my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Category: illness

the annual physical

annual physical

The OB&C is just back from his annual physical. I had preemptively emailed the doc to bring up the one thing I think might actually be lurking about :Alzheimer ‘s. His family is riddled with it (admittedly his mother had so little upstairs that it took a good long while to tell) and I think it might be a good thing to do what we can to put a plug in that brain drain before the tub runs dry. As my loyal readers know, the OB&C never met a personal medical problem he didn’t want to hold on to like a toddler to his pacifier. Sadly, his doc refuses to enable him and he always comes home feeling glum because he hasn’t been diagnosed with some terrible affliction. He was incredibly hopeful when he left for the appointment as he had so many possibilities for bad news: the improperly repaired (and still incredibly painful) hernia, leg cramps, free floating anxiety, dizzy spells, insomnia, tingling in his hands, skin carbuncles, toenail fungus and a tick embedded in his left buttock. Surely the probability that the doc might find something seriously wrong, given all of those maladies had to be a statistical slam dunk.

Instead he returned home, despondent. Dr. Lafeet once again told him that was in excellent health except that he is overweight, doesn’t exercise enough, takes way too many meds and drinks like a fish. The poor guy dragged himself through the house like a whipped dog, collapsed into his armchair, and directed me to open a bottle of red wine tout de suite and pour him a whomping glass just to get over the crushing disappointment. Good health to a hypochondriac is like sunlight to a vampire. Excruciatingly painful.

I offered to give him my breast cancer if it would make him feel any better.

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it’s all in the book

it's all in the book

The other night the OB&C and I were having dinner and I was having a bit of a sinking spell, as me ole mudda used to say. He assumed a peckish tone and asked why I was so goddam moody. I suggested he might like to leaf through the informative book that Nurse Navigator had given me, Breast Cancer is a Bitch and No One Wants to Hear About Yours which might enlighten him about what might be going on, breast wise and otherwise. He immediately shot back in a highly defensive manner “Well, YOU never read the book regarding MY recent extremely debilitating medical ordeal, The Heartbreak of Hernia Repair.” He got me there. The poor sod hadn’t even had a nurse navigator to get him through the ordeal of having to be driven to and from the out patient surgery center, helped up the apartment steps, into his jams and into bed and then play step and fetch it for an interminable period of time. Nor to lend a sympathetic ear to his weeks-long complaints that the doctor hadn’t done a damned thing, it hurt worse than before, he could still feel it (that also required a sympathetic eye as he poked and prodded his nether region on a continual basis), and he’d almost certainly need another (traumatic) surgery to finally get it right.

I guess MJE and the OB&C could both take a few lessons in being “mindful” of one another’s suffering.

nurse navigator

nurse navigator

As my readers who’ve paid attention (and give a rat’s ass) may suspect, MJE’s been diagnosed with a wee bit o’ trouble,  bumpulous on chesticle. Nothing she can’t handle and she does hope the experience provides oodles of good material. But so far so boring, “Strip to the waist, put on the gown open to the front” rinse and repeat. Pretty sure everyone within a 20 miles radius has gotten a gander at my six shooters by now. Feel like a middle-aged stripper doing five shows a day. But there was a bright light yesterday when I received a call from Nurse Amy who chirpily introduced herself as my “Nurse Navigator!” Huh? and went on to describe herself as “my new best friend.” Whoa nelly, back off Ames. Besties? Hmmmm. Let’s see, can you handle long boozy lunches and rally in time for the 5pm cocktail gong, or cut someone to shreds with a withering glance or caustic quip, or make merciless fun of your family? What about never mentioning avocados, or talking about god’s will (until Jesu Christe himself comes knocking on my door and turns a six pack of club soda into a couple of bottles of nice cab I will remain a non-believer), or your golf game, especially your golf game. Oh and are you prepared to be almost totally ignored until I need you to do something for me? Pronto. Not so much eh, too much pressure? Got it. Totally understand.

But you’ll still be my #1 NN and that’s something.

don’t worry be happy

don't worry be happy-1

Ironic, given MJE’s last post that I should receive a crappy medical notice just this past week. But as my loyal readers know MJE is nothing if not an optimist, glass half full, etc.   That was a joke, I am a bottle ¾ empty kinda gal for sure.

But in the spirit of looking on the bright side, my first step was to make a beeline (on the sunny side of the street !) to Galatoire’s for a long boozy lunch. For those poor souls who are unfamiliar with Galatoire’s, it’s a 100+ year old restaurant that, aside from switching from gaslight to electric bulbs hasn’t changed much since it opened. You specify your waiter when you arrive signaling your status as a regular. If you don’t have one you get a newbie and sit in Siberia. Our waiter is Imre the Hungarian. He’s been there forty years and took over after Michel (my mother’s waiter) retired. Imre is wonderfully old school, hand kissing and all, plus he’s an enabler par excellence. Any ethyl alcohol request is met with an immediate heavily accented “Good idea, thank you.” The OB&C and I were joined by SOB who was in town for a wedding. Knocking on forty and having lived in Atlanta for too many years, SOB, after having gone to Galatoire’s all his life, took a look around and realized that Galatoire’s is a Technicolor dining experience in a sea of black and white restaurants. It’s not that the food is the best in the world, nor the décor, although I do love the tile floors, ceiling fans, flocked wallpaper and mirrors lining the walls (better to watch people across the room), it’s the whole ball of wax. The portly waiters in their often too tight black jackets, white shirts and tiny bow ties, the unhurried pace, the weeding out of riffraff clientele by a now quaint dress code requiring that men wear jackets and an atmosphere of civilized, convivial, well-mannered debauchery. Lunches stretch for hours. Last time we went, the OB&C and I were the last people left, just us and the waiters having their dinners before the evening rush. Some people never leave, they just stay on for dinner.

So, after a couple of rounds of bloody marys and bottles of wine, oysters Rockefeller, crabmeat maison, gumbo, soft shell crab, trout meuniere and Brabant potatoes we sauntered over to the “Slavery in New Orleans” exhibit at the Historic New Orleans Collection. Somewhat (but not completely, thank god) sobering subject matter but was relieved not to see my maiden  family name among the owners. The OB&C’s family hails from the dreary heartland of the country so he was safe. While my forebears were all sitting on the porches of our plantations drinking mint juleps and having our mammies tighten our corsets or our house servants step and fetch it, they were slogging away inventing the steam engine or electric light bulb or something. Well, good for them. New Orleans made its own not insignificant contributions to the betterment of society with the creation of the sazerac and the gin fizz, both of which are equally enjoyable under a lamp shade, candlelight or in total darkness. No electricity required.