November 10, 2006
So I got some blood drawn recently for an experiment. As much as I like advancing science I wasn’t looking forward to it because, from what I remember of the last time I had blood drawn, it was painful. Admittedly it wasn’t unbearably painful, but, strange as it may seem, I don’t like pain. I try to avoid things like jumping off buildings or setting my hair on fire or being jabbed by needles because, and maybe I’m mistaken, I think these things will cause pain. But then I don’t really know how painful getting blood drawn was the last time it happened, which was several years ago, because I was already in pain from what doctors ended up thinking might be a kidney stone. And I was in a hospital emergency room at four a.m. on Christmas Eve. If this had been a television drama about doctors the waiting room would be full of guys in Santa suits who’d set their hair on fire or jumped off buildings, all the doctors would be married to, and in the middle of divorcing, each other, and the entire nursing staff would be drunk. Fortunately life is rarely like television and, aside from my very worried wife, the only other thing in the waiting room was a video tape about spinal injuries that was unplayable because it looked like somebody sat on it. And although the technician who handled the X-ray machine told me she was hung over, which is one of those things you don’t want to hear from someone who’s about to bombard you with radiation, everybody was nice and professional and low-key and, after drawing some blood, they gave me some nice drugs that made the pain, and everything else, go away.
Then, about a week later, there was the sonogram. I can’t complain about that because it not only didn’t hurt, but they let me look at the monitor so I could see that my spleen looks exactly like Ed Koch. But I digress. Then there was the visit with my doctor. By then I wasn’t doubled over in pain anymore, but he was doubled over laughing that someone as young as me would have a kidney stone. I’m still not sure what he found so funny. Maybe it hadn’t sunk in yet how little time a really sick patient would leave him for playing golf. Fortunately he’ s not my doctor anymore, and since then I’ve never had a recurrence. In fact I haven’t had anything major. I’ve avoided disease and doctors and hospitals like the plague. I’ve even avoided the plague like the plague. And while I’m still not going to go stabbing myself with needles all the time I’m happy that this last time it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. The nurse was nice and professional and the best part is she wasn’t hung over.