wake up call #2

Was it a wake up call?

I put Bengay on my toothbrush this morning. BLECK. I had a very numb mouth and unpleasant taste. And it was one heck of a way to wake up. In all fairness to me, the tubes are made exactly the same and with the front logo turned toward the mirror and force of habit of reaching right of the sink for the toothpaste it was an honest mistake. Or was it?

When do I have to stop laughing about this and start being worried? I have never done it before. I know people who have used Preparation H instead of toothpaste. That is wrong on so many levels. But I digress.

How many brain farts are acceptable? And I don’t mean “for my age” because that is a faulty premise. Why should having more birthdays presume I am going downhill? I mean I am, but I am not willing to accept it. I turned 70 this year and I feel the same as 69, 59, and 49. I just seem to be falling apart at the seams more often. This week it was excruciating pain in my left hip. But I did do four hours of gardening for the first time since November. I know it was November because that was when I was sent to physical therapy for a hip strain about three inches lower. Leaf raking. I also have a trigger finger, but again I can chalk that up to gardening and pulling clumps of unwanted weeds from the garden beds.

hip pain

To add insult to injury, I have a slight infection on my forefinger. It was self-inflicted in a manner of speaking. I agreed to help my friend get her wood chipper up and running. To get gas into the tank is no small feat these days. Not because I am older, but because all the gizmos are changing.

There are new childproof nozzles on gas cans. This means one must push a small plastic section forward while also squeezing a trigger to allow the gas to flow. That used my right hand. I was unable to lift the can with my right hand. So, the process required two of us to lift the five-gallon gas can to the gas tank. In order not to overshoot the tank opening, I shoved the nozzle two inches into the tank which rammed a previously invisible strainer into the tank. Undeterred, I proceeded to reach my fingers into the gas tank to retrieve and rethread the top of the strainer back up into the mouth of the gas tank. Not only would it not oblige, the edge of the tank sliced through my index finger. I was frantically trying to discover if gasoline worked like alcohol on a wound to sterilize it while simultaneously searching to find out if blood was “okay” in a gas engine or was it like sugar?

All seemed okay, so I replaced my garden gloves on my hands — only to discover at the end of the day that the wood dust had worked its way into my glove and into my open wound. Hot water baths and ice seem to help.

This week I had to take the one decent flexible cold pack I own and rotate it from my hip, to my hand,  to my forehead for a migraine that showed up because I was so stressed with the first two injuries.

You can see why a little Bengay between molars was no big deal. Now that the hip and finger are under control I am contemplating how serious the toothpaste mixup is. I guess I will wait until it happens next time to reassess the ongoing threat to my wellbeing.

None of this gets reported to my adult children, They are not of an age to understand these things.

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Menopause

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