Thursday, March 26, 2009


Hippocrates stone Greek Pictures, Images and Photos

I had returned from an exhausting day at work and was settled comfortably in my favourite chair, beginning to answer some of the surprising number of comments from yesterday's post when the phone rang.

Lindsay looked up from the floor at my feet where she was sleeping and yawned.

Telemarketer, I thought.

Linda looked at the call display.

"It's for you," she said. "Your gastroenterologist's office."

"Easy for you to say," I said. She handed me the phone.

I had had trouble swallowing a few weeks back which led to a visit to my family doctor and an urgent gastroscopy. The scope showed an ulcer just above the esophageal sphincter. Being thorough, the doctor had taken some samples for biopsy and had referred me for some further tests.

"Hello," a sprightly female voice said. "This is Doctor Xeroulis's office calling. Is that Barry?"

"It is."

"Your biopsy results have just come in and the doctor needs to see you immediately. Could you make it first thing tomorrow morning?"

I thought about it.

This couldn't be a good phone call. I thought about the reports at work I've been struggling to write for the past week that have been delayed due to constant interruptions. I thought about the meeting I have set for first thing with the potential new customers who have flown from Vancouver to see us. I thought about the 12 other things I had crammed into my day. And the 12 I didn't know about yet that would crop up through the day.

There was no room in my busy schedule for a visit to the doctor. Especially a doctor whose office was a hour away from mine.

Then I thought about what the phone call from the doctor's office must mean.

At my feet, Lindsay laid her head back down between her paws and went back to sleep.

"Could I make it in the afternoon instead?" I asked.

"One oclock?"

It would be tight but, "Yes, I can make one oclock. The doctor knows the CT scan and UGI series haven't been done yet?"

"Yes I confirmed those times with the hospital before I called."

"And he wants to see me before he gets those results?"

"Yes he does."

"Alright, I'll see you at one oclock."

Linda was looking at me with concern. And trepidation.

"Damn," I said, and told her about the conversation.

"Damn," she said. "Barry, that's not good news. I'm coming with you."

"No, it's alright. You have work to do and I'll be running back to work right after."

She looked at me like I was crazy.

"There are things I just have to get done.", I explained.

Now sitting up, Lindsay started nudging my hand with her nose. She wasn't sympathizing, she was letting me know it was time for her nightly run.

I held Linda's gaze for a minute. Lindsay nudged my hand again.

Life goes on.

I got up and grabbed my coat and hat, clicked on lindsay's leash, and together we went out into the cold night and the rain.