Turning disadvantage around

Dr. Helen (aka Mrs. Insta Pundit) is, unfortunately, a fellow member of the afib club. She responds to my post about my disabled month with some advice that, unsurprisingly, doesn’t have a bit of bleedingheartedness about it.

Rather than see yourself as selfish for having medical problems, my second tip is to use them to your advantage to get back at those you dislike. Case in point. A secretary at my daughter’s school had been impolite to me on the phone the week before. I went to pick up my daughter from school one day and this obnoxious secretary told me that my daughter was at the playground half a mile or so outside and I would have to go fetch her. I looked at her and smiled kindly, “I’m sorry, I am disabled after recent heart surgery and not able to walk that far.” She looked troubled at the word disabled (you know, all those ADA rules etc. have school personnel skiddish) and scurried down to the playground while I plopped myself in a chair and read a magazine in the air conditioned office until she came back with my child, apologizing for taking so long. You see, medical problems are not all bad.

: And it so happens, I’m slowed down again — not by afib this time but my clumsiness, with indirect afib complications.

Leaving a meeting with a colleague yesterday, I wasn’t looking where I was going and tripped going down a curb, falling face-first on the street. My left knee and right wrist took the brunt of it. Nothing broken, save pride. I rubbed the knee in the cab on the way to the airport and over a bad pizza there, I felt something growing on my knee that was almost twice the size of my kneecap. Because I’m on blood thinner due to my afib, my wack to the kneed caused a hematoma to well up and bruise into something pretty unattractive. Nice Continental employees in the lounge and the plane kept filling a bag with ice for me and I was damned glad I’d spent the extra money (my money, not the company’s) to buy biz class and we had larger-than-usual international seats that let me continue to ice the thing all the way home.

Just got back from the doctor and I’m ace-bandaged up and hobbling on a knee that won’t bend. He said I should use a cane.

: Which leads me back to Dr. Helen’s advice. Hmmmm. Well, if I did get that cane and walked with it the way Dr. House does on my wife’s favorite series, maybe she’ll think I’m just as brilliant and fascinating as he is….

: LATER: Bad link to Dr. Helen’s post now fixed.

  • The walking-stick is a good idea for improving the service you receive. Or at least my mother who had a hip replacment last year reports that it is

  • Why of course, you’re brilliant and fascinating — just in a different field! ;>)

  • Guys–can we lighten up a bit here. This is beginning to resemble the proverbial icky Thanksgiving Dinner where aging rels describe ailments in a little too much detail. I suppose this is the fate that awaits all of us babyboomers as our bodily parts start to malfunction. Did I tell you, Jeff, about my prostate? If this trend keeps up the BuzzMachine will end up with a demographic that looks like the network nightly newscasts and the only ads we’ll see in that little column on the right will be for Depends and Vioxx and

  • Oops…cut off in mid-sentence before I could mention that third brand that would have canned my comment as spam.

  • Zodonk

    I think you want “advice” to link here:


  • afsvfan

    can’t you just buy a new heart ? isn’t that what ebay / craiglist is for..

    if steve jobs made a site that sold bodyparts everyone would think its cool.

  • Andrew,
    So I shouldn’t put up a Flickr gallery of my yucky knee? And links to what I think of all my meds at RateMyMedicine.com? And a podcast of my heart rate? And a vlog interview with my doc?
    Damn. Now what am I going to write about?

  • PSGInfinity


    I’m so glad, at 38, my symptoms aren’t full-blown maladies yet. What a HORRID future.

  • andycanuck

    Have you tried to use your problem to get a private bathroom reserved for your use at work? Or maybe even get a scooter out of it.

  • I found the large metal knee brace and wheelchair I needed to navigate airports a couple of years ago put me at the front of the line for security and boarding…

    What’s wrong with the older demographic anyway? Rather than fighting the tendency to discuss ailments and “procedures” as we age, we might as well just embrace it with humor.