Thursday, November 29, 2007

Is There a Duck in the House?

Nothng against doctors, really, but unless something is fairly seriously the matter with you, they won't tell you anything you didn't already know.

Drink plenty of fluids and get some rest. Eat sensibly. Get up off your ass and exercise every once in a while. A little fresh air won't kill you.

If you're feeling really lousy, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic. Theoretically, this is just because (1) it can't hurt, and (2) it makes the patient feel better to take something. But lately I'm coming to wonder if the medical profession, in addition to corporate interests such as Lysol and Dial, is actually run by some master race of superintelligent bacteria as part of a breeding program so that they can take over the world.

Or maybe not, because strictly speaking, I think bacteria probably already do own the world, and creating more drug-resistant varieties only works towards wiping out some of their more successful hosts - not really in the bacteria's best interests, not that I know a lot about these things. Still, I don't think it makes sense in the long run. Perhaps the bacteria are Republicans.

Anyway, I went to the doctor this morning to have a look at my left calf muscle, which - only during chilly weather - sometimes sort of snaps when I spring up off my toes, say, to jump over a puddle, or to dodge traffic on Riverside. If I do it hard enough, it hurts like a mofo and I'm limping for a month. It did that thing again Monday, and since this is the third winter in a row it's happened, I figured what the hell, I'll go get a professional opinion on it.

It's been a while since I sat around in a doctor's waiting room. They never have any magazines I want to look at, so I sit and look out the window, or just stare at the walls. There was a row of paintings opposite me, in different styles, all apparently by different artists.

One depicted a woman sitting in a chair, her legs crossed. Another displayed a seated figure. A third, very abstract one apparently was of a chair and human occupant, and - hey! The waiting room was decorated entirely with paintings of people waiting!

I meant to ask the doctor about that when he came into the examining room, but all he wanted to talk about was my leg. He looked kind of like William H. Macy. He asked a whole bunch of questions about my exercise routine, family history, medications, etc. and then felt my leg up and down for several minutes asking if it hurt (it didn't). Finally he told me I should just stretch before I go walking.

So that's it: a $20 co-pay, and I get my leg felt up and told to stretch. The second one I could figure out, and the first I could probably have found somebody to do for free.

But at least he didn't prescribe antibiotics.

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At November 30, 2007 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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