Thursday, February 5, 2009

What a Fool Believes- Doobie Brothers 1979

Yours truly has a big anniversary coming up Saturday. It's an anniversary I hope none of you have to celebrate, but one that I'm most thankful to God for. February 7th is my 5 year anniversary of being cancer free. Praise God!

I'm planning a celebratory blog on Saturday, so today I'm going in a different direction. You see, because of my anniversary date, I got the pleasure this week of going for a visit with my physician. Not my oncologist, mind you, just my good old run-of-the-mill doctor who usually tells me I'm too fat and need to give up sodas. My last visit, however, was not so routine.

After the obligatory weighing and charting to provide later ammunition for the face-to-face, the nurse cuffs me up for a blood pressure reading and starts with the series of probing questions vital for any accurate medical examination.

Nurse: 'Have you had any unexplained or unexpected falls since your last visit?'

Tony C: 'Hmmm, none that I didn't plan ahead of time or clearly seen coming...what with toys always on the floor at my house with a 1 year old running around.'

Nurse (unamused): 'So that's a no?'

Tony C: 'Safe to say.'

He jabs the thermometer in my mouth rather roughly, and the blood pressure cuff begins to inflate around my left arm. I've yet to make eye contact with the nurse because for some reason he refuses to look me in the face. Hey...I didn't weigh that much!

Pssssst. The cuff deflates. 'Oh my. Let me do that again,' he says and reinflates the cuff. I couldn't see the monitor, but I watched him write down the time and 192/125. What! No way!

'Try to relax, go to your happy place, and I'll take this again.'

Relax! Happy place! I'm on the doorstep of a stroke and Gaylord Focker here is wanting me to relax. The cuff reinflates. Happy place...happy place...breathe deep...happy place...just where in the heck IS my happy place!

Psssssst. The cuff deflates again....194/126. Oh God...this is it Elizabeth...I'm coming to join you and Fred!

'We have a problem. Wait right here.' My first instinct was to go ahead and start undressing for some reason. But I resisted and tried to focus on the problem at hand. Hey, I beat cancer...I'm not letting a regular diet that includes Twinkies take me out. In comes my doctor...

'Mr. C, have you taken your blood pressure medicine today?'

'Yes ma'am.'

'Are you unusually stressed about anything today?'

Now my mind was racing through a number of irritations that chap me raw from my recent rants about the New Age nonsense, to another trillion dollar plan...trillion dollars! That's like 32,000 years in seconds, and Oprah, that idiot Blagojevich and Hamas! Oh don't even get me started on that bunch of...

'No ma'am.'

'Well, I have no choice but send you to the Emergency Room. We've got to get your blood pressure down immediately.'

Well that's just great. The ER...the most inept place on the planet for a quasi-medical emergency. I immediately assessed my appendix had a 50/50 chance of staying with me. For some odd reason, that seems to be the end result of most all ER visits...something's got to be taken out to make you better.

For your sake, I'll fast forward over an hour that includes an argument about me riding in a wheelchair, not having my cellphone and all the administrative pish posh... and get to me, in a dark room trying to relax and thinking about a recent blog I read that referenced a favorite Seinfeld episode featuring Frank Costanza and 'Serenity Now!' So...I'm laughing to myself.

Another hour, several calls with a very irritated Mrs. Tony C Today (who was none too happy I didn't have my cellphone) and a bag of medicated intravenous fluids, I'm on my way out the door with literally a poke full of medications and instructions. 142/96. Still not good...but apparently releasable by current medical liability standards.

When I finally get home and empty the contents of the brown paper bag onto our kitchen counter, there are no fewer than 6 bottles. My wife, who was absolutely beside herself and torn between worry and aggravation, lines each bottle up and we proceed to read the labels.

Take twice a day for BP...Take once in morning for BP...Do not crush, something, something Potassium...Take twice a day for fluid...Take twice a day for nerves...

Dear Lord...I'm officially old. I know I've heard my 94 year old grandmother refer to her 'tassium, fluid and nerve pills a hundred times if I've heard it once. Now, I was looking at all three...for me...and I'm 50 years younger to almost the day.

'I'm not taking a nerve pill! Just what the heck is that?'

'You'll take what they gave you to take! Who are you to go and decide what you will and what you won't...'

'THAT right THERE is why I have high blood pressure! Telling me what I...I'm a grown man...'

'Now you wait right there Krispy Kreme boy. You're not blaming this on me. That's not fair. I try to take care of you, but do what you want...forgetting the consequences, me, your daughters!'

Man, I really hate it when she's right...but I love her like no other.

So here I am. Cancer survivor of 5 years. Survived car wrecks, parachute jumps, deep water SCUBA, being stabbed, shot at and a number of other tomfooleries that should have laid me waste many times over. Humbled by my obsession for golden sponge cake, creme-filled pastries.

As of today, my blood pressure is much better, and I've decided to eat much healthier...but... between you and me...I'm still not taking that stinking nerve pill...whatever that is.


Rosie said...

Too funny! I officially received highest blood pressure of the day award on my last doctor visit. It is the Twinkie syndrome.

jessie said...

you are totally gonna take that blasted nerve pill, you know whos side im on. i worry about you to. but seriously if you wrote a book i would so read it!

~ Lori ~ said...

Congratulations on your anniversary!! Way to go!!

As far as the BP...yes Krispy Kremes are nice..but are they worth the ER??? lol

Semper Fi!

katdish said...

Here's the honest truth (according to a couple of doctor friends of mine). While a healthy diet cannot be overlooked, your gene pool has much more to do with high blood pressure. I am 1 of 4 kids. My oldest sister is overweight, I've been fighting the battle of the bulge my entire life (currently keeping it at bay). The middle sister is the thinnest, eats the healthiest. What sucks for her is she got my father's high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Big sis and I both have our mom's low pressure and cholesterol. It's a crap shoot, basically, and you rolled a 12. Take the medicine and listen to your wife! End of unsolicited advice. Happy Anniversary!

And quit watching Oprah. But maybe she'll be better now that she's gained some weight back. I much prefer "Fat Oprah" -- not so much of a god complex as "Thin Oprah".

Anonymous said...

You keep me going when the world brings me down. You lift me up when the world tears me down. Only you make me laugh and smile the way you do. I love you... forever and for always.

Thick and Think

I think that Jessie is on to something with that book idea!!

Tony C said... sound very much like someone I know...and sleep beside each night.

Thick and thin.

AtlantaMama said...

5 year anniversary of being cancer free. Praise God!

AtlantaMama said...

you'll wanna see this:
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
... a political rant...

Burkulater said...

Probably, you should listen to your wife. We're always right.

K-Dogg said...

you had a male nurse! what is this world coming too?!

Anonymous said...

Tony, It's your sis. God made you special and unique. That is why you have survived all those times and God has a purpose for you. I knew something was wrong when I asked you Sunday night. You need to slow down and relax, and especially LISTEN. LISTEN to what GOD is trying to tell you and your mind and body. Love you, Sheila

Lula! said... MUST take whatever your doctor prescribes. DUDE!!!!

Glad you are OK...sorry for the drama. Truly.