Patsy Porco

Archive for January, 2017|Monthly archive page

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

In Aging on January 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm

I went to see an ear-nose-and-throat doctor today regarding my chronic sinus pain.

While I was at the reception desk, the woman checking me in, Mary, told me that I had an outstanding balance of $15.

“How can that be?” I asked. “I’ve never been here before.”

She looked at me in confusion. “Yes you were,” she said. “On December 5.”

“No,” I said. “I had an appointment, but when I called I was told it was canceled.”

We appeared to be at an impasse. “Oh, just go ahead and add it to today’s bill, and we can figure this out later,” I said.

Mary shook her head and ran my flexible-spending-account card through her credit card machine.

While she was busy, a doctor walked into the office and stood behind Mary. He looked familiar. Very familiar. Had I seen him on television?

Then I looked around the office. It seemed to me that I had seen the same coffee machine and basket of complimentary snacks before. That’s when it hit me.

“I have been here before!” I said. Mary looked up from her work with a wary smile. “This appointment is to review the results of the CAT scan I had!” I said. “It’s been so long since my last appointment that I forgot all about it.”

Mary glanced gratefully at the glass separating her from me and nodded.

“Sorry,” I said. “My Alzheimer’s is acting up.” She laughed, in a we’ve-all-been-there-before kind of way. But it wasn’t sincere. I have a feeling she talked about me after I left.

There’s something about doctors that brings out the crazy in me. It has the same effect on one of my sisters.

She recently went to the doctor and told him she suspected that she had a tapeworm. She said the doctor looked very nervous and asked her, “How do you think you contracted it?” He then headed to the sink to thoroughly wash his hands.

Somehow they determined that she did not have a tapeworm, so she broached her next concern. “Could I have an X-ray for lung cancer?” she asked him. When he ascertained that she didn’t have any symptoms that would call for such an X-ray, he suggested that perhaps she should go home and lie down.

As she was leaving, he asked, “Are you seeing anyone?”

“No!” my sister exclaimed. “I’m happily married.”

“I was talking about a psychiatrist,” the doctor responded.

doctors-office

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Off With Its Head

In Food, Humor, Sushi on January 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm

One of my brothers once told me that, if you wanted to kill a tapeworm that was inside of you, you had to wave a piece of meat in front of your mouth. He said the tapeworm would work its way toward the scent and its head would pop out of your mouth. When the head emerged, you had to grab it, pull it out a little, and then chop off its head with the knife you had standing by. It had to be a big, sharp knife, he said.

To be honest, I never really believed that this was the most efficient way to kill a tapeworm.pngtapeworm. I wasn’t even sure that it was a real way to kill it. Fortunately, up to now, I’ve never had to worry about killing a tapeworm that lived in my digestive tract.

Today, a friend of mine upended my complacency. She posted an article from a reputable source, NBC CT, that said that a salmon that was caught off the North Alaska coast had a tapeworm in it. The article said that, “The tapeworm, known as Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, has caused thousands of infections in the Asia Pacific since 2008, according to the Washington Post” and that a study found “an increased popularity of eating raw fish and ‘global importation’ has caused the reemergence of the tapeworm.” The article went on to say that “researchers determined people who eat raw salmon caught in North America may be at risk of contracting the tapeworm infections.”

Well, hell. I recently developed a love of sushi, after years of saying that, “I ain’t eatin’ no raw fish.” My fear was of catching parasites. My sushi-loving friends, and some hipsters I know, all said that my fear was unfounded, and that sushi and sashimi were safe to eat.

It turns out that they were wrong. I’d better sharpen my cleaver.

cleaver-159513_960_720

A Pregnant Pause

In Greek Mythology, Humor on January 5, 2017 at 3:33 pm

I have always liked the expression, “a pregnant pause.” It means a break in conversation that is filled with possibility, but not the possibility of a baby. That would just be pregnancy.

Because I live in the northeast U.S., I always think of late fall and winter as being a pregnant pause, albeit a long one, before the good weather arrives.

The Greeks blamed this miserable period on their harvest goddess, Demeter, whose nitwit daughter, Persephone, married Hades/Pluto, the god of the underworld, and had to spend half of the year down below.(Okay, she was technically abducted, but she should have been paying attention.)

Persephone could have come back for good if she hadn’t eaten a handful of pomegranate seeds while in the underworld. Because of that, she had to go back every year. If I were going to make a deal with the devil, I’d want a hell of a lot more than a few seeds.

Demeter mourned the loss of her daughter during the months that Persephone was Queen of Hades. She was so grief-stricken that she couldn’t attend to her Mother Nature duties; thus, the land became barren and cold. Her inertia was blamed on her depression, but I personally think that it was vengeful; she wanted everyone to share in her unhappiness.

She got her wish. Those of us living with the cold and snow are all in Hades, along with her daughter. Come back soon, Persephone. Maybe you can make some pomegranate wine, get Hades drunk, and slip away when he’s sleeping?

Oh, don’t bother. You’ll probably get abducted again, anyway.

pomegranate-1028703_1280.jpg

 

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