December Wars: The Third Week Strikes Back
Posted on December 20, 2012
The month of December apparently didn’t appreciate me speaking ill of it this past Monday, so it decided to give me a Round 2 rematch because it’s sadistic and could. It’s not enough there have already been fatalities in the last couple of weeks or that we’re expecting another passing in the next couple of days. Oh, no. It decides it’s high time to send my father to Urgent Care for a stomach issue and my father-in-law who doesn’t know he’s my father-in-law to the ER, both in the same night. Because that’s fun for both families.
Fortunately, my brother-in-law was able to help his father. I kept in touch with Ralph and offered to relieve my brother-in-law at the hospital on my way home so that he could go home and sleep–he had to work the next morning and it’s not like he was going to have sex last night–only Ralph felt he (the brother-in-law) should be there since my father-in-law who doesn’t know he’s my father-in-law would feel a little more at ease with his heterosexual child and not the gay-in-law. The explanation gets a little complicated, but suffice to say the brother-in-law handled that and I helped with my father.
Dad and I had our walk at the mall that afternoon, then took a ride around the beach before coming home and having a snack. It’s normal for him to get up every half hour or so and move from working on his puzzle to doing word searches on the computer, only he was getting up every two minutes and it was starting to drive me a little nutty. This was unusually unusual for him to do. Driving me nuts? Typical. Up every two minutes? Not so much. I finally asked him why and that’s when he told me he had a stomach ache. Was it a gassy stomach ache? Was it a ‘let me run to the bathroom so I can sit on the toilet’ stomach ache? Was is a crampy stomach ache? Was it an ‘I’m going to vomit’ stomach ache? Trying to narrow these things down with an Alzheimer’s patient is no easy task. He and I had eaten the same things, so I didn’t think it was that.
He told me walking around helped relieve the pain and he continued to walk around for the next half hour. It was time to call Mom when the issue came back the moment he’d sit down. So mum picked him up, got him home, did her wife/mum doctor diagnosis thing and decided he should go to Urgent Care just to err on the side of caution, especially since the man has never complained of a stomach ache in 43 years. I met them up there.
Now, allow me to say that I have friends in the medical field. I know them, I respect them and I’ve heard their complaints about certain kinds of patients. The complaints are valid. because some people are just damn annoying. On the flip-side, I’ve met a doctor or two in my time who possessed a less-than-stellar bedside manner. The one at this Urgent Care clinic is one we saw previously when Dad hurt his rib and I wasn’t thrilled with him–the doctor–then. I felt he was pompous, didn’t listen, couldn’t be bothered to listen when you attempted to ask a question or offer something you felt was important, and sarcastic. That last point was his biggest downfall. Don’t be sarcastic to my family, friends or me in an abusive manner. I’ll break my promise to only use my powers for good and verbally bury you.
The doctor came in, reviewed the information the nurse had written down, then asked my mother what the problem was. Mom is nothing if not detail-oriented, so she listed off all events, developments and symptoms from the time of the problem until the time he walked in.
“I remember you,” the doctor nodded with a slight tinge of pomposity.
“And I remember you,” I informed him, humorlessly.
This put him a little on edge, which in my eyes was exactly what I set out to do. He went about examining dad, asking questions, talking over my mother, interjecting with a “yeah yeah yeah” whenever she’d add a detail to something she’d said, and finally looking at her and asking “Why are you telling me this?” when she related a pain in the general area dad had complained about the previous night. I have to give Mom credit because she not only juggled my father and the doctor, but she kept getting between the doctor and I whenever he let off a snippy comment.
All turned out well and they were able to relieve dad’s pain. An x-ray revealed nothing to be worried about, so the doctor mellowed out a bit (so did I) and wrote out a prescription. Mind you, it was 8:45 p.m. at the time and the pharmacy in the building was closed. I tell you this because the doctor told mom “I don’t have this here, so you’ll want to get this filled at the pharmacy.” Mom was tired, frazzled and worried, so she assumed he meant the one in the building.
“But it’s closed,” she mentioned in complete sincerity.
“There’s more than one pharmacy across the nation,” he shot back.
I bristled, my eyes narrowed, the venom gathered, my mouth started to open and he saw I’d had it with that one.
“I’m sure your regular pharmacy may have some branches open until 10. If not, what we gave him will last until morning.”
All I can say is this guy had better hope and pray I remain in good health and don’t wind up there in need of medical attention during his shift one day. I will not be spoken to in the manner he did my mother. Sure, I may be in pain while telling him off, but I’ve survived two bouts of kidney stones and am married to an Asian. I KNOW about pain! And if he gives me a sedative, I’ll call Patti Logan, put her on speaker phone and she can continue in my absence.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
10 Responses to “December Wars: The Third Week Strikes Back”
December 20, 2012 at 10:28 am
Sorry you (and your mom and dad and father-in-law-who-doesn’t-know-he’s-your-father-in-law had to go through all this, Kris. Life’s seas get a little stormy at times. But as long as you have humor as your lifejacket, you can weather anything.
December 20, 2012 at 11:10 am
Aside from the characters in my books, I have a fine cast of real life characters around me 24/7. It’s just these little surprises that keep everybody on edge. But, seriously? A doctor who’s going to act like that? Not on my watch.
Lloyd Songal says:
December 20, 2012 at 10:38 am
I am glad to hear everything turned out well for your Dad and the Doc.
I have worked in the medical arena and know exactly what your preface is about. Their are some real idiots on the loose.
I have always been fortunate to have had the very best. I hope your father has no more problems. Liquid peppermint is good for gastric distress and Syrup of Coke helps calm a stomach ache; both of which you can get over the counter.
I hope all goes well.
December 20, 2012 at 11:12 am
So far, so good.
Lloyd Songal says:
December 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm
If he is in good enough health and they gave him a Rx for Viagra, would he be able to get together with His wife. Maybe they should try marriage counseling. How does she feel about tis turn of events? Or have you found the nerve to tell her this new turn of events? He has probably forgotten already. Merry Christmas.
Patricia Logan says:
December 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Another one of the reasons I left the medical field was the pomposity of doctors… okay, so you’ve been through 12 years of advanced learning including 36 months of 90 hour a week residency… big deal… that’s why you make the big bucks bud.
When my 11 year old went through brain surgery two years ago, the pediatric neurosurgeon explained what was about to happen. “She’s going to have a cranionomy… do I need to explain that?” He knew I was a nurse. “No, you don’t.” “Well then, she has a 5% chance of surviving this.” He peered at me as my husband burst into tears. “Do I need to explain that?” “No, I’m good and thanks for the great bedside manner, asshole.” He smiled… the fuck actually smiled. Thank god he was one of the top 5 pediatric neurosurgeons in the world or he would have been DEAD in a Robert DeNiro like “DEAD, you’re whole family… DEAD!” sort of way.
They can’t help themselves, Kris… they’re just assholes. Hope he’s feeling better soon.
December 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm
He’s been a rare one. The thing is that I have a respect for doctors. They went to school far longer than I did and I realize they can’t be bothered with every little thing. However, I’m sorry, but I have a corner on the sarcasm market. If I don’t approve it, it doesn’t get said. So the last thing I need is some amateur doling it out to my mother in front of me.
Homo don’t play that game.
Jeff P says:
December 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm
I can’t believe the Dr still lives. I am glad that your Dads are doing better. This month is just getting all the bad stuff out of the way before the new year. 🙂
December 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm
His ass wasn’t torn apart because my mother kept getting in between us. If she hadn’t been there, we’d have had an understanding by the time I left.
Katherine T. says:
December 20, 2012 at 11:48 pm
Glad dad is ok and that you and mom didn’t have to slap the pompus ass of a doctor up one side and down the other. I’m sure you would have enjoyed it, but mom would have been horrified (Dad probably would have been entertained). LOL!