Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Xiphisternum

A few years ago I went to my Doctor - Doctor Rhamadhamadhingdhong, or something to that effect. I liked her very much because she seemed to have very few patients and always spent lots of time with me, being very thorough.

All my previous doctors were the same. You'd be strapped to a conveyor belt that rushed, very fast toward a square door in the middle of the wall - it was much like airport luggage roulette. You would yell out your symptoms as you were approaching and rushing through the rubber door flaps and the doctor was in the next room, waiting to staple a prescription to your forehead. Then the belt whizzed you away through the next portal into a room where you could get dressed again. One time I came through the first hatch shouting "YYZ!" but the doctor was not fond of airport humor. He was very cross and charged me double.

Okay, I took a fair bit of artistic license with that last paragraph but the essence is true.

Also, Dr Rhamadhamadhingdhong never found anything wrong with me, which was quite pleasant.

As I was saying, I went to her once and said, "Look. Feel. I have a lump in my chest. Right here. See?"

She was rather patronizing, which was not typical of her.

"I'd like to be sure it isn't cancer or something nasty," I said.

"You have no lump in your chest," she stated, and sent me away.

I mention this because I was at my new Doctor's just the other day - Dr Harry (That's his last name) - he's a strange fellow. I quite like him. I like strange people. You should meet my friends. They're all weirdoes.

Dr Harry also takes his time with me. There's no rush - though his waiting room is always packed solid. Whether he's an inefficient businessman or is just fond of me, I don't know.

He asked me about the lump on my chest. He poked and prodded and prodded and poked and signed me up for every test he could think of.

He's confident it's a harmless 'lipoma' but doesn't want to take any chances. I'm cool with that.

'Lipoma' is one of those medical/anatomical type words. You know right away because it sounds very serious and difficult and alien. They're all the same.
Lipoma. Duodenum. Vertebrate. Encephalopathy...

But here's an exception: The doc wants me to get an x-ray of my xiphisternum. Now don't be fooled by the spelling of the word xiphisternum. It's a lot more fun than you realize. He pronounced it very casually - like 'ziffy sternum'. As if he'd just said to me 'quickie mart' or 'jiffy pop' or 'zippo lighter'.

He said it with gay frivolity as if he were merely saying 'punchbuggy, no punchbacks' or
'Scooby doo, where are you?'

"...I'm sure it's nothing, Mr Anderson. But we'll just take a little x-ray of your scooby-duodenum to be safe..."

I'm looking forward to this x-ray. It will probably be fun.

Of course there will be nothing fun about it if it turns out to be cancer instead of a lipoma. In that case Dr Rhamadhamadhingdhong is gonna get an earful - since I went to her way back and she didn't believe me. In that case - if I'm gonna die, you can bet I'm taking her with me. I'll go to her office with a gun and two bullets - one with my name on it and one with hers. Well, her name wouldn't fit on a bullet of course but I'll just write Dr. R for short. I think she'll get the idea.

* YYZ is the international destination code for Toronto's Pearson International Airport.


nahuris said...

Hi..there..i enjoyed reading ur article about your zippy sternum....keep posting...

nahuris said...

by the way xiphisternum is the name of my blog....and im a doctor...

Anjuli said...

Hey there, love ur post, its xiphisternum and not 'ziffy' :o) lol

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