Getting Hit Below The Belt
Wednesday - April 25, 2007
In my last column, I explained that I was on a trip to San Francisco with my family. The problem was that I seemed to have contracted a really bad cold and was pretty miserable on the flight over. By the time we landed in S.F., I felt like I had a full-blown case of pneumonia.
We had a jammed packed schedule planned with our kids, but only four days there including two days of travel. From the first day my wife insisted I go to the hospital or see a doctor. The “MAN” rules, however, dictated that I suck it up and shrug off my illness.
I told her that I was fine that there was nothing a shot of whiskey and some honey couldn’t fix. The other problem was that San Francisco is pretty darn cold and wet. Of course “MAN” rules again kicked in with the fact that men don’t get cold and don’t need jackets or umbrellas.
By day four, I was on the last “MAN” rule, which says that if you’re genuinely sick, act like a little baby. I begged my wife to get me in to see a doctor. My sister-in-law, with whom we were staying, got me an appointment. I insisted they just drop me off and then go do something fun.
Within about four seconds of seeing me, the doctor said I had pneumonia. He wanted me to get a chest X-ray to confirm this. I walked over to the X-ray lab got my chest done and sat in the waiting area for my films, which the doctor wanted me to carry back.
The waiting room was full of people. Suddenly an X-ray technician walked in and called out my full first name, “Ronald!” She had one of those hospital film file folders under her arm. Instead of giving me the film, she said to follow her.
We went into another X-ray room and she told me to remove my pants. I looked at her with my head tilted to one side asking, “Why?” She said that they wanted to X-ray me below my hips. That’s when I saw on her folder the name, “Ronald Pentleheimer” or Pentle-something-heimer.
Between my laughing and coughing, I told her she had the wrong Ronald. I did mange to fly out that evening with my family, although I had to pick up a few medications before heading to the airport. I was carefully reading each prescription and my wife asked me “What now?”
Half-joking, I said, “I just want to make sure I don’t have Mr. Pentleheimer’s Viagra.”
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