Medical Whack-A-Mole

Dec 11

Whack any moles lately?

Bet you have. It’s sad but true that unless you’re obscenely young, you have a fluctuating variety of minor (we hope) medical problems popping up all the time.

It is truly like playing Whack-A- Mole. Only with doctors.

Sometimes it’s actually a mole. The dermatologist gets to whack that one. But then it’s your back. Did you strain it? Or sprain it? What’s the difference. Can anyone ‘splain that to me? Anyway, next day the pain is gone, but your Go Pro (also known as the Squatty Potty) is not doing its job. Or the Activia is doing it too well and you have unscheduled bonus rounds you could do without. This gives new meaning to Game of Thrones.

The next day you’re fine in the poop department, but you feel like shit anyway because you didn’t sleep the night before.

So then you sleep well and do some serious walking. Whoops. Forgot that there’s that thing going on with your feet, so that even wearing those hideous shoes that thrill your podiatrist and depress the shit out of you, your feet feel rotten at night. Or your ankles. Or your big toe.

BTW: Remember those stories about farmers who could tell it was going to rain by their aches and pains? It’s true. Something about the low pressure on the outside letting your inner pressure do whatever it does to make something hurt. And that’s our science lesson for today.

Meanwhile, my big toe is fine today, but I ate something for lunch that didn’t agree with me. What does that mean anyway: Did I say something to the tuna fish it didn’t like? Is the peanut butter angry because I prefer smooth to chunky. I’ll never mention that again, Skippy, promise.

Where is Doc Martin when you need him?  He does everything.

And don’t even get me started about doctors. You have so many of them that even your specialists have specialists. I suspect that if I went to a podiatrist about my big toe, he’d send me to someone who specializes in small toes. Or pinkies only. And if one of these specialists doesn’t find something wrong, the next one will. Guaranteed. To me, the word “specialist” means that they specialize in referrals.

You get to a certain point in life, all too quickly, when you have a whole list of recurring “moles,” like digestive problems or acid reflux,  with nifty acronyms like IBS or GERD. You also may experience more exotic conditions like peripheral neuropathy (a hands and feet thing), vestibular hypofunction  (that’s inner ear when it’s at home), or more common ailments like mild hearing loss (WHA’dya say?) or neck and shoulder pain, probably from tension due to worrying about all the other whack-a-moles—and the fact that all these things make you feel OLD.

Luckily, all these conditions don’t visit you at one time. However, just as one disappears, another one jumps up to take its place.

In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

And if you’re actually reading a blog about medical whack-a-mole, you may remember the Gilda Radner character from SNL. On the other hand, if you’re old enough to remember, you probably suffer from memory loss,

Refresh your memory of Roseanne on YouTube.  Laughter, as the saying goes, is still the best medicine.

And yes, if you have healthy habits,  you can avoid many of these ills. But not all! Not to get all morbid about it but Shakespeare’s Hamlet, contemplating whether to off himself or not, kinda agrees with Roseanne when he speaks of  “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” Face it, even that hangnail is seriously annoying.

Popular wisdom (isn’t that an oxymoron?) has it that if you eat 5 helpings of fruits and veggies each and every day, cut out the burgers and fries (Never!), run instead of walk, stand instead of sit, and do all the “good” things you’re supposed to do . . . you’ll never have another mole to whack. Ha! I say, Ha!

In fact, if you believe that, do I have a great bridge to sell you . . .

Photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash







  1. I was on the phone with a friend who was listing all of her medical problems. I of course was only half listening to her while reading this blog (my aging brain still allows me to multi-task- if its not too taxing). I interupted her litany to read her the blog and we both had a good laugh which was way healthier than kvetching.

    • Thanks, Sharon. I was hoping for that response! While even a hangnail IS seriously disturbing, and most of us have worse than that, keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing really is a healthy way to deal with it all.
      Did you check out Roseanne Roseannadanna? Even the name is comic relief.

  2. Game of Thrones – your version of the game is not one I care for at all.
    Are we all like that lettuce in the fridge that starts to turn brown on the edges and proceeds to decay before our eyes? Ponce de Leon didn’t do so well in Florida. In fact his visit there kill him. So I try not to waste time search for youth (apparently there are a few old guys out there that never give up but many of them today are being sued). Oh sorry my train of thought got derailed again.

  3. I see by your blog (Click Lisleman, folks to go to it) that you haven’t lost your sense of humor. As for decaying around the edges, I’ve never met you so I can’t speak to that. I do know that we started blogging around the same time, but, while I took a 3-year hiatus, you’ve been blogging away for years. Even if you get derailed from time to time.

    • thanks for suggesting readers click over to my blog.
      “decaying around the edges” – I might steal that phrase. In spite of decaying around the edges, I’m golden inside.
      Oh, thought derailment is how I blog.

      • Hi, Lisleman. When there’s something here you like, give me a shout out on YOUR blog. Since I’ve been away from the blogosphere for quite a while, I’m building up my readership again.

  4. Oy, I hear ya, Pat. I went for a walk in the snow because walking is good for me. My muscles got sore, my allergies kicked up, and I was exhausted by the time i got home. Just think, 3 moles in one!

    • Three moles in one! You’re going for the gold! We need an Olympic event for this.
      Nice to hear from you, Elf.

  5. You’ve got a good handle on it, Pat. Laughing at the things that are wrong with me is the only way I can get through. I’ve got a shoulder doc, 3 knee docs, 2 gynos and 1 PCP. I’d like to whack all of them!

  6. I actually did laugh out loud at your comment, which will help me get through the day. BTW, I once thought that LOL meant Lotsa Luck. That works too.

  7. Love how you say it as it is,your insights and most of all your humor. Keep up the good work…

    • So glad you like this: you’re a great judge of what’s good. And funny. Now that I’m out from under a lot of other work, I intend to keep writing the blog.

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