Hotter, via text message, to MFA Mama, who is at work: If my wrist hurts any worse I am considering Urgent Care.
MFA Mama, via text message, after leaving work early due to business being slow: What's wrong with your wrist? Did you fall? Is it swollen?
Hotter: I didn't hurt it or anything, it just hurts like a motherfucker.
When I got home I looked at Hotter's wrist, which is not swollen, visibly deformed, or discolored at all, and asked him what was going on. He said it hurt in one very specific spot (the middle of the back of his hand, to be precise), more so if he pressed on said spot, and that heat helped it but it was really bothering him. At that point I gave him my honest opinion: that if it was me I wouldn't go to Urgent Care since there hadn't been any trauma, but rather apply heat since that helped, take something for the pain if needed (we have pain medications in the house, and I don't even mean just the ones for my back but rather some that Hotter has been prescribed in the past that we know are safe with his transplants), take it easy, and if it is no better on Monday and still getting in the way of normal activities try to get in to see a relevant specialist, since it's most likely some kind of inflammatory process (i.e. arthritis, carpal tunnel, etc.) that would require a complex diagnostic workup and long-term intervention (steroid shots, anti-inflammatories that would need to be run by Transplant, surgery, etc.) rather than something orthopedic (i.e. a broken bone) that would need emergent intervention (immobilization, stabilization surgery, etc.).
Hotter's response was that it OMG HURT, which should have cued me in that he was not going to be up for a rational discussion of risk management and financially-savvy healthcare spending. I tend to forget that men plus pain equals INSTANT ASSHOLERY, because I have only experienced my own pain, which I can set aside to the point of working in a service industry where one must always be cheerful, helpful, kind and unfailingly polite even if I am at an 8 on the pain scale because I HAVE TO. I therefore tend to expect that others can at least be decent to those who are closest to them, but this only sets me up for disappointment. I explained to Hotter that I didn't want to seem callous, but given that the outcome of Urgent Care would be some low-resolution x-rays that wouldn't likely produce a useful result and perhaps some narcotic pain relief that we already had in our possession and a wrist brace, I felt that we should probably skip the cost of going to Urgent Care today, have him apply heat and take something for pain, and maybe buy him a wrist brace at the drug store, saving our medical spending dollars for an appointment with a hand specialist who could contribute in a meaningful way to the diagnosis and management of what would appear to be a longterm problem IF this continues.
Assholery, of course, ensued. Hotter said it was FINE, don't WORRY about him and his suffering, especially if it would cost us MONEY. Which oh for fuck's sake, was not the POINT. Of course it's not about the money, but just that spending money at Urgent Care today wasn't going to get him any kind of relief greater than what staying home and taking some pills and calling a specialist on Monday would, so I felt like we should skip that step UNLESS something changes (like the appearance of signs of a nerve injury, swelling, discoloration, THAT sort of thing--something that would indicate an acute problem). My own approach to pain without trauma is generally to wait until it either goes away or declares itself emergent, as in the case of my back, which was hurting for a month in a general, no-good-reason kind of way before showing signs of nerve-impingement, which is when I cried uncle and had it x-rayed. If I'd gone for x-rays as soon as it started hurting they probably wouldn't have shown anything one way or the other. It would have been a waste of time, and while I might have received some pain medication, all that would've done was mask things temporarily. I just walked my talk here, in other words, so I didn't feel like I was being unfair or hypocritical in opining that Hotter ought to give this situation a hot minute to evolve given the facts.
At that point Hotter said he was concerned that maybe it WAS an emergency, because things don't just start to hurt for no good reason, and maybe it SHOULD be urgently evaluated by a medical professional. I said okay, then let's go to the ER where they can bring in a specialist if need be, and Hotter LOST HIS SHIT and yelled at me that he was NOT going to the fucking ER EVER AGAIN, and what the fuck was WRONG with me, and he'd be there for HOURS and be HUNGRY because it would be DINNER TIME and...yeah. I was starting to think that by the end of the day we might need a hand surgeon AND a proctologist, one to diagnose Hotter's hand and one to pull my foot out of his arse. I said either this is an emergency, in which case you need an actual hospital not a doc-in-the-box because you are a speshul preshus snowflake with donor organs, or it's not. He said it was not. I said okay then we're back to giving it some time, unless you just really WANT to go to Urgent Care and are going to be angry if we don't, and in that case fuck it, I'd rather spend the money whether it gets us anywhere or not than have you be angry all weekend.
Hotter then said NEVERMIND, I don't WANT to go to Urgent Care, I just want you to DROP IT, and proceeded to sit at his desk and use the computer with his hand and not apply heat or take any pills. I mentally added a coroner to the running count of specialists he might need by the end of the day and finally went and got the bottle of Tylenol #3 and brandished it at him. "Or would you rather sit there in pain and fan the flames of your pointless fury until the house burns down?" He cracked a smile and allowed me to give him a pill, and within fifteen minutes he was perfectly pleasant and acknowledged that since this was the hand with the finger that occasionally hurts for no reason and the other bit that sometimes does the same, and his mother has terrible arthritis in her hands and fingers maybe, just MAYBE, I had a point about this not being an acute medical emergency, and then he went and made lunch and said there was no reason for us to cancel our plans to go to Trader Joe's or anything.
So the moral of this story is, next time shut my damn mouth and open the pill bottle and THEN decide where to go from there, because men are dicks when they're in pain.