Thursday, February 10, 2022


And the good news is that I can be perfectly happy being sick in Chinese. Cardiology is either 心髒病學 ('sam jong beng hok') or 心臟內科 ('sam jong noi fo'). Short form: 心臟學 ('sam jong hok'), or, rarely, 心臟醫科 ('sam jong yi fo'). Cardiovascular disease is 心血管疾病 ('sam huet kun jat bing'), and high blood pressure 高血壓 ('gou huet ngaat'). High blood pressure can lead to coronary artery disease (冠狀動脈疾病 'kun jong dong mak jat beng') or strokes (中風 'jung fong'; 腦血管事件 'nou huet kun si kin'). Which are all terms that my cardiologist (心臟內科醫師 'sam jong noi fo yi si') is not entirely familiar with, because English is his native language, as well as the language in which he was medically trained.

Three years ago, before I stumbled into the clinic, I wasn't familiar with them at all. But seeing as the clinic was in Chinatown, I decided to turn being at death's door, as I was at that time, into an exciting adventure and a learning experience.
I am considerably better now.

You might say that I presently have an extended warranty on the flesh vehicle as well as a tune-up, and the adventure continues.

All of which leads directly to lunch. Black bean sauce dragon tongue fish with rice (豉汁龍脷飯 'si jap lung lei faan').
And a hot cup of milk tea. One should always have a bite to eat after a medical appointment; it's good for the soul. And the milk tea was highly necessary because it had been five hours since morning coffee. If I don't have enough caffeine in the system I turn into a beast.

During the inevitable mention of the dangers of smoking, I forgot to tell my cardiologist that without an occasional puff I'm a totally unbearable old fart. He probably doesn't need to know that, and he may just assume that all men meaningfully over forty are that way.
Still didn't use the carefully prepared speech about pipes. "Do you see this briar, youngster? It was with me during the North Africa campaign, Sicily, Rome, Burma. I carved it myself out of my batman's ankle after he bought the farm. It's the only thing I have that reminds me of him.
I have to smoke it regularly to keep his ghost alive!

Nothing says to suffer the bad habits of old farts better than a boring and pointless anecdote. Anyhow, next cardiologist's appointment is in August, at which time I'll tie an onion to my belt, as was the style at the time. Not a white onion, because of the war, but a big yellow one .....

Lunch was very enjoyable. Including the seriously whacked old geezer having a fit while dining with his daughter. Quite as entertaining as the ancient fossil who looked like a cheerful version of Gollum telling his adult daughter that she was 'soh ge' (傻嘅) yesterday.

You know, with all these crotchetty old farts wandering around long past their expiry date because of modern medicine, the young have an awful lot to put up with. I feel for them.

足踝骨 ('juk waa gwat'): ankle bone.

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