Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Medical mystery

I'm going to tell you a little story.

Back in August, my father turned 90 years old. We had a little party for him at my sister's house. I noticed this huge red spot on his forehead and I asked my mother what it was. She said, "he says it's cancer and he's not going to the doctor."

I said, "skin cancer?"

My sister said, "no, prostate cancer."

I realized my silly question and we laughed...not about Pa's painful forehead, but about my stupid question.

Later in the week, I asked my mother how Pa was. She said he'd been applying a warm compress against that red spot, and a scab fell off and the red was going away, but the pain was going to his eye.

Another day and I called to tell about something. She listened to me and then told me that Pa's eye was hurting him so much, she finally talked him into going to her physician. The doctor examined him and said he had a piece of wood stuck in his eye - (my parents only have wood heat, so Pa goes out and chops wood to get ready for winter) - which the doc could not remove. He'd call the hospital and set an appointment. My father started griping about the cost (and when he starts griping, he goes on and on) so my mother told the doc to never mind. She'd call back to get the referral after my father settled down.

A day or so passed and Pa is in terrific pain.

"When is my appointment?" he asked.

"You don't have one," my mother told him.

Well, he was in so much pain, she called up the doc and asked him to get that appointment set up. The doc's office called, but the eye doctors were busy that day, and could not schedule an appointment. They said to take Pa to the emergency room.

Once at the emergency room, the ER doc could not find that piece of wood. So, he set up a consult with the eye doctor in the hospital. The eye doc's nurse couldn't find any wood in Pa's eye. The doc shows up and looks and he can't find any wood in Pa's eye. He tells Pa that the wood could have come out on its own from the compress he'd been applying all along. He has Pa remove his cap from his head.

Said the doc, "you have shingles."

The doc put Pa on medication and he's on the mend. Feeling much better, in fact.

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