“You lost weight!”marveled my co-worker.
“Actually, I’ve been sick.”
“It looks great on you!”she enthused.
Well, rather than wait two weeks for my scheduled physical, I opted to head down to the clinic first thing this morning to submit my blood samples. I ducked out of the rain and into the building at a little after 9:00 a.m., managing to slip into the only working elevator before the doors could rattle shut on me. I hit “4” then, suddenly struck by an uneasy feeling that someone was watching me, I glanced over – and caught a heavy set woman watching me. Well, “watching” isn’t the right word. “Eyeing me as if I’d just eaten her baby” would be more appropriate. I offered a wan, non-committal smile and turned away, enough to dissuade further conversation, but not enough to lose her from my peripheral vision in the event she came at me with a steak knife.
“Where are you going?”she asked.
I glanced down at the only number lit up on the board. 4. There was an awkward pause. I silently cursed the world’s slowest elevator and said: “Four.”
“Is that the dentist?”
“I”m not sure,”I said. I briefly considered telling her I was on my way to the clinic because I’d been feeling under the weather of late and had, just that morning, considered the possibility that my body was reacting to house dust and, thus, had made it a point to vacuum the vents when I got home. But decided against it.
“I’m going to see the dentist,”she said, head bowed, eyes boring through me like a serial killer’s power drill.
“To get my teeth cleaned.”
“I wonder if he’s on the third floor.”
Without so much as a split second’s hesitation, I hit “3”. Just in time. The doors slid open.
“Here ya go!”I said, maybe a little too enthusiastically, holding the door open with one hand and motioning her “Apres vous” with the other.
She stepped out into the hallway and stopped, glanced left, then right, then addressing the wall or some imaginary friend: “I wonder if it’s the…”
My finger was already pressed firmly down on the “Door Close” button. I heard “fourth” as the elevator shuddered and a muffled “floor” as it started its laborious ascent.
As it turned out, there WAS a dentist on the fourth floor. Actually, several. And one clinic. I figured I’d be the first one in but there were already two people in the waiting room. And, I later learned, two people already in the back surrendering whatever life liquid their doctor had requsted. So I ended up waiting for half an hour which I spent pretending to read but secretly trying to guess what those other patients were being tested for. Cholesterol. Glucose. Rabies?
Finally, it was my turn. I was ushered into the back and told to roll up a sleeve of my choice. I went left and, as the nurse tightened the rubber hose around my arm, I felt very much like Popeye Doyle in The French Connection. I chattered on about ambidextrous people and how Theodore Roosevelt could purportedly write completely different things with both hands simultaneously, all the while keeping my eyes straight ahead and, oh so casually, well clear of the procedure. Not that I’m squeamish, mind you. I just generally consider it bad luck for someone to see copious amounts of their own blood.
Finally, she slapped on a band-aid and stepped away. I asked if I was taking a glucose test and she told me it would be covered by the blood sample. Done and done, I thought and, much relieved, grabbed my jacket and started to head out.
Not so fast.
“Here.” She handed me a clear plastic bottle and directed me to the bathroom. Unfortunately, I came unprepared. Actually, not true. Just the opposite. The instructions I’d received had specified “nothing to eat or drink for ten hours before testing”. Noting my hesitation, she disappeared around a corner, then reappeared moments later with a glass of water. I always find these sample requests confusing. The specimen container they give you is always too big and I’m never exactly sure how much they’ll need. Too little and I’d probably risk not giving them enough and having to come back for another round. Too much and it might seem like I was showing off. Anyway, I eventually fulfilled my obligation and headed out, relieved that part of the worst was over.
Presumably, if the results are calamitous, I won’t have to wait until my scheduled end of the month appointment to receive the bad news.
Oh, and add “twitchy eyelids” to my list of symptoms.
Okay, I’m off to vacuum my vents.
54 thoughts on “January 7, 2011: Not that I’m squeamish, mind you. I just generally consider it bad luck for someone to see copious amounts of their own blood.”
see…. Its not Saturday morning with out that!
P.S not the post i was expecting
joe, it’s stress.
P.ps And also wish you well!
Stay well Mr M!
You really are falling apart! Noticeable weight loss is not good. (wish I could catch that) I’m beginning to think Das is correct about an exotic worm of some kind ingested while eating all that fish in Tokyo. Or maybe you got it from the dogs. Ever have the urge to scoot your butt on the carpet? That would be a sure sign of worms. I recomend you lay on that couch by that open window when the sun is shinning in. Sun is good.
You really need to get some sleep. Now you’re hallucinating serial killers in the elevator? Though with your luck, who knows? And don’t worry about copious amounts of blood. with the little needles they use, it would take you forever(ok, maybe several minutes) to bleed out enough to qualify for that adjective. You’d feel the warmth wetness slithering down your arm in plenty of time to realize you’d wandered into a vampire lair, and to extract the emergency garlic clove from your breast pocket. You DO realize vampires generally work as phletobomists, don’t you? Three or four tubes for the tests, a couple of tubes for their own use. That way they avoid creating more of their own kind and thus risking upsetting the predator/ prey balance, AND they can treat spare vials like trading cards or bottles of wine.
Looking forward to the test results. Thanks for the chuckle of the day, and here’s hoping the weekend has you feeling better.
Off to vacuum your vents? I knew that was legal in Nevada…wouldn’t have thought so in Vancouver.
don’t go watch this in your current state :
How much you wanna bet that you’ve probably acquired an allergy to the Dogs…?
Actually…. a thought just came to me… Do you wear any cologne or scented aftershave? There’s lots of crap in those things.
Vent vacuuming should be left to those folks with those vans that say “vent vacuuming” on them, not the person who has/might have the allergy.
@Lou Zucaro – You know what I mean.
I read that entry wondering when the lady who stared darts into you would pop up again and give you what for for letting her off on the wrong floor.
The only time I remember a line on the cup was when I went in for drug testing for a job. That aside, I’m quite a show-off.
It could be several things going on at once that can explain some of your symptoms. Stress can really wreck your body, and totally screws up your sleep cycle. My doctor says that stress can rob your body of melotonin and then sleep becomes a dog chasing its tail kinda thing. Also stress can raise blood pressure, cause stomach/digestive issues and raise the heart rate. Just a few things. We all know what a stressful situation you are in currently. Uncertaintity is the most stressful of all for me. Combine that with the recent travel experiences and unusual food you have been eating……it can all work together to be what you are going through physically. Food allergies can wreck your body as well with many symptoms including rash. I would recommend taking a Benedryl, claritin, zyrtec or loradine (generic for claritin). daily. I take it daily and it helps me a lot. just a suggestion.
What, no stool sample? What kind of check up is this? Especially since you’ve come back from Asia and really did have a bad meal experience.
Ask Ivon — I diagnosed his heat exhaustion from his hockey game once a year or so back. He was feeling ill and described his symptoms on Twitter. He was thinking flu. I suggested heat exhaustion since he had also tweeted about some intense hockey games. I happened to be right.
I’m really not helping here, am I?
Funny elevator scenario. I attended this autism conference about adolescence and adults with autism and basically their activities of daily living, and one topic was the elevator. There is elevator etiquette. While that seems to come naturally to most people, that is a learned behavior for people with autism. The presentation was really funny. I’ll see if I can find the PowerPoint presentation and put it on Twitpic or find the transcript.
I really do hope you get to feeling better soon (and glad you went and had the blood work done).
Ponytail said: “Ever have the urge to scoot your butt on the carpet? That would be a sure sign of worms. ”
That left me with a visual I won’t soon forget. I had a good chuckle over that.
I believe that you meant feeling like Popeye Doyle in the sequel…The French Connection *2*.
I am no doctor but i would say it probably is some sort of food withdrawl your body was so used to eating wheelbarrows of food while in tokyo and during the holidays. Throw in the stress of travel, holidays, family and work (or lack thereof) and you should be dead come monday morning!!
Ooooo, twitchy eyelids. Drives me bonkers. Don’t suppose you have some comfy clothes, comfy couch and DVD of a season of a show you didn’t get a chance to watch when it was on TV, with a good bottle of something? My cure for twitchy eyelids.
I find watching blood going into the vile fascinating. It looks so simple. But is so complex and sustains life. Does that make me strange(er)?
Joe, you really should occupy your mind with GOOD FOOD instead, that always helps for any symptoms!
Have a look at this picture, and I promise you will feel better immediately: http://i55.tinypic.com/dbpqf9.jpg
If you ever should pass by in Austria/Europe, there is a Japanese restaurant chain offering these fabulous Shitake Maki (10 pieces medium-sized maki, with beef, Shitake mushrooms, cucumbers, spinach leaves, carrots, bean sprouts, zucchini and egg stripes in crispy warm tempura mantle, with hot Sriracha sauce), which I am pretty much addicted to (have to eat them every time I visit that restaurant).
BTW You got me addicted to low-roasted pork belly with Hoisin as well, since you posted those pork belly pictures (unfortunately I am the only one in my household on this one, so I may not get it as often as I liked).
And to top it off, have some Profiteroles Bianco: http://i56.tinypic.com/2pra7ww.jpg
2.65 lbs of heaven, the finest cream puffs you can imagine, filled with vanilla-cream, covered with Chantilly cream and white chocolate.
That should cure any real or imaginary disease for sure! 🙂
Joe, that post is once again an example of what an awesome writer you are! To be able to turn such such an everyday event into such an interesting story is a real talent.
I agree that twtchy eyelid = stress. Or fatigue. Maybe both. The body can react in some pretty weird ways to stress. I’ve been through a lot lately and I can definitely confirm that!
It is just the dreaded man-flu!!
You are lucky you did not faint while giving blood.
Get well soon.
@ Joe – 😆 😆 😆
Firstly, Joe, I totally understand the thing about peeing in the cup. I never know how much they want, and fear giving too little, or too much. Add to that the fact that – as a woman – my aim isn’t exactly good. My attempt to actually get the pee in the cup would be quite an amusing scene to witness, like some sort of obscene Lucille Ball skit. 😛
Secondly, I didn’t know you were also losing weight. The worm thing is looking pretty good. See Ponytail‘s post for additional symptoms. 😆 😆 😆
Thirdly, I don’t mind when they take blood. Mr. Das, on the other hand, nearly faints the moment he spies the needle. 🙄 Me? I think it’s pretty neat. They can only draw from my left arm because I have a roll-y vein on my right, and they can never stab it because it just rolls away. I call the phlebotomist ‘Dracula’, and ask questions and stuff. I’ve learned that the tubes contain different additives like anticoagulates, or other substances, depending on the test to be performed.
Fourthly, I sincerely hope that you have nothing more serious than perhaps a little stress going on. Or, ya know…worms. 😉
Have a good one, Scooter. 🙂
If it’s not something you picked up on the plane or in Japan, I agree with majorsal – it’s stress.
Outside of your private life we (rightly) can only go by your work and what you’ve written here. I’d say the nature in which the show was cancelled and the length of it’s lifespan and quite frankly – the effort you put in to breathing life into it, defending the powers that be and colleagues from the criticism, that has been in some cases unrelenting, takes a reasonably large yet silent toll on anyone.
SG has been your entire life over the last few years, yeah you’re a prolific writer and now have a respectable web presence, but while you passion for food, travel and reading are realistic diversions and enjoyable diversions to SG life, they all come together in you and on here.
So if the pulling of the SGU plug hasn’t had the deepest of effects… then I simply don’t know what would.
Obviously, I’m not a Dr and certainly wouldn’t assume otherwise, but when you’ve spent years as the fun go-to guy to everyone else, carried a responsibility of others at your level – who do you go to?
While you obviously have a personal reaction to this, and you’re more that aware of just how this industry works at nuts and bolts level… A large chunk of your life has been put into this.
Don’t be surprised if there is a stress reaction, dramatic weight loss etc.
But remember that while people may or may not have liked SGU, no one can really take away from you what any of you achieved is all this – not to mention the DVD sales which of the years have been staggering.
Joe = Rodney McKay
With regards to when to take your christmas tree down I have a friend who takes it down on July 26 after her and her families Christmas in July celebrations. She says what’s the point of taking it down at the beginning of January only having to put it back up again in July? I thought what would be the point of taking it down in July if you just have to put it back up in December? Why not keep the tree up all year round? As long as it is artificial though, a real one might get a bit messy and scrawny.
I hope you feel better Joe. Perhaps you are feeling the effects of too much happening at once. Your trip to Japan, Universe’s cancellation, your Mom and Sis visiting for Christmas and an uncertain future. Have you started up your post Christmas exercise routine yet?
I hate getting blood taken. They try to take the blood from my arm, and they can’t find a vein. After feeling like a pin cushion…then they decide to take the blood from my hand which hurts much more than taking the blood from the arm. One time…a nurse was trying to search for a vein in my arm WITH the needle (ow! :()…and…she ended up puncturing a blood vessel. I had a bruise on my arm for about a week. It looked like someone punched me in the arm.
I always watch the needle and the blood draw. I am more relaxed with the illusion of control.
Did you wear a dust mask while vacuuming? Id is a sure bet your vacuum has a hepa filter?
Crap, I hate typos I spot as I hit enter.
Hey, Joey! I think I found your problem…
So many bugs going around, am hoping this is one of them and you’ll be well and spry shortly.
Speaking of allergic reactions… I jiggled some 60 year old sink hardware yesterday and woke up today feeling a bit pneumonia-ish.
I caught double pneumonia from smelling a jar of moldy spaghetti sauce when I was a kid, just didn’t look before I took a whiff of exploding spores.
The irritation from the reaction is enough to get whatever’s causing my sore throat to take hold whereever it darn well feels like. I took some Claritin, but maybe too late if a bacteria gets a foothold. We’ll see.
You got the money, pay someone to go scouring around your house for stuff that’s causing a reaction. Those people with the vacuum vans that let the vacuum air out outdoors sound like a good investment. There are other folks who could know when to be careful investigating the underside of your walls looking for stuff like black mold. You don’t need to be the one to happen upon it.
Sorry to laugh, with you having mysterious ailments and all, but you shouldn’t make it quite so comical. You do keep me amused. But on a more serious note, hope you find out what lurg you have and get rid of it soon. 🙂
@Das: I was thinking along the same vein (pardon the expression), but more like an Iratus Bug larvae.
@Das: Oy, where do you find this crap? You’ve got everybody puckering up BIG TIME 🙂 My daughter’s terrified of roaches, so I’ve sent it to her to give her a lovely start to the weekend.
Joe, just to make you feel better, as well, I’ve got to tell you, as we get older, some of us develop food allergies that we never had before. Betcha that’s the culprit. The twitchy eyes is known as “Winky”, by the way. I’ll let Das take it from here…
@ Joe – 9 out of 10 posters agree…it’s time to poop in a box. 🙂
@ PoorOldEdgarDerby – There’s a line on the cup??
@ Narelle – You know the first person I thought of at Joe’s mention of twitchy eyelids? Chief Inspector Dreyfus from the Pink Panther movies, and he was a bloody bedlamite!
Yer not goin’ nutso on us, are ya Joey??
@ Nicholas T. – That nail? You hit it square on the head! 😆
@ maggiemayday – Nothing worse than seeing the typo after it’s too late. However, I read your first comment, didn’t see a typo, re-read you first comment – TWICE – and still didn’t see the typo. It wasn’t until I actually studied each word that I caught it. Obviously, I would have made the same typo and not caught it, as well. 😛
The good thing – considering the caliber of most of the people here – is that when we do make mistakes, most everyone realizes that it’s just that – a typo – and has nothing to do with our level of intelligence or degree of literacy. That can’t be said on some forums/blogs, where I swear most of the people are writing at a 2nd grade level.
@ Joey – Okay…I’m going to stop teasing you. This morning I woke up with a scratchy throat, tummy troubles that had me worrying about a recurrence of diverticulitis, and now I’M dizzy. I’m hoping it’s just the night of dining, drinking, dancing, and wild s…ya know, sleep… 😉 that has me feeling a bit off today.
Or, maybe because I just looked out my window, and saw THIS:
Funny…that looks like more than a ‘dusting’. 😕 I really should have paid better attention to the weather reports these last couple of days. 😛
The crazies always find me too. I must have some sort of sign, or maybe a crazy magnet, but they find me. I find an iPod helps. Doesn’t even have to be on – just the notion that lalala I’m not listening to you – seems to be enough to ward off some of the crazies.
The peeing in a cup thing. Yikes. Many many years ago, before they gave you the sealed sterile cups they give you now, they used to give you something that looked like a little Dixie cup. Perhaps because it really was a little Dixie cup. They’d send you down the hall to the bathroom to fill it and have you walk back – yes, walk back to the doctor’s office with your cup of uncovered pee. I always had this nightmare that I was going to trip and send that cup of pee flying down the hall, or all the gods forbid, do so in the doctor’s office. This nightmare always had me wake up with a start. usually followed by a near-hysterical laugh that I couldn’t stop.
On second thought, yeah, I think i do have a crazy magnet 🙂
Hey Mr. M
I was going through the news when I read that The Walking Dead fired its writers after its record breaking finale. Instead going into a second season with assigned scripts to freelancers. Something you should look into if you are so inclined.
Tonight on Fox Joe Flanigan will be on the family movie ‘Change of Plans’. Should be interesting? Not sure I’ll watching it, but for those who are interested.. There it is.
Its my birthday.. I’m going to go do stuff.. Oh yes, its that exciting… :/
Props to Das and to Nicholas T. for the giggles.
I can’t add to the illness discussion. Have gotten lazy about my daily meds and am now fighting the annual cedar /juniper allergens of S. Texas.
Have suggested to Mr. Engler (Twitter: @Syfy) that the “slow” character-driven series, like SGU and “Caprica” might benefit from different broadcast schedules. If not a “full” season, perhaps two new eps per week? If there’s an audience for two hours of wrestling on Fridays, perhaps there would be similar viewership for a two-hour, high-quality drama on Tuesdays?
Aw man, I have the twitchy eyelids going on right now, too. If you find some kind of reasonable cure let me know.
Blood samples.. I hate those. Had 4 sessions when my appendix pretty much burst, one when arriving in hospital, and several during the week I speant there. They must of took like 7 viles of my blood. Maybe they were vampires lol.
But seriously, hope I never get blood drawn again for a while, hated the feel of the needle going in.
Hope you feel better soon Joe.
I was a lab tech at the animal hospital. We only needed 2 or 3 cc’s. Enough to cover a strip, put a drop on the Refractometer (specific gravity indicator) and the rest to spin down to look for particles (bacteria, crystals and such). We had to make do with what we could get. It wouldn’t do any good to hand a cup to a cat and ask for a sample. It sure would make life easier in the vet world though.
I agree with Narelle, I like watching the blood stream in the syringe. Sometimes you can tell what’s wrong by looking at the color of blood. I’ve seen blood so thin, it was translucent or so dark, it was nearly black. Fascinating…
Good luck on your blood test! So your blood wasn’t translucent or black, was it? 😀
Das: I would never want to know if I ate a cockroach (cringe). Ignorance would be bliss.
I finished listening to The Martian Chronicles while I worked at the humane society. Great stories!
Joe, forgive me, but this blog & the comments have been hilarious. 😆
Probably more so because I’ve had to get stuck and deliver a “command performance” many times. 😛
Sassy Mom & I are what the blood labs call “hard sticks” because it’s hard to get a vein with redheads. (Bet it’s true of others w/ fair complexions.) Thank goodness for those tiny “butterfly” needles! I have fainted before, so now have to lay down while they do the draw. Lab techs advised chugging a quart of Gatorade beforehand, to plump up the veins. A lot of times it saves them from digging around in your arm. Pain! 😯
That’s why we dubbed them “the Vampires.” Even the good techs that don’t torture you get a giggle out of that one. (Or the blood donation people. Take your pick.) Come to think of it, both sassy parents are due for a visit to the vampires. 😀
@ MrS, you stinker. I went out for lunch today for sushi, but they were out. Then I see your Nom! picture of delectable sushi-ness. Now I’m really jonesing. 🙂
@ Das & Debra, did you see what your two posts did? Das posts a pic of cockroach-in-a-colon, and Debra’s post, immediately following, says So many bugs going around, am hoping this is one of them. 😆
It’s good to see you back on the blog, Narelle. And Thornyrose & Ponytail, you both had me rollin.’ Everybody did, actually.
Joe, I so hope today (Sat.) was a better day for you! Taking Zicam will help boost your immune system. (Try the melt-aways with Vit. C, though. Even the pharmacist says the nose swab version will make ya puke.)
When you got back from Tokyo, you said you’d gained some weight. How much weight have you lostsince then? (Ew! alert…) If it was water weight you lost in the restroom, try hitting the Gatorade to replace fluids. Dehydration (& dizziness) is a real bear, otherwise.
Feel like you’re having a tough day, maybe you need a laugh? Here you go–this is my day today:
I set my coffee cup on the stair railing and went downstairs, but I missed a step and ended up falling to the bottom. I was lying on the floor taking stock, marveling that nothing seemed to be hurt except my ankle (and my pride), and realizing that apparently an unexpected fall can have the same effect as an unexpected sneeze (ladies, you know what I’m saying). Then I heard GeekBoy come running to investigate, and when he got to the kitchen landing I heard him say “Oh no, look out!” I realized he’d bumped the coffee cup, and I managed to roll out of the way just before it crashed on the floor beside me, splattering me with ceramic shards and cold mocha. Seriously, who’s writing this script?? This is sitcom-worthy!
The coffee cup was a total loss, but I seem to have survived with just a swollen ankle and an excuse not to finish putting away the Christmas decorations. All’s well that ends well, right?
Feel better Joe!
Do not take Zicam:
@ gforce – Speaking of iratus bugs and their distant relatives, I’m guessin’ right about now Joey wishes Todd was real, living in Vancouver, and willing to engage in a li’l suck n’ puke. 😉
@ Deni – Got that from the Brian Michael Bendis forum (the Benbo, for short). It’s mostly a bunch of guys with nothing better to do than search the interwebs for gross stuff that they can then share with others. I’ve had quite the education since I started hanging out there. 😛
And ‘Winky’, you say? Huh. Never heard that before. I can’t call Joe that, though, since I use that word as another term for…ya know… a willy. 😛
@ Gilder – Just doing my civic duty! 🙂
@ Tammy Dixon – I don’t think I’d care if I ate one unknowingly, just as long as it didn’t take up residence in my innards! I can’t help but wonder if that article is a hoax, or not…I can’t imagine that thing was actually alive in there.
@ For the love of Beckett – 😆 I see it now! Perfect timing!
I’ve never had a problem watching the needle go in; I guess I want to make sure they’re doing it right 😉
I hope and pray you’re feeling better soon.
Wow. You’re like the hypochondriac version of a Push Poller! 😉
On a more fun note…I`m sitting with the family having “Family/Homemade Pizza/Movie Night”; drinking Mexican Coke and watching Joe Flanigan on Fox. My son and I are catching occasional shots of F-22’s and F-35’s, and my daughter Jackie loves Joe Flanigan…so everyone’s happy!
Eye twitching = Need more vitamin B-12. Works for me. Good luck, and feel better soon! 🙂
@Quade – Food withdrawal, I’ve had that, totally explains the weight loss.
@Das – obscene Lucille Ball skit, you crack me up, girl
Joe I’m amazed at how well you can write even while feeling not well. I mean your blog entry was really well written… so much so that I enjoyed reading a blog entry about a visit to a clinic.
I can only say good luck and may whatever it is not be serious.
twitchy eyelids = stress.
I get it myself..
take care of you (hug)
When you are low on electrolytes you can get little twitches, that lead to bigger muscle cramps the longer you are dehydrated. Plenty of Gatorade will help ease those little muscle spasms, and cut the caffeine which can dehydrate you even more.
The Water Cure supposedly can solve most ailments (drinking it, not torturing people with it, Gitmo style). Most of us don’t get enough.
When I was 11 I had whooping cough and basically spent a month throwing up most of what I ate due to uncontrollable coughing. Very unpleasant. When I was deemed fit to interact with other people (re: no longer contagious), I received compliments on having lost weight.
That is effed up.
i wanted to thank you for sharing your life online!
its a verry nice blog to read.
i work at a computer helpdesk and when its quite i allways try to catch up on your adventures and SG news!
i hope you feel better soon!
this one time they draw blood from me the woman dropped the tube full of blood on the ground, she had to sneeze …au! ofcourse it broke and she could start over in my other arm
i was wondering, how was your favorite thing to do in your childhood?
i guess reading, playing with friends, making up imaginary lands full of adventure??
😀 i know i did 😀
i would allso like to recommend a nice mini serie (12 epp)
Erufen rîto http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480489/
Best wishes from the Netherlands.
@cat i had the same, it started with the hickups that wouldnt go away and after a while i had to trowup and hickups at the same time, strange things happend… 😛
i still have trouble when i get the hickups that i feel nauseous.