Thursday, December 3, 2009

Asphyxiation pneumonia & Addiction

Let me just quickly sum up the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup saga:
  • I gobbled my favorite food item in the world, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, late at night
  • Went to bed
  • Woke up choking on the peanut butter
  • Either cracked a rib or pulled a muscle in my chest
  • Laughing, couching, sneezing and taking deep breaths became unbearably painful
  • Went to the doctor. Was told it will likely take months to stop hurting. Was told I needed to take heaps of pain medication, because if I walked around continuing to take only short, shallow breaths, I would get a lung infection.
  • Didn't take much pain medication
  • Got pneumonia
It's called Asphyxiation Pneumonia, to be exact. Thank you, I would like my Darwin Award now, please.

Walking home from the doctor again today, I had a couple of realizations....

1) As far as we can tell, our income taxes is almost identical to what we paid in the US. Yet our (free, federally-sponsored) healthcare is obscenely good here. Our last plan was Kaiser, which Tom got from working for the US government. We could tell horror stories about them all day. Sometimes it was like we were characters in a movie, where you go to a hospital and one of the mental patients poses as a doctor. You don't go away from a medical appointment feeling so much healed, but more confused, wondering, "What the heck just happened?.

Here, our doctors' office is a block away from our flat. We pay $8 per visit because it's (by Melbourne standards) in a quasi-fancy-pants suburb. We could probably walk five blocks and see someone for free. Not a mental patient either.... a real doctor. We call them by their first names, they take their time explaining things. We'd kind of like to be friends with them...have them over for dinner or to play cards sometime. It almost seems like they want "our business" or for us to "have a positive experience and come back". I know. Talk about wacko.

I've sort of fallen behind on the details of what's going on with the whole healthcare deal in the US. I'm just saying:
  • Taxes - same.
  • Government regulated healthcare - want to give it tender kisses.
So I have really high hopes that it all gets "sorted" for you guys (that's Australian for "worked out").

2) I also realized that a good portion of the Reese's cache is still in the pantry. Tom got them up north somewhere, on a business trip. I found out he gave some away to the flight attendants on his way home...("What?! There were MORE and you let STRANGERS have them?!").

Apparently the flight attendants were so thrilled they gave him a pallet of mini-wine bottles in return. ("What are we going to do with THOSE? HOW many did Reese's did you give away again?! HONNNEY....WHY?!!). I regifted that damn wine the next day for a house warming.

As aversion therapy goes, I can highly recommend the cracked rib / asphyxiation pneumonia cure. I have no desire to ever eat another Reese's. A friend suggested would could be on to a whole new treatment for addicts of other sorts...Shooting heroin? Smoking meth? Cracked rib, pneumonia, cured. Sadly, most drug addicts go through much worse and there's still no bottom deep enough to save them.

Once I figured out how to download American TV onto our computer, Tom got concerned that I was watching too much of that show Intervention. You know, the one where people have addictions and their loved ones try to get them into treatment? I'm a human cliche'.

I really do wonder what could happen if I automatically came down with kidney stones and a middle ear infection every time I maxed out our metered bandwidth, getting us cut off from the internet for the rest of the month. Please, nobody mention the idea to Tom, okay?

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog from Yelp Portland OR.
    My lord, your story feeds into one of my fears that I am going to die in some completely ridiculous way so that no amount of dignity at the funeral will cover up peels of laughter and tasteless jokes.

    But you didn't end it that way.

    Which is good. It's almost Christmas. Chew. Your. Fruitcake. Slowly.

    And take care; you are a wonderful and funny writer.