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‘Cough.’ ‘Cough.’ ‘How Long Have You Had This Cough?’

January 19th, 2016 · Tags:Satire

Soon it will be time to get back out on the road for more of “The Dirty Gig,” (the disaster recovery work that helps to fund this blog) so I have been checking and updating paperwork-type things.  It was brought to my attention that I needed to update a Department of Transportation health certification so that I can operate small, commercial vehicles.

… Pretty much a formality, as long as you are still warm and have somewhat of a heartbeat, I think.

So, anywho, the medical professionals told me I passed with flying colors.  My blood pressure was normal, although just a few weeks ago I was told it was a tad high.  Hmmm … wonder if a recent visit to the kava bar had any soothing affect on the old blood pressure.  No gaskets blown … score this a success.

Are other company’s drivers subjected to this, I wondered?  And do they find it as amusing as I do?

The laugh-a-minute ordeal started from the point I was handed a little plastic cup and asked to do my thing.  Another W in the win column as I met my quota.

Then the nurse handed me a sheet of paper, and asked me to fill it out, as I stood there in the exam room.  Ha … I kid you not, the third or fourth question on the piece of paper asked: “Can you read?”

I looked at it and thought surely I was missing something, so I asked the nurse for an explanation.  Ever helpful, she read it to me aloud, “Can you read?”  I answered a question with a question, despite all previous training advising against this technique. “Which word on the page says, ‘yes?,’” I asked.  The nurse pointed to the three letters on the page (I kid you not) … and I said “Well then, I guess I should circle that one.”

Ha … I am sure she was not as amused as me … but it’s what I do.

The nurse led me to several different examination rooms and the next one apparently was the ear/nose/throat section.  I was equally entertained by the hearing test.  I was instructed to close my eyes (no lip-reading allowed) and cover one ear. (She didn’t suggest how I should cover the ear … I digress …)  Next, the nurse instructed me to listen and repeat.   At this point, the nurse whispered “A-B-C-1-2-3.” I shouted, “Michael Jackson” forgetting we were playing ear wax and not trivia.  Nevertheless, she was convinced that ear worked and asked me to cover the other one, with “no peeking.”  This time — to get back at me for being a smart ass —  I think she just moved her lips and didn’t actually say anything.  But then again, how would I know if she moved her lips, since my eyes were closed?

Ha … I said, “Could you repeat that?”  She did, and apparently just a slight bit more loudly, because I clearly heard her say, “Q-R-S” … Having no witty comeback, I just repeated the letters and she gave me good marks in the ear category … despite a lifetime of auditory canal abuse at the hands of Rush, Led Zeppelin, Triumph, Alice Cooper, The Clash, Judas Priest, Moxy, UFO, Meat Puppets, Uriah Heep, Edward Sharpe, Black Sabbath, The Replacements, Foghat, The Doobie Brothers, and so on and so forth … oh … and farm tractors.

I was led to another room …

The nurse’s only follow up to our previous conversations was telling me to “drop trow” and also she instructed me to put on some nice, blue, Tyvex-like, papery shorts.  (This can’t be good …)

Then the doctor came in.  Did I mention this was one of those industrial-oriented occupational health clinic types places?  I think such clinics will pretty much always send you back to work — if injured on the job — as long as the limb is still dangling by a little sinew.  I mean … in my experience, they seem to be a little more low key than other doctors’ offices.

How to say this?  The industry-oriented medical office I just described was the last place I would have expected to see a young, attractive female doctor.  I mean … I thought  all pretty doctors just automatically left medical school and immediately set up a thriving practice in Beverly Hills or whatever.  Young, hot doctors aren’t usually examining Workman’s Comp cases are they?

Well … I bring this up for a reason.  Her attractive appearance added to my discomfort.  Because life is just full of surprises.  After the pretty doctor introduced herself, she put on the dreaded latex gloves.  OH NO!  Not that!  I mean, this whole appointment is just to test to see if I am physically fit to drive a box truck … Why would you …?

I looked at the doctor, and I said, “Good lord … surely not,”  and she smiled back, “I’m afraid so!”

After she told me to cough a couple of times, she missed her chance to complete the old Groucho Marx/doctor routine. No, she did not follow up with “How long have you had this cough?”  She was all business … as she was touching me … there.  Cold hands too.

I wish I had been carrying one of those Pantone color wheel charts.  I am not sure if my face was more of a 185C shade of red or perhaps a 172 red … either shade would just about sum up my level of embarrassment.

Ha … the doctor looked at me and said, “Don’t worry about it … You’d be surprised how many of these exams I do each day.”  Ha … I didn’t know how to respond, so I threw out a conversational, “Well alright, good for you.”

No hernias were found on this day, I am happy to report.  And I was invited to “pull up trow” and return to the waiting area.  Finished.  I did … but before I left, I gave the receptionist a message for the doctor.

The reception was obviously either not a fan of the classic Seinfeld episode or maybe just uninitiated, and just stared at me blankly when I asked her to tell the doctor “I was in the pool.”

Know what I sayin?