Headlining at Zanies this Thursday: My Urine.
Please tip your server, and try the veal.Chapter 5
Dr. Mullen looks mystified.
“So…why are you here again?”
“Well, people at my office have been sneezing and nose-blowing and whooping-cough coughing for weeks now, and I’ve been fine,” I say.
“And you’re worried you’re about to get sick?” he says.
“No, I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with my immune system,” I say.
“But you’re not sick,” he says.
“Exactly,” I say. “I should be, don’t you think?”
Dr. Mullen gives me an are-you-serious look.
“So you’re here…in my office…because you’re not sick,” he says.
“Correct,” I say.
Dr. Mullen eyes me, dumbstruck. Then he looks at my shirt. “Do you have a hidden camera on you or something?” he says. “Am I on Candid Camera?”
“Nope,” I say.
Dr. Mullen stares a little longer, then opens a manila folder “Well, Douglas, I’d say this visit takes the cake for hypochondria,” he scans the folder contents. “Two months ago, you were in here because…”
“My pee smelled funny,” I say.
“Right,” Dr. Mullen recalls. “And I asked you ‘How funny?’ and you said ‘Hilarious.’”
“I know I joked with you, but I could have had an infection,” I say.
“Yes, you could have…but you didn’t. You just have smelly pee,” Dr. Mullen says, returning to the folder. “Two months before that, you were here because you would wake up with tingling in your arm. We determined that to be…”
“My arm was asleep,” I say.
“Right,” Dr. Mullen says, slapping the folder closed. “But I must say, this visit puts the others to shame. Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy to take money from you and your insurance company, but really, don’t you have better things to do than come and visit me?”
At that moment, a guy opens the office door. I think I recognize him.
“I have to agree with the doctor on this one,” he says.
Dr. Mullen looks at me.
“New support group?” he says.
Links: Travelling: Intro / Book JacketChapter 1: CribbagegateChapter 2: Two e-mailsChapter 3: PatternChapter 4: Shattered
, Chapter 5: Hilarious PeeChapter 6: SuicideChapter 7/8: Coaching High school, Shark attacks and appetizers
Bonus this-chapter-was too-short discussion material (even though I owe you nothing - and on a Sunday no less):
A couple of weeks ago, a story came out that a man has been 'functionally cured' of HIV.
I wanted to do a post at the time declaring something to the effect of "Newsflash: Magic Johnson doesn't exist," essentially discussing that a man has already been "functionally cured" of HIV, and his name is Magic Johnson. However, my poking around the Web turned up nothing to indicate Magic is cured of anything, so I dropped the notion, not wanting to write about such a significant subject without firm knowledge. I know what you'd reply: "But ET, [insert hated columnist name here] does that every day!" It would be funny, but would not justify my trying to sift through an HIV piece with a blindfold ... and still, I feel there are some significant items from my personal experience with this subject that still make Magic's situation that much more mysterious to me today:
- I remember in college, when the announcement was made, having to avoid talking about Magic in the past tense, like he was already dead
. We know now that a person can live decades with HIV, and medicine has advanced greatly, but if anyone at the time had said to me "Guess what? Magic will be commentating with JB and Wilbon in the 2011 NBA Finals and nobody is going to ask him 'Hey Magic, how are you even here?
'", I'd have called you insane. Think back to where you were, what you thought, at that time about Magic and his plight, and think about today. Is it...a miracle? Is it...a simple discrepancy between the medical treatment the rich and famous get and that which "normal" people receive? Is it...Area 51 - Fake moon landing - JFK cover up conspiracy? Is it the best medical treatment, and
...a good diet, exercise, and attitude, as ESPN indicated 10 years after Magic's HIV announcement?
- I recall, but couldn't find, an interview where Magic said there was "no sign of the HIV virus" in his body. This interview made me readjust everything I thought about Magic's situation - was he no longer sick? how ignorant am I / we about HIV? And more recently, thinking "why is Timothy Ray Brown considered the first man to be 'functionally cured' of HIV, when Magic roams amongst us with a giant, healthy smile?"
To me, the biggest mystery is not that Magic is still alive and well, but our curious evolving reaction, or non-reaction, to that fact...where we have reached a point that Magic is not even mentioned in an article that discusses a person who has been functionally cured of HIV, or that Magic is not asked "How you feeling?" by anyone unless they think he's got a cold.
I hope Magic lives a long, healthy life, but I am still mystified by the enormous discrepancy between where he was 20 years ago, and where he is today.
Labels: chapter 5, Evil Ted, traveling