Healthy Respect For Medicine

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Mommy!  Mommy!  A strange lady stuck her finger up my bum, and I had to give the Government money to pay her to do it.  Then she hired some guy to do it again with a hose – and then I have to learn to deep-throat.  I don’t understand.  The charges were dismissed, why do I still have to attend the Going To Prison Seminar?

I went to see my female doctor for my regular physical – ‘cause there’s 703 days in a year, right??  Suddenly my annual checkup became an anal checkup.  It all started innocently enough.  She took my blood pressure – 120/70, which means my heart ain’t thumpin’ hard, and I’ll live long enough to make some people sorry.

“Do you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom?”  I’m almost 70 – of course.  “How many times?”  Usually once, occasionally twice.  “When it gets to three, contact me, and I’ll start you on meds that you’ll have to take every day for the rest of your life.  Is it still rigid when you have to go?”  Uhhh…no.  “Would you like some Cialis?”  That’s like offering a dog a driver’s licence.

I’ve heard about, Turn Your Head And Cough, but around here, it’s, Shuck your shorts and lie on the examining table in a fetal position, facing the wall.  Suddenly….WOW – are you right up to the wrist?  I don’t think I’m going to get out of this fetal position.  She says, “I don’t feel anything unusual.”  Lucky you, I do.

She’ll make arrangements with an internist, but first, I have to take tests to prove I’m healthy enough to survive the torture.  I asked one, innocent question.  Would a little extra adipose, just north of the belt buckle, combined with poor eating posture, prevent the esophagus from emptying into the stomach, causing difficulty swallowing?

The next thing I know, I’ve got $250 worth of stomach pills I don’t need. I’m thankful for a great medical plan, which pays for it.  The unexpected benefit is that they’re combo-pills with an added painkiller just short of Hillbilly Heroin.  I could sell these on the street.  The next time I have a headache (very uncommon) I’ll just crush one up and snort it.

After walking five miles at the Cruise Night, and then setting the daughter up for the Anti-Violence Festival the next day, and hauling her stuff back home, both hips said, “Take the pill!  Take the pill!”

So, off to the clinic I went.  I had to do a 12 hour fast.  I was starting to have food withdrawal symptoms, but I made it.  Some sadistic little oriental nurse-wannabe stuck a railway spike in my arm, and sucked out so much blood, I thought they were doing a remake of Helter-Skelter.  Then she said, “I need a urine sample.  Could you fill this little cup?”  Not from over here.

My cholesterol levels are lower than my doctor’s, although I still need to remove that spare tire.  Like any other bureaucracy, Ontario’s taxpayer-paid medical coverage can sometimes be head-scratching.  The doctor’s visit is paid for.  Four blood tests and the urine tests are paid for, but the test that might indicate that I have prostate cancer???  That one I have to pay $30 for!  😕

The wife’s had to endure colonoscopies three times.  Except for the finger, I’m still a virgin.  At least I’ll have someone to guide me through it – and point and laugh when I go all sucky and whiny.  I think I can handle that, even though I’ll have to drink stuff that makes cod-liver oil taste like Haute Cuisine, and ending up so empty that I won’t be able to face into the wind without developing a whistle.

It’s the endoscopy I’m a little worried about.  I have a sensitive throat.  I could never do gay porn.  The wife takes 12/15 pills every morning, including a couple that would choke a horse – into the mouth, a little juice, one big gulp, and they’re all gone.  Me?  Anything bigger than an aspirin, and I have to distract myself.  Oh, look, a chipmunk!….Is the pill gone?  Well, it will be by lunch.

I think if it weren’t for all these tests, old folks would live forever.  All this embarrassment and stress??  Ah Hell, let’s just die and get it over.

Morons

Did you hear about the moron who:

Ran through a screen door, and strained himself?

Wrapped his watch in cellophane to keep the ticks out of his pocket?

Took his knees apart to see if there was any beer left in the joints?

Took a bottle of whiskey to bed so that he could sleep tight?

Cut off his fingers so that he could write shorthand?

Watered his garden with whiskey so that he could grow stewed tomatoes?

Took a ladder to a bar so that he could get as high as he wanted?

Thought a mushroom was a place to neck in?

Sewed his fingers together so that he could wear mitts?

Ate gunpowder so that his hair would grow in short bangs?

Sat at the corner with two pieces of bread, waiting for the traffic jam?

Cut a hole in his rug so that he could see the floor show?

Saluted the refrigerator because he heard it was General Electric?

Slept on his stomach so that the Japanese couldn’t bomb his naval base?

Takes a yardstick to bed to see how long he sleeps?

Took a bicycle to bed so that he wouldn’t walk in his sleep?

Moved into the city because he heard the country was at war?

Sat up all night studying for a blood test?

Went to a lumber yard looking for the draft board?

Put his head out the window so that the wind would blow his nose?

Stayed up all night wondering where the sun went when it went down? It finally dawned on him!

Met a girl in a revolving door and has been going around with her ever since?

Took milk and sugar to watch TV because he heard they were showing a serial?

Took his nose apart to see what made it run?

Was so modest he went into the closet to change his mind?

Cut off his hand so he could play the piano by ear?

Killed his mother and father so that he could go to the orphans’ picnic?

Went to the Navy Yard to see a blood vessel?

Backed out of the bus because he heard someone was going to pinch his seat?

Sent six kids to bed and set the alarm for 3 because only three wanted to get up?

Put crumbs in his shoes to feed his pigeon toes?

Wouldn’t talk about crude oil because it wasn’t refined?

Thought he was dying so he went into the living room?

Stayed up all night trying to put a diaper on a cigarette butt?

Went to the hospital and had a chair put beside his bed for rigor mortis to set in?

Was arrested for not having a little moron? (more on)

Jumped off a tall building to show the crowd he had guts?

Typed emails to his girlfriend slowly because he knew she couldn’t read fast?

Went to the Post Office to pick up a letter, and when asked for his name he said he didn’t have to give it because it was already on the envelope?

Went to the lumber yard to see the Board of Education?

Went to the closet to change his mind but couldn’t find a clean one?

Poked out his eyes when he went on a blind date?

Ate five pennies and then asked people if they saw any change in him?

Wanted to know how many wheels a football coach had?

Cut off his left arm so that he could be all right?

Put his chin on the curb so that he could keep his mind out of the gutter?

Didn’t pay when he boarded the bus because his name was Crime, and “Crime doesn’t pay”?

Went to bed on his wedding night with all his clothes on because he’d been told he’d be going to town by midnight?

**

The Italian Who Went to Detroit

(Please read with Italian accent)

One day Ima gonna Detroit to bigga hotel. Inna morning, I go down to eat breakfast. I tella di waitress I want two pissis toast. She brings me only one piss! I tella her I wanna two piss. She say go to the toilet. I say you no unnerstan, I wanna two piss on my plate. She say you better no piss onna plate, you sonna ma bitch. I don’t even know di lady, an she call me sonna ma bitch.

Later I go out to eat at the bigga restaurant. The waitress bring me a spoon anna knife, but no fock. I tella her I wanna fock. She say evvybody wanna fock. I tell her you no unnerstan, I wanna fock on di table. She say you better no fock onna table, you sonna ma bitch.

So I go back to my room inna hotel and there is no shits onna my bed. I call di manager an tell him I wanna shit. He tells me to go to the toilet. I say, you no unnerstan, I wanna shit on my bed. He say you better no shit onna bed, you sonna ma bitch.

I go to da checkout, an di man at di desk say “Peace on You.” I say piss on you too, you sonna ma bitch. I gonna back to Italy.

Coming Home

I visited an old friend the other day.  I hadn’t planned to.  In fact, I had several other things I was supposed to be doing, but….it just happened.  She’s looking good, much better than when I last saw her.  She’s had a lot of professional help with her rehabilitation.  It won’t be long till she will be fit to be seen by the public.  I’m talking about the building where I worked for almost 20 years.

I dropped the wife off at the cancer clinic at the hospital for blood-work assessment.  Coming from a family rife with various types of cancer, she has been on a yearly testing schedule for bone cancer.  The steadily reducing warning counts of the past five years are now well back within normal range, and only need a family physician to monitor a yearly blood test.

While she was at the cancer clinic, for an unpredictable amount of time, I was supposed to drop off a package at our massage therapist/ osteopath, do a drop-off/pickup at the daughter’s, and stop at the optometrist and have a nose pad installed on my glasses.  I made the massage therapy delivery, and headed for the daughters place.  About halfway between the two, not too far off what laughably passes for a straight line in this city, was my old plant.

It’s been bought by a company in Toronto and is undergoing what’s known as *urban densification*.  Just outside the actual downtown area, on the main street, it sits across the road from new School of Optometry and School of Pharmacy buildings of the community college.  It’s being cleaned and subdivided to provide office space.  Already, a large engineering firm has committed to a big chunk.  Google had leased space in a reconditioned tannery building two blocks away, but after only a year, finds it needs more room, and is ready to move in as soon as reconstruction is complete.

I thought, I’d like to drive past and just have a look at the front, to see what changes had been wrought.  Well, if I’m this close, I’ll pull through the parking lot across the street for a better view….if I’m in the lot, I might as well park the car and get out for a better look….if I’m out of the car, I might as well walk across the street and see if I can step inside.  If I’m inside, I might as well get arrested for trespass.

It’s amazing how alike, and yet how completely different the old girl looks.  I speak of *a plant*, but it is actually a coalescence of thirteen brick buildings, the newest with concrete floor heights that don’t match all the wooden floors of the others.  We used to have to go down one elevator, across the loading dock, and back up a different elevator, to get loads from one sector to another.  The oldest building has a 1906 cornerstone, while the newest(?), is dated 1956.

The section which used to supply 35,000 volts of electrical power is not needed, and has been torn out and replaced with a garden and fountain area, in front of a new, recessed, glassed-in entrance.  I walked up and tried the door.  It was unlocked.  I walked in and began orienting myself.  The old shipping elevator has been removed, and the shaft is an open-core stairway.  Two new hydraulic passenger elevators have been installed back near the new doors.

A workman wandered near, but I’m not worried about workmen.  They’re not paid to make executive decisions if I look like I know what I’m doing.  “Can I help you?”  Oh damn.  It turns out to be the job foreman.  I admit I’m just looking around because I worked here for 20 years.  It turns out I’m not the only one.  He’s had five or six guys here already.  I expected to get kicked out, but this guy is so proud of what he’s done, he gave me a mini-tour.

The black paint has been scraped off the ceilings.  Pipes have been scoured and repainted.  The inside brick has been sandblasted.  The dust and cobwebs of a hundred years have been cleaned away.  Cracked support beams have been replaced by solid new, B.C. Douglas fir.  Decrepit wooden floors have been overlaid with thin Styrofoam, and then a thin coat of self-leveling concrete poured on top.  On the third floor, where we had large plywood plugs in holes in the wall for machine insertion, is now floor-to-ceiling glass-wall for an office-worker view of downtown.

The single largest item of rehab was the windows.  498 rotten, dried-out wooden frames with broken or cracked glass, some repaired with opaque, colored Plexiglas, have been torn out.  They have all been replaced with aluminum-framed, state-of-the-art, argon-filled, double thermo-pane assemblies.  The only reason we didn’t freeze on frigid winter days, was the fact that we worked with hot vinyl parts.  In the mill-room where it was compounded, the thermometer read 90 F….in February.

I very much appreciated this man taking the time to let me revisit an old friend, and I thanked him profusely.  It’s still a bit of a heartbreaker to lose a job and get kicked out of a long-term workplace, but it’s nice to know that the old girl is getting a much-needed facelift, and will survive to provide a whole new generation with a place to accomplish productive deeds.