Thanks for coming in on such short notice. Your lab results from last week's physical just came in, and there were some... unexpected abnormalities. Everything seemed fine during the exam. Remember how you breezed through the hula hoop exercise and drank the quart of milk in record time? You appeared to be in tip-top shape. To be quite honest, these results caught me off guard. They're horrifying. Puzzling. I had to look up a few of the terms - actually, most of them - because they seemed made up, but now I know them to be all too real.
Please, sit. Let me break this down as best I can. If you need to cry, your chair has a swivel. You can spin it around and face the other way so I don't have to see your tears.
First, the blood workup. The good news is that you have plenty of blood. Unfortunately, you also have an unusual amount of mud in your bloodstream. As you know, all veins have some mud in them. It's a necessary part of your body's ecosystem, absorbing the naturally occurring dirt in your blood, along with assorted debris such as tiny clumps of grass and leaves. Without mud, these items would be pumped directly into your organs and clog up their filters. Your veins, however, contain far too much mud. It is constricting the flow of blood, building up pressure. Over time this pressure finds a release in the form of arterial spray, much like the stream that is currently arcing from your neck.
Is that all? Goodness, no. If only.
These lab reports indicate that your feet have swollen to six times their normal size. The skin has stretched like an overfilled water balloon, your toes swallowed up by the expanding flesh so they resemble belly buttons. I now recall you mentioning having some trouble putting on your shoes, but I attributed that to an inability to tie your laces. Nothing seemed out of place at the time. These scans, however, clearly show a pair of enormous, deformed feet puffed up by venom. If you look closely, you can actually see the snakes. Note how their fangs are still buried in the skin, their bodies coiled around your ankles and calves.
Also, one of your arms is broken. It's your... let me look at the x-ray again. Let's see, you'd be facing this way so it would be on that side of your body... but is this mirrored? I can never remember. Well, time for an educated guess. I'm going to say it's your left arm. According to this, there are seventeen complete breaks starting just below your shoulder and ending at your fingertips. The arm has been so horribly mangled that in its natural state it wraps around your body behind your back, taking countless turns in all sorts of impossible directions. Your fucked up hand is peeking out from the opposite armpit. Do you mind wiggling all your fingers for me? Ah, there it is! I knew it was the left arm.
I'm going to show you another x-ray. This skull-shaped area right here is your skull. Look closely right... here. See that? You might have to get closer. It's easy to miss. That is a chainsaw that has been impaled in your skull. The blade has entered at a spot just above your nasal cavity and went all the way through, protruding several inches out from the back of your head. The handle and motor are sitting directly in front of your eyes. These spots where the x-ray is sort of blurry? I suspect that is the motion of the blades, which might still be spinning. We have no way to verify that the chainsaw is, in fact, running until we get you scheduled for further testing.
Have you experienced any skin discomfort? Itchiness, throbbing, that sort of thing? Fever? Problems with your clothes? Well, according to the lab the entire surface of your body is engulfed in flames. We have a few options. You can dunk yourself in some water, which will probably put out the fire, OR you can continue to live your life as usual. The water option is invasive. You get liquid up your nose and run the very real chance of getting some water lodged in your ear. Deciding to accept the fire as part of who you are can often be healthy. Maybe your religion calls on you to let God decide your fate rather than putting it in the hands of science. That's perfectly valid. Perfectly sane. I'll let you think about it.
Oh, one more thing. Your bloodwork uncovered a disease. We would have caught it sooner, if you had come in for checkups more than once every ten years. It appears you have hypochondria.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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