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Monday, May 14, 2012

What Color Is It?

I used to be really healthy. Until I wasn't. When I was 29 years old, I kept getting sick. I actually ended up in the hospital because my kidneys were failing and I was carrying twenty-five pounds of water. My lungs were filled with fluid, so no matter how much I begged, the ER doctors that were trying to figure out what was wrong with me said I had to be admitted. Being really ill, and bad enough to be hospitalized for the first time, can be pretty scary. I was so used to being healthy that I didn't even realize how sick I was. Thank goodness! 

Luckily, I have a really great doctor, and was also being cared for by an equally awesome specialist. I was diagnosed as having Systemic Lupus, and my body's immune system had been trying to kill my kidneys. When I was released from the hospitalI had to begin going to see my docs at least once a week. I had always liked and trusted my doctor, Doctor Mike, and felt the same way about my nephrologist, or kidney specialist, the Other Doctor Mike. Seeing doctors this frequently sometimes gives you an opportunity to see another side of doctors that you might not have known before.

One of the first things I noticed was that doctors can really care about their patients. I was touched that my regular doc came to examine me in the hospital, and more than once. When I was afraid because I had to go through a kidney biopsy, Other Doctor Mike was kind and honest enough to not just tell me everything would be fine and not to worry. He sat on the edge of my hospital bed, held my hand, and said that if he were in my position he would be nervous, too.

There's another side to doctors that makes me wonder, though. I might go in with a terrible headache, and the questions begin. Does it hurt here? OWW! Yes, it hurts there, you sadist! Their eyes sparkle; they are on the trail, hunting down my ailment, and they have caught a glimpse of their prey. Is your nose running? YES, indeed, it is. They are bouncing on their chair, clapping their hands like a delighted child. What color is it???? What? Hearing that question makes me wonder what they like when they were kids. Were they the ones who always poked dead things with a stick? When somebody had a really ugly sore, did they want to get up close for a better look? And all of this while getting straight-A report cards and still finding time to hang out in the Science Lab?

I do know that Doctor Mike was the kid in his neighborhood who always got the wild ideas, and the other boys were the ones who got caught. I know that he went to college on a full-ride academic scholarship, and could have kept his grades high enough in his sleep. I also know that when he was in college, he came to a crossroads. Should he play professional baseball, or go to medical school? Well, we all know the answer to that one. His mind may operate at a different level, but he's still human. Sometimes that is the just the medicine a person needs to start feeling better.