Saturday, January 24, 2009

National Casting of Aspersions Week

This proved to be a tough week for me and I thought that a day-by-day recounting would be useful.

You remember (or not) that I had my phlebotomy a couple of weeks ago after a two-month respite from poking or prodding of any kind. The fact that I did not have a blood-letting during December disturbed me somewhat (or not) and I was left with a lot of time on my hands when I thought very little of anything else 'ceptin' eatin', which I did a lot of. Along with consuming a vast amount of iron-bearing foods, I compounded the problem by chasing every molecule down with phenomenal amounts of sugar and vitamin C, which without question facilitated absorption of any kind of iron floating about in the air. I began to fear for my life.

I decided last week, during our stay in St. George, Utah, that I would have my ferritin check on Monday the 19th. Now before anyone accuses me of a gross insensitivity, I have to say that since my retirement everyday is a holiday. I don't keep track of these sorts of things as a rule, because as a rule these national days of pause have little or no impact on my daily life. Trillium's birthday does and our anniversary does, but most everything else is just another day in paradise. When I called to make an appointment for my 30-second mini-extraction, no one answered at the clinic. "What is with these people?" I said into the mouthpiece of the phone. "Is everybody on vacation?" It was then that I looked at the calendar. I was so chagrined at not acknowledging Civil Rights Day, as it is called here in Utah, that when Friday came I did not take the trash out to the curb, expecting that Waste Management would come on Saturday, which is their practice when a holiday falls mid-week. Thursday night, after all of the evening events were over, Trillium said, "Aren't you going to take the trash out?"

I smugly replied "They won't come tomorrow; Monday was a national holiday."

"You better take it out; my calendar says that tomorrow is the big day, and it is a two-bucket day." I did so, in the rain, grumbling all the while about the farce that recycling is in our valley. I have a sneaking suspicion that even though two separate trucks come on Friday mornings, one each for the black and blue cans, they end up taking the refuse that we have diligently segregated to the same place for burial. Trillium is never wrong, however, and the trucks rolled about on their appointed rounds at their usual hour. Horror of horrors! Waste Management does not observe Martin Luther King Day!

Tuesday Joe Biden was sworn in as the 47th Vice-President of the United States, the man who assured me that paying more taxes was patriotic. I celebrated the occasion by spending an enormous amount of Medicare dollars by having my ferritin level checked. Now I have to decide whether I am un-American or simply a tax-and-spend Republican.

Tuesday I called my doctor's office early with the usual phone routine, and set up an appointment to have my blood drawn for the ferritin check shortly before the time that we were going to visit T-ma at the Shire. About 1:20, Trillium and I made our way to the University Health Care Center on University Parkway. For those of you who don't know, UHCC is named such because of the University of Utah, of which it is a part. University Parkway is named for BYU of which I am a part (an alumnus twice over, you know). I am always in a state of confliction when I go to visit with "Doc Holiday" who went to medical school at the University of Cincinnati (another outfit in dressed in red). Anyway.... "She-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless" (SWSRN for short, pronounced "Shwooshrun") showed up at the front desk shortly after I checked in at 1:30 and waited there apparently doing nothing for over ten minutes while I cooled my heels beneath the television set carrying the broadcast of the Inauguration of the new President. I might have forgiven her if she had been watching the history-making event, but she simply stood at the far side of the desk with a blank look on her face. At 1:45 she invited me into her lab as if she had just noticed me, did her 30-second task and wished me well. She did, however, complement me on my veins. Was this sweet observation supposed to ameliorate the the fifteen minutes of heel-cooling, a rhetorical symbolism without substance? What a day!

On Wednesday, Tom Hanks, an actor whose work I have admired, declared that I was "un-American" simply because I hold political views that differ from his. This he did with a personal phone call. The phone rang. "Yes?" I replied.

"Zaphod! This is Tom. You're un-American and I wanted you to be the first to know that I am in the process of calling up all thirteen million of the rest of your people to let you know how I feel."

"Tom," I said, "How much is this going to cost you? Thirty or forty million dollars? Personal phone calls to thirteen million people world wide is going to be a little pricey. Why don't you just hold a press conference and tell us all off at once?" You all know the rest of the story.

I waited all day Thursday for "Doc Holliday" to call me with the results of my ferritin check. No joy! When the mail came yesterday there was a letter to me from the good doctor informing me that my ferritin level was at 345, some 52 points lower than the last level in November. To date I have lost almost 500 points of ferritin, this since August, about 100 points per phlebotomy. I have wondered what would have happened if I had had blood drawn in December and January. Prior to this last measurement I had dropped on average about 120 point per phlebotomy. Is is possible that I could have been as low as 160 by now if I had given it up twice instead of once? I am determined that I am going to give blood two more times, once in February and another in March, before my semi-annual visit with "Doc Holliday" in April. He will probably excoriate me for taking my life into my own hands, but I need to have good ratings on the internet, especially at "" and "".

Nothing else happened on Friday, the product of a four-day work week. Trillium and I went out to Chuck-A-Rama for dinner. Salads of all kinds, Cajun White Fish, a batch of batter-fried shrimp, and cobbler for desert. Oh, happy iron-free day!


Jen said...

Hey!! You forgot to mention that you almost needed to be placed in an iron lung during your racquetball match Friday. :D

Just wanted to contribute to your "ironic" humor.

Bliss said...

Jen--he claimed he played with his left hand so that he could be more aerobic and also give you a chance to win. I wonder if his right hand didn't know what his left hand was doing. LOL

Zaphod said...

Sooooo... you wanted more, did you? You wanted me to delve into the possibilities of casting aspersions on my own daughter. I cast aspersions all over the ball court both days. And, no, my right hand did not know what my left was doing. It was Friday; the work week was already over.

shydandelion said...

Iron, don't iron... noodles...don't noodles...

Judie said...

Well, I bet you regret the day I told you that perhaps you were afflicted with this newly discovered disorder. Join the club bro. Now I've been told there is another side effect or affect. Macrocytosis, enlarged red blood cells. Have Doc Holliday check that one out. And I can do you one up on racquetball. I went horseback riding last week (3 x's, one hour each) in Tucson. Had a blast. I told them I had metal from the waist down. They said not to worry, they didn't have metal detectors for the horses. :=))

Rebecca said...

Well, Victor and I had the same conversation about the trashcans Wednesday night. Evan was instructed to take the cans to the curb when I got home. When Victor got home he told Evan to bring them back in.

I said: "the trash is being picked up tomorrow." Victor said: "No it's not, Monday was a holiday." I said: "Your birthday doesn't constitute a holiday." He said "I know. It's was also Martin Luther King's birthday." I said: "His doesn't count either - the trash is getting picked up tomorrow."

After Mutual I made Evan take the cans back out to the curb.

Guess what? I was right. I must take after mom... :)

W.Pat said...

Foods containing calcium such as cottage cheese, yogurt, carrots, etc are great for slowing down iron absorbtion.

Drinks that have tannins work very well also. Black tea and my favorite, green tea are very helpful. Most herb teas do not contain tannins.

HH sufferrers should drink lots of water every day to keep the blood thin for easier phlebotomies and to keep the kidneys nice and flushed out.