Posts Tagged ‘visiting the doctor’

Okay, okay, so it turns out I have osteoarthritis. But please don’t ask me anything about it because I honestly don’t remember anything about my diagnosis other than my doctor saying:

“Looks like you’re getting osteoarthritis… blah blah blah blah… of course it’s easily confused with osteoporosis… blah blah blah… will probably spread across all of your knuckles in both your hands over time… blah blah blah… you could try glucosamine but its success is largely anectodal… blah blah blah… Dennis Lillee… blah blah blah… debilitating pain.”

Now you might thing that many of the “blah blah blah” bits were simply spent watching Mr Justice doing his now-famous chicken dance in the background or sliding off his chair or even doing the chicken dance while sliding off his chair. Try it: it’s not as easy as it sounds.

But quite frankly, I would have been none the wiser even without my darling son’s chicken-dance antics. You see, many years ago in Japan, I developed the sanity-saving ability to go on mini-breaks of the mind while some random stranger took three minutes to spit out the single sentence “Can I please practice my English together with you?”. Unfortunately since that happy time, the mini-breaks have become increasingly involuntary – a good thing for when generating material for my blog but not for when trying to absorb important information.

For example, a friend can start by telling me “Oh my god, NDM, I was just at the supermarket…” and before I know it, I’m off! Away! With the fairies! And returning just in time to hear them conclude “… and they say they probably won’t press charges.” It’s very hard to ask them why when, from all outward appearances, I really looked like I’d  been listening quite intently.

So the terrible truth is that while my doctor was talking, I was looking at Mr Justice and wondering if it was Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius or Chicken Little where all the grown-ups were made to wear mind-control headsets and do the chicken dance and, if I were to be tied to a chair and forced to watch either film in perpetuity, which one would be the less likely to induce chronic psychosomatic diahrea.

And after I returned from this little mini-break to find the diagnosis was over, I decided to try and ask my doctor some carefully worded questions to find out what I’d missed.

“So… uh… do I have osteoarthritis or osteoporosis?” I asked, tentatively.

“Osteoarthritis,” he said, looking at me like I was a moron.

“Um… so… er…. will I be all hunched over and gnarled by the time I’m 40?” I asked (the important question).

The Doctor had a quick look at my DOB on the screen in front of him.

“Not by 40, you won’t.” the Doctor said and got up to show me (and my chicken-dancing son) the door.

“Great!” I thought to myself, as I walked out into the reception area. “I’ll be all gnarled and hunched over by the time I’m 45! And I’ll probably be chair-bound and they’ll force me to watch Jimmy Neutron or Chicken Little and I won’t even be able to make it to the toilet by myself when the diahrrea hits!”

But when I got home, my husband came up with a solution: we move to the coast and start hanging out with surfers because in their culture “gnarly” is a compliment and I’ll be so gnarled that, among their people, I’ll be considered a God.

Yep, them there’s Comedy Gold, husband dear. And why on earth I managed to stay focused and listen to that little pearl of wisdom in its entirety but not my actual diagnosis by a trained physician, I’ll never ever know.

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Dr Sherman, our family doctor, is known simply as “The Shermanator” in our household. And quite possibly because he is at the very opposite end of the spectrum from, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger on a motorbike yielding a large automatic weapon.  Oh, we do love an ironic nickname ’round these parts. 

Anyway, the other day I’d just finished an appointment with The Shermenator when he offered the kids a jellybean from a large jar he keeps on his desk. The Pixie, quite predictably, chose a pink jellybean and Tiddles chose a yellow one. 

Seeing the large number of black jelly beans at the bottom of the jar, I asked “Does anyone ever choose the black ones?”

“Oh yes. Let’s just say They Walk Among Us,” The Shermanator replied, as he opened the door to his office to show us out. “Except, when they’re four or five years old, it’s hard to pick Them.” 

“I’d guess so since They’re not wearing black lipstick or have too many interesting piercings. At least not before third grade,” I joked as we all stepped out into the waiting room. And we both laughed and then quickly looked around just in case One Of Them was watching us. 

As I drove home, I found myself wondering if an early predilection for black jelly beans would result in you either drinking blood for a living and/or becoming an investment banker.

Personally speaking, my own early experiences with licorice-flavoured sweets was not a happy one. At kindergarten, we had a ‘Races Day’ in which I managed to come second-to-last in every single race. Obviously my kindergarten had an “Everyone wins a prize” policy because I ended up “winning” something (in a race where obviously the aim was to come second last) and my prize was a licorice-flavoured sweet – let’s just say, in the interests of continuity in this post, that it was a black jelly bean. Anyway, the jelly bean tasted bisgusting (as The Pixie would say) and I remember thinking what a lame-arse prize it was and how I didn’t want to win any more races if that was the kind of reward you got.

I went on to enjoy a life entirely devoid of any participation in sports whatsoever.  And the minute I hit 15, I ditched my deckshoes and pastel clothing, started wearing black a lot and wrote poetry about how depressed I was. Which was no great surprise since all I did was sit around listening to “The Cure”, “The Violent Femmes” and “Bananarama”.

However, there was something… something… which stopped me from taking it to the next level. I never dyed my hair black. Or carved my boyfriend’s initials in my arm. Or even wore any footwear that could potentially take someone’s eye out. For example. And I certainly never ever contemplated a career in selling off-the-plan real estate. 

Perhaps it was because I didn’t like the taste of black jelly beans? Is it that which separates the Living from the Undead? I’ve never read “Dracula” but I suspect this is an angle that Bram Stoker neglected to explore. That and how future film versions of his classic novel might unleash greater horrors on the world than vampires – such as Keanu Reeve’s English accent. Shudder.

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