Frozen Shoulder on a Stick

No frozen shoulder here.

Not just a shoulder, the “amazing” shoulder. Do you have amazing shoulders? How about lungs? I’d rather have amazing lungs than amazing shoulders. Just would, that’s all.

What’s the lifetime world record for number of doctor’s visits and medical tests?

I must be getting close to it. At least it feels like I am.

Last two weeks: CF clinic, ENT doctor, dentist, lung scan, ortho specialist. And the sleep study and O2D2 at night before that.

Results: I have hearing loss thanks to the endless doses of IV Tobramycin I’ve sucked down, and, as a bonus, a frozen shoulder thanks to who knows what.

I didn’t need a test to tell me I can’t hear certain high sounds anymore. And my shoulder still moves and isn’t technically “frozen,” but it sparks a ton if I move it the wrong way.

But I did not like the lung scan, Sam I am.
I did not like it at all with green eggs and ham. 

“Lie down, please. Take the paper bag off your head.” Those words sound much better when they come from my wife.

The super-efficient nurse placed a mask on my face, told me to hold it tight and not let air escape, then injected something into the mask and told me to take a deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds. This process reminded me of a scene in a movie with two drug addicts getting high. Could I have the colitas spray next time, please, nurse?

I didn’t ask what she made me inhale. I didn’t want to know, as my new “living day to day” attitude gives me “who gives a shit” powers. But I did panic because I couldn’t breathe normally, and I allowed a little air to slip out of the mask.

Why is everyone running away? Damn, Nurse, you weren’t joking about holding the mask tight.

Next came the IV and this nurse nailed it. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am – it is possible to start an IV without it feeling like someone hammered a nail into my arm.

She injected another substance I had no desire to know the name or chemical composition of. Then, unlike a CT scan where you’re inserted into the oven to be cooked, the oven came to me, surrounding with me with a metal plates to take pictures of my air bags, changing positions and moving around me several times.

This is the worst photo ever. It's the shot I took as the machine was passing over me. It was everything I could do to get my iPod out and snap the picture.

This is the worst photo ever. It’s the shot I took as the machine was passing over me. It was everything I could do to get my iPod out and snap the picture.

At the ENT, I got the bad news about my hearing. And the ringing in my ears? Here to stay thanks to my feeble brain’s interpretation of the damage.

There was a bright side to the visit. We spoke about our kids – he has two very young ones – and I mentioned how in a German hospital years ago I hoped I would live to see my daughter turn 5. That would be great, I thought. If I can just make it to see her turn five.

Where did the time go? I asked. It’s a blink. One day she rode on my shoulders, the next she was 11. Now I want to live to see her graduate high school, which is odd because it was my mother’s goal to see me live to graduate high school.

[The following sentence is meant to be read in a crusty old British accent]: Twist of fate? Perhaps. Perhaps not, my good man. Tea, anyone?

Then came a long, strange pause as I waited for the doctor to shove the scope in my nose. Pause. Wait for it. More of a pause. Pause. Wait for it. Is the machine not working? Okay, he’s moving. He’s awake.

“Sorry, I was getting teary-eyed,” the doctor said.

What? That’s strange. And he’s serious, not sarcastic. Hmm, that doesn’t happen every day. Very unusual.

Some doctors are human. At least the good ones are. And I found one.

It’s a good day when that happens. A good day, indeed.

What I am thinking at this very moment

Do you feel lucky, punk?

[adult language]

I just want cystic fibrosis gone, exorcised from my body like an evil spirit, where it would hang in the air and I’d shoot it with the most powerful handgun in the world, the .44 magnum. So says Dirty Harry. And I believe him.

I don’t want to keep looking up medical information when I’m sick, thinking I have a medical degree and can diagnose myself on a web site. Don’t all diseases share most of the same symptoms? How many symptoms can there be?

I have everything – every disease known to man and womankind. The only question is which one is bothering me today. Fuck symptom finder. I have them all damn it.

Why can’t I take a probe like the one you stick in a turkey on Thanksgiving and jab it in my thigh and find out what’s wrong with me? And why do I know that if I gave the probe’s readout or report to two doctors, I would get two completely different diagnoses and they might both be wrong. Where’s the third doctor when you need him? On a golf course somewhere, no doubt, or on his yacht or private jet or on the moon, drinking lunar mohitos. Fuck them all. Scratch that. Fuck the ones who suck. Praise and worship the rest. They’re good people.

That’s what I’m thinking at this very moment.