Tag Archives: doctor

Well I’ll Be!

Although I live surrounded by neighbors, I don’t necessarily see them every day. In fact, sometimes I won’t see a single soul for maybe even a week. That’s not unusual since I’m retired and most people who live near me are younger and have jobs that keep them away during the day. And I’m the type who almost always has a project or two lined up to keep me busy, many times inside.

Since I live alone, I don’t always have someone to bounce ideas off of unless I use my phone or email, so I’ve become one of those people other people like to make fun of, because I talk to myself. Do any of you ever do that? I honestly don’t know why, but I don’t talk to myself out loud. I whisper, and only when I am alone. How strange is that?

Occasionally, when I’ve been out shopping or whatever, I’ve actually seen and heard people talking out loud to themselves, so I’m assuming I’m probably not THAT unusual, but I have no idea why I whisper. Maybe, my inner-self thinks it’s weird to talk to oneself, so if I whisper no one will notice? But if I’m alone…that doesn’t seem to make sense. I decided it wasn’t that big a deal and not serious enough to be concerned about so I just go about my activities as usual.

Often, my friends and family contact me via email, so I spend a part of each day conversing with them silently. However, my son makes it a point to phone me usually once a week or so. Most of the time these days, when my phone rings,  it’s a political ad, someone trying to sell me something, or someone trying to scam me, so if I don’t recognize the name on my Caller ID, I just ignore calls, and as a result, there may be days when I don’t speak with anyone.

I noticed the last few times my son called, my voice was hoarse and my tone was elevated and he asked if I was okay. I assured him I was fine, but started to be aware of my voice sounding differently. I also noticed I was having a little trouble swallowing and decided, since I had my annual check-up coming up, I’d run this past my doctor, just to make sure all actually was okay.

So, my appointment came and my doctor checked me over and asked if anything was different than before and I told him that I felt well except for the slight difficulty swallowing and hoarse voice. He said it was probably normal, but he’d recommend me going to see an Ears, Nose and Throat doctor, just to make sure. So long story short, I went to the ENT doctor, who did a thorough check and this is what he said, “I think you’re fine. It’s not uncommon for us, as we age, to get dry mouth, which you’ve told me you have, so my recommendation is to drink more fluids when eating. That will take care of the swallowing difficulty. And for the hoarse voice, I suggest you talk out loud to yourself during the day. That will keep your vocal cords warmed up and working for when you do need to say something to someone.”

Well I’ll be! Can you believe that? Have you ever heard of a DOCTOR prescribing talking out loud to yourself as a cure? This has become my favorite story to tell my friends. Hahahahaha!!!! Maybe those people I saw and heard talking to themselves were following their doctor’s orders!


Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.


Filed under How To, musings

Surgery by S.M. Senden

It takes a lot to slow me down, but when I fell and tore the meniscus in my knee, that did it.  Most people have had some sort of major surgery in their lives and I finally joined their ranks.  It was an interesting foray into a world that I do not visit often: the world of hospitals, operations and medical personnel.

In and of itself, the medical world is an interesting phenomenon.  I remember working, many years ago, in a hospital for a while, and the ‘culture’ of that environment is interesting.  Unless you are a part of it, usually will not have a clue about the ‘hospital’ culture and think nothing of it.  It is filled with really wonderful people who work hard and many do thankless jobs day in and day out. The people who come into their world linger for a short time, and then are only too happy to get away and back home to familiar surroundings.

So, there I was, back into the world of doctors, nurses and a myriad of technical people that work to keep us well, repair what is broken and send us back out into the world, hopefully healed, or at least on the path of wellness!  There was much to do before they would do this surgical procedure.  There are tests and a myriad of questions one is bombarded with pre-surgery.

I have been fortunate in that the only real problem I have had over the years is a wonky thyroid that needs medicating.  Over they years, when I have had to change doctors because I moved across the country, they ask about other medications I am taking. When I say that I’m taking no other medications, they look at me, baffled that I could have reached my advanced age and am not lumbered with a dozen medications to deal with any number of problems.

The doctor, who would be doing my surgery, asked me four or five times if I was sure I wasn’t on blood thinners or other drugs.  Being perfectly cognizant of the medications I take every day, I assured him each time that I was not taking any blood thinners or anything else of a prescribed nature.  Also I assured him that I was not on any un-prescribed medications either.  He persisted in asking about blood thinners, so I informed him that my blood coagulates quite nicely and normally.  He looked like I had just tried to sell him a bridge or Florida swamp land.  Is it so rare to have reached the middle ages and still remain nearly drug free in our society?  I’m very grateful that I’m reasonably healthy!

Then the big day loomed closer and closer, it was time to be scheduled into the operating room.  My first time was 6:00 am.  I do hate to get up at O-dark-thirty, because I believe it is too rude to get up before the sun.  However, I got a call a little later telling me that I had been moved back to 9 am.  Then, again, another call informed me that I needed to be there at 11:00 am.  Well, I have to admit, that tried my patience one too many times, and I let them know that it was not all right to keep bouncing my time, as there were other people’s schedules to consider in order to get me there since I was not going to be allowed to drive myself home.

They were nonplussed that I would dare to complain.  They called me back and gave me an earlier time again.  To me, it made them appear as if they didn’t have a clue about what they were doing as far as ability to schedule.  Then there was always the ever present possibility that an emergency would call the doctor away, and all surgeries would be cancelled.  Thank goodness there were no emergencies.  The nurses were wonderful, and the doctor came to make sure he was really going to operate, and on what part. He marked it with a pen, so he wouldn’t get mixed up by the time he got me on the table.  It is all for insurance reasons, since somewhere, sometime a doctor operated on the wrong person or part.

The trip to the operating room was short, and all too soon the drugs took their effect and I was out!  They gave me some oxygen, and I remember many years ago that the doctor told us that if my grandmother (in hospital and on oxygen because of emphysema) got too cranky, turn up the oxygen and she would sleep.  Well, it worked on me too. Zap.

I was out, and pleased to be so, because I really didn’t want to be cognizant for the operation.  I woke, knowing time had passed, just not how much of it.  Nurses checked on me, still a little hazy, but coming back to reality quickly.  After they thought I was sufficiently able to function they got me up and shipped me home, stopping only to pick up major pain killers.

The healing process has been interesting to deal with.  I was amazed at the stiffness that took over the joint.  That was what I had to work against with exercise and movement to get the knee back to normal.  There were days when I truly identified with the Tin Man of Oz who got caught in a rain storm.  I needed the oil can of healing to work some magic on the stiffness that was reluctant to give up its hold on me.  I persisted, and it was like the fog in San Francisco suddenly lifting, the stiffness, well at least most of it, was gone!

As a writer, everything can be a form of research.  This journey may, in some way, appear in a book one day.  Though I am still wondering how I can work in my other hospital experience that happened when I was in my early twenties.  It was an experience that evolved more and more into a comedy routine, even though I was seriously ill.  But that is another story entirely!


Filed under writing


Claire Collins is the author of  ‘Fate and Destiny’ and ‘Images of Betrayal’


The other day, I was a patient waiting patiently for the nurse to call my name. I grabbed the magazine closest to me on the waiting room table and perused the pages. The publication was an interior decorating magazine aimed at people who have six figures to spare. Each of the rooms was decorated with an abundance of top-dollar items designed by well-known names and firms in their circles.


I have no idea who they were. 


Obviously, I am not in that circle. On one cream colored wall was a framed drawing in a childlike scratch of x’s and o’s. My thought? How sweet, the wealthy homeowners framed artwork created by their child or grandchild.


Nope. The artwork, which looked exactly like something one of my kids would have rendered at the age of three, was some kind of a big deal by some famous artist.


I can’t remember his name and it really isn’t important to me, however it does make me want to give the kids a pack of crayons and some poster board and see if I can’t get rich selling their scribbles as art since that seems to be all the latest rage.


Books are similar. People will buy any book written by an author they have heard of, even if the book itself isn’t any good. There are forums across the internet devoted to authors who have created one good book, and a lot of mediocre books. Readers rave about how many they have read and the plot points of each, and if anyone disagrees with the fanatical ravings, then they are immediately quartered and drawn by the other members of the group.


Now, I am off to go find an artists page and let the fanatics there know that if they insist on adorning their walls with a particular style of impressionist artwork, I can get them quality originals for a fraction of the price. All I have to do is build the name recognition.

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Filed under books, fiction, life, musings, writing