It’s been six months since my personal physical of 30+ years put away is stethoscope, took down his shingle, meandered off into a much deserved retirement and sent me off to find another practitioner of the healing arts. He gave me four recommendations along with the reassurance the he was also going to select one of them. I began this journey with some trepidation since my physician had known me – inside and out – better than I will ever know myself. He’d seen parts of me I will never see. He was a master diagnostician. He read the body like those Caribbean fishermen read the sea. For 30 years he was never more than a phone call away – day or night. When my father was dying, he made house calls to check on him. I have returned ill from extended international trips to find the very medicine I needed waiting for me at baggage claim.
So, I took the plunge. I selected a younger physician whose training and other recommendations were top of the mark. On my first visit he took a long time just speaking with me. He poked, prodded and pronounced me “not about to die.” As I left, he gave me his cell phone number and said “If you ever need me, just call this number.” I haven’t need him yet, but I think this may work out after all. He will easily last another 30 years. I don’t expect to.