Wednesday, September 27, 2006

JoyZeeBoy, MD

Six Degrees Update - I called Mr. X last night. Saturday, apparently, was not a fluke. Despite the fact that he was preoccupied with family stuff he seemed very happy to hear from me and spent a half hour on the phone with me. We continued to yak like a couple of teenagers until finally I said, "Look, I know you're busy with your family right now, but I really want to see you again..." and before I could finish it he said, "YES. Let's have dinner Saturday night." So we left if that we'll speak again later in the week to set a time and a place. I'm trying real hard to not "project" anything about this, other than I've found a friend with whom, it seems, I have a "built-in" past.

If I'm going to be a "rigorously honest" blogger (and that is my intention, to the best of my ability), I'll keep spilling my guts about this as it plays out. However, out of deference to the other people in my life, including Mr. X, I intend to protect his anonymity, along with everyone else's.

Now, about today's blather.

Suddenly, so it seems, I'm the worlds foremost medical expert. I got a call from my friend Michael yesterday. "My big toe hurts" he said. Now, he and I often joke about what a couple of princesses we both are (the joke being that we're both hulking 6+ footers who look like a couple of linebackers), but the way he said it immediately set off an alarm in my head.

"Is it pinpointed in the knuckle of the big toe on the right foot and did it come on you suddenly in the middle of the night and is it all red and shiny and inflamed, and did it hurt to have even the sheets touch it?"

"Yes", he said.

"Hang up and call your doctor and tell him to phone in a prescription for Indomethicin immediately to your pharmacy. Mister, you've got gout! And if you don't treat it right now, it will turn into a permanent case of rheumatoid arthritis."

Apparently that put the fear of God into him. He hung up on me.

Then, this morning, my friend Bill was voicing a complaint about what he called "phantom sciatica." Now, I've known that he'd been living in some sort of non-specific pain for the last year or two, but for some reason today it all seemed to gel in my mind.

"Bill, do you take a cholesterol reducer?" I asked him. "Yes." he said.

I proceeded to relate to him my recent experiences with statins and how, finally, my cardiologist and I have totally given up on them because of the excruciating muscle and joint pain they'd started causing me.

I could tell from the look on his face that it was as though I'd just given him oxygen while he was asphyxiating. Suddenly, he could breathe. He had hope. I left him on the street, rushing off to his office where, presumably, he'll put in a call to his internist.

Am I a medical professional? Not by a long-shot. But I do know what ails me. And I know what to do, and not do, about it. And, God knows, I've had enough medical issues to last a normal person a lifetime (open heart surgery two years ago, bi-lateral endarectomies last year, high cholesterol, diabetes and who knows what else).

Part of my job as a human being is to pass along my experience, strength and hope to others.

Another part of being human is just being (and being sober) in the right place at the right time.

I guess that goes for running into Mr. X after all these years, too.

Crap. Maybe there is a certain amount of predestination at work in the universe after all.

Or, maybe God just likes to f*ck with us to see what happens!

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