Friday 6 January 2012

A Bag Of Frozen Peas

I was at the Doctors the other day for one of those “I am getting old and every now and then things ache” moments. This time it was for a very painful shoulder and elbow. It/ they have been bothering me for a couple of months now and I think the whining and the moaning finally got to Louise and she told me in no uncertain terms that I should go and see the doctor.

I am not a fan of the doctor, mainly because they will generally shrug their shoulders and put on that sympathetic/bored look that they are taught at medical school. I think the course is called Indifference 101, which is taught in the same year as “Over billing and “Referral”. I have come to expect this, and the older I get the less interested my doctor seems to be in any aches or pains that I might have.

The other option that they have is the one where they get really excited. You know you are in trouble when you are telling your doctor the symptoms and she backs up as far as possible in the room and starts washing her hands. I am far more worried about this one, because it looks as if they are going to write a paper about me and hopefully (?), get to name the disease. If I am going to die a horrible and painful death, then at the very least I should be able to name the disease. I think that I would name it something happy and totally non descriptive, like “Buttercup Syndrome”.

Normally, they write out a prescription and order blood, urine and my personal favourite the fecal occult blood test. The first time that I read this on the form I thought that a naked witch was going to take my blood with a silver dagger by the light of a full moon. Nothing so romantic! It seems that you have to take a sample of #2 and smear it on a piece of paper. The challenge of course is that you can’t “contaminate” it by letting it hit the water. Contaminate shit? It’s pretty much as contaminated as anything on the planet as far as I am concerned. I won’t go into the procedure, but for me it involved saran wrap, a Popsicle stick, rubber gloves and a couple of nose plugs. In my younger days we had to take several samples over a set period of time from the interior of the stool, put it in a vial and keep it refrigerated. When you had caught your limit, you would put it in a paper bag and return it to the lab.

This always reminded me of my dope buying days, except in reverse. You would go up to a guy and tell him that you wanted to get some shit. He would disappear for a few minutes and hand you a paper bag and you would give him money. Then you would walk away and shortly thereafter the party would begin. Knowing what I know now, I would have opened that bag and taken a whiff, just to be on the safe side. Those were kinder and gentler times.

So, doctor Kathie gave me the sympathetic nod and shrug, stayed as far away from my rash as was humanly possible and wrote out a form for me to have an ultrasound done. I even have to book it myself! Doctor Kathie thinks it is something to do with the rotator cuff. I always thought it was the rotator cup. I guess eight years of medical school comes in handy every now and then. I booked the appt. and in just 20 short days the doctor will get a report that is inconclusive and I will probably be told to ice and heat the shoulder and that perhaps I should just “man-up”.

I’m not going to wait the 20 days; between now and then I am going to start eating my weight in ibuprofen and acetaminophen every day and get out the bag of frozen peas.


  1. Sounds like your going to have some orthoscopic surgery on that shoulder. A buddy of mine who pushes brooms at a Winnipeg school just had that done and was given three months off work. Good news all went well and he was drinking beer from that arm in two weeks. Now the hard part will be telling Louise that you will be unable to do anything around the house for the next three months, good luck with that! B

  2. I had a torn rotator cuff and went to physiotherapy and did excercises and it's better now. It's not always necessary to have surgery. I wish you all the best.

  3. I was thinking that I just had a sore shoulder, now you have me worried. Oh well, at least there will be a blog or two in it.