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Best of Frank Scoblete
My doctor had pigtails22 April 2010
I went out to dinner on Friday evening with my wife, the beautiful AP. I had two martini glasses of chilled Belvedere and a delicious filet mignon. Since I started eating filet mignon when a student of GTC sent me some (the best ever!) I have become a ravenous red meat eater: hot sausages, pork, steak, hamburgers.
On Saturday morning I woke up with a real pain in my middle toe of my right foot. I was sitting at the computer whining (I am a great whiner) and AP came over and wanted to know why I was moaning.
"I think I may have broken my toe," I said. "Look." I held up my foot. The middle toe, up and down and just below, was swollen red.
"Do you remember what you did?" she asked.
"I don't remember hitting it or stubbing it," I said. "And I wasn't drunk or anything last night."
So all day long AP and I tried to figure out what could be causing this redness and pain — and I mean PAIN. I must have broken the damn toe; what else could it be?
We decided to go to the doctor Sunday morning (actually the beautiful AP decided while I moaned my agreement). In my area we have what we call a "Doc-in-the-Box," which is the medical equivalent of a fast-food restaurant. There are always three doctors on duty; several physician's assistants and a bunch of nurses and technicians. My regular doctor takes about three weeks to see, so we go to the Doc-in-the-Box for flu shots and colds and things that don't allow for three-week waits.
We always get there a half hour before it opens because I don't want to wait inside with all those sick people. I have no idea how many patients actually die after coming home from the Doc-in-the-Box, not from what they went in with, but from what they caught waiting with 50 other dribbling, sniveling, coughing, sneezing, grunting patients and vomiting children (usually into buckets mommy brought) in the waiting room. I don't mind waiting a half hour outside to be the first one in.
So I signed in when it opened and the nurse/technician called my name, "Frank Scoblete." I turned to AP and said, "My God, the guy pronounced the name right."
I went in and the nurse/technician looked over my files. "So you been playing a lot of craps and blackjack lately?" I looked over at him. Maybe he was a fan? "I had you as a teacher many years ago. I'm Brandon Guss." He turned around and damn, I recognized him.
"You're a nurse?" I asked.
"That and the head of the X-Ray department. I am going to take your vitals."
"His blood pressure will shoot through the roof at first. He has white coat syndrome," said AP.
"No problem," said Brandon. "You here for your foot?"
"Do you want to see it?" asked AP.
"No, the doctor will take care of that," said Brandon.
"Good," I said, "you don't want to see how disgusting my toes are. After all I am your ex-teacher. I need some dignity."
"I want him weighed too," said AP firmly. "Every time he goes to the doctor he cons the nurses into putting down 210 pounds and he is fatter than that."
"I have a lot of muscle," I said. "Muscle weighs more."
So my blood pressure was through the roof the first time; then it went down to almost normal the second time. My temperature was normal.
"The doctor will be right in and then I'll be taking x-rays," said Brandon, leaving the room.
"I don't want to get weighed," I said.
"You're getting weighed," said AP.
In a few minutes the doctor walked in. Actually she was so young, she could have skipped in. And, my Lord, she was wearing pigtails! PIGTAILS!
"So your toe hurts?" she said.
"Yes," I said. "Uh, you are wearing pigtails."
"I know. I got a haircut yesterday and I can't do anything with it," she said.
"Oh, I have those problems too," said AP and the two of them started to discuss going to beauty parlors. Meanwhile my toe felt like the Incredible Hulk was gnawing on it.
After four months of their conversation, I squeaked: "My toe is killing me."
"OK, let me see the little fellow," she said as I took off my sock.
She looked at it.
"I must have broken it," I said. "I've been handling the pain though."
"By whining," said AP.
"Well, whining works for me," I said.
"You have gout," said the doctor in pigtails.
AP and I were silent. Gout? I've heard the word but gout? I had gout? Gout? The damn toe felt broken. "Are you sure it's not broken? I mean it hurts like hell," I said.
"Gout hurts like hell," she said twirling one of her pig tails. "Brandon will take x-rays and we will take blood samples but you've got gout. After the x-rays I'll see you back in here." Then she left the examining room to go play jump rope. A minute later, Brandon came back in.
"Okay, King Scobe," he said (my students always called me King Scobe and I am a king, damn it, at least in my own tortured mind) and I followed him into the x-ray room. "OK, take your socks off."
"My feet are disgusting," I said. "But they won't smell because I took a shower this morning and sprinkled some cologne on them."
"Don't worry about it," he smiled, "I've seen everything."
So x-rays were taken. When Brandon opened the door for us to leave the x-ray room, AP was waiting — like a damn vulture. "The scale is there," she said pointing. The damn scale was about four feet away against the wall. "Make him get on it," she said to Brandon.
"Whoa, whoa, wait a minute," I said. "He's a former student; you can't make him make me do anything. I mean I am his former teacher."
"Best teacher I ever had," smiled Brandon. That was really nice to hear. I had an ally now against the powerful natural force known as the beautiful AP! "But King Scobe, you should really weigh yourself," said Brandon. TRAITOR! You can't trust anyone nowadays.
But I was defeated. I hobbled to the scale; got on and was fatter than 210 pounds. I turned to AP, "Well, I'm not as fat as you thought I was."
Back in the examining room, the doctor in pigtails came in. "X-rays are fine; you have gout. Now, the prescription I am writing for you will get rid of it."
"Oh, good, good," I said.
"You stop taking it as soon as you get better…" she smiled. "Or when you get a case of diarrhea."
"A what? I get what?"
"You stop when you feel better or get diarrhea," she said.
"You're kind of young," I said. "Are you allowed to say the word 'diarrhea'?"
"Not everyone gets diarrhea but it happens to most," she smiled.
"If you get diarrhea the toe will probably feel better too," she said. "Also do not eat red meat or drink vodka." [There is no justice in the universe!!!] "A lot of this comes from the 'rich man's diet' as they used to call it. Check out the Internet about this."
"Ah, no booze…" started AP.
"No, no vodka," I said.
"No booze is better," said the doctor in pigtails.
"I can't get a break," I said.
Leaving the doctor in pigtails, in the car I said, "Well, not everyone gets diarrhea. Even if I do a couple of wet craps and that's that."
Last night "that's that" hit the fan! I had diarrhea for 12 straight hours! I never realized I had that much liquid in me. My butt burned as if someone had used a flamethrower in it.
I was moaning in the bathroom; not so much from the "that's that" hitting the fan but from the agony of my you-know-what being on fire.
"Make sure you drink plenty of water," said AP. "I'm going to sleep."
But she really didn't get to sleep because I kept coming back to bed for a minute or two and I'd whisper in her ear, "I'm dying." Then I'd leap up and run to the bathroom.
The "that's that" was somewhat productive. I read the latest book on Alex Rodriguez during my 12 hour ordeal. AP also told me that Benjamin Franklin had gout. I was in good company.
This morning, after those 12 hours, I called to AP as she was leaving for the library, "Let's weigh me now, baby, I'll bet I am a lot thinner!"
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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