Wednesday, December 9, 2009

“The Name is Bond, Zaphod Bond”

Since receiving the results of my ferritin check last Saturday, I have had three movie scenes stuck in my head, all of which have serious implications in my battle against iron-overloading.

The first was actually from a television series called “Hunter” that ran from 1984 to 1991. It was television’s answer to Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry”. I do not think that I ever watched a complete episode. Given the ratings, I am doubtful that anyone watched a complete episode. However, one evening as I was channel-surfing, I happened upon the final scene of a “Hunter” episode that completely bowled me over. Hunter (played by Fred Dryer) and his partner McCall (played by Stefanie Kramer) had chased a villain to the top of a high-rise in Los Angeles. The culprit was standing on the ledge of the building, being defiant and sassy, and before Hunter could shoot him in the head (which was Hunter’s style), the guy slipped and fell twenty stories to the sidewalk below. Hunter walked over to the edge of the building, peered over, raised his eyebrows, and uttered his favorite catch-phrase, “Works for me!” Accompanying the lab report from the University of Utah, “Doc Holliday” sent a note that read, in part, “Excellent ferritin levels, Zaphod. Keep up your current treatment of phlebotomies. Works for me!”

The second scene is from a movie that I have never watched from beginning to end. Like the Hunter episode, I have only seen the end. In 1963, Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, and Gene Hackman starred in a movie called “The Gypsy Moths”, a film developed from the novel of the same name by James Drought. The story involves three sky-divers and their thrill show during a 4th of July celebration in a small mid-western town. The catch-phrase in this movie is one that Lancaster says regarding the spirit of sky-diving: “When you turn on by falling free… when jumping is not only a way to live, but a way to die too… then you’re a Gypsy Moth.” In the final scene, Lancaster makes his final jump of the show, free-falling a mile or so, drawing closer and closer to the ground. All of the crowd is horrified; his partners watch calmly, knowing that there is plenty of time for Burt to pull his rip-cord. Burt gets closer and closer to the ground, people are screaming hysterically, the partners are beginning to get nervous. Then Burt hits the ground doing about 500 miles an hour. He bounces some, but not a lot. I have wondered about that bounce for a long time, how it would feel. When I opened my letter from the University Health Center last Saturday, I had my answer. I think that Trillium, my sister Judie, and the rest of my concerned family, once they finish reading this posting are going to wonder about the bounce, too.

The third scene is, for my money, the greatest scene in all of the James Bond movies. Pierce Brosnan is at the top of the highest dam I have ever seen in my life (the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland), dressed in ninja black, and after the camera pulls back a little, he jumps off in a lovely swan dive. I am not certain how long the scene takes, but at 32 feet per second per second, James Bond must have been about to break the sound-barrier near the end of the dive. Just at the last second, the enormous bungee cord comes into play, 007 is able to shoot his little dart gun, and reel himself to the top of the building at the bottom of the dam. There were two things about that scene that have troubled me. First, what happened to the cord when James cut himself loose? The whiplash from the tension should have taken out half of the Soviet army. Second, how much taller was our hero after that jump? I estimate about a foot and a half. Needless to say, I favor this last picture over the previous two for a couple of reasons. First, I am the hero who overcomes all eventualities and second, I don’t die a miserable death by actually hitting the ground. That is how I feel about the lab report on my ferritin levels.

Four months ago, my ferritin level was at 136, after a year-long, continuous free-fall from the astonishing heights of 827. Two months ago, probably due to the rather cavalier attitude that I had developed about my prospects, my ferritin went up one point to 137. I had been expecting another 50 point drop, but it was not forthcoming. So for the last two months, I have tried to be good. Other than an occasional Swedish meatball, and an infrequent wheat-dog, I have really been circumspect about what I have been eating. Saturday’s report snatched me by my bootstraps: my ferritin had gone up to 160. “Doc Holliday” was happy, my family was momentarily horrified, and I started looking for my little dart gun.

I am not certain what has happened, but I am being proactive and during the next few weeks I will be posting my findings. I have also conjured up some rather radical treatment plans which should prove amusing, if not effective. Fear not! I am not splattered around the countryside; I am just having to duck beneath every door jam in the house.

11 comments:

shydandelion said...

:( I'm sorry! Mom's meatballs must be potent...
By the way...what the heck is a wheatdog?

Rebecca said...

that wheatdog does not sound appetizing.

Doc Holiday had nothing to say about the increase in your levels? That doesn't seem right.

You should fire her.

Katscratchme said...

You all have seen Dad eat his wheat dogs, sillies...

I have a new theory about why your feretin jumped: Your body subconsciously started storing for fear that you would one day have nothing to write about on this lovely blog. What do you think of that idea? Works for me... :D

Zaphod said...

A wheat-dog, my dears,is a hot dog that has been nuked for two minutes and then wrapped in a piece of bread with butter slathered in the middle. It's like a corndog only more healthy.

Becky, I'm am an old school kind of patient. My physician is male and even then it is tough for me to have him occasionally check my prostate gland.

Kats, Actually, I think that my body is like one of those narrow-mouthed peanut butter jars that no amount of fiddling will let you get the last bit out of the jar. I need an iron spatula.

Jen said...

Helloooooooo. Dad blogged about wheat dogs quite some time ago . . .

Trillium said...

Doc Holiday is not a specialist in Hemochromatosis. (Did I really need to say that?) My recommendation is that if
Doc H can't cut the mustard, it's time to find a new guy--Marcus Welby maybe?

Rebecca said...

Dad, fire Doc Holiday!

Rusted Nut said...

Still lovin' your blog and your fam's sweet comments. Re: latest Fe numbers. Maybe you've been a tad under the weather? Just a wild thought with Fe being an acute phase reactant and all that jazz. Hmmm
Keep that wit and info coming!
(And dump ole' Doc Holiday).

Larsens said...

The reason why Burt didn't pull the rip cord was because he thought that he was so close to the ground that he could just jump.

Have you tried magnets? Maybe they will pull the iron out of you. Start with the magnets on your fridge door.

Judie said...

OK.....something is not right. I agree with Pat, you need to go to a specialist. My primary sent me to a hemotologist and he watches me like a hawk. I know you have been careful about your diet, but you need to find out why it's going up. This can cause so many problems later on. I know I don't need to tell you all this but I am so concerned.

Judie said...

And I don't care what this Doc says, he needs to go away. Your ferritin should be 50 or below, especially since you are 22 months older than me.