It takes a lot for me to decide to see the doctor. Most of the time I figure I will be told, “Oh it is just the flu. Time and rest are the only treatments I have for you.” Ironically when I ultimately do make an appointment, part of me hopes that I am told by the doctor, “You are quite sick. If you weren’t so stoic and incredibly fit, you would be bent over in agony right now.” But most importantly, I also want to be told that I can expect a complete recovery with no lasting consequences as a result of delaying coming to the doctor’s office.
‘Bout as Sick as They Come
The patient sits on the exam table waiting. There are two knocks on the door. The doctor enters.
Doctor: So what brings you in to the office today?
Patient: I think I’ve come down with the flu. Headache, a little warm, sore throat.
Doctor: I’m sorry to hear that.
The doctor pulls out a pen flash light.
Doctor: Say “Ahhhh.”
The physician shines the light into and inspects the patient’s mouth.
Doctor: My goodness.
Patient: What is it?
Doctor: It’s just…I’ve never seen such a severe case of the flu before.
Patient: You haven’t?
Doctor: A lesser man surely would have expired.
Doctor: The human ability to fight off illness as I have observed in my 20 year career until today would not be capable of withstanding such an onslaught of infection.
Patient: So it is a good thing?
Doctor: It is an amazing thing for you. For science. For mankind.
Patient: I had no idea.
Doctor: Do you mind if we collect blood samples to study?
Patient: Of course, I would be happy to.
The doctor goes to insert the needle into the patient’s arm. The needle does not break skin upon light pressure. The doctor applies more pressure. The tip of the needle bends at a 90 degree angle before breaking in half. The doctor stares bewildered, jaw gaping at the patient as if he is saying, “Ahhhh” himself now.
Patient: I’m honestly just as shocked as you are.