My doctor seemed to have an epiphany last week.
It happened during my most recent visit to his office. I had scheduled an appointment because I had questions stemming from all the tests I underwent last month.
I thought we were going to talk about putting an end to my penchant for kicking back in my favorite chair and streaming “Star Trek” on Netflix while my wife is at work and the kids are in school.
To my way of thinking, it was a pretty safe assumption. After all, between all the poking and prodding and general anesthetics that rendered me happily oblivious to the more intrusive poking and prodding, he discovered my liver was slightly out-of-whack.
His almost off-hand comment about my liver spurred me to do some intense research.
On my laptop.
While reclining in my chair.
With one of my favorite “Star Trek” episodes streaming on our flat screen TV.
A Google search indicated the best treatment option doesn’t involve any special medication or surgery. Instead, all the websites I looked at suggested I get out of my chair for longer than it takes to get to the refrigerator. And, if I somehow find myself reaching for our son’s stash of frozen Hot Pockets, to choose fresh fruits and veggies, instead.
But rather than put my treatment plan in the hands of the internet, I showed up at my doctor’s office because I wanted to hear it from him.
Our discussion, however, took an unexpected turn. He almost immediately asked if I was still having pain on the right side of my upper abdomen, just below my rib cage.
When I said yes, he looked at the results of the scans a previous doctor had me undergo some two-and-a-half years ago and asked if I still had my gall bladder. He said the scans suggested it be removed.
I replied that, indeed, I did, but not for lack of trying to get rid of it. Not just one, but two previous doctors dismissed the idea. I began seeing my current doctor, a digestive specialist, because the pain has refused to leave me in peace.
Now, just when I thought my liver was the source of all my trouble, a bad gall bladder diagnosis seems to be back on the table.
I left my doctor’s office that day with yet another test scheduled. If it confirms what he suspects, then I will have a decision to make – namely, whether to continue living with the pain or to have one of my original parts removed.
Generally speaking, when things break they must either be fixed or discarded.
Take our old crock pot, for instance. Last week, I had to throw it in the corner of the basement where we keep the rest of our broken junk. It had developed a crack in its stoneware.
I don’t remember when that old crock pot showed up in our kitchen. We’ve had it for years, but I’m surprisingly unsentimental about it. Probably because it made the chili I like to make this time of year look uncomfortable. It was white with swirling lavender flowers stamped around its base.
We have a new crock pot now. I picked it out myself. It’s jet black with silver trim like the muscle car one of my friends used to drive back in high school. I don’t know that my chili will cook any better in it, but it should at least look better than ever the next time I decide to rev up a batch. That crock pot is sleek.
The thing is, it might be a while before I can enjoy a bowl of chili without any second thoughts. I’ve been staying away from red meat as much as possible. It seems to be one of the foods that triggers my pain.
Assuming my doctor is right about my gall bladder, though, I could eventually be able to eat what I want with no thought to the immediate digestive consequences.
But getting rid of it is a decision for another day. Right now, I’ve got tear myself away from the television and go for a walk – a task that would be easier if the starship “Enterprise” had a floral paint job.