Thursday, February 27, 2014

Up Your Nose With a Rubber Hose

I'm sure all those old timers out there in my age group remember this old show, "Welcome Back Kotter" where the main insult hurled between students was "Up your nose with a rubber hose"? I watched it every week as a teenager and drooled over that hot Vinny Barbereno as played by John Travolta. Well, I got the Kotter rubber hose up the nose treatment this very morning.

Since Johns Hopkins ENT could not see me to evaluate me for vocal cord movement syndrome till almost May I decided to visit my old pal Bruce, the town ENT I know from college back in a mesozoic era. Bruce squeezed me for 7:30 a-ohmygawditistooearly-m.

Sure enough, Bruce pulled out his rubber hose whatsit instrument and proceeded to snake it down my nose into my airway and down to my vocal cords for a peek.

Hint if you have to have this done. Not my first time and I have learned it goes worlds easier if you a) relax (yeah, I know, hard to do with that hose going in) and b) inhale deeply as they are squirting xylocaine up your nose to numb you. It hurts very little if you do those two little things.

Afterward Bruce and I had a long conversation. He told me he could see denada wrong with the vocal cords and everything looked all too normal. He pointed out to me that going to a place like Hopkins was going to come up with some wild ideas, like looking for a zebra where everyone assumed a horse was.

I had to point out that assuming something was a horse for seven years and treating it like a horse while it kicked like a mule and bit like a zebra was a tad foolish, better to put up with the tests, the testing of my comfort zone and take a closer look. What if it's merely a slightly different horse, a horse of a different color even if it might not be a mule or zebra?

Then Bruce pointed out that vocal cord movement syndrome was 'psychogenic'. In laymans terms many doctors think it's a symptom of mental illness. Recent research at places like Mayo Clinic show it's a type of symptom of either nervous system damage or another illness, like long term steroid usage or Cushings, not mental. But back in Bruce's day, well over twenty years ago, in South Louisiana, he was taught it was mental. He was curious as to why I would seek to see if I had a 'psychogenic' illness.

I had to tell him that yes, even if it was the result of a mental illness would it not be better to know you were mentally ill just so you could get treatment? I'm no ostrich. I wear my big girl panties every day so I'm always ready to deal, to face the unpleasant or weird curveballs of life without curling into a big old crying lump of stuffing that can't deal with a damn thing.

Left his clinic knowing that nothing I could say to Bruce would ever make him doubt his view that VCMS was caused by anything but an unquiet mind. Bruce sent me on my way after telling me he thought I just have that really bad asthma that responds to nothing well. He wants me to immediately come in to be scoped with the rubber hose again when I have another bad bout. I'm open to that. My horse/mule/zebra might reveal a bit more of itself.

In that respect Dr. Bruce is much like Pastor Bob over at Bruce Gerencser's blog The Way Forward. Bob is the guy that triggered me mightily last week. Pastor Bob wasn't interested one bit in what Bruce had to say, he merely wanted to impose his views on Bruce and the rest of us. He's viewing us through his shit-colored glasses seeing a mule of a color he doesn't like so he's telling that mule to change it's colors, even if he's not seeing the correct color because of his shit-goggles.

Even though he's wearing those goggles that are coloring everything the wrong color it's still somehow the fault of Bruce G. and his readers that they don't conform to his expectations. Of course, his view might just improve if he pulled his head out of his rear end and he genuinely sought to dialogue the differences and the commonalities between himself and others. But he's contented to toss out tired cliches and issue judgments.

He ain't never bringing anyone to Christ with those words. Bob also has no idea why he's not able to reach the 'unsaved' with his words and he doesn't have the intellectual curiosity as to why that might be. He just wants to be right.

And that's where Dr. Bruce and Bruce my friend significantly differ from Pastor Bob. Both have enough intellectual curiosity to soldier on and be open minded to what else there might be.

Bob, just because you can feel the mane and comb the tail doesn't mean that animal is what you think it is.

1 comment:

Bugeyedmonster2 said...

Good luck with all the rubber hoses and diagnoses. Hope you do find some sort of resolution, even if it is a mental issue. Because at least then one would know where to begin healing/treatment and where to go or somesuch. (Am I making sense?)