Published 11:24 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Clay Mercer

As always, we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another with great expectations. If it’s been a tough year, we look forward to a better year to come. If it’s been a good year, we expect things to get better in every way.

Unless, perhaps, you’re part of that 4-5% of the population that’s toting around some Neanderthal DNA with your other responsibilities. In that case, you may be focusing on things like sabre-tooth tigers and wooly mammoths, problems that don’t exist in the real world. I know people like that, women whose natural state of existence is a spasm of one sort or another.

Crisis to crisis management doesn’t describe their approach to life, these people, some of whom are really nice people, by the way, just go about life trying to survive their current spasm.

I have had a year that, on the surface, has appeared to be filled with a parade of physical ailments. One after another and, for some extended periods, two or three at once. I prefer to look on the bright side of things.

For instance, it’s been a very good year for my insurance company. At least, from my point of view. I’ve given them a lot of business. They might say, however, that I took them to the cleaners.

It’s also been a good year for my doctors. Let’s see, the current tally is one ophthalmologist, one neurologist, one family doctor, one doctor that does endoscopy (he may have a professional title, but I categorized him as a pompous bleep), one ophthalmologist/neurologist, one ER doctor (while on vacation, let me say), and one gastroenterologist.

These are the people who really took the insurance folks to the cleaners, because every single one of them said, “You’re fine. This will probably go away by itself.”

Except, of course, for Dr. Pompous, who predicted all manner of dire consequences which I don’t believe for a second. I suspect Dr. Pompous is still irked that I wouldn’t sign a consent form for surgery without discussing it with my wife. That was impossible because I had already been prepped for the endoscopy (the nurse was waiting to inject my anesthetic) and Dr. Pompous needed an answer ‘right then.’

It was also a good year for all the medical technicians, nurses, and whoever else was running those machines and coming at me with a rubber tourniquet and a needle. There were two MRIs, an EKG, a C-T scan of my head, a C-T scan of my thorax, urinalysis, and enough blood work to earn frequent flyer miles to the ER in Vegas. There was also an Electromyography, which I will not describe except to say that it’s Rated R for violence, language, and non-traditional nurse/patient interaction that involves a high tech cattle prod. The best part is that everything was negative.

It was also a very good year, education wise, for me with regard to pharmaceuticals. Gone are the days where my doctor says to take a pill and I take the pill. I have been to the seventh level of the pharmaceutical hell and I ain’t going back. The seventh level, incidentally, is where Crestor and Synthroid reside. Lots of people take these drugs with no negative side effects. I ain’t one of them.

So, there you have all the good things that have happened to me this year. My wish for you is that, when troubles strike, and they will, you learn to look for the positive side of the situation. See you next year.