At my appointment yesterday morning, with Dr. Estes at the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center of Boston’s Tufts Medical Center, it became obvious that today’s post should be called “Jerks.”
That’s NOT because I think Dr. Estes is a jerk — quite the contrary. Dr. Estes is the opposite of a jerk. (Am I a jerk for not knowing the right word for opposite-of-jerk? Would you be a jerk if you knew that word and didn’t share it here with the rest of us?)
No, I realized that today’s post should be titled “Jerks” because:
- I could have felt like a jerk for jerking a little with anxiety over the weekend about how swollen my new pacemaker/ defibrillator was, after my implantation surgery two weeks ago.
- Dr. Estes reassured me that my knee-jerk, worst-case fear — that the implantation site was infected — was not true.
- I wasn’t being a complete jerk asking to be seen by him yesterday, since the site really was quite swollen.
- The swelling is due to the increased jerking of my arm (as I am returning to normal movements), combined with my need to be on anticoagulants because the upper part of my heart is constantly jerking with atrial fibrillation.
- I can feel like a jerk if (a) I bother a doctor for no reason AND (b) I don’t bother a doctor when I need to, which doesn’t leave me a lot of room to feel non-jerky.
- When Dr. Estes asked me to assess my return to work (full-time, starting just one week after the surgery), I replied, “Work is great, except for the jerks.”
- Dr. Estes jerked a little with suppressed laughter as he gave me this medical advice in response: “Maybe when the jerks are giving you a hard time, you can …” and he mimed grabbing the shoulder location of an implanted device and jerking with cardiac distress.
- When I told Dr. Estes that — ever since the May 4th surgery — my heart beating can cause a strong jerk in my rib cage, depending upon my position, he said, “Avoid those positions.”
- Dr. Estes didn’t jerk with surprise or treat me like a jerk when I reminded him about this old joke:
Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Then don’t do that.
The whole time that Dr. Estes and I were taking about jerks, I was thinking about this Gary Larson cartoon, which I told my friend Maxine about, two days ago:
Do you see any jerks (who make life interesting, according to that Gary Larson cartoon) in the photos I jerkily took yesterday, after my morning appointment with Dr. Estes?
Actually, I am the one being the jerk in that last photo, calling out, “Hey, Jerks!” to the supremely non-jerky Jan and Arvetta at Starbucks, just to get a good “Jerk” photo for today’s post.
Any evidence of jerks in these photos, also from yesterday?
I have a question about those last two photos. Do you think my boyfriend Michael was a jerk for leaving me a yummy meal of bluefish to microwave for supper, because he was working last night helping his brother John?
The final three “Jerk” photos from yesterday show my son Aaron rehearsing his dramatic monologue for a play audition tonight:
Aaron (right) is playing Biff Loman to Oscar’s Willy Loman, and his reading got better after he used the method of saying out loud to himself before the monologue, “Oscar’s a jerk!”
Speaking of Aaron’s audition, he’ll be performing a punk classic about a famous jerk:
“Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads is a great try-out song for Green Day’s musical, American Idiot, don’t you think?
I’d obviously be a jerk at this point if I didn’t thank Dr. Estes, Gary Larson, Maxine, Jan, Arvetta, Aaron, Oscar, Michael, Arthur Miller (for the play Death of a Salesman), Talking Heads, and everybody else who helped me create this jerky post, today.*
* What a jerk! I forgot to thank YOU.