Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PROCRASTINATE (08/04/16)
TITLE: Dueling Doctors
By Sheldon Bass
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Not convinced of the necessity of such an invasive procedure, I protested. “What did the people in the old days do before fiber optics were invented? Did they all die just because their doctors weren’t able to explore their insides with a flood light?”
A grin spread across Doctor Michael Johnson’s face as he rolled his eyes. We’d both grown accustomed to each other’s banter, and we often joked over my self-diagnosis’, which always proved accurate. Yet, my spry friend and physician was quite capable of matching my wit. “I understand your hesitation, Doctor,” he said, emphasizing the honorary title. “But if I can endure the indignity then you can too. I had it done just last month.”
“Did you do it on yourself?” My chuckling, tongue-in-cheek response was left hanging in the air.
Michael punched the down arrow on the computer monitor, scrolling through notes of my prior visits, as if he needed reminded of them.“You already know the statistics, and you’re better safe than sorry.”
“Well, maybe after Christmas I’ll consider it again,” I mumbled.
“You said the same thing last year”, he responded in a raised pitch, then softened his tone. “Listen, you will be sedated; by the time you wake up it will all be over with—you won’t know a thing.”
“Aha,” I said, with an index finger pointed skyward. “I won’t know a thing, huh? For all I know you might call in a whole troop of interns just to educate them on the process.” I was finding my stride, ribbing my doctor friend. “And this, students, is what the inside of a preacher’s colon looks like.”
He shook his gray head while spinning a quarter turn on the stainless steel stool in the little examination room we occupied, and spoke slowly. “Now that you mention it, that’s not a bad idea. And then I’ll just invite them all to your class the following Sunday so they can meet you face to face while you’re awake.”
Both of us threw our heads back and laughed heartily. It was time for me to pretend I was capitulating. “Okay, okay, I’ll check my calendar and call your office to schedule a time for you to go treasure hunting; I think I swallowed a few coins as a toddler...you can keep the change.”
The physician answered, “Actually, you’d be surprised at all the strange objects that have been found in people’s intestines.”
“I know,” I said, “I saw it in Guinness World Record book. Seriously though Doc, the colonoscopy itself isn’t as much of a problem as the preparation.”
Johnson played to my manliness. “And here I thought you Army vets were tough enough to handle anything.”
“Well,” I answered, “I did survive eating army chow, so maybe I can deal with drinking all that go-go gunk.”
“You’ll have to. If you’re not cleaned out good enough we’ll have to do it all over again,” he said merrily as he stood and turned towards the door. “I’ll leave your regular prescriptions at the desk.”
“Hey Doc?” Stopping in the doorway he looked back over his shoulder. “Are you coming to our home bible study this week?” I asked.
“You already know the answer to that one; it all depends on my schedule. At least one of us has to get paid for being a doctor,” he said with a wink, leaving me to ponder my options.
It took me many years to find a doctor I trust as much as I do Doc Johnson. Besides being a Christian man, he actually listens to my complaints without any preconceived notions. A doctor with real listening skills is a rarity today, and finding one who enjoys laughing as much as I do is like icing on the cake.
I’m well aware that I really should have a colonoscopy done, but I’m still undecided on when that may actually happen. Being a combat veteran, and having fought in full contact karate matches, plus surviving in the wild while living off the land for an entire summer, one would think having a minor procedure done would be a piece of cake. But I don’t eat cake. I hear it’s bad for the digestive system.
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