My Second Favorite Place
Updated: Sep 5, 2022
Two days prior to the blizzard of ‘22, I receive results of my CAT scan.
Thereafter, I run.
Initial symptoms presented Wednesday while working from home. Upon Sandy’s late night return from work, she tells me of her day. “Back-to-back patients from start to finish. Six new patients, all complicated…”
As Sandy wraps up her summary, I clear my throat, “Something unusual happened to me today...”
I explain what happened. Sandy, a physician with a booming medical practice, stands straight. Lips purse as her full attention presses down on me, “And you didn’t go to the hospital? Or the doctor?”
She narrows eyes, “Did you even call your doctor?”
Again, I shrug, “Worse stuff's happened to me.”
She crosses arms, “This isn’t a busted bone you play through. This is serious. Call your doctor now. You’ll get the answering service but do it. Now.” She hands me the phone.
Thursday morning, I am bumped to the head of the line (lucky me!) for an appointment prior to work. Without having to study, I take a series of tests. Like Sandy, my physician crosses arms and stares. She rubs her chin before turning to type furiously into her desktop. Scrambling from her office, I make it to work one minute prior to our client kick-off meeting.
Friday morning, I am again bumped to the head of the line, this time for a CAT scan. “You’re the first patient of the day. Get to Boston early.”
Following the scan, I’m told to stay put. Results will be reviewed ‘stat’.
By mid-morning I receive results from Amanda, an alarmingly young professional. She lets out a long exhale and smiles, “It’s negative. So, you’re good.” She shares hypotheses before handing me a sheet of paper, “What happened to you can be serious. Here; call this number for your follow up. In the meantime, should symptoms return …”
I interrupt Amanda, “So, I’m good to go for a run?”
Eyebrows pinch, “Huh? A run outside, you mean?” She cocks her hip and frowns, “You’re still in pain so I don’t think …”
Again, I interrupt, “Come on. I just got really good news. I mean, if the results were positive my life woulda blown up. So, I’m happy! And I wanna celebrate. I’ll be hurting if I sit. I’ll be hurting if I walk. I’ll be hurting if I run. It’s all the same so I might as well go to my second favorite place in the world, the Charles River, to enjoy a run.”
Smiling, I point to small backpack, “Besides, I packed my running gear; just in case the news was good.”
Amanda sighs in the face of a non-compliant patient, “Before you ignore my answer, tell me this … why go to your second favorite place? Why not your first favorite place?”
“Well, my favorite place in the world is around the dining room table with my family. But my two children are grown-up and live in LA, so I can’t sit at the table with them and their friends and my wife telling stories, listening to albums, debating, and sharing secrets.” I look away, “Instead, I’ll go for a run along the river. And while I run, I’ll dream of my kids. I’ll dream of seeing them soon.”
Amanda blinks slowly. She reaches over and squeezes my arm.
Thereafter, I run.