Friday, September 3, 2010

What's Up, Doc?

Even though I turned down the chance to play the patsy in the new Discovery Channel series "Rookie Surgeon: What's This Red Thing?" starring newly-graduated sawbones Dr. Nick Vessels, still, the day of my surgery looms inexorably in the near future.

So it is that I have developed blisters on my thumb and forefinger from pulling my insurance card out of my wallet to show it to doctors, physician assistants, receptionists, Xray technicians and I don't know who-all else.  I'm glad I have insurance; I hate to think of what it would cost out-of-pocket to pay for all this.
"Out-of-pocket" is an interesting term, although misleading, when you're thinking about paying for medical procedures.  If you had that much money in your pocket to pull out of your pocket, you wouldn't have to worry about a doggone thing.

But whereas in my younger days I was a regular at the local bistros, pubs, saloons, salons, and supermarket openings, now I get recognized at the x-ray place -the fabulous American Radiology, Timonium branch.  This place used to be a boutique-y bookstore where Peggy once dragged took me to see this Dr Andrew Weil, who is both a Harvard Medical graduate and a granola-chewin' natural lifestyle exponent.  In the cause of talking you and me into eating more legumes and fewer leg-and-thigh platters from KFC, Dr Weil has caused many many trees to be cut down so that his books could be printed.  Good for the book industry, bad for the forest.  But just one glance at his visage inspires the sort of confidence that we all seek in our medical providers, am I wrong? 

Personally, I prefer another Harvard Med guy - the wise and comforting Dr John
Becker, whose folksy brand of medicine-mixed-with-joking is all the rage in urban settings today.  I remember when one of his patients was suffering from a ....what?  That wasn't a reality show?  That was Ted Danson?  The guy from Cheers?  Well, he didn't go to medical school that I know of!  What th'...?

ANYway...I showed up at the X-ray place the other day for the last in a series of still photographs of my insides that shall soon inspire big laffs in the operating room, and the lovely young lady technician said, "Oh, hi there!  I remember you from before..." and I was thinking, well, is it my exquisite savoir-faire, my je ne sais quoi, my Crepes Suzette? ..."because you have an unusual name and you were so funny trying to walk around in that gown. Ha ha ha!"

Better to be remembered for something, I guess.  I have to say, no matter where you live, this American Radiology place is the best place to come and have a beam of high energy electrons crash  into a metal target behind you, producing an x-ray image of your skeletal mass. 

That is I!  (on the left)

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