Pinky's Book Link

Showing posts with label Medical Madness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medical Madness. Show all posts

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pinky's Booty Call

Image Credit

Don't say I have a boring life because after flaunting my right boob at all and sundry yesterday, I spent today having my exquisite derriere pummelled by a strapping, virile, young lad.

I’ve been hobbling around at school all week with brutal back pain just above my left buttock but as I had more important things on my mind I ignored it as best I could.

Yesterday, I phoned my Deputy Principal and begged for a second sick day off as I knew things were becoming desperate when it took me fifteen minutes to gingerly ease myself out of the car when I arrived home.

This morning's physiotherapist appointment was booked at a place called SportsMed. I assumed by their name they dealt mainly with elite athlete’s injuries and figured I’d add a bit of old cranky woman into their daily mix of clientele.

When I arrived at the clinic however, the waiting room was filled with elderly pensioner types so I wound up feeling quite the young spunk.

Until of course *Connor, the broad-shouldered physio called me in to the red room of pain and I wondered to myself why everyone else in the world is getting younger as I’m getting more and more decrepit. He looked as if he was barely out of high school.

After watching Pinky awkwardly attempt to touch her toes and perform cumbersome side stretches whilst yelping when her low pain threshold was crossed, it was deemed to be a ‘mechanical problem’.

In other words… Pinky needed a 200 000km service.

Up on the table I crawled, placing my face in the donut hole and staring at a decidedly uninteresting carpet for the next ten minutes while my lower back simmered under a hot pillow.

Soon the burly Connor was back, peering intently at my white and wobbling rump.

“Have you let anyone else give you a massage?” he asked in a concerned voice.

“No sir! I have not!” I replied. Apart from Scotto, no one is allowed near my bottom.

“It’s just that there’s bruising in the area,” he continued.

“You know… I do remember trying to push a really heavy set of portable stairs with my foot the day before the pain started,” I mumbled to the swirled pattern on the floor.

“You may have torn a muscle in your gluteus maximus,” Connor offered sagely. “That would cause some bruising.”

“You mean bum,” I sniggered childishly.

And then, the pitiless, unrelenting pounding of Pinky’s rear end commenced.

Whilst the talented youngster proceeded to discover every excruciating ligament in my left butt cheek with his steely thumb, we discussed music; Connor’s girlfriend, world politics, toy boys, hamstrings and the growth of the Aussie dollar.

We also uncovered the fact that Connor was twenty-four; exactly the same age as my eldest son Thaddeus (who by now should have also finished his degree and be out in the work force earning big bucks but has spent too much time partying instead of studying).

After the ‘dry needling’ experience (not acupuncture apparently although they do stick small needles in you) it was time to bid farewell to my new physiotherapist with a promise to catch up next week to check on how Pinky’s buns are cooking.

To carve out a career in the health care industry requires a special type of person and it must be so rewarding knowing you have the ability to make people feel better. I must say Connor was an extremely impressive young man who no doubt makes his mother very proud. 

There is no way in hell I’d ever convince my son Thaddeus to give me a bottom massage… or any of my kids for that matter!

*Connor is not the physio's actual name. It’s Clayton.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pinky and the Appointment.

After a string of uncomfortable tests and a nervous three hour stay at the hospital today I’m fully aware of how frustrating it is to wait for results, therefore I won’t make YOU wait. I’m pleased to inform you Pinky is in the clear having been given a completely clean bill of health!


The Appointment

My sister Sam, rang me on Tuesday insisting on accompanying me even though I put up a bit of a rebellion.

“I’ll be okay,” I asserted. “You don’t want to sit around for hours bored out of your brain. I’ll take a book.”

“You won’t read a bloody book,” she replied. “You’ll sit there stewing yourself into a nervous wreck, Pinky. Besides it’s what sisters do so there’s no way I’m not coming!”

God I love my little sister.

Since the recall after my mammogram on Monday I think I’ve been pretty laid back considering my natural temperament which usually leans on the side of obsessive hysteria. 

However, this morning I was appalled to find myself tearing up in the shower, snapping violently at Scotto and unable to swallow my coffee. My day of reckoning had irrevocably arrived.

Sam’s brand new blue Mazda pulled up in the driveway and I walked out waving and smiling but... inwardly I was ready to lose the plot at any second.

“You know those women who when they find out they have cancer are really strong?” I asked Sam solemnly as I slid into the car seat.

“Yeah…” she responded.

“Well… I’m not going to be one of them.”

She burst into laughter resetting the familiar humorous tone of conversation we sisters always share.

‘Aaah,’ I thought. ‘This is why I needed her to come along and I didn’t even know it’.

As we approached the doors of the clinic I suddenly baulked.

‘I could run away…’ I thought. ‘Pretend none of this ever happened. No one can make me do it.’

But with Sam quietly urging ‘Little Chicken Sh#t’ onwards, we finally fronted up to the counter.

Between the talk with the nurse, the examination by the doctor and the second round of x-rays, Sam kept me entertained with witty chatter and silly jokes. Occasionally my mind would drift into the dark recesses of possibility and I’d gaze at her stupidly not having heard a word she’d said for the previous five minutes. 

I looked around at the other seven robed ladies sitting in the waiting room with me. I hoped we’d all be delivered good news today.

It wasn’t until my ultrasound that my mood lifted considerably.

The technician was a small, grey haired lady who beckoned me in gruffly.

I was told to lie on my side with one arm above my head and my face turned away as she squirted the cold, slimy gel all over my right breast (the rogue appendage enclosing the suspicious patch of dense tissue).

“I’ve a sore back,” I groaned as I lay down.

“Not as sore as mine I bet!” she retorted. “I could hardly move yesterday. Now lie still and don't talk.”

In front of me I could see the x-ray with the sinister, misshapen patch circled and I felt her concentrating the paddle on that particular area for the next ten minutes.

“Not much to see around here!” she suddenly grumbled.

At first I thought she was insulting my less than abundant bra size until it dawned on me that this was a good thing she was saying. A bloody good thing!

The technician spent the next quarter of an hour taking what seemed like one hundred candids of my by now quite tender boobelishus.

“All done!” she declared. Then, miraculously, she added under her breath, “It’s hard to find something that’s not there.”

I spun around in all my half-naked glory and burst out laughing. I wanted to hug her… but it may have been a bit awkward in my exposed state.

“Thank you!” I practically shrieked.

I know technicians aren’t supposed to comment on findings and technically she didn’t…

It was another hour until the doctors viewed my results and soon after the nurse gave me my ecstatically received results. I knew the news was going to be good when I saw the nurse was skipping as she led me into the consultation room. 

I’m not exaggerating; she was actually skipping.

And I’m happy to say there were seven other smiling faces in the foyer that day.

God bless Breastscreen Queensland!

Sam, I love you. I’m sorry that because you accompanied me today you were strong-armed (by the skipping nurse) into making an appointment for your very first mammogram… but them’s the breaks honey!

                     Two very bad attempts at a joyous selfie outside the clinic!

Linking up at With Some Grace for FYBF

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pinky gets a Recall after her Mammogram

Remember last week's post about my devious procrastination of phoning to book an appointment for a bi-annual mammogram and the story of how the Breastscreen nurse had diligently pursued me and locked me into an appointment on Monday?

Well since that fateful rendezvous, I’ve been watching my phone much like a small grey mouse watching a cobra that’s reared up, hood spread and about to strike. 

Every time the phone malevolently ‘hissed’ at me, adrenaline shot through my entire body as I desperately feared it was Breastscreen Queensland calling to deliver bad news.

I found myself ‘forgetting’ to take my phone with me to school or leaving it on silent and only checking it sporadically, breathing a sigh of relief after summoning the courage to peer at the screen and discovering there were no missed calls or messages.

By Friday I’d heard nothing and relaxed, enjoying the weekend, assuming all would be fine.

“Surely they’d have called by now if there was anything wrong,” I bleated piteously to Scotto on Sunday.

So it was with heart thumping wildly in my chest and hands shaking that I answered a private number via Bluetooth as I drove to work at 7:30 this morning.

The nurse’s dulcet tones ominously came over the phone informing me the doctors had reviewed my x-rays and need to see me again… for a few hour of testing… at the hospital... in three days’ time.

Damn! I’d thought I was out of the Neurotic Woods and joyously sprinting towards the sunny clearing.

The voice I used when speaking to the nurse didn’t seem to be coming from my own body. The terror I felt surging through every nerve wasn’t evident in the weirdly chirpy responses shrilling from my tense throat. 

After she hung up the phone I felt as though I’d been in a dream.

I wanted to pull over to the side of the road and call Scotto to hear his comforting voice and reassurances but there was a dirty big semi-trailer tailgating me on the motorway so I breathed deeply and endeavoured to remember what the statistics were for getting a recall.

Was it nine in ten… or one in ten? I hoped it was the former but highly doubted it.

“It’s probably just a cyst!” said my ultra-supportive Deputy Principal when I explained my situation and requested Thursday off.

“It’s probably nothing at all! Just a loose bit of skin or something.” quipped my close friend, Kyles.

Of course I had to ask Sue the Librarian for her thoughts on the matter because librarians know pretty much everything. School librarians are like Yoda.

“Well Pinky,” she said, “The thing with mammograms is that even if it’s the worst case scenario… (you know what she meant; that blood-curdling C word) then a mammogram usually picks it up when it’s at an extremely early stage.”

Therefore, as a believer in self-affirmations, I’ve compiled a ready reckoner of reasons it is nothing to worry about.

1. The recall wasn’t urgent.

2. Nine out of ten recalls after routine mammograms turn out to be nothing.

3. I had a mammogram just over the recommended two years ago so I haven’t left it for too long.

4. It could be a silly old cyst or some other simple, benign annoyance.

5. It could simply be they didn’t get a very good image because Pinky, being a bit of a sook, flinched when the flash bulb went off.

I do recall teetering on one instep with my hand on one hip burlesque style and the opposite boob clamped painfully in a waffle iron. I may have wobbled slightly.

Anyway, there’s no point in worrying is there? There’s nothing I can do to change the prognosis so I may as well stop stressing.

I would like to hear any stories you have though. Have any of you ever had the dreaded recall? Please share.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pinky's Boob-Boo.

             Scotto didn't Photoshop this at all! These are actually my boobs!

In late December I received that letter. 

Some of you will know it. It’s from the government reminding you you’re due to book an appointment for a mammogram

Naturally, the letter was left sitting on the kitchen counter watching my every move like a resentful husband when he discovers you’ve ‘accidentally’ thrown out his favourite old t-shirt. Every time I walked past it I could feel its glowering stare and sense its urgent desire to miraculously flutter up and inflict a vicious paper cut across my throat.

The letter sat there all the way through January until all of a sudden it was the beginning of the school year.

'It’s too late now,' thought a deliberately dawdling Pinky. 'I’ll book an appointment during the next round of school holidays in April.'

But… procrastinating Pinky underestimated the determination and true grit of BreastScreen Queensland didn’t she. In mid-February they tracked me down like a lily-livered fugitive and entrapped me in my own web of self-deceit. 

It was a private number calling… I had to answer the call; it could have been the lottery ringing with exciting news.

“We’ll book you in on March 11, Pinky,” said the steely-resolved nurse on the other end of the line.

I agreed to her terms, feeling somewhat coerced but highly impressed at the unwavering doggedness of BreastScreen Queensland in looking after the health of women. Besides, it was still another four weeks away. There was plenty of time to work myself into a neurotic lather in the days leading up so I could relax for at least three weeks.

Suddenly, as if a time warp had encircled the Earth, it was March 9. It was with deep regret that yesterday I realised I couldn’t make the longstanding appointment and I rang them this morning to postpone, possibly buying myself another few weeks of shirking the responsibility of my own health maintenance.

“I’m so sorry I have to cancel, but I just realised I have parent/teacher interviews tomorrow afternoon,” I whined on the phone to the health nurse during my lunch break.

“Oh you poor thing!” the lovely nurse gushed. “Is that when you aren’t allowed to tell parents what their kids are really like? You can’t say anything negative and have to lie through your teeth?”

I coughed lightly, “Your words not mine.”

I looked up at the two small miscreants sitting in my classroom on lunchtime detention and wondered if this nurse had seen the light at some stage and switched careers.

‘She sounds very chirpy considering my tardiness at cancelling the appointment,’ I thought.

“Well… you’re in luck, Pinky! I have an appointment free this afternoon!” she trumped.

I had one last desperate card to play.

“I had a CAT scan two months ago. Won’t that be too much radiation?” I pleaded.

“Nah… you’d probably get more radiation on a long-haul flight.”

So, with no agonising lead-up time, no time to think up elaborate excuses, I fronted up to the clinic this afternoon and allowed the radiographer to clamp and squeeze my boob-a-loobies in an ice cold, torturous sandwich press whilst taking some cheeky holiday snaps.

And I didn’t cry at all.

Okay… there may have been a whimper or two, but at least it’s over for another two years.

Get in there for your mammograms girls!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

There's More than One Way to Skim a CAT Scan.

                       Scotto helping the cat read Pinky's CAT scan.

Remember my story a couple of months ago regarding my (then) doctor’s suspicion I may have been gestating a kidney stone? Could I Be Carrying my Sixth Baby?

Well... after an inconclusive ultrasound I was sent for a CAT scan.

I was frightened when I read on the Internet they inject you with the contrast dye. In fact I didn’t sleep for the week before my appointment and drove Scotto up the wall with my neurotic, hypochondriac hysterics.

“My friend Nettie’s Aunt went into kidney failure from the dye and now she’s on dialysis for the rest of her life!” 

I spluttered at Scotto on the morning of the procedure.

“How old was she, Pinky?” he demanded.

“Eighty-something… and I admit she only had one kidney to start with… but even so!”

He had to practically push me out the door.

The next day I sat in the doctor’s surgery as she perused the results of the CT scan, attempting to read the expression on her face.

'Was I dying? Was this the end for Pinky?'

The doctor wore a troubled, almost irritated expression; this wasn’t looking good.

“Unfortunately…” she sighed dramatically. Adrenaline shot through my body, my breath quickened in fear and I tasted metal in my mouth.

“Unfortunately… the CT scan isn’t showing us any more detail than the ultrasound. Why didn’t you have the dye injected?” she asked in a slightly edgy tone of voice.

“Um,” relief flooded my body. “The technician said I didn’t HAVE to have it if I didn’t want it.”

The doctor stared at me for a few seconds of intensity and scribbled a note on her pad. She was probably writing something mean about me being an annoying patient or something.

“I’m sending you to a specialist,” the doctor said wiping her hands of me like Pontius Pilate did when he sent a certain Someone to see King Herod. “She’s a Uro-Gynecologist and should be able to sort out all your problems for you.”

So, yesterday I fronted up to my very own Uro-Gynecologist after an apprehensive two month wait.

She didn’t care about me chickening out of the contrast dye. She seemed to be able to read the CT scan perfectly.

“One of your kidneys is slightly enlarged as is the opening to one of your ureters,” she declared. “It could be the result of a few factors; stones, a congenital fault, a kink, or even a foreign body… but that’s unlikely considering your history,” she added whilst quickly scanning my form.

I was prescribed some straight forward tablets and have to schedule another ultrasound in three months. My kidney function is perfectly normal and she didn’t seem at all concerned. I practically skipped out of the surgery in joy.

I’m not dying!

However, one thing continued to puzzle and intrigue me. How could a foreign body possibly get into a ureter and why did the doctor think it was an unlikely scenario for me?

So… I looked it up.

It seems, the most common way is for a foreign body to be poked up into the ureter by the patient themselves!

I read a case of a fifty year old man who had, for autoerotic purposes, rammed a rod up his ureter and when it became stuck then inserted a magnet. That trick also failed so he did what any straight thinking auto-eroticist would do and poked another magnet up to retrieve the first. 

And wouldn’t you know it, the two silly magnets stuck together leaving the gentleman in a spot of bother.

If you think this is more of Pinky’s utter rubbish and I’m making it up, then here's the link. There are even photos for the more quizzical amongst you!

One thing I’m very relieved about however, is that my Uro-Gynecologist (after looking at my history) did not believe Pinky is the type of person who would experiment with her ureter in such an irresponsible manner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Could I be carrying my sixth baby?

For the last six months I’ve worn a groove in the concrete path leading to the doctor’s door begging for script after script of various antibiotics to cure what appears to be a chronic urinary tract infection. 

The first time I went, the doctor gave me the wrong antibiotic and the surgery failed to notify me for a month so the evil micro-organisms were allowed to fester in self-satisfied camouflage for a while.

The new toxic-smelling, little yellow pills seemed to cure my ailment instantly but as they made me feel as queasy as a newbie sailor I stopped taking them too early, didn’t I?

Thrilled with this retreat; the surviving bacteria gathered forces, calling in the backup artillery just as William Wallace summoned the MacDougal and MacDonald clans to join his brave ranks screaming, "She can take our lives, but she can't take our freedom!"

Very soon, I was doubled up in pain again and hobbling back to the doctor for more of the stomach-stripping drugs.

This time I was very dedicated and took the nauseating tablets punctually but after two weeks they still weren’t working.

I went back to the doctor after the fortnight course begging for another type of cure.

“Keep going with these,” she insisted.

Two more weeks passed and I still didn’t feel right. Then I noticed the bottle of tablets I was dipping into every six hours had a strangely faded label.

“They’re only two weeks old!” I thought in confusion. “How could the label be so faded?”

It was then I realised I’d been intermittently using a bottle of the exact same class of antibiotic I’d been prescribed six years ago which were long, long past their expiry date.

“So anyway... I’ve unknowingly been taking one dead tablet and one live tablet alternatively for the last two weeks,” I related the story to my sister Sam, over a cup of tea one day. “So I had to go BACK to the doctor and explain the stupid thing I’d done and get another script and take ANOTHER course!”

“WHAT??? Are you training these bacteria or something? Are you trying to create a super breed of microbes?” Sam shook her head at me incredulously.

Fast forward two weeks… when I’d finished that final course I have to say I felt bloody fantastic… for about fourteen days.

Then… it came back!

Off I trotted to the doctors again. “Do you think I might be resistant to the tablets I’ve been taking?” I asked pitifully.

Dr B. wasn’t much of a talker. 

“Go for an ultrasound and come back and see me next week,” he grumbled.

I scrutinised the referral form carefully. 

Dr B. thinks I have a  Kidney stone!!!!

Naturally, I researched every website available to determine whether 
Kidney stones have ever killed anyone and apparently it doesn’t happen very often. 

Good… but they are evidently very hurty.

I looked up the main causes of kidney stones and guess what the best foods you can eat are, in order to cultivate a really healthy calcium oxalate stone?

Spinach and beetroot.

Guess what Pinky essentially lives on?

Every day, Pinky eats two cups of spinach and beetroot for lunch.

That’s four times the recommended amount of oxalate a susceptible person should consume in a day... and Pinky does that every single day.

My scan is tomorrow and I should find out whether or not I’m gestating my sixth child or not. 

I think I’ll ask for a Caesarean. A natural birth is out of the question, especially if it's going to be a multiple birth.

What will I call it? …Crystal?

I wonder if Popeye had kidney stones?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why is everyone so interested in my husband's plums?

This is what greeted me when I arrived home after work today…

As a precautionary exercise, unbeknownst to me, Scotto had been rushed to hospital today with chest pain. Apparently there were cool sirens and everything! 

He’s had a bad cough and bronchitis for the last two weeks so during the process of being laid out on a stretcher and loaded into the ambulance he managed to maintain a moderate sense of calm knowing it was probably related to that and not a heart attack.

There were no hysterical screams of,

“AM I DYING! ANSWER ME DAMMIT! PLEASE SAY I’M NOT DYING!” whilst feverishly clutching the collars of the paramedics… which is what Pinky would have done.

He was so chilled out during the whole experience he didn’t even bother to have anyone call me.

Perhaps it was because of the last time he went to hospital after suffering agonising abdominal pain for a week and I’d told him it was probably just wind and to go for a walk around the river.

I remember him lying on the hospital bed waiting to be diagnosed while I sat beside him, bored sh#tless, thinking he was making a bit of a fuss about nothing.

At last a young female doctor entered the cubicle and drew the curtains. She gently palpated his stomach and asked a few pertinent questions,

“So... I’m going to have to massage your balls,” she quipped merrily, “Just to make sure you don’t have strangulated testicles.”

Okay… those weren’t her exact words... I’m not a doctor... but that was the gist of it.

I swiftly gathered my bag and went to make my escape. “Stay!” croaked Scotto, blind panic glinting in his eyes.

AWWWWKWARD! Sitting in an enclosed space whilst a strange woman played with my husband’s knackers. I can tell you... I didn’t know where to look. Should I watch or just stare at the wall and hum to myself? I thought.

She disappeared and about ten minutes later a tall, much more officious looking doctor wandered in with a clipboard.

He also immediately requested permission to manipulate Scotto’s nether nuts and the look of sheer terror in my husband’s face mandated my loyal and neutral presence. More staring at the wall and rocking quietly.
How you can diagnose appendicitis by squeezing someone’s coconuts I’ll never understand… but then I don’t have a medical degree.
Anyway, it seems Scotto has pleurisy as a complication of his bronchitis which explains the chest pain. 

I wonder if the doctors needed to grasp his goolies to work that one out?

And if you are wondering why he is still wearing the sticky node patches on his chest??? He's too scared to rip them off because they're stuck to his chest hair!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

There was an Old Woman who had an Infection.

There was an old woman who had an infection

I don’t know why she had an infection perhaps she had a predilection.

There was an old woman who swallowed antibiotics

She swallowed the antibiotics to kill the infection

I don’t know why she had an infection

But it paled her complexion.

There was an old woman who used an asthma puffer

The asthma came on from the antibiotics,

She took the antibiotics to cure the infection

I don’t know why she had an infection…

a bodily imperfection?

There was an old woman who took iron tablets

She took the tablets to fix her heart flutters

She got from the Puffer she took for her asthma

She got from her pills she took for her infection.

I don’t know why she had an infection

It needs circumspection.

There was an old woman who got constipated

She got this way through the iron medication

She took for her heart that was all a flutter

From the puffer she used to cure her asthma

She got from her pills she used for her infection

I don’t know why she got an infection

It needs reflection.

There was an old woman who took some laxatives

She needed to cure her constipation

She acquired from iron she took on location

To fix her annoying heart palpitations

That came from the puffer to improve aspiration

That she needed for the asthma which was the causation

That she got from the pills which were the allocation

From the doctor to fight an aggravation…

An infection which caused her much agitation...

Perhaps she just needed fumigation.

But now she feels monumental frustration

That nothing  results in exultation

And perhaps she should forget this abomination

And drown her sorrows in fermentation.

Or perhaps she’ll just die.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pinky Learns a Wee Lesson!


If I was asked to encapsulate my personality in three words those words would have to be, 


On one occasion, when I took three of the kids to see a musical production, I insisted loudly that four innocent theatre patrons had mistakably sat in our seats at the theatre compelling them to collect their bags and programmes and self-consciously get up and move to the seats behind; only to have the usher come down in a fluster, rectify the confusion and insist the poor family who had listened to my protestations move back to their original seats; which were in actual fact theirs... not mine.

Some of my unhealthiest “Overconfident Episodes” occur in the doctor’s surgery where I have usually already diagnosed my ‘disease du jour’ before arriving, researched the appropriate drug to be prescribed, and usually manage to somehow boss the doctor around enough to get out of medical tests. As you may be aware… I hate medical tests.

About a month ago I wrote about visiting the doctor regarding a recurring and nasty infection (click here) and being of good judgement and intellect, this doctor refused to listen to my whiny objections and insisted on Pinky providing a urine specimen. 

I’d been able to avoid providing said specimen for the previous… oh… twelve visits. I knew what was wrong with me you see. I knew exactly which antibiotics I needed because, let’s face it… I know everything… I’m totally omniscient.

Last night, Scotto slapped a letter he’d discovered in our snail-mail box down on the coffee table.

“It’s a letter from the doctor,” I sighed, “Probably a pathology bill for that stupid, unnecessary test he made me have.”

It wasn’t. The letter was a harbinger of doom, informing me that the doctor needed to discuss the results of the test with me and I should call in as soon as possible; no appointment necessary.

Panic mode set in, especially when the letter was dated a month ago, two days after my initial visit!!

Either it had been lost in the mail or the useless gits who live in this house had been too lazy to clear the letter box out properly... I’m thinking the latter.

Dreams of gothic hospitals, grave yards, black crows, grim reapers and coffins disturbed my sleep and I lay sweating in bed, eyes wide open and bulging towards the ceiling all night.

I cornered our very sensible school librarian Sue, today and narrated the story in hushed and urgent tones (we were in the actual library at the time).

“What if it’s cancer?” I hissed. “What if he wants to see me because the urine test revealed cancer and it’s been spreading for the entire month that the fricking letter was lurking in the letter box?”

“I don’t think cancer usually shows up in wee, Pinky.” she replied calmly. “Besides, wouldn’t they have tried to telephone you if it was that serious?”

I didn’t believe her. What do librarians know anyway?

As soon as school finished I sped to the doctors scuttling up to the front counter and urgently flashing the letter at the receptionist.

“Oh! Doctor Norman is away in Afghanistan.” she chirped.

“I can squeeze you in with Dr Ramadanadingdong if you like.”

I do like foreign doctors because they’re usually so gentle and pleasant but I can never understand a bloody word they say.

“Okay,” I agreed in defeat, anything to get this over with.

Two minutes later, Dr Ramadanadingdong appeared calling my name and I followed him into the room in neurotic trepidation.

“Ooooh,” he frowned staring at the computer. “This is complicated.”

“Oh sh#t! This is it.” I thought. “Who will love my children when I am gone?”

“You have been on wrong antibiotic. I give you anudder one.” he chuckled.

So that was it. Because of my sly shenanigans, I’ve avoided one simple test for the last two years which could have cleared this underlying infection immediately.

Maybe ‘totally omniscient’ isn’t the precise word to describe me; maybe ‘mentally defiscient’ or ‘utterly ineffiscient’ would suit me better.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Queen Bee is Guarded by her Minions.

I was just caught lying on the couch in my cow print PJs at 2 o’clock in the afternoon by the pool guy. I’m sure he’s seen it all before… he is a pool guy after all; wink, wink.

The mucous membranes lining my nose have finally given up trying to rid my body of the insidious virus contaminating it. After releasing more fluid than runs over Niagara Falls in the wet season they have at last ceased their deluge.

This is good, because I don’t think there is any remaining skin around my nostrils. It’s all been stripped away by a zillion sandpaper like tissues leaving raw patches of tenderised sirloin instead.

I’m much better today. The violent shivering, never-ending sneezing, weird pains in my kidneys and soapy feeling in my throat seem to have dissipated.

I can’t taste a thing… but I’m craving Scotch Finger biscuits dipped in a milky tea with three sugars. Sook food.

I attempted to take a nap yesterday but every time I’d deliriously nod off, this guy …

                                Borat the German Shepherd

would begin barking like Rin Tin Tin, setting off the other three mongrels in a chorus of yap-bloody-yapping.

While I lay wafting in and out of consciousness, Celine and Pablo sat on a high perch like worker bees diligently guarding the queen bee.

The trouble was, every time a car drove past Borat would bark and Pablo, in his excitement would clumsily jump off the back of the couch straight on top of the enlarged and tender spleen housed in my abdomen.

Not the nicest way to be awoken from a feverish slumber.

I must have drifted off for at least ten minutes because at one stage I awoke to discover Pablo had unravelled an entire toilet roll. He had also shredded the eighty-seven used and damp tissues sitting on the coffee table beside where I lay in my semi-coma.

There were bits of soggy tissue from one corner of the house to the other.

I really hope the vicious little b#stard catches my cold.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pinky tells "How Doctors can make you Sick!"


Warning: If you are a boy you should probably cease reading this post because it may be a bit icky for the faint-hearted.
It’s come to my attention that Lara Bingle and Michael Clarke (the Australian cricket guy) aren’t together anymore! At least that’s what I gleaned today when I caught up on all the gossip magazines whilst waiting an interminably long time at the doctor this afternoon. 

In fact, it appears that Ms Bingle and Clarkey broke up some time ago. I only know this because I saw a photo of his wedding to a glamorous brunette in one of the magazines called,“No Idea” or something like that.


But I’m afraid that’s not the worst of it; I also read today...
 Michael Jackson is dead!

Imagine the hazardous germs those magazines must be harbouring. Some of them were so old they probably give refuge to ancient Bubonic plague bacteria. Secretive, little germs just waiting to be released from the crinkly pages of a 14th century Woman’s Day by some random three year old with a runny nose, manically rifling through the magazine table and annoying the crap out of everyone in the waiting room.

But there was worse to come when I eventually made it in to see the doctor.

“Pinky, I’m going to need you to provide a urine specimen,” Dr. G requested pleasantly holding up a teeny weeny jar.

“Are you sure that’s necessary,” I stammered with false cheer, “I’ve had UTIs before and it’s never anything serious, just your garden variety bacteria. Ha ha!”

(Besides, I had already taken two leftover antibiotics from an old packet the previous night, so any live bacteria were probably already floating lifelessly on their backs by now. 

They were actually Padraic’s leftover acne antibiotics I’d taken… but I wasn’t about to reveal that clanger to the good doctor.)

“Off you go!” he scoffed jovially, pushing me out the door into the waiting room.

Of course a dozen heads immediately snapped up to attention, scrutinising the specimen jar I clutched and then watched me skulking down the corridor to the loo like a criminal.

As I pushed open the door the stink hit me full in the face. “Come in,” smiled a lady washing her hands shamelessly at the sink.

She’d clearly not been “providing” a number one specimen. It was possibly a number three by the smell of the cloying, malodorous entity enveloping the cubicle.

It was a difficult mission I had in producing a midstream specimen into a miniscule container whilst holding my breath and not actually making contact with the toilet seat. But… the mission was accomplished.

Then came the daunting task of walking the twisted path past all the curious gawkers ogling me as I carried my warm, sloshing container back to the doctor’s room.

I should have pretended to trip over and spill it all over someone. Oh well, maybe next time.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pinky and the Flu Vaccine

Influenza vaccine cannot give you a dose of influenza because it contains no active virus. Some people who get influenza vaccine may still get the flu but they will usually get a milder case than those who were not vaccinated. 

Despite the Australian Medical Association widely publicising this fact, many people refuse to have the flu vaccine because they think it will give them the flu.

Today at work, a selection of courageous warriors fighting the war against the spread of the dreaded lurgy, lined up outside the staffroom to be jabbed with the pointy end of a needle.

We all joked around merrily, full of false bravado whilst we waited for the nurse to call us up.

The scariest part was after we were inoculated and we had to sit in the room with the nurse in case we had an allergic reaction.

My hypochondria immediately set in; my heart began to race, the roof of my mouth itched and my lips twitched sporadically. Fairly certain I was about to have an horrific adverse reaction I leaned over to my friend Bec, 

“Does your arm feel weird and tingly?” I asked her urgently, “Does it feel … bloodless?”

“A bit,” she replied scanning my panic stricken face, “I think that’s normal though, Pinky.”

After what seemed an eternity the ten minutes passed and none of us bloated up and died so we were permitted to go and have a cup of tea. ‘Thank God!’ I thought. ‘Pinky, will live to see another day.’

Medical procedures always throw me into a barely restrained anxiety attack.

One day when I was about nineteen years old, and standing at the car rental counter at the airport where I worked, I noticed a tight feeling in my chest and my heart palpitating. 

Alarmed and thinking I was having a heart attack I began taking very large breaths because it felt like I wasn’t getting enough air. 

Very soon the gasping for air swiftly spiralled out of control and I was loudly hyperventilating like a pig in labour. Poor, frightened Helen, the girl I was working with, rang the office and asked them to come and pick me up urgently to drive me to the doctor.

By the time the terrified car washer, Colin, (who’d been randomly assigned the job of ambulance driver) arrived at the doctor, I had upset the carbon dioxide balance in my bloodstream so much, my legs were paralysed and completely numb. 

Colin was forced to unceremoniously carry me in to the crowded (and enthralled) reception area. I couldn't talk, my arms tingled and I’m pretty sure I was actually dribbling in fear of the imminent death that was surely coming my way.

As I languished, heavy breathing, Camille-like against the counter, Colin anxiously described my symptoms to the grumpy-looking nurse.

“She looks like she’s getting plenty of air to me!” she tartly replied. “Bring her out the back. She’s scaring the other patients.”

As I lay on the gurney wondering what horrible disease I had contracted, the nurse impatiently thrust a paper bag into my hands. “Breath into that,” she grumbled, and left me to die alone in the room.

“A paper bag?” I thought bitterly, “that b#tch is gonna get the sack when I cark it,” and promptly passed out.

“You had a panic attack,” explained my doctor about an hour later when she’d finally finished seeing the sick patients. “Have you been burning the candle at both ends lately?”

Read… The apples didn't fall far from the tree.

My mind flittered over the memories of the previous fortnight’s all-niters, wildly clubbing and partying whilst infused with alcohol and nicotine, then getting up after an hour’s sleep to go to work.

The trouble was the doctor didn’t explain what causes panic attacks and how to manage them.

Whilst I never succumbed to the melodramatic magnitude of that slice of theatre again, I continued to experience anxiety for years afterwards. Eventually I found a book that explained the mechanics of adrenalin and hyperventilation and I applied some self-help therapy to cure myself.

But every now and then I feel my heart begin to flutter and a sense of impending doom. 

Like when I have to have a vaccination.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Pinky Puts Off Medical Tests


I just returned from my newly resurrected custom of taking a power walk along the river. With winter approaching it’s dark by the time I get home at this time of year and the river bank was resplendent with thousands of glittering fireflies. Gorgeous!

The trek up the river, however, was not as pleasant. Who should Pinky happen to have the misfortune to cross paths with, but her cheerless family doctor.

Why would running into your doctor be such a calamity you silly woman? I hear you asking whilst rolling your eyes and sighing.

Well, you didn’t see the evil glinting eye and disapproving grimace she happened to fire at me as I walked past her, waving and smiling jovially, and I’m not being paranoid.

I went to visit Doctor Killjoy in her surgery about five months ago, seeking advice about some minor ailment or another.

“So Pinky…” she began to predictably scold, “I see you haven’t had your bloods checked for three years. You should be getting them checked every year once you get past forty years of age you know.”

“Yes, I know… it’s just been so hectic lately,” I replied meekly.

“Well I’m filling out this form for you to have an iron and lipids check and stats on your kidney and liver function. It’s just a general check-up and if you go for the test tomorrow morning I can fit you in next week to discuss the results.”

“No worries!” I chirped agreeably. “I’ll see you next week then Doctor!.”

As I stated, that was five months ago.

I don’t want to go for those tests, ever.

What if the fun police discover I only have one square centimetre of functioning liver remaining? Will I have to give up my nightly tipple? That’s never going to happen now is it? 

For more on how Pinky knows she doesn’t have a drinking problem read … here

The other thing that really puts me off having these horrifically invasive tests, is being ordered to fast for twelve hours. I honestly don’t think I’d be physically capable of getting out of bed; getting dressed, driving to the clinic and sitting in a waiting room with sickly looking people for at least an hour whilst reading two year old New Ideas... all without two cups of milky Nescafe and two sugars please. How do people do it?

On a certain birthday ending with a zero, I was sitting on my bed reflectingly gazing out the window when I espied the postman attempting to squeeze a parcel and a letter (maybe a card with a voucher inside!) in my mail box. 

Racing downstairs I eagerly bounced out the front door to see which lovely friend or relative had gone to the trouble of sending me a birthday surprise.

The letter was an official missive advising me that I was now eligible for a free mammogram and the parcel was a bowel testing kit. Charming… so this is what happens when you reach this particular milestone in your life.

I could get my head around the mammogram but there is no way I am laying a piece of tissue in the toilet bowl, pooping on it, scraping some of the poop off the top, placing it in a jar, and then mailing it to some long-suffering pathologist who was sadly counselled by a very incompetent career advisor.

Is there anything fricking nice about getting old?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pinky knows Dr Google can diagnose anything!


Arriving at the doctor’s surgery today I was painstakingly careful not to touch the front door with my hands. I gave the front counter a wide berth as well, conscious of the plethora of viruses and germs gleefully teeming around on it. The waiting room was packed with patients snuffling and wheezing away like asthmatic chain smokers so I sat as far away as I could in the circumstances, considering the dearth of available seating. 

I was there to pick up a prescription for a minor non-contagious ailment and I didn’t want to take any lurgies home with me. 
Filthy places those doctor’s surgeries. 

While I was sitting checking the text messages on my phone the doctor sauntered out with a plastic sheet and placed it on the seat beside me. A fortyish woman followed him out, “Just sit there for a minute.” said the doctor directing her to the chair. Oh God, what is wrong with her? Panicky thoughts flooded my paranoid mind. I’ve got to get away, I inwardly screamed, but I can’t just get up it would be too obvious. 

Why was she sitting on a plastic sheet? Was something going to ooze out of her? Her husband and a couple of kids moved towards us. Thank God, I thought, a means of escape. 
“Here take my seat.” I offered magnanimously and quite insistently.

I realised about five minutes later that it wasn’t a plastic sheet but a raincoat and she was taking her little girl to the doctor for her needles. Oh well, doesn’t hurt to play it safe.

Usually I avoid visiting the doctor like the proverbial plague especially since Dr Google set up shop. As a confirmed hypochondriac I regularly check out any tiny but strange symptom on the internet and I’m always delighted to discover there are many idiots out there just like me. 

No matter how obscure the symptom I still manage to find pages of questions and answers. I once looked up “creepy crawly sensation on left shoulder close to a mole” and found fifty-six other neurotics who’d looked up exactly the same thing, even the ‘left’ bit.

Before the internet I relied on medical books from which to glean knowledge and fancied myself a bit of a health expert, particularly in regards to kids.

Dragging Jonah into the doctors one day I self-assuredly announced, “Dr Mullen, I’m fairly sure these spreading sores on Jonah’s leg are the result of a white-tail spider bite.” (I’d seen an article about white-tailed spider bites in the Sunday newspaper.)

“No Pinky, it’s actually called Impetigo.” he replied tolerantly. Oh! I thought, I’ll have to research that one when I get home. “Sometimes people call them school sores.” he added.

Oh…not quite as glamorous as a white-tail spider bite. 

Dealing with five kids and their various illnesses over the years eventually turned me into a bit of a bloody know it all.

My sister Sam rang me for advice one day at the same time I had Cyril the painter at home doing some work in the lounge room. Sam’s baby daughter Kathleen had a fever.

“So have you given her paracetemol?” I asked over the phone.

“Well that’s good. Does she have a rash? No? That’s good. Is she drinking a lot of fluid? Good. Make sure you keep those fluids up,” I added confidently, “and if her temperature goes up put her in a tepid bath. Dress her in loose, cool clothing and keep her somewhere cool. Okay, no worries, bye bye.”

Cyril looked at me admirably, “They never leave you poor doctors alone do they?” he chuckled in reverence.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Do you fear the dentist?

In the classroom today one of my students blurted out,
“How old are you Mrs. W.?”

Another rude (honest) little girl intervened, 
“I reckon she's about fifty-three!”

Some of the boys snickered but a few of my devotees gasped in horror.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” one of them retorted, “she’d be in a wheel chair if she was fifty-three!”

“I’m as old as my nose and a little bit older than my teeth.” I replied with a witless quip that immediately placed me at about one hundred and fifty-three.

I was in the car with sixteen year old Lulu and her friend recently and they were telling me about a fight that had broken out at a party they’d been at.

“Did it get to fisticuffs?” I enquired innocently.

This comment released peals of unbridled mirth.

“Fisticuffs!” they derided. “Where are we? The eighteenth century?”

I suppose the use of archaic language is a sign of getting a bit long in the tooth.

There… I did it again.

Speaking of teeth I seem to have developed a morbid fear of dentists over last fifteen years or so. Like most women I detest having my annual Pap smear test but give me a choice between that and the dentist and I’d be on the doctor’s bed faster that you could say odontophobia. 

“Your teeth are fine, it’s your gums that have to go!” said my wisecracking dentist after my fifth child Lulu had been born. 

My gums had become so spongy that one of my front teeth had dropped from its socket and was protruding forward in a Chad Morganesque manner. Seriously, I looked like I could eat an apple through a tennis racket. 

The solution was to grind the tooth to a stump and cover it with a porcelain veneer. After sixteen hours in the chair I emerged with a white and polished incisor. 

One week later it fell off when I was flossing in the shower. Luckily I managed to grasp the costly article before it went down the drain and it was glued back on. 

Fast forward fifteen years and I was sitting eating a crispy base pizza on a Saturday night when I heard an extra crunch in my mouth. The stump had turned an unappealing yellow over the years and I couldn’t leave the house until my appointment on Monday. I looked a bit scary.

For dramatic effect I walked in on Hagar watching telly and smiled wickedly at him. 

Silently staring at me with a horror-struck expression he gestured at the television and grunted. He was watching “Swamp People” and I think he was trying to tell me something.
Monday arrived and the dentist re-glued my veneer for a paltry two hundred bucks. Exactly one week later eating the same brand of pizza it happened again, but this time I’d managed to chomp the porcelain into about eight pieces.

My boss, who was growing suspicious of my consecutive Monday sickies recommended a new dentist. This one didn’t believe in veneers. 

“They have a habit of falling off.” He remarked superfluously.

Two hours later, after having my jaw propped open by the large-fisted dentist and a vacuum-armed nurse, I surfaced with a newly sculpted tooth made from composite filling.

Happy ending? Not quite. Two days later the back of the filling fell off. 

I'm leaving it like that.
Hey! Just like the back of a safe, who needs a back to a tooth?