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.