The Prairie Spy

Alan “Lindy” Linda

It’s wood tick season. And it’s doctor season. Wood ticks because this is their time of the year in Minnesota, and doctors because there are new cases of Covid-19 in Minnesota.

My nephew—he’s not really a nephew, he is by proper description a second cousin, being the son of a cousin, but it took me ¾ of a century to figure that second-third-whatever cousin stuff out, so I’m assuming no one else has this complicated relationship stuff figured out, either, so I call him a nephew. Anyway, like a lot of us have, last year he found a wood tick on his leg, and like most of us, gingerly pulled it off. As we all know,  he knew that doctors don’t want the tick sent off to determine whether or not it’s carrying Lyme’s disease. After all, it took half a year to get a test ready for Covid-19, which is happening at a rate of umteen cases a day, why would we ever believe we could get one for Lyme’s.

Instead, thanks to the current level of 21st-century medical advancement, more than not, whether it’s Lyme’s, or Covid, we are being advised to wait and see. Mostly. My doc isn’t like that. When I found a tick a year ago, and didn’t know how long it had been there—24 to 36 hours is how long it takes for a tick to get Lyme’s into you—she prescribed a short one-day course of antibiotics.

Which worked. How do I know? Because I’m still here. The best test of 21st-Century medicine, I guess, is if you live to tell the tale.

My nephew? When a ring formed around the site of the bite, he contacted his physician. Well, not “his” physician,  but someone on the other end of the phone number his insurance company provided. So far, so good, right? Instant feedback on your condition, right?

There’s a ring, right? The number one indication of Lyme’s, right?

And the physician on the other end of the line says: “Just watch it for a while.”

Since there hasn’t been church for the last couple of months, I’ve kind of tried not to take the Lord’s name in vain. But “watch it for a while?” Watch the number one indicator of Lyme’s disease for a while? What the @*#&$$^%!!!!! This is what we call modern medicine?

I wonder, did the doc have an accent? Like, was he in India, or the Phillipines, like someone you called to get help with a computer? Did he even know what a wood tick is? Okay, I’ll admit, I’m suspicious that this is an example of the new ways modern medicine is finding to charge you more for less.

His wife is a nurse. She knew better. I’m finding out that a lot of times, a nurse seems to have a better grasp on living and dying. 

Then a few days later, my neighbor told me her dad had had a stroke, and during the exam for that, was told he’d had a heart attack some time in the past. They treated him for the stroke, and a few days later, while he was in a recovery rehab place, being tortured by physical therapists, he had another heart attack, and while being examined for that, was told that he had complete blockage on a couple of plumbing pipes hooked to his heart.

Well, good grief! He had to go to the hospital to have another heart attack before they checked to find out why he had the first one? What the @*#&$^%!!!!

I think that they were too focused on getting him through the system so they could bill someone the most for the littlest, that’s what I think.

I’m reminded of something my mother said over and over: “Hospitals are no place to be sick in.”