All I want for Christmas is...
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written by Laramie:
       It doesn't take much. Just a step into the garage, or out onto the yard, to perform some routine, simple task, and it happens. I don't know how or when or where it happens, but it does. Invariably. Although I don't notice it until I go back into the house. For whatever reason, I look down at some part of my body and there it is. A scratch or a cut or a bruise. Sometimes blood trickling down my arm or leg. I just shake my head and wonder.
       Or I could wake up one morning and find that I can't put any weight on one of my feet. The last time this happened I saw my family Physician and he said I had gout. On further review, he said I had pseudogout. That made me wonder. But upon even further review, including 2 x-rays, I was diagnosed with a broken bone in my foot. Turned out I had 2 broken bones. How did this happen? I have no idea. And shortly after, a bone spur developed in the heel of my other foot and I couldn't walk normally for a week.
       Not too long ago my orthopedic doctor said I needed to have both of my knees replaced with titanium inserts. He told me the truth about the operation. But not the whole truth. He forgot to mention the creepy, crawly feelings up and down my legs that came during rehab, the 24 hour automatic knee exercising machine that prevented even short periods of sleep, the loss of appetite and the dreaded constipation. But the bows in my legs disappeared. Before the operation I could walk over a barrel cactus without getting a scratch. Now I was an inch taller and feeling good. And my wife made out a menu and I could choose from any item my heart desired, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
       The first sign of my hernia popped up on the golf course when I couldn't pick the golf club up past my waist. No problem. I wasn't very good at the game anyway. My surgeon cut me open, put in a support screen, and sewed me up. Good as new he said. He's now sailing on a ship around the world with the money I paid him.
There came a time when my wife got tired of me saying huh, turning up the TV till the floor shook, and not answering her when she needed an errand run. So I ordered 2 hearing aids and all I had to do was to remember not to get them wet, take them out at night while disconnecting the battery, keep them out of direct sunlight, clean them regularly, and go back in to the audiologist every three months. And by the way, I was told I will never, ever, regain satisfactory hearing again. All that for a measly $4500.
       I first noticed my right eye getting blurry when I couldn't read the racing form. Shortly after that I had a cataract removed. I wore an eye patch for a week, didn't shower and couldn't play golf, among other things. After wearing glasses for 50 years, now I can see clearly without them. I even passed the DMV wall test after a little memorization from the chart when the examiner wasn't looking. The only drawback occurs at night. Every light I see has a diagonal ray of light running downward from left to right. No, I almost forgot. My left eye sees clearly at close range, and has no images of diagonal light rays, but my right eye sees clearly only at long range. Somehow they seem to compensate each other and I get by good enough.
       Tomorrow I go see the dentist to have a cavity drilled and filled. This has to be at least the tenth visit for cavities. Counting the three partials and one bridge, and 4 gold crowns, I feel like I deserve a scholarship to a dental school. Each time I go in for a procedure they want to install implants. I say "not today, maybe tomorrow." Getting holes drilled in my jaw bone is not my desire.
       One day I happened to take my pulse at the wrist. My heart skipped a beat, then another and another, and my shoulders and hands ached and were numb. And I wasn't reading a Playboy magazine. Soon I met with a heart specialist who administered, in order, an EKG, a 24 hour heart monitoring device, an echogram, an MRI, a blood test, and after all this said my heart was fine. What does he know?
       But the weakness in my hands and shoulders persisted. A trip to the hand orthopedist resulted in a carpal tunnel operation on my right hand. Since that didn't do any good I cancelled a planned operation on my left hand. So a trip to a neurologist was in order. All he wanted to do was cut my throat, remove 2 discs in my spine, fill the space with bone from my hips, attach a hinge to my spine with screws and then start a 6 month rehab of wearing a neckbrace and learning how to swallow and talk again. He said my unsteady gait would improve. I told him I would think it over about the operation and I did, for about one second. I passed on that procedure.
       Shortly after that, I developed a sore on my right ankle. I had a biopsy performed immediately. I asked the nurse if she thought it was a melanoma, the deadly killer. She didn't know for sure. I panicked while waiting the week for the results, so I planned out my funeral and burial ceremony, since I couldn't sleep anyway. I just knew it would be bad news. Luckily it was a basal cell cancer and was surgically removed and after some 20 bandage changes in 4 months it has healed nicely.
       I'll bet you can guess what all I want for Christmas is. It's what we all want. Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men, plus a happy, healthy family.
Why is the country heading downhill?
Laramie Boyd the_spectator062003.gif
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