Monday, January 16, 2012

Hippocrates Or Hypocrite; Let's Make A Deal

I never said I was perfect. Nor do I feel that even on my best days I approach such a pristine state. Of course there are appearances. My pressed gray lab coat and buttoned down shirt contrast your suit, jeans, or sweat pants.

The roles and expectations are set in a frigid stone of familiarity. I will point, prognosticate, and occasionally shame you. You will listen, cower, and shake your head in agreement.

Often my voice will be strong and confident. For one who has never smoked, it is easy to rail about the evils of tobacco. No longer having the time or taste for alcohol, convictions will drip convincingly from my lips.

But other times, I will squirm and struggle to keep my voice steady. I will tell you that three hundred pounds is too much, yet secretly I lust for the jelly donut waiting in the break room. Have I never medicated with food?

I counsel on exercise, but my brand new running shoes have not yet left the closet.

If you only knew my addiction. The secret I carry in my belly.

I'm strung out. Strung out on stress like the rest of my physician colleagues. I imbibe it first thing in the morning with bleary eyes and queasy belly. I inhale it on quick breaks in back allies between patients and hospital rounds. I chew it, and hock the disgusting byproducts into a used coke can during late night phone calls.

Would my own foibles and humility strengthen the conversation? Would it help you to know that I struggle also? Could we become comrades instead of teacher and student?

More importantly, could I convince you that between horrendous and perfect there is a place called "good enough"? Because I feel fairly certain that if you exercise a little more and eat a little less, things will be better. For my part, I'll work on the stress.

Do we have a deal?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice to be reminded that doctors are human with the same or even more issues than us the patients. Many doctors seem to want to seen as god. thank you for the honesty.