10/30/02 Yeah, I know this


Yeah, I know this week in the blog looks like the 2nd-year class notes of someone at Columbia Med School, but y’see, I’m trying to get better. We pay so much for health insurance that to not do these things seems downright criminal. Today’s big quandary was “why the hell am I getting recurring kidney stones?” which can only be answered by the fine folks at Diagnostic Radiation on 17th St., underneath machines that look like they cost the gross national product of Finland.

My procedure was an “IVP,” which goes a little like this: the night before, you have to drink either 2 oz. of castor oil, or 4 oz. of magnesium citrate. The castor oil tastes like whale barf, and the magnesium citrate tastes like Mountain Dew. You be the judge on that one.

Anyway, that pretty much flushes out your system in ways that would be a great gag in any of the early Adam Sandler oeuvre from the mid-90s. Then you can’t eat until the next morning, when you lie flat on a table, get injected with dye, and spend an hour getting pictures of your insides taken. I saw the X-rays later, and I couldn’t even tell which way was up it all looked like a roiling cumulonimbus cloud churning across Iowa farmland. Which is to say, it was “normal.”

Of course, nothing feels normal right now with the 1-2-3 punch of a deviated septum, a possible kidney problem and a big fat flu but we still managed to rally for Mac’s play The Sky Over Ninevah, which was a marked improvement over the original reading and featured some genuine talent that wasn’t even in our regular Carolina gene pool, especially Gwen Bronson and Ben Scaccia. Not knowing Equity rules, I tried to take a clandestine picture for my records (no flash, no shutter sound) but the director happened to be behind us and gave me what-fer about it. I tellsya, being a relentless archivist can rub some cats the wrong way.

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