Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Doctors and Gas

Typical day in the life of Deb—doctor appointments, doctor appointments, and doctor appointments. Same ol’ hypochondriac visit as always. I had to go to the cardiologist for the fifth time to get that one more extra checkup to see why my heart was palpitating while I exercised. One cardiologist advised me it was PVC (Premature ventricular contractions.) They’re premature heartbeats originating from the ventricles of the heart. PVCs are premature because they occur before the regular heartbeat. It’s annoying when you’re trying to work out and then---THUMP! Right in the middle of your chest, it feels as though someone was punching you…from the inside. It’s a real awkward feeling.

As I walk into the office, I swear this place looked like a morgue. I can’t explain it—but the whole place looked so clinical and so eerie at the same time. I heard weird machines making the most peculiar sounds coming out of one room and people talking in foreign accents coming from another. The office was an old huge house on a hill. It almost reminded me of the Bates house. Thank God my girlfriend came along with me for the ride.

After signing in and filling out redundant medical information, I sat there debating whether or not I should read a magazine. Something’s gotta be better than “Entrepreneur”; which happens to be one of Madelene’s favorite reads. Great. I’ll just sit here with my arms crossed and stare across the room. Not one person was in there. The silence of no voices and the eerie sounds coming out of the rooms beyond were almost deafening. I could feel myself squirm in my chair as I waited for some doctor to call me in.

Doctors one by one were passing by me, as they made their way from one side of the clinic to another. All of them were tall, wearing white lab coats and had a grim look on their faces. Another thing I noticed—all of them were women. They had this ‘WNBA don’t mess with me look’---as well as ‘which coffin would you prefer’ type of stare. I stopped trying to make eye contact—trying to guess which female doc was mine. That was it. Their eyes said enough.

Then a cute petite blonde nurse in her late 40’s came out to get me.

“Debra? Come with me please?” She said, as she smiled and led me into a tiny little examination room. As soon as the door closed, she began to speak.

“I’m Jeannie, I’m the nurse here. I’ll be giving you an EKG along with other tests to get you started. Ya know, it’s been a real shitty past coupla’ days fer me. My father just passed away and ya know, this clinic ain’t givin’ me any time off to grieve.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“Thank you.”

She pulled up my sleeve and took my blood pressure.

“Oh golly! Whaddya’ doin’ to keep yer blood pressure so low! Weewy! You feelin’ a little faint?” She said, as she smiled and revealed a horrible dental history. I didn’t know how to react with this one. I wanted to console her, but she stole the mic and did her thing.

“Awe hell, people come in here and some doctors don’t even take ya seriously when yer under forty…then they walk out and have a massive heart attack…hee hee hee!” Her laugh was almost mule-like with a little wheeze to it.

“So why are you here?”
“I’m having palpitations when I work out—I just want to make sure that it’s okay to continue my work out regiments and ignore the PVCs.”
“Ya know, live yer life. Do yer thang. I just got a Harley and I’m fifty years old. Can’t waste yer life worrying about when yer gonna drop dead…”


I could feel my blood pressure rising each minute she spoke.

“I’m just gonna check your carotid artery right now by sticking these two things on each side of your neck to see how yer blood is flowing to yer brain. Now when I take em’ off, it’s gonna feel like yer neck’s been waxed! Heee heeee heeee!” She said, as I watched her stick all these things onto me. Then she had a billion wires for the EKG machine and totally covered me in little electro thingie majiggies. Talk about being wired.

“Okie-dokie! Well I’m done here, and the doctor will be with you momentarily.”

Momentarily took an hour and a half to get to me. I had to see my shrink in about fifteen minutes. This wasn’t working out, so I had to leave and reschedule this lovely meeting. As soon as I made my way to the receptionist, I saw ‘my doctor’…I saw her name tag and she gave me a look that sort of said, “You’ll regret this…” That can’t be good.

So I head off to see the head doc. Now granted, the guy is very soft-spoken. Hell—the guy has no pulse, but when he does talk, his words are quite powerful. Today he revealed something I was so happy about. My doctor has OCD. Yes! My shrink—the MD—the “psychiatrist” has OCD! He relates. I was so happy…and yes, proud of him. I explained to him how many times I had to use my antibacterial gel today due to my doctor’s appointments and my visit to the grocery store with my girlfriend.

“Well isn’t that a good thing?” He says, rubbing his chin.
”Umm, doesn’t that mean I have OCD?” I asked.
“It could mean ‘obsessive-compulsive’, but I don’t think it’s a disorder…do you?”
“Hmm, no…I think it keeps us healthy.”
“Right. I see nothing wrong with this routine.”
“Doc! Do you have OCD too?”
“I guess you can say I do…but I think it saves us from getting sick.”

I. love. my. doc. Now that I’m feeling a little less psychotic, I’m ready to head out in the world with all my little bottles of antibacterial gels and gloves. Can’t get better than that, can it?

Now that my anxiety was less, I went back home to notice something disturbing. New neighbors moved in. What’s wrong with that? Oh, nothing. First name is "Achmed". Last name is, "Imgonnablowuptheuniverseandgetmyseventytwovirigins". This is what he has sitting in his backyard which I can see from my home.

Take a look-see. I’m not going to be sleeping tonight. Now maybe I don’t know too much about this, but who the hell in their right mind would place a huge gas or propane tank in their backyard? I had to walk through the woodsy area to get this shot. I looked like a complete psycho if anyone saw me. I had to get this picture—because it’s disturbing. One little thing goes wrong, and there goes the neighborhood. My father said ‘there goes the neighborhood’ before he even put the tank in. Hmm. That’s another story.

But in your opinion--what the hell is this thing? Isn't this dangerous? Have you ever seen a neighbor or someone who put a huge ass gas tank in their backyard? Come on---I have heard of big barbeques before, but this is ridiculous.