Friday, August 7, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (The Doctor's Office)

"Did you ever...?"
by Melech

Did you ever have the satisfaction of knowing that all the spring cleaning and fix-up jobs you wanted to do were finished? Two years ago I made a list of all the jobs and projects that had to be done. I didn't start any of them right away because after reading the list, I needed those two years to recuperate. My sister still doesn't believe that after reading the list of things to do, I went into a coma.
Last week I finally finished everything. My house looked great inside and out. At last I could take down the sign I put on my front door that read: "Disaster Area; Enter at your own risk."

Along with the satisfaction of finishing all the projects on the list, came the knowledge that I am no longer young enough to do all that work myself. I do not have a bone or a muscle I know of that isn't hurting and threatening to go on strike. I decided to make an appointment with the doctor for a physical examination. I should have just taken a nap instead.

The receptionist at the doctor's office was a very pleasant young woman and didn't mind filling out the paperwork for me. I was just too tired to hold the pen. When she asked me why I had come to see the doctor, I told her that I just felt exhausted and didn't seem to have any energy.

A young medical assistant brought me to an examining room, told me the doctor would be with me shortly, left and closed the door. It was unbelievably cold in that room and I don't care what anyone says, I still insist that I could see my breath and that there were icicles forming on the sides of the metal examining table. I was looking for a blanket to wrap myself in when the same medical assistant reentered the room with my chart. I asked her if this was really an examining room, or if she had mistakenly brought me to the morgue. She looked around the room and said: "I'm not sure, I'm new here. I'll check with the nurse."

When the doctor finally came in, my teeth were chattering and my hands looked blue. I couldn't feel my feet, but they probably had also turned blue just so they could match my hands. Just as I was wondering if my toes had fallen off and were laying loose in my socks, the doctor put the stethoscope on my chest. He had it there for a very long time. Finally I told him that if he couldn't detect a heartbeat, not to worry about it because I felt sure that my heart had probably joined in the strike with my bones and muscles. When he couldn't get a blood pressure reading, I suggested that perhaps my arteries had shut down and would reopen when the warmer weather came. He looked at me and said: "If I didn't know better, I would think you were dead." "What gave me away?" I asked. "Well," he replied, "you're talking." He tried to draw blood, but my arteries wouldn't cooperate. He asked me if I had been to a cold climate recently and I said, "Yes. This room."

A half hour later, he was finished with the examination and told me that there was nothing really wrong with me. He said that maybe I didn't get enough exercise and he recommended that I get involved with clean-up and fix-up projects around the house. I wrapped his stethoscope around his neck, tied it in a knot, and left his office.
As I was walking to my car, I suddenly noticed that the warm spring air was working it's magic. I felt my heart start up again and I was beginning to get feeling back in my hands and feet. I hurried home and called my sister on the phone, and shouted happily: "Guess what? I'm not dead!" She told me not to call her again unless it was an extreme emergency, and then she hung up on me.

Several days later I received the doctor's bill in the mail along with a document from the County Coroner who said that I wasn't dead enough to require his services. No one will ever convince me that another half hour in that examining room wouldn't have changed that.

”Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2008 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on August 14, 2009

File #RBCOL17

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