Monday, July 17, 2017

Mental Health Day

            The stranger stared into my eyes so deeply it felt like he was looking into my soul. The staring went on for so long that I was starting to feel uncomfortable. He finally spoke.
            "You have presbyopia."
            "Oh my God," I said, "Is that serious? It sounds like a tropical disease."
            The ophthalmologist laughed. "No, it means you have old eyes. You also have a touch of astigmatism."
            I rubbed my blurry, traitorous eyes. "What's the cure, doc?"
            He shrugged. "Longer arms so you can read a menu. Glasses, of course."
            "Can't I just use a selfie stick to hold my papers? What if I enlarge the font on my computer? Isn't there a warehouse somewhere with spare parts for when mine wear out?"
            The doctor laughed again. "If you find it, let me know."
            After spending an hour picking out the least unflattering glasses and grumbling the whole time, I hightailed it over to the dentist for my next appointment, Siri helpfully mapping out my route.
            "Hmm," the dentist said, peering into my mouth. "That's interesting."
            "Uck-eww-argh?" I asked, which translated to what do you mean by interesting?
            "Yup," she said, after poking my tooth with a sharp object, "you need a crown."
            "Why?" I asked with my eyes since my mouth had fingers prying it open.
            "This filling is old, not much tooth left. You need a root canal and a crown. Make the first appointment on your way out."
            "First appointment?" I said, but she was already gone.
            Next stop on my day of doctor appointments was a bone density test. I was out of there in no time, but no sooner had I reached my car than my phone rang, it was my primary doctor calling with the results. The bone density test showed I had Osteopenia, a decrease in bone density. She said I should start taking calcium supplements and do weight-bearing exercises. That seemed manageable--definitely more pleasant than getting a root canal.
            My final stop was the ENT's office for a follow-up about my sinus issues.
            "I think you have sleep apnea," she said.
            "Is there a pill for that?" I asked hopefully.  "Maybe a spray?"
            She shook her head. "Afraid not. You have to go do a sleep study."
            "People are going to watch me sleep?" I croaked.
            She nodded. "Yup, you will be wired to monitors and an EEG machine, with sensors all over your head and body. They'll measure your oxygen intake, your REM sleep, your heart rate, and whether you have restless legs."
            "What happens if I do have sleep apnea?" I whispered.
            "You'll have to wear a CPAP mask that blows air up your nose and forces your airway open."
            "I HAVE TO GO HOME NOW," I said.
            After all that, I needed another full day just to recover, a mental health day. I had only one more question for Siri--which way to the beach?




  1. Isn't it a drag? Been there, done most of that.

  2. It never ends, I'm so high maintenance these days! :-P