Medical Bills

medical_363124952_std

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said: “I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”

The distressed woman wailed: “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead,” replied the vet.

“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom.

He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.

A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said: “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.

The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”

The vet shrugged. “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the CAT scan, it’s now $150.”

***

You can get much farther with a kind word and a
gun than you can with a kind word alone.
Al Capone

***

President Trump was being entertained by an
African leader. They’d spent the day discussing
what the country had received from the Russians
before the new government kicked them out.

“The Russians built us a power plant, a highway,
and an airport. Plus we learned to drink vodka and
play Russian roulette.”

Donald Trump frowned. “Russian roulette’s not
a very friendly game.” The African leader smiled.
“That’s why we developed African roulette. If you
want to have good relations with our country,
you’ll have to play. I’ll show you how.”

He pushed a buzzer, and a moment later six
magnificently built, nude women were ushered in.
“You can choose any one of those women to give you
oral sex,” he told Trump.

“Unreal,” The Donald said, “But it doesn’t seem much
like Russian roulette.”

“Trust me!” he said. “One of them is a cannibal.”

 

 

Advertisements

A To Z Challenge – X

april-challenge

I’m going to dip into the healing waters of medical treatment, and for the letter

Letter X

I’m going to talk about Xrays.

X-Ray

Once upon a time, Doctor Kildare, or Marcus Welby MD would hold your TV hand and solve your medical problems with a reassuring smile. More recently, Dr. House proved that a good doctor could achieve the most baffling diagnosis in a single episode.

THEN THERE’S REALITY

About a year ago, the wife developed a cough. Not a cold – a chronic, hacking cough.  After a week, she also got a sharp pain in the muscles of the bottom ribs, below her right armpit.  After another week or more, the cough was still with her, and the pain in the side got worse.  Neither of us was sleeping.

She called her doctor, and got an emergency appointment. He listened to her, (maybe) and told her to go for an X-ray.  The next day, Wednesday, I took her to the lab.  The doctor was to be faxed the results.  No call from the office on Friday, or Monday.  On Tuesday, she called the office, and the clerk told her that he had not found anything on the X-ray….and had gone on 2 weeks holidays.

The next day, the son dropped her off at the emergency ward at 8:00 AM. I didn’t get a call to pick her up, but went down after lunch to find her, and dug her out about 4:00 PM.

An eight hour stay, and, despite her telling them that the pain was in the muscles of the lower, right chest, they insisted on taking another X-ray, to check for a heart attack.  When that showed nothing, they wanted to do a CAT-scan, to check the lungs, but she’s allergic to the dyes that they’d use.

They decided, instead, to do a Gamma-ray scan.  This showed that, because of the pain, she wasn’t breathing deeply or strongly enough, and the bottom lobes of both lungs were developing fluid.  Not finding any cause for the sharp pain, they released her.

The next day, I took her to the ‘Medical Group’, for a clinic-style, first-doctor-available visit. We got a kindly, retired English doctor, recently moved to Canada, and willing to make a few bucks by filling in part-time for the likes of the one on vacation.

He actually listened to her, and quickly found the source of the pain by reaching over and palpating (touching) her, something that no doctor, nurse or technician had done. He wrote a ten-day prescription for a broad medication – something with a powerful painkiller, a muscle relaxant, and an anti-inflammatory.

He told her to take the pills, and wait another week and have yet another X-ray taken, and book an appointment to see him a couple of days later.  The pain quickly disappeared, and she (almost) stopped glowing in the dark.  When we went back to see him, he still couldn’t find anything in the results.  Of course not! It’s a soft tissue injury.

After three X-rays and a Gamma-ray scan within two weeks, it still took a British Marcus Welby-like fill-in doctor (doubly-named Dr. John Brodie-Brown), relying on his touch and intuition to solve the problem by treating the symptoms, rather than with shiny tech-toys.

A week later, I was reading the blog-post of a lady bicyclist. She wrote that she had developed the same symptoms as the wife.  A doctor diagnosed it as ‘costochondritis’, an inflammation of the nerves that control the breathing muscles.  It’s known, but not common, among people like bikers and runners, who gasp and pant for extended periods.

Even with the best of treatment, (Which very few of us ever get) it is still often up to us to diagnose our own problems, and insist that we get full and proper care.  😯

Stoned

 

I should have mentioned earlier, that I’ve become a new Grandpa, well….adoptive.  Earlier this spring, another of my pet rocks had a baby.

SDC10582

 

 

 

 

 

This is Momma Stone.  We took her in when we found her, pregnant and abandoned.  You can probably tell, from her patient demeanor, how she’s been able to put up with me for years.  She just sits quietly at the corner of the garage, enjoying the warmth of the sun when she can, and reporting to me, the amount of rain and snow we’ve had.

One of her daughters, a nice little egg, has been hanging around out on the back deck with a few other teenage stones.  I convinced them, when they’re not busy tweeting and texting, to hold down a plastic cover on a small table.

This spring, when I wanted to put the cover out again, I gently picked her up, and found that Jack Frost had sneaked into the back yard and slipped a little moisture into her.  She gave birth to an even smaller stone, right in my hand.  Mother and child are doing well.

SDC10624 SDC10622

 

SDC10623

 

 

 

 

Inclusions like this happen millions of years ago, when erosion breaks off chunks of the original granite of the Earth.  They roll into stream or oceans, and are tumbled around and abraded till they are smooth and rounded, and finally are covered with fine sand, lots and lots of sand, and then, piles of water.  Over millennia, the pressure of the water compacts and solidifies the sand into sandstone, and these little Easter eggs are often concealed forever.  It was only luck that gave us these two.

****

Speaking of becoming the parent of a small stone….On a recent Friday, I had agreed to take the daughter, LadyRyl, and her friend, and three of the friend’s cats, to a veterinary, fifteen miles away, in the next city.  While daughter and I waited, her cell phone burbled.  Since grandson only works till noon on Fridays, I suspected it was him checking in.  She shook her head and handed the phone to me.

The wife told me not to be any longer than necessary returning home.  The son, Shimoniac, works midnight shifts.  He had gone to bed at 11:00 AM, but had wakened about 1:30 with pain and nausea.  After throwing up food he ate three days ago, and then nothing but brownish bile, it settled into a sharp, grinding pain in the lower right quadrant.

Getting the two gals and three cats back into the car, and home, was like….herding cats.  Finally accomplished, I got back home to find son in the recliner, with an ice pack on his abdomen.  It can’t be his gall bladder; they took that out 20 years ago.  The wife had her appendix rupture when she was a child, and was worried about that possibility.

Get some outdoor clothing on, grab your Ontario Health Card – and off to Emergency we went.  Like every other place, hospitals have gone electronic, and do-it-yourself.  You touch a screen to print your admission form.  You get to sit with a triage nurse, but you swipe your health card to prove that the Government will pay, and to enter basic information.

There was a large flat-screen monitor on one wall, displaying the Emergency Department page from the hospital’s website.  It gave driving and parking directions, paying special attention to the road work that shuts down several local streets, right outside the hospital.  It also showed that they were currently treating 23 patients, with 18 waiting, and an estimated wait time of 3.5 hours.  It’s 4:00 PM.

Pleasantly, surprisingly, they called him at 6:00 o’clock – only a two hour wait, but the hard part is still ahead.  Not knowing if or when I might get supper, I got a hot chocolate and a toasted bagel at the in-house Tim Horton’s.  I read parts of an abandoned newspaper, and filled in the crossword puzzle.  At 7 PM, just as I was going to ask about him, they informed me that I could go in and see him.

He had had his blood pressure taken, had blood drawn for testing and, despite being dehydrated from the vomiting, had managed to provide a urine sample.  They were going to do an ultrasound, but decided that a CAT-scan would provide better information.  They were going to inject him with an organic dye for contrast, but, for what they suspected, didn’t need it, and decided against it.  They were also going to inject a pain-killer – but the CAT-scan was free right now, so off he went.

I went for another walk to combat stiffness, and he got back around 9 PM.  He got his pain shot, and we waited.  Usually stoic like me, he doesn’t often complain about pain.  When the admitting nurse asked him what it was like, on a scale from 1 to 10, he told her that it was a solid ten!  The pain shot soon had it down to a throbbing three.

The son had been treated by a Doogie Howser MD-young Canadian doctor, named Robert Beaver.  He was accompanied by his resident minion, an even younger oriental Doogie Chen, who does all the scut work.  They returned just before 10:00 PM, and told him that he was the proud parent of a 5 MM kidney stone, which was about half-way down the tube to the bladder.  5 MM is the size of lead in a mechanical pencil.  It’s amazing how something so small can cause so much pain and internal upset.

In and out in just six hours, it wasn’t the best day either of us ever had, but, all things considered, not bad.  He should pass the stone on his own, if he drinks lots of liquids.  He was be contacted by a urologist about a week later.  If the problem has gone away, he won’t need an appointment.  If not, we start talking about lithotripsy, to break up this tiny stone with guided sound waves.

Until either of those occurs, he gets to exist with the help of the same high-octane pain pills that I recently received.  Ain’t life fun??!  😕

P.S.  Two Mondays after, the hospital just called to confirm a Tuesday morning ultrasound appointment that the doctor’s office *forgot* to tell him he had.  Wish him luck today.  😯