Dr. Joel raised his right hand to me in a gesture of farewell.
“Go and enjoy life, young man,” he said. “Stay out of doctors’ offices.”
Now there’s two great bits of advice—enjoy life and steer clear of doctors.
And I really liked that “young man” bit, but I felt compelled to gently inform Dr. Joel that I’m turning 58 this year and that perhaps “young” wasn’t the most accurate adjective he could use.
“You’re younger than I am,” he remarked.
So be it.
Dr. Joel is my gastroenterologist but I’d think he’d make a terrific rabbi. He’s just so caring and knowledgeable.
I had gone to him for a second—third?—opinion about surgery for the internal misery that drove me to the hospital in November.
His answer? A decisive “No!”
He believes that the incident was a flare-up in my colon that has since righted itself, and thus there is no need to cut me open. Dr. Joel showed my CAT scans to one of the top surgeons at Maimonides Medical Center and he also nixed the knife.
He actually told Dr. Joel that operating on me would be malpractice. That’s about as definitive as you can get.
Obviously nobody wants to get surgery. It sucks to get cut open and have several inches of your colon removed. But I would do it if there were a serious and immediate threat to my health.
However, if it’s not critical than it pays to be conservative. In addition to the scalpel, I’m also concerned about the anesthetic.
I’ve had the so-called “twilight anesthesia” for colonoscopies, but I’ve never done the fully sleepy. And I ain’t in no hurry to try.
I sat in Dr. Joel’s office for a few more minutes until I realized that I was free. And then I gathered up my belongings and got the hell out of there.
Of course I’m relieved that—please, God—I won’t have to go back into the hospital. I’ll monitor my health and since I now recognize the scary symptoms of a colon attack, I’ll haul-ass to the nearest hospital at the slightest sign of a flare-up.
The only risk here is that something could go wrong when-and if-I’m nowhere near civilization. But since I hadn’t planned any canoe trips down the Amazon or excursions to Antarctica, I should be okay.
So now comes what for me can be a bit of a challenge: enjoying life.
My late father once told me that I look for things to worry about and he was spot on.
As soon as I get some bit of good news, I waste no time in finding some other form of grief to fret about. Dr. Joel would not approve.
Luckily I got an important message this morning that has reinvigorated my zest for life. It seems that the one, the only Precious Zamba wants to meet me.
“Hi,” her email began, “am Precious Zamba by name, a female never been married, i have seen a lots of profiles but am very selective, you are one of my selection, please kindly write me on my private emailaddress so that i can send you some of my pictures and introduce my self to you.”
Isn’t that precious? I suspect it may also be bullshit, but it’s nice that someone cares, even though she doesn’t exist. Hi, am Rob by name, a male, never been married, and, judging by my inbox, I’m clearly not selective enough.
Still, as I long as I'm able to stay out of doctors’ offices, I’m going to zamba until the cows come home.
I’m only following doctor’s orders.