GRUMPY SAYS THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY IS TRYING TO KILL US ALL
Roll back the clock eight months and Grumpy thought he was on a roll. At his annual physical in September of 2012 he was told that his blood pressure was perfect, his cholesterol on the money, his fecal examine clear and his PSA normal. Grumpy did a happy dance as he drove the Clown Car over to the beer store to pick up a celebratory six pack. Happy dances are very difficult while driving let me tell you.
Nonetheless, Grumpy bellowed through the open Clown Car window, “Long live the Grumpster!” Maybe people are right when they say Grump’s looks a lot younger than his 62 years. He even felt as if it might be appropriate to honk the horn a few times along the way.
Back in his high school days the boys would call this behavior, “A Grey Cup Parade Run.” Esteemed Canadian diplomat, Ken Lewis, was the usual instigator of such high school shenanigans. You see his family conveniently drove a convertible Dodge Valiant.
Well, as my dear mother would warn, “You should never let the Devil know what you’re thinking!”
You see 2013 has been a whole different ball game thus far because Grumpy has been abducted by the medical system and he can’t break free. You’ve heard about his cataract surgeries here. They went very well, thank you very much. But, it is the irregular heartbeat that turned up prior to his last surgery that has a whole whack of Doctors frazzled and frenzied as they try to sort it all out.
“Well, Mr. Grumpy we’ll have to check this out. If you were my father I’d want to get to the bottom of this!” Dr. Thorogood remarked. (No relation to rocker George because this guy has a good haircut and a great job.)
Grumpy believes he was directing this remark to the Good Wife, who is 13 years his junior, because he thought she was his daughter.
At least the Doctor was being thorough, and that is good.
It reminded Grumpy about the time he took the Phenom to a chip wagon after a track meet. He was about 12 years old at the time. (The Phenom, not Grumpy)
Mr. Chips had the gall to remark to the Phenom, “Well isn’t this nice. Grandpa has taken you out of school for the day!”
Well, so much for looking young for his age.
Now Grumpy has spent the past three months in a medical maze of tests, pharmaceutical hocus pocus and confounding consultation. All the while he has been told that, “We can deal with this. There is nothing to worry about, Mr. Grumpy. You are in good hands.”
He has had blood tests; an echo cardiogram, EKG’s, endured a stress test, and worn a Holter Heart Monitor for 72 hours on two different occasions. His meds have been messed with, manipulated and changed as if these Doctors carried the view of, “JUST SAY YES TO DRUGS!”
So in the interest of both entertainment and enlightenment Grumpy would like to briefly describe these medical meanderings. Well, maybe not that briefly, because he’ll have to break this down into one of his Epic series of reports. The first one below describes the echocardiogram.
Medical Message Parlours
Grumpy has never had an echocardiogram before. He had heard that what it really is – is an ultrasound view of your heart’s structure and function. Grumpy fondly remembers watching the good wife receive these procedures when she was pregnant.
As the hand held gizmo was moved around her protruding belly we’d sometime comment, “Is that naughty bit I see what I think it is?
You see the first thing the attractive young female technician said was, “Mr. Grumpy you’ll have to strip to the waist,” as she pulled the curtain across with a cutesy-patootie smile.
Grumpy, of course, complied and gave his best effort toward pulling in his protruding belly in order to reveal his 12 pack. (You know that layer of fat that protects his rock hard abs) He was kind of in “at the beach’ mode as he ambled to the examining room. The only thing missing was his SPEEDO.
Entering the room, Grumpy first was taken aback by the subdued lighting. There was an examination table along the wall as well as whole lot of blinking and whining technology spread helter skelter, this way and that.
Either this was an interrogation room built for Russian spies or a message parlour. Grumpy was betting on the latter.
“Climb up on the table, Mr. Grumpy, and turn to face the wall. “She cooed. “I’ll need you to extend your right arm above your head. And, just relax.”
Then it happened. The technician sullied up beside Grumps to make full body contact, reached over with her arm tight to his chest and began the examination. Her position was not unlike a gentle wrestling hold or one of those MMA ground fights. This was way too close for comfort especially when she said, “I’m going to apply some cool lotion so that my device moves more easily across your skin.”
Grumpy was ready to make a run for it but she had him gripped so tightly he didn’t dare move. This almost felt like spooning.
Much like a masseuse, she kept moving that probe over his chest, rotating it around until she found the spot she wanted. Grumpy was beginning to sweat profusely.
Then suddenly she whispered, “Don’t be alarmed, Mr. Grumpy, the next sound you hear will be the sound of your heart.”
Egad, that sound was not unlike a load of clothes being agitated in the washer – gushooga-gushooga-gushooga. And, no doubt, all of this physical contact and stimuli was about to put Grumpy’s heart into the spin cycle; rump-a-pa-pum-pum, rump-a-pa-pum-pum, – a la the Little Drummer Boy.
Finally, the procedure was complete. Grumpy knew this because the tech removed her death grip and said, “You can get up now. But sit on the table edge for a minute. We wouldn’t want you to pass out now, would we?”
Obviously she was cognizant of Grumpy’s angst. He didn’t have the gumption to pull his belly in now. Hanging his head like a scolded little boy he noticed his roll over had rolled over – big-time.
Given the ambiance of the room and this intimate encounter, Grumpy almost wanted to ask, “What about the happy ending?”
But he knew her reply would certainly be, “That, Mr. Grumpy is not covered by OHIP!”
As per usual you can take all of this with a grain of salt. You know that Grumpy always has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek – he looks for the humour in everything.
What were the test results you say? Well it turns out that Grumpy’s old ticker has good function and typical structure. So, Doctor Kennedy (The Internal Medicine Guy) crossed out that as the cause of Grumpy’s irregularity – heartbeat that is!
It would be on to the next test –THE DREADED STRESS TEST – the one where Grumpy was expected to run up Pike’s Peak whilst wired up like the components of his computer – spaghetti style! No doubt he’d be asked to “strip to the waist” once more. You see, stripping to the waist is a common occurrence when you’re over 60. However,I guarantee you that no one ever asks you to take off your pants.
But, we’ll have more on that later. Until then – don’t worry, be happy!