2017 A To Z Challenge – E

Challenge2017

I know that, according to my own, self-imposed schedule, I should have had a post composed and ready to publish today, about the letter

Letter E

Just about the time the daily A to Z Challenge bloggers were posting their offerings for the letter E, I contracted a case of 48-hour flu. By the time I got back to the computer, it was too late to acquire a list of possible theme words.  Between the virus-induced mental incapacitation and the lack of inspiration, nothing got written.

The situation was made worse by bureaucracy. One of the drive motors on the daughter’s power wheelchair seized, and Murphy worked overtime to ensure clerical catastrophe.  What should have been a (bad enough) two weeks inconvenience, has become more than three months of dragged-on denial of service, before the Provincial disability office finally decided that it’s too expensive to repair a 13-year-old chair.

New rules say that, since she doesn’t need it all the time, she can’t have a new one.  Now she has to break in a new case worker, and jump through all the hoops to find an acceptable handicap scooter, for which the Government will (eventually) pay monthly rent.  Winter cabin fever was bad enough.  Now, the nice summer weather is here, and she still can’t get outside and be independent.

Besides the afternoon-long, hour drive up the highway and back, for her anti-pain treatment, this means that I have taken her shopping several times, to the Farmers’ Market, twice to her dentist, once to the next city to pick up cheap, bulk, dog and cat food, and each week to a counselling forum which helps her deal with the physical and emotional problems of having her loving, supportive son 500 kilometers away.

Eighteen months after being told that the wait time would be 12 months, the wife was finally contacted by her orthopedic surgeon, (the same guy who installed my artificial shoulder ten years ago) and was told that her first knee replacement, the right, was a go.  This required two trips to the hospital to fluff their paperwork.  The first was a mere two hours, the second, an extended, four hour clerical comedy show.  At least it’s finally going ahead.  On June 27th, Hobble-Along Cassidy meets Dr. Stabby McStab-Stab in a dance to the death.

All of this means that, instead of having time to write my usual, knife-sharp, crystal-clear, diamond-hard posts which inform and entertain you, you are being afflicted with this whiny, apologetic, idiosyncratic, fogbank collection of Excuses, for my E contribution.

Thanx for your sympathy, and I hope to see you in a couple of weeks with something a little more solid, for the fabulous letter F.

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.  😯

Flash Fiction #124

hospital

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

THERE’S MANY A SLIP

It wasn’t much of a fall, almost artistic, like a failed ballet step.  One little icy sidewalk patch – and suddenly he was down on his ass, examining it close-up.  He even got an ambulance ride to the hospital – and a $75 invoice.  A taxi would have been cheaper.

Tests, tests, and more tests! X-rays, CAT-scan, MRI….he almost glowed from all the radiation.  A couple of days recovery, and he would be allowed to hobble home.

He hadn’t thought his brother would even bother to visit. Someone needed to teach him flower protocol.  Lilies are not appropriate for a bad sprain.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Busy Brains

Brain

The Explanation

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much.

People do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains, scientists believe. Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full, so, too, do humans take longer to access information when their brains are full.

Researchers say this slowing down process is not the same as cognitive decline.

The human brain works slower in old age, said Dr. Michael Ramsay, but only because we have stored more information over time.  The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.

Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for.

It is NOT a memory problem; it is nature’s way of making older people do more exercise.

***

A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Rabbi all served as Chaplains to the students of Michigan University at Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

They would get together 2 or 3 times a week for coffee and to talk shop.  One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard, a real challenge would be to preach to a bear.  One thing led to another and they decided to do an experiment.  They would all go into the woods, find a bear, preach to it and attempt to convert it to their religion.  Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences.

Father Flannery, with his arm in a sling, was on crutches and had various bandages on his body and limbs.

“Well,” he said, “I went into the woods to find me a bear.  And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism.  Well that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around so I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him, and Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb.  The Bishop is coming out next week to give him First Communion.”

Reverent Billy Bob spoke next.  He was in a wheelchair, had one arm & both legs in casts with an IV drip.  In his best fire and brimstone oratory, he exclaimed, “Well, brothers, you know that we Baptists don’t sprinkle!  I went out and found me a bear.  And then I began to read to my bear from God’s Holy Word!  But that bear wanted nothing to do with me.  So I took hold of him and we began to wrestle.  

We wrestled down one hill, up and down another until we came to a creek.  So I quickly dunked him and baptized his hairy soul.  Just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb.  We spent the rest of the day praising God and shouting Hallelujah!

The Priest and the Preacher both looked down at the Rabbi who was lying in a hospital bed in a body cast & traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him.  He was in really bad shape.

The Rabbi looked up and said, “Looking back on it, . . . circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”

 

Twisted, Sister

I am attracted by clever twists in the way words are used. Here are some examples.

  • Atheists can’t solve exponential problems because they do not believe in higher powers.
  • An invisible man married an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.
  • Alcohol and calculus don’t mix. Don’t drive and derive.
  • A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to hospital. His grandmother telephoned to ask how he was. A nurse said ‘No change yet.’
  • A noun and a verb were dating, but they broke up because the noun was too possessive.
  • A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
  • A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

***

Speech pathologists do it orally.
Flutists do it sideways.
Electrical Engineers do it in parallel.
Mathematicians can do it at any angle.
Potato farmers do it with appeal.
Computer scientists simulate it.
Hackers do it when the system goes down.
Submariners do it deeper.

***

Helping your father

A clergyman walking down a country lane and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.

“You look hot, my son.” said the cleric. “Why don’t you rest a moment, and I’ll give you a hand.”

“No thanks,” said the young man.  “My father wouldn’t like it.”

“Don’t be silly,” the minister said.  “Everyone is entitled to a break. Come and have a drink of water.”

Again the young man protested that his father would be upset.

Losing his patience, the clergyman said, “Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll give him a piece of my mind!”

“Well,” replied the young farmer, “he’s under the load of hay.”

***

Nonconformists are all alike

***

We have enough youth,
how about a fountain of smart?

***

WARNING – You are about to exceed the limit of my medication!

***

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country
are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s
the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity.
But then … we elected them.

***

A Texas girl and a woman from New York meet at a
party. The Texas gal says, “Hi! Where y’all from?”

The New Yorker sticks her nose in the air like
she’s checking for rain, and replies, “Where I
come from, we don’t end our sentences with a
preposition.”

Texas gal says, “Fine. Where y’all from…bitch!”

***

Thank God for the IRS. Without them I’d be
stinking rich!

***

Why were there only 49 contestants for the “Miss
Ebonics U.S.A.” Pageant?

No contestant wanted to wear the banner that
said “Idaho!”

***

If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished.

***

Flash Fiction #71

Bra

PHOTO PROMPT – © Connie Gayer …(Mrs. Russell)

A SHOCKING EXPERIENCE

Thunder and lightning like the 1812 Overture. The rain was just bucketing down.  I was coming back from the Library, with my bestie Becky when it broke.

They say don’t go under a tree, ‘cause it might get hit by lightning. Then they tell you don’t stay out in the open, ‘cause you might get hit.  We jogged home, all soaking.

I watched from the back porch, leaning my left arm against the post. I woke up on the lawn.  Lightning went down my arm.  The doctor said the underwire of my support bra kept it from stopping my heart.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

I Don’t Give A Shit

Bedpan

Mr. Smith was in the hospital for the first time in his life and in traction.  He hit the call bell and yelled out loud enough for everybody on the hall to hear.  “Hey, Nurse!  I gotta shit”

Flustered, she came flying in the room.  Mr. Smith!  Don’t talk like that!  You’re gonna get everybody on this floor upset.  They can hear you all up and down the hall.  When you need the bedpan, just hit the call bell and say ‘#2.″  I’ll know what you need and come take care of you.”

A few minutes later Mr. Jones was admitted.  As soon as he was settled in bed, he realized he had a problem.  “Hey, Buddy.  I’m about to mess myself up here.  How do I get some help?”

Mr. Smith knew the ropes and was glad to help out.  “No problem.  I know exactly what to do.”  He got on the call bell and yelled out loud and clear, “Hey, Nurse!  Mr. Jones has gotta shit and he ain’t got a number yet!”

***
Why did the lawyer cross the road?
To get to the car accident on the other side.

***

It’s not the hop, skip and jump between twin beds that’s tiring.
It’s the long drag back.

***

A group from Chicago spent a weekend gambling in
Las Vegas. One of the men on that trip won $100,000.

He didn’t want anyone to know about it, so he
decided not to return with the others, but took
a later plane home — arriving back 3 a.m.

He immediately went out to the backyard of his
house, dug a hole and planted the money in it.
The following morning he walked outside and found
only an empty hole. He noticed footsteps leading
from the hole to the house next door, which was
owned by a deaf-mute. On the same street lived a
professor who understood sign language and was a
friend of the deaf man. Grabbing his pistol, the
enraged man went to awaken the professor and
dragged him to the deaf man’s house.

‘You tell this guy that if he doesn’t give me
back my $100,000 I’m going to kill him!’ he
screamed at the professor.

The professor conveyed the message to his friend,
and his friend replied in sign language, ‘I hid
it in my backyard, underneath the cherry tree.’

The professor turned to the man with the gun and
said, ‘He’s not going to tell you. He said he’d rather die first.’

***

Two Newfies are walking down the street.  One of them is carrying a cloth bag.  The other one says, “Have you got fish in that bag?”  “Yup.”  “If I can guess how many fish are in that bag, can I have one?”  “If you can guess how many fish I got in this here bag, you can have ‘em both.”

***

A woman goes to her doctor and says, “Doctor, my husband has developed a penchant for anal sex, so I came to you for advice.”  Ok, let’s see…does it hurt you?  Hmm… a little.  Do you like it?  Hmm… well, yes.  Then, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t do it.  If you take care about not getting pregnant.  Getting pregnant?  I didn’t know you could get pregnant in that way.  Of course you can.  Where do you think lawyers come from?