Dueling Hypocondriacs

My wife and I were off work today to take the Mac (my jock high school senior daughter) to an ankle specialist at a hospital in Akron. I love Akron because it is a working-class town like Youngstown with lots of mixed cultures. The Mac has been a soccer goalie and is a second “basewoman” at softball. In June of 2006 while sliding into second she hurt her ankle. A doctor in Boardman Ohio did surgery on the sheath in her ankle. Since then she has had ankle pain off and on. We took her to a doctor in Sharon Pa. and a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic that the Boardman doctor recommended. They all agreed that the Boardman doctor did a good job on the surgery and they couldn’t help us any further. Some custom shoe inserts helped for a while now the pain is back. The Boardman doctor recently recommended we see the Akron doc. The Akron doc also complemented the Boardman doc and told the Mac to order an ankle brace to use while playing softball. I felt really bad as the Mac was upset because she just wants to play softball pain free. The Mac plays all out in any sport and I remember being scared for her as she played goalie and would actually throw her body through the air to stop goals.

When I got home I stopped at pop’s barbershop to get my ears lowered. An old timer in the shop was talking about an area knee doc who did a great job replacing his knee. My point is that we have some great doctors and medical facilities in the local area. The area doc’s are so use to everyone thinking that the Cleveland Clinic is the end all be all that they send folks to the clinic just to prove that the valley’s physicians did all that could be done. I am so sick of everyone saying, “Oh these docs in the area are butchers you have to go to Cleveland.” They say, Cleveland not even adding clinic. Cleveland I think, you mean if I drive to Cleveland stop downtown at Sliman’s Deli and get a mile high stacked Ruben with a dill pickle spear the knee I need replaced will be instantly healed? Many hospitals of course specialize in certain things but none are a panacea for all that ails you.

While I was at the Akron doc’s office I heard what I often experience when old folks are chatting. That is, “Dueling hypochondriacs.” An oldster in a wheelchair was telling an elderly woman, “I have four screws in my ankle.” She replied, “ I have six pins in my thigh.” He replied, “pins Oh yeah, I forgot I also have seven of those along with the four screws.” The woman’s jaw dropped open. Match and point to “Ironsides.”

This all brings me to a poem I wrote a while back about my hypochondriac late Grandfather Doogie (John). On one of my trips taking Doogie to play the lottery I got the material for this poem.

Dueling Hypochondriacs

An early spring day, cloudy and wet

Dorothy was at the newsstand placing her bet.

The only way out of her financial agony

was to win the Ohio Lottery.

She saw old John and gave him a hug.

He said, “I just stopped to play the bug.”

She asked, “Seen anyone from work?” as they exited the door

“Since we retired, only at the funeral parlor

and they weren’t saying much if you get my drift.”

He added, “The cars right here, we’ll give you a lift.”

“No,” she said, “I’m going to the doctor.”

“Oh,” he replied, “Whatever for?”

Her: “My bursitis and arthritis.”

Him: “I’ve got that and tendonitis.”

Her: “I’ve got colitis and hepatitis.”

Him: “Me too and gingivitis and sinusitis.”

Her: “I just recently broke my hip.”

Him: “Ditto plus I have post nasal drip.”

Her: “I had a triple bypass.”

Him: “I had a quadruple bypass

plus constant gas.”

Her: “I had kidney dialysis.”

Him: “Ditto plus I’ve got a slipped disc.”

Her: “I’ve got so much pain and stress I’m on Valium”

Him: “You don’t know about pain until a doctor probes your rectum.”

Her: “Life’s been downhill since I had a hysterectomy.”

Him; “I had one so I’m inclined to agree.”

Her: “It’s time for my appointment with Dr.Pazack.”

Him: “I use to see him, he’s a quack.”

He said, “I was as healthy as a horse.”

Her: “So you found another doctor of course.”

Him: “You betcha, Dorothy watch for me on the Lottery Show.”

Her: “Save your money John I’m going to win don’t you know.”

That was my Grandpa to a tee.

I don’t usually rhyme poems unless they’re silly ones like above.


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2 responses to “Dueling Hypocondriacs

  1. Kris

    This is great! I hear similar conversations among the silver sneakers crowd at the Y.

    And I so appreciate a good ironsides allusion. Well done.

  2. crseum

    My dad always uses the phrase “getting my ears lowered!” (although lately I fear Im becoming a dueling hypochondriac myself!)

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