Rendered Fat Content


Herbert Ploberger: Self-Portrait with Opthalmological Models [Selbstbildnis mit Opthamologischen Lehrmodellen] (1928-1930)
"I'll hope for continuing good fortune …"

I'm the guy on which insurance companies make their money, for I have been blessed with generally good health. I exhibit no chronic conditions. My joints remain serviceable. I stopped smoking before it got me, so far at least. I ascribe my condition to a raft of very likely mythical causes. I avoid sodas and always have. I decaffeinated myself at 35, figuring I had better things to do with my body than rev up its engine. I avoid fad diets and acknowledge no allergies other than a recently encroaching one to cats, which I generally deny to myself. I have my faults and hold them close, figuring that they're nobody's business. I'm probably mentally unstable, but what sane person isn't, these days?

That said, I have generally avoided visiting doctors.
Other than when I sliced my finger with a freshly sharpened knife, I visit doctors under The Muse's coercion. She insisted that a man my age simply must have a physician with which to consult. I eventually complied and wouldn't you know, he found a condition to treat and for which to prescribe. Endless months of trying on medications that basically didn't work led to a stabile regimen of a few pills after breakfast and dinner, a habit I hate and would dearly love to break. Continuing the coercion, I felt fortunate to receive an invitation to visit of a top notch physician who might under quiet persuasion from a mutual friend, accept me as his patient. I'd prefer to be his colleague, since patient carries some conditions I'd prefer to abandon. I'm generally impatient with the medical profession. Like you, I despise being told what to do. I prefer not to be touched, much less 'treated.' I just want to be validated and left alone, but few physicians seem to understand this basic, probably universal preference. They're there to diagnose.

I learned as a consultant what happens when one's subjected to diagnoses. They're offered a challenge of sorts. Should they acquiesce to an assessment they somehow themselves missed or defiantly insist that they're fine. The slimier consultants know well how to coerce their prospects into a paranoid state where they'll gratefully accept any old Hobsen's Choice and agree to treatment. Others offer potential and remain indifferent to their client's acceptance. I gravitated toward the latter in my practice, which might explain why I'm no longer a consultant. The dance was often entrancing, leaving me in a one-up position within which I felt relatively omniscient, a position probably more precarious than any my clients ever held. When I thought I was my client's doctor, I treated my clients as if they were my patients. The underlying premise upon which Doctoring's practiced seems suspicious, so I avoid doctors whenever I can.

I entered this visit with a good attitude for a change. I'd managed to set up the appointment without The Muse's overt coercion, which probably means that she's succeeded in training me. I showed up early, and successfully filled out the offered form. I appeared innocent and cheerful, a far cry from my usual foot dragging reluctance. I offered information as if I was innocent. It helped that my check-in blood pressure reading was my lowest on record. This visit felt different. With exile over, I had been actively SettlingInto and not in my usual defensive crouch. I feel comfortable here and believe I have a viable future. I felt terrific after six weeks of hard physical labor reclaiming the yard. If I'd been diagnosed as in any way ill, I would not have believed it, but I checked out as healthy. I left feeling as though I'd received an A+ on my report card, a prospect I'd believed my schooling had taught me to never expect.

I didn't know what to do as a result. I understand that I live in precarious country, poised on the end of an unusually long-tailed middle age, but I felt as though I had just gotten away with something. I offered no deception. I didn't shave the truth about my actual beer consumption. This doctor seemed indifferent and offered no coercive critique. I could see that he wasn't disappointed that he could find nothing for which to treat me. He said that, pending lab results, he'd see me about this time next year, before releasing me back into the general population. It seems as if I might even thrive now that my exile has ended. I felt and feel enormously fortunate. I'm struggling with smugginess now. I have friends and relatives who have not proven as fortunate and it's way too convenient to ascribe something other than chance to their experience, though I know only chance adequately explains whatever happened. I will, it seems, continue for now being the guy from which the insurance company makes their money. I'll hope for continuing good fortune featuring minimal Doctoring.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver