Against major odds, I have managed to reach (to get all fancy about it) three score and fifteen years of age, with enough disabilities on my chart that my Primary Care Physician sometimes asks, “So anyway, how’s your connection with God?”
I think he’s just joking. At least, I hope he is.
He’s a very good doctor, with intense Indian eyes (India Indian, not American Indian). I’m not sure about his sense of humor.
The first time I met him as a patient, he went down through the impressive list of maladies that were – and still are – conspiring to do me in. When he was finished, I asked, half-jokingly, how long I had to live.
He laughed. “Well, I don’t’ think we’re quite there yet,” he said.
But from there on, that joke became a fixture of our doctor-patient relationship.
Until, last time I met with him after a three-day hospital stay for a suspected case of pulmonary embolism, he checked me out briefly with his stethoscope and muttered, “Bad lungs, bad heart, bad blood! How’s your connection with God, now?”
This time, I’m not sure he was kidding.
But as it turns out, the report of my impending death was an exaggeration (to misquote the frequently misquoted Mark Twain.) I don’t actually have a blood clot on my lung.
That’s what I learned a few days after the appointment with my PCP.
My pulmonary specialist actually checked the CT-scan results that the hospital had based the diagnosis on and found that there was no pulmonary embolism, praise the Lord. Just a mild case of pneumonia.
However, because of that bad diagnosis, I’m taking some expensive medicine that I apparently never needed. And because I need my primary care doctor to tell me to stop taking it, I need the pulmonary guy to send him a letter about his findings.
Not as simple as it sounds, apparently. That letter has taken three days of unanswered voice messages and I still don’t have it.
I’m starting to find this not so darned funny, after all.