About me

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

And what a July it was


I think I can talk about this now.

Being an old fart, I get to visit physicians for old fart things, and sometimes the physicians need extra physicians because I'm such a exquisite old fart. And here you thought I just had a bad case of homo going on.

So I go the the new doc because the urgent care doc thinks I need to and the regular doc concurs. He was an accommodating fellow who wrote me a nice prescription for old fartedness. Yes, I'm sure there's a DSM code for that. The very next day, only a very few hours after taking the second tablet, I experienced an unexpected moment of incontinence of the worst kind. Talk about a way to make friends and influence people. At work.

Yeah, I'm the kind of guy to set an example for the junior staff.

Although I was surprised, such problems are not unheard of when taking antiobiotics, so I returned home, cleaned up, did some laundry, finished up work, and went for a run. Along my five miles, I felt an occasional twinge in my left foot, but nothing else, especially that other twinge and cramp that'd put me in the bushes under the bridge.

And probably in a police report.

Over the next few days, I found myself sitting on towels, and yes, I took no more of the old fart pills after the second. I did spend some time on Google looking for what might be going on, and it became quite clear very quickly. The old fart pills, like most antibiotics, destroyed my intestinal flora. Well, with one exception, and that exception was a wee beastie that you don't really want setting up housekeeping in your belly.

After the weekend, the new old fart doc suggested I stop with the old fart pills, and I let him know I was already a few steps ahead of him on that one. He also wanted me to step over to the hospital to crap in a can. For test purposes, you know.

My third trip to the lab was the charm as my paperwork finally arrived. It was 6:30 in the evening, and the waiting room was empty, unlike it had been on the previous two visits. The lack of people was likely because they close at 7:00. I introduced myself to the clerk, and she found my paperwork. She also asked me to sign a death waiver so she could take some blood, and I told her I'd be all over losing a little blood compared to what I suspect the doctor had really ordered. After she read the paper, she concurred.

She started handing me materials. First, she gave me a plastic bucket that appeared to hold about a quart. I didn't think the volume would be much of a challenge, but she didn't catch that muttering. The bucket also had wings that'd let it hang from a toilet seat. It did not have an overflow drain. Next, she handed me a small vial about an inch and a half wide and not quite three inches tall. The vial was sealed.

The last thing she handed me was a Popsicle stick. I pantomimed scooping from the bucket to the vial, and she nodded agreement. She ignored my comment about liquid vs. solid, and pointed me to the bathroom, but I told her the time wasn't quite right. She said I could collect the sample at home as long as I returned it to the lab within the hour.

She gave me a white plastic bag to carry my treasures in, and I thanked her as I left the lab. On the walk out, the Spirit moved. Literally. I dove into the hallway bathroom, freshly swabbed by some hard-working soul, and there in the handicap stall I dropped the bucket on the seat and proceeded to do what sick old farts do except I later decanted the foaming beef broth into the vial, which I securely sealed for transport back to the lab. The well-used bucket went into the plastic bag. The Popsicle stick went into my shirt pocket.

I carried the whole shebang, the bag holding the bucket, the very warm but securely sealed vial, the paperwork, and the Popsicle stick back to the lab. The clerk was still there, and she was a little surprised to see me as I greeted her with “The Spirit moves in mysterious ways, its wonders to perform.” She proceeded to check me in. She even let me put the label on the vial and drop it into the sandwich baggie.

Then she expressed concern. The vial contained warm liquid. It should be solid, she exclaimed. I reminded her of the reason I was there. She call one tech. Then another. Then another. Finally, a tech stepped out of the back, gazed upon the vial of warm and bubbly beef broth, and she said dismissively that they would just freeze it.

They didn't ask for the Popsicle stick back. I suppose they had a plenty back there.

And why did the waiting room have to be empty for all that? Surely the morning's sweet young cheerleader thing would have benefited from the experience.

A few days later, I learned that I didn't, apparently, have anything that'd lead to dire straits, and that was the end of that with the special old fart doc. I can't say that I'll miss him, but at the time, that was mainly because I was in the bathroom 30 times a day. Talk about being grateful for telecommuting. And WiFi. I'm sure the work peeps thought I was just extraordinarily busy.

Or hungover.

To see me through the next few days while this adventure did not pass, neither literally nor figuratively, I took lots and lots of Immodium AD. Well, the generic kind that I can get in 100-tablet bottles from Amazon. After eight tablets, I found a few moments respite. I also found the need to get some simethecone going. That's GAS-X if you didn't know. In the run of that day, took about a dozen 125 mg capsules.

You probably know that 12 capsules is about four times the daily maximum, but I was in no shape to stand on principle, much less label directions. Truth be told, I was hardly in any shape to stand period. Of course, simethecone is not absorbed; it just travels along doing its work, which is to reduce the surface tension of little bubbles so they can combine to make bigger bubbles. You want the bigger bubbles because they're easier to get rid of than the little bubbles. They're more fun too. I had lots of bigger bubbles that afternoon. For some six hours on 30 to 45 second intervals, and yes, I did time them because I'm an awesome scientist like that, I lost one exceptionally large bubble after another. Very loudly. Like very loud clockwork.

This went on until I was sore in a very delicate place, not that being sore stopped me from laughing what was left of my ass off. Why could this not have happened when I was married?

Yeah, I'm about well now. Again. The regular doc and FNP healed me. It'll be a while before I agree to see a special doc for old farts again, though I'm sure I will at some point. Perhaps when Proponol is involved.