It’s All Filler

(Ken: It takes a while for this post to get funny.
Me: But it DOES get funny. Do you think I need to add a warning or something?
Ken: Maybe. Also, you need a transition between the story and the Facebook ad.
Me: Oh stop.)

On Friday, I went to see my orthopedic surgeon. It was the first time I’d actually met him in person or even gone to his office, thanks to covid lockdown. But he seemed nice on the phone, and when I’d called recently, the very pleasant receptionist gave me an appointment within the month. And since things have been getting progressively worse and I’m in constant pain, I was pretty relieved.

But when I walked into the office, I was a bit baffled. It was attached to a gym (for physiotherapy I presume) and the waiting room was packed with people. But there were a couple of other doctors’ names listed on the receptionist’s window, so after checking in, I sat in the last chair available. My appointment was for 12:45, but by 1:00 there was no sign of anyone, which isn’t that unusual, but my family doctor is ALWAYS on time, so I guess I’m spoiled. “Looks like they’re running behind,” I said the woman next to me. “What time is your appointment?”

Woman: 12:30.
Me: Oh dang. I guess mine might be a while.
Other woman across the room: Mine’s at 12:30 too.
Man next to me: So’s mine.

And they were ALL with the same surgeon. Around 1:15, a bunch of people came out and the surgeon came to the door and called the next three people in. 20 minutes later, they all came out, and he called my name, along with two other people. We all tromped in, and after another 5 minutes, he came into my treatment room. “So what’s going on?” he asked. I explained the situation:

Me: And I think the issue is being exacerbated by sitting in front of a computer all day. But I’m retiring at the end of September, so I was hoping you could give me a cortisone shot, just to get me through the next month.
Surgeon: Yeah sure. Go into the next room. By the way, it’ll be 30 dollars.

But I didn’t care about the money—I’d gone through more than that amount in Advil in the last couple of weeks. So I followed him into another room, where he grabbed a big-ass needle, filled it up, pulled the sleeve of my top off my shoulder and jammed the needle in as far as it would go. “It might hurt for a couple of days. See you.” And with that, he was gone to the next patient.

When I got home, I told Ken about it.

Me: And then he just jammed the collagen into my shoulder.
Ken: You mean the cortisone?
Me: What did I say?
Ken: You said collagen.

And I realized that every time I thought about it in my head, I had said ‘collagen’ to myself instead of ‘cortisone’ and then I had a horrifying feeling that maybe I actually HAD asked for collagen. I mean, the place seemed like some back alley clinic you’d hear about on that show Botched, so what are odds that he had just pumped me up with filler? I could imagine him at home later, talking to his wife during their 5-minute dinner:

Surgeon: Weirdest case today. Woman wanted collagen in her shoulder.
Wife: That IS weird. Did you do it?
Surgeon: Thirty bucks is thirty bucks. Gotta go. Thanks for dinner, dessert and the sex.

And now I’m mad at myself for wasting a valuable opportunity. I mean, I could have had my cheeks done, my lips done, gotten rid of those fine lines around my mouth, but no—I had to say ‘shoulder’. No wonder it feels so puffy and still hurts. But it looks REALLY smooth.

Me: Ooh, I really like that chair.
Seller: Yes, it’s very stylish.
Chair: Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Me: What’s wrong with it?
Seller: Nothing. It’s just a little theatrical.
Me: Cool. I’ll take it.
Chair: I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.
Me: Awesome. Let’s go.
Chair: We can’t.
Me: Why not?
Chair: We’re waiting for Godot.
Me: Don’t be absurd.

44 thoughts on “It’s All Filler

  1. Well, is the collagen helping with your shoulder? Lol. That’s the important question. My husband gets shots in his shoulder too, but I think he gets cortisone. And that is one theatrical chair. Thanks for the laughs, Suzanne.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Once upon a time I had a doctor with quick appointments who could usually get me in and out in under half an hour. Unfortunately, he was trying to kill me with ever increasing dosages of a BP med that not only wasn’t working but was making me feel awful. So I left him for a doctor who was a medical miracle worker (I’m still on the meds he prescribed, and I made sure my new doc understood NOT to change them)… but who had the most HORRIBLY run office you can imagine. If I could get in and out of an appointment (A regular checkup appointment, mind you…. not some major deal) in under 3 hours, that was a miracle. He eventually moved his practice out of town and left his old office to rot without informing anyone why… leaving me with a year and a half gap where I only had a primary care doctor on paper (they still filled my meds, so eh… saved some money). Good thing I stayed healthy during that period…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard to find the balance. My own family doc runs a tight ship, and deals with longer things when he needs to but his bedside manner is awful. Still, I prefer that to someone nice bit incompetent!


  3. If I remember correctly Dylan Thomas got cortisone shots close to the end of his life. That sounds terrible so let quickly clarify that the cortisone actually seemed to improve his condition which was often exhaustion, and that condition was caused by pretty much nonstop drinking and he was probably taking other drugs like amphetamines and there’s also some dispute over whether he was actually given cortisone. But if he was it says something that it could perk up someone who was downing whiskey by the liter.
    Since your condition isn’t nearly as bad and you take better care of yourself–I know you like wine but your weekly consumption is likely still less than what Thomas had in a day–I hope the cortisone is helping. Or collagen. And if that chair starts spouting lines from Under Milk Wood share a little with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keratin would be another cool thing to inject. Or Chitin… You could grow your forklift-crab-claws. Did you ever see “District 9”?
    (I recall I wrote a sequel-outline called “District 10” )

    Time to perfect that speech-2-text processing built into most editors now? You know, since you’re gonna lose the use of your collagen bloated arm?

    Theatrical? I guess, in a patio-Macbeth kind of way. “What bloody man is that?” – “Tis not blood, tis sangria. Pass the taziki and pita, won’t you?”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I saw an orthopedic surgeon once who also had an office off a gym. Definitely made me wary. I have a new one now. She actually saw me in the office of the guy who gives me my cortisone shots, which is how I came to wonder what the heck kind of doctor he is.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmmmm, On the subject of theatrical chairs uh, “Wait Until Dark” to see what happens. Just went to the ortho guy. Very nice and showed me the deterioration of my shoulders on the Xray. My skeleton was just so photogenic. Doc did some ‘splaining with words and pictures and didn’t rush me out. Instructions to continue PT. Email him in 6-8 weeks. Soon after I bought a recommended mattress topper and my shoulders are healing. I hope your shoulder feels better really soon. Hilarious, as usual, Suzanne. I’d like that chair even if it is theatrical. I wonder did do Drama or Comedy?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Collagen is not only good for the skin but also for the joints. Now I’ve never had a shot (didn’t know it existed, to be frank). I had been taking collagen pills for my ankle. This reminded me I should start doing it again. And so should you. That way we’ll be radiant inside out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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