Wednesday. April 29, 2015.
Check-up went well, by the way. Blood sugar’s down. Blood pressure’s down! Weight’s down. I’m practically back in fighting trim. Ten more pounds and I’ll be ready to climb back in the ring.
When we were finishing up, the doctor typing into the computer the information he needed to renew a couple of my prescriptions, I asked him, “So how are you doing?”
He looked up from the keyboard with a baffled expression.
“How am I doing?” he said.
“Yeah. Things good with you? You’re feeling ok?”
I like this doctor. He’s been treating the Mannions since we moved here, over twelve years ago now. He’s a very thin, affable guy in his late forties who squints behind his black frame glasses as if the lights are just a little too bright for him. He’s generally brisk, direct, and on point, but never brusque or dismissive. He gives the impression that he would be glad to sit and chat if he didn’t have a line of patients waiting and he expects that you have places to go and people to see yourself and would just as soon be out of there as quick as possible. But if you do have to talk or if thinks there’s something more you need to hear he will stay there and listen and chat as long as it takes. So it wasn’t that I was keeping him (and myself) there with my question that had him flummoxed. The question itself had him perplexed and he didn’t seem to know what to make of it or how to answer.
“Doesn’t anyone ever ask you that?” I said.
He thought about this. His expression turned amused. “Not very often,” he said. He thought about it some more. “Not lately than I can remember.”
“People probably don’t want to hear it if you’re not ok. We need to believe doctors never get sick themselves, that you’re all superhuman.”
His smiled. “We’re not,” he said. His smile broadened. “We’re definitely not.”