Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath


This morning, I had an abdominal ultrasound. It was a strange experience, although I’m sure I’ve had worse. It’s odd to look at a computer monitor and see your insides displayed like some pacific ocean trench on a national geographic special about robot submarines. It wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be – the internal organs didn’t show up like the inside of some plastic visible human model or something. In fact, I couldn’t tell what the fuck they were looking at. I felt somewhat ripped off. Shows like Mad About You preach some folklore about ultrasounds, like they’re a video camera with a special lens. Really, it’s a step more advanced than tapping on the side of a gas can to see how full it is.

Also, I thought that magic wand just waved over your stomach like a UPC bar code reader, or maybe the thing they use to de-energize the hidden magnet strip inside a library book. The radiologist was pushing the damn thing so hard into my gut, I thought she was going to ask me for my wallet or something. I also had to do all of these gymnatics: get on your side, go on your other side, breathe in deeply, don’t breathe, breathe in a little, breathe out, etc etc. It was fucking unbearable. Plus they’ve got some kind of electrically conductive sex jelly all over the place, which they never show you on TV.

I guess it wasn’t bad – 50 years ago, they would’ve cut me open and rooted around inside of me with their bare hands. And I didn’t pay for the damn thing.

I haven’t mentioned why I’m doing all of this shit. Maybe I have, I don’t remember. Anyway, my doctor thinks there’s something wrong with my liver, but nothing serious. He’s taken about 4 gallons of blood, did this ultrasound shit, made me wait in lines forever, and when it’s all over, he will probably just say “don’t eat at McDonald’s anymore”. I have been avoiding fast food for the last month, since this whole thing started, and it’s not bad. I lost a couple of pounds, I spend way less on food each week, and I feel somewhat better. At least the fucking doctor didn’t have to shove anything up my ass to find out that I wasn’t eating right.