I suffer from crippling bouts of anxiety. I’m also a procrastinator. This may explain why I haven’t visited a doctor in 15 years. [Long pause for gasps and judgment.]
When I was a kid, I had only minor medical issues. One time, I took a rusty shovel to the kisser and received five blue stitches above my upper lip. I’ve had them under my chin (seven, black), on my left arm (13, blue again), and on the tip of my left index finger (number and color unknown). Generally speaking, the stories behind most of my trips to the emergency room begin the same: My parents were going out of town on business and ….
Like childhood, I survived high school football without major incident. Sure, I probably had an undiagnosed concussion or two, endured countless bloody noses, and suffered a nasty-looking hematoma when someone’s face mask met my right thigh, which eventually turned purple and doubled in size like Violet in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. But, otherwise, that medical chapter was fairly uneventful, like my athletic career. The apex/rock bottom? Once, my mom ran onto the sideline during a break in the action to reapply my contact lens, which she moistened by putting it into her mouth (I know, ewww). On her return to the stands, she pumped her fists into the air and received a louder ovation than I ever did.
But that was a long time ago. Though you may not be able to tell from the youthful-looking photo above this column, I am 137 years old. At least that’s how old I feel following a 3-mile run, a CrossFit class, or a late night on the town with friends. If I want to live to see 138, I know I’ll need to get over my fears and find a general practitioner. We have plenty listed here in our annual Top Docs issue, accomplished women and men who likely have a clinical name for my condition: idiocy.
I hope there’s a cure.