Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Workouts, Painkillers, and Porno Doctors

It was Tony Horton's P90x's"Ab Ripper". A workout routine that consisted of 340 sit ups. Just one in a series of nine DVD's that was supposed to shred you in weeks. 

After noticing that my once firm; well, moderately firm; okay, my stomach that was once almost totally flat has now started looking like a bowl of Jell-O, I decided it's time to 'make time' and get back to working out.

After taking a look at my daily schedule, I find that I had two opportunities to workout; 5 AM or 9 PM. So I pick 5 AM because by 9 PM I'm comatose, whether I want to be or not.

The next morning I'm up and in front of the TV getting my abs ripped. Impressed that I completed workout by performing 315 out of the 340 sit ups, I felt pretty good that day. I could feel my stomach shrinking as the day went on.

Oh, Hail to the almighty P90x man!

This was it, I could see myself becoming just like the women in the video.

Except, I would have to get a tummy tuck, a boob lift, and possibly grow about five inches.

Ah, to dream the impossible dream. Alas, being the eternal optimist that I am, I set the alarm for 5 AM, and go to sleep, pumped for the morning workout.

The alarm rings and I turn over, hitting the buzzer. When I go to sit up, I realize exactly what I have done to myself. I am now the proud owner of an abdominal charlie horse and have to roll out of bed. My abdominal muscles are screaming at me. Seriously, I heard them. They were saying, "What the fuck were you thinking?!  Do you even remember the last time you even did a hundred sit ups? Let me remind you bitch, it was last November!"

Then, as I was getting into the shower, I faintly heard the left oblique say to the right oblique, "Oh, just wait, the lower abs have a plan. They're not done with her yet". After the minor bodily confrontation in the shower, my abs did feel pretty tight. They were convulsing; however, they were tight.

Yayyy P90x man.

As I wait for the pain to subside in my abs, I try the arms, legs, and full-body core workouts. All were very good, however, there is nothing like the Nazi regime of the Ab Ripper.

A week later, I decided to try the 'ripper again, now that I was able to laugh, stand erect, and lift a fork,  I turn on the TV, watch my beloved P90x man, Tony Horton get into position. As I begin, I complete two crunches when something goes "POP!" and makes me immediately go "WOWOUCH!" and curl up into the fetal position (which by the way I haven't been in since my divorce, but that's a story for another time).

I hold the lower part of my abdominal flab and wait a moment for the pain to subside. Since I still haven't learned my lesson, I continue.

I couldn't even lift my leg without yelping in pain.

FUCK! I'm screwed. I've never heard anything go POP on me before, and the only thing I could think of is that I opened my 8-year-old c-section scar or I just received my first hernia.

Damn me and my stubborn behavior.

Well, I was down, but I was far from out. Determined as I am, I quickly pop in the arms and shoulders DVD and finished what I could. Rocky, eat your heart out. 

Since the pain failed to subside, I made a visit to my general practitioner. After pushing on the injured area and making me do more sit ups, she suspected a hernia. She advised me to not work out until I saw a surgeon.

Surgeon?! Oh, beautiful.

I call the surgeon that she recommends and am given a three-week waiting period. The earliest time they have available is the day after my daughter's tonsillectomy. Begrudgingly, I take it. I figure I will sort things out when the time gets closer.

My daughters "day surgery" turns into a hospital stay, so the plans I had for my appointment were quickly dashed. Thinking fast on my feet, I called the doctors office to see if they could move up the appointment for later that day or possibly the next day. The conversation goes like this:

"Hi, I was wondering, if it was possible to reschedule my appointment for later today. My daughter was in surgery yesterday and ended up staying the night, so I'm not going to be able to make my 10:30 AM appointment. I know it's last minute, but I wasn't expecting her to stay. Anything you have for today, or possibly tomorrow, would be great."

"Oh, um...hmm. I'm sorry but there isn't any time today or tomorrow. She is booked solid, so you'll have to reschedule, and she is scheduling out three weeks."

Now, this receptionist either has  #1, no children, #2, no mercy, #3 no experience working with people, and me, already being grumpy, worried and tired due to lack of sleep, picked the wrong woman to say "No" to.

"Umm .. Noo. I don't think so, I said.  I've waited three weeks already, and I am not about to reschedule another three weeks when I have an injury that is already three weeks old. I need to be seen within the next couple of days.

 "Hold please." I wait approximately five minutes when I get an older and more experienced woman on the phone.

 "Hi, can you come in at 3:45 this afternoon?"


"Okay, great, see you then!"

"Thank you very much for squeezing me in. I appreciate it!"

 I bring my daughter home and settled. I head out to the doctors office early just in case I get lost, or some meathead decides to cause a traffic jam. I want to make sure I am on time since I caused such a ruckus earlier. I don't know why, but the minute I stepped into the office, I got this overwhelming feeling that this was not the right doctor for me. I approach the window and a snobby 17 year- old receptionist is on the phone completely ignoring me for about three minutes. Somehow her social calendar was much more important than a prospective patient.

Priorities, you know.

When she hangs up, she hardly glances at me. I tell her my name, and we do the usual "first-time patient" dance. You know the one, the receptionist hands you the paperwork, you hand her your insurance card and your co-pay, then tells you to have a seat. Cha-cha-cha.

I am filling out the paperwork when I notice that the waiting area that was supposed to be 'completely booked' is completely empty.

I hand the receptionist my paperwork, grab a magazine and sit down. As I sit, a young female medical assistant calls my name.

As I approach her I am shocked at the way she greets me.

 "Hi, how's your daughter?" "I heard she was in the hospital."

 "Um.. yeah, She unexpectedly stayed overnight."

As I entered through the door heading towards an exam room, she continued to discuss my daughter's tonsillectomy. Three things ran through my head as I'm talking with her. One, why would she comment on my daughters surgery in front of others in the waiting room. Two, why I felt the need that I had to explain myself to this young assistant, and, three, how the hell did she know in such detail? I mean,  I'm sure they discuss reasons for pushing patients around but, did she feel the need to discuss it in full? The last one made me the most uneasy. It made me think what exactly were they talking about that allowed the medical assistant to know what was going on with my daughter. 

She leads me to an exam room and begins to take my vitals. She then tells me to unbutton and unzip my jeans then tells me to scootch both my underwear and jeans down around my hips so the doctor can access the hernia area. So I am sitting on the exam table, with my waistband pinching my ass and a little paper blanket to cover myself up. Feeling extremely awkward, it was like I was waiting for something very creepy to happen. 

I tried to reassure myself  that since she was a female doctor, she would be the most gentle of the sexes. However, I was about to have that theory shattered. 

The doctor comes in wearing sneakers, a pair of jeans, a Red Sox t-shirt, and a nylon zip-up sweat jacket with racing stripes down the arms. My first thought was, did I pull you away from something, Doc? She's kind of masculine looking, not that I mind, just be competent. Again, my hopes would be quickly dashed.

 The first thing she says to me -without making eye contact- is, "So, your daughter was in the hospital, huh?"

What the fuck?! Is this a test? Does this whole office think that I just made this up in order to get an appointment without waiting three more weeks? I wanted to show her my daughters discharge papers to prove to her that I wasn't lying.

She washes her hands, and asks - no, demands- me to lie down.

So I do.

She pokes and prods in my popped area, and again demands me to stand up.

So I do.

Now, remember, I have my pants unzipped and half way around my hips. She stands there watching as I try to hop off the exam table, fight with the paper blanket trying to keep my pants up around my hips. Then, something comes out of her mouth, that in a million years would I ever expect a doctor to say,

"Drop 'em."

I can't believe she just told me to "drop 'em". Feeling very uncomfortable, and even a little scared, I 'drop em'. I'm standing there, pants around my ankles and paper blanket hanging off the exam table. Needless to say, I'm humiliated. She says she can't feel anything then goes and sits on one of the chairs and tells me to come stand in front of her.

Awkwardly, with my pants around my ankles, I shuffle over to her. I felt like it was the beginning of a bad porno.  I'm expecting Ron Jeremy to walk in the exam room at any moment and "assist" in my exam. As I am standing there, she sitting in front of me, head in my crotch (so to speak) poking around, she says, "I don't feel anything."

 "Really?", I said afraid to rebut her. "Because now that you've poked around there, it's quite tender."

She states, "Yeah, well, you don't have a hernia, well, you could possibly have a small one, or you could possibly have a muscle pull, either way, there is no need to do surgery right now."

Umm...ok, so it's either I don't have a hernia, or I have a small hernia or it's a muscle pull. Jesus, which is it, Porno Doc!

All this in a grand total of three minutes.

She then continues to prescribe me 800 mg of Motrin three times a day for six weeks. Wait, what?!

 As I'm doing the math in my head, I'm thinking, wow, this is so wrong. That would be 2,400 mg of Motrin a day! For six weeks!

Doesn't she know what that would do to someone's stomach? I wonder quickly if she is in 'cahoots' with a GI doc in the office.

I leave with a follow-up appointment even though I had absolutely no intention on going back. The next day, I called my general practitioner for another referral. The next doctor's office was very accommodating, friendly, and took me within a week. The appointment goes very well. This doctor was kind, soft spoken, and most of all very conscious of being discreet while examining me. I state the reason why I was there, and that he was a second opinion. When I tell him the Motrin that was prescribed, I got a very validating raised eyebrow. We decide together that the surgery was the way to go, and it gets scheduled. I knew I made the right decision to get a second opinion.

As I am getting prepped for surgery, I have a slew of doctors and medical students coming in and asking my name and birth date several times, while poking and prodding me. I'm lying there getting my IV started and in walks a student doctor who introduces herself. Behind her is my doctors assistant. He introduces himself and tries to make a cute remark about removing my belly button ring (which I do not have). He looked exactly like Ron Jeremy, 70's porn mustache and all. 

I took one look at him and thought HELL NO!  I'm not having the porn king of the 80's down in my 'area' assisting with my surgery. It'll turn into some kind of kinky operating room group sex session! I try to fight off the 'happy shot' they gave me to relax, without success.

Damn drugs.

The surgery was a success. They removed a lump within my abdominal muscle and put me in the recovery room. As one nurse passes me off to another rotund nurse that sees me lying in the corner, and states, "Nobody puts baby in the corner." She giggles at her own joke then pushes my bed into one of the recovery room stalls continuing her impromptu stand-up act, advises me not to do any sit ups for a long time.  

"Pretty ironic, that's how I ended up here," I said.  

She laughs and says, "See, this is where exercise will get you."

I think to myself, Yeah, yeah, everyone's a comedian. Just give me the drugs lady, and keep your jokes to yourself. 

As I'm discharged, the doctor tells me that I am not to work out for several weeks in order to give my incision time to heal, and ordered me not use the P90x workout sessions. 

 I listen to his advice and dump the routine and go back to running.

However,  I think there is a bootleg video out there of my exam with Porno Doc.

If you find a copy, please, let me know.