I don’t like going to the doctor.
It’s not that I don’t like my doctor; he’s great. It’s that it puts my impermanence on full display, stripping away the denial of immortality; even when it’s simply a routine checkup. Something about being in a medical office raises my blood pressure as well as fear level.
“How are you feeling?”
“You’re the doctor; wouldn’t it be up to you to tell me?”
He chuckled an inner warmth that blended well with his extensive knowledge. As I said, I like my doctor. In a time where the medical providers are overworked and under-appreciated, rushing here to there to accomplish everything required of them, he always appeared totally attentive during the short time we spent together once a year.
“Are you exercising?”
“Yes, I walk about 30 minutes at least five times a week – plus I take my dog out each day. That’s not really exercise because we have to stop and pee at every bush we pass.” I paused, then corrected, “Well, it’s not WE to have to stop and pee; it’s him. Just clarifying…”
He smiled again.
“Your blood tests all show that everything is as it’s supposed to be. You’re a healthy man.” He paused. “So, how’s your life?”
The question knocked me on my heels for a brief flash; not a query I expected from an MD, but, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. One cannot heal the body while ignoring the mind and spirit. As I took a mental inventory of “how is my life,” I opened up about the waning days of my career, my aspiring spirituality, family drama, life goals, and the passing of years in general.