“W” is for “Worry”
Today I’d like to tell you about my problem.
I’ve been fortunate to have made quite a few friends here in Bloggoland, but in what I’ve written over the past year or two I’ve usually kept my problems to myself.
Truth is, other people’s difficulties may be amusing for a time – the famous “schadenfreude” in action – but after a while they tend to be annoying, so I keep the dark stuff (and we all have dark stuff, right, Congressman Weiner?) to myself.
But I can’t resist telling you about my recent medical problem.
It all began with my usual checkup with my physician, Dr. Watson (the names have been changed to protect the indigent).
I later thought it was odd that the Doc suddenly seemed very interested in making sure that he had the phone numbers of my son and daughter, and that he wondered if I wanted a “DNR” sign – for “Do Not Resuscitate” – hung on the bed in case I wound up in a coma.
Now why, I wondered, would he ask such questions? Is my general practitioner practitioning generally by subtly preparing me for really bad news?
I had just had a session of “blood work” at the lab, so the study of my circulatory fluid had probably revealed something potentially catastrophic, not to mention awful. Also, the Doc mumbled something about “protein in the blood” that I hadn’t quite understood.
So I did what a good many patients do these days. I rushed to Google and looked up “protein in the blood.” Boiling down the technical medical jargon of the internet, I got the impression that this is a disastrous condition, the only known treatment for which is to tell the patient to enjoy the next three months because that’s going to be about it.
Well, “W” is for “Worry,” and that’s what I did for the next week or so.
At my next medical exam, il dottore showed me a huge spreadsheet of arcane letters and figures, all of which had digitally popped up as a result of my recent blood examination and all of which, of course, were incomprehensible to me.
He pointed to one of the numbers and triumphantly exclaimed, “That’s it! That’s the important one!”
“Give it to me straight, Doc,” I said, showing great courage. “How much time do I have left?”
“What?” he replied. “Oh no, no, nothing like that. It’s just that you don’t have enough protein in the blood. Not enough iron. Have you stopped eating red meat?”
“Well, yes,” I said. “You know, they say to stay away from it so I’ve switched to a pretty well vegetarian diet.”
“Well, it’s an easy problem to solve. You’re anemic. Just eat a steak or a few chops each week; that’ll take care of it.”
In my car, as I prepared to drive away, I thought of the horrible fatal disease I had been sure I was suffering from. And what had my doctor prescribed? A steak or a few chops.
I started to laugh and it was quite a while before I could stop.
Somebody put it this way once: “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”
1 year ago