I came home and shared this story with Elizabeth. After she stopped laughing, she asked me to write it down.
Here you go:
I’ve been irritable too long, so I saw the old Doc I’ve known for years. His familiar nurse cuffs me, weighs, measures and questions me. We bend over the lab report; my levels all look normal. So I tell her about the tinnitus, dry mouth and spaced feeling. They aren’t acceptable. She hears the clicking sounds escaping between my words, then ask how much fluid I’m getting.
“Enough,” I say.
“How much is enough?”
“Well, juice in the morning, and whenever I’m thirsty.”
“How often is that?”
I ponder, “Well, a couple of times . . . no, once or twice a day.”
“What color is your urine?”
“Well, yellow, of course!”
“Well, I want you drinking more water, at least 64 ounces a day. That’s four glasses before noon and four afterwards.
I’m flummoxed. This has got to be more complicated.
“Why?” I manage.
“Because I doubt you are getting enough and it is important.” I try to think but thinking’s been slow.
Finally I say, “I can’t.”
“Why?” she asks.
Suddenly I blurt, “Because that’s my wife’s rant, her little hobby-horse!”
Deepening silence . . . I can’t believe I said that. It begins to strike me as childish and funny, then terribly funny and I begin to laugh. She smiles and joins in, just the two of us, sitting there laughing; a couple of old dogs, all too familiar with this conflict.