A few years ago my doctor just straight up quit being a doctor. She didn't quit working at her clinic or move away. She didn't retire because she was getting old. She just decided not to be a doctor anymore. I found out via letter. It wasn't personalized and my name was misspelled on the envelope. I tried not to take it personally.

For a while I attempted to look for a new primary care physician, but every time I called anyone to make an appointment the person on the other end would basically just laugh and tell me I could set something up for my great grandchildren in the year 2130 because that was their next availability.

Eventually I gave up. I figured I'd just die when I die, without warning. It might be nice to not see it coming. Like a surprise party that ends the moment it begins.

But then my physician husband intervened and said he was going to find someone for me because I can't die on him since he doesn't know how to start the lawn mower or file our taxes.

Let me take a moment to address the elephant in the internet: yes, my husband, the man who swore in front of our grandmas and a few coworkers we had to invite because it would be awkward at work if we didn't, to love and support and worship and care for me, is a physician. And because he's a physician, in addition to the wedding vows he delivered in front of hundreds of eyewitnesses, he has also taken the hippopotomus-cratic oath in which I paid $200,000 for him to promise to help people without question for the rest of his life. When you combine the vows with the oath it basically means if I die on his watch he has to go to prison.

You might be thinking, "hmmm. Eli, why do you need to find an expensive and inaccessible physician when you already live with one that you have fed every single day for NINE YEARS?"

You and I are on the same page. I have also thought this. But apparently my super powers of legal persuasion are getting rusty. Because when I said this to that man (who, have I mentioned, I didn't allow to engage in a single household chore for four years because I wanted him to be able to focus on his studies), he said he would not be my doctor. Something something "inappropriate" something something "I'm just a dermatologist" something something "I don't even take your insurance."

The point is, we have exhausted this option and I am exhausted from exhausting it.

Finally, sometime last year, Skylar added an appointment to our calendar. He had found a new physician for me. One who had an opening in six months. Bonus: his clinic is a five-minute walk from our house. Double bonus: "he looks really nerdy in his picture so you guys will probably get along."

"I do love a nerd," I told Skylar. "That's why I married one."

Score, even.

Well, that appointment happened last week.

I admit that I, man of steel, fountain of guts, was very nervous leading up to this appointment. This is because I'm turning 40 next month which is basically medieval life expectancy. And yeah, I know that's improved and the life expectancy was only that low because they didn't have modern medicine back then, but also, I just wrote several paragraphs about how I have also been without modern medicine for a while. I'm basically living in medieval times, but with toilet paper and tv. So I didn't know what to expect but I worried that maybe when he stuck the stick thingy in my mouth and asked me to say "ahhhh" my soul would leak out of my throat.

Skylar offered to come with me and sit in the examination room with a purse on his lap so he could answer the doctor's questions on my behalf and then take me to McDonald's before dropping me back off at school. But I told him I thought I was big enough to go by myself. So go by myself, I did.

The first thing I want to say is they tested my blood pressure five times and the average was like 600/500 or something. All I know is the numbers were high. I googled them while the nice doctor I could have just asked sat directly in front of me. I didn't want to bother him.

The doctor told me he thought my blood pressure was high just because I was nervous, which, why do we even measure health data if we can just dismiss scary results by being like "oh, you! Your body's just being DrAmAtIc."

Then they sucked all of the blood out of one of my arms and made me pee into a cup so they could tell me both my good and bad cholesterol are high. When I asked what causes good cholesterol to be high the doctor said this is from having a good diet. When I asked what causes bad cholesterol to be high the doctor said this is from having a bad diet. Basically I think this means I'm just supposed to stop eating entirely.

The appointment eventually devolved into a therapy session where we talked about stress coping mechanisms and whether I was justified in thinking my husband was wrong for not treating me himself. This doctor was on Skylar's side, but obviously he has a financial incentive to be. Plus I think the Hippocratic Oath requires them to lie for the lord to protect each other.

In the end, I walked out of the office with a prescription for something I've never heard of and a lecture about how I need to sleep more and do some daily breathing exercises.

When I saw Skylar walking up to the house later that evening, returning home from work, I ran to lie down onto the couch for dramatic effect. I even put the back of my right hand up to my forehead and sighed to get his attention.

"How was your physical?" he asked, after entering the room and observing me for a moment.

I sighed another time. "He says I'm dying, but very slowly."

Skylar walked over to me, bent down, moved my hand, and kissed me on the forehead.

"Good," he said. "I'm not ready for you to die quickly."

~It Just Gets Stranger