I had a trip to the oral surgeon yesterday to help determine if a lump under my tongue is a salivary stone, a ranula, or the dreaded “C” word. (Don’t panic! Odds are definitely in my favor that it’s not that.)
What’s a ranula? Don’t worry; I had to look it up, too. Though, in a testament to my geekiness, my first question wasn’t about what it is or whether or not it will kill me, but whether or not the word “ranula” is etymologically connected to the word cannula, which is Latin for “little reed” and is used to describe IV tubes and such. No definitive answer on that yet, but my research continues.
One of the most remarkable things about my appointment wasn’t the oral surgeon’s jovial demeanor and “punny” jokes, or the technology that resulted in an almost instant scan of my entire head; it was the conversation in the waiting room that was the most noteworthy.
I am no spring chicken, but for some reason everyone in the waiting room was well my senior. It was like a van from the old folks’ home had pulled up outside and dropped them off at the oral surgeon as a break from the mundane routine of mall walking. And the conversation around me was so stereotypical as to be hilarious. Blue-haired old ladies compared notes on recent obituaries, and discussed whether or not they would be attending a service tomorrow for a departed acquaintance. Old men vied to one-up one another with their various aches, pains, and diagnoses. There was even a thoughtful comparison on whose recent funeral service was better, Lloyd’s or Marta’s. Given what I heard, I think Marta’s use of traditional lilies and soulful gospel music was preferable to Lloyd’s regrettable open casket and drunken son.
Later this afternoon, I get to have the pleasure of a CAT scan, which would be much more preferable if it meant that they were checking for my response to LOLCats rather than filling me full of contrast dye and zapping my head with space-aged rays. With any luck, something will go terribly awry and I will be endowed with super powers.