11 – Always the Same


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Doctor: “Why, hello Mr. Adipose. It’s good to see you again! How have you been since our last checkup?”

Patient: “Okay, I guess. Mostly the same issues as last year. Although I have been more constipated lately.” 

Doctor: “Has your diet changed?” 

Patient: “Not really.”

Doctor: “Are you drinking plenty of fluids? It’s important to stay hydrated for many reasons, including helping your stools to retain more fluid. Eating more vegetables would also help create more bulk.”

Patient: “Aah, you’ve already given me the vegetable lecture. As far as fluids go, I admit to having cut down on my fluid intake. I’m gettin’ old and my bladder’s weak. I’m sick n’ tired of havin’ to pee so much.”

Doctor: “The lack of fluids may be contributing to your constipation.” 

Patient: “Forget it. I ain’t peeing all day long. Interrupts my TV shows.” 

Doctor: “You know, it’s always the same every visit. You come to me with a problem. I suggest a solution. Then you shoot it down. You complain about your weight. I tell you to eat less fat and more vegetables. You complain that you’re short of breath. I tell you to stop smoking and get some exercise.” 

Patient: “Look, Doc. I am the patient and you are the doctor, right? So, when I come to you with a problem, I want you to solve it. Nagging I can get at home. Don’t you have a pill for my weight? How about bariatric surgery? One of my buddies had that and he looks great!” 

Doctor: “Surgery is a last resort. Better to eat less and exercise more.” 

Patient: “Well, how about a pill? I ain’t givin’ up my butter cookies, so we need another game plan. Besides, what’s the point of me coming here every year to listen to what I can do? I want to hear what you can do. You’re gonna be outta business if your only service is to provide unwanted advice.” 

Doctor: “It would certainly be more lucrative for me to perform bariatric surgery on you.”

Patient: “And how about my clogged arteries? Can’t we just open ‘em up? Clear those suckers out?” 

Doctor: “Yes, that would also provide me with more income. However, I was hoping for a more permanent solution that didn’t involve invasive procedures.” 

Patient: “Well, that ain’t gonna help your wallet, doc. Why don’t we go with the surgery stuff? Look, I’m a victim here. This isn’t my fault! The food companies have it in for me! Every time I go to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions, I have to walk by all of the candies and snacks to get to the back of the store where the pharmacy counter is. Same with the checkout lane at my grocery store. Snacks and candies on every side! I’m under attack! Did you know that these food companies have armies of research scientists who study the “bliss point”? You know what that is, right? It’s the perfect combination of sugar, salt, and fat that hijacks the brain’s pleasure center and turns people into food addicts! I’m hopelessly hooked! There’s no escape! Calorie dense snacks on every corner. Huge portion sizes at restaurants. And 32 ounce sodas at the gas station! How’s a guy to survive the onslaught? I’m a victim of runaway commercialism and evil scientists! I need a pill! I need surgery! HELP! 

Doctor: “As I mentioned before, those are drastic solutions for patients in a more serious condition than you.” 

Patient: “Hmm. More serious condition, huh? Then I have a perfect solution! I’ll keep sittin’ on my couch, watchin’ TV and eatin’ butter cookies. Then maybe by next year I’ll get to the point where you can actually do something for me, other than delivering endless lectures! A perfect plan! Well, see ya next year!”

Doctor: “Maybe.” 

Patient: “Whadda you mean, maybe?” 

Doctor: “In the meantime, you might come up with a solution on your own.”

Patient: “Nah. Forget it. I ain’t changing my ways. Sorry.” 

Doctor: “That wasn’t the solution I was referring to.” 

Patient: “Huh? I’m not catching yer drift, Doc.” 

Doctor: “I was thinking of a more permanent solution. Perhaps a fatal heart attack? Debilitating stroke? Maybe cancer? These are all major risk factors that you currently face. Unless you change your ways, there may not be a next visit.”

Patient: “What’s this, a new strategy? Moving from unwanted advice to fear-mongering? Nice try, but I’ll take my chances. So far, so good. I’ll just keep truckin’ along. See ya around, Doc!” 

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