Tuesday, October 07, 2008


This morning, we did a procedure called a barium swallow: it basically involved rearranging myself in various non-fetching poses on an x-ray table while simultaneously sipping and swallowing heaping mouthfuls of a noxoius, chalky "barium shake" and dutifully holding my breath as various pictures were taken. It was nothing, really--the digital prostate exam, for example, is much worse in my opinion, even though it lasts less than a minute. Still, as I lay there, sans glasses, staring at the blurry cold arms and gauzy (out-of-focus) green lights of the diagnostic apparatus and wondering just how many x-rays and scans are too many, my overwhelming feeling was of relief: in the six years I worked at BU, only two included really good health insurance (some years I had none at all), and I've been fortunate to have insurance in both my years at Lyco.

Barium, aquarium, solarium. "Hold your breath--" Opium. Sodium. "Okay, now breathe--" Ammonium. Harmonium. Euphonium. "Now hold your breath--" Is that all? That can't be all. There's a ton of chemical names, like molybdenum or however it's spelled. Oh--Symposium!

So, thinking about that. And playing rhyming games. And so passed the time.

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