I’ve been busy having my butt kicked this week

Are you sure these aren't for horses?

Are you sure these aren’t for horses, Doc?

Let me just say I feel more than a little guilty about posting next to nothing this week. I’ve let you down and I apologize for that. On the other hand, in another few minutes, I won’t care. That’s because I’ll have taken my next round of pain meds.

After that, the only thing I’ll care about is remembering to blink from time to time so my eye balls don’t dry out.

I suppose I can always moisten them with my drool.

It’s been a tough week here and I’m not shamed to admit I’ve had my butt handed to me. Actually, not really “handed to me” as much as thrown at me like a game of Olympic competition dodgeball. Some of you may remember I was the only kid required to wear a helmet when playing dodgeball in middle school.

The week began by getting tapped out at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning for the biggest fire Florence has seen in 10 years. An RV storage facility with 30 units caught fire and quickly began spreading. Inside nearly every unit was a full-sized motorcoach, along with propane tanks and other combustables. There were lots of small explosions and, because of the size of the motorhomes, the workable space on each side of them was about two feet in width. Not much room to maneuver, especially with an air tank on your back. We managed to contain things to the first eight units within about 20 minutes. There were still hot spots and active smaller fires for the next hour.

By 9 a.m., things were well under control and the paid staff of the fire department took over for clean-up and overhaul. Besides, I was already late for work at the newspaper… on a deadline day.

Taken by my captain as I headed to work after things were under control. I was havinng a really good hair day before that...

Taken by my captain as I headed to work after things were under control. I was having a really good hair day before that…

When I crawled into bed later that evening — and yes, I literally crawled like that creepy girl from “The Ring” — I was ready for a chance to start my week over again after a good night’s sleep. That’s when my wisdom tooth woke up and decided instead to crank up the base and have a party.

It had been bothering me a little all day, but I hadn’t had time to think about it. Hey, what better time than while laying in the dark and wondering where I put the pliers, and whether wood putty could stop the bleeding if I did my own extraction? I finally resorted to taking some of my wife’s leftover pain meds to get me through the night. When I woke up the next morning and turned to kiss my wife, she screamed. No, not because of my breath, but because it appeared as though I had stuffed a couch cushion into the side of my mouth.

An hour later, I was at the dentist and being told my wisdom tooth needed to come out. I expected this. What I didn’t expect was my dentist’s reaction to the X-rays, which appeared as if he had just seen a sonogram of an alien fetus. “I’m not touching that,” he said. “It’s twisted and we’re not equipped to deal with this here. In fact, I’m going to quit dentistry now because I’m so freaked out. Why did you have to COME HERE!”

Hey Doc, how about putting on some gloves first?

Hey Doc, how about putting on some gloves first?

Ok, I made most of that last part up. But he did refer me to an oral surgeon. He also gave me anibiotics, some sort of steroid and pain killers.

Lots of pain killers.

And they work rraeleey gooude.

Anyway, I’m on the mend and having my first “normal” and relatively pain-free day this week. The antibiotics have kicked in, I’ve backed off the pain killers, my fire department pager has been quiet, and I’m enjoying my first cup of coffee and solid food since Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping in this week, for your comments and concerns, and — as always — for making this blog more than just words on a screen. See you all next week with a new post on Monday, a sneak peak at a new “Terminator comes to Florence” video short, and the next chapter from “No Safe Harbor” for next Friday’s “Nickel’s Worth On Writing.”

I’m really looking forward to doing the butt-kicking next week…

Cheers to all of you! But I'm not sharing my scone...

Cheers to all of you! But I’m not sharing my scone…

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69 thoughts on “I’ve been busy having my butt kicked this week

  1. LOL! Oh my goodness, now that’s a funny tale! When it rains, it pours, doesn’t it? You’re really quite awesome you know, to have survived all that. Glad to hear you’re on the mend.

  2. You are my hero, Ned Hickson! That first photo proves it, and the last couple are a testament to the fact that the first one isn’t a fluke. OMG, I have the worst dental phobia in the world, even though I go regularly and do all the right stuff. But oral surgery is the PITS, and there aren’t enough pain killers in the world to make it worth suffering through it, even if they give you a big enough supply to last you for months and months afterward. 😉 Been there, done that, and you have my deepest sympathy. SO glad you are on the mend now. Dental surgery, sort of like childbirth, fades from memory after a while, so you won’t choose to knock your own teeth out with an ice skate blade, like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. This, too, shall pass. Especially if you have any leftover pain pills stashed away in a safe…VERY SECRET…place.

    May next week be MUCH, MUCH better.

  3. Bless your heart! I’m sooo sorry! What a horrible week but at least you have the pain meds! 😀
    I hope you are on the mend. When do you go see the oral surgeon?? Pain meds will definitely be your friend! Piece of advice.. DO WHAT THE DOCTOR SAYS! If you think your pain is bad now? You ain’t felt nuthin until you have had a dry socket! Don’t be a hero!
    Take care and have a peaceful weekend! 😉

  4. I so thought this was going to go in a different direction. I thought you were going to end up discovering an injury like to your back or something after the adrenaline of firefighting wore off. I’m glad that’s not the case however.
    Tooth pain is hell on earth. I don’t wish that on anyone. Glad to hear you’re on the mend and have good pain killers!

    Awesome that you all were able to contain the fire and I assume no one was injured?

  5. Hmm, if I have the timing right, the fire was first and the impacted wisdom tooth was later the same day? I think somehow the smoke from the fire caused the tooth to flare up, which then forced you onto antibiotics and pain medication, and will lead to oral surgery.

    You should sue the building owner, the City, the manufacturer of your tooth paste, and anyone else you can think of. But not me – please, not me.

  6. Hi Ned, I wondered where you were! Don’t apologise to us because life came knocking and then beat you up with the door. 🙂

    Stay safe and pain free. Dental stuff is awful.

    Have a good weekend. 🙂

  7. Phew! that was a week from hell, Ned. So glad you got through it my friend. Dental surgery can be a real downer – sometimes. When I was about 21 I had two wisdom teeth removed because my mouth wasn’t big enough – who’d a thunk? Ha! Anyway, the doc did it in the hospital and used laughing gas. Wow, that was fun! He had to break the teeth apart with a hammer and chisel and when he was done, it had felt so good I asked him if he could please do some more teeth. Love good drugs.

    I see in the background of the pic with you in firefighting kit that you guys had a chance to play with your metal saw. Nice neat new doors in the doors. Ha! Well done. Where I worked as a transport manager, we had a loaded trailer catch fire and the firemen had to cut holes in it to get at the fire. When the fire was out, they asked if they could have the trailer for practice when it was emptied. The insurance company wrote it off, so we said fine and had it towed to where they could play with it. I went down to watch and they seemed to be having a lot of fun. The ribbing inside the walls caused them some difficulty which was why they wanted to practice.

    Great job with the fire Ned. You and your fellow firefighters deserve the highest accolades for putting yourselves in harm’s way every time you get a call – and in the process saving life, limb and property. Thank You Ned.

    • I actually had two wisdom teeth pulled when I was in my 20s, and I opted for the gas. I just remember seeing the dentist ovr mee with his knees in my chest pulling at my teeth — and all I was thinking was, “Huh. Must be a real bitch getting these out.”

      Yes, laughing gas “good.”

      Good eye, by the way. Yes, we had to cut our way into every door with a K12 rotary saw because none of them would roll open. Kind of like opening cans of sardines. Cooked sardines 😉

  8. Glad you’re not on a burn unit with blast injuries to boot, but sorry you had to go through that miserable oral surgery. First time I took opiates after surgery, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Fortunately, I ran out of pills!

  9. Yikes, Ned! Tooth pain is the worst. I think it’s because it’s so close to the brain and the pain waves don’t diminish as they only travel a few inches. I had all four wisdom teeth removed at one time, so I can sympathize. Glad you’re on the mend, back on your feet, and able to resume hero duties.

      • One month later, the dentist pulled four regular teeth at the same time!! All in preparation for braces. I was in my twenties. All the little kids at the orthodontist said their teeth didn’t hurt, but those braces were nearly the death of me. I drank bottles and bottles of white wine to numb the pain, because red would have stained the clear plastic, of course.

  10. Ned! We’re comrades in dental pain! I just had my wisdom tooth out, too!
    Well, not really. After 3 hours of banging a hammer into my face, the oral surgeon only got half of it out. I have to go back and let her finish with me under general anesthesia. Can’t wait…

    Also, I love a man in a (fireman’s) uniform. Go, you!!

    You do know what the creepy girl in The Ring’s name was, right? “Samara.”

    • Who’s this Gen. Anethesia guy?
      Wait… never mind. Sorry, it must be the meds talking. I will think good thoughts for you’re return to the chair. Just as soon as I can think clearly.

      Haha! And no, I had no idea Creepy Ring-Girl’s name was Samara. Rest assured the two of you have nothing in common. Except maybe your wisdom teeth.

    • No worries, Mikels. I’m down to half a pill before bed time. Probably none by tomorrow. Assuming the liquor store is open… 😉

      Seriously, I hear you loud and clear.

  11. Wisdom teeth are the worst! I’m sorry to read about your pain, but glad you are on the mend. I haven’t been around much at all to read blogs….work has been ridiculously busy. I’m glad you are healing well, my friend. I hope to stop by more often once the summer routine is in full swing. xx

  12. ooh, so sorry and glad you’re on the mend, ned. i can’t wait to read about your med-fueled dreams that end with your flying on a giant tie-dyed cosmic butterfly. or some such thing.

  13. An RV storage facility with 30 units caught fire and quickly began spreading. Inside nearly every unit was a full-sized motorcoach, along with propane tanks and other combustables. There were lots of small explosions and, because of the size of the motorhomes, the workable space on each side of them was about two feet in width.

    Whoa! Just reading that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end…

No one is watching, I swear...

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