After my most recent heart surgery; I had a massive hematoma on my inner thigh. By massive, I mean it was the length of my entire inner thigh from my knee to my groin and it spread to half the thickness of my thigh as well.
I actually have a picture of it, but it turned out to be a bit of a crotch shot (a disturbingly graphic underwear shot) and I don’t want to traumatize you kind people any more than I already have with my stories. But here’s a picture of exactly what it looked like.
It was so swollen and painful and I had to go back into the ER for a few days so they could do an MRI of it to make sure I wasn’t going to bleed to death internally. The thing I like best about MRIs is how they take a day or so to be analyzed so you have plenty of time to think about blood transfusions and internal bleeding. Fun times.
I was out of work for two months after the surgery and one day my brother and I decided to go to IKEA. I had never been before and had been wanting to go for some time. I had also heard of it’s magical ability to initiate arguments in any group that went there. I sort of imagined it to be the equivalent of wearing a horcrux. I was secretly excited to test it out.
When T and I got there, I was already having a bit of trouble walking but I was determined, as usual, to do whatever the hell I wanted (despite it being a very bad idea). Heart surgeries and hematomas be damned! This is the part where I tell you again that I am an idiot.
Walking into the store through the parking lot, we found a collapsible cane. I hobbled out into oncoming traffic to rescue it from being run over. I felt it was very serendipitous but T was worried we were taking a cane from someone that needed it. My attitude was: fuck the original owner. I legitimately needed a cane. And if the owner had needed it so badly, he/she wouldn’t have left it in the parking lot to begin with.
I used the cane for the remaining months and in fact still own it.
T and I had intended to rent me a wheelchair once we got into IKEA. It doesn’t get you reduced wait times or anything, but it was the best solution we had. At that point I had ridden in wheelchairs all over the place. Grocery stores, parks, malls, basically anywhere anyone would rent one.
If any of you have never ridden in a wheelchair, they are pretty fun, provided it is temporary. But they give me hella motion sickness. Also, people treat you very differently when you are in a wheelchair.
For one thing, did you know you aren’t allowed to have a sense of humor when you are ill in public? Any time I made a joke about my health condition, I horribly offended other people that had never gone through what I was going through. Also, if I laughed at anything anyone else did, people questioned the seriousness of my illness.
I had several people comment that I didn’t look ill enough to need to rent a wheelchair. Even people that were actively making money off of renting me a wheelchair. This is another one of those 0 to bitch in 0.3 second moments of my life. I don’t generally get all ranty on this blog: but fuck those people. Seriously. Fuck them.
It turns out the wait for the wheelchairs was longer than anything I have patience for (ie: more than 5 minutes). So T grabbed a flatbed shopping cart and suggested he push me around on it. I looked at the uncomfortable metal frame. I looked at T. I could tell he really wanted to do this.
Also, there wasn’t any other way (aside from waiting in line for 5 minutes) for me to view the store. So I gingerly climbed on.
My brother and I went on a tour of IKEA. It was one of the most fun days I have ever had. It was like being pushed around on a shitty, uncomfortable bed frame. And he and I disproved the IKEA fight theory. Or maybe it only works for couples.