Wednesday, November 27, 2013


"Hello, my name is Robert and I am neurotic." Or maybe it is "Hello my name is Robert and I am a neurotic." (Isn't it strange that the same word, with the same meaning, can be used as adjective or noun? Or maybe it isn't strange, it is only that it is now 3 AM).

Woody Allen recently wrote of making a trip to the emergency room, concerned with the weird red mark that had suddenly appeared on his neck. He was examined and advised by the doctor that no one dies from a hickey.  I would have sided with Woody on this one.

Some men see things as they are and wonder why, others see things that are not and wonder if they should be writing a codicil to the will.

I had been diagnosed with skin cancer, in its most benign iteration, earlier this year, The offending area was removed, I was cured and was advised to report back in six months for a checkup. When a growth appeared on my stomach about a week ago, seemingly out of thin air, I made the appointment. I had already announced my diagnosis to my wife,and merely went to the doctor for confirmation.

When the doctor took a look at the spot I pointed out to her, I could see her recoil slightly. In that moment I thought, "this is not good."

"That is a tick. How long did you say it has been there?"

 Say WHAT?

You know those terrible movies where the character feels a sudden rumbling in his stomach and in the next instant there is a serpent coming through his belly button and emerging, twenty feet long and weighing at least a thousand pounds? That is what I saw when I looked down at the monster that had taken up residence on and in me.

Why you might ask had I not paid closer attention, or removed the offending bugger when first it appeared on the scene? Don't ask.

The doctor reached for a tweezer I think. She reported to me that she hates bugs and "I always call my husband when one is around, but he's not here today." Is that what you call bedside manner?

"It's moving" she stated in a slightly animated tone. This was not for the purpose of keeping me informed, so much as an indication of disgust. "And its been very happy" she reported.

And then it was over, or at least this part of it. She held up the perpetrator for my review.  "I am giving you a prescription for a lyme titer" (maybe in another context it would have been a "lime tighter" which would be some exotic drink that gets you drunk in mere seconds). I was to wait until next week to get the test done, as lyme's disease evidently takes a while to percolate in your body before it exposes itself. And then, depending on the results (there are, of course, false negatives) I might have to repeat the test several weeks later. Only with the right finding, would I be treated.

In my mind, I could be dead before they come up with a diagnosis. What bug lives in your body for this period of time, sucking your blood like a new born baby on a mother's breast, and does not leave its residue behind? Treat me now, give me your best shot. But it is not to be.

For a neurotic, waiting is the death knell. Woody Allen would not wait. Or at least not without several trips to the emergency room.


Dennis said...

Great play on words "tick-tock"

Shirley said...

I too was diagnosed with Lyme disease this year. Two weeks on antibiotics and all better.

Bruce said...

The other day I showed up at the gym with a pain in my neck, a cold with congestion and bags under my eyes. After a 5 minute deep-tissue massage I was prodded into running 30 minutes on the treadmill and putting cold ice on my eyes. All three maladies cleared up--neck pain gone; cold much better; bags under eyes gone. NEXT TIME YOU'RE SICK TELL YOUR DOCTOR HE OR SHE IS FULL OF SHIT WITH MEDICATIONS AND MRIS. The best insurance for a good old-age is exercise, more exercise, sleep and a good diet.