I’m alive… I’ve gotten a reprieve


As you know by now, I’ve been under the weather the past few weeks with a knee operation and then pneumonia. I’ m much better now, thank you very much. I feel that I have been most fortunate in the fact that I seldom if ever get sick. Don’t take any regular prescribed drugs and usually maintain a fairly decent state of good health.


So, today I’ve spent most of the morning going back to doctors for what they call.follow-up visits. I don’t recall ever having a follow-up visit before, so this experience is sort of new to me and I’ m not sure what to expect.


The first thing I notice odd, is the fact that the nurses ask you the same questions over and over again as if they don’t believe you are really you. ‘ What’s your birthday, do you smoke’ What medications are you taking’do you still live at your same address’ Is your insurance the same’ What’s your drivers’ license number’ Are you sure you haven’t forgotten to tell us anything It leads me to think that the old Gestapo interrogators might have fled to this country and took up new careers teaching in medical schools.


‘ We know you drank some liquids after ten last night. Why not just tell us and everything will be alright and then we’ll let your family go. Would you like a cup of coffee and maybe a cigarette, perhaps a chocolate


Then they x-ray you again. X-rays aren’t bad, they don’t hurt. What I don’t like is when they bring them out and the doctor slaps them up on that little viewing screen and then stands there and goes something like this: ‘ Hum, huum, how about that.well, well, well.’


They always do this just outside the room where you are sitting in one of those hospital gowns designed by a mad Frenchman who was hacked at the United States for not allowing his family to immigrate to New York back in 1895 or so. This nasty Frenchman by the name of Pierre De Beaujolais has the only existing patent on hospital gowns and refuses to redesign a gown that is either more modest or more practical. We all know that France is world renown for their fashion creations, so you tell me why someone couldn’t have designed a better gown for us to wear in doctors’ offices and hospitals’ There is a conspiracy of some sort going on in this matter.


Anyway, here you are in this dumb-rear-end-exposed-to-the-world piece of cheese cloth listening to this highly educated man make humming and well, well, well noises just a few feet away from you. You are certain you have six months, no wait six weeks left to live. Then the nurse appears and takes your blood pressure which has spiked to an all time high and she duly notes on your chart that it’s gone up, then points to the chart as she hands it off to the doctor who both shake their heads and say something like Tsk, tsk, well, well, well’ that’s too bad.’


Little did you know that they just found out the Chinese place they usually ordered takeout from on Tuesday went broke and they were having to decide if they wanted barbeque again or Italian.


Meanwhile your blood pressure has spiked out and your eyes are red from crying since you know your time is almost up. You mentally make deals with God to exercise more, lose weight, watch less television, and go to church every Sunday’ maybe even teach Sunday school. Give more stuff away and be nicer to your Mother in Law. You’ll even agree to return the neat hammer you borrowed from your neighbor two years ago.


Then the nurse returns, tells you to put your shirt back on, take off the gown and the doctor will be in to see you in a few minutes. Then she closes the door. You press your ear up against it trying to hear what they are saying since you’ re certain the conversation is all about that poor man in room number four. This is you.


You can’t concentrate, you pace frantically around the room, you thought you were getting better, now here you are virtually on your death bed. You try to thumb through some of the magazines, but can’t seem to get interested in a Time article on Nixon and Agnew, nor do you car anything about Clark Gable’s love life. You make a note to bring something more current on your next visit.


Your watch must be wrong; you’ve been in this tiny room for at least two hours, not fifteen minutes when the dreaded knock comes to the door. You meekly spit out the words Come in ‘ and get prepared to face the worst.


The doctor takes a couple of looks at you, writes one or two words in your file and says something along the line of Looks to me like you’ re healed up fine’ no reason to come back unless you just want to do so


I’ m so ecstatic; I tip the lady taking up the money for the parking.


I’ m alive’ I’ve gotten a reprieve. Doom and gloom aren’t going to get me. Now, where is that hammer I borrowed’