5.18.2005

fascinating fluoroscopy, plus naked butts

There is an extremely adorable elderly patient at my work. His name is Joe, and he has the longest old man legs I've ever seen. He would have looked good in those tight black punk rock pants; like Iggy Pop.

I see a lot of old man legs. I see them every day. I see a lot of butts, too. It's both charming and unsettling to see a man's legs, unclothed but for a skimpy gown that they usually forget to tie in the back, exposing their little rear ends, but with dress socks and dress shoes still on. It takes all the power that they might have in the regular world away, and they become scared little boys with no pants on.

Anyway, old Joe was getting what we in the radiology field call an UGI with a small bowel follow through. Basically, this means that he had to drink some barium, a magical glowing beverage that is visible in x-rays, and then hang out while it traveled throughout his system, all the way through the small intestine, which is thirteen feet long. X-rays are taken at intervals throughout the journey. In young, regular people, this takes about an hour or so. Not the case with poor Joe.

A few hours passed since Joe entered the X-ray room; I was busy with my little tasks, but on the way to pick up some files I saw Joe huddled in a dressing room, swaddled in blankets. I asked the technologist, "What's up with the small bowel?"

"Oh, it's taking a while," she said. FIVE HOURS LATER, Joe triumphantly walked out the door. I just never thought about the fact that not only do elderly people move slow on the outside, but they move slow on the inside too.

I'm not exactly sure what the doctors learn from this exam aside from the fact that Joe must take a numero dos about once a month, but it was interesting to see how it all came out. Figuratively speaking, of course.

I learn new things every day, even if they're things I never wanted to know in the first place.

3 comments:

squidhelmet said...

oh. sweet. jesus.

pollyanna cowgirl said...

oh, there's lots more where this came from.

ted said...

that's weird, I see the same things as you and I work for a software company.