AngelBaby reached a new record last night: 106 degrees. We were expecting seizures or something, but he just sat quietly and ate tomatoes. Today he's much better, though TrophyHusband is now ailing. I'm importing my mother on a frequent flyer ticket tonight to take over from the saintly in-laws. I am spoiled, I know.
So: patient stories. The trouble with stupid patients is that they make me sad. You can't laugh with them, so if I'm laughing, I'm laughing at them.
Wacky patients are another story. I'll tell you about one of my favorite wackos, the Pirate. We call him that because he wears an big gold earring in one ear and has wild woolly hair, a fanciful mustache, and a dramatic limp. He can't read or write because he spent most of his childhood in juvenile detention. He's in his sixties, and his main health problem is diabetes.
A couple of months ago the Pirate showed up for his regular visit looking rather different. The earring was gone, the hair was tamed into a sort of pompadour, and his mustache was trimmed. I commented on his new look, and he said rather shyly, "I had to clean up, because I joined the church."
"The church!" I said. "What made you do that?"
"Well, my sister's been on me about it," he said. "And I know that if I don't repent before I die, I won't go to heaven. So I figured I might as well do it now."
I was a little disappointed to see the Pirate civilized, but he seemed happy.
A week ago he returned for his follow-up visit, still looking relatively spiffy. His blood sugar, on the other hand, was much too high.
"It must have been all the soda I drank today," he said.
"Must have been," I said. "How are things going at church, anyway?"
"Oh, it's going good," he said. "You know, at my church they talk in tongues."
"Yes, when you're feeling the Spirit, you start speaking in a language that only Jesus can understand. And I've been getting there. Yesterday I felt moved, and I went down on my knees, and pretty soon I started doing it -- I opened my mouth and all these sounds came out. But then I stopped. Afterward the preacher asked me if I stopped because my leg was hurting, and I said no, that wasn't it. And the preacher said, 'It was the Devil that made you stop. You were listening to the Devil.' And you know, he was right."
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Well, I was jib-jabbering away, feeling the presence of Jesus, when my mind just started to wander," he said. "It started to wander, and I fell silent, and all of a sudden I was thinking about ... soda!"
"That WAS the Devil!" I said.