Saturday, November 28, 2009
Forget Car Insurance, Does It Have Medicare?
by Jacques Steinberg
posted by Jameel Murray
MY son, Jordan, who is 9, desperately wanted a pet that might be more interactive than the fish in his aquarium. But I am severely allergic to most animals with fur. I am so asthmatic that, unlike the Obamas, who went with famously hypoallergenic Bo, our family wound up choosing something less huggable though no less lovable: a gecko.
And so last fall, a white lizard no longer than a BlackBerry and no heavier than a stack of Post-it notes took up residence in Jordan’s bedroom. He called him Belzer, after a character in “Rotten School,” a series of children’s books. Before long, Jordan had coaxed Belzer to climb from his palm to his elbow. We also noticed that when Jordan put a Yankees game on the radio, Belzer would emerge from his cave to listen. To assure that his gecko would be the last thing he saw at night, Jordan positioned Belzer’s glass tank, illuminated by a red heat lamp, within sight of his pillow.
So it was with some concern that I noticed earlier this fall that Belzer appeared to be “blocked,” as my grandmother might have said. In other words, he was no longer littering his sand with the remains of whatever worm or cricket he had consumed the night before.
As far as I know, Metamucil makes no product for a gecko. Which meant that this situation called for a specialist. My journey to the cutting edge of veterinary care would ultimately cost me more than $500, I am embarrassed to say. That was what I spent on an X-ray that revealed a major intestinal blockage, from Belzer’s consuming too much sand bedding with his meals.
Those fees also covered the potential cure: the delicate administration of laxatives formulated for a reptile — Procter & Gamble, the maker of Metamucil, take note — as well as so many injections of fluid into Belzer’s backside that he must have felt like a baseball player on steroids.
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