Friday, April 18, 2008
Here is the next installment of
The Harrowing of the Aardvark.
(This contains clinical details, some humor, but no prurience that I can detect.Not much, anyway.)
It has been muchly busy this week. Yes, muchly.
I have been enjoying "Reboot" while I print shirts. The series began in 1991, so why is it better than much of the CG stuff today? The writing was excellent, not at all twaddly. The voice acting was top-notch as well. I'll be glad when it is legitimately released.
Tuesday, 15 April
I have been to the Doc twice this week. My previous visit, Dr. N. gifted me with a Fleet enema to clean out with before the exam. Joy. When I was a child, my parents had no more important concern than my habits of elimination, and because I hated taking time from whatever I was doing to go do the BM thing, I was frequently plied with Senokot, Fletcher's Castoria, Feen--a-Mint and the Dreaded Red Rubber Bag. I think that once they used C-4. Anyway, I was well familiar with the enema, so all would be well.
Tuesday, I went in for a full battery of tests, but because my BP was unusually high, we opted to put portions off. I had missed my BP pills, as I had run out, so I could only get to part of the tests. Of course, the fun ones. I discovered a facility for dropping trou before total strangers of either sex without embarrassment, which surprised me greatly, as I am a modest soul. I wonder if there is money to be had... I just fixed my mind on Matters at Hand, dropped my pants, bent over, and thought of England.
Medical technology is amazing to me. I had an ultrasound done of my prostate. Brethren, they don't rub a probe on your belly. Oh, no. There are those I am told that find such manipulation to be pleasant. I guess I'm just missing summat. I had to lower my pants to my ankles, get on a table, and lie on my left side. This is impossible to do and maintain any dignity, but I did my best. The Doc who ran the probe was a nice guy, and had the friendliness that belies the nature of what he does all day. I suppose hearing the patient talk helps to remind that the world is not all posteriors, unless you're in politics. He may get me to print shirts for his grand-daughter's school. I guess it is worth it.
I then went on to a nurse-practitioner, that healthcare pro who is a little lower than the angels. She was a sweet gal, who has a passion for her calling. She is frustrated with Alabamastan's strictures on her ilk. Only three states in the union restrict a N-P from prescribing controlled substances. Our Fair State is one. We share the view that the N-Ps are the finger in the dike, preventing our society from being inundated by the demands of National Health. If we don't have enough enabled N-Ps, woe be unto us as a nation of soon-to-be dotards.
She took the necessary metrics, then paused as she surveyed her sheet. "It says you must have a digital exam.(I really should have held out my hand.) I'm sorry. It makes no sense as you had the ultrasound." Well, drop trou, and bend over."Rule, Britannia...!"
Wiping one's bum clean of lube is utterly impossible to do with dignity with a stranger of the opposite sex in the room. She was charming, and looked at her chart, and the corner whilst I conducted my kleenex-ey business, and then got my pants situated.
I've got to say, these professionals really are. I mean, we had humor -how can you not- but not crudity. We were friendly in an uncomfortable situation. I am VERY blessed that these people are conducting the study. They put me at ease.
Friday, 18 April
Today, I was instructed to come in with a full bladder. I could SO be the practical joker, but I am being a Good Boy. The 40-minute drive afforded me the chance to nurse a Big-Gulp sized iced tea. When my 9:00 appointment came around, I was beginning to notice. Dr. N. called me in, we chatted, she took my blood pressure, which was high, but not as high as before. She weighed me, first in English, then in Metric (She said when the Kg screen came up "You'll like this number better.") I was really starting to notice my bladder, now. We discussed the need for the urination test to have a sufficient sample, so I agreed to go ahead with the EKG. I had to lie down on the exam table . Oy.
Lying on one's back does NOT help one to forget the bladder. I had to be still to settle my heart. Dr. N. trundled the EKG machine in and proceeded to hook me up. It just took a couple of minutes, and lo! I still have a heart. I then suggested that we move on to the next test, and she took the hint. "Your eyeballs floating?" she quipped.
"No, but they have changed color." I retorted.
(You may all guess what I read as a yout'.)
We went to the next exam room, in which resides the Urinate in the Machine test. I looked for the hidden cameras that would catch my comic jerking when the current from the machine made its way up the electrolyte-laden stream, but apparently everything was legit. The contrivance was a white-enameled bucket with a spinning disc in the bottom, which emptied into another white bucket, I guess a litre or two in capacity. All this was connected to a paper plotter.
I was disappointed. I was rather hoping for the clown head with a balloon on it's hat, like the watergun game at the fair.
Dr. N. left and shut the door, whereupon I got relief. For a long time. Finally I was through, I washed up, 'cos I was taught properly, and opened the door. The Doc came in, checked the graph. "Low flow, low strength."
She looked at me and said "Well, you can't write your name in the snow from across the street like you used to." Sigh. Age takes ALL our hobbies away. From my vantage point during the test I did not see the reservoir. When I moved around the machine, I saw that it was filled to within a centimeter of the top.
But wait. There's MORE! She led me to the Ultrasound doctor's office, had me lie down on the exam table, and pull my waistband as low as possible and still maintain decorum.
I felt like a swimsuit model. She glopped some cold lube over my bladder, and got another ultrasound probe, and sonar-ed my bladder to check if it was really empty.
"One ping only, Vasily."
Nope. It STILL held about a fourth of a litre. This is not good, and is ultimately the point of this whole thing. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that wraps around the urethra in men. It secretes fluid which is used as a delivery system for sperm. A major portion of the intense feeling at sexual climax is from the muscles squeezing the prostate to eject the fluid. This is not an unimportant gland. As men age, the prostate tends to enlarge. This presses on the urethra, rendering it difficult or impossible to completely empty the bladder. This causes discomfort in the night, making for multiple trips to the bathroom when you should be sleeping. There are other symptoms as well. A real problem is for old urine to remain in the bladder, making a breeding ground for infection; a UTI is zero fun.
Next came the BEST part. They drew four vials of blood. I am a member of the White Knuckle Club, and have passed out on one occasion having blood drawn. The sensation filled up my head, and the next thing I knew, I was having my head put between my knees. The gal who took my blood today was wonderful! I felt the needle go in...first try.
Then, she let My BP do the work of filling the vials while we chatted.. Dr. N. walked in, saw my death grip on the chair arm (I was unaware of it), unfolded my fingers and said to relax.
She didn't realize that compared to other times, I WAS relaxed! She is a caring soul, and I appreciate her concern.
I wear neither a clerical collar, nor do I work as a bartender, but my manner invites people to tell me What's Going On. Please pray for Dr. N. She has abused her back professionally and as a member of the horsey set -she rides- and has bunged it up but good. She has serious disc problems, and is in constant pain. You can see it when she walks, and hear her grunt when she sits. Pray that she be made well, and that if she is not already, that she will become a Kingdom Person.
Finally, after all this, I STILL had to go to the toilet and leave a urine specimen for the lab. I did, too.
Dr. N. gave me some instructions, and told me I have an appointment on Tuesday to have an MRI bone density scan. Since hormone reduction can cause a reduction in bone density, they are establishing a "Before" baseline. Bombardment with vast sums of EM energy. I can play "Philadelphia experiment!