Two Sides Of The Coin

Two Sides Of The Coin

Being 70, I expect to have some body parts wear out, but yesterday was another story. Please note, this is not simply some old guy’s “organ recital” (aka, whining about health issues). Some how I ended up with 4 medical appointments yesterday. Somehow…well I guess we all know how… I made four appointments in one day!

Appointment #1

9:45 a.m. — Physical Therapist (initial appointment with “Amy Irene”). Note: This appointment was three months in the waiting since I was going in to meet with a specialist.

  • However, I awakened for the second day with a reddened, itchy and crusty right eye. I was also seeing about a hundred fly gnats in my field of vision. I kept swatting at them but could never hit them. Fast little buggers! Oh, they must be a new bunch of floaters. Ok, I have now officially relapsed from the viral conjunctivitis of one week ago. Since it is Friday, I reasoned that I had better try to squeak into the eye doctor since they will be closed on the weekend. I phoned them and aha, they were able to work me in at 11 a.m. Great.
  • Now in the waiting room at PT. “Erica” greets me as we walk back to her office. Wait, where is the famous specialist “Amy Irene” who I have waited so long for? Well, Erica turns out to be just as special as Amy Irene.
  • But, I find out there is a problem…Erica is a fit, attractive, and shapely 40 something. Normally that would be just fine. No, it would be great! However, in our discussion, I find out that she will be placing her index finger in places that only my urologist usually goes at my annual prostate exam. To boot, this will happen with Erica for several sessions. Yikes! I tried to assure her that the tears flowing down my cheek werr from conjunctivitis, not fear.
  • I had to cut our first session short, to get to my “worked-you-in” eye appointment. Rush Tim, but don’t get a ticket along the way.

Appointment #2

11:03 a.m. — Eye Appointment (not my usual doc since I am a walk-in—non-confidence builder)

  • Had I not rushed break-neck-speed, I would not have been able to sit for the hour-long wait for the doctor.
  • Once in the exam room…whew…I was not hallucinating. I was having a mass of floaters, not an infestation of morning gnats.
  • Dilating my right eye…brought an excruciatingly bright light into my eye. Those exams really suck! As bad as the discomfort from the spotlight into my retina was, the clinch marks on my thighs from clutching them so tightly during the exam was just as bad.
  • Thank you doc, I have neither a detached nor torn retina. The new medication should help the conjunctivitis.
  • Leave his office at 12:45 p.m. for my “12:20 p.m.”. dental appointment. (Note: I called at noon to say I was stuck in eye exam-hell).
  • Now driving with my right eye dilated…not fun at all.

Appointment #3

12:50 p.m.– Dental appointment — arrive 30 minutes late.

  • What is the appropriate number of times to apologize?
  • His task, fill a “small” cavity… quoted to be about a 40-minute job.
  • Numbing upper right…now matching right dilated eye.
  • The small cavity repair turned out to be a moderate sized cavity repair.
  • By the way, Dr. Clark Sturdivant is one of the best Dentists ever.
  • Walk out of dental office at 1:45 p.m. for my “2:30 p.m.” hearing aid appointment, which is 60 minutes away.
  • Their office closes at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays.
  • Arithmetic was never my strong suit, but I don’t think the numbers are going to work.

Appointment #4

2: 50 p.m. — Hearing Aid repair (4th repair on same device)

  • On the road with right eye dilated and numb right face to get my right hearing aid repaired.
  • I called ahead to see if I should reschedule. “No we will stay for you…hurry!”
  • Finally, after my fourth appointment my right ear now works.


Two sides of the coin

The Dark Side

Whew, this was a whirlwind of a day. As I was racing through the stressful and uncomfortable day, I found it easy to whine. What is with my right side, anyway? Why are all these body parts breaking down? Why can’t professionals keep to a timeline? Why me…why me??

The Bright Side

As my day was winding down and I was traveling my 60 minutes back home, I had a couple revelations. First, why not me? Many people I know have a lot more serious stuff going on with their bodies. For example, I began thinking of the pain and suffering of our daughter Heather who is one of my heroines. It took her FOUR years to obtain the diagnosis of Lyme’s Disease. There is hardly a day in which she isn’t suffering with pain, nausea, brain-fog, and occasional seizures. Sometimes when I call her in the evening, she can hardly speak, she is in so much discomfort. I have rarely heard her complain or whine. My heroin for sure!

Second, I began to experience this grand sense of gratitude: what a great privilege I have to be able to have all this medical help available to me. So many people in the world have none…or limited health care. That, of course is true of people in our own country as well.

I reminded myself that it is far more pleasant to morph from being a FineWhiner to a FineWiner. See you at the doctor’s office!

Tim Berry

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