Redneck Review

Friday, July 29, 2005

Hillbilly Mama, Medicine Woman

I was reading Deadpanann's tale of her "breakdown" the other day,
and she gave me the most scathingly brilliant idea. Oh, wait...that
was Hayley Mills in The Trouble With Angels. Anyway, Deadpanann
mentioned that her mother once gave her Benadryl for a broken
finger. That got me thinking about my Hillbilly Mama, and how she
thought she knew doctorin' better than my doctor.

During my third year of college, I had knee surgery to remove a
torn cartilage. The lateral meniscus of my left knee, to be specific.
This was so long ago that I didn't just have the three-band-aid
arthroscopic drive-thru snip-job, but a major surgery which resulted
in five days in the hospital. I have an attractive little five-inch scar
as a memento. The thing is, they cut through my muscle and nerves
to take out that jaggedy ol' troublemaking cartilage, and then had
to give me therapy on leg-lifting and crutch-walking to sponge up
all the available insurance money they could.

Three years later, I had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee
for the same thing. Yeah, apparently the cartilage can regenerate
part of the rim, and tear again. At least that's what they told me.
My book-learnin' taught me that cartilage doesn't grow back, but
who was I to argue with an orthopedic surgeon? So the point I'm
making here is that I've had both types of surgery, and the second
one was nothing. I was up and around in no time with it.

Now to the HM part of the story. That first surgery was in my
college town just before Christmas break. My parents came out
for the operation, and took me home after I was released. It was
a 4-hour drive back to Hooterville. My doctor gave me a
prescription for a painkiller, because let me tell you, this ordeal
was mighty painful.

I sat sideways in the back seat of the family sedan, with my leg
propped out straight. My HM went to fill the prescription at the
hospital pharmacy. She came back and handed me a bottle of
Tylenol #4 With Codeine. It did not look like there were many
pills in the bottle. She saw me holding it up and peering through
the plastic. "Oh, I just had him fill half the prescription. I don't
want you to get hooked on them."

WHAAAAT? I'd just had nerve-slashing, bone-scraping surgery,
had a four-hour ride ahead of me, and she was worried that I might
get "hooked" on painkillers? Yo! Mama! Had you been watching
too much Mod Squad and Baretta? Had I ever given you one minute
of trouble in adolescence? I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I didn't
hang out at the Head Shop on Main Street. Whatever gave you
the idea that I didn't need something to deaden that throbbing
toothache in my knee? I swallowed one for the road, and promptly
fell asleep for the duration of the trip. That is what Tylenol #4 With
Codeine does for me. WooHoo! Gotta call my drug pusher, HM,
because there's nothing I like better than a high old time of nodding
off to sleep for 4 hours within 5 minutes of ingesting my downers.

My HM does not remember the events happening this way. It is
not something I can forget.


  • At 12:43 AM, Blogger Raehan said…

    So did she get it refilled later?!!!!!

    She's a character, huh? At least she was looking out for you.

    I could tell some stories about my mom....but I really can't or I'd be in trouble. One day my girls will be telling stories about me, too.

  • At 1:20 AM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    NO! NO! NO! She didn't! Not even after I fell down the stairs with my crutches. I guess that's why I have a high pain tolerance...I had to bite the bullet during my formative years.

    And now you have given me an idea for another post. I should have time for it aroundabout Aug. 1. Funny how some days you just can't beat an idea into your head to write about, and this week my head is overflowing...kind of like Deadpanann's
    toilet on Thursday.

  • At 4:39 AM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Hi Hillbilly Mom,
    I broke my arm when I was twelve. My "mother" who is a nurse, said it wasn't broken. Eight days later, when the bone started to poke through the skin, I finally got it plastered.
    As for knee stories, I'll save them for another post.

  • At 12:02 PM, Blogger Redneck Diva said…

    I am allergic to codeine and morphine. When you are allergic to such cool things as those, you can pretty well hang up being any kind of drug addict. I figure heroine would kill me dead in about a half a second.

    That's too funny - filling half the prescription . . .

  • At 1:01 AM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    What's up with that? Were you the little girl crying "broken arm" all the time, and when it really happened nobody would believe you? Did she at least have the decency to give you some Benadryl?

    My condolences on not being able to join the cool heroin-addicted crowd.
    My HM was also known for drinking a beer once each summer. Actually, it was only half a beer, since she shared it with HD. And she wouldn't say "Do you want to split a beer?"
    She called it a "cold one." How's that for disfunctional? And it wasn't due to religion or anything. She is just that way.

  • At 1:32 AM, Blogger deadpanann said…

    My mother broke two or three of her vertebrae when I was 12 years old, and she was on pain meds for a long time. She doesn't take them now, but just between you and me and the Internet, I think she really likes 'em, but back then she wouldn't come off a Tylenol unless you were dying.

  • At 5:48 AM, Blogger Bert Ford said…

    When I was about eight my dad took me to the hospital for some stitches . . . again. I was sitting in the waiting room, next to a girl about my age. We decided to show each other our wounds. I showed her my minor scalp gash, and she showed me a small metalic disc on her knee. Turned out to be the head of a ten penny spike. She said, "I fell on it & now I can't straighten my leg."
    Still gives me the heebie jeebies.


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