Goin’ to the doctor

I broke down and made a doctor’s appointment for this morning. It’s nothing serious, but I’ve had this nagging back ache, this deep-down soreness between my ribs that hurts horribly when I twist just so. Normally, I’d ignore it and just enjoy my misery, but yesterday someone made me laugh and I discovered that the pain doesn’t like that at all. I started to laugh and the whole left side of my chest spasmed, so that what came out was something between a gasp, a snort, and a scream — something like “HaGNORTeeeeeeeeee“, which was terribly embarrassing. Once the word gets out, I was afraid people would start coming around to tell me jokes.

I can tell you because you’re all thousands of miles away and aren’t going to show up at my door with a knock-knock joke. There are advantages to isolation.

Also, I’ve got to mention to her this ‘noxious tinnitis thing. It’s getting worse. Right now I’m treating it with loud music, like the Led Zeppelin howling away in the background here at home. Hey, maybe I can treat the aching ribs by never laughing ever again?

Also, I’m cranky all the time.

Yeah, I’m goin’ to the doctor to ask if she’s got a cure for getting old yet.


  1. jstackpo says

    You mean you can make a medical appointment for the SAME DAY that you call!!!
    I’m moving to Morris, asap.

  2. says

    For most common things, yes. But for others…like the dermatologist has a route through rural Minnesota, and is only in Morris once a month. So it’s kind of a mixed bag.

    But I do plan on walking two blocks to the clinic, getting there a few minutes before my appointment, and seeing a GP right on time, usually.

  3. Kagehi says

    Have had that, “can’t laugh”, issue for a while. Maybe you are lucky and it can be dealt with. Me.. I got the BS, “Oh, its probably your gall bladder. Yep, its not working right any more, but insurance doesn’t pay to a) try medication, and that only works with “some” stones anyway, and b) we don’t remove them any more, we just wait until its so bad that we have to remove the whole organ, BS. So, so, so, glad I am a barely middle class American who has insurance companies to tell me what is “best” for me about these things, right? F-ing assholes. Maybe, for you, it will just turn out to be something less problematic, like an ulcer.

  4. says

    There’s a cure for growing old, or at least an alternative, but most people seem to want to avoid it.

    It’s the future, so where’s our dystopian hellscape vat-grown clone bodies to transplant our brains (or at least transfer our minds) into? Dammit, I thought you biologists were working on these things!

  5. ridana says

    If she tells you one weird trick that works on the tinnitus, do let us know. Mine’s getting really obnoxious too. At least I’ve got the exploding head syndrome thing under control now. Just the rare soft pop instead of the bone-jarring gunshots I used to get daily. But right now, if I could trade the tinnitus for that, I think I would.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I do volunteer work driving fellow Sr. Citizens to medical appointments. One transportee observed “growing old ain’t for sissies.”

  7. Bruce Fuentes says

    Not to be nit picky but I doubt you will be seeing a GP. A General Practioner is a thing of the past. They were MD’s that just did a one year internship. Currently, Family Medicine MD’s complete a 3 year residency. They are Family Medicine specialists. I would assume your doc is either a specialist in Family Medicine or Internal Medicine. Sorry for being pedantic, but my wife is a Family Med doc in the Duluth area and it pisses me off when people say she is just a GP.
    As for your tinnitus they will prob send you to an audiologist. A lot of treatment for that is hearing aids. I am 56 and have had hearing aids for about 3 years, not for tinnitus but hearing loss. Don’t be afraid of them if they suggest them. They are easy to wear and take care of. If you are vain(I would be surprised if you are) the hearing aids are so small these days few people will even notice them.

  8. says

    Do not ignore back pain. My son experienced back pain for several months, of slowly increasing intensity. After a CT scan showed multiple fractured vertebrae, he has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. If he had been diagnosed earlier, he would have had a better prognosis and less pain. Make the docs do thorough tests.

  9. johnson catman says

    If I had your back condition, I would not be able to listen to Led Zeppelin. LZ always makes me move, as in air drums, air guitar, or air vocals. Okay, not air vocals as I usually have it loud enough that I am screaming badly off-key vocals, but still jumping around.

  10. Rich Woods says

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Boo who?
    No need to cry, it’s only a joke.

  11. says

    I’ve been having occasional bouts of vertigo with just general slight dizziness along with worsening tinnitus. As mentioned above, they sent me to the audiologist for the ringing and was told me hearing was normal. Then off to the balance center for a battery of balance and coordination test to be told that everything is normal. So, no actual help, but confirmation that a brain tumor is unlikely. Mixed bag.

  12. rwiess says

    this may not be your issues, but I am commenting because so many of us who work at desks have avoidable problems that doctors do not address. You sit at a desk and lean forward. The inside (ventral) stuff along your spine contracts, lordosis decreases, disks start to edge out of alignment. Australian physical therapist Robin Mckenzie built an empire on simple exercises that address this problem. Two weeks of same resolved a long-standing problem for me, might help anyone who has spent a lot of time at a desk.

  13. Pierce R. Butler says

    … this ‘noxious tinnitis thing.

    Lots of treatments and suchlike available for that: just check your spam folder for messages headlined with words like “tinnitus” and “ringing”.

  14. says

    There are any number of treatments and therapies for tinnitus sufferers. They help you get used to it, deal with it… in short, anything except make the ringing in your ears (my ears) stop or get quieter.

    The stretches the physical therapists have given me for my back, on the other hand, have made it possible for me to continue being a biped (coupled with regular gym workouts and walks and all).

  15. Nemo says

    So, maybe my tinnitus is different from yours, but for me, loud sounds are the exact wrong thing — they make it flare up. If I want it to decline to the point where I can ignore it, I need quiet.

    Other than that, the main treatment is to not think about it. It doesn’t go away, but it doesn’t bother me unless I think about it / focus on it. Like now.

  16. nomdeplume says

    The only cure for old age is death… Whenever I complain to my doctor about having to take various medicines, or about the side effects of chemotherapy, she tells me it is better than the alternative. Glad your tests all proved ok PZ – make the most of it. I have realised that not only is life short but life without various ailments that reduce quality of life is even shorter. So enjoy life while you may young man!

    Oh, and I’m afraid you are stuck with tinnitus. It is the background music of advancing years.

  17. wearsbellsonlegs says

    #13. I’d like to claim Robin McKenzie as a countryman, but I can’t. He’s a Kiwi.

  18. KG says

    Best wishes – hope they find your pain is something benign and easily treated!