Is there a doctor in the house?
July 2, 2014 —
My mother was a bit of a hypochondriac. Although she moaned a lot, most of her grousing turned out to be nothing more than anxiety, and as a result, I grew up with a confused sense of what actually constitutes illness. I’ve never been a fan of doctors (in the professional sense) and in fact, took the opposite approach as an adult. Where Mom might have panicked over an attack of the sniffles, running off to her physician for every ache and pain, I took most things in stride, loathe to complain (hard to believe, right?) and keeping concerns about my general well-being to myself. That philosophy served me well for decades, and until my 40s, I enjoyed pretty good health. That’s when I met Dr. Jason Blitz. Actually, he wasn’t an MD when we met, but a Navy man, traveling the world while serving his country, determined to see the world.
Being a homebody and “nester” extraordinaire, I had a hard time identifying with the good doctor’s desire to roam, but always enjoyed our visits, when he would regale me with stories about his travels to exotic locales scattered about the globe. While he was stationed in Hawaii and I was living in LA, our visits were fairly regular, but over time, he began his medical studies, I moved home to New York, and our time together became rare. We’ve kept up, of course, and like any close friendship, the miles melt away when we have an occasion to catch up, which occurred this past week.
“Where have you been?” I inquired, hearing his voice on the other end of the phone. “Djibouti,” he replied, “with a quick stop in Venice. But I’m in D.C. now, may I come visit?” Typing “do you booty” into the Google yielded results that made no sense, and I was forced to ask. “Africa,” he said, “doing a study on diarrhea.”
“Sure,” I answered. “That sounds great. The visit, I mean, not the diarrhea.”