Opinion Columns & Blogs

HARMON: Oh so ‘simple’

I have one comment about Ferguson and then I want to be on to other things. After three months of prepping “we the people,” the media got exactly what it wanted in the form of news, chaos, fires and police against civilians. We were manipulated into watching as though the ball was dropping in Times Square at exactly 9 p.m., instead of midnight and found ourselves lined up for the feeding at the cable news trough.

Ever feel manipulated? I do. But I digress. The older I get the more I realize we’re not going to get everything right. We’re not going to understand everything (walk out and look up at the stars one evening). We’re not going to please everyone. We’re not going to like everything that happens to us and, simply put, life is going to go on regardless of what we think.

Of course the politician would tell you he/she understands it all and the Ph.D.s thinks we’re just a bunch of simpletons. Once I realized this simple notion about life -- life became ... well, more simple.

My sister told me about a “simple” procedure called a CAT scan. She said, “Oh, it’s really simple. All you do is go in, sign up and lay down and they run this thing over you and ... that’s it!” She works at a hospital so she knows all this stuff, especially the “simple” part.

Well, my back has been killing me lately so I’m thinking, wow, sounds so simple, let’s get it on. Appointment time, 8:15 a.m., no morning coffee, “we need you cleaned out before you come” somebody said, as if I were a dumpster or fish market garbage can.

I showed up early and hungry thinking early in early out and was directed down the hall to a person who had obviously had breakfast and was in fine spirits. For the next 30 minutes I felt like it was on “This is Your Life” until I heard something about insurance. Now she had my attention.

Over the roar of my stomach I told her about my insurance and was asked to go to the next chamber, finding one of those television sets high on the wall, out of reach, with no remote in sight. It’s difficult to describe people you find in hospital waiting rooms. They all seem to have this look that says something bad is about to happen and changing the channel is not going to change anything.

The program of choice for most of the simply “overjoyed to be here” folks in this waiting room was one of those self-proclaimed, TV psychologists, trying to find out just who in the hell the father of the neglected child was, knowing full well both parents were simply incapable of raising it. I filed that under things I don’t understand and/or don’t like.

After a while of being simply disgusted by the TV, a nurse came by with the simply wonderful news that something awful had to be ingested three times before a scan could take place. This would take about an hour because, “Well it simply tastes so bad you could never drink it all at once.”

After an hour which seemed like a month, the radiologist took me to a room with simple décor surrounding a large machine and asked if I needed to use the bathroom. They had greased my insides and everything was supposed to simply slide down. And, if it took too long, I would simply wet my pants. I gambled and she hooked me to a simple I.V. that shot iodine into me and made me feel like I had indeed simply wet my pants. It was too late to simply cross the old legs as she turned the thing on and hid behind a screen of some sort. I prayed that what I was feeling coursing into my groin was not actually me but simply the iodine.

After 20 minutes or so, I simply got up and walked out. And as simple as this sounds, I honestly believe that CAT scan may have healed my back. If it didn’t, I shall simply ask for a refund.

As we celebrate this Thanksgiving I am particularly grateful for a loving sister who has seen her share of tragedy in this life, will miss a son and husband this season and continues to be a blessing to her family. Thanks Deb.

Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.