I’m cheating on my doctor. Maybe I should feel guilty — I mean, my doctor and I did share that one great night at the cast party — but I had to break away. I had to survive. I won’t be taken for granted in this relationship!
Loyal readers of my multi-part “Broken Ankle Chronicles,” will recall that last week, my doctor did not return repeated calls, despite my messages explaining that I was “experiencing considerable pain.” (I also admitted last week that I used to leave many such messages on ex-girlfriends’ machines, but unlike with doctors, I understood when my former soul mates did not return the call.)
That said, I was pleased to discover that I wasn’t the only one who was frustrated with my doctor’s lack of concern about my excruciating pain. The day after my groundbreaking column hit the stands, I got this e-mail from Dr. Tom Lyon, the chief of the orthopedic trauma unit at Lutheran Medical Center:
“I’m sorry to hear you have been getting the run-around with your ankle,” he wrote. “It’s really very simple: Call my office, and I’ll be glad to see you — gratis.”
He also added, wisely, “Congratulations on your ‘Editor of the Year’ award.” (By the way, have I mentioned that I won the Suburban Newspapers of America “Editor of the Year” award last month? I haven’t? Well, thanks, Dr. Tom!)
Now, perhaps I should’ve felt bad to even consider Lyon’s provocative invitation to have an affair behind my doctor’s back. But if being an American nowadays means anything, it means having no brand loyalty towards doctors — especially one I picked out of the GHI directory anyway. I devote more attention to picking a car mechanic than I do towards picking medical professionals (well, cars are more complicated).
The last bit of guilt evaporated when Lyon told me that he would fit me for a waterproof cast so I could “go wilding through the surf in Ponte Vedra,” yet another reference to my “Editor of the Year” award.
Waterproof cast? My other “doctor” had never even mentioned that such things exist.
So there I was on Wednesday getting my pool-ready brace from Lyon, who also handed me a brochure that stated explicitly, “Contact your doctor if you have pain.”
Maybe it’s the illicit nature of our affair, maybe it’s all this clandestine suturing, but I think I’m in love.
• • •
Before getting my new cast, I dropped by Borough Hall to get fellow broken ankle sufferer Marty Markowitz to sign my cast.
Before taking up his Sharpie, Markowitz told the story of his 2001 fall that caused the then-state senator to break his ankle in five places (three more than me!) and require surgery and pins.
He also reminded me that he won the race for the borough presidency that fall, so there’s a lesson in that for all of you kids out there: You can break your ankle and still grow up to be borough president!
“Brooklyn ankle club,” Markowitz wrote above his John Hancock.
As a result of Markowitz’s sympathy — and his collectible autograph — I am selling this priceless heirloom on eBay to raise money for Markowitz’s Camp Brooklyn charity.
Go to http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280197010864 to bid. All money from the winning bid will really go to Camp Brooklyn. For information on the charity, visit www.brooklyn-usa.org/Pages/whats_happening_in_Brooklyn/campbrooklyn_info.htm