Tag Archives: health

Donnie And His Doctor

thEJ63UKQSAt age 12 Donnie pleaded with his mother to allow him to visit the doctor on his own.

“Mom,” he said, “when are you ever going to let me be a man? Other mothers don’t go to the doctor with their sons, why me. It’s embarrassing me.”

“Well Dr. Henderson is rather old,” she said, “and I think it’s good for an older person to go along so we can bridge the generation gap.”

“Mom,” Donnie said, “that sounds terribly lame. I may have man things to discuss that can only be shared privately.”

“Well,” she said, “you can talk those things over with your father.”

“I did,” Donnie said, “and you got mad. You said the internet wasn’t meant for that kind of thing and you accused dad of being a pervert.”

“Okay,” she said. “You can go to the doctor alone today, but make sure you speak up. Doctor Henderson doesn’t hear so well.”

After the visit Donnie’s mother picked him up at the doctor’s office. He was near tears.

He sat in the car and looked stoically forward.

“What happened?” she said.

“Nothing,” Donnie said.

“Tell me,” she said, “I can always tell when something is troubling you.”

“The doctor asked me what I eat and what I do all day long?” Donnie said.

“What did you tell him?” she said.

“I told him I get up at seven, eat half of box of cereal, grab a soda and donut on the way to school, go to school, two hours of baseball practice after school, hang out with some friends, eat a bag of Cheetos, mow the lawn, have supper, do my homework, go to the mall, have a milkshake with friends at McDonalds, go over to some friend’s house, play a pick-up game of basketball, go home, eat a bowl of icecream, and get some rest.”

“What did he say to that?” she said.

“Keep that up and you won’t see forty,” Donnie said.



Filed under Short Stories

Try Nutri-pill! (a commercial script)

Terry Bradshaw before Nutri-pill

Terry Bradshaw before Nutri-pill

Daily Prompt: Red Pill, Blue Pill

If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?

If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?

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Terry Bradshaw after 90 days on Nutri-pill.

Terry Bradshaw after 90 days on Nutri-pill.

Scientist have recently discovered a village in Central China where the people live incredibly healthy lives. It’s based on an ancient secret formula.  They drink carbonated sugary soda, potato chips, ice cream, desserts, fatty fried foods, and drink beer all day long without gaining a pound. And what’s more – THEY DON’T DIE!

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You will be the life of the party. You will be outgoing, energetic, and likable. Think about it, no more lonely nights with Mom, the cat, rice cakes, and watching The Golden Girls.

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Be sure to tell your friends about Nutri-pill! (that is, of course, if you would rather they to die of clogged arteries, heart disease, cancer, old age, or loneliness.)

Pill Poppin’ Bloggers:

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Filed under Business, Daily Prompt

Dad Gets Cancer

This was pretty much Dad's favorite recreation and hobby.

This was pretty much Dad’s favorite recreation and hobby.

Dad lived from one beer and one cigarette to the other. It was just a matter of time before it would all catch up with him. He couldn’t laugh without breaking into a wet cough.

Dad’s addiction to cigarettes was unbelievable. I recall a time when the family went to Chicago to visit friends we got caught in at snow storm on North Shore drive. The traffic was bottled up. No one was moving. Dad ran out of cigarettes. I recall him pounding the dash of the car and cursing the traffic. “I need some god d*mn cigarettes.”

There are not too many photos of Dad without a beer beside him or a cigarette in his fingers.

I was fifteen and watching TV one Spring evening. Mom came into the living room and told me Dad was in the kitchen. She said, “Your Dad wants to talk to you.”

I was hoping it was not ‘the talk.’ Dad was crude in his expressions and likely such a conversation would have left me scared for life.

Dad sat at the kitchen table with his right elbow resting on the table. He told me to sit. I pulled out a chair and sat. I knew it wasn’t ‘the talk.’ Dad had no hint of being uncomfortable. I’d never seen wear a more heartfelt and serious expression.

“Last week they did a biopsy of a lump in my throat and I have cancer.”

That’s all it took for me to fall in my Dad’s arms. We stood and sobbed and held on to each other. I knew what he said, but all I heard is that ‘Dad was going to die.’

We talked for an hour or so. Dad assured me that he was not going to give up. He told me that he and Mom made an appointment to see a cancer specialist is Columbus. Dad was confident and that gave me confidence.

That night in bed I prayed. I cried a lot and didn’t sleep. I heard Dad get up at little past five and Mom drove him to work. I was waiting for her when she came home. I asked her if I could stay home from school. She insisted that I go, because there would be days to come when I would not attend school.

That day I recall walking the hallways and forcing smiles and making comments with friends on subjects not even in discussion. I could not talk to anyone.

Dad, Mom and I went to Columbus to see the cancer specialists. I sat in the car and waited. After an hour Dad and Mom came out to the car. They were hopeful. The doctor assured them of success. The cancer was local (only in the throat). Some of Dad’s jaw bone along with tissue would be removed.

The operation was scheduled for the later part of May.

Mom, my sister Char, her husband Chuck, and I were at University Hospital in Columbus the day of the surgery. I don’t remember seeing Dad before hand, but I recall the wait. After a couple of hours Dad’s surgeon visited with us and said the operation was a complete success.

It was a couple of hours before Dad was back in his room and a couple of hours after that before I was able to see him.

I walked into his room. He lifted his head. It was distorted and the whole side his neck and face was heavily packed with gauze and surgical tape. Blood had already seeped through the dressing.

I went to Dad’s side. “You okay, Dad?”

Dad had the most sorrowful and helpless look I’d ever seen on a man’s face. My knees buckled and I lost balance.

“Somebody better take him out,” Mom said.

Chuck put his arm around me and walked me from the room. We walked a ways down the hallway and looked out the window. We sat on a bench.

“Are you okay?’ Chuck said.

“I didn’t think he’d look that bad,” I said. “He looks lost and lonely.”

“He’ll do fine,” Chuck said.

(Continued next week.)


Filed under Dad

Running: My 8th Week

June 17

My inspiration for the week.

I’m thinking about changing the name of this series of blogs from “Running” to “The Gout Chronicles.” I simply can’t run.

At this point I’m too ill to go on the exercise bike.

I drove to Emmett Idaho today; about a forty-five minute drive. I gave a talk and on my feet for thirty-minutes. I felt pretty good.

A friend said he was given indomethacin. “One pill and it was gone.”

I have theory I’d like to proclaim; I’m on medicare. It is their intent to keep me coming back until I’m dead or so miserable I want to die. The guy who got the indomethacin was still a productive part of society. Sure they’re going to keep him going.

June 18

Very sore today. Songs have been written about cocaine, LSD, and marijuana; but none about hydrocodon. I think the time is here.

An old high school buddy, Bob Hempker, sent an email today and suggested I change the name of my blog to “The Jittery Gout.” Funny, very funny.

June 19

Family came over for supper. The foot is sore, but tolerable; not so much the grandkids.

June 20

The pain is very intense today. I’d have to rank this as my worst day. It seems like with all the medication, rest, and time it should be better.

I promised my wife if it’s like this tomorrow I will call a podiatrist friend.

June 21

I got a hold of my doctor’s assistant. They prescribed another product from the vast monolithic evil pharmaceutical empire. Colcrys was prescribed; take two pills every hour until gone. (Six pills, you do the math)

June 22

I talked with my son this morning. I told him that, all kidding aside, I really miss running.

I’m wondering if I’m a part of a study and that I’m a part of the group given a placebo. I slept quite a bit today and when not sleeping was still tired.

June 23

I still have swelling, but the pain has nearly subsided. It’s time to pop the corks.


Filed under Running

Uncle Bert’s Fixit Shop (Part 4)

(Continued from last week.)

Welcome to the stories about Rode Apple Junction, a small rural community where people are fair, but small-minded. It is where being yourself is fine, but  it is okay to try something else just to confirm you are not so bad-off after all.

If you see your doctor in the frozen food’s section, don’t assume he’s off the clock. If you ask him anything about what frozen vegetables are best for your heart he many send you a bill for his advice. You’ll be better off asking the ‘sample’ lady.

“I’m a doctor,” Doc said. “You can talk to me.”

“I suppose we can talk on a profession level, but just to be safe let’s pretend we’re talking about something else, so if ever asked in court we can claim plausible deniability.”

“What ever,” Doc said.

“If the big hand on your clock stretches out like it’s 9:15 so it looks like it’s gonna make a left hand turn; the contacts might pull free from the battery.” Bert winked. “And that’s the heart of the matter.”

“So should it be removed by surgery?” Doc said.

Bert’s eyes widened and he made a cut sign across his throat.

Doc rolled his eyes. “I have client patient privilege.”

“Pull the blind Ferdy,” Bert said and suddenly panicked. “No! No! The stretch could kill him. You know the big hand and little hand; ‘the heart of the matter‘.” Bert and Doc pulled the blinds.

Bert spoke quietly. “I think it’s loose contacts,” Bert said. “It’s either got ta be fixed or Ferdy can’t make left hand turns or reach across the table for another biscuit. The stretch may pull the contacts loose again.”

“I’ll send you into to the surgeon who installed it and let him look at it,” Doc said to Ferdy.

“Is it okay if Bert goes along with me?” Ferdy said. “I want to make sure the surgeon is giving me the straight scoop.”

“Sure,” Doc said. “If that makes you feel better. You went to the doctor in Ft. Wayne didn‘t you?”

“Yeah,” Ferdy said.

“I’ll make an appointment for you when I get back to the office.”

“See if you can make it early in the week,” Bert said to Doc. “Kinda of a professional courtesy; I gotta pick up some fuses at the supplier in Ft. Wayne.”

“Now I don’t want you to get upset or anything, Ferdy,” Doc said. “But I got to charge you for this today. If word gets out that I don’t charge for consultations like this I won’t be able to pick up a gallon of milk at the grocery without answering a dozen health care questions by people I just bump into. It acts like a deterrent to taking up my time with frivolous questions in an inappropriate setting.”

“Is that sort of thing legal?” Bert said.

“I asked our town’s lawyer, Melvin Belly and he said it was legal. Anytime you give your opinion in a field that you are licensed you can charge. ” Doc said. “A week later he sent me a bill for $200. I was furious. I saw him a day later at the Jittery Goat Café. I told him there ought to be a law against what he was doing. He said there‘s not. I got a another bill for $100. He rendered a legal opinion, but because it was asked in the same week as the other one he discounted it.”

“Ya gotta watch what ya say these days and who ya say it to,” Ferdy said.

“Ya got that right,” Doc said. “So Ferdy, I’m gonna have to bill ya.”

“How much we talkin’ here?” Ferdy said.

“It’s going to have to be $400,” Doc said. “I’ve hired an office manager and she sets the prices. I‘ll discount it five percent if you pay now.”

Ferdy pulled his wallet from his hip pocket.

“Before ya go too far,” Bert said. “I’m gonna have to charge you rent for usin’ my place as a medical facility and when those blinds were pulled I became a hired consultant.”

“That’s stretching it,” Doc said.

“Well if you’re not sure here comes Melvin to pick up his back-massager,” Bert said. “I’m sure he has a legal opinion.”


Filed under Adventures From Rode Apple Junction

Running: My 7th Week

My inspiration for the week; Walter Brennan.

June 10

Can’t walk

June 11

Saw my personal physician today at 8:00 AM.

He said I have gout. There will be more on this in the future, but this diagnosis could have been rendered nearly two weeks ago. So for around two weeks I’ve had to live with a kidney stone in my foot.

June 12

Can’t walk.

June 13

Limp like Walter Brennan. (See YouTube clip at the end.)

June 14

I did three miles on my bike.

June 15

I’m feeling better. This entire week has been spent depressed and physically ill. Probably the medications. I don’t take them well. Each time I take them there is a different side effect. Neither of which I enjoy.

I went through the entire 60’s without so much as taking whiff of marijuana, no acid trips, or mushroom parties. Now that I’m in my 60’s I’m starting to experience the effects drugs have. If I took them then the only thing I would have missed were the 60’s.

June 16

Still have some occasional sharp pain in my foot.

Look what my life has come to; talking about my foot!

Now I know I’m old. What’s next incontinence?

A YouTube clip of the Walter Brennan limp. It’s comes at the end of the clip.


Filed under Running

Uncle Bert’s Fixit Shop (Part 3)

(Continued from last week.)

Not only can Bert make emergency repairs on pacemakers he can build a defibrillator from spare parts too.

Welcome to the stories about Rode Apple Junction, a small rural community where people are fair, but small-minded. It is where being yourself is fine, but  it is okay to try something else just to confirm you are not so bad-off after all.

“Hey, Ferdy,” Doc said. “How’s that pacemaker doing?”

“The pacemaker,” Ferdy said. “Not so good. I had to come in here to Bert’s and he fixed it for me. If it wasn’t for him I’d probably be dead by now.”

Doc’s eyes widened his jaw dropped, “My lord, man, you should have come to the office, what if you’re heart stopped beating?”

Ferdy was making change for the twenty Doc had just handed him. “If that would have happened I got the rescue squad’s defibrillator in her workin’ on it. It works fine now.”

“Please don’t tell me how you found out it didn’t work,” Docs said.

“The rescue squad was called out to Mitch Peckenpaugh’s place,” Bert said.

“Is Mitch okay?” Doc said. “I didn’t hear.”

“They had to use it on one his pigs,” Bert said. “The defibrillator failed. They’re in litigation now. I’m givin’ my deposition this week. Peckenpaughs have been eatin’ a lot of pork lately.”

“Thank goodness it was only pig,” Doc said.

“Try tellin’ that to the Peckenpaughs,” Ferdy said. “They was heart-sick. It was a prize pig.”

“Why am I not consulted on these things? Doc said. “This is a health care crises for a community our size.”

“Well I suppose one reason you wasn’t consulted,” Ferdy said, “was because of, oh let’s say, the consulting fee.”

“A consulting fee is small price to pay when it comes to the general health and welfare of the community,” Doc said. “I’m bringing that up at the next town council meeting. We should have at least a back up.”

“We do,” Bert said. “I rigged one up with some spare parts I’ve had around here since ’84; parts from two coffee makers, a ping pong paddle set, and an old trickle battery.”

“I hope ya got the other one fixed,” Doc said. “The community should not have to rely on a tinker for public health.”

“The last I heard,” Ferdy said. “It shocked Mrs Gillison’s cat back to life.”

“The one gone around town with its fur singed?” Bert said.

“That’s the one,” Ferdy said.

“I’m gonna hafta put a regulator on that thing,” Bert said. “I sure don’t want them doin’ parakeets with it. Margaret Beasly has a house full. It’s just a matter of time before they rescue boys get a call from out her way.”

“What do you think the problem is, Bert?” Doc said.

“The cat walked in front of Walter Atkins’ truck,” Bert said. “Not a mark on the cat. Just scared it and it’s heart stopped.”

“Not the cat,” Doc said annoyed.

“Oh I’m sorry,” Bert said. “As long as this thing is in litigation I can’t talk about the defibrillator.”

“Bert’s pacemaker,” Doc said nodding at Bert.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Look, Doc” Bert said. “I’m not violating any HIPAA law am I? Ever since this defibrillator thing I’ve come to find out we live in a very greedy and litigious society. The wrong word and the Peckenpaughs can be out the price of a prize-winning pig.”

(Continued next week.)

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Filed under Adventures From Rode Apple Junction