The “cool” man

He  was  a  man  in  his  middle  forties.  Friendly  open  face,  his  hair  a  little  too  long  and  untidy.  He  was  dressed  in  a casual way, faded jeans, surfer’s T-shirt. His feet were comfortable in a pair of slip-ons, the type you could wear to the beach or around the house. In a very casual way he was giving me his case history.

“I have three brothers. I am the youngest. My father  died when he was in his early fifties of a heart attack. All my brothers have had bypass operations and are on medication for high cholesterol. I twisted my back while riding my skateboard  on  the  beachfront.  I  suppose  I  would  never  have  gone  to  the  doctor  by  choice,  but,  my  back  was  in agony, so I went for an injection for the pain. The doctor started asking me when last I had had a check-up and so one  thing  led  to  the  next.  He  insisted  in  taking  a  few  vials  of  blood  to  test  for  all  sorts  of  stuff.  The  results  came back. That’s why I am here.” He concluded in a boyish way.

“Well, tell me what the tests revealed, or, do you have a printout of the pathology report?” I wanted to know.

“Oh, Gosh! No. I never thought to ask for the printout. In any case I don’t think the doctor would give them to me. He kind of said that what he was testing is confidential”, the Peter Pan man-boy child continued. “I did hear him say something about high cholesterol”, he tried to help.

This was going to be a tough one, I thought. This man has never given any aspect of his life more thought than was absolutely necessary. His playtime was all that mattered, I thought.

“I want you to get me the following information. I want to know your total blood cholesterol as well as your HDL and LDL  count.  Just  ask  the  doctor’s  receptionist.  If  possible,  the  printout  report  would  be  even  better.  There  is  very little I can do to help you without the relevant information.”

I wrote all the instructions on a piece of paper. Against any odds, he came back within days with his blood results. His “cool” manner was astonishing, I thought. Most people get themselves into quite a knot if they find out that their health could be in trouble. He turned up in a pair of worn baggies, sandals and faded T-shirt, his bleached hair all over the place.

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