I need a dose of humor. It's certainly scarce around here.
I'm standing at the front counter of my local liberry prefacing my remarks to my 85 year old library angel. "I don't want to sound old," I say.
Helen, the library director, was severely injured in an automobile accident years ago. It's caused her pain and misery. She has to rely on a cane when walking. She walks with a permanent stoop. I'm whining about a few maladies. She looks at me and gives me a knowing smile when I say,
"I'm going to sound like a geezer complaining about my lumbago."
She replies, "Yeah, I'm in pain almost all the time." I forget what she said after that which I should remember because it would enlighten me in ways to cope. But I don't. Too much rolling around in my brain.
I'm going to a gastro-enterologist in Lacrosse for a consultation. My favorite occupation-cooking and a second favorite-eating- is now a chore. My medical provider says that severe allergies have caused my esophageal sphincter to tighten causing food to get caught in my craw. To keep from choking, I keep a glass of water nearby. Everything seems to compound the problem. Bread-forget it. Broccoli, a nightmare. Brown rice and tofu are regulars on my plate.
If I don't get in an argument with the doctor from Franciscan Skemp/Mayo, I'll be scheduling an outpatient appointment to have my throat stretched. Apparently it's not uncommon, the throat stretching, that is. The arguments-endless. Like crazy girlfriends, I seem to attract quacks. My last encounter, for example.
Dawn calls the surgeon's office the day after my hernia surgery. In the conversation with the nurse, she explains some side effects of the surgery. Nurse Rachitt says, "That's really odd. I've never heard of that. You'd better bring him in." Sitting is an experience in pain, notwithstanding a 25 mile trip to the clinic located in the hospital. Dawn drives with both feet, mind you. Left on the brake and right foot on the gas. I wince when she gets above 25 mph over bumpy country roads. In the consultation with Dr. No, he says my reaction is quite common. "But your nurse said..." Dawn mutters. Dr. No says, ""She doesn't know anything."
This is the guy who charged $330 for a 5 minute appointment in which he hands me a comic book magazine YOUR HERNIA AND YOU, takes a ball point pen and points to a diagram explaining why I have a hernia. "Any questions?" he says. The same surgeon's son treated Jorge for a life threatening heart condition.After a cursory examination, he tells Jorge that he has to admit him and take some tests. Jorge asks a few questions, the most pressing is, "What about the cost and my insurance?" The doctor says "screw the insurance." Jorge signs himself out.
It's been weeks since I've visited my Amish friends. They took a trip to Minnesota to see the Patriarch's brother. In the kitchen the Patriarch tells me he bought some land while they were visiting in Minnesota. "Oh no, you can't leave," I moan. A daughter comes from around the corner with a glass Ball jar in her hand. I don't pay attention because they're pressure canning chicken while I sit at the table. She says, "Here it is."
The ball jar is full to the rim with brown loam. The Patriarch chuckles. I groan.
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