One More Sign that I Am Getting Old

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.

  • Proverbs 16:31

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

  • Isaiah 46:4

If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

  • 1 Peter 4:11

I think I wrote about setting up a couple of doctor appointments recently.  I know that I wrote about Doctor Visits where they do not tell you what they are thinking.

Well, some of that culminated in a series of lab tests this morning, as of writing this.

I was scheduling this ultrasound for me and my wife’s redo of a colonoscopy at the same time.  With the ultrasound, my phone would never ring.  I could not talk to the clinic.  They were too busy to answer the phone and when they called me back, they got no answer.

With my wife, the personal care physician sent a request for a colonoscopy since the first one was inconclusive.  They refused to treat my wife’s GI bleed until they knew what was going on. The bleed has lessened to the point of not being a critical problem. (Can we say miracle?) The clinic sent a message back to the doctor, but the doctor never received it.  Then the gastroenterologist never received the request.  Then our doctor resent the request with the wrong diagnosis code.  Then the gastroenterologist sent a message back with the new code included.  Each time, I had to ask why we were not on the schedule before either the gastroenterologist or the family doctor would check their e-mail – taking weeks, since on some occasions, either of them simply turned off their phones.

Both types of phone tag were going simultaneously.  I learned that my cellphone had a “do not disturb mode.”  I had not selected it because I did not know it had one.  Thus, the phone never rang.  And would you believe that the telemarketer calls still went through!?!?!  We finally got that appointment set.  But to get my wife’s colonoscopy schedule, I walked into the gastroenterologist’s office and demanded they pick up the phone – go old school, and forget these computers that send, or do not send, faxes – and within thirty minutes – we had her colonoscopy scheduled.

But the confusing thing, my wife’s colonoscopy was at the hospital when we usually go to the outpatient surgery where the gastroenterologist’s office is located, while mine was at the clinic across the side street from our family doctor, near where we like to go grocery shopping.

My appointment was before hers.  The doctor said he thought I had a cyst in an unfortunate spot and I was being tested to make sure, but in reading the details, one blood test was to rule out cancer and another was to rule out pregnancy.  I guess with the rampant gender dysphoria, they have to check for everything these days.

But on the day of these tests, ultrasound, blood, and urine, I got up extra early with my wife by my side, and we went to the hospital.  We waited thirty minutes for someone to call us to be registered.  The registering lady left the room confused.  She returned.  Typed a few keys and then said, “Sir, you are aware, I am sure, that your appointment is at the satellite diagnostic center, about twenty minutes away?”  Of course, I was not aware…  Why would I be at the hospital instead?

We called the center and said we would be late and they held a slot.  I do not think the ultrasound tech was very busy that day.  The nephrologist has people in and out all day, so that was relatively no waiting.

So, within a few hours, I went to the wrong place to have a test done.  Note to self, my wife’s appointment is at the hospital, not where we usually get our colonoscopies done.  And I was tested for cancer and pregnancy.

Am I getting old?  Am I already old?  Do not even think it!!!!  I am not a woman.  I am not pregnant.  I have not done the necessary things in order to get pregnant, virginal in that regard.  But thinking of that, I wanted God to take me home before it got THAT BAD!!!  What will the headlines say?  Seventy year old man, who has always been a man, has that Y-chromosome, has all the male body parts, brain wired like a man – ask him where north is and he will ask magnetic or true north cause he knows the answer either way – that kind of manly man – is pregnant.  Now that would be “news”.

I think it was George Burns, pretty sure, but after today my memory is wobbly, who said that there are three stages to getting old, for a man.  The first stage is that you forget to zip up.  Men and most women will understand what he meant.  The second stage is that you forget to zip down.  The third stage is that you simply forget.  Most people can easily figure out the first two, but the third is rather nebulous.

I have had the first stage often.  I recently took my wife to the dialysis center, greeted the nurse when she answered the ringer, and then drove back home.  I needed to use the toilet and I nearly went to stage two in that I was trying to zip down my zipper but I could not find the tab because the zipper had been down for a couple of hours already with me not noticing.  STAGE ONE.  Actually one instance among many.

I have also written something, and it took a couple of hours.  I have then gotten up.  With gravity now pressing against the bladder, I finally get a sensation that I need to go, but the bathroom is too far away to make it.  STAGE TWO.  Actually more than once, alarmingly more than once.

Was the fiasco this morning stage three?  My wife suggested it as we were driving from the hospital to the diagnostic center that is much nearer our home and in the middle of fun things to do. And we could have slept longer.

Regardless, we praise the Lord in everything.  Hallelujah.

Now, before anyone has a cow, the results are in. I have not been to the doctor, but they publish lab results on the portal, and amazingly, in my old age, I can still read. They found an infection that I am now taking medicine for. Let’s get over the BIG test result first. I am not pregnant. But men are often tested for quantitative hcG hormone. If the value is over 4, it is almost always cancer. Between 2 and 4, it indicates low testosterone. Mine was less than 1.2, not even giving a value. A high reading in women is indicative of pregnancy. The “cancer” test was for Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP). A reading over 6.1 indicates possible cancer. Mine was 2.4. My most recent PSA was about 1, when 4 is the danger zone. The notes on the AFP lab report said that absence of AFP is indicative, but not conclusive unless other tests are run. Thus, the “pregnancy test” provides more indication that I do not have cancer. When I wrote about it, almost jokingly, I did not want anyone to worry. Prayers for me are always welcome, but don’t worry.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. March 18, 2023 — 5:41 pm

    Oh Mark I hear you loud and clear. I went in last week for a post op appointment for my cataract surgery and went in with the wrong nurse. Had my weight and height checked, blood pressure, oxygen, temp read and then the nurse realized I was t the patient she had the chart for. So off I went to the front desk to be directed. Everyone is still wearing masks so my hearing loss doesn’t help. I finally got to the right place and had to go through the whole thing all over again. When I arrived home I had a message saying that the surgeon needed to reschedule for the day of my surgery. Like you, our lives seem to center on specialists up the kazoo, who can take a day off when they feel like it, even when you have to rearrange your life for them. Maybe we’ll just cancel all these appointments and let God decide what he’s going to do with us🥸

    Liked by 2 people

  2. March 18, 2023 — 5:42 pm

    That should’ve been a pre op appointment. I’m so confused🤨

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m turning 70 soon. And relating to everything you wrote here. Except for the pregnancy test part. Chocolate. I need chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. March 18, 2023 — 7:03 pm

    Good plan, Linda 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m just glad you’re NOT pregnant-!!!
    Serious prayer’s however for all good test results and outcomes!!

    Liked by 1 person

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