So I’ve been bed-ridden for six days with the pneumonia. Well, they call it “walking pneumonia”
but trust me, there’s no walking about it. They should call it “glued to your bed and barely able to
even read or watch a movie pneumonia.”
I’ve written in these pages
about it before – I get it every five years or so. It’s usually mild (although ten years ago I got it in Denver
so bad that I had to visit the hospital, and when I was 2 years old I stayed in
a hospital for two weeks and nearly kicked the bucket, according to my crazy
parents who couldn’t tell the truth if their life depended on it, so who knows?).
So I’m now told by my doctor that these bouts of
pneumonia are a subset of a larger condition called Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease, which basically means I can’t breath good a lot of times and
sometimes it makes me sick in my chest. Whatever.
I’m increasingly convinced these greedy drug companies
reclassify symptoms as diseases and give them official sounding names so then
they can make drugs that treat the “disease”, when really they are just treating
the symptoms. You can charge more
for pills that cure diseases, rather than pills that just mask symptoms.
For instance, I have trouble
concentrating on work because I am an impulsive boy and would rather not work
when given the choice. I’d rather
be entertained by candy or a tree out the window or a naked woman on TV. In other words, I am normal.
To a normal boy: Work = boring. Naked lady on TV = entertaining. Right?
But at an early age I found that I can’t make a living
if I just look at naked ladies on TV all day, mores the pity. So I improvised. I found that if I chew on a cigar, I
can concentrate on my work without looking at naked ladies…. too much. Self-medication is the best. It’s called nicotine, and it can be found naturally in
fields in Virginia apparently.
Well now the greedy drug companies have reclassified being a
normal lively red blooded American boy as now having a disease called ADD and ADHD,
and they sell a synthetic form of meth called Adderal to treat it. Adderal is basically a combination of cigarettes
and cocaine for kids. In fact, I
saw a study recently that said that nicotine may be even more effective than
Adderal for treating ADD and ADHD.
Once again I’m on the cutting edge of bio-science.
You know who else is on the cutting edge of medicine? That’s right, my old friend and longtime
physician, Dr. Tonga
. Well, it saddens me to no end to report that after treating thousands of patients poorly for many years, Dr.
Tonga has gone into semi-retirement. He will still see special patients, like me, but if you wish to become a patient of Dr. Tonga, I'm afraid that he won't see you. Sorry.
He has been replaced by a new partner named Dr. Rick. Dr. Rick, my new doctor when Dr. Tonga is not available -- which is always since Dr. Tonga just sits in his office painting and watching Price is Right -- has a severe
case of undiagnosed ADHD. He gets easily distracted. For instance, he was looking over blood-work from the lab
that I had submitted in October.
He said, hmmm, this blood-work is over six months old. When I pointed out that it was only two
months old, he pointed to the word “October” on the lab report and said, “But
it was taken in March.” I pointed to the word "October" and said, "Dr. Rick, that says October
right, or am I the one who is going crazy?" He looked befuddled, looked at the word October, and muttered something like, "why yes of course.." I had thought of offering him a Nicorrette Mini Mint I
had in my pocket, but then thought the better of it, and instead made a mental
note to just carefully look over his scripts before submitting them to
Anyway, I was visiting Dr. Rick because I had been
bed-ridden for several days with a severe cough and fever. A chest x-ray revealed that I had a
mild case of pneumonia. Nothing
out of the ordinary. I’ve had it
several times before as I said. In
fact, a doctor in Denver told me ten years ago that unless I got hit by a train
or run over by an ex-girlfriend, I would eventually die of pneumonia, as my
lungs are so scarred and air being so fucking important to life…..well, the
lungs are my weak link. It’s
strangely comforting knowing what you’ll likely die of.
But anyway, Dr. Rick knew nothing of this history. So he looked over my chart and said, “Obviously you are a
heavy smoker.” Well, I’m not a
smoker and never have been. So I
told him that. He was
dubious. “Hmmm” he said, clucking
his tongue. Clearly he didn’t
believe me. He then looked at my
liver enzymes. “Well,” he said
approvingly, “You’re obviously not a drinker.” Whaa? I asked
him if he was sure he had the right chart. “Ah, yes I’d say I’m a drinker. I’m in the business.”
He looked at me askance. I
clarified, “I’m in the alcohol beverage industry, and yes I drink alcohol quite
a bit.” He then showed me
that my liver enzymes where well below the national average.
Well, there you go.
My doctor is convinced I’m lying that I don’t smoke, and lying that I do
drink. This is why I hate
medicine. They don’t know
fuck. Just live your life. Meanwhile, I can’t freaking breathe. Epinephrine mist has been my constant