Ticks, bullhockey and blood pressure


See those woods back there? They call loudly to me of swaths of ground that have never seen the soles of shoes, of adventure, and in this blistering heat, of cool, quiet relief. Don’t look too long at those woods though, because looks are deceiving. Looking draws you in, sucks you in, lets you believe your idealistic blabber and naiveté until you are lured into its depths. Step one foot closer and that’s all it takes for the woods to own you. But, not in the idealistic way of cool, of quiet. Oh, no. Look up. If there is even a remote chance that a tree limb is above your head, you’re doomed. And, that’s when the sucking starts. And, it doesn’t stop.

Ticks. Invisible, innumerable, deplorable ticks see you coming from a mile away, wait patiently for you to be exactly under the overhanging tree branch and drop with deadly aim. Those little suckers drop in your hair, on your shoulders, on the shelf of your breasts (if you have them, like me), on the back of your neck and coat your arms. If they miss the direct hit, they scramble under pant legs, scoot up the folds and then, as if networked together via WiFi, they all dig in, all at once.

It happened to me once, the first time, when I ventured into those woods with Odin. Somehow, he was spared the tick attack, but since I wasn’t, we both headed back into the open and the humid heat that has fallen onto this lovely state of Arkansas.

It’s bullhockey, I tell you. I so long for the relief of those woods. I’d like to walk through them, enjoy the cool and quiet, let my mind imagine the history of what those trees have seen and just escape the rest of the bullhockey I’ve run into.

Bullhockey. It hit me that I’m still waiting to grow up and get away from the bullhockey of teen drama. At my age, after living with it for so long, I deserve that reprieve of old age. Instead, and once again, I find myself having to – no, forced to – deal with pure, raw bullhockey. In this situation, I liken it to taking a car to a bodyshop for a full paint job. You pull in, drop the keys off with a $800 check and go on your way for a week or so. When you return to pick up your freshly painted car that looks showroom perfect, you find that your car has just been run through a car wash. Or, you go to the grocery store for a gallon of milk, pop off the cap once you’re home, fill a tall glass, take a sip – and spit it right back out again because it’s soured.

I won’t tell you the specifics of this latest round of bullhockey. Just suffice it to say that I’m pissed. It’s another example of that constant thorn in my side when it comes to dealing with people. As forgiving and caring as I may be, I do have my limit, and that limit comes to fruition when someone says they will do something and then they don’t. This time, I paid for that something to be done and it isn’t. I paid dearly. I don’t mind paying for a service if that service is done, but don’t take my money and do nothing. It is pure, raw, bullhockey.

It is stressful. I get along with everybody. I’ve even learned to stay far enough away so that situations like this no longer come up very often. I was totally unprepared for the blatant bullhockey, and it hit me hard a little over a week ago.

Yes, the stress hit me hard and about took me down. My ankles swelled to the size of my thighs. I spent the day drinking coffee and iced tea, diuretics that should’ve had me in the bathroom for most of the day, but nature never called. I walked from the door of the building to the car and was out of breath. So, I headed to the clinic. What I needed was a prescription for blood pressure medicine.

Hooked up to the machine, my suspicions were confirmed. My blood pressure was in the danger zone. The doctor put a hand on my arm and insisted on an EKG, blood work and urinalysis to rule out a heart attack. With no health insurance, I resisted and the doc insisted. The tests came back fine, so no worry there; but I’m sure my blood pressure will shoot right back up again when that bill hits my mailbox.

Into the exam room comes a nurse armed with a good sized needle. Lasix. It had to be given IM. I rolled up my sleeve and the nurse shook her head. Not the arm, the ass. It has to go in a very big muscle because there’s a lot of stuff that has to go in. By the way, are you going right home because you’ll be in the bathroom pretty quickly and often for awhile. Here’s a prescription for a combo blood pressure drug and here’s a sack of another in samples that will last you three months. Take both every day. By the way, they’ll make you tired and it’ll take about two weeks for your body to adjust to them and your blood pressure to go down.

Bullhockey. My blood pressure won’t go down, no matter how many drugs I’m on until that thorn in my side is resolved. Stress is here to stay for awhile longer. There’s other things that have added to the stress too, disappointments with the demand for yet another Plan B or two, so I hope the drugs keep me going.

In one night, I went through three rolls of toilet paper. Usage has tapered off some on that count, and I now have ankle bones in plain sight again. The scale is reading 20 pounds less as of this morning, and though that is very welcomed, it is a tough way to lose weight. I think my kidneys are killing me.

Oh, those damned ticks keeping me from the beautiful woods with Odin. What bullhockey is that! I think I’ll take a tip from Odin and get in a good roll in the sand. Maybe then I won’t be picking those suckers out of my hair, out of my armpits and crack of my behind…

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