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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Medical Problems, and Doctor Troubles

Yesterday I had an appointment to see my Doctor. It was my yearly checkup. It is always tense, and uncomfortable. But, over the last few years we have come to an understanding, I am trying to be a better patient, and he has become more patient. Tendinitis, and a the painful effects of an ancient elbow fracture have actually made us closer. He sees that I am willing to do my exercises if it will help me walk without a limp or return the feeling to my fingers. And I began to understand that he was really trying to help me live better, and longer.

Yesterday was different, though. Things were more subdued, even by the standards of our new relationship. He was polite, in an odd way, in a way that made me more than a little nervous about things. I began revising the estimates of my probable continuation downward, sharply. He must know something, I reasoned. But, what, I hadn’t had my blood test yet. Did he see something on my chart, had my expiration date changed since my last visit? What did he see staring at that computer screen?

“Well, your blood pressure is good today.” He said, smiling.

Here is where he drops the bomb, I thought. He will start with my weight, my diet, my appearance,
the grey in my hair, the shape of my glasses clashing with the contours of my face. Something, anything.

“You have quite a buildup in your ears.” He said. “I will send the nurse into flush them clean.”

He smiled, warmly, pleasantly, it filled me with dread. I am doomed, and he wants me to be able to hear the last rights clearly.

I was shaking with terror as the nurse forced warm water into my ears, she was humming “Nearer My God to Thee.”

“Would you like to see?” She asked taking the water, and the gunk from ear to flush it down the sink.

“No, not at all.”  I shuddered at the thought.

“Some people do.” She started humming again.

The doctor came back and sat down on his little doctor stool and looked me in the eyes.  “I have something to tell you.”

Oh, God, No. I am too young to die. My mind screamed. I snapped the pencil I was holding.

“My wife got a job in California. And we are moving at the end of July.”

I had finally had a good appointment, one where I didn’t hear all the things that should worry me, we had finally decided I was doing ok, and now he is leaving me. And I will have to break in a new doctor. But, at least I’m going to live.