"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. " ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961

Saturday, September 25, 2010

On The Dock

posted by Jalal

- in which the author discovers a new condition to his life, attempts to develop a whole new communicable disease, tries to change, is targeted by Halliburton, out does the Pakistani Cricket Team, takes a hike and socks it to big Pharma

It starts innocuously enough.
There’s a pounding in my head, my vision is swirling, I have a shooting pain in the left side of my chest and three fingers in my left arm go instantly numb. So I chalk it up to:
a. Stress
b. Bad posture (damn those office chairs)
c. Last night’s, not-gas-attack-inducing-at-all, masala daal fry
d. The horrible project briefing my team is giving me
Until it gets scary and my colleagues are staring with giant ‘O’s at my face.
His voice is a whisper in the thundering now emanating from my ears.
“You look pale,” my colleagues have a gift for understatement I discover.
And from that moment, from my desk to the emergency room, it took only twenty minutes to be introduced to the rest of my life as a blood pressure patient.

My dad was using the car when I called for it so he came along for the ride. Distinguished elderly gentleman that he is, the doctors and orderlies all assumed that it was he I was accompanying and not the other way around. So they all looked at me funny as I lay down on the bed when the doctor ordered, ‘Will the patient please lie down!’
‘What’s the issue?’ says he.
‘I feel funny,’ Says me.
‘Oh holy crap! Why are you not dead?’ says he, ‘You call this a BP?’

British Petroleum has instructed me inform you that they disavow all knowledge of the unnatural disaster that is this post and besides…it was all Halliburton’s fault anyway.

Halliburton at this stage have also instructed me to inform you that nothing is ever their fault. Nothing. Whatsoever. SAY IT BITCH! OR THE US ARMY WILL BOMB AND OCCUPY YOUR DILLHOLE!

You know you have a serious problem when your heart has a higher score than the entire Pakistani Cricket tea…DAMN YOU CRICKETING SCANDAL! NOW I CANT EVEN BE SURE OF MY JOKES ANY MORE! And here I had this awesome joke about how my BP hit 190 over 140…higher than our cricket team’s batting average.

The doctor in the emergency room put me on BP meds and gave me tranqs and told me to just lie there and go to sleep. Three hours later…I’m still not asleep. The doctor looks at the monitor and says that if the numbers don’t go down soon, I’m getting hospitalized. They go down. I go home. Word travels that Jalal was in an emergency room for three hours. Everyone, family and friends, gathers at my house that night, all concern for my brush with high blood pressure and soothe down me frazzled nerves and racing pulse with such comforting homilies like,


What followed were constant trips to the doc’s to figure out the optimal chemical concoction that is to keep my BP within normal ranges and out of the stratosphere. And doctor’s room conversations with my beloved like the one below:

‘No salt.’
‘Really…just a little…from time to time’
‘Mind your language. And don’t get upset. You have high BP! You’ll pop a blood vessel! What will I do then?’
‘Well I wouldn’t be on edge if you let me eat a little salt.’
At this stage the doctor feels she needs to interject to prevent my then fiancĂ© now wife from killing me with kindness and worry, ‘Actually, he can eat normal food salt. Just don’t sprinkle on more on the top like you have been doing…’
‘HAH! See?’
‘Shut up Mr. 190 over 140.’
‘Are you sure you two aren’t already married…?’

And injunctions from all and sundry that the best thing for BP is constant exercise and the Miracle of all Miracle exercises, God alone knows how we ever lived without it, was…
Prepare yourselves
It may sound like crazy talk
The miracle, universal panacea, the Holy Grail cure for-every-frakkin’-thing is….


Doesn’t it strike you as strange as how the healing powers of tramping up and down are touted as nothing short of miraculous? Or that over 30 odd years of education to become a highly qualified physician and ‘talking a walk’ is the best that you can do for a patient? What next will you be prescribing?
‘Doctor! I’m Dying!’
‘Quick! Take two Nikes and one Reebok then call me in the morning!’

Well after spending 10 minutes circumnavigating the Aunty ridden walkways of Hilal Park, I called up my beloved, then fiancé now wife, and said,
‘Hi Baby! Guess what. I’m off to go shoot myself! Love you. Bye!’
And then life has since settled into a comfortable rhythm. I take my meds, watch what I eat and walk regularly…
Okay. Semi Regularly.
Okay. I walk sometimes.
FINE! I THINK about walking sometimes!
Oh have it your way Mr.Factanista! I lounge on my ass all day and play computer games in the evening and call it exercise. Happy?

And the BP has not been that bad to live with. It could have been much worse. Sure I have my episodes when I push myself or am irregular with my rest. Some days I wake up feeling low and like I’ve been running. The numbers are 150 over 110 and the office gets a phone call from me, ‘Hi team. I’m not coming in today because I’m sick. Don’t do anything that could make me get sicker. Just do what I’ve told you to do. Don’t use your heads too much and remember that I will yell at you if I see you haven’t used your heads at all. Enjoy figuring that out. Bye!’
I am now doing my best to turn high BP into the world’s first disease communicable over cell phone.
No Twitter, I am not talking about you.
At one point, when my episodes kept coming with more frequency, it was time to go get a professional consult. The cardiologist pooh poohed it and told me to get an ECG. That resulted in a rather humorous episode involving a cell phone, two tubes of Anne French, Magic Carpet Rides and perhaps the most bizarre trip to the loo I’ve ever taken.
The ECG is clear so the doctor advises that I quit smoking,
Oh yeah! Absolutely. Tomorrow.
That I keep up with regular walks
Uh huh. Yup. As soon as there comes out an XBOX Walk. Till then…will lots of guitar hero do?
And that I maintain a Zen like calm and inner peace to manage my stress.
Now those of you who know me also know that in my head I am much akin to the hyperactive squirrel from Ice Age, on speed, and crack, with ADD, trying to decide between the world’s biggest pile of nuts or Mad Donkey Stud Monkey sex.
But methinks I have discovered the ultimate groove to mellow out in. Once in that groove not even work can harsh my calm, bro.
It has to do with the Missus. I can come home raging like a lion, pace the floor like a tiger and tirade against the world like Hitler addressing Berlin. Then all she needs to do is go,
‘Aw Poor Baby! Did yoo haz a bad day?’
I pout.
‘Aaaawww,’ she melts. ‘Did the big bad world eated your cookie?’
‘It did! It did eated my cookie.’
‘C’mere!’ she holds out her arms…

Hah! Suck on THAT big Pharma!


Yusuf said...

Did you know that the Awesome ( that comes in Strawberry or rape flavour ) has many effects - some of which make man a Happier, Calmer, More socially well adjusted person.

BP don't stand no chance infront of some strawberry awesome.

Blue Wit said...

Jalal, you have a gift for humorous writing! I salute you!

Omer said...

It is always refreshing to read your quirky yet witty humor. Bad joke warning: When you say you watch what you eat, are you talking about Salt the movie, and how does the Missus feel about AJ's effect on your BP?