not for the faint of heart

too bad that i have to come here with this. i’m a page out of the fucking newspaper. i was coming home last night and got off the train by work so i could pick up my bike. i was on the phone with a sponsee and was trying to get my bike unlocked from the meter it was hooked up to. suddenly, the bike slid out from underneath me, and the spikes where the chain is attached — the gears, i guess — drove right into my shin. blood started trickling down my leg in a beautiful red rivulet. it hurt, but i figured i’d just deal with it when i got home. i briefly considered going into work and cleaning it up, but hell, i looked like a bad ass.

i got home and locked up my bike — at whom i was sort of pissed — and went inside. i went into the bathroom and started scrubbing blood and dirt from my leg. i started to examine my wounds a little more clearly and saw that the middle hole was, in fact, a hole. it was a puncture wound. oh. fuck. that’s no good. i started poking around a bit and seeing that it wasn’t stitches deep, but it was a good jab. the other two holes were pretty superficial, but this one was sort of a good hole.

i got the peroxide out and started cleaning, replete with an abundance of “son-of-a-bitches” and “motherfuckers.” there was a bit of skin around the edge that i really wanted to be rid of. it was sort of black and i figured it was dirty from the oil of the gears. that couldn’t be good. i got out some alcohol swabs that had benzocaine in them and got a little more intense. i grabbed a tweezers and disinfected *that* with said alcohol swabs. i tried to get a little more particular and grabby. but that skin was actually attached to me. it wasn’t really budging too well. for fuck’s sake. this was kind of a little more intense than i realized.

i kept cleaning and then got some neosporin and filled the holes. i went into the living room and got some kleenex and some scotch tape and made a makeshift bandage for myself. i had bandaids, but it didn’t seem like the right thing for that sort of thing. i did this or that and was getting ready for bed and i looked down and the wound had oozed through the several layers of kleenex already. fuck. i took off the kleenex and squeezed a little bit and not only did the wound bleed, but some neosporin came out, too. holy shit. this was pretty gross.

i re-wrapped the thing up with kleenex again and laid on the couch with my leg elevated and fell asleep. before i did, i had an epiphany. the last time i had a puncture wound (the night of the bite of marvicula), i needed a tetanus shot. every 8-10 years, and definitely if you have cause such as this. last time, i was 24. that definitely falls outside the 8-10 year mark. i couldn’t afford an ER trip. i did some texting and found out i could wait 24 hours, but even then, i did some research and wasn’t sure i could afford the $62 visit and $42 shot at a CVS clinic.

there were some suggestions from people on facebook about free/low-cost health clinics. the city department of health clinics were closed today for some immunization thing. irony, you fucking bitch. the one place was not answering their phone. the one place had a $55-$150 office visit fee plus the $50 immunization fee. how was this affordable health care? what about “i can’t afford this,” don’t you understand?! i can’t tell you how many times i cried thinking about how the last thing i wanted was a tetanus shot but how i was trying to be an adult and be responsible and how it was sort of like rabies — chances are i wasn’t going to end up with tetanus. but it’s the kind of thing you can’t fuck around with. once you DO end up with tetanus or rabies, you’re fucked.

and i just kept thinking about all these town halls and all the news and all this crap lately and wondering — do these people really begrudge me a tetanus shot? the ability to know that i won’t have to worry about being really sick if something were to go really wrong and i get some crazy ass rusty death disease? do they really want me to sit up and worry and cry because i don’t have the money? do they really want to punish me, even if the reason is partly that i don’t get paid enough and partly because i’m not good with my money? is that enough to see me stress and worry and wonder if i’ll be okay?

it hurts my feelings and makes me sad and just wears me out. i found a walk-in where you can just get an immunization for $40, but i’m not even going to MENTION the wound thing. i can’t afford to.

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