My Grandaughter turned twenty one recently. My, out the time does fly. I like jobs that have a meaningful title but not much work. Like Grandpa. All I have to do is master a proud swagger in my walk.
There is a downside, however. Being old enough for the label of “Grandpa” means that you are old enough for some of your parts to be showing wear and tear, and unlike starfish and earthworms – we don’t grow new parts. Instead, we enlist the help of doctors to help us take care of the parts we have.
That is where I was a short time ago – at a doctor’s office trying to hang onto my various parts. A place that is as much fun for me as massive ale hangover. If getting older means spending more time in these places, then getting old is not for sissies.
My first encounter was one with this office-manager type, who I found was much more concerned with my insurance coverage and whether I could pay for my visit that he was about whether I was infecting the entire waiting room with the black plague. This person is usually hired on the basis that she is an honor graduate of the Nazi school of interrogation.
Once it was determined that I was not a non-insured deadbeat, I was handed off to the nurse. A nurse is a person who has had a life-long love affair with needles and who actually draws a salary for poking people and drawing out various quantities of blood. No one really knows what they do with all that blood. I have a feeling that every clinic has a coven of vampires living in the basement that demand room service.
The REAL problem doesn’t start until after you have been properly chilled, semi-naked, in a waiting room with a gown that exposes my gluteus maximus. Only then does the doctor finally walk in– after I have reached the proper frigidity. I have no idea what it is, but since attaining a certain age, these doctors have developed a habit of coming at me with scary white latex gloves and an acute interest in my personal regions. These conditions demand panic.
Nobody’s life will be enhanced by reading all of the details here, but let me say that the doctor told me he would be performing a simple procedure there in his office. I know all about procedures. Procedures are what doctors do when you have run out of blood for them to draw or if they can’t prescribe any bed rest or aspirin. Usually, procedures involve lots of those scary white gloves, along with metal hooks and needles that look like they belong on a shark hunt.
A different nurse brought in a tray with a lot of those things on it, and you could describe my concern as quiet—but very, very real.
My doctor stood behind me with this new tray of shiny, sharp objects like a child with new tinker toys and began putting on those scary rubber gloves.
“You may experience some slight discomfort,” the doctor said.
Now let me tell you all something. Those words may be a wonderful statement of hope, and a triumph for a pleasant bedside manner, unfortunately, it was a blow to truthful disclosure. Someday I am going to look up the words excruciating, agonizing, piercing pain in the dictionary. I expect to see “some slight discomfort” as the first definition.
The thing he referred to as “some slight discomfort” makes sticking flaming toothpicks in my eyeballs seem like a day at the magic kingdom. My teeth were clenched hard enough to get my dentist a new Mercedes and I was making little high pitched noises like squirrels make when they are treed by packs of slathering dogs.
“How are we doing?” Doc had the nerve ask.
Don’t you just love that? WE?!? Is this like the hammer talking to the nail?
“You’re doing fine, Doc! However, I am amid a whole sea of ‘some slight discomfort’ here.”
If there is an up-side to this, it is that it has allowed me to develop a personal relationship with God. I kept saying: “Please God, make him go away.”
In the long run, I suppose it all ended O.K. I walked out on my own leaving only small parts of me behind and none that I needed. It will likely take several different kinds of lightning striking the same place at the same time to get me back there.
The only antidote I could think of for my day was a warm, sudsy bath with a snifter of good cognac. Not a bad way to end any day.