Posted tagged ‘skeleton’

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”

October 15, 2021

Today is cool at 63˚ though it is supposed to get a bit warmer. The forecast is partly cloudy, but the sky is covered in clouds. The breeze is slight. I think it is a sweatshirt day.

I made a list of stuff I want to get done, and I’ve already crossed off one of the biggest tasks: bringing the bags of litter to the car. Gwen, being diabetic, uses the cat box to the extreme. I clean it every day and empty it far sooner than I used to. The used litter bags are heavy. I almost fell down the stairs the last time I carried some to the car. This time I used my cart. It was filled and so very heavy I could only take it one step at a time down the stairs. I pushed it near the car where it sits until I can load the car later.

Today is shot day. I’m getting flu, pneumonia and shingles. They are my first pneumonia and shingles shots. The flu I skipped last year. I was in the house all flu season.

When I was a kid, we only went to the doctor if something was wrong or when we needed shots. The doctor’s office was right beside the driveway to the school parking lot and was in a big old house. His office was on the first floor. I remember sitting and waiting on a bench and looking around the hall outside the doctor’s office. There was a tall stairway with wooden stairs and a carved newel post. I remember how shiny the wood looked. The doctor’s office was at the front of the house. I remember he had a complete skeleton hanging off a hook. His desk was huge as was the doctor. He had one of those giant bellies men sometimes get. I remember he wore a vest and a doctor’s white coat, a coat so small I figured he could never button it across his belly. When I was around 10, I went to see him after I had fallen down the stairs. It was the morning after the fall. He wasn’t gentle. He cleaned the cut by scrubbing it with a gauze pad. It hurt. It hurt a lot. I was thrilled when I didn’t get stitches as the cut was already infected so the doctor slathered something on the cut, covered it with gauze and sent me on my way.

In Ghana, I had scratched an itchy mosquito bite on the top of my foot until it bled. It got infected. I went to the Peace Corps doctor in Accra. He was a good guy. He gave me two options: he could cut it and drain it or he could put antiseptic on it under a gauze pad. He told me the gauze pad would take 5 or 6 days until the cut was healed. Draining it would only mean a few days until it healed. I had him drain the infection. It hurt. Afterwards, he told me it would take 5 or 6 days until it was healed enough. I was a bit surprised as he had told me a few days. He admitted he lied figuring that was the only way I’d have it cut and drained. He was right.

P.S. I went to the deck a bit ago, and there was my stolen African statue just lying there. It didn’t even have bite marks. I hope Nala brings back the tagine next.

“I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away. “

March 30, 2017

Today is a New England spring day. The sun is bright, the sky is blue, and it’s in the mid-40’s. The weatherman calls this seasonable. I call it chilly.

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I was out and about early. I had a doctor’s appointment at 9:30 so I slept on the downstairs couch and set an Alexa alarm to wake me up. She did just fine. The doctor has decided my back needs to be looked at again. He used his knee hammer on my right leg five or six times before it reacted with that quick kick. “Something’s wrong with this knee,” was his professional opinion based on years of schooling followed by years of doctoring. I tell him about that knee every year, and every year he schedules tests which show nothing. This year we’ll do another MRI on my back.

When I was a kid, we never had regularly scheduled visits to doctors or dentists. We went only for apparent pain or injury. I remember seeing the doctor a day or two after I fell down the stairs when I was ten. I remember that doctor well. Pain sometimes does that: etches an event into a memory which dims but never disappears. That doctor, the one with no bedside manner, cleaned my chin gash quickly and painfully.

I remember sitting with my mother and then being called into the doctor’s office. It was huge with high ceilings and lots of wood around doors and windows. The office was in the front downstairs room of his house. The doctor was huge with the sort of big belly some old men seem to get. He always wore a vest with suspenders underneath. The desk was wooden and befitting a huge man. He had a skeleton hanging near his desk. That fascinated me. He checked the gash then cleaned it as if he were cleaning tile grout and then put a butterfly bandage on it. He told my mother it needed stitches, but the cut had become infected in the day or two since the fall so he couldn’t close it. I was thrilled. I didn’t care if that cut stayed opened forever. All I cared about was no stitches.

I loved my first dentist. He always used gas so I never felt any pain, but my father made me switch from that painless, expensive, dentist to a really old, cheap, dentist who didn’t even use novocaine. I swear his drill was a pedal model like the old sewing machines. I remember gripping the chair arms so hard I must have left finger impressions. He soured me on dentists for a long time, but I had to have all dental work finished before I went to Peace Corps staging in Philadelphia. I faced my bête noire and was triumphant. At the dental check in Philadelphia,  I was perfect, good to go.

I figure if my back is my only complaint, I can manage. I can still be good to go.


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