Thursday, April 28, 2011
A Visit With Doctor Dilf
So yesterday morning I was ready for my triumphant bloodletting. I'd been on a strict diet for two months, upped my running milage, and dropped nearly ten pounds. In my house, Metamucil is the new beer. I was confident my cholesterol was going to be dangerously low. I wasn't quite sure what to do about my pee essay, so I'd been massaging my prostate daily with a Mont Blanc pen. I was ready.
I was about to get in the car for my 7:30am appointment when I looked down at the pedometer I'd been wearing these past few weeks. Fuck it, I'm walking! I strode to my doctor's office with perfect crosswalk timing, wondering why I instinctively drive so many places to which I could easily walk. I passed two Starbucks and the post office before nearly walking right on past Dr. Dilf's elegantly Victorian-styled office. I checked my watch, 9 minutes door-to-door. With the traffic and one-way streets, I don't think I could drive there that quickly.
As the first patient there, the nurse immediately ushered me into the back office and onto the scale. 200 pounds?? Well, I'm fully dressed and carrying my iPhone, wallet and keys. Of course I'm going to weigh more than I do butt naked. As I climbed onto the examination table, I was still huffing from my brisk walk. "Your blood pressure is a bit high." Hmm. Maybe I should have driven.
When Dr. Dilf came in, he gave me a hug. His sabbatical was good to him. He looked relaxed, focussed and handsome as ever. Tucked under his arm was a manilla folder containing graphs of my historical lab results going back to 2003. If the Excel pivot charts weren't enough, I could tell from his demeanor he'd prepared for this.
Dr. Dilf is quite aware of my aversion to long-term medication. I'd explained to him my grandmother's fatal reaction to Lipitor. But he also knows the rest of my family history and has been quietly collecting stats for the better part of a decade, evidently. He's been letting me slide all these years as I promised to eat better and exercise more. Maybe it was his time in Africa, but I could tell he came into my appointment with a determination I hadn't seen before. My "follow-up" had become an intervention.
He covered the medication's benefits, warnings and side-effects. "If you feel any muscle pain or weakness, you need to stop taking these pills immediately. Understand? Oh, and you need a tetanus booster."
"Yeah, that'll be sore for a while."
As if to console me, he had me drop my pants and bend over the examination table before digitally violating me. (Did I mention Dr. Dilf's sausage fingers? Way better than a stinky old fountain pen.) And he complimented me on my Under Armours. As I awkwardly tried to restore my dignity, we scheduled another follow-up visit for next week. One last hug before sending me to the lab for my blood tests.
I felt defeated. Without even getting the result of these past two months of effort, I left my appointment with a prescription for Lipitor. And something else for my elevated blood pressure. As I began my walk home, it started to rain.
Next week I'm driving.