Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Falling for Dr. A

My second opinion was scheduled at Pennsylvania Hospital with Dr. A. I choose the hospital for the simple reason that it was the first on doctor F’s list and I was able to obtain a timely appointment. I knew nothing else about the place. It’s a fairly easy drive, even considering it’s in the heart of the Philadelphia.  Plus, Martha is expert at finding free street parking.
I brought my A game. With no Sinemet in my system to confuse the diagnosis, I was prepared to concentrate and pass any test the doctor threw at me.
I was immediately impressed by Dr. A, but Martha will tell you I’m a pushover for a pretty woman in a lab coat. Dr. A told us that she did research four days a week and saw patients the fifth day. That made her extra smart in my mind.
After a quick look at my MRI’s (I still held on to brain tumor hopes) we settled in and talked.  Martha, traitor that she is, told all my secrets.  My arms swing was odd.  I walked slowly.  She noticed the occasional tremor.
I still had a chance at redemption with the physical tests.  First though, I named the months of the year in reverse order. Dr. A won’t catch me being senile. “Give me something difficult,” I thought “like figuring out the lunch tip.”
I performed the now familiar toe tapping and hand quacking. I tried my best, but very shortly, my quack changed to a lame wave.  I was busted.  No perfect marching down the hall could cover that failure. I marched anyway. (I do know what walking looks like, and on a good day, using all my concentration, I can pull off a plausibly normal gait.)
Last was a balance test.  Dr. A stood behind me and grabbed my shoulders. She hesitated. “Mr. Spokane” she said “I am going to pull you backwards by your shoulders, but please understand, this is NOT A TRUST FALL! I’m not capable of catching you. I’ll have to let you hit the floor.” Martha laughed at the thought of me sprawled on the carpet.  Dr. A gave a mighty tug.
We wobble, but we don’t fall down.

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