The Medical Mafia

Being in film studies, my daughter has had several classes that necessitate watching movies. Some are classics while others are less popular, but each demonstrates a specific point they discuss in class. Where was this major when I was in school? I got rooked. My education consisted of nothing this cool.

Earlier this semester, she came home and asked if I wanted to watch The Godfather with her. Um… YES! One of my favorites. It is so funny to see a child of this instant gratification generation try to sit and watch a three-hour plot unfold slowly. They can’t do it! Even when I explained parts of the story to her, she looked at me like I had four heads and went back to considering sticking a fork in her eye. Oh well, I had fun.

While I don’t condone the Corleone business methodology, I love the family aspects of the movie: Connie’s wedding, Michael’s dogged protection of Vito in the hospital, the “do anything for each other spirit” that binds them together. They even bring others into the family – like Tom Hagen, and go “to the mattresses” – meaning that when they need to go to war, they bring everyone together!

I think they teach this concept in medical school. Seriously… recent experience tells me that the medical community is bound together in a family as thick as any crime syndicate.

Since reaching 50, I’ve been trying to demonstrate some self-care. I’m in good health but I’m trying to document it by visiting doctors recommended for a man my age.

That’s my new favorite phrase – “for a man your age.”

That beloved phrase is usually uttered by a man or woman younger than me who has attained a much higher level of education. Doctors are supposed to be sagely, benevolent old men with white hair. When did they all get younger than me?

My first experience took me to a cardiologist because of family heart history. That led to a stress test, a clean bill of health, but a daily pill regimen. This was followed by an annual physical. (I supposed calling it annual is a bit of a misnomer when the last two were 2016 and 2007.) I scheduled the appointment three months in advance and thought I might actually see my Primary Care Physician. But I’m not sure he exists. I think he is somewhat ethereal and expecting to see him is a bit like walking into a church and expecting to see God.

Although the Physician’s Assistant was about the same age as my oldest daughter, she was very good and thorough. Again, I got a clean bill of health and thought I’d be on my way. Wrong. As I was hopping off the papered table, the PA started doling out cards like a blackjack dealer.

“You need to see this doctor, this doctor, and have an annual this, an annual that…”

The medical mafia at work – taking care of the family. They might all have different names, but they’re working together for sure.

This is my biggest concern. In trying to take back my self-care, I’ve opened up a massive can of worms that leads to a total body mole-check and a colonoscopy by two other physicians no doubt related to my make-believe primary care physician.

I’m coming to grips with the amount of my naked body medically-trained personnel are about to see. But where will it end? Do they have another “ologist” in the family? What other internal or external part of me will be poked, prodded, or surveyed? And can I keep from making terrible dad jokes while I sit exposed?

Only time will tell.


13 thoughts on “The Medical Mafia

  1. Funny as usual, Mark! Did you know the ACS changed the recommended age to get your first routine colonoscopy from 50 to 45 last Sept? Colon cancer is on the rise in younger individuals. I hope they lower it to 40 one day as often the colon cancer is already mets so size in the younger people. And we both know having mets at diagnosis is never a good thing.
    Welcome to the 50’s, it’s the new 40’s! Hugs Kay

  2. I have experienced this exact same ‘phenomenon’ and know of what you speak. you just have an incredibly funny way of saying it so much better. oops, I have to be careful not to laugh too hard or I might pull something and trigger a series of office visits to the ologists.

  3. Bad Dad Jokes are our only way of protecting and setting boundaries with the Med Mob. Tidier and more easily produced than a horse’s head.

  4. Have you had a sleep study yet? Let me tell you , I am sick of hearing… ” well , you are getting older! Geez, I’m 64!! Is that when everything goes to hell in a hand basket ? UGH!! Welcome to my world!!

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