Champing at the Bit Because of my heart palpitations, I went off on Friday to see my cardiologist. I avoided doing this earlier not only because I still hate going to doctors--even after all they've done for me--but also because my cardiologist is rather awkward personally. My still being here is a testament to his skill as a doctor, but that doesn't mean he's not uncomfortable to deal with.
Most of the problem probably stems from an issue that comes up with almost all of my doctors: I am so young compared to the other patients, especially at the rheumatologist's and the cardiologist's office. There are not many people in their thirties with heart or joint problems. So my cardiologist just doesn't know how to deal with a guy my age; he seems to think that I'm somewhere around 15 years old. Interacting with him always reminds me of that line from A Christmas Story: "Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl." Doctor D knows I'm not a girl; he didn't seem to know how to deal with the fact I'm significantly past puberty.
This lead to moderately uncomfortable moments where he tried to bond with me about how hot my nurses and other doctors were. Aside the weirdness of a guy talking to me like this about his coworkers, he mostly tried to do this while my girlfriend was in the room with me. To be fair, in retrospect, I realized that I did have a significant number of hot doctors--but I was mostly unable to notice because I was whacked out on morphine at the time. More seriously, his chosen nickname for me was "Champ." Since absolutely everyone else at the hospital (except for my favorite doctor who'd been with me since the beginning), called me "Mr. Stuart," his nickname for me stuck out significantly. Depending on how irritable I was, being treated like I was making improvements in my performance on his tee-ball team was either funny or really irritating.
Of course, I had bigger things on my plate at the time.
I saw him again Friday, and surprisingly he didn't call me champ. He is still really awkward though and doesn't know how to interact with me. He did have an amazing monologue, which I will write here as best I remember it
"Okay, Mr. Stuart, what you should keep in mind here is that you need to be a clean person. A clean person. I don't mean in bed. Oh, I don't mean you have to be a clean person sexually. I don't know if you're into boys or girls, but in bed you can get into whatever you want to get into, if that's your thing. But you have to be clean about it. You need to be clean about everything you do. You need to change toothbrushes and nail clippers every couple of months and avoid getting cuts. If you get bad cuts, you should go to the doctor's and get them checked out and get on antibiotics to avoid infection. If you go to the dentists for any reason you should get antibiotics just to be sure. If you're into dirty things....ummm, if you're into dirty stuff in bed, though, you just need to tell the person you're with, 'I need to avoid drawing blood,' and they'll look out for you, and you can keep doing what it is you like to do. But you need to make sure you remain clean."
Then, as I sat there nodding, waiting for it to end, he then told me a mostly unconnected story about how he was in the elevator with the head of the hospital and there was a pretty girl who hit the button for the ninth floor, which is where only the head of the hospital's office was and no one else goes up there, and the head of the hospital told her she was going to the wrong floor, and Doctor D thought he was crazy for dissuading a hot young thing from going up to the same floor as him.
And then I left.
It was a weird sort of visit. But at least he didn't call me "champ."