Sunday, October 2, 2016

Doctor Distress, Trash Pandas, Sneeze Ninja

I bit the bullet recently and actually made a doctor’s appointment—an appointment I did not want to make for an issue I did not want to deal with—but I steeled myself and went anyway. It was as awful as I had anticipated, including a surprise invasive ultrasound and a painful emergency procedure to remove an implant that had become problematic. It was 8:00 in the morning, I was slightly traumatized, and I had a bit of shock adrenaline running through me. 

Because I hadn’t been to see a doctor for so long, the OB/GYN (who I liked) decided that this was a great time to give me the full run-down of everything medical I need to catch up on now, especially since I am “getting older.” She whipped out a form and started asking me all of these questions about my eyes and my veins and my frequenting of adult beverages and my weight and my last mammogram and how I managed to reach my age without being put on the pill. Then she said I can’t eat white foods anymore, and when I turn fifty, I have to have a colonoscopy. (Which by the way, I will just flat out will not ever do. Ever.) It was a dizzying array of information, and I can’t remember any of it, and I’m supposed to go back next week for something, and I think I’m supposed to fast but I can’t remember. This is why I avoid doctors. They cause confusion and upsetted-ness. Also, I don’t know what she means by “white foods.” If she meant “refined carbohydrates” I would understand. But did she mean vanilla yogurt and cottage cheese? Potatoes? Brie? I mean, it’s not like I’m going to listen to her anyway, but I’d like to be clear on which advice I’m ignoring.

Sorry for the lack of a segueway here, but I’m not sure how I feel about raccoons. Mr. Typist recently showed me a video of a raccoon taking revenge on a cat but spraying it with a garden hose:

I have to give the little bastard credit—that was a pro move, and quite strategically executed. But it did remind me of what colossal jerks raccoons are. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them. I admire their ingenuity and their fearlessness, and I admit I think they’re kind of cute when they aren’t menacing my cat or refusing to leave my porch. And they featured heavily in a short story I wrote once, where they guided souls into the underworld. So I am both fascinated and enraged by them. I don’t understand why they aren’t more scared of me, and their arrogance exasperates me. In one video I watched (or maybe it was an article I read) a scientist said that raccoons annoy humans because they don’t seem to sense their place in the animal hierarchy. They act like they’re equal to us, instead understanding that they are trash pandas and yard varmints and that they should properly fear our authori-tay. That’s exactly how I feel about them! Gah! So irritating. (But also kind of cute.)

I am a copious sneezer, and with me, there is no sneeze foreplay. My sneezes are sudden, violent, and without warning. They are not dainty little lady-like “achoos.” They sound like they’re coming from the nostrils of a rabid hippopotamus. They are terrifying to behold, and made even more frightening by the fact that there is no telling when one is about fly until it’s too late. The other day, I was heading into the computer room when one hit me full force, just as I was passing by Mr. Typist’s chair. He jumped about ten feet, then claimed I did it on purpose to scare him. “You waited until you got right in front of my chair to sneeze,” he accused. “You…are a sneeze ninja!” Hmph. Let the record stand that I am not a “sneeze ninja.” I don’t go skulking about the city at night, sidling up to complete strangers and sneezing in their ear, cackling with glee when they jump in terror. I just have violent sneezes over which I have no control. I’m the victim here. I have a condition. Pardon me, but I need to excuse myself to a safe space now, with other sneezers who understand my plight. 

--Kristen McHenry

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