by Peary Perry
you know by now, I’ve been under the weather the past few weeks with a knee operation
and then pneumonia. I’m much better now, thank you very much. I feel that I have
been most fortunate in the fact that I seldom if ever get sick. Don’t take any
regular prescribed drugs and usually maintain a fairly decent state of good health.|
today I’ve spent most of the morning going back to doctors for what they call….follow-up
visits. I don’t recall ever having a follow-up visit before, so this experience
is sort of new to me and I’m not sure what to expect.
The first thing
I notice odd, is the fact that the nurses ask you the same questions over and
over again as if they don’t believe you are really you. “What’s your birthday,
do you smoke? What medications are you taking? Do you still live at your same
address? Is your insurance the same? What’s your drivers’ license number? Are
you sure you haven’t forgotten to tell us anything?” It leads me to think that
the old Gestapo interrogators might have fled to this country and took up new
careers teaching in medical schools.
“We know you drank some liquids after
ten last night. Why not just tell us and everything will be alright and then we’ll
let your family go. Would you like a cup of coffee and maybe a cigarette, perhaps
Then they x-ray you again. X-rays aren’t bad, they don’t
hurt. What I don’t like is when they bring them out and the doctor slaps them
up on that little viewing screen and then stands there and goes something like
this: “Hum, huum, how about that….well, well, well….”
They always do this
just outside the room where you are sitting in one of those hospital gowns designed
by a mad Frenchman who was hacked at the United States for not allowing his family
to immigrate to New York back in 1895 or so. This nasty Frenchman by the name
of Pierre De Beaujolais has the only existing patent on hospital gowns and refuses
to redesign a gown that is either more modest or more practical. We all know that
France is world renown for their fashion creations, so you tell me why someone
couldn’t have designed a better gown for us to wear in doctors’ offices and hospitals?
There is a conspiracy of some sort going on in this matter.
you are in this dumb-rear-end-exposed-to-the-world piece of cheese cloth listening
to this highly educated man make humming and well, well, well noises just a few
feet away from you. You are certain you have six months, no wait six weeks left
to live. Then the nurse appears and takes your blood pressure which has spiked
to an all time high and she duly notes on your chart that it’s gone up, then points
to the chart as she hands it off to the doctor who both shake their heads and
say something like…”Tsk, tsk, well, well, well…that’s too bad.”
did you know that they just found out the Chinese place they usually ordered takeout
from on Tuesday went broke and they were having to decide if they wanted barbeque
again or Italian.
Meanwhile your blood pressure has spiked out and your
eyes are red from crying since you know your time is almost up. You mentally make
deals with God to exercise more, lose weight, watch less television, and go to
church every Sunday…maybe even teach Sunday school. Give more stuff away and be
nicer to your Mother in Law. You’ll even agree to return the neat hammer you borrowed
from your neighbor two years ago.
Then the nurse returns, tells you to
put your shirt back on, take off the gown and the doctor will be in to see you
in a few minutes. Then she closes the door. You press your ear up against it trying
to hear what they are saying since you’re certain the conversation is all about
that poor man in room number four. This is you.
You can’t concentrate,
you pace frantically around the room, you thought you were getting better, now
here you are virtually on your death bed. You try to thumb through some of the
magazines, but can’t seem to get interested in a Time article on Nixon and Agnew,
nor do you care anything about Clark Gable’s love life. You make a note to bring
something more current on your next visit.
Your watch must be wrong; you’ve
been in this tiny room for at least two hours, not fifteen minutes when the dreaded
knock comes to the door. You meekly spit out the words…”Come in “and get prepared
to face the worst.
The doctor takes a couple of looks at you, writes one
or two words in your file and says something along the line of…”Looks to me like
you’re healed up fine…no reason to come back unless you just want to do so…”
so ecstatic; I tip the lady taking up the money for the parking.
alive…I’ve gotten a reprieve. Doom and gloom aren’t going to get me. Now, where
is that hammer I borrowed?