Reflection from 13/07/20 – In stage 3 lockdown, dreaded remote school learning has returned.
Getting older sucks donkey balls. My hair has started falling out at such an alarming rate that I fear I’ll be as bald as a baby’s bottom in a matter of years. Gravity is waging and winning the war against my breasts. My stomach refuses to stay tucked inside my pants. My skin is constantly dry.
I especially hate the aches and pains. My joints have started hurting. Standing too long causes back pain. Sleep is hard to come by. My vision continues to deteriorate. It’s these problems that make me acutely aware that I’m no longer a spring chicken and that I should I start looking after my physical health.
Today I went to get an ultrasound and cortisone injection into my right hip. I have another one schedule next week for my left shoulder. I’ve have bursitis (inflammation in the bursae, the fluid pads that cushion the joints), that I’ve left untreated for years. I sought medical intervention when the pain began impacting the quality of my sleep and became so unbearable that I couldn’t fall asleep without taking paracetamol at night.
After changing into a blue gown, the radiographer led me to a small treatment room and positioned me on the bed. There is nothing more embarrassing than having your naked butt cheek intimately exposed to complete strangers. I mean, I guess these people are professionals and see this sort of stuff all the time, but it doesn’t make it any less awkward.
As we waited for the radiologist to arrive, I reflected on why I was there: my aversion to sweating and exercise, preference for cheap shoes, unsteady gait (not alcohol related, I promise!), year on year weight gain, addiction to anything fried/battered/salty.
An older gent with a rotund belly entered the room and gave a perfunctory introduction and explanation of the procedure.
“Can you point to where the pain is the worst?” asked the doctor, holding a tube of jelly and the ultrasound wand.
“Uh here?” I pointed to a sore spot on my hip.
“Okay. If I point here, does it hurt? What about here? And here?” The doctor poked various areas before putting jelly on the spot I pointed to and placed the wand on my skin.
“Hmmm, Jenny show me the picture further down. Yes, 34. Right, that’s a tight spot to get a needle in.” He was doing a lot of muttering to himself.
“Um, will it help if I move my position?” I asked, trying to be helpful. I mean I didn’t want him making a mistake if I could help it.
“No. It won’t matter. The spot that the needle has to be inserted is very narrow. I will need to change the needle size.” He turned away to grab another needle from the tray.
“I guess it will hurt more then,” I offered weakly.
“Yes and no. It will feel like an intramuscular injection. Look I’ll show you the difference.” He held up two needles. One was about two inches longer and double the thickness. I took an audible gulp.
“There is a thick layer of fat the needle needs to get through, so we must use this needle. Do you need a local anaesthetic? How is your pain threshold?”
Did this dude just inadvertently call me a fat ass? Like literally? And now asking if I was a wimp??
“I’ve given birth to two kids. I think I can handle a needle,” I muttered, somewhat crossly.
It did hurt, but only when the needle struck close to the bone and the fluid was being injected. Not that I would admit it to the doctor.
“You did very well. You didn’t even wince. I say that ‘cos I’ve had patients say they have a high pain threshold and start asking for a local as soon as the needle hits the skin.” Seemed like high praise from the good doctor. Still didn’t take the sting from his unintentional fat ass comment.
I left the radiology clinic almost two hundred dollars out of pocket, with a sore hip, and a slightly bruised ego. Hopefully, when I return next week, he won’t need the fat needle for my shoulder.
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