Have a nice trip? See you next fall

Waiting on the “provider” at urgent care. Is it just me, or does
“The Provider” sound like some sort of third-tier Marvel superhero?

One of the sad things about modern medicine is the questions you get asked.

It used to be, “Where does it hurt?” Or, “What brings you to see us today?”

Now it’s “Do you feel safe in your home?”

As long as I can see the wife in my peripheral vision, and both of her hands are empty, sure.

Or, “Are you depressed?”

Not until you asked me that question.

Another popular one seems to be, “Have you had any other falls recently?”

I didn’t fall this time. I broke my ankle running and then hopped around on the good leg, screaming all of George Carlin’s “Seven Words” in no particular order. Then I limped home, got in the car, and drove a few blocks to visit some people who seem to enjoy probing strangers for weakness and financial information.

While we’re discussing modern medicine, here’s another observation about crutches. Not only do they still not come equipped with cup holders, shocks, or hydraulic disc brakes as standard equipment, but no matter where or how you park them, like Doc Sarvis’s bicycle, they still slide immediately to the floor.

And finally, if like me you suddenly seem to have some time on your hands that desperately needs filling, scope out this fine interview with Sonny Rollins. He’s had to give up the sax due to illness, but he hasn’t given up, y’feel me?

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30 Responses to “Have a nice trip? See you next fall”

  1. Mitchell Smoller Says:

    Hi Patrick;

    Hang in there and do everything the PT says, if you have one. I had a complete tear of my right Achilles in May 2018 but fully recovered!

    Best to you;

    Mitch Smoller Montpelier ,Vermont

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Mitch. Yeah, I think I’m gonna want PT on this one.

      I learned my lesson with my second dislocated finger. When I did the thumb, I didn’t get PT, and now it’s a mess. When I did the bird finger, though, I got PT, and that sucker is probably about 95 percent. My hand therapist was relentless, and I thank her for it.

  2. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    GRRRrrrrrrrrr! Over here in Itly, it’s a constant barrage of “Are you still alive?” due to the panic over Covid-19. I’m no expert but I think the Italians are being so careful and cautious their reporting is making it look like an epidemic here when it’s (at least not yet) far from that, but the news cycle is screaming its head off.

    • SAO' Says:

      Mortality estimates are 20x typical flu, and transmit rate is at least 10x. Every 4,000 person cruise ship returns home with 20 cases of the flu, but the Diamond Princess had 700.

      The math is pretty simple on this one.

      Of course the media is going to go crazy. But that doesn’t mean that about 10,000 doctors are wrong on this one.

      And the way the math works, it doesn’t mean that the doctors are wrong if we somehow dodge the bullet. All that really means is if the people on the front lines got the job done.

      I’ve heard comparisons to the Y2K bug and to tsunami warnings. Y2K was a real thing, and a whole bunch of people worked real hard on it, and got it fixed before Prince was done singing “party over, oops, out of time.” But most people thought it was a huge overreaction. The folks tracking earthquakes and tsunamis will tell you that you’re going to have maybe 20 false alarms before you correctly predict one. And Khal will more than likely confirm, when the tsunami alarms go off in Hawaii, nine cars are heading to the beach to catch a wave for everyone car heading to higher ground.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I was there for a tsunami scare in the ’90’s and people actually bailed out of the coastal highway. I was at the Univ of Hawaii in Manoa Valley when the warning went off. I jumped on my bike and raced home to the east end before they closed Kalanianaole Highway.

        I think Patrick and Shannon were on the Beeg Island when they actually had a tsunami. Amiright?

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Indeed we were, K. We were renting a house in Captain Cook and got there right after the volcano erupted and just before the tsunami hit. Good times. Maybe not. At least the trip cost a lot of money and took a real long time.

          Here’s a shot of Your Humble Narrator at Herr Doktor Thompson’s old stomping grounds from “The Curse of Lono,” Pu’uhonua O Honaunau (“Place of Refuge”). And here’s a gallery.

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Math? Italy’s Lombardy region has around 10 million people and around 300 cases at present. Sicily and Piedmont have 5 million each and around 10 cases combined. Deaths in Italy have been almost exclusively people over 70 with pre-existing health issues. Irrational panic (outside of Italy anyway) is ruling the day it seems.
        I’m supposed to fly to the USA in a few days to take care of some biz but at present I don’t know if they’ll refuse to let anyone “from Italy” in, or worse, quarantine them. If either is the case I’ll prefer to skip the trip and the biz and stay here in Sicily, riding my bike in the nice sunshine 🙂
        One question I’d like to ask those freaking out – how many have had a seasonal flu shot? If you’re “rolling the dice” by skipping the shot STFU about Covid-19, OK?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Which reminds me: Another question they’re asking now is, “Have you been out of the country in the past 30 days?”

      So I sez to her I sez, “Sheeeeyit, honey, I ain’t eeeeven been outa Albuquerque.”

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    They are worried us old folks are depressed, lonely, or drink too much. They also want to know if your sex life is OK. Welcome to Medicare!

    As I said in a comment on your last post, grab that Roadhouse and practice some slow blues. Here’s an easy song that I go to when someone says play me something. You don’t even have to sing well.


  4. psobrien Says:

  5. Charley Auer Says:

    Patrick, aging has unintended consequences which are not predictable. Enjoy your aging process, the options are not good.
    Kepp doing the things you like!

  6. SAO' Says:

    Medical engineering is a crazy biz. My dad was part of USAMBERDL, the United States Army medical bioengineering research and development labs. His claim to fame was that he convinced them to sponsor as many Little League teams as they could, using the Baltimore orioles logo, under the name the USAMBERDL Birds.

    Anyway, we throw all kinds of money into solving these complex problems, but then you look at crutches and wheelchairs, which haven’t changed in 1000 years.

    The first thing they tell you when you get crutches is that you’re going to have to modify the armpit pad in the hand pad, because the stock parts are in adequate. There are only three parts to a crutch, and you have to modify two of them, so that tells you what their give-a-shit factor is in designing the things

    During the first year of the war in Afghanistan, some SPC-4 medic got an award for inventing this hypothermia prevention device. Did he use cold fusion or solar panels or something high-tech like that? Nope. He duct- taped together a bunch of MRE crates, grabbed some flexible hose like you find on a dryer vent, and pointed two hairdryers into the tube. I’m not sure sure what DARPA was doing while he was busy cobbling this thing together..

    • SAO' Says:

      It’s almost like the medical engineering field gets the rejects from the bike industry.

      So there’s our million dollar idea … e-Crutches!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The first time I saw one of those knee scooters, I thought, “There’s something different.” Then I wondered how many people crash ’em and make matters worse.

      Probably about the same number of people who fall off their crutches, hey? Or go over backasswards popping wheelies in their wheelchairs?

      “Hey, hold my IV and watch this!”

      • carl duellman Says:

        when i broke my foot i had a knee scooter. i could get out of the house for dog walks and such. pretty fun especially after a glass or two of wine.

  7. SAO' Says:

    I get the same questions when I go to the VA. They ask about food insecurity, whether I have a guaranteed roof over my head for the next 30 days.

    “ Do you ever have feelings that life is not worth living?”

    Only during the last 90 minutes that I spent in the waiting room.

    I guess if they ask 100 people, and it annoys 99, but for one guy, it saves his life, then I guess it’s worth it… But it doesn’t seem very efficient. Most of the folks who need help aren’t walking in the door in the first place

  8. khal spencer Says:

    They ask that now because of some law or other that requires the med folks to know if you broke your (fill in the blank) yourself or got thrown down the stairs by your significant other. They asked that of me and my better half the last few times each of us appeared to be injured.

    I’ve read enough articles about people showing up at ER swearing they took a running jump and flew down the stairs and landed on their face that I guess I don’t blame them for asking. Too many f**ked up people in these parts.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeh, I was wondering whether it was New Mexico-specific, but I guess not, hey?

      “‘Walked into a door,’ eh? Was that ‘door’ wearing a wedding ring?”

      • khal spencer Says:

        Yes indeed, an AMA New Deal! But O’G and I both read the papers in these parts and I think he and I agree that there are a lot of doors wearing wedding rings in these parts.

    • JD Dallager Says:

      Khal: Please just remember that all these Q’s ultimately create medical and legal billing time…….and jobs! Think of the beneficial impact to our economy!!!!! 🙂

  9. debby511 Says:

    Sorry to hear about the injury, Patrick. It’s good that surgery is not required though.

    I get asked those questions about falling whenever I see a doctor. “Have you fallen recently?” “Are you worried about falling?” etc. I guess all of us old people get asked those questions. At least they are not asking me “do you feel that life is not worth living?” (Which reminds me of the Monty Python sketch, where the mortician asks that question, then says – “keep it up!”

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