What can YOU say in six sentences?
I made an appointment with a new doctor, a rheumatologist with a web cam at the front desk which takes photographs of all new patients, most of them two or three decades older than I am.
After answering questions about family history and joint pain -- I come from a bunch of alcoholic, HLA-B27 positive arthritic English, Irish, Native American Indians, aka, a gene pool of self-loathing autoimmunity -- I sat in an exam room decorated with fake plants, mauve vinyl and a picture of Jesus washing Peter's feet.
I realized the doctor would be examining my feet and hands, the big toe and thumb joints, and that although I didn't need Jesus to make me clean, I seriously needed a mani- and pedicure.
Dr. H. was young and chubby beneath his buttoned white coat, cocky in a Geraldo Rivera sort of way, and after dancing a gooey probe over a few joints and showing off his command of rare connective tissue medical terminology, he asked me to bend over to assess spine mobility.
As he peered down the waist gap of my True Religions, at the crack of my not-so-supermodel-ass, I wished I'd worn lacy panties instead of the the boxy girl's version of Fruit of the Looms, then he said, "I think you're suffering from Ank-Spon" and I thought I'd heard "Anx Spawn", a body awareness anxiety but no, he was referring to ankylosing spondylitis, a fancy word for inflammation which involves adhesions like cement glue spiderwebs, in other words, yee-fucking-haw.
I declined his offer of pain drugs, left with only an MRI order and a mental image of Dr. H. as a plump sadistic troll I intend to conquer with a starch-free diet and kilos of NSAIDs.