This past Monday I had “endovenous ablation blah blah blah” for a cranky vein in my left leg, which kept throwing up road blocks in the form of blood clots which didn’t make me or my doctor happy. (I can now report that the raised blue map of the Baltimore Beltway that was my left calf, which I reported on in a previous blog, is now gone.) It was very minor out-patient surgery but any time someone is invading my body with a foreign instrument (with the exception of my dentist) I always get a little edgy about what could go awry (wait a minute; let’s include the dentist.) I purposely didn’t tell my parents until after the fact because it was so minor and I knew they would worry. At 90 years old, I’d much prefer they spend time thinking about ways to live to be 100 than whether or not my doctor can handle my venous system (or is it “venal” system? or am I confusing that with the “penal” system?)
Anyway, I had a crew of three working on the one leg which caused me to wonder 1) if the leg was so large that it required that many professionals or 2) one of them was “demonstrating” on me while the other two took notes or 3) that’s the usual number of personnel for such a procedure. It turned out that the correct answer was “3.” They were all highly skilled and had a sense of humor, which is always most important to me, especially when it involves my body. They thought it was hilarious when I asked, as they were poking around with the laser up near my groin, ”Can you see the head yet? Should I push?”
I haven’t actually seen the result of the whatever-you-call it that they did to me, because I am wearing a really snug, opaque elastic thigh high stocking (it may sound sexy, but trust me, it is anything but…it’s more like something your Grandma would wear…or even more accurately, your Grandpa.) The problem is that my upper thigh doesn’t believe it should pull its share of the load and the stocking keeps rolling over much to the chagrin of the rest of the appendage. I wake up in the middle of the night tugging at the thing and trying not to move too much lest it shift to parts unknown. In the middle of last night’s ongoing battle of the bulge (of my thigh) I remembered that the pharmacy tech who fitted me for the stocking suggested that I buy some special glue to help control the upper part. I did, but then I forgot to use it.
So, this morning I’d about had it with the pesty thing on my leg and dug out the glue. It looked fairly innocent; much like a bottle of roll-on deodorant. It was clear. Unfortunately, the directions were not. Even squinting at the fine print through my eyeglasses, I couldn’t see exactly what you were supposed to do with it. The only thing large enough for me to make out was “This really works!” on the top of the label. That seemed encouraging and since this tiny bottle of magic elixir-of-sorts cost me $11. I really felt it had better work.
I thought I’d start from the back of my leg and work my way around, since I figured with my base level of agility and the ample size of my derriere, the reaching around would be the hardest part. I dutifully shook the little bottle (although I couldn’t see anywhere it suggested I do that but it seemed like a good idea) and using my left hand (I am right-handed) I started to roll the stuff on my skin. At some point I stepped back and inadvertently bumped into the towel rack in the bathroom. As I righted myself I realized that there was something attached to me. It was the bath towel. I didn’t know whether I should shriek with joy that this stuff really did work…or shriek with pain as I dislodged the umpteen rows of blue Egyptian cotton loops which were now clinging to my skin for dear life. I gritted my teeth and yanked. It wasn’t that bad. But it wasn’t that good either.
At this point, I recalled the conversation with the pharmacy tech about its use wherein she told me that the adhesive just washed off with water. Now I was faced with another dilemma. The stocking cannot be wet under any circumstances because there are some steri strips over the laser puncture wounds. I wasn’t even sure where the steri-strips were because I couldn’t see through the stocking. I decided I’d take my chances and just take a washcloth and wipe off the natty blue stuff from the towel.
Man, does that stuff work!!!! Now I had the washcloth stuck on the back of my thigh. So far I was 0 for 2 in the attempt to corral the pesty thigh band. It reminded me of the joke that Stephen Wright always told ”Someone gave me some ‘instant water’ …but I didn’t know what to add.” If a wet washcloth didn’t take it off, what would?
I was determined to figure this out on my own and not give in to an urgent desire to call the pharmacy tech. I just stood there for a couple of minutes, thinking to myself that this is what an animal with a tail must feel like. Nothing I’d ever really wanted to experience but I could add it to my repertoire of things with which I am empathetic. I thought about filling a straw with water and just letting it run down at the juncture where the washcloth was attached to me but that wasn’t controllable. I did have a “cast cover” to shield the stocking when I shower but it hardly seemed worth putting that thing on especially since it wouldn’t help where the washcloth had located itself. I finally opted to just keep wetting my fingers and wiping them on my skin where the washcloth was since it was the easiest way to control the flow. Lo and behold, after several verrrrrry long minutes, it worked and the washcloth leaped from my body in a single joyous bounding (or un-binding) motion.
So, you will be happy to know, with the proper use of the glue, that I now have the thigh band snugly in place…probably for the rest of my life. It’s a good thing I opted for the “open toe” version of the support hose because I can still wear my flip-flops. Now I’m trying to think about what other purposes this expensive ultra-super glue can be used. I wish I’d had it when my kids were little and had a sudden case of potty mouth! Imagine gluing their mouths shut! That would teach them! But I guess that could be considered child abuse…especially after the self-abuse I’d just experienced myself.
Then the cartoon light bulb burst brightly over my brain. I know some politicians I can send this to and tell them it’s lip balm. Is sending skin glue to a Senator considered a terrorist act?