……Needless to say, I don’t.
So the next day I’m on the phone trying to figure out exactly how much and how frequently I’m supposed to be medicating myself. Any previous side effects of medication are nothing compared to this new lot and I finally get the rest I should have taken initially because even the slightest movements, such as the beating of my mutinous heart, bring on galactic storms of nausea.
My housemate uses my “paralysis-of-the-intestinal-preservation” to run creative ideas by me for a new show she wants to do, all of which are probably very good, but sound positively hideous as they at least involve moving off the couch and right now I don’t want to think about that.
Anyway, two weeks later (and more than a month now since the initial injury) and I’m getting my stitches removed again and yup, you guessed it, it just pops right back open, right down to the bone. The outpatients doctor is baffled, whereas I’m just about vomiting at the idea of even more stitches. However, she decides to let it heal by “secondary intention” (which is a fancy way of saying “do nothing”) and so slaps a bandage on it, tells me to be careful and come back in two weeks.
I leave the hospital, get in my car and apparently completely ignore her first instruction as I smack my shin against the underside of the dashboard. For the first time in this whole saga, I am in SERIOUS PAIN. There’s some fairly colourful language, that Lamaze breathing technique you inadvertently do when you’re trying to make the pain go away (just the “hee hee” part, not the “hoo hoo”) and much grinding of forehead on steering wheel.
The next two months are spent grossing people out by tapping on my shin bone with my car key in a vain attempt to create an air of intrigue about myself (“I can do something you can’t do – LOVE ME!”) and also using the mangina to my advantage by poking some of the fleshier parts right before a shift at the restaurant, causing it to bleed badly enough so that I can walk in, roll up my trouser leg and say “Can I please go home and clean this up?”. That last comment might cause you to think I’m into self harm, but not so. By this point the nerve endings in the wound are pretty much completely dead, so there’s no pain at all. Does that make it better or worse? Meh, who knows?
Finally, at the end of March, I go to the funeral of my friend’s dad. I haven’t seen this particular friend for a while as he was living interstate, but he’s heard all about the gaping hole in my shin. His wife is a doctor and is alarmingly attracted to, and fascinated by, the grossness and hideousness of injury and disease. She asks to look at it, and as I pull my bandage down, her voice rings clear across the cemetery for all to hear:
“Ha ha, you’ve got a MANGINA!!”