing to go hungry on a regular basis? I found myself answering yes to all of the above.
"I'm getting the f out of here." I told my brother. And I did. Within the month.
One year later, I'm happy to say things have definitely improved. I have my own place with roommates. I work two jobs I like, heading towards a law enforcement career. I control all my money. I submitted a novella to a publisher and am supposed to hear back from them in a week. It's in the last stages of review and I'm fairly optimistic. I've gone through some tough times in this last year but I'm happy to say that even at my worst moments I was never tempted to return. I've never regretted the day I walked out of my parents house, never to return.
When The Anesthesia Wears Off...
My boyfriend had lung surgery for a spontaneous pnuemothorax and 3 weeks into his recovery, it happened again. I got a text saying "I'm headed to the hospital, it's bad this time." and I hightailed it to the ER. Upon arrival, he was already being checked out by the doctors and they had determined that yes, his lung did collapse again.
The typical procedure consists of a chest xray, putting a chest tube in between the ribs, and then waiting for the air to get out of his chest. As they were putting the tube in, the mild anesthesia wore off (I'm assuming because his tolerance had built up since we just did this 3 weeks ago) and so I could hear him screaming as they put this 1 inch tube through his ribs to re-inflate his lung. That sound will never leave my mind. I wished I could "choose hell" then.
The surgeon was called and they said he needed to have surgery, and they got him in the day of. The surgery consisted of the surgeon going in, checking the lung to see why it collapsed, fix it, and then put another tube in for drainage. She called to tell me surgery was over, he was in recovery, and she couldn't give me any definitive answer as to why this happened again, especially so quickly. I wished I could have "chosen hell" over having to get to explain that to him.
3 hours later when we get into his room in the Heart & Vascular Tower, he's sleeping from anesthesia still, and he wakes up. I will never forget the sounds of pain that were coming from him. As the nurse came in, he asked for pain medicine, and she told him no because he was on a pain pump that allowed him to have a little bit of meds every 10 minutes. That didn't go over well, naturally. He's 5′10 and thin, and he now has a tube coming out of his side for the 4th time in 3 weeks - he wasn't even fully healed from the first time.
I went out in the hallway to explain this to her, and she was like " I don't know if he just wants pain pills, but we can't stack narcotics and so he's just going to have to deal with it. " At that point, I got angry - I explained to her in a stern tone that he had just been through a SECOND lung surgery, and he needed something for breakthrough, and that if she didn't call the doctor to ask about it, that I would. Give me a break - I understand there is an opioid crisis going on right now, but if he was just here for pain meds, we wouldn't have caused a collapsed lung.
Once the doc finally approved breakthrough meds, all seemed to be going well - until it wasn't. It started to get hot in the room, the A/C was out in the hospital and they told us it would be an hour until it was fixed. Mind you, we live in Louisiana and it is JUNE. The heat index that day was 106. Every hour on the hour from 8am until noon, we asked about the AC and what they were going to do. Once it hit 85 degrees, they FINALLY decided they were going to move us to the other side of the hospital.