welcome to the danger zone

Mangalistas, Stupid Stupid Hawks, and Dr. Doogette, the Sequel

Today was Dr. Day. Most people think that Hershey is the sweetest place on Earth. That is true. It is also a site of untold torture. Most people don’t know that. I am reminded of that on Dr. Day. But, before we dive into today’s adventure in the dark chambers of pain at HMC – let’s talk about Raptors.

Raptors. The bird, not the dino kind. Hawks in particular. Over the last 15 years, I have driven along the stretch of interstate 81 from Frackville to Hershey at least a thousand times. It’s how I get to the Dr, how I took Andy back and forth to the Milt, and how I commuted every day for 4 years to Penn State Harrisburg to finish my BA and MA degrees. Not to mention, sometimes I drove it for fun. And to work, when I worked at the shelter. Over the last few years, I’ve begun noticing hawks. In fact, before I was laid off at the shelter, I used to see this one hawk every day. So I looked up what seeing hawks meant: Harbingers of Change. And change they brought. Without rehashing that whole period of my life, things changed and radically, and while it was all ultimately for the better, it didn’t come without a whole lot of pain.

As you might guess, I have become less of a fan of hawks than I used to be. In fact, on my travels along 81, I kind of try not to see any hawks. Not that I am afraid of change, because I’m okay with it – it’s just that I don’t need any cataclysmic change at the moment. So, no hawk=no change. So there I am, cruising along 81, in the Subee, ipod blasting its way through all my music alphabetically, my delightful singing accompanying most of the it, my lead foot motivated by the music to travel well about the speed limit, only slowing at known state police hidey spots. (side note: two days of listening to the ipod and I am only at I in my alphabetic quest) I am consciously trying NOT to see hawks. It may seem simple to you, but dearlings, I have to pass an area near the location known as HAWK MOUNTAIN. Which, as the name implies, is lush with hawks. But clear the danger area I do. I slip off at my exit and head along the country road that takes me to Hershey. Of course there’s a 114 year old person in the car ahead of me, thus crushing my ETA. So as I try desperately to not stress over the fact that the ancient ahead of me is driving the actual speed limit, I look out the window. There on my right, in this otherwise naked field is what? A pterodactyl? A mangalista? A komodo dragon? No, of course not! It’s a damn hawk. Standing in the field, its cold empty eyes drilling into my very soul, is a giant hawk. Not in the air, not in a tree, not on a branch, just staring at me! HAWK! And at that moment I know what it is feasting on is the peace in my life. Monster. So when my life goes belly up in a few weeks, remember that we all knew this was coming. The soul eater stood in that field and laughed at me as if to say “haha bitch, there’s no escape.” Way to go Mr. Hawk…way to turn my happy morning into a trip down anxiety avenue.

(Interlude: It is fucking midnight…why are people blowing their fucking horns out in front of my house? The vampire babies are silent, let’s not rile them up.)

Anyway, before you get to hear all about my Dr. Day, let’s learn about the Mangalista. Is this a cocktail? A foreign dance? A game show on the Spanish channel? No! It’s a sheep pig. See…here’s pictures:


A mangalista is a curly haired pig. They come in blonde and red. Piglets are striped. They were originally bred for their lard, but since lard is not used as much (and that’s a damn shame), they kind of became forgotten…but are making a comeback because they are rather tasty…their meat is tasty like beef and according to some sources, their fat is the tastiest pig fat EVAH! They are now being bred for more and more eating…so cute as they are, they are equally tasty! But since I am going to try to eat healthier, I guess I won’t be enjoying a mangalista sandwich anytime soon.

And talking about health provides an ideal segue into Dr. Day. Yes, I spent ALL of Friday at Hershey Medical Center. First in radiology for a good boobie mashing mammogram and chest xray, then a super awesome ride in my favorite CT meatslicers with that mean pink toy story bear sticker on it, and a nice flush of dye, then onto the lab for blood work.

I arrived at the empty lab with my IV port still in my arm so the vampires could just fill up their little snack tubes without having to stick me all over again. Public Service Announcement: It is far less painful to be stuck a second time than to have them have to pull the tape off the IV port to remove it from your arm. I would have preferred having my skin peeled away instead of the tape. And since I still have good veins, it would have been pretty quick and painless to just poke into my arm again but noooo, I thought leaving the port in was a good idea. Not so. However, it was amusing to see the blood shoot out of my arm with such force that it blew one of the snack tubes right off the little tube that fills it with blood and to watch the phlebotomistvampire have to try and catch it before it hit the ground.

After the lab, I had a two hour break which I used to go to Books-a-Million. It was delightful to see both Ann Coulter’s and Sarah Palin’s books in the dollar bin. I fought back the urge to buy them just to burn them. As is common, I spent far too much time getting lost in a bookstore that I had to dash back to the Med Center as so not to be late for my appointment with Dr. Doogette. Of course I tried singing loudly to calm myself down before I got there…but alas, even though I was early, when the nice nurse took my blood pressure it was ludicrously high (I just realized I used Ludicrous and High in the same sentence, hahaha) like..162/86 or something, and I knew the battle would be on. I also gained five pounds. Like I needed that. But after cookiepalooza, what could I expect? In comes Dr. Doogette – and we do a little dance around the obvious reason I am here…she wants to medicate me and I don’t want it. She makes a good case, and says she needs to talk to her attending first, but I throw down the gauntlet. Send me a new nurse and take it again, and if it is still high, I will concede, but if not, we will not speak of meds again! In comes the nurse and I tell her why she is taking it again, and I tell her what numbers we are shooting for…I tell her we would like a 130/80 or even a 137/over 80ish. She seems stunned when she reads the numbers…132/80. NORMAL. Not even slightly high. Normal. I win. I send her off to tell Dr. Doogette before she comes back with her prescription pad.

When Dr. Doogette returns, she brings her attending with her, Dr. Reilly. He says…I think the problem is when you walk in here, and not with your heart. So we’ll ask you to come back in a month, and in the mean time, take your own blood pressure at home. We’re sorry for causing you stress and we promise not to speak of the pills anymore in range of your heart. And I am pleased, and give them my forgiveness. But I still have to go back in a month. So when I go to my oncology check-up. I also have to go to the PCP.

In other medical news, I did get the results of my blood work back. My thyroid is horribly low which explains my desire to hibernate daily, and the fact that my skin is so dry you would think I am a mummy. Everything else looks pretty normal despite the fact that I have enough blubber to provide heat and light to a small village of Eskimos for a winter. No high blood sugars, no high cholesterol, nada. I am sure there will be another visit to the vampire’s nest in February, and probably another chest x-ray. I won’t get any of the scan reports until I see Dr. Kesterson, so in the meantime, we should all hope that the little alien that still resides in the cavern where my breeding apparatus once lived has not grown at all in the last four months. Since it’s there, and no one is quite sure what it is at this point, there’s no reason to poke at it unless it grows. I want my unknown mass to stay the way it is. I only hope it’s not a watch or engagement ring or sponge that was left behind. Or a tumor. I’d definitely prefer it to not be a tumor.

I hope my lack of having anything to do on a Saturday night besides make myself sick eating pizza and blogging has kept you entertained. I did get myself a new sexy pair of green crocodile/snake reading glasses so I can actually see what I am typing. Tomorrow I’m spending the day in bed with my new book, and the Sunday morning news shows. At this time I would like to warn you that I am going to work much harder at eating healthy in the next few weeks, and as often happens when one does this, you will probably be subject to my new zeal for foods I would normally avoid and/or be forced to view pictures of my awesome salads. My goal is to reduce my blubber stores from walrus to manatee before the next winter sets in. And now, I need to rest some more, because an object at rest tends to stay at rest…dog forbid, I set myself into motion.

Dobranoc kochanie przyjaciele, spać mocno i nie daj pluskwy gryzą! (hint: it’s polish) xo


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