My doctor is a rocker dude...
He's got long hair, walks with a swagger and he doesn't really dress in white. He doesn't even carry a stethoscope around. First time I saw him, I thought he was the janitor or something... and then he walked into the examination room, took a look at me and said "Why don't you sit down?"
I was actually waiting for him to say 'dude' or 'man' after...except he didn't.Anyway after a rather fast check-up, he gave me a prescription and a short lecture on the L1, L2, L3 and L4 vertebrae and the possible meaning of my pain. Needless to say, I was too much in pain to actually appreciate him that time.
And then the meds worked. I still remain stiff and have difficulty twisting in awkward positions and my back seems to be unhinged sometimes but what he gave me worked... So I came back to his office with better spirits than before.
To be honest, I was thinking the worst when I took the bus to him. Images of whether I'm written off now in the invalid list or living with a paralyzing possibility consumed me. So I was rather glum and nervous.
The moment he entered the door, he went straight to the figure of the backbone on the wall, flipping his blond hair like a whip behind his back.
"See this." He said, pointing to the L2, L3 and L4 bones. I meekly nodded. "These disks..." he motioned to the cartilage between the vertebrae. "...in yours, they are a bit thinner than usual."
My face blanched. I've read in advance about those conditions, it was not looking good at all. It was not life - threatening, mind you but it meant a life with lots of restrictions, much worse - wheelchair bound as an invalid... I felt cold sweat form in my body.
"So what happens is that when they swell, they pinch these nerves." he pointed the flesh coloured nerves in between the bones and he made a motion down his leg "ergo causing the pain you feel"
'So what can be done?" I asked fearing the answer.
He looked at me.
I stared at him, not really believing that he just said that.
"It's gonna flare up every now and then whenever they get inflamed and will probably get worse with age, but with proper exercise and diet, you'll do fine... just don't suffer a god damn accident with your back or something and you'll do okay."
"Uh... okay" I stammered, a little bit relieved that it was not as serious as I thought. "You gave me a big reason for me to stick to a diet, haha" I chuckled.
He stared at me.
Then he grinned. "I better not see you again in here then till you're 60."
I felt more relaxed. "By that time, you'll be a hundred..." I joked "...and you're not even my doctor..."
For he was leaving Calgary in December thus he was a one time thing.
He laughed and tossed his hair behind his back again. He gave me my fresh set of prescriptions and gave me a pat in the back.
"You'll do fine." he said and led me to the door.
Outside, my mind was relieved. Hopefully, indeed, I'll only get to see the insides of a hospital or a clinic till I am 60. I still have pain and I still walk a bit slow but so far, the news was good. I clutched at the prescription and the XRay result.
I still have a chance to climb my mountains and hike and camp out and trek the trails of Jasper, the Pacific Rim Park and the other parks here in North America.
Life has not yet abandoned me and God continues to watch over me, it seems...
And life is still so damn beautiful...
And my doctor is a rocker dude...