Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Second Opinion

Well, the outing to Eugene for the UO - UCLA game was VERY uneventful, so my planned blog for today is totally shot. Sorry, you're getting a story I posted waaaaaaay back in May when I started this site. I don't think many of you have read it, as there were no comments on it. Enjoy.

Second Opinion

As some of you may or may not know, I was diagnosed some time back with high blood pressure. Very high. 180/110 high. The problem is that I maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle consisting of a good diet and exercise, so the doctor was stumped as to why it suddenly spiked up. I've been going to the same doctor for years but pretty much got tired of hearing, "Keep taking your medicine and come back in two weeks." That's total bs. If it's high, it's his job to help me bring it back down and it wasn't working. I figured a second opinion was in order so I scheduled an appointment with a new doctor yesterday.

He's got a new and very small practice so it's easy to get an appointment and I was the only one in the waiting room when I got there. I signed in and about 3 minutes later they called me back. I knew I'd have a bunch of forms to fill out since I was a new patient but...cripes! They wanted my life history. It didn't help matters much that my old doctor never sent over my records like I requested 3 freaking weeks ago. That just reinforced why I decided to go with this new guy. That other doctor's office is borderline inept.

The forms started off innocently enough, asking for my name and social security number (I nailed both of those) and then moved into a little more perilous territory.

Employer's address: I have no clue. I've never mailed anything to myself at work. I wrote down the street name and left it at that.

Wife's employer's address: Umm...pass.

Length of time wife has been at current job: Why the frick do they need to know that? This isn't a damn loan application. I thought I'd play with them a little and wrote, "Yes".

Wife's social security number: Okay, now this is getting bad. Why couldn't they ask for my wife's birthday or my anniversary? She's seared those into my cerebral cortex over the years. I went with "867-53-09".

I fully expected the next few questions to be:

"What was your name in your last life?"
"What is your quest?"
"What is the air speed velocity of two mating bald eagles?"

No dice. It was at that point that I decided no one was going to ever read this thing, so I went all out.

Date of last rectal exam? Do you mean voluntarily?
Have you ever had herpes? Is that a proposition?
Have you ever had unproteced sex? No. I always put gloves on both hands.
Do you participate in any risky sexual behavior? No, it’s always on a bed and over quickly.
Date of last inoculation? I rubbed one out a couple of hours ago, if that big word means what I think it does.

I finally finished all the forms and the doctor comes in to check me out. First he tells me he's going to do a reflex test.

Me: A what test?
Him: A reflex test.
Me: I usually gag.
Him: Excuse me?
Me: I have a bad gag reflex.
Him: Umm, no. I'm going to check the reflex in your legs with this little hammer.
Me: Doc, this’ll go a lot more smoothly if you just say that in the first place.

He then went through the usual stuff like holding my legs down while I pushed up, holding my arms and pushing against him. I guess he was testing...well, I have no idea what he was testing. What came next totally floored me, but first a little background. My mom recommended this guy and she told me that at her first visit they asked her to count backwards from a hundred in increments of seven. Sounds like a DUI test to me but whatever. She said she absolutely blew it so I prepared myself for something along those lines. That's when he told me to, get this, stick out my tongue and shrug my shoulders. I'm not lying here. I couldn’t make that up if I tried. Stick out my tongue and shrug my shoulders. I can only assume that he knew how my Mom did on the complicated stuff and decided to give me a break. I can just imagine the conversation with his colleagues before he came in to see me.

"Remember that old lady who couldn't do simple math?"
"Yeah. What about her?"
"This is her son."
"Oh shit. Give him something simple. It might be a whole family of retards."
"How about I tell him to stick out his tongue and shrug his shoulders?"
"BBBWWWAAAHHHAAA!! He'll look pretty silly."
"Well, at least he'll get it right."

So when he tells me to do it, I get this really confused look on my face because I think there's no way I heard him right. He must have noticed so he tells me again what he wants me to do. Oooookaaaaay. I do what he says and I swear I heard a muffled laugh somewhere. I'm pretty sure there was a two-way mirror and the entire office staff was watching me. I'll go to my grave not knowing what that little maneuver was supposed to accomplish.

Next comes the rapid fire questions detailing my personal life.

"Do you drink alcohol?"
"What 'ya got?"
"Sorry. Yes, I do."
"How much?"
"A couple of mixed drinks every night." "Anything else?"
"And a couple of beers."
"OK, three beers."
"Is that all?"
"And a few shots of Beam."
"All in one night?"
"Sometimes into the morning."
"You need to cut back."
"OK. I'll start going to bed earlier."
"That's not what I mean."
"Good. I like staying up late."

~thinks to self~ This isn't going very well.

"Do you exercise?"
(Very proudly) "Yessir!"
"How much?"
" I work out 3 times a week."
"You need to increase it to 4 times."
"You mean I'm not doing enough?"
"You've got high blood pressure, don’t you?"
"Good point."

"Do you get dizzy spells?"
"I never did until I started taking the medicine."
"That's a good sign."
"Why is that good?"
"It shows that the medication is working."
"So feeling bad is a good thing?"
"In this case, yes."
"But I didn't start feeling bad until I started...never mind. I can't win this one."

"Do you urinate normally?"
"Yup. Always standing up."
"No, I mean is it regular, does it hurt...things like that."
"Oh. Well hell no. I don't have any vulnerable disease if that's what you mean."
"It's pronounced 'venereal'."
"Really? I was sure it was vulnerable."

"I need you to lie on your back."
"What for?" "I want to examine your internal organs."
"Whooaaa Nelly! That's not gonna be necessary, doc."
"Not that. I'm going to feel around on your stomach."
"Well that sounds okay."

He then begins to poke and rub on me like one of those Chinese massage ladies.

"I get happy ending?"
"That's not funny."
"It is from this point of view."

"Uh, Doc? You seem to be spending an awful lot of time on my right side. What’cha looking for?"
"Your liver."
"It's probably that thing that feels like a brick."
"That's not funny. We've already discussed your alcohol intake."
"Yeah, about that...I lied."
"About what?"
"I drink a little more than I admitted."
"Look, it's pretty obvious that you need to cut down a great deal. I don't think you can tell me anything that would change that."
"A six-pack."
"I drink a six pack a night in addition to the mixed drinks and shots."
"My God, man! Do you think you're an alcoholic?"
"If it's okay with you, I'll just ignore that question and you can go on with your organ scavenger hunt."

After about 30 minutes of this crap he finally decides to check my blood pressure and it turns out to be....


Perfectly fricking normal. Booyah!

So it would appear that I went through this living hell for no reason. He tells me to keep taking my medicine and think about the things we discussed, which I promised him I would. In fact, as soon as I got home I looked up venereal in the dictionary. Tomorrow I'll check out inoculation.

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