Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Thoughts and Thinks

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Good evening Mr and Mrs America, and all the ships at sea:

Last week’s PET scan reveals, in medical jargon, “nothing that we were not already aware of,” which is better than it sounds. Now, my additional new radiologist says to expect negotiations with Blue Cross to take about a month before the ablation is approved. Apparently, the procedure is so necessary and effective that insurers’ instinct is to say nay. I shall advise as these talks take shape.

As to my health in general, please have patience while I share one of my favorite jokes, which I vividly remember Buddy Hackett telling Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show back in the day, or, as it were, the night.

Sol goes into Murray’s tailor shop to buy a new suit. He tries one on and stands in front of the mirror. “Isn’t that a beautiful suit?” asks Murray.

Sol says, “Yes, but the right leg is a little long.” Murray demonstrates that Sol can take care of the problem with a hitch and twist of his hips. “Now, isn’t that a beautiful suit?” asks Murray.


Sol says, “yes, but now the left sleeve is too long.” Murray demonstrates that Sol can take care of the problem by holding up the sleeve with his jaw pressed against his left shoulder. “Now, isn’t that a beautiful suit?” asks Murray.

With a few more adjustments of posture and position, Sol scootches out the door and down the sidewalk, proud of his new suit, but looking like a being cobbled together with parts from Quasimodo, an Alaska king crab and the late Herve Villechaize. Two ladies pass.

Naomi asks, “Did you see that poor, poor man?”

“Yes,” says Martha, “but isn’t he a spiffy dresser?”

Which is a way of observing that I am starting to feel like Sol must have looked. Within the last couple of months or so, I cracked a few ribs in a fall outside our kitchen; I tripped on bleacher steps at a ball game and managed avoid falling, wrenched my right shoulder – it normally doesn’t hurt unless I make certain unusual gestures, such as reaching to pull my wallet out of my back pocket; and, yesterday I lunged to crush a wasp against a window and managed to kick a table and break a toe. I am reluctant to walk down the street lest strangers come up and try to press money into my hands.

Meanwhile, I have come to realize that I need to cut off the TV for stretches of the day, though I must confess that my bad hearing, augmented now by bad seeing, makes for some intriguing moments…..

For instance, what is “reptile dysfunction”? Why should anyone really care if a chameleon cannot shed its tail, a snake can only crawl backwards, or a guy has a limp lizard? And what on earth do ailing, cold-blooded creatures have to do with a geek smiling at a backyard barbecue or a couple basking in tandem bathtubs out in the middle of nowhere?

What is a wonder bra? To my mind, at least, nothing about this particular article of clothing could be even 10% as wonderful as what lies beneath!

Are tax preparers like cicadas with a different life cycle: do they breed and die and the larvae crawl into the ground only to emerge and annoy us with loud, incessant chirring every year from early January through the middle of April?

I hope by turning off the TV I will avoid creeping into abnormal dislocation and dementia and be able to start concentrating on other, more weighty and salient questions, such as did I really get a phone call from the Alzheimer’s Association this morning, or was that call a few weeks ago?

Hortensia, my wife, and Aloysius, bid you peace.



The Day Before Tomorrow

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm

What ho, rapt audience?

I suppose I owe an update from my last blog, rather than leave you hanging in suspense about what’s happening. Briefly, I meet tomorrow with the ablation radiologist and also get to enjoy the rapture of another PET scan. The PET would be one of the less intolerable test I undergo except that I have to go on a low carb diet for 48 hours before hand. A low carb diet, for those who do not know and are profoundly uninterested (a category that normally includes me), it is a lot easier to skip listing the 4,672 things you cannot eat and itemizing what you can eat. Essentially, I can eat eggs, meat, freshly mowed grass and 20 weight copy paper.

You might be also interested to learn than in a paroxysm of charitable feelings toward fellow beings, I have volunteered to be a guinea pig in experimental tests and treatments. It is my hope that the results will eventually prove useful in improving the care of others of my ilk and condition. I am already reviewing several proposals.

One is a Scat Scan. There are actually two different types of Scat Scan. In the first, they insert your head into a medical apparatus that measures magnetic activity produced by the brain from audio selections of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross singing “scat.”  In the second, they take stool samples and analyse the hell out of them.

Another experimental treatment is what is called a Musicoscophy. In this, the implant a microscopic speaker next to a tumorous growth and bombard it with viciously unpleasant sounds such as “Sugar, Sugar”by the Archies, the whining voices of Mike Kryzewski and Sarah Palin, Debby Boone’s rendition of “You Light Up My Life,” and a constantly changing medley of songs composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber as performed by the Kalamazoo Kazoo Orkestra, and the roar of a Lee Jessup snore. The theory is that rather than endure such sadistic cacophony, the bad cells will flee the host body.

Last but not least is a Panintome, where they implant a pair of goat testicles into your scrotum. Then, after the anesthesia wears off, you must stand in the middle of the recovery room and sing, “Your Bleating Heart.” This really does not do anything for you physically, but it sure does amuse the medical staff.

Live happy and healthy, gonzo compadre’s. Later!

Seve; State of Ablation

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm


Not a mere moment of silence, but at least a whole minute (and a glass of sangria raised) in honor of his passing: Seve Ballesteros has died.

I grew up as a fan of Arnie, but Arnie had passed his prime before I was old enough really to appreciate the man, his play and his accomplishments. I revere Tom Watson, but reverence requires kneeling and discourages an embrace. Seve, however, was THE MAN! For the sheer creativity, doggedness and joy of his game, he was and remains alone.

Others have threatened to become “the next Seve,” but none have usurped his crown. The Shark kept swimming into the reef, distinguished by an utter inability to hit THE SHOT that circumstances required. Sergio showed early promise until he started thinking too much and trying to reinvent himself as a panther to challenge the tiger. Mickelson comes closest to having the game, the shot-making ability, but has a fatal flaw. When he hits a ridiculously great shot, his expression is the same as though he had cut a particularly satisfying burrito fart. With Seve, a great shot was followed by an expression of such exuberance that you wanted to spay the wife, screw the yard and mow the dog. You want to high-five Lefty – you wanted to carry Seve’s bag.

& & & & & & & & & & & & &


In my last posting, I indicated that I was scheduled to visit the foto-booth at the Baptist Hospital fair for a few new images of my lovely bod. The results: Docs say they all are “very pleased” with the MRI of my brain; torso scans show “questionable” lymph nodes are improving and old lung tumor is still asleep: they also show, however, that a tiny new tumor has appeared next to the old in a place too dubious for surgery or radiation. We are discussing the possibility of treating it by “ablation,” a mystical New-Age treatment involving the agitation of radio waves. Essentially, it’s an orthroscopic- or endoscopic-type procedure whereby they insert a jiggly wire into your lung. zero in on the growth, and either fry or freeze the bad cells. If you want a more technical description, you’ll have to look it up. In most cases, it is an out-patient procedure, though with lungs involved, they sometimes like to keep you in the pit overnight to guard against a collapse or infection. I will be meeting with new docs in next couple of weeks to make sure I am eligible and I will deliver an address on the State of Ablation soon.

I, for one, am delighted with the prospect of new docs and an entirely new procedure. Things need shaking up around here. I understand, however, that ablation has rites, rituals and requirements that are unique to the procedure.

First, the radiologist must wear amber footies while he tunes and directs the radio waves. To perform the procedure, a medico must be a member of red sox ablation.

Second, prior to getting pierced, I must recite a pledge: “Ablation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

Third, I must be strapped vertically, not horizontally, on the table and Deirdre must don surgical garb and a face-mask and be a witness while the doc, with the Dells singing back-up, gives her “baby a standing ablation.”

Finally, when I come to post-op, prior to saying anything else, I must sing, “Ablate-dee, ablate-dah, life goes on, la, la-la-la-la life goes on.”

Sounds like as much fun as being hired to coach NC State basketball, don’t it?