“Hi,”said the woman on the other end of the line, sunny as could be. “This is Dr. Ward’s office calling. We received a referral from your family doctor. He’d like Dr. Wade to check your eyes.”
“Yep,”I said. It had been over two weeks since my doctor had suggested as much. I’d simply assumed someone had dropped the ball.
“Well, let’s see. The earliest Dr. Ward could see you would be…2014.”
2014. Not 2013. NOT next year. The year AFTER next year.
“OR…”she followed up before I could say anything. Clearly, she had the routine down pat. “…you could come in this month and have one of his associates examine you.”
The tenor of her voice, possessed of an undercurrent of hope with a dash of empathetic excitement, made me feel as though I’d just managed to secure a lucky-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. No doubt mistaking my confused silence for reticence, she quickly followed up: “They’re very good.”
I’m sure. I told her yes and made the appointment for later this month. Presumably, Dr. Wade’s associates will prove equally up to the task of getting to the bottom of my tortuous eyeballs (April 6, 2012: Tortuosity and Dark Matter!).
As it so happened, today was also the day I went in for my blood test, just a (hopefully) routine part of my annual physical. I’d been meaning to get around to it for a while (a.k.a. putting it off) because I wanted to be sure my bloodstream was free of trace elements. No, not drugs. Sugar. A week before my tests, I usually like to switch up my diet, drop the desserts in favor a daily serving of oatmeal. But my girlfriend, Akemi, has been adamant I not try to fool the test this time. “It’s like you pretend nice guy,”she said. And then, realizing: “Well, not pretend nice guy. You have to accept the reality. You eat sweets every day.” She had a point. Screw it. So, yesterday, I skipped the oatmeal in favor of these:
A half-dozen dougnuts from Cartems Donuterie. Sorry, vegans. Your sans gluten offering touted as “cruelty-free” was, ironically, the cruelest version you could possibly serve a doughnut-lover. Baked, topped with toasted quinoa, it tasted like slightly sweet bread. The Triple Threat Chocolate was good, but trumped by the Mexican Mole. The winners, however, were the Classic and Citrus Dust, both of which proved mouth-meltingly delicious.
Anyway, I received a clean bill of health after last year’s physical, with no alarm bells going off or warnings dispensed, so I’m confident I should pass this one without issue. But, you never know. Until then…
I’m a hypochondric pragmatist. I imagine I’ve been stricken with a variety of medical conditions, then persuade myself I’m okay by ignoring the symptoms I convinced myself I had to begin with. It’s exhausting. Some nights, my internal dialogue goes something like this: “What was that? Was that a pain in my chest? I think it was. Chest pain. Am I having a heart attack? I could be having a heart attack! No, wait. That medical study I read about in the Malcolm Gladwell book concluded that trouble breathing, rather than chest pain, was a likelier indicator of a heart attack. And I’m not having trouble breathing. Or am I? Yes, I think I am having trouble breathing. Am I having a heart attack? I think I am. I should go to the hospital! But that would mean getting out of bed, getting dressed, driving down, sitting in the waiting room… Soooo tired. Hmmmm. Maybe this isn’t a heart attack after all. Maybe I’m not having trouble breathing. I think I’ll just stay in bed and sleep it off.”
And sleeping it off has always worked to this point, so what am I worried about?
hitmanjr writes: “The producers were beating on him and if anyone remembers who Peter Gruber and Jon Peters was it’s any wonder this movie even got finished. Those two went on to take the Japanese to the cleaners at Sony Pictures after this movie, there is a book about it.”
Answer: Check out this terrific video of Kevin Smith recounting his Superman Reborn experience with Jon Peters. Some great insight into how things work in Hollywood: Kevin Smith explains what happened to his Superman movie …
dasndager writes: “Burton was the director, not the writer. The writers were: Bob Kane (Batman characters, as consultant), Daniel Waters and Sam Hamm (story), Daniel Waters (screenplay). So, if there is blame, put it where blame is due. (And before you start saying, ‘but direkor responseble for…’, I’ll point out a mess called Inquisition ).”
Answer: I, of course, don’t have a dog in this fight. The opinions expressed in the disputed entry are those of our guest reviewer, Cookie Monster, and do not necessarily reflect my views or the official policy of this blog. Having said that, I’m going to have to side with monster on this one. In television, the writer/show runner is usually the one in charge while the director is a hired gun. So, yes, in the case of something like, say, an episode of Stargate, you should feel free to blame the writer (partly) and the show runner (mostly). In film, the opposite is true. The director holds the power while the writer is lucky to even be permitted on set once they’ve turned in their final draft.
dasndager also writes: “I really enjoy Burton’s movies. They are visually stunning, but more than anything, they have heart.”
Answer: Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – yes. Mars Attacks!, Planet of the Apes, the Batman movies – not so much.
Josh writes: “Hey Joe, do you know if there are any plans to release SG-1 on Blu-Ray?”
Answer: Sorry, Josh. I’m out of the loop on MGM’s plans for Stargate, Blu-Ray release and otherwise.
jys writes: “mise en place and service.”
Answer: Where are you working now?
38 thoughts on “May 8, 2012: A Hypochrondric Pragmatist”
I often suffer from the same paranoia heart attack symptoms as well. My episodes also happen while going to bed. But, I have a secret weapon to calm my nerves and save me the embarrassment of showing up at the ER without anything wrong with me. I have a portable blood pressure tester. Just hop out of bed, slap it around your arm and within two minutes you can go back to sleep “pretty sure” that you will wakeup in the morning!
@Tam Dixon – Thanks, it was good that way I must say. Maybe have to try another one like that one day.
What the frick is up with ‘dasndager’?? 😕
From my first aid training, my understanding is that *generally* (not always) you will definitely know if it is really a heart attack. The sense of pressure can be intense. Someone described it as “an elephant sitting on your chest.” However, it’s not always the case, which makes it such a dangerous condition. Having never experienced gastric reflux until recent stressful events precipitated it, I thought I was having one myself at first. So, it could be that. Sadly, one of the things that really aggravates it is chocolate.
I do know, that the worst thing to do is go on the Internet and search for your symptoms. You’ll invariably end up concluding that death is imminent.
I think you’d know if you were having a heart attack or not lol. Personally I’ve never had those symptoms, the closest I guess would be before I have an operation, despite being perfectly calm before having surgery, as soon as they attach the heart rate stuff, my pulse is over 100, climbing to 120 and I’m like wait, what? Kinda like my body is nervous before my mind even is lol, doctors say thats normal though.
That said the last time I had any surgery was back when my Appendix was removed, I still maintain the fact when something serious is wrong with you, you just instinctively know it, despite the symptoms, you get the ‘it’s time’ feeling, like you realise this is deadly serious.
@Randomness: There’s a sneaky type of heart attack called the “widowmaker”. Google it, please.
At the other end of the spectrum, hiatial-hernia pain can feel like an acute heart attack. My late mother’s hiatial hernia prompted quite the floor show at a steakhouse in the early 2000’s, featuring firemen, paramedics, and a doctor who interrupted his dinner to check on her.
Oh and to follow up my above comment, Appendix pain, especially when the thing has ruptured is very unpleasant, wouldn’t wish it on anyone, despite it happening almost 2 years ago it was still very much memorable.
At the time my C-Reactive Protein level was 124 which doctors described as off the charts, and explained why they kept taking my blood(Apparently this is to do with infection or something, normal levels are single digit).
Anyway discussing health issues is pretty interesting lol
Belated comment to Cookie: You’ve helped me remember that Burton’s version of Batman was depressing and horrific. *shudder*
I was introduced to The Bat through the classic 1960’s comics, even before viewing the campy, lighthearted, long-lived TV series. (I learned to read before kindergarten, always read above my grade level, and had access to my older brother’s comics.)
Cookie, do you think, as I do, that the DC superheroes fare better in animated form, such as the past series & miniseries on Cartoon Network? I think the genre loses something in translation to live action.
We seem to be in the same medical cycle, Joe. My blood also drawn for testing today, quarterly appt. with GP on Thurs.
On that front, potentially good news developing. I’ve mentioned my food sensitivities & digestive problems of the past eight years. 😉 Last month, my endocrinologist ended a checkup by giving me a short holiday from one of his prescriptions, so we could see if that med was contributing to indigestion.
Three weeks into med holiday. So far, so good. I tried yeast bread and potato salad (small amount of egg) today; reaction, if any, should occur in 12–72 hours. If no adverse reaction, to borrow a phrase, it should be smoooth sailing from then on. 😉
Meanwhile, I can take endocrinologist’s bloodwork report to compare with GP’s on Thurs.
That doesn’t mean, though, that I’ll be up for your level of gourmandizing while in Vancouver. Husband & I are not the foodies y’all are. 🙂
@ das – That Joe, he’s a sly one. Gotta watch him.
All this medical talk is depressing.
I am not a happy camper today for my own medical reasons. I will spare you the gory details.
I agree with Akemi – what good does it do to try to ‘fool’ the tests?
And, Joe, with your dietary habits, I would think esophageal reflux for those random chest pains. 😉
And, how exactly is a gluten-free donut “cruelty-free”. Because the little wheat plants had their heads cut off? What about the quinoa? Will somebody think of the quinoa!!??
Anyway, I agree about your comment about it actually being specifically cruel to anyone who actually likes donuts. I mean, you could eat it, but what’s the point?
Yum on the donuts!!!. Hope your tests all come out well, fingers crossed.. And did you ever get the back porch/deck fixed up as not to fall in.? Have a terrific nite and sleep well.
@das, his “n” must have gotten broken….?!?!?!
Well, while I enjoyed the first Burton Batman movie and the second one not so much(again, all I remember is Michelle Pfeiffer in that Catwoman outfit), I will give Burton credit for one thing: his vision of Gotham City. It’s exactly what I imagined it to be as well. Whether it was ultimately his description of what he wanted to the set designer or solely the production designer’s mastery, Gotham City was magnificently dark and brooding. A character unto itself. Methinks it was Burton’s idea because every “dark” movie afterwards, comedy or otherwise, all looked extremely similar.
Sorry Christopher Nolan Batman movie fans, but Gotham is NOT CHICAGO!! It’s hard for me to be “taken away” with the sets of his movies because his sets are just whatever street in Chicago he happens to be on. Sorry, does nothing for me.
Joe, thank you so much for posting that Kevin Smith vid. That was fantastic. I may not be a huge fan of some of his movies, but he’s definitely a neat guy and spins quite a yarn. I love his vast knowledge of comics and subsequent devotion to them. I’ve really enjoyed his show “Comic Book Men”, too. Sad to find out how things really work in Hollyweird sometimes.
Even when going gluten-free, the knock-offs are horrible. When I tried gluten-free, I just ate other things.
I’ve had my husband call an ambulance for what turned out to be a burp. I had some breathing symptoms, too, but in retrospect, I’d been breathing shallow for way too long from the pain while I was sleeping and woke up struggling. Oh, well, not dead anyway.
I’d do it again even if I wasn’t sure. I have too much to lose.
I tough out stuff I know isn’t life threatening, though.
I say book the Dr. appointment to 2014.. that way if the world ends Dec. 2012 then you didn’t put yourself through the stress & anxiety of going through that ordeal.
In fact that’s what I’m doing all year long.. I’m waiting until New Years 2013, until then no doctor appointments, dentist appointments, car tune ups, house cleaning, haircuts, shaving, showers, or brushing of teeth. Got rid of all the stress & anxiety and just livin’ the life! Now if only I could figure out where that funky smell is coming from..
“Some nights, my internal dialogue goes something like this…”
Oh my God! I’ve been through that more times than is sane. Except in my case it’s “But Wikipedia says that your neck gets really sore… oh god my neck is really sore… but is it?” and so on.
Did once end up in an ambulance, thingies attached to my chest, all because my arm went numb and I thought I was having a heart-attack. Chest X-rays, the pill under the tongue – the whole shebang. End result? Pinched nerve in my arm (no doubt from attempting to carry 12+ kilos of shopping with that arm on numerous occasions). So stupid…
Re waiting times for appointments. There’s a muscle manipulator in these parts that must be part demi-God. Her waiting room is full of people shifting uncomfortably in obvious pain. You go in and 4 minutes later you’re doing cartwheels out. 4 MINUTES!! She’s now so in demand from the general public and elite sports people that she doesn’t take bookings anymore. At 8am you start ringing, and keep trying until you don’t get a busy tone. By 815 all of her appointments are taken, “but her associate has some free appointments if you like”.
Mr. M.: If they do one of those long acting level glucose level test (forgot the name), then it might be hard to fool. Good luck on your results! Those donuts look fantastic! I may have to check out our local donut shop this weekend now.
Elminster: Yes, those pulled pork BBQ sandwiches are good but be careful, Memphis is now the fattest city in the United States. http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/blog/morning_call/2012/05/memphis-tops-list-of-fattest-cities.html
Every time my hubby has a co-worker come from out of town, they expect him to meet them at a BBQ place for lunch/dinner. I would bet that Lipitor is a popular medication around here.
Oh and Das, I know what you mean about Castle this week. Although, Hubby and I watched it through lunch yesterday and I told him what you said. He said “It’s probably because they don’t have wraith in that episode”. Thought you would get a kick out of that. Your obession is widely known 😉 .
@ Joe – RE: Directors. I suppose I’ll have to bow to your knowledge on the subject, but I will still defend Burton as a filmmaker. I’m pretty sure no director has ever had a perfect run, not even Hitchcock (my favorite of all). Speaking of whom, there’s a little film he made called The Paradine Case. As I understand it, Hitchcock was very unhappy with the production, specifically the meddling of producer David O. Selznick. Because his hands were often tied, Hitch ended up making a clinical film, lacking in his usual artistic flare. As unimpressive as it may be for a Hitchcock film, however, it still is a good story.
So, even if a movie director has more influence than a tv director, a story is only as good as the material they’re given to work with. And much does hinge on the actors themselves; a director can direct them, but if the talent just isn’t there (or, conversely, there in over-abundance), there may be little a director can do to make things better (just wait until I can go off on Christian Bale’s monotone performance as Batman! Woo!).
I guess the reason I’m defensive of Burton is because I often feel that criticism aimed at him has more to do with him as a person than his talent. He looks weird so he is weird and he hangs with weird people and so everything he does is weird, therefore we’ll make fun of his work because we love to make fun of weird people and everything they do. I’ve seen just about every film Burton has made as a director (Alice in Wonderland, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Sleepy Hollow, Mars Attacks!, Ed Wood, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Beetlejuice), with Beetlejuice as the only dud (which was in part due to Beetlejuice reminding me of someone I know, which I found very annoying). I really don’t remember much about Mars Attacks!, but I didn’t hate it. (And yes, it’s true – I haven’t watched Sweeney Todd yet… I’m a bit of a procrastinator. 😛 ) His films are beautiful, often surreal, to watch, and there’s usually a subtle thread of humor woven throughout, but it’s the heart he gives his stories that makes them truly special.
So, anyway, that’s the reason for my knee jerk reaction. If a person has a good record I’m willing to cut him some slack and consider other reasons for a film not being quite up to par.
I promise Mr. M., I’ll stop posting for a while after this one. I’ve been following a regional investigation that gets nothing but weirder. A mom and her three young daughters are missing. They found the mom and one of the daughter’s (14 yrs. old) bodies last week. The two other daughters are still missing. The whole case is so tragic and bizarre. Thought I would share it in case the suspect decides to head north: http://news.yahoo.com/wife-mother-kidnap-slaying-suspect-arrested-161536180.html
My asthma attacks feature bronchial spasms on the left side of my chest. Yeah.
As for medical, I’m still having complications from surgery in December, which are far from improving. Yeah.
So now I want donuts. How do you feel about baked vs, fried donuts? Are they not donuts at all?
I bet you are just fine, but Akemi is right, you shouldn’t try to purposely swing the tests in you favor if that is how you eat all the time. It does not allow the doctors to counsel you in a real way. Maybe the sweet or heavy cream meals do not affect you at all, but maybe they do. Much better to eat as usual, fast for the 12 hours or more they ask you not to eat food, get your blood drawn and see how it goes. My endocrinologist books 6-7 months out now. Popular, busy woman. She’s in practice by herself though. Well, I’m headed back to bed for split shift sleep. Finally fell asleep around 3:00-3:30 a.m. last night and had to get up at 6:50 to get Patrick off to school.
I have talked myself out of “is it a heart attack” and convinced myself it was asthma or indigestion many times. Sadly it was revealed I have had a heart attack. Just be careful
On the sugar.. ROFLMAO, sorry Joe but while eating sugar the night before might spike it for a simple glucose prick test, if they run an A1C it looks at how your body has handled it for 3 mos. One week won’t help you. If your A1C is good (ie preferably below 6) your body is doing okay in that area.
OMG I read yesterday about grilling watermelon. That just seems so wrong I am actually going to try it.
On Burton, sorry Burton fans, he used to be fresh and wonderful. I literally fell asleep during Sweeny Todd, not wild about his Batman Forever (I did like Batman Returns), no desire to see Darkshadows and I can’t imagine Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter.
Great, it auto hit notify of follow-ups.. pay attention fellow-posters. 🙁
@ Ponytail – Perhaps he meant to type ‘dagger’, suggesting I have a sharp tongue. Or, perhaps he meant to type ‘Jäger’, suggesting I was drunk-posting. 😉
@ Airelle – Don’t say that! Joey has enough to worry about without fretting over the possibility of a broken n. 😮
@ Tam Dixon – Boy, does Mr. Tam have my number…landline AND cell. 😛
@ Sparrowlance Hawkstrong – I love Alexis, too. And mom. As far as the guys go, my heart belongs to Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever), he’s by far the best looking out of the bunch. Plus, he did the right thing in Monday’s ep (and will probably pay a hefty price for it, too). Plus his real name is Seamus! How cool is that?! That’s right up there on the ‘old timey names that will surely get you beat up’ meter along with Percival, and Aloysius. 😉
@ Sparrowlance – I agree that obsessions can make people do strange things. However, this is a tv show and you would think they’d at least try to make it possible to sympathize somewhat with Beckett, seeing as how she’s a major player in this series. Instead, they made me dislike her very much. I posted this elsewhere:
Too harsh? I realize that maybe I interpretted things differently than others (guys where I posted this said they 1. would have bedded her, too, 2. thought Castle was being protective, not weak, 3. thought Ryan was up to no good, and 4. Beckett was grovelling for forgiveness from Castle (posted by a woman). So it’s really all in the eye of the viewer, I suppose, since I didn’t see any of those things (with the exception of Castle being protective, but that had no bearing on how easily she got him to ‘forgive’ her. 🙄 )
@ das & Tam
Another “Castle” fan here, although, as for SG-1, I’ve come in late. Unlike SG-1, I’m finding “Castle” fan fic almost more entertaining than the series. Since I’ve read so many different fan takes on the relationship, I wasn’t too surprised by the final Caskett scene, but the cutaways to other action (no spoilers) were surprising.
Sorry to hijack the comments thread. 😉
By an odd coincidence, I had my annual physical this morning. May we both be in excellent health.
I’m not sure if this has been mentioned, but there’s a book out there called “Superman vs. Hollywood” about all the problems and issues there have been in bringing Superman to the silver screen.
I just wanted to brag about how not impulsive I was in not asking Garry Brown how often he hears the words “more cleavage” in a professional capacity. I’m just not not impulsive enough not to brag about it.
Speaking of being in the loop in regards to Stargate, aren’t you glad you’re not anymore Joe? After working on the show for so long, you were obviously upset that nothing more came after the cancellation of Stargate Universe. Better to not know anything than to hear stuff you don’t want to hear right?
Said before so many times, It really did suck majorly that the series didn’t get proper closure, says it all really when MGM can’t give the fans something they deserve and fund the movies.
Nevermind hey. At least you know many many people loved Stargate Universe, even if it was the last we saw of Stargate.
LOL. Good for you, Akemi! 😀
* Ditto to trying to get enough sleep.
* Ditto to endocrinologists (hello, Hashimoto’s). With a side helping of nearly non-existent vitamin D level. (Taking mega prescribed supplements.)
* Ditto for the God-send of muscle-manipulators, or chiropractors here. (Mine charges very little, takes 10 min., and has kept me out of the ER with that same scary sharp pain/numbness in the arm.)
* Ditto for the check-up with the internist next week. Was contemplating “studying” for the test by losing the carbs and getting in extra exercise, but am too tired. (See item no. 1.)
* Ditto to worrying about food choices (due to weight gain; again, hello, Hashimoto’s and low thyroid).
* Ditto to ironically getting the munchies (because of lack of energy; see items no. 1 & 2).
Eek! Can you tell most of us aren’t age 20 any more?
Joe, when is your doctor appointment? Can’t wait to hear about it, especially if it’s as funny as the day you sat waiting in clinic for blood tests last year. Love how you take the ordinary and make it hysterical. 🙂
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
THE AVENGERS was outstanding this weekend! Had a great story, vivid characters, with action, adventure, well-written dialogue, zingers!, comedy, and cameraderie. What more could you want in a movie? Oh, romance? There were a couple hints, for sequels. Don’t wait for the DVD. See it on the big screen! 😀
@ Das, Sparrowhawk, Tam Dixon
Re: Castle — LOVED the ZOMBIE episode! (second to last.) And zombies are not my cup of tea, but man, they were great, and hilarious. Have *not* seen the season finale yet, but may tomorrow. Will I want to throw things after seeing it? Is it another “yes I love you, no I don’t” deal, only with the guy/Castle being the one left holding the bag? Don’t tell me… but I’ll be miffed if it is
Will watch the new, modern-day Sherlock Holmes premiere tomorrow. Masterpiece theater (a fave) is my weekly ploy to get my toddler nephew to take a nap. “Hey, come watch a movie with Auntie! In the rocking chair.” 😀
@ Deni — Just sent you an e-mail re: Elway’s ataxia possibly being a temporary thing. If so, yay!!!
One last thing… Since we’re discussing Castle and his gal love interest Beckett, (am skipping Das’ comment for now!), I should probably point out that “my” Beckett = Stargate Atlantis’ Carson Beckett. Him of the hunky doctor fame, and newly acquired Twitter account. “Thank you-u-u-u-u-u!” 😀
@ for the love of Beckett – The Zombie ep was GREAT! 😆 As I understand it, they plan to return to the ‘fun’ next season – I hope so, because the angst has nearly overshadowed the fun this season. I won’t spoil the finale for you, but I will say that Mr. Das was well-pleased with it, if that helps.
While I’m talking ‘fun’ shows, anyone planning on watching the new series on USA airing this Friday (11th) – Common Law? It’s about cops who are partners, and as such are GOOD cops, but very BAD partners – so bad, in fact, that they have to go to couples counseling. 😆 It looks like fun, and I’m hoping it will be something more along the lines of Psych than some of these other cop shows that end up taking themselves too seriously.
Joe, you mentioned your eye issues recently. I scheduled my annual eye checkup a month early because I was having problems. Glad I did, because both near and far vision have changed over 11 months. New lenses for current frames ordered today.
With the exception of a short experiment with contacts, I’ve worn eyeglasses since the mid-1960’s. I feel naked without them!
@ Debra – I must have done that the other day, because I keep getting tons of notifications in my inbox. Very annoying because I can’t seem to ‘unsubscribe’, even though I’ve tried. I really don’t need them since I check Joe’s blog at least once or twice a day…sometimes more. 😛
@ baterista9 – I wasn’t surprised by the hook up, been expecting it, actually. I just didn’t care for the timing. Both are totally screwed up right now, and instead of ‘love’ it felt like they were just using each other. I was also surprised by the camera shots, which – I believe – were hubby’s favorite bits. 🙄 I wasn’t offended by them (like I was in the Universe premiere), mostly because I know the characters and was expecting something to happen. What bugged me was the timing – two emotionally vulnerable people should not be thinking with their nethers. 😉
I’m with you there, Das. Makes Marlowe & Edda, who shared writing credit, look like a couple of Mary Sues.
I’m kinda hoping that the Fall premiere includes a hint that the protagonists, both over 30, realized the same thing and had the good sense to slow down. After all, we weren’t shown exactly WHERE they went as they walked away. For all we know, they could have gone to the kitchen for…
wait for it…
I’m plotting my version of the next scene, don’t know if I will put it in writing, let alone post to fanfic.net