The telephone call began ominously, “Mr. Redwine (?)” It is never a good sign if a professional office treats you as an equal. Usually such a call would start, “James, state your full name, your date of birth, social security number, and most importantly, scan in your financial responsibility history for the past ten years.” Now, that is more the attitude I would have expected.
I responded, “Ugh, may I ask your name and why you are calling?”
“No, but feel free to contact your Congressional representative if you please, and good luck there too.”
The caller continued, “You were randomly selected for a couple of medical tests. Be at our office in Bartlesville Monday at 8:00 a.m.”
When I asked, “Can I ask …” all I heard was a click. I showed up Monday and followed orders. Tuesday, I received another call.
“Is this the party to whom I spoke last week?”
“Yes, may I ask …”
“No. We found a large kidney stone in your CT scan. It’s got to get crushed up and sucked out right now. Be here next Monday at 8:00 a.m. and no food or liquids after midnight the Sunday evening before.”
“May I ask …(click).”
I showed up Monday at 7:30 a.m. and the gate was opened at 7:55. A woman with a stack of legalese-clad releases asked me a series of COVID-19 related questions as she shoved the releases and a ball-point pen at me. I followed her unspoken directives and shook my head left and right as to COVID. Then, from behind her back she produced a LONG tube and told me to get undressed. I did and stood on the cold, tiled floor as she began to insert what felt like a fire hose into an area Mother Nature never intended to accept even a fine thread. By the way, a fine thread with a knot in it was attached to the tubing. From this point until about four hours later I have to hope someone knew what they were doing to me because I certainly did not. However, when I once again became aware of my situation there was an entire apparatus with tubing affixed to the apparatus Adam was made aware of when Eve coaxed him into taking a bite of forbidden fruit. Once the anesthesia wore off I really gave both Adam and Eve and that meddling serpent what for. Gentle Reader, I do not recommend kidney stone attacks for Monday morning pastime activity. OUCH!
Fortunately, my best friend from my old Air Force and Indiana University days had just sent me a great book of medical information for my birthday. Dr. Walter Jordan, O.D., has been my free medical advisor as well as an excellent source of information about all things IU since we first met in 1963. He has also long provided me with excellent reading material each year on my birthday. This year, by coincidence, he sent me Dr. Tony Robbins’ new book, Life Force, ISBN 978-1-9821-2170-9. Walt did not get the book to me in time to study up on the pain and misery of kidney stones. Nor did Dr. J have the opportunity to fulfill our long-ago made honor pact to use a 38-caliber solution to save me from a fate worse than watching IU lose the Big Ten Championship to Purdue. However, it is a wonderful source of information and I plan to recommend it to the office that attacked my lower quadrant.
Things have finally reached what we in the legal biz describe as a permanent and quiescent state and it appears I will survive although my friend Dr. Walt has been of more medical value to me than those “providers” who get paid for it. Anyway, as those who live in a “house” with kidney stones should not throw them I will forever hold my peace.
I do look forward to those days when we will, perhaps, all benefit from Dr. Robbins’ insights on how we might stop or even reverse the aging process. Of course, Walt and I have been around for so long Robbins’ book may not add much to our lifespan. But, Gentle Reader, I strongly suggest a trip to a book store or a library to read all of Robbins’ Chapter 4: pp. 96-120, “Turning Back Time: Will Aging Soon Be Curable?”