Saturday, May 18, 2013


So I have this condition you may have heard me mention, called anhidrosis. For some reason, and  no one has been able to tell me why yet, I lack all ability to sweat. I used to sweat. Used to sweat like a champ. Used to wish for some way to turn it down, maybe even off, just so I could get through a nice summer day without having sweat running down my face, stinging my eyes, and just, well, looking pretty disgusting in general.

Be careful what you wish for.

So then something happened, something all secret and weird, and whatever it was turned off my waterworks. Can’t sweat a drop. I stay bone-dry on the hottest days and no matter what I’m doing, from working to running to playing with my son. No matter what, I’m the ‘No sweat’ guy.

Of course, that does mean that I’ll just get hotter and hotter until I fall down in a stroke.

So, in the continuing effort to find someone who can tell me just what the hell happened and what we might be able to do about it (rather than just scratch their heads and say “I dunno, man,” (that last is pretty if you read it in Tommy Chong’s voice (wait, did I just put parenthesis inside parentheses? Holy @#$% wait, I just did it again-- hang on, I can fix this...)) ...whew! Almost went back in time or something there!) I went into Boston about six weeks ago and got a skin biopsy. The hope behind my simply lying there and letting them bore a plug out of my leg was this: “Hey, maybe something weird will show up that can point us in the right direction here!”

Why not, it works on House.

So they bored their hole and took their sample (which they said was small, but I saw the damn thing and it takes less tissue than that to generate clones in the movies. Yes, I know it’s the movies, not reality, but this is my leg we’re talking about here, so clones I tell you!) and told me they’d have it analyzed and get the results over to their specialist. Their specialist could then explain any findings to my general practitioner, who would then dumb it down by several orders of magnitude for little old me. The one with the hole in his leg.


So they bandaged up the fresh hole in my leg and sent me limping on my way. I hopped on home and waited for them to run that tissue sample through their cloning device -- excuse me, I mean ‘lab’, and get back to me.

So I waited.

And waited.

And --  but you get the picture, right?   

Eventually the hole in my flesh closed up, leaving a mark strangely like a big, somewhat dark, freckle on the side of my calf. A month. Six weeks. I started to think it had all been just some twisted dream, that I had imagined that little spiral of my own skin floating in the specimen jar, looking so much like pork I was a little grossed out, and that the spot on my leg was indeed just a weird-looking spot created by sun exposure (a whole other thing to worry about, let me assure you)...

But then I got the call.

“Hello, this is your doctor’s office calling.  We understand that the lab you went to has the results from your biopsy. Apparently they found some irregularity you need to be told about, but your Primary Care Physician would prefer that you discuss the results with the specialist they have there (a neurologist, I believe) rather than discussing it with her - the specialist would be better equipped to answer any questions you might have. Please call this number, 555-blah blah blah blah and start a file with them so we can make the referral.”

An irregularity?


This is the first time someone hasn’t simply scratched their head and said “ You know what? I dunno.”   An irregularity means they found something, and if they found something then maybe they can do something about it, right?


Come on, this is not a rhetorical question, people! Answer me! Righ-- wait, what was that? Oh. Really? Oh.

Apparently that was a rhetorical question. My bad.

Anyway. I called the new doctor. I got on their books. My doc called their doc and said “What’s up, Doc?” Now all I had to do was wait for the specialist to call to schedule an appointment. They call, they see me, they explain what they found to me, and maybe, just maybe we see if there’s something we can do about it. It was only the beginning of May, and all the hot weather, the weather that’s actually dangerous for me, is in the near future.

Man, I thought, if this works out I could have a whole different summer than I’d planned on.

My hopes were so high they were munching on Fritos and laughing at a DVD of “Reefer Madness”.

But then I got the call.

“Hello, this is Dr. So-And-So’s office, calling to schedule an appointment,” she said.

“Yes?” I said.

“Is this Rob?” she said.

“Yes-yes?” I said.

“I just need to let you know that Dr. So-And-So is scheduling into March.” she said.

“...” I said.

“Hello?” she said.

“March,” I said.

“Yes,” she said.

“Of 2014,” I said.

“Yes,” she said.

“...” I said.

“Hello?” she said. “Are you still there?”

“Like,” I said, “ten months from now.”

She sighed.

“Yes,” she said. “Ten months from now.”

“Please hold.” I said.

I punched the ‘mute’ button on my phone so that she could no longer hear me.

If I were living in the world created  by Charles Schultz, in the comic strip we know as “the Peanuts”, you would have seen nothing but the underside of my chin as I threw my head back and filled the air above my head with the word “ARGH!!!” Birds up and down the street took flight as the word hammered through the quiet afternoon.   

I grew still.

The birds settled.

I punched the ‘mute’ button again.

In as calm a voice as I could muster, I said “So... about that appointment...”

They took the biopsy more than a month ago.

They found the irregularity this week.
They’ll tell me all about it... next year.


Talk to you later!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

1 comment: