I go to visit my cardiologist this morning. I’m excited because the last time I saw him, I was 35 lbs. heavier. When I mention this, he ignores me. But he’s an odd bird, so I repeat myself, thinking he might have missed it.
He just sniffs and says, “Hummm.” My cardiologist believes in medicine, only Western medicine.
He jiggered my prescriptions around the last time I saw him, as he has done on all my bi-annual visits for the last four or five years. Together we look at my recent lipid numbers, which have sank dramatically. He wants to take credit for this, pointing to the new “mix” of medicines he prescribed.
I laugh in his face.
“Diet and exercise,” I say. “That’s what’s got us those new low numbers.”
“Two words,” he says, “Arthur Ashe.”
Arthur Ashe? I vaguely remember him being into tennis, but I’m not a big tennis fan, so what do I know. “Didn’t he die of AIDS?” I ask.
“But he got the AIDS from a blood transfusion!”
I am looking at my cardiologist like he has lost his mind. What does death from blood transfusion have to do with diet and exercise?
“He only needed the blood transfusion because he needed a bypass.”
It’s an 8:30 am appointment and I haven’t had all my coffee, but I still don’t see the connection. Sensing my confusion, the doctor offers more.
“You’re not in better shape than Arthur Ashe.” He says this with a dismissive wave of his hand.
“But isn’t Ashe dead?” I ask.
Most studies extol the virtues of diet and exercise. I am shocked at my cardiologist’s myopic approach to treating heart disease.
What a hard-on.