Category Archives: Health

Candid camera

belly2It wasn’t stomach pain that finally drove me to a gastroenterologist, it was embarrassment. My innards were getting progressively louder. They started by sounding like a creaking door at a haunted house and eventually worsened into the howls of a depressed hound dog. The doctor ran a few humiliating exams and suggested I get an endoscopy, which is the misleadingly reassuring term for sticking a camera down your throat to take pictures and gather samples for a biopsy.

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The diagnosis

It's nothing, I'm just a little achy

It’s nothing, I’m just a little achy

Saturday morning I woke up feeling like I was getting sick. The Mayo Clinic lists a handful of symptoms for the common cold: congestion, sore throat, cough, slight body aches or a mild headache, sneezing, watery eyes, low-grade fever, and mild fatigue. Of those, I only had the aches and fatigue. Maybe the rest would show up later? Sunday, I still felt the same way.”If I feel like this on Monday I’ll only work a half day,” I told my wife.

Monday came, and I felt no improvement, but I didn’t get worse, either. I went to work and stayed the whole day, though I can’t swear I worked the full eight hours. It’s Tuesday now and the truth has finally dawned on me – I’m not getting sick, I always feel like this.

Dead man jogging

I always told the women I dated that I was one of those men who would get better looking with age. I don’t know where I got that idea, considering that it was demonstrably untrue for the males on either side of my family, and the evidence was strong in my own looks that the trajectory was not going upwards. Age finally came, and my optimism was proven wrong. Feeling a sense of obligation towards my wife Sabine, who married me in good will, I decided the least I could do was try to get in shape.

I’ve never been one for sports – in fact, most group activities have always seemed to me like potential lynchings – and gyms remind me too much of the humiliations of high school, so my options for exercise are pretty limited. I decided to try jogging, and to my surprise, I liked it. Sure, there were a number of things that bothered me, namely the people who blocked my way: parents with children (in strollers or otherwise), owners walking their dogs, and old people who were invariably startled when I passed them, despite the fact that I was running at only 5 miles an hour. But for the most part I enjoyed running through pretty Sunnyside Gardens in the early morning.

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