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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Medical Impressions

Several weeks ago in the morning I arrived at work limping.  My leg was sore and swollen.  I informed my supervisor that I had injured it while playing football the night before with some teenagers at Bartlett Park.  He looked at me for a long moment with some admiration, yet solid disbelief.  Then I told him the real reason for the limp, I fell off the bed while asleep the night before, landing on the hardwood floor.  He said, “Oh, you were playing football in your dreams.”  In any case, the swelling in my leg remains, so today I went to an orthopedic surgeon.  It turns out his practice is sports medicine—so my “football injury” turned out to be not too far off base.  In his consulting room he has framed football jerseys of the Tampa Bay Bucs.  The staff immediately x-rayed my leg and found no broken bones.  What was most impressive was the total lack of pretense by everyone in the office.  The doctor came up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Brian Burke.”  I said, “I’m Wayne Standifer.”  He was dressed in a casual white shirt and was wearing tennis shoes.  The lady who did the x-rays was also friendly and straightforward, as well as all the office staff.  I thought to myself, these people are not out to impress me by being a cut above me or acting like I’m due a distant and cautious respect; they just are providing service in a friendly straightforward way.  It turns out by their not trying to impress me; they impressed me all the more.  It was a treat, this lack of ceremony and being treated as an equal on human terms.  I have to get an MRI of my knee next week (to check for cartilage damage), and am scheduled to return to the doctor’s office the Friday afterwards.  Despite my usual controlled enthusiasm over a required office visit for medical attention, I can’t help looking forward to a second visit to this virtual den of amicable equity.

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