My doctor is comprised of pieces, it seems, of other doctors. I take a mental inventory of the features I’ve seen before. Those are my dentist’s nostrils for sure. That particular hairline once belonged to the ER doctor who noted my blown eardrum, whistled and muttered, ”Well, that had to have hurt, huh?”
And like so many in his profession, he has the hands of a man who washes them every 15 minutes.
He peers into my ears, invites me to stare “through” his forehead as he ensures my eyes are still in their proper sockets, dilating appropriately.
I’ve been sick for weeks: a fever every night, exhausted by noon, muscle pain, dizziness, with a liberal sprinkling of help-I’ve-been-shot-in-the-temple headaches.
He puts a thoughtful index finger on his chin. “Are you getting enough sleep?”
“No, thanks. I’m not hungry.”
“Drinking enough water?”
“Making every effort.”
He frowns, runs his fingers under and around my jawline. I am insufficiently lumpy. He asks me to put my chin on my chest, and I do.
He sits down on his little, spin-able stool. Not even noon, and he looks a bit defeated.
He shrugs. “I don’t know. Doesn’t look like mono, or thyroid problems, or allergies. Probably some sort of viral infection, low-grade. Get more sleep and come back in two weeks.”
More sleep? Now who’s the comedian?
“If I get any more sleep,” I say, “I’ll never actually get out of bed.”
He shrugs again. “We’ll see what it looks like in two weeks.”
So there you have it. Sleep and drink water.