17 March 2010

Murder, Syphilis, Piggostat

So, after lying around listlessly since Saturday afternoon, I decided to go to the doctor, where I learned all sorts of interesting things.

I have no idea whether my doctor is actually any good, but he makes me laugh - and there's something to be said for that. And he chats. A few years ago, it came up in conversation that his wife was a reproductive endocrinologist and had worked at RMA in New Jersey. This was shortly after the murder scandal where an RMA nurse had her husband cut up and tossed in the Chesapeake so she could run away with her lover, an RMA doctor. So, you know me, on the way out I asked him if his wife knew them. He looked at me wide-eyed, closed the door, and proceeded to tell me that his wife had joined the practice after the doctor left with his tail between his legs, so no, she didn't know them, BUT, that she was thoroughly skeeved out to learn that the doctor had been having it on with the nurse on what was now her desk.

Today, he felt the lymph nodes in my neck and then in my elbows. Elbows! I've never had anyone feel my elbows before. He said that enlarged lymph nodes in the elbows could be a sign of untreated syphilis and launched into a possibly apocryphal story he'd learned in med school about a doctor who always shook his daughter's boyfriends hands with his left hand on the boy's right elbow.

Then he listened to my lungs, decreed them "junky" and sent me downstairs for an x-ray.

Have you ever noticed those 19th-century-looking restraining devices that they use to immobilize little kids who need x-rays? There's always one parked in the hall at our doctor's office, and I wonder at them every time. Well, this time, I was in luck - there was a photocopied sign taped to the wall in the x-ray room - it's a PIGGOSTAT. Can you believe that? What a wonderful word.

I told my doctor about the Piggostat when I went back upstairs for the verdict. He was non-plussed, and didn't quite understand why I was so tickled about the Piggostat. Oh and the verdict? PNEUMONIA. Can you believe that? I can't, though I feel less guilty for being out of work for the third day in a row, and maybe tomorrow too.

I'm on antibiotics for a week (which "cost" $234 for seven pills), and I have to go back in a month for another x-ray. On my way out, my doctor told me that he'd tell them to use the Piggostat on me for the repeat x-ray. I told him that the thing was only for kids under 3 1/2; he said "you read that sign?"

Hey. I always read the signs. If I hadn't read the sign, I wouldn't have learned anything about the Piggostat.

41 comments:

heidi said...

Oh mannnnn.... I hope you get rid of it faster than when I had it. For me, it took 3 different antibiotics, and 2 full years to feel like i wasn't on the brink of getting it again. Get some much needed rest, M-pie. -xoh

Harriet said...

Pneumonia? Ack. I hope you get better quickly. But at least you got some entertainment out of it. And I, for one, am thrilled to learn about the piggostat. If there weren't already such a thing as a piggostat, someone would have to invent one just to use that fabulous word.

FreshHell said...

Oh my! I love the word piggostat though I've never heard of it. When Red was a baby she had rsv and pneumonia and I had to hold her down on a cold xray table. Twice. That was not fun. I hope those pills work wonders without adding any new awful symptoms. Feel better soon!

Mental P Mama said...

Okay. What??? Pneumonia? Thank goodness that you went! And I remember that case vividly. It was so macabre....

And Piggostat sounds like my brunch order. Just sayin'. I like some waffles and piggo. Stat;)

Kyla said...

Sounds like a very entertaining visit, except for the pneumonia! KayTar had a chest x-ray at 10 months and they put her in the piggostat, the name is much more pleasant than the reality. It was terrible!

Julia said...

Thanks for the Piggostat. It's wonderful.

Here's a little something to help you recover:
http://www.fun-with-words.com/ambiguous_headlines.html

Stimey said...

Well at least you don't have syphilis. I hope you feel better soon.

Kelly said...

I will now start shaking hands with a firm grab for the elbow. My husband works with some shady characters ;)

Becky said...

Wishing it were the rockin' pneumonia but hope those expensive pills make you better soon.

Janet said...

PNEUMONIA is better than syphilis !!!

Beck said...

Pneumonia SUCKS. I know this because I've had it. You poor thing!

My doctor is always checking my lymph nodes, but she's never checked my elbow. Huh.

The Library Lady said...

Feh,pneumonia. My papa is the Pneumonia King--had it twice just this winter. And the Man had it, many years ago when I was pregnant with SC. I remember Nanay had Mass said for him--not that he needed it, with antibiotics and garlic he recovered pretty rapidly.

Rest, rest, REST and get better soon!

Life As I Know It said...

Piggostat? I am wondering now where that name would come from? Interesting...

Feel better, Magpie!

Bibliomama said...

Maybe pneumonia is better than syphilis (I've only had the one, so I can't compare), but it really takes it out of you. I hope you have the chance to rest. And I hope those gold (or are they platinum?) pills do their job.

Bee said...

No wonder you've felt so awful. I hope the price of those antibiotics don't give you heart palpitations. (I think I've gotten too used to the NHS.)

Who could resist this intriguing title. The elbow thing is very weird. Who knew?

nonlineargirl said...

Pneumonia is no fun, but better than Syphilis for course of treatment. (also, for social stigma)

I love that you put "cost" in quotes. (shakes tiny fist at insurance establishment)

michaela said...

Ugh, my condolences on the pee-neumonia. I had a bout of it a couple years ago and it was NOT fun. Though I did finally understand what the big deal is about America's Next Top Model. Definitely take it easy in terms of getting back to work - you can relapse reallly easily with pneumonia, and you definitely don't want that.

My girl S, who is almost 4, had a ride in the Piggostat when she was 8 or 9 months old. Not sure who was more freaked out: me by the name, or her by the whole encased-in-plastic thing.

Marinka said...

The Piggostat doesn't sound kosher. Feel better, please.

susan said...

If you had to get pneumnonia, at least you got it in a way that leads to a cool story about a cool word. Feel better soon!

Julia said...

Okay... I just had to find out. I Googled "Pigg" and "inventor" and came up with a 1971 article from the
Times Daily.

The guy's name was Jalmer Pigg, Sr. He worked as a technician in a hospital, and built the first Pigg-O-Stat immobilizers in his wife's kitchen.

Something to contemplate if you get tired of cooking, I guess.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Wait . . . are there people that don't read every. single. thing. they. see?

Sorry about the pneumonia--your expensive antibiotics should be a wonder drug.

mayberry said...

oh, I'm so sorry. Pneumonia is no fun. I imagine syphilis isn't either, but I don't actually have firsthand knowledge on that one.

Heide said...

Hope you feel better soon. Love the 'piggostat.' And, yeah: a doc who makes you laugh, and chats with you? probably pretty worthwhile.

Life in Eden said...

You dr sounds dreamy. Love the piggostat, hate that you are sick. better soon girlie.

painted maypole said...

of COURSE you read the sign. is that a picture you took of it, too?

Get well soon.

painted maypole said...

by the way, i notice you didn't mention whether your elbow lymph nodes were enlarged or not. ;)

phd in yogurtry said...

pneumonia - the diagnosis that gives the what-for to any doubting Thomases in your office, heh heh.

but, more to the point, sorry you've been feeling so sick. syphillis elbows, indeed!

bernthis said...

that blows. Your doctor rocks. I cannot believe how much you had to pay for those meds. Do you have insurance?

Cold Spaghetti said...

Your Doc had me at the syphilis story.

Girl, be glad you caught at pneumonia stuff early. I caught mine early, too, in 2005 -- then a day into the meds it HIT. It was like getting hit by a train. Ended up hospitalized. Actually, I talk about it on the blog somewhere, as I'd been blogging for almost a year then. I mean, YIKES.

SO GLAD you are on meds and am sending every darn well-thought I can your way... heal heal heal!!

Lady M said...

Best vocabulary word ever.

I hope you feel better soon!

Vodka Mom said...

From now on I am counting on YOU to increase my vocabulary.


FEEL BETTER!!!!!

kate said...

My son had to have a chest x-ray when he was 6 weeks old. It was awful. They had to take all his clothes off, and he couldn't even hold his head up in the structure. I had to stand outside the room while he screamed. Apparently the screaming is a good thing for the xray - they like to see the lungs fully expanded.

Anyways... that sucks you have pneumonia. Take care of yourself!

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

It's called Piggostat?? Really??

Crap, I'm sorry you had pneumonia! No wonder you felt so crappy. Feel better soon!

Gwen said...

So you were, uh, syphilis free, right? RIGHT?

(not that I care, except in the sense that I don't want your lovely brain rotting into your spine or anything).

Pneumonia. Urgh. Sorry 'bout that. Rest up, etc.

(I loved my US doctor for the same reason; we had really funny conversations and I always knew I got way more than my HMO approved 7.8 minutes out of him.)

RuthWells said...

Ummmmmmm.... pneumonia?! I'd count on being out of work for a few more days, if I were you...

Feel better soon!

Dora said...

Pneumonia! That sucks. Hope the pills work quickly and you feel better soon. And yes, much better than syphilis. I think you need to be waited on hand and foot.

S. said...

My jaw is still on the floor about the per-pill price of the meds. I hope you have good prescription coverage! I hope they work and you feel better soon. I've had it, too, and pneumonia is awful. The worst fever dreams of my life.

YourFireAnt said...

And p.s.: I think this post gets Title of the Year. !!

n said...

I hope you mend soon. Take it easy and take every single one of those pills.

best best best,
n

slow panic said...

i think piggostat will be my word for the day. as in, "if you don't clean your room i am sending you tot he piggostat." that should do the trick.

hope you are feeling better soon!

Maggie May said...

you are awesome. i am girl crushing on you.