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Those Beautiful Eyes

     I never go to the doctor, and so I went. Truth—I do go occasionally but mostly I let you guys go—works for you; staying away works for me. But when the nurse called to make an appointment I said yes this time.

     Surprised myself! I wasn't sick but I wasn't feeling outrageously perky like I wanted to. Besides, I gave up control for Lent so I had no choice.

     When the day came I was actually looking forward to my appointment. Unheard of! I would let the doctor have control. I would not argue about taking pills or tests or shots. I would set aside my tried and true health plan of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it and if it is broke, wait for it to fix itself." On this day I would put myself in his hands. Not literally, of course, even though he does have the most beautiful eyes.

     I had chosen him as my doctor a few years back because in his online "About Me" section he said his goal was "to provide high-quality, comprehensive, compassionate care to all my patients." The other doctors all gave their primary purpose as educating their patients. I'd rather be cared for than educated so I chose him. I went for an introductory visit—to see if I'd ever want to come back— and he impressed me. He was thorough, kind and—not sure this counts, but he did have the most beautiful eyes.

     When my appointment day came, I skipped into his office, let his nurse strap the blood pressure cuff on my arm, stick a thermometer in my ear and clip that white oxygen thing on my finger. Blood pressure okay, temp okay and yes, I was breathing.  

     The doctor came in and went over my blood test results. Then I told him I didn't feel so perky these days and that I've been caregiving my disabled son for two years since his neck surgery and I just wanted to be in the best possible health. I said I'd given up control for Lent so I would do whatever he told me.

     Talk about a man with the answers! "Sunshine," he said. "Direct sunlight for twenty minutes when you wake up." Drippy nose? "Nasal saline solution will take care of it." Aches in your legs at night? For this one he poked my legs until I screeched, at which he nodded satisfactorily and told me it was my iliotibial muscle. Exercises for that. About that little sore under my nose—antibiotic cream twice a day. "It's not infected now, but it could get infected." Heartburn? Drink water an hour after meals instead of with meals. And then he gave me one last command: "I want you to do one fun thing for yourself every week."  No excuses!

     You see why I like him? Besides the eyes. Suddenly I heard myself asking, "Can I come back in six months?" Wha-a-at? Did I just ask to come back? My mouth yapped on, "I want to be sure I do all these things."

     "No." He turned me down? "That's too long. We need to talk in two months. Schedule a telephone consult for us in two months." I began to question if that was necessary—forgetting about the control thing. He interrupted, "You said you work best under deadlines. Six months is too long." Once again I started to argue, but then I stopped. "Oh! I told you I was giving up control, didn't I? Two months is okay."  

     As he walked out of the room, I think I saw a smile on his face as he said, "Good. I'll talk to you then."

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