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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • The way I see it: Sometimes doctors ought to just shut up

  • According to the national news media, an Arizona physician has proven she is “just another hack who wants five minutes on TV.” Those words in quotation marks are the words of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and I agree with him.
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  • According to the national news media, an Arizona physician has proven she is “just another hack who wants five minutes on TV.” Those words in quotation marks are the words of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and I agree with him.
     
    Here’s the background: The national news media reports that Dr. Connie Mariano, a former White House medical unit member, gave an interview to CNN in which she suggested Christie’s at risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. Gov. Christie is a big man, so that makes him a big target. He doesn’t just take people’s crap, though. After the interview aired, he called the doctor and, as she says, “he yelled at me.”
     
    Good for him. She needed to be yelled at.
     
    One time a doctor got on my bad side by talking about my weight problem. I didn’t yell at him. I guess what I did was worse.
     
    See, I hadn’t been to a doctor for seven years. I used to go regularly for check-ups that included something called a PSA test that used blood samples to check for prostate cancer. One time the doctor said, “Mr. Hohenfeldt, you have reached an age where this will be the last PSA-only test. Next time I will have to conduct a manual test, too.”
     
    “Okay,” I said, but I knew what he meant, so it took seven years for me to call to make another appointment. Actually, I called to try to make an appointment. Turned out that in that seven-year hiatus, he retired or moved or, perhaps, passed away. Whatever happened to him, he was no longer in practice.
     
    So I began to search for another doctor when I felt like I needed to have my blood sugar, blood pressure and prostate checked. Actually, my wife searched for another doctor, and made an appointment with one at a clinic out on Martin Spring Drive. Of course, she accompanied me, because she is nosy.
     
    The doctor came into the exam room and asked what I needed. I explained that I had not been to a doctor for a long time and that I felt like I needed a thorough check-up with particular attention paid to my blood sugar and blood pressure. And, oh, yeah, I said, I probably needed one of those prostate exams because my previous doctor seven years past had said I was at an age where I needed one.
     
    Page 2 of 3 - The doctor said, “You’re main problem, Mr. Hohenfeldt, is that you are overweight.” And then he went on about a 10-minute tirade against fat people. I sat and listened intently while seething. That tirade sequed into an introduction of his many credentials. He explained that he had been a scientist before going into medicine and that, I guess, was to assure me that he was extremely intelligent. He started the wrap up of his soliloquy with another jab or two at my problem with obesity, and then added that a lot of people found him to be a trifle difficult and hard-nosed, a problem that he chalked up to being the son of a drill sergeant, as well being a scientist who looked at the world with exactness and precision.
     
    “What do you think, Mr. Hohenfeldt?” he asked.
     
    Well, I’m sitting there still seething, my thoughts still lingering back there on his tirade about my weight.
     
    “I’ll tell you what I think, doctor, I don’t think you’re difficult or hard-nosed at all. I think you’re a F*¢7!&% @$$^0#3,” I said. “I don’t need you to tell me I’m overweight. I know that. I need you to monitor my health while I start a work-out program and try to lose some weight. So even though I think you are a F*¢7!&% @$$^0#3, you are a straight-talker, so I guess I’ll have to accept you as my doctor.”
     
    He blinked at me. My wife, who was seated to my right, was hiding her face, which I could see had turned absolutely scarlet.
     
    “OK,” the doctor said. “I think we can have a medical relationship, but we don’t need to resort to such gutter language.”
     
    Already I was feeling sinful before the doctor, my wife and the Lord Jesus Christ. I knew I was in the wrong, not so much for calling the doctor a F*¢7!&% @$$^0#3 but for the anger that I had allowed to well up inside.
    Jesus died on the cross, carrying all my sins, and I had just thrown another one, anger, in amongst all the rest of those burdens. I felt pretty bad about treating Jesus that way. I figured Jesus probably thought the doctor was a F*¢7!&% @$$^0#3, too, but Jesus would not get angry.
     
    “I apologize, Doctor,” I said. “I am a semi-sporadic church-going feller, and I try to follow Christ, but sometimes I let my anger boil over. I apologize for that. I am sorry, and I promise that if you say something in the future that makes me mad, I will not get angry and threaten to kick your F*¢7!&% @$$.”
    Page 3 of 3 -  
    I realized I had done it again. I silently said another prayer, asking for forgiveness, and I said aloud.
    “Sorry.”
     
    The doctor said, “Well, make an appointment for two weeks from now, and here’s the order for the blood tests. I’ll see you in two weeks.”
     
    We shook hands and my wife and I walked out, made an appointment at the desk and left the office.
     
    “You embarrassed me,” she said. “I have never been so humiliated in all my life.”
     
    “Sorry,” I said. “You probably ought not to have come along.”
     
    “Besides,” she said. “You are not tough enough to kick anybody’s behind, not even that little twerp’s, so quit talking like that.”
     
    So you can see why I empathize with Gov. Chris Christie who has endured a lot of joking and criticism about his weight. We fat guys know we are fat. Nobody needs to tell us or go on TV and tell the world.
     
    "If she wants to get on a plane and come here to New Jersey and ask me if she wants to examine me and review my medical history I will have a conversation with her about that," Christie said in a press conference responding to a question about the mouthy woman doctor.
    "Until that time she should shut up.”
     
    Amen, governor, amen.
     
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