I've seen a lot of doctors over the last year, of course. Being in a hospital for awhile means you see at least a half dozen doctors a day, on different schedules (and each charges $250 for that visit, incidentally, even if it's a ten minute visit). I haven't been in a space in my head where I've been able to sit back and think about it up until recently. I was only now realizing that a) I don't hate doctors, like I believed I did, b) some of my doctors were really quite hot¹, even though I only now realize that in retrospect², and c) of all my doctors, my main one is still by far my favorite.
¹ I used to think that the hotness of doctors on shows like E.R. and Scrubs was just the Hollywoodization of everything, but, yeah, just like in every walk of life, I had some really hot doctors.
² An annoying, but, I guess, convenient³ side-effect of some of my medication was a complete loss of any appetite, both culinary and sexual.
³ Convenient because, well, who wants to be afflicted with sexual desire when you're stuck with a roommate, unable to prop yourself up on your elbows, wearing a gown that only barely covers your crotch, with barely enough charm to be able to convince nurses to give me my drugs on time.
My doctor, who I saw yesterday, was the first specialist I saw when I started to get sick last summer. He's a charming second generation Italian boy from Brooklyn, who tells stories about being the first person in his family to graduate from college, sprinkled in with stories about interacting with the Mafia here in Brooklyn in the neighborhoods he grew up in. He has a genuine affection for me, having attached to the fact that I'm a sometimes-writer with a penchant for learning things. He's a rheumatologist, which means that most of the people he deals with tend to be older, so it feels like he's sort of adopted me as a son.
We've bonded about talking about alcohol (he likes scotch, I like bourbon, but we can meet halfway on these things), and I think he feels more than a little bit protective of me. More so than any other doctor, he gave me the impression that he was personally involved in my illness. This might be because he has feelings of guilt for not catching on earlier that I had more serious things going on with me than just lupus, or it might even be that he feels responsible for my having gotten the infective endocarditis⁴. I don't blame him for it, but he might feel responsible, nonetheless.
⁴ There is even the possibility that my getting infective endocarditis could in fact be his fault. Infective endocarditis gets into your system through a break in the skin, such as through an improperly sterialized needle prick, exaccerbated by the steroids I was taking to suppress my out of control immune system.
Out of all the doctors I've had, he's the only one who's bothered to learn my nickname. We didn't even have to tell him. He just picked up that Giff was calling me "Stu," and started calling me that himself. When all the other doctors and nurses continued to call me "Mr. Stuart," he was calling me what I liked to be called, which was a level of familiarity that was very comforting to me at a time when very little comforted me.
I saw him yesterday. I had the uneviable task of telling him about my break-up, both because he genuinely likes Giff, and because as my doctor treating me for an illness that is triggered by high stress levels, he is concerned about the stress in my life. He seemed to take my break-up nearly as hard as I did. He had a deep fondness for Giff, and what she meant for me and how she stuck with me through my illness. He said not many people would have stuck with me through the hospital stay, but she did, and he felt that we were meant to be together.
As I was leaving, he wished me the best. He said he could write me a prescription to require her to come back to me. I told him that I don't think she accepts my insurance. He then suggested that he has some cousins "from back in the neighborhood," that he could call that could go get her and bring her back, if I knew where she was staying.
It was a very tempting offer, but I think ultimately it would be less successful than he hoped.