Monday, November 19, 2007

Whose Reality? A Visit To The Doctor

My "primary care physician" is Larry Katz and today it was time for my first payed-for-by-Medicare visit. I turned 65. I'm a Senior Citizen!

He has a large percentage of older patients, and mid morning on a weekday that's exactly what fills his office. There are far more women than men. The men are mostly grey haired or white haired, sometimes still salt and pepper, and that's just the ones that have enough hair to tell. I sat next to guy who had a thin scraggly long white ponytail. I'm pretty sure that there wasn't much hair growth hidden under his leather akubra style hat, judging by the thiness of the ponytail. Only their bellies are big.

The women range from rail thin (rare) to grossly overweight, and most of them sport relatively short hair permed to phony perfection and dyed to fool absolutely nobody. They wouldn't have been able to apply more make-up even if the stores gave it out for free. The smell of cologne permeates the waiting room.

When I finally got to see Larry I found out that my blood pressure was 130 over 80, my pulse 76, weight 161, my heart and my lungs sounded great, but he still went through his ya-gotta-stop-smoking spiel. I pointed out that recent controlled studies in Europe show that nicotine delays the onset of Alzheimers and improves brain function in general, while moderate smoking seems to protect lung tissue from other more harmful air borne pollutants. He didn't deny it. He simply said to stop smoking! I walked back out through the waiting room full of decrepit non-smokers and lit up on my way to the truck. I'm feeling great!

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