Maybe I Need a New Doc

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by Craig White

Previously by Craig White: America's Wars: A Christian Voter's Guide

     

Yeah, I've been feeling under the weather for a while now. A couple of years, actually. Tired a lot, I've gained a lot of weight, and, well, maybe I've hit the bottle a bit more than I should — but only when I need to relax.

When I started to feel bad, I switched docs. I had been going to that Dr. Dub guy for, oh, eight years or so. What a fun doctor at first — "when you feel low blood sugar, have a quick candy bar, or maybe a quick cheeseburger. If you're tense or need to relax, have a beer or two! Or four or five, it's OK! Always take care of your needs — you're the greatest!" He told me the fights were good for me, too. It was a lot of fun for a while, but toward the end I started to miss work a lot — and I wasn't feeling so great in the mornings.

I switched to Dr. Brock. He had a different philosophy, and he's real eloquent. He told me after eight years of Dub, I was in bad shape, and he was going to have to work with me pretty intensely. I needed a lot of help. He put me on some really strong drugs. But really, they haven't made me feel all that much better, and it's been three years now. I put on even more weight, and I've missed more work. Dr. Brock says I need to stay on those drugs because of my eight years of bad treatment by Dub, but soon the medicine will start to really put me on the mend, and I'll be back working out and feeling great.

I don't know, I'm starting to have my doubts. I've been shopping around for a possible new doc. Dr. Mite comes highly recommended. A lot of people say he is better than Dub or Brock. He seems very technically skilled — and he looks like the doc from General Hospital, and he has that great bedside manner. Some people say he's not much different from Dub, though. Then there's Dr. Newtie. He seems to have an awful lot of great theories. In fact, every time I see him he has a new theory. He even says that is part of what works for his patients — he is always shifting the treatment, trying something new, being creative. He makes me a bit uneasy, somehow. For a while I was thinking about going to this lady faith healer, Dr. Mish, but after a while I wasn't so sure about her either. Anyway, these guys all say my big problem is Dr. Brock, but I'm not sure they're that much different from him, really. Just different drugs, different doses.

Then there's Dr. Run. He's like a broken record, but lately I'm wondering. He says I need to stop all the drugs, cut way, way back on the booze, and even stop driving around in the golf cart. I need to start walking, and stop getting into fights, too. He says it will feel bad for a while, but the problem is really all the drugs and booze and bad food I've been getting, it's confused my body and mind. I need freedom, he says — from medicine and all the other things I've been having too much of. He even says the medicine is making me sick!

That seems pretty radical. A lot of people call him a kook. On the other hand, I used to see all these other guys from time to time back when Dub was treating me. All Brock used to say was, I was doing OK, but I wasn't really as healthy as I could be. I needed stronger medicine, and he could get it for me. He would put me on a different workout, too. I didn't want to hear that, I felt great! I was partying all the time, and if I got in a fight, I always won it. It felt good! When I ran into Mish or Mite or Newtie, it was always, "look at you, you look great! That Dub must be doing wonders for you! If he ever moves out of town, though, I'd love to be your doc!" But I saw Dr. Run in town too sometimes, and he was completely different — "you don't look healthy, Sam," he'd say. "You've gained weight, your complexion is awful, you've got all those bruises. The drugs, the booze, the fast food, the bar fights — you're feeling good now, but it's all going to hit you at once, one of these days. The way you're living is not good for you — if you don't change, you'll pay." I used to just laugh. But sure enough, a few years later it all hit me — he's the only one who told me it would. He's really old fashioned, but kind of radical at the same time. You go to a doc like that, it's a commitment. Your friends think you're crazy. You know? I mean, everyone agrees he's a quack who knows nothing about medicine. Pretty spry old guy though, always riding around on his bike, good weather or bad. Maybe he does know something. I'm afraid, with any of the others, it will just be more of the same.

Craig White [send him mail] is the author of the book Iraq the Moral Reckoning and the booklet PEACE & WAR in Today’s World: What the Catholic Church thinks and why (published in the UK). A retired United States diplomat, he is currently a PhD student in political science. Visit his blog.

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