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So many lawyers, so little time...

"The prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully"--Samuel Johnson

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Location: Louisville, KY, United States

Gastroenterologist, cyclist, cellist, Christian, husband, father, grandfather.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It just happens

I'm in my office on a scorching Sunday afternoon, catching up on roughly three, OK, four weeks of administrative stuff and listening to Leo Kottke on Napster. I'm not complaining; if I weren't here I'd be at home paying bills. It's pretty much a wash.

At the end of the week I was about as blue as a Kentucky Wildcat sweatshirt, pondering the meaningless of it all, etc. etc., when I had the most delightful office-full of elderly patients on Friday. If you don't get a chuckle out of an 88 year old lady telling you that: "just because I'm old doesn't mean I'm dead. If Mr. X ain't interested in the (92 year old lady he was hitting up on in my office), you send him my way," then, well, you will chuckle. It can't be helped.

Old folks are supposed to be the bane of a highly-efficient medical practice: they are slow, have a million problems of which usually none can be resolved, and the Medicare payments they generate barely cover office overhead. However, I do not have a highly efficient practice, and Friday is always a "slo-mo" day for me. It gives me a chance to tarry with the folks and chat about what's been going on over the past 85 years.

I regret the attitude I had in my younger years when I viewed the elderly as burdensome. They'll teach you a lot, or at least entertain you, if you just take a few (poorly reimbursed) moments and listen to them. Funny how aging does that to you. I suppose old age is like the Republican Party: you go through your life thinking very little of them, and then one day you wake up and you ARE one of them.

Peace be with you.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live on cap hill (I'm 32), and have gotten to know some of the older residents of the neighborhood- there's quite a few- and help them out when I can. How people view and interact with elderly people, related or not, tells me quite a lot about their character. Animals as well.

3:25 PM  
Blogger JusPasenThru said...

Exactly! That's one of the things that's so wicked about abortion and euthanasia. How we treat others and then try to justify it demonstrates whether we are kind, or depraved trying to pretend to be kind.

Or something like that.

5:40 PM  

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