Why one patient chose me as her doctor
Mrs. Talbot, a fiesty ninety-eight year old who still walked a mile each day and took no medications, came in to see me as a new patient shortly after I opened my practice. I inquired how she had heard about me and why she had chosen me as her doctor. (Had word of my “brilliance” and “stellar bedside manner” spread already?)
She smirked and said, “My last three doctors all kicked the bucket. I figured if I picked a young one fresh out of school, I might stand a sporting chance of dying before my doctor did!”
So much for brilliance and bedside manner!
“I’m not sure I want you as a patient,” I retorted. “Your track record with doctors leaves a lot to be desired. I’d at least like to get my medical school loans paid off before I ‘kick the bucket.'”
She waved her hand at me. “Don’t worry. At ninety-eight, I’m bound to drop dead any day now. I’ve been living on borrowed time for ten years now.”
But every year she breezed in for her annual physical as perky as ever, her mind keen, her wit intact, and her gait limber. At age 105, she died, the oldest patient I’d ever doctored. Her “curse” of outliving her doctors had ended.