Ever since I got back from Blogorado, I’ve not been feeling Up To Snuff.
It got steadily worse, until finally I head into Bugscuffle Clinic & Bait, where it’s fairly obvious that they remember me from last time.
When I say “fairly obvious” I mean that there’s a giant fluorescent pink sticky note on the outside of my file which reads (in silver sharpie ink) “DO NOT GIVE THIS PT NTG IF HIS BLOOD PRESSURE IS NORMAL OR LOWER!” with the “DO NOT” circled. Multiple times.
I am shown to a room, the nurse gets my vitals and promises me “someone” will be in shortly.
Sure enough, I look up and there’s someone who looks vaguely familiar holding out a paw for a shake. I squint, imagine I’m looking up at him from a steeper angle, mentally put defib paddles in his paw …
… Oh, joy. It’s the Nurse Practitioner from last time. Out-[deleted]-standing.
We shake hands, and things seem to have changed. He listens, by which I mean that this time I’m doing more talking than he is, and we seem to be getting along just fine.
There is much listening to my chest, and finally he opines that it sounds like I have pneumonia, and would I mind having a couple of x-rays taken and some blood drawn?
“Nah,” sayeth I, “That’s what I expected.”
He takes a deep breath, and asks — and I’m quoting here: “Does this pain feel anything like,” here he pauses, leafs through my file until he finds the page he’s looking for, and then carefully articulates, finger tracing a sentence, “An ice-cream headache with a grudge and a club?”
Nope, I state, rather firmly I will admit.
He takes another breath. “Your file show that you don’t present normal symptoms for, well, anything. Do you mind if we get an ECG, just to be on the safe side?”
I feel my eye twitch.
He holds up both hands, “If there’s a problem, and I don’t think there will be, but if there is — no one will call anything unless you specifically ask for it, okay?”
So. Five minutes later, I’m laying on the same damned bed in the same damned ECG room from last time, with some disgustingly cheerful tech sticking leads on my chest.
“Okay, sir,” she burbles, “Have you ever had one of these done before?”
I twist my head to look at her.
“You obviously weren’t here in May.”
She smiles at me, then hits the button. The ECG purrs, and spits out paper.
A tearing sound followed by a long pause, and then then sound of sneakers rapidly exiting the room.
I start mentally reviewing curse words, then lean up on one elbow, find the ‘PRINT’ button and print meself a copy.
Oh, look. Elevated S-T interval. In, let me see here — yup, every damned lead.
I execute a Migraine Salute for a very long time, then start mentally reviewing the locations of the exits until my front pocket starts ringing. I weasel my cell-phone out, look at it, but the screen only shows a number. Huh.
“LawDog,” sayeth I.
To which the happily perky voice of my cardiologist — whom I’ve not spoken to in months, and never by phone — responds, “How’s my favourite grouchy patient?”
I blink. Several times. “Doc?”
“I’m looking at your ECG on my iPad. You want me to come over to Bugscuffle and push on your chest?”
“Looks like you’ve got yourself another case of pericarditis, but if you’d like I can push on your chest again.”
“I’ll pass, doc.”
“Okay. Rest! Same drugs as last time. Rest! Five days off of work, and then call me before you go back. Rest! Come see me in a week. And rest! Ciao!”
The phone goes dead.
Umm. Wow. The future, it is grand.
I’m still looking at my cell-phone when the Nurse Practitioner comes into the room, both hands held up in a placating gesture, “Mr. LawDog, I’m afraid that you don’t have pneumonia. You’ve got …”
“Pericarditis,” I interrupt, “Again.”
He blinks. I hold up my phone, “Cardiologist just called.”
“Wow. We just e-mailed the ECG, like, two minutes ago.”
“Yeah. I think I’m going home now. Anything to add?”
“Nope. We called the ‘scrips in to your pharmacy. Call us if anything changes.”