Doctor of doom

I went off to my doctor’s appointment a short while ago. Buckets of blood were drawn. Many tests were made. I was dismayed at the results.

I’m fine. My physiology and biochemistry are in perfect harmony. Blood pressure is good. No debris from ruptured organs flowing through my bloodstream. Eosinophils are up a bit; I’m probably having an allergic reaction to spring, which may account for the tinnitis. I probably just pulled a muscle in my back. Go home, take an antihistamine, live for a few more decades.

Disappointing. I always go in to these things expecting I’m experiencing symptoms of my imminent doom, that they’ll discover some terrible catastrophe waiting to finally destroy me, and they always let me down.

At least I have something to look forward to. Someday I’ll get checked out and they’ll tell me my organs are imploding! My spleen is leaking! I’ve got brain rot! All my tissues are sloughing off my bones! I’ve got cartilage cancer! I shall receive the news with grim satisfaction, and inform them that I knew I was right, I’ve been telling you young whippersnappers this for 60 years, about time you pulled your heads out of your butts and figured it out. Then my head will fall off with a smug smile on my face.


  1. imback says

    A leaking spleen and imploding organs and other bodily humor dysfunctions would have explained a tendency to be splenetic, bilious, dyspeptic, and alternately hot-blooded and phlegmatic. ;)

  2. dontlikeusernames says

    Great news, everyone! I’m not sick, just old. [Sucks, doesn’t it… and I’m not even that old.]

  3. cartomancer says

    Commiserations on your less than terminal diagnosis. Worse luck next time, eh?

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m a certified hypochondriac. In my buggy, broken brain, every ache, pain, weird twinge, slight discoloration, and fleck of dandruff MUST be come life-threatening aliment threatening to turn what’s left of my short life into a Hallmark Original Movie starring some has-been 80s actor. On one hand, I know that I’m probably just fine and the only health related problems I should be worrying about is my weight and my fallen arches. However, there is always this constant nagging voice saying Are you SURE you’re OK. You’re not a doctor! How do you know? It could be cancer. It could be ALS. It could be an oncoming heart attack or stroke. You could be dead any second. Are you SURE you’re “fine?” Eventually I end up blowing money I don’t have for a doctor’s visit who will just tell me to lose some weight. This routine get’s old after a while.

    (BTW, yes, I have “health insurance” if you want to call it that, but the deductible is so high I might as well be uninsured.)

    I wish had a working brain, or at least one that wasn’t so fucked up.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    EDIT: …fleck of dandruff MUST be a symptom of some oncoming…

  6. bcwebb says

    I’m not convinced, maybe you’ll never die and we’ll have to start following you as a deity.

    Posted from the first (tax-exempt) church of wholly PZism, East coast chapter.

  7. mond says

    Being a UK person I have not experienced going to the Doc’s to be basically told you are fine, go home and then be presented with a bill. At least if you are sick and you get a bill it may seem more worth it some how,

  8. says

    I did get a great big shot of toradol to deal with the back spasms. So far, it does nothing, NOTHING. So at least I’ve got that pain to reassure me against getting complacent and confident.

  9. thirdmill301 says

    My mother once said of one of her sisters, “She enjoys bad health.” Took me years to figure out what she meant.

  10. blf says

    fleck of dandruff MUST be a symptom of some oncoming

    dandruff? ;-)
    ’round these parts, it’s probably a small specium of cheese the mildly deranged one hasn’t gotten to yet. She tends to go for the larger bits first, and than races around trying to catch all the fall-out from biting it in half. I try to avoid going to the doctor for the more usual penguin bites, cheese concussions, and falling down several flights of stairs whilst trying to avoid bites and concussions, but every now and then do have to visit. The doctors have a very hard time trying not to giggle when I limp in with an embedded cheese, attached penguin, piece of broken staircase, and complain I haven’t had enough coffee.

  11. zoniedude says

    I’m older than you by far, and I describe myself as wheels down, flaps down, heading for a grave. HOWEVER, one thing you doctor probably didn’t check, because they rarely do, is a test for blood lead levels (BLLs). Lead poisoning can be cumulative since the body doesn’t excrete ingested lead. One symptom of lead poisoning is tinnitus. I had it once when I was doing stained glass as a hobby and inhaled solder vapors. A simple test will rule this in or out but the medicine field is notorious for not testing lead levels. I have read some very interesting stories where people with lead poisoning were treated for other exotic causes. One woman underwent electroshock therapy for mental disorders before she mentioned her husband was stripping lead paint off the walls using a blowtorch. Just humor me and have your BLL checked.

  12. Larry says

    About the only good thing getting old gives you is the right to complain about each and every ailment you have in complete and explicit detail to anyone that has the termerity (or complete lack of common sense) to ask, so, how you doin’?

    Believe you me, they won’t be asking you that again. And should they be of the same age as you, the two of you can square off, bragging about the latest fit of pain or excess fluids like Hooper and Quint did when they compared various scars in Jaws.

  13. twarren1111 says

    Toradol IM didn’t work!? Sounds like you could use some CBD for the body and THC for the grumpiness…

  14. bachfiend says

    Gawd, you’re such a hypochondriac.

    On April 30, I went to Germany for a month. On the day of departure, I noticed two irregular pigmented patches of around 1 cm diameter on my right forearm, so I immediately diagnosed lentigo maligna melanomata, and wondered whether I ought to immediately make an appointment with my doctor to have them removed on my return.

    They subsequently faded and disappeared over the following 3 weeks, so I eventually decided they were just minor bruising from a mishap on my bike on the day before departure.

    Sometimes, a little knowledge is dangerous.

  15. madtom1999 says

    Are there any papers on tinnitus and your immune system. Mine gets louder when pollen is about and if its louder than that I know I am about to descend with some ailment or so. I knew something was wrong about three weeks before a Wisdom Tooth started rocking even though there was no pain and anti-biotics quietened it before it was pulled! I do wonder if its white blood cells getting trapped in the smaller end of the cochlea and so stimulating the outer hair cells giving the illusion of high/ringing notes?

  16. blf says

    madtom1999@19, That’s strikes me as an interesting idea. Sorry, no idea, but from my own experiences, some of the times when I fell ill are also when I suffer from a (fairly mild but nonetheless annoying) tinnitus. That could, however, very easily be coincidence, possibly even inadvertently-exaggerated coincidence (meaning it may happen less often or not quite as concurrently as I now seem to be recalling); and I can certainly feel / be ill without tinnitus, or suffer from a bout of tinnitus with no obvious other symptoms.

    A bit of quick Generalissimo Google suggests there are known links to emotional state, and there is also a condition, autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) or immune-mediated sensorineural hearing loss, which is connected. The British Tinnitus Association (a group I know nothing about & had never “heard” of before) has a page (and also a PDF) on the alleged emotional state connection, 2018 ATRR: Why and how does emotional stress affect tinnitus?.

  17. kenbakermn says

    Reminds me of the time a dentist spent some time studying every single tooth in my mouth. Then he says “Ken, this is really disappointing. I gotta make a boat payment and you’re not helping.”

  18. rrutis1 says

    PZ, I’m glad you’ll be around a lot longer and at least you don’t have a brain cloud:

  19. says

    About stress: that’s the first thing the doctor asked! I had to tell her that I’m on sabbatical, and this was possibly the least stressed out I’ve been in decades. It really helped to opt out of doing much public engagement and focusing on my Spider Army for a year.

  20. mountainbob says

    As my T-shirt reads in bold letters: Old’s Cool (I’m only approaching 77, so I’ve got a ways, but still wear the shirt).