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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

I’m Just Here to See the Heel-er

(The Bugs & Cranks train rolls on. In the station this time:

Wednesday Walk Watch: Week seWen: “This week’s Walk Watch has more ‘free swingers’ than a hippie love-in at Hef’s bath house.”

Now, back to the nonsense.)

A couple of weeks ago, I called the doctor’s office about the ouchy foot problem I was having. The receptionist, a shrewd little minx, heard my complaint and replied:

Well, as long as you’re seeing the doctor, we’ll just sign you up for a physical exam, too.

I agreed, partly because I hadn’t had a checkup in a while, and partly because it didn’t seem like she was giving me much choice in the matter. And the last people you want to piss off are the staff who work with doctors. I watch Scrubs; I know how the medical world works. And those people are loco. No, thanks.

“The woman could have suggested that I come to the office in a black evening dress and heels, sing show tunes during the exam and coo sweet nothings into the doctor’s stethoscope for an encore.”

Mostly, though, I agreed because the pain in my throbbing toe was clouding any other sort of judgment. The woman could have suggested that I come to the office in a black evening dress and heels, sing show tunes during the exam and coo sweet nothings into the doctor’s stethoscope for an encore. I’d have done it, just to have that stupid wonky foot fixed up.

And I’d have brought the crowd to their feet, too. Or their knees. One or the other.

Anyway, I accepted her terms, and said I’d go in for the full head-to-toe physical. On the condition that they begin with the toes. Do whatever you want to me, I told her. Just have the decency to start at the bottom and take care of the immediate problem, then work your way up. It’s the merciful thing to do.

So that afternoon, I gimped into the office and was shown to a room. Where the nurse proceeded to start the exam. At my mouth. By taking my temperature. I thought maybe she didn’t get the ‘foot message’, so while I was sucking mercury bulb, I figured I’d give her a friendly reminder:

Umgh… shyou know what’sch weally ovewheated wight now? My footch!

She just shook her head and gave me a look that said, ‘Hey — who’s the doctor here?

(Unfortunately, the look didn’t say it out loud, or I could have offered, ‘Neither of us, nurse. So maybe you could run along and find someone qualified to fix my toe now.

Not that I would do that, of course. I’m far too nice. Also, these people are trained in the use of various small and very sharp objects. She could probably even make it look like an accident. So I kept my mouth shut. Except for the thermometer. Of course.)

After measuring — and probably causing — my slight fever, I figured Ms. Ratchet would maybe move on down the road to my foot. Instead, she went for the arm, and hooked up a blood pressure cuff. I couldn’t help myself:

You know what really gets my blood flowing? Somebody fixing my foot.

This dance went on for the next twenty minutes or so — ‘You know what really gets my heartrate going?…‘, ‘Can I tell you what’d really quicken my reflexes?…‘, ‘Hey, I’ll tell you something I could really drop my pants and cough about…‘ — until she was finally done with her nursely workup. Then she left, and informed me that the doctor would be in soon.

Whether to look at my foot or put me out of my misery, she didn’t say. And I was starting not to care which.

Finally, the doc came in, checked out my foot, diagnosed the problem, handed me some info, diagnosed a painkiller, and sent me on my way. Rather anticlimactic, really. All in a day’s work for the good doctor — and my foot has been pain-free since I’ve been on the meds. Also, I can’t feel my face and I get tipsy after using mouthwash — so you know it’s the really good stuff. I’m thinking I should have injured myself earlier, frankly.

As I was leaving the office, though, he had one more trick up his hospital gown for me. This being an ‘official’ physical exam and all, he wanted to run a few tests to see how the old body is holding up. Cholesterol, triglycerides, swine flu, transmission fluid, LDL, HGH, olly olly oxen free… all the usual stuff. So he ordered up the tests, we agreed that I’d visit a lab near my house to have blood drawn, and I promised to get there as stat as I could. The next day, end of the week at the latest.

The next morning, our house went on the market, thus beginning a two-week odyssey of cleaning the place spotless each morning — the better to impress spur-of-the-moment househunters visiting in our absence — and hustling the mutt to her ‘doggy day care’ joint across town. Which is nowhere near the lab the doc and I zeroed in on. So it was just yesterday that I made it to have those tests done. And while I was at the lab to have blood drawn…

Well. That’s a story for next time. Tune in soon to see what sort of blood, sweat and… other stuff was spilled during that visit. It’s a page-turner. Really.

But you’ll probably want to wash your hands first. And definitely after.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “I’m Just Here to See the Heel-er”

  1. Jenn Thorson says:

    Having just this morning come from having blood drawn for routine labtests, my question to you is this, Charlie– Do you drink coffee and if so, how did you hold up not having it until the tests were over?? I ended up writing a post about my uncaffeinated mishap…

    I’m glad, however, to hear that your toe is finally feeling about ready to go to market.

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