Minimally Invasive, Yeah

Today is the day I have been getting nervous about for the past six weeks. Most old guys like me have an enlarged prostate gland, and I have been taking medication to allow me to void. Back when I began taking the medication my Urologist told me that the medication is only good for about six or seven years and then the body no longer responds. That was at least ten years ago, and my time ran out. The options for improving the flow were not pretty. Along came a new procedure which I looked into and decided that if I ever have to do it this would be the one.

My instructions were to arrive 45 minutes early, which I did. Then I sat waiting for the entire 45 minutes before any activity occurred. In my mind I was rehearsing my termination speech for when I fire this doctor. They must have a whole semester of medical school dedicated for how to piss off a patient. One of the methods is making them wait for an appointment. This example is only out done by the pharmacy schools who teach young druggists how to staple drug information to the bag the drug is in, and then to staple the receipt on top of that. Not just once, but several times to make sure the drug container won’t fall out on the journey home.

Finally, five minutes before my formal appointment time a nurse called me in. Her job was to administer an anti-biotic drug in the butt before anything else began. “Are you allergic to anything,” she asked? (I had previously filled out a medical information questionnaire, and boldly listed that I was allergic to penicillin). Oh well, she was just being cautious I thought. “Just penicillin, the name of the drug you mention in the instructions ends in a ‘. . . cin’ are you certain that it is not in the penicillin family,” I asked? She smiled and left the room with the syringe in hand. She returned a few minutes later. “Now I am certain,” she said. I presented my buttock and she speared me with the needle. It is the first time that I got a shot that burned like fire, and kept burning for the next few minutes. “Go back to the waiting room, and I’ll call you when we are ready.”

I finally got called, and the following thirty minutes was spent breathing nitrous oxide to calm my nerves while the so called minimally invasive procedure took place. I’ll skip the details because it is too much information for a blog post. When it was over I looked at the urologist and asked him if I would get a discount for training the young assistant that shadowed the process. Then I turned to the nurse and accused her of not turning on the nitrous tank because I really didn’t feel calm at all. Then I turned to both of them and said, “who ever labeled this as a minimally invasive procedure is nuts.” I had an ultrasound wand up my butt and a tube the diameter of a nickel inserted through my urinary tract into the prostate. If that isn’t totally invasive, I’d like to know what is. Of course the term is a euphemism used to mean no cutting involved.

The kind nurse helped me get dressed and gave me instructions for how to take care of myself after I leave the office. “Be sure to make an appointment for tomorrow so we can remove the catheter,” she emphasized.

My grandson drove me home, and I spent the next hour on the throne with diarrhea.

The cell phone rang and I answered. “This is Doctor XYZ’s office calling to tell you that your appointment has been changed because we are not in the office tomorrow.” In my opinion, this doctor may know what he is doing medically, but he doesn’t have a clue about how to run a business. Why wouldn’t they know about a major change in office hours sooner? Like before I made an appointment.

All I can say is that it is over, and now the period of healing must take place, and I have to keep this MD on my payroll until I am healed whether I like him or not.

Ya Gotta Love Wrinkles!

     Writer’s block is a bunch of crap. I haven’t written a thing in a week because of writer’s block. Like I said, that’s an excuse for laziness. All it takes is to sit in front of the computer and start. Today, I choose to write instead of going out for my healthy three mile walk. I’ll do that a little later. My mind seems to be sharper after a night of rest, and morning is when I write the most.

     Right now, I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my second cup of coffee. Every once in awhile I stare out the sliding glass door to watch the early morning golfers drive by in their carts. Our back yard borders the approach to the third hole at Pebble Brook Golf Course.  This morning the sky is pure blue, and the sun is so bright it is hard on the eyes. The quiet of the desert and the songs of the birds are broken only by an occasional squadron of F-15 jets roaring over head.  Yesterday, during my walk, there were large billowy white clouds scattered all across a deep blue background.  Later in the day, they collected and turned the sky gray. Last night it rained again. This place is like Camelot, It rains at night. A normal rain in the desert is like a drizzle at home. A person can walk in the rain for an hour and not get soaked, only damp.  The way I can tell that it rained is from the water dripping from the edge of the roof. It has taken all morning for the water to run down the pitch of the roof.

     The temperature this morning is fifty-nine degrees. By this afternoon it will warm up to sixty-five.  Yesterday, I talked with a friend who is staying with her son in Fountain Hills. She is ninety-five, and lives near us at home. She asked where we were located relative to her son, I told her just a few miles to the west. She asked, “Is it warmer where you are?” Temperature is relative, or should I say relative humidity is relative. Sixty-five degrees seems warm when it’s fifteen degrees and the wind is blowing over your face. Sixty-five feels cool when you are dressed in light clothes.

     Last Saturday, Peggy and I were at Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes church. We arrived early to secure a seat.  We prayed and meditated while waiting for mass to begin. The church filled quickly with a parade of old timers. All of them looked so much older than us. The servers had gray hair, the ushers needed canes, but the priest was young. We are staying in a fifty-five and over community, I thought.  Most of the homes were built in nineteen seventy-nine through the mid eighties. A retired couple of fifty five who purchased would now be eighty-six. No wonder everyone looks old.  The priest announced that it was a special day because he was honored to bless the marriage of a couple celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary.  Back home, in Frankfort, they would have received a standing ovation. Here it seemed like  . . . eh.  

     The attitude of the people here is to have fun.  They emphasize the positive. Wrinkled skin is normal. Everyone has wrinkled skin here. What is out of place is smooth skin, young people, and babies.  Infirmities requiring canes and walkers are just part of the age. They are looked upon as a way to extend the quality of life to the next level. I don’t think I could bring myself to live full time in a community of old people. I miss seeing the youngsters, and the babies around me. Here the parking lot is filled with Lincolns, Buick sedans, and golf-cars. SUV’s and vans, are for young people.

     It occurs to me that the seniors in this community are the pioneers of the “Green” movement, but they don’t get any credit for it.  They drive golf-cars around town on errands, to church, and on the golf course too.  They do it because it is cheaper, and more practical than driving a four thousand pound car around town. Besides, the Lincoln would probably get stuck in the rough, and make grooves in the fairway. Opening the trunk each time to select a club would be a pain in the ass too.