Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010
PART 11: I'm Not An Animal

So, I got a phone call from the office of my neurosurgeon yesterday. It was one of those recorded messages reminding me of the time and date of my next appointment. It also reminded me to bring any x-ray film or MRI's or other reports I might have and "to not rely on my referring physician to do that for me."

I laughed for about five minutes after hearing that. I think I even played the message back a few times. Like I've said, it's those little moments when you can stop and laugh at the situation you are in that make it possible to keep going.

I know the message wasn't talking specifically about Frank. It's a generic message everyone who has an appointment gets. I like to think that its a special message for anyone who was referred by Frank. It's the "Sorry-You-Had-To-Deal-With-That-Putz" message.

There's also a "You have 24 hours to live-sorry we forgot to call you yesterday" message and a "Warning: The urine sample you dropped off was actually apple juice. You may want to check the contents of your fridge" message.

One of my friends suggested I name the piece of candy corn. I'm open to suggestions. I was thinking Lyle or Don. Or maybe Gus. Gus seems like a good name for an as yet unidentified mass on your spine.

There was a guy I used to work for named Jim. He was more a pain in my ass though. There's Rumor, but Bruce and Demi already took that one. Darn! It might have rhymed so well too. Willy might work, but I can't help but thinking that maybe that's a name more suited for a urinary problem. I could name it Les. Les is better. Troy just makes it sound too studly. Bo (as in bo-weevil) is catchy.

Maybe I better consult one of those baby name books. Like I said, I'm open to suggestions.

You see, I figure I'm talking to the damn thing, so I might as well be on first name basis with it. Yes. I am talking to the thing that is growing/or not growing on my spine. A name would be nice. "You ugly little painful mother$%#@^&" is getting kind of old. And besides, if I talk to it on a bus, people tend to stare. Maybe a name would help. I could put my blue tooth in and have little conversations with it and nobody would suspect.

But if I can keep saying things like "I've had just about enough of your shit, you little $%#@-er" I'm going to get punched in the face.

I have an MRI appointment in a few days. At 7:30 A.M. That's 7:30 A.M. in the morning! Holy Crow! That's early! I don't think my brain is going to be awake for an MRI. And what if I fall asleep and have that dream where I'm dancing the cha-cha with Isaac from Love Boat? That's going to be very hard to explain.

After my MRI I have to hang around for an hour or two because my doctor wants to review the results of my MRI as well as the blood work they did last week.


What's that you say? You're not going to make me wait two months? Really? My brain is spinning! And more so than usual.


(Sorry. I'm excited)

But that's what I'm talking about. Do a test-get some answers. None of this waiting eight to ten weeks bullshit. I know my new doctor, the greatest doctor in the world, isn't going to have all the answers for me on Thursday, but he might be able to knock out some of those items from the list of appetizers. Remember: it's about being positive.

He's not going to tell me that he's solved the riddle and that tell me that Randy (just a working title), my piece of candy corn has been 86'd off the menu. He might tell me, though, that the jumbo crab cakes, chicken strips and the fried mozzarella sticks are no longer available.

Did I tell you that my neurosurgeon has arranged for me to see a neurosurgeon at the hospital where he works? Oh yeah. This guys has my back. Or rather, my neck, right around C3 and C4 to be exact. He just said he/they (The Dream Team...his colleagues at MCV) were going to look out for me from this point on and "that there was no need for me to (thoughtful pause-him not me) to have to travel all over the place. It just makes sense to keep you in the same building."

Professional etiquette prevented him from saying anything bad about Frank. But I knew what he meant. I knew why he was biting his tongue. He knows Frank. They've probably met at some neurology seminars. Frank was serving those little eggrolls from behind the buffet line, but they've met.

He didn't come right out and say, "You stay here...with us. There's no reason for you to go back to Captain Malpractice....Dr. Dumbass...uhhhhh... Dr. Dipshit. No. You stay here and live. We'll take care of you. Don't go to The Darkside."

You think I argued with him? As far as I'm concerned some one could duct tape a naked Frank to a rocket and shoot his cold, dispassionate, "we'll-see-you-in-two-months-if-you're-not-dead-yet" ass into the far reaches of space.

Now, a few of you have suggested to me that maybe I am being a little hard on Frank. Let me just say to those of you who think that maybe I've painted the wrong picture of the man. He did, after all, go to medical school and has dedicated his life to working in the medical field. They further suggested that I wasn't there for a beers and a game of Twister.

All good, valid points. And I would have agreed with you...

If the man had shown even the slightest interest in me as a human being...as a person with a serious medical condition that needs immediate attention. If he had ever shaken my hand or looked me in the eyes or seemed as if he was listening, I might be able to offer to him the compassion he seemed unable to give me.

I would have preferred Dr. Zeus from Planet of the Apes. At least then half of my brain would have been cut out and I could live out the rest of my days with half naked cave girls eating fruit and making apes clean up my poop. As long as they didn't use me for me target practice, I could cope.

People should want to trust their doctors. I wouldn't trust Frank with the task of cooking a Hot Pocket in a microwave, because he would probably just throw some salt on it, maybe stuff some percocet into it and then tell me to come back in three months.

I'm in good hands and things are moving forward in a positive manner.

I'm still feeling like I got hit by a truck from my massive migraine on Saturday, but I'm shaking it off the best I can. I don't remember a lot about that day.

Could someone tell me how my underpants got on the roof?

and that's Jody with a "y"


  1. Go the Jack Nicholson route...

    "I have given a name to my pain, and it is Batman".

  2. I have met more condescending, patients-are-annoying-and-mothers-are-worse pediatricians in my life than I care to count, so I have no doubt that your evaluation of Frank as a colossal jerk is spot on. Yay for your new doctor!!! Yay for compassion and competence and ethics and intelligence! Yay for smaller appetizer menus!!

    More names for your little monster: "Mighty Mouse" or "Wonder Wart" or "Waldo". "Rex" or "Fido" or "PINny" (Pain in Neck). "Charlie," "Napoleon," or "Hitler." "Hirohito." "Mussolini." "Mario" or "Luigi." "Caboose."
    "George." "Barry." "Hermie." "Rudolph."

    Gee, the possibilities are endless.
    Love you!

  3. I can't think of any funny names for your little anomaly, but I'd like to toast him thusly some day:

    To absent 'friends' and conquered foes,
    we lift our glass to reminisce
    then take a drink, and drop our clothes
    and show our butts for them to kiss

    (Just don't try this on a doctor, especially a proctologist)