It wasn't my idea to see a doctor. At first, I had 
considered staying at home but then I decided 
to go to work to share my pain and suffering 
with my co-workers because I know how much 
they care. After two days of sneezing and 
wheezing around the office my concerned 
caring co-workers said, “Either you get 
medical treatment, or we are going to have 
to set fire to your cubicle to stop the plague 
you’re spreading.”
    The last time I had had a annual physical was ten annuls ago. Lately all the things I should have been doing were no longer being done. To put it another way, a three-toed tree sloth could run circles around me. I felt like Dracula had sucked out half my blood the night before but unlike the ‘un-dead’ I was only ‘damn-near-dead,’ which meant I still had to go to work the next day. After work, I only had enough strength to set up camp on my couch for the rest of the evening. Often, I couldn’t muster the energy to walk up the two flights of stairs to my bedroom and just slept where I was. Sometimes that was in the bathroom and it would be a week before the ring around my rear would go away. All that sitting could have been the reason for the fifty extra pounds I packed on my already too fat frame.
    Many people are couch potatoes. I was putting roots down into the sofa and sprouting little spuds all over my body. Each evening for supper, I would prepare a truckload of food and carry it to the family room. There were also emergency rations already stored there in the event of a tornado or I couldn’t get my lard laden life form off the sofa and up the stairs to the kitchen.
    If forced I could subsist on Hostess Cherry Pies, Fritos, Oreo’s, Slim-Jim’s, and Danish pastries. This might sound like an eating problem, but I can assure you I have no problem eating. I could stalk and take down a large pepperoni pizza without even becoming winded, wash it down with a liter of Coke, and still pounce on an unsuspecting apple pie afterwards. It was not an eating problem but more of a stopping problem. Compulsive eating is when people prefer to eat alone. I was a repulsive eater; which is when other people prefer, I eat alone. I checked my weight on the industrial scale at Home Depot and found I had super-sized myself to over 300 pounds. They made me weigh with all my clothes on because when you are only 5’6” and that fat, NO ONE wants to see you naked, not even me; which is why I shower with the lights off. 
Other people may be morbidly obese; I am more Moby obese, as in the big white whale. At fifty-years-old, I am getting ready to go to that all-night dinner in the sky.
    Giving in to my co-worker’s threats, I scheduled an appointment with a family practitioner, even though I didn’t have a family. I had not received any medical attention or any other kind of attention in years. I have no objections to doctors, just sickness. What you believe, I believe, will more often be what happens. I did not believe in taking very good care of myself and see what happened. Without the guidance of a good woman, or a bad woman with a baseball bat to keep me on a tight leash, I sort of let things go – like my belly over my belt.
    My HMO provided the names of the doctors who worked cheap enough to be in their program. After carefully screening all the doctors’ credentials, references, academic standings, and other considerations, I naturally chose the physician closest to my house. I called the doctor’s office to make an appointment for a routine check-up. The receptionist said, “The doctor can see you in two weeks.”
    Trying another strategy, I announced, “I’ve got blood gushing out of a gash in my jugular vein, how soon can I see the doctor.”
    “In that case, the doctor can see you in two weeks.”
    “What kind of emergency would it take to be able to see the doctor today?”
    “If the doctor’s yacht needs repairs and you were one of his wealthy patients who pays in cash.”
    Two weeks later, I was sitting in the waiting room, not having succumbed to an overdose of Cheetos, Raisinettes, and Pepsi, recording my life’s history on a pile of medical forms as high as my hemorrhoids. After what seemed like a short eternity, I was led to the examining room by Nurse Bendover. She wasn’t moving very fast. She must have been in her nineties. She put a thermometer in my mouth and then began asking me questions. When I answered her, the thermometer fell out of my mouth, breaking on the floor. She picked up the pieces, got another thermometer out of the cabinet, stuck it in my mouth, and told me to keep my mouth shut. She asked me more questions, and when I answered the thermometer fell out and shattered on the floor; this went on until she ran out of questions or thermometers, I do not remember which. 
      Now I know why health-care costs are skyrocketing. She took my blood pressure, pumping the inner-tube thingy until it felt like my arm was going to break off? Nurse Bendover stood there staring at her watch with the hoses stuck in her ears until I heard the air leaking out, which I hoped was not coming from me.

M. David Lutz
Just for Laughs
"Writing is easy . . . Writing Good Ain't"
She said aloud, “BP 230 over 118” – which had absolutely no meaning for me. She might as well had said, “B52's over Dixie," for all I would have understood. I waited for her to say something like ‘Hey that's great, been working out?’ or ‘Hmm, you need more Wheaties,’ but she never did. With an alarmed look on her face Nurse Bendover broke out her rosary beads and started saying ‘Hail Mary's.’ You don’t even have to be Catholic to know that isn’t a good sign. She wanted me to lie down immediately and try to sleep.
  “Okay, I’ll try but you’re not going to charge me by the hour, are you?”
  She said, “Don’t worry about that, try to think of something other than dying at a relatively young age of a massive coronary.” I started thinking of something pleasant like my bed and not this mortician’s slab I was laying on. When the nurse eventually returned, she was disappointed to see that I wasn’t asleep or surprised to see I wasn’t dead. She took my blood pressure in my left arm this time and then in my right arm. She looked as worried as before. 
  The doctor entered. As this was my first appointment, I had never met the doctor before. When you hear the word ‘doctor,’ what image comes to your mind? Possibly some kindly graying, gentle, caring soul like Marcus Welby; am I right? Doctor Confetti shook my hand, then slouched in a chair propping one of his legs on a garbage can like a footstool. He looked, talked, and had all the mannerisms of Robert De Niro, playing a character in the movie, ‘Goodfellas.’ I kid you not, so help me on my mother’s grave, as was probably said in that same movie. Opening my chart, he sounded like he is doing a scene from the s  
    “You don’t look so good to me. When people don’t listen to me, they end up dead. You’d better do what I say or I’m gonna fix it sos you end up in the hospital. You get what I’m saying to ya?” Maybe I had watched too many gangster movies, but this was more than feeling nervous about seeing a doctor, I was being examined by a made-man in a lab coat! “Da first ting I wanna know is who sent you, and the second ting I wanna know is why you are here.”
    “The HMO gave me your name, I swear!”
    “Common, tell me da truth, dem rats are the ones out to git me.” He continued, “You can tell me, was it Frankie No-Nose or maybe it was Too Fat Tony?” He turns to Nurse Bendover,     “When I come back, I want to see some blood.”
    “Will you be a wanting any urine or stool samples Doctor?”
Dr. Confetti answered over his shoulder on the way out the door,     “Don’t take any crap from him, send him to the boys down in the lab, they’ll know how to get it out of him.” The Nurse Bendover stuck me several times in the vein in vain. She apologized profusely but I wasn’t feeling anything. I was still in shock realizing my primary care physician probably had a practice on the side removing bullets from his buddies. [Suggesting Dr. Confetti was in anyway associated with organized crime would be highly offensive to anyone of Italian-American decent. On the other hand, suggesting highly trained medical professionals were enlisted to care for members of the mafia would be complementary for the Mob. The real question is, ‘Who’s going to get upset and hurt me first.]
    Doctor Confetti came back into the room handing me some diet and exercise plans. Essentially, he told me to cut out life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I ask him for his diagnosis of my condition.
    "Youse don’t wanna know about dat.” I tried a different tactic.
    “Doc, what can I do, to feel better?
    "You could pay me now.”
    “How will that make me feel better?”
    “It won’t, but it would make me feel great.” I made one last attempt.
    “What would you suggest?”
    Thinking for a moment, the Doc offered, “Avoid making any long-range plans.”
    “You mean like two or three years?”
    “I’d say more like two or three days.”
    “Don’t you have anything positive to say about my situation?”
    "Yeah, when I get done wit you, I'll be able to add a wing on to my house. [laugh] [chuckle] [snort]
    “Would you be offended if I asked for a second opinion?”
    “No problem. You’re also too fat for your --”
    “My height,” I interjected.
    “Species,” he finished.
    He did admit that some people did not care for his bedside manner. He said when it came to his patients’ treatment, he believed in giving it to them straight, no matter what. Since he’d be the one giving me a rectal exam, at some point in time, that was the kind of philosophy I’d could sure get behind.
Getting Healthier, Unless it Kills Me First - Part 1
by M. David Lutz © All rights reserved