Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No. 288 – Too Much Information

Performer: Duran Duran
Songwriters: Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Warren Cuccurullo
Original Release: Duran Duran
Year: 1993
Definitive Version: None.

One of the more surprising developments in my music history was Duran Duran’s popular resurgence in 1993. An ‘80s MTV hair-synth band that became cool again in the midst of Alternative Nation: Where the heck did that come from?

I remember talking to Doug about it in the outfield during softball practice, and he said it was all Warren Cuccurullo. You mean the dude from Missing Persons? Jin’s theory was that Simon stopped the overly whiny vocals that cropped up after Rio. Whatever, it worked. For a brief time, D-squared, as Jin reverently refers to them, was hip again.

As I write this, I’ve been going through some health issues of, shall we say, a delicate nature. I’ve referred to it as “old man issues.” In other words, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my urologist. Let me tell you, you don’t appreciate the simple ability of urinating on demand … until you can’t.

It hasn’t gotten so bad that I have to go to the hospital, thank goodness, but it definitely has gotten me down, and it’s put something of a strain on my relationship with Laurie. I’ve been depressed, and I haven’t been able to, shall we say, function as properly as I had up until about two months ago.

What’s worse is that I’ve seen my urologist about six times over that time, and he’s done … well, not nothing, but little besides giving me a cystoscopy, which hurt like hell and freaked me out for the next week because of the amount of blood that was in my urine. That’s cleared up, and my condition has improved, but everything still isn’t back to normal. So I feel as though the past two months have been something of a waste.

So … too much information? Perhaps. Something I’ve had to come to grips with lately is that I’m not a fundamentally healthy person. I always thought of myself as just that. I don’t smoke; I don’t drink excessively; I work out, although not every day; I don’t eat fast food or fried food all that much; I don’t drink soft drinks; I limit my intake of snacks and sweets, although I suppose, if challenged, I would admit to eating more chocolate than I should. My weight is fine.

However, I have a terrible digestive system; I get brutal headaches; I don’t have a gall bladder; I have bad lungs and am susceptible to colds; and now I have prostate problems. Of course, it could be worse. It also could be better. I’m looking for a new primary-care doctor. I’ve been with my current one for seven years. She’s been OK, I guess, but her network has been questionable. The bottom line is you really have to have a doctor you trust. I don’t.

I did in Flint. As I mentioned, his name long since has been lost in the ether. I found him by accident at about the time Duran Duran made its stunning comeback. The malady in 1993 was a bronchial infection. I caught a cold that went away on its typical schedule, but I developed a deep phlegmy cough that wouldn’t go away. I would have a coughing fit that would force me to leave the room and hack up a lung in private somewhere.

At the time, I didn’t have a primary-care doctor, hadn’t since I was a kid. This was during the age of HMOs, when insurers thought the best way to save money was to go to a group of doctors instead of the doctors of your choice.

They weren’t wrong, necessarily, but enough people (read: Republicans) bitched loud enough that YOU weren’t being allowed to choose the health care YOU wanted. Of course, YOU are more important in today’s America then the 300 other million losers, so whatever YOU want, YOU should have … and everyone’s health-care costs blew through the roof.

Anyway, I went to my group facility on Dort Highway about my cough, and I got a doctor who checked me out, took one listen in my chest and said, “I want you to go to St. Joseph’s Hospital ASAP and take some tests.” Now, isn’t that precisely what every 29-year-old wants to hear?

He also prescribed an antibiotic, saying we’d start with this, but he wasn’t certain it would work, so we might have to try something else. He had a gentle vibe, and I trusted him.

I scheduled the tests, and within a few days I was at St. Joe’s, blowing into a series of tubes as hard and as fast as I could. The woman who performed the tests, an attractive but unavailable brunette (damn), seemed to indicate that I did fine.

Sure enough, when I met with my doctor a week later, he said not only was he amazed by the results, but also more by what he heard when he listened to my lungs through his stethoscope. He said that the first time he barely could hear anything and was surprised I still was upright. This time, everything was fine. Apparently, the antibiotic did the trick.

Well, nothing builds trust like having a problem that gets solved. That doctor solved my breathing problems, so I saw him exclusively the rest of the time I lived in Flint. I’m meeting a new primary-care doctor this week; I hope to find that same trust again.

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