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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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What's a Clavicle?

What's a Clavicle?

You have to go to a doctor periodically for a checkup - whether there is anything wrong or not. I try to conveniently forget about my appointment, as I did this past week. However, the doctor's office called and inconveniently reminded me that I was due there at 8:00 AM.

What was I thinking, an appointment at 8:00 AM? I couldn't even remember why I was supposed to go back.

So, I dutifully showed up at the crack of dawn and had to wait outside in the hall for the office to open. I was the first appointment. I was checked in, only to find myself waiting again. The doctor had not arrived yet.

When I was finally called, the doctor told me "I don't have your chart yet. They are bringing it." Don't have my chart? It is not as if they have not been expecting me for six months.

So, what do you shoot the breeze about with a doctor while waiting around?

"My back has really been bothering me lately," I ventured, hoping I could get a steroid shot since I was there anyhow. I could save myself a trip to the orthopedic doctor.

"What medications are you on?" asked the doctor.

Sneaky! Tell him my meds and he will know everything wrong with me. By the time I listed them all, though, the chart arrived.. I didn't remember it being so large. It looked like an unabridged dictionary -- probably had as many words too.

While he refreshed his memory on my ailments, I told him again about my back. "Doesn't the Celebrex help that?" he asked.

"Not enough." I was sure then that he was going to make me go to the orthopedic doctor.

"Well, I can give you a steroid pack," he said. "It does the same thing."

"Let's see, you had blood drawn last time and you are not due for a bone density test" and so on down the list. I guess he didn't know why I was there either. "I have had a colonoscopy since last time," I offered.

The trouble is when there is nothing wrong with you, they find something. He listened to my heart and checked my throat. "I feel a lump," he said. "Have you noticed it?"

"No ..." A lump? I have cancer. I have throat cancer and I don't even smoke. They will to remove my larynx and I'll have to talk through a hole in my neck."

"We better have that X-rayed."

So, I was off to the first floor to wait around some more and get my lump X-rayed.

"How long have you had this problem?" asked the X-ray technician."

"One hour," I replied. I did the little put-on-a-gown-with-no-back, stand in front of a machine and don't breathe routine while they took photos of my cancer. Then it was back to the doctor for my results.

"You can wait in the doctor's office."

His office?

I knew it! Cancer! I planned my funeral while the doctor pulled up my X-rays and looked at them.

"Look at this," he said.

He is going to show me the malignant tumor and tell me how long I have left.

"See," he said pointing to a white spot on my X-ray film. "You have a displaced clavicle," he said.

"What's a clavicle?" I wondered.

"Does anything have to be done about it?" I asked.

"No, not if it doesn't bother you. I just had to be sure it wasn't anything else."

Dear God, I don't have cancer? Thank you, Jesus. Guess I won't need that undertaker for a while after all.

"Come back in six months," he said. Anything else?"

"Err, the prescription for my back?"

I got out of there as fast as I could before he decided to operate.

Going to the doctor can make you sick.

Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss


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