Doctor Buzzkill: “Brian, we’ve talked about this before. Why would you even contemplate letting anything like this get anywhere near your mouth? You have an issue with cholesterol, something that we have discussed so many times that I might as well just play a recording instead of trying to have a meaningful conversation that you are just going to ignore. You are on medication for cholesterol.”
Me: “I’m fully aware of the medication. I faithfully take that wretched powder you prescribed every day. Okay, mostly faithfully. I hate that mess. It’s like swallowing kitty litter. And the clumping? I know that’s the point of the powder, with the clumping. But have you ever tried to pass clumped cholesterol? It’s not pretty when a Buick is trying to claw its way out of your ass.”
Doctor BK: “Well, you wouldn’t have to take the Cholestyramine powder if you weren’t so fussy about taking a statin like normal people do.”
Me: “And here’s where I could play a recording. The statins make me nauseous. I’m not going to take something that makes me recycle out of the wrong portal. Who would willingly do something that jacks with their quality of life? Other than women or minorities who vote Republican. Besides, we’ve both seen my bloodwork. That devil powder is working and my stats are normal.”
Doctor BK: “Fair enough. But that doesn’t justify you sucking down vats of cholesterol like a cow after a salt lick. Why can’t you do things in moderation?”
Me: “Well, there’s a story behind that.”
Doctor BK: “There’s always a story. I’ve heard them all and I didn’t believe most of them.”
Me: “Thank you for reminding me why I only come to you because you’re the nearest doctor on my insurance plan. Anyway, I’ve been having some dental work done recently-”
Doctor BK: “I don’t do dental.”
Me: “You also don’t do empathy. Stay with me. So, this dental work lead to me having temporary caps on both sides of my mouth. For a month. A very long month wherein I couldn’t eat anything that didn’t instantly dissolve upon encountering the saliva in my mouth. We’re talking lots of soup and oatmeal and nibbling on miniscule bits of chicken so one of the temp caps didn’t break off and choke me to death during the night.”
Doctor BK: “It sounds like your dentist missed an important day in college. The one where they talked about the right kind of glue to use.”
Me: “Can you let me finish the story? I’ve already given my co-pay to whatever relative you have working the reception desk in this inbred clinic, so this is my time to say what I need to say.”
Doctor BK: “It sounds like we might need to adjust your anxiety medication as well. Perhaps I can find something in powder form? One that clumps?”
Me: “Anyway, they finished up one side of my mouth two days ago. Permanent cap that supposedly will not kill me in my sleep for five years. In celebration, my partner and I raced to Red Robin on a quest for a hamburger, something I couldn’t dream about for over a month.”
Doctor BK: “Red Robin? I love Red Robin. They have bottomless fries! Finally, we agree on something, but don’t get your hopes up. I’m sure you’ll soon do something that doesn’t satisfy me. Like continuing with this story.”
Me: “So, we get to Red Robin, and they have some new items on their menu.”
Doctor BK: “They do? Why didn’t I get an email? I might have to cancel my appointments this afternoon.”
Me: “They now have this thing called the ‘MadLove Burger’.”
Doctor BK: “I’m feeling aroused. Tell me more.”
Me: “It was very enticing. The description said something about provolone, swiss, jalapeno relish, candied bacon, avocado, citrus-marinated tomatoes, red onion and a cheddar-and-parmesan crisp wedged into the whole mess. I suppose it says something about my mental state that I memorized the ingredients.”
Doctor BK: “Oh, please. Nobody in the medical community can say anything about your mental state, because we’ve never seen it before.” He turned and snatched up a phone that was hanging on the wall of the examining room, a device that I have never noticed before, despite spending endless hours in said room, waiting for him to show up for a 3-minute consultation.
Me: “What are you doing?”
Doctor BK: “None of your business. Just like the outrageous fees we charge to your insurance company for something stupid like a tongue depressor.” A nasal squawk emanated from the other end of the phone line. “Sister Cousin? Clear my schedule after I’m done here with the Clumping Man… What?… I don’t care what you tell the patients, just tell them.” Then he raced out of the room.
I waited a few minutes, just in case he returned, but he didn’t. I finally slid off the crinkly paper covering the examining table and I put my clothes back on. He hadn’t asked me to take my clothes off in the first place, but freedom’s just another word for finally being able to chew on one side of your mouth.