Friday, July 10, 2009
MARK’S ARTICLE – July 10, 2009
I look pretty healthy, don’t I? See? Fit as an oboe. Look at this. I’m writing the alphabet in the air with my toes. A doctor told me to do that once. I never lost the knack. Or the penmanship.
I could show you some other stuff, but I’d hafta standup. I’m not getting out of this chair just to show off. There was a time, but it’s not now. Thing is, to look so good, I’m really a mess.
For one thing I passed a kidney stone last week. The thing was 4 millimeters. Millisomethings. On the renal scale that’s the size of a lawn tractor.
It must’ve been my eighth stone attack over my short life. As soon as it hit I took an old pain pill. Took another. After the third I still hurt, but I began not to care so much. I could get addicted to pain pills were it not for one thing. Constipation. I don’t care to talk about it anymore.
The kidney doctor showed me the stone on the x-ray. It didn’t look all that big. That’s why they have the renal scale. The doctor also showed me a stone in each kidney, each larger than the one that was workin’ its way through me. He said he’d have to eventually use that lithotripsy sound machine device. He didn’t say “if” they get to be a problem. “We’ll keep an eye on ‘em,” he said.
The doctor did say I would have fewer stones if I would keep taking the pill he prescribed awhile back. I would, but the things give me really bad breath and heartburn. It’s a heck of a choice between perpetual bad breath and heartburn or periodic kidney stones. The thing about kidney stones is that, as horrible the experience, it does generally go away. Kay wouldn’t even watch TV with me when I was taking the breath pills.
As fortune would have it, the day after the doc visit, I passed the stone. There was dancing in the house. I had to dance sans-partner. Kay’s still in a boot with her broken foot. She had no idea I could move like that. I was like that Riverdance guy.
The joy was short-lived, ‘cause right after the stone I got this miserable sinus thing. If someone hadn’t invented the tissue with the lotion on it, my ol’ honker would be look like a catcher’s mitt. As is, it’s a batting glove. Kay finally made me call the doctor for an appointment. Since over the counter pills don’t help, Kay said I must have a sinus infection.
My kidney stone. Actual size!
Have you ever known a person with a runny nose not to have a sinus infection? We’ve all got ‘em. I’m pretty sure I got mine from the sleep apnea test I had last week. Everything’s happening at once.
This was my third sleep clinic. The second one merited me one of those C-PAP machines. Kay’s got one, too. They’re the contraptions with straps and a mask thing that fits over your nose with a tube running to a machine.
After seeing the devices, Jill called us pod people. She wants to see us in bed with those things on. I won’t let her. The other night, right after our good night kiss, I put on my mask and said, “Tower, this Zulu, Bravo, Seven. I’ve spotted a bogie at one seven niner.” Kay actually got tickled at that. I think when you go to bed laughing, the next day is supposed to be a dandy. The next day I believe was when I had my kidney stone attack.
Anyway, I had to have another sleep test, ‘cause there was still something blocking my breathing. That’s what my machine told the doc. The machine records everything. No telling what all the doctor knows about me. I notice each time I see her, she gives me this strange knowing nod. Freaks me out.
My most recent sleep test required that a tube be stuck my nose to record my esophageal… I don’t know. I think that’s what got my nose to running in the first place. It was a thin tube that went down my nose and stopped just north of my stomach. I think. What do I know where a guy sends a tube?
Every time I swallowed it felt like I was crimping the tube. The sleep guy told me not to worry, that I would soon stop swallowing. Mr. Funny Man.
So, I’ve got wires connected to diodes all over my head, my chest, my legs. There were even four wires coming out of my shorts.
So, I’ve got all that hooked up and the thing up my nose and the sleep guy says, “So, Mr. Hayter, are you ready for bed?” I wanted to say, “Yeah, if you’ve got a big enough hammer, I imagine I could drop off.”
After a sleeping pill and the passing of 38, 391 sheep I must’ve gone to sleep. The next thing I knew it was 4:30 and the sleep guy was in the room checking on something. I asked him what was happening and he told me the test was over and that I could go ahead and sleep till light. I suggested he unhook me and let me go home. He must have noticed the desperation in my voice, ‘cause my wired face couldn’t convey anything.
I don’t know the results of the test. The guy did say that I have restless leg syndrome. The doctor already gave me something for that. The pill gave me headaches and the Big “C” problem. (See pain pill side-effects)
On top of all this, I have two voice messages from some hospital telling me that I’m at the age where I need a bone-density test. Bone density! You think they’d notify me if I didn’t have insurance? It’d be as likely as me calling you to ask if I could clean your ceiling fan blades.
But, I’m drawing the line on this bone density thing. I’ve flunked every test a doctor has ever given. I hate to think what medication they’d give me if I had less dense bones. If the pill cured headaches and gave me the Big D, maybe I could go back to taking the restless leg pill. Yeah, I’d give that a shot.