After seventy it was clear to me that there would no longer be such a thing as a “routine” checkup.
“Well now, hello there, Dr. Harold H. Stuart, MD? How are you, my esteemed personal physician and long-time friend?”
“Great, really great, thanks for asking. You look good, Jack. Let’s see, this chart says the last time you were in the office was August. Are you and the new girlfriend still playing golf?”
“All the time. She’s getting really good, drives the ball a few yards past me and putts like Lexi Thompson.”
“Sounds serious. Here, take off the jacket, please, and let me check your blood pressure.”
“Oh, sure. We’re not serious serious. It doesn’t really feel like love or anything. I’d say we have lots of fun being together, most of the time. Both of us are twice burned, you know. Wasn’t her first ex one of your patients?”
“Right. Benjamin Reed. Moved up to Denver, I think, after they split up. Your BP is 136 over 82, Jack- which is just about right for your age. Good to see you keeping the weight off.”
“Yeah, it’s a struggle, but I feel better when my jeans aren’t so tight in the waist.”
“Are you still taking the Prozac? And that’s it for your medications?”
“Yeah, just 25 milligrams once a day. “I don’t really feel the difference, but Janice says I’m a lot easier to be around when I take it. So I take it.”
“I hear that from a lot of patients. How did it go with the dermatologist? You saw Dr. Lee I believe?”
“Yeah. She’s good. There are some spots up here on the top of my head that she called “suspicious.” She did a biopsy and sent it off to the lab. I haven’t heard anything, so I guess no news is good news, don’t you think?”
“I have a note to return a call from her that came in today. Before you go, let me just take a quick look at your scalp. Well, there appears to be a little inflammation up here. Is it sensitive to the touch?”
“No, not too much. I notice it sometimes when I shampoo.”
“Okay, let me give Dr. Lee a call this afternoon and I’ll be in touch with you first thing tomorrow. Always good to see you, my friend. Stay well.”
And I’m supposed to sleep tonight?
Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself “Retro-eclectic.” His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.